__          __             __
\ \_________\ \____________\ \___
 \  _ \  _\ _  \  _\ __ \ __\   /
  \___/\__/\__/ \_\ \___/\__/\_\_\
                      Bedrock Linux

Bedrock Linux 0.7 Poki

© Bedrock Linux 2012-2020
Linux® is a registered trademark
of Linus Torvalds

Bedrock Linux 0.7 Poki Concepts And Terminology


Many Linux distributions are composed of packages, which are collections of related files. In such distros most distro-specific files and processes are associated with some package. For example, /usr/bin/vim may be provided by the vim package. Packages are typically written with the expectation of interacting with other packages from the same Linux distribution release. For example, an executable from one package may utilize a library provided by another package. This interaction expectation typically breaks down across packages from different Linux distributions, or even packages across different releases of the same distribution. For example, two packages from different distributions may each expect a different build of a library at the same file path.

A Bedrock Linux system is composed strata. Like packages, these are collections of related files. Unlike packages, however, strata have a relatively high degree of tolerance for interacting with other files from other Linux distributions. A Bedrock system may be composed of strata that each expect a different build of a library at the same file path but still work, and work together.

Strata are often one-to-one with traditional Linux distribution installs. One may have an Arch stratum, a Debian stratum, a Gentoo stratum, etc. However, they do not have to be related to Linux distributions. For example, one may have a stratum that is composed of a single man page.

Every process and every file on a Bedrock Linux system is associated with some stratum. Global files (described below) are associated with the bedrock stratum.

Bedrock provides commands to manage strata.

Dependency types

A hard dependency is a dependency on either:

In contrast, a soft dependency is a dependency that a given file or process exists, but allows for freedom around the dependency's specific build or location. For example, a process may require an Xorg server to display a window, but it may not care about which specific Xorg build is used.

Bedrock operates under the assumption that all of a given stratum's hard dependencies are provided by that same stratum. For example, if a stratum's /usr/bin/vim requires a specific libc at /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6, that same stratum should provide such a file at that location. Typical distro package managers usually ensure this is the case. However, soft dependencies may be missing from a given stratum so long as another stratum provides them. For example, a stratum may have a script which requires some build of jq, but does not care which specific jq or which specific file path provides the jq, in which case another stratum may fulfill the jq soft dependency.

Filepath types

Two strata may have mutually exclusive assumptions around the same file path. For example, a Debian stratum's apt and an Ubuntu stratum's apt may each require different file contents at /etc/apt/sources.list. For both of these apt binaries to work, each must see its own stratum's instance of /etc/apt/sources.list. However, if all file are treated this way, strata are unable to interact with each other. Thus this system is only applied to some file, which are referred to as local files.

In contrast to local files are global files. All processes see the same files at global paths. For example, a firefox process from one stratum may download a PDF file at ~/Downloads/file.pdf, a global path, and an evince process from another stratum may read it.

Global paths allow strata to share access to some files, but not all. To fully interact, strata also need to be able to see other strata's local files. For example, the aforementioned firefox process may benefit from the ability to directly launch another stratum's evince. Thus, a third category of file path: cross file paths. Bedrock adds cross paths to various application look up locations such as the $PATH environment variable to make cross-stratum functionality work transparently.

By default, most file paths are local. The bedrock.conf global section is used to configure which are global, and the bedrock.conf cross sections are used to configure cross paths. The brl which command can be used to query which stratum provides a given path.

To execute a specific stratum's local executable, prefix the command with strat stratum. For example, to run Debian's vim (rather than, say, Ubuntu's), run strat debian vim. To read or write a specific stratum's local file, prefix the file path with /bedrock/strata/stratum. For example, to edit Ubuntu's /etc/apt/sources.list (in contrast to, say, Debian's), run vim /bedrock/strata/ubuntu/etc/apt/sources.list. These can be combine. For example, to use Debian's vim to edit Ubuntu's /etc/apt/sources.list, run strat debian vim /bedrock/strata/ubuntu/etc/apt/sources.list.


Build tools often become confused by Bedrock's environment when attempting to find build dependencies. As a solution, Bedrock provides the ability to restrict processes from automatically seeing cross paths by removing cross entries from environment variables. To be clear, this is not a security mechanism; such restricted processes can still access cross paths if they know to search them via some other means, such as a user instruction.

Bedrock provides configuration to manage restriction. This may be overridden by providing strat either the -r flag to indicate the given command should be restricted or -u flag indicating it should not.

Strata state

A stratum may be either enabled or disabled. An enabled stratum is integrated with the rest of the system. Its binaries are available for execution, its man pages detectable by man, etc. One may wish to disable a stratum, de-integrating it from the rest of the system, at times such as:

A stratum may also be broken. This indicates that the stratum's target state is enabled, but that something went wrong.

Bedrock provides commands to manage strata state.

Strata visibility

A stratum may be either shown or hidden in/from various subsystems, controlling:

Bedrock automatically hides strata to keep them from being accidentally enabled at sensitive times such as mid-acquisition or just before removal. Users may wish to hide strata if they are not expected to be useful for an extended period of time to keep them out of the way while still retaining them on disk for future use.

Bedrock provides commands to manage strata visibility.


Aliases may be created as alternative names for strata. aliases may be created, removed, or renamed irrelevant of their corresponding stratum's state, making them more flexible than the strata names.

Some example situations where this may be useful:

Bedrock automatically creates a hijacked alias during the hijack install to track which stratum corresponds to the initial install. This is solely for the benefit of the user, and you are free to remove this.

Bedrock automatically creates and updates an init alias corresponding to the stratum that is providing the init system for the current session. Bedrock's default bedrock.conf functionality leverages this to ensure init-related commands such as reboot are provided by the correct stratum. If you are not intimately familiar with how Bedrock works it is best to leave the init alias untouched.

Bedrock automatically creates and updates an local alias corresponding to the stratum reading the alias. Bedrock's default bedrock.conf functionality leverages this to ensure restricted commands are provided by the local stratum if available there before crossing to other strata.

Bedrock provides commands to manage aliases.

This covers all the background required before continuing to the Bedrock commands.