Before beginning installation, be sure to at least skim the other pages for this release of Bedrock Linux (1.0alpha3 Bosco). Make sure you're aware of, for example, the known issues and troubleshooting advice before you begin following the instructions below.
Note that there is no proper installer for this release of Bedrock Linux (1.0alpha3 Bosco). Installation is done by manually collecting and compiling the components, laying out the filesystem, adding the users, etc. Experienced Linux users - those who are comfortable compiling their own software, know the significance of the various parts of the filesystem directory layout, etc - should not have overly much trouble, but those new to Linux or those who don't want to get their hands dirty may wish to seek another Linux distribution for their needs.
If you are currently using a previous version of Bedrock Linux, note that many
of the existing directories from your current installation may be used in this
/var/chroot (or wherever you kept your clients). When these
directories come up in the following instructions, consider simply copying the
old values over the ones created here. Additionally, it could be useful to
keep your configuration files, such as
First, boot a Linux distribution from a device/partition other than the one on which you wish to install Bedrock. This will be called the "installer host." The installer host can be a LiveCD or LiveUSB Linux distribution (such as Knoppix or an Ubuntu installer), or simply a normal Linux distribution on another device or another partition on the same device.
Most major Linux distributions will work for installer host, provided they
support compiling tools such as
make. Distributions with ready access to
debootstrap (such as most major Debian-based distributions, Arch Linux
through AUR, Fedora, and others) are preferable if you would like a
Debian-based client, as they will make it relatively easy to acquire said
debootstrap. The installer host should also have internet
access. Arch Linux users have reported difficulties statically compiling with
libcap - if you are using Arch Linux, you might have to compile your own libcap
(perhaps with ABS) which supports statically compiling.
Be sure the installer host uses the same instruction set as you wish Bedrock Linux to use. Specifically, watch out for (32-bit) x86 live Linux distribution if you wish to make Bedrock Linux (64-bit) x86-64. While it is possible have the installer host use a different instruction set from the targeted Bedrock, it is a bit more work and not covered in these instructions.
If the computer on which you wish to install Bedrock Linux is slow, you may find it preferable to use another computer to do the CPU-intensive compiling. However, this will make some things - such as choosing which modules to compile into the kernel - more difficult. These instructions do not cover compiling on a separate machine from the one on which you wish to install.
Using partitioning software such as gparted or fdisk, partition the device on which you wish to install Bedrock. Be very careful to only format bits and bytes which you no longer need - a mistake here could blow away another operating system with which you intended to dual-boot with Bedrock.
For the most part you are free to partition the system however you please. If you are unsure of how to partition it, it is reasonable to use only two partitions:
If you are comfortable with typical partitioning schemes for Linux - such as
/home, etc their own partitions - you are free to do so.
Before doing so, note some unusual aspects of Bedrock's layout:
/usris not heavily used. Rather, most of the software usually in
/usrwill be accessed from client Linux distributions.
/var/chrootits own partition and giving it a lot of space, as this is the recommended location for storing the client Linux distributions.
Note which devices files correspond to which partitions of the Bedrock Linux
filesystem. These are normally located in
/dev, and called
X is a
letter a-z and
N is a digit 0-9. This information will be used later to mount
Bosco has only been tested with the ext2 and ext3 filesystems, but any Linux-supported filesystem should work fine. If you choose to use something other than ext2/3/4, be sure you know where to find (and how to set up) corresponding fsck software and a bootloader which can work with that filesystem, as these instructions will only cover ext2/3/4.
If you are dual-booting with another Linux distribution, wish to use that
distribution's bootloader, and know how to add Bedrock Linux to that
distribution's bootloader, be sure to keep the boot flag on the other
distribution's boot partition. If you would like to use Bedrock's bootloader,
be sure to set the boot flag on the proper partition (ie, either the Bedrock's
main/root partition or, if you made a special
/boot partition, then the
/boot partition you made).
Make a directory in which to mount Bedrock's fresh to partition(s). These
instructions assumes you are using
/mnt/bedrock for this. If you would like
to use something else, be sure to change
/mnt/bedrock accordingly whenever
it comes up in these instructions. In general, when you see anything formatted
like this that is a reminder that you should consider changing the content
rather than typing/copying it verbatim.
Note that this will become Bedrock's root directory when you are done. As root:
Mount the newly-created main/root partition. Replace
sdXN with the
corresponding device file to the main/root partition. As root:
If you created more than one partition (other than swap) for Bedrock, make the corresponding directories and mount them. If you are upgrading from a prior release of Bedrock Linux, and you have partitions which contain only a subset of the following, they are probably safe to mount and use. Be sure to back up nonetheless - using pre-existing partitions has not been well tested and a command below may wipe them.
All of the Bedrock Linux userland which does not come from upstream is
available in a single tarball which you can download and untar. Download the
userland tarball from here into
/mnt/bedrock and run the following to set it up:
If you receive errors about a missing library, such as
sys/capability.h, or a
missing executable such as
setcap, install the package which contains the
library or executable and try again. At the time of writing on most major
Debian-based Linux distributions, these packages are
libcap2-bin, respectively. Arch Linux users have reported difficulties
statically compiling with
-lcap - if you are using Arch Linux, you may have
to recompile libcap to support statically compiling.
Once you have run all of these command successfully, you can clean up extraneous files with:
New to Bosco is experimental support for using components from other Linux distributions such as (and in fact, preferably from) clients. It would thus be useful to acquire your first client before continuing with creating the rest of Bedrock Linux. Instructions to acquire and set up clients are available here. You do not (yet) have to worry about configuring the client - simply install it so that it is on disk (and its files are accessible) After you have at least one client (although more is fine), continue reading below.
As was mentioned in the previous section, Bedrock Linux now has experimental support for using a pre-existing kernel from another Linux distribution. Kernels (along with their initrd and other files) from a number of Linux distributions have been tested, but potential remains for untested ones to have problems. If you try this out with a kernel not mentioned below, jumping into the IRC channel #bedrock on libera.chat or the subreddit to report success or failure with any given Linux distribution's kernel would be appreciated.
/lib/modulesseems to work fine without an initrd.
If you would prefer to compile your own kernel, the instructions from the previous release to download the source and compile/install the kernel are still valid; follow those. When you have completed them, skip the rest of this section and continue in the next section below. If you would prefer to use the kernel from another Linux distribution, continue reading here.
Using a kernel from a client is preferable to using one from a Linux distribution which is not a client so that you can continue to use that client as a source for the kernel as it updates the kernel, but non-clients should work as well.
If you would like to use the kernel from a client you have but the client does
not (yet) have a kernel installed, you can access the client's package manager
by running the commands below. Be sure to change
/mnt/bedrock/var/chroot/client to where you have placed the client in which
you would like to install the kernel.
From there, run whatever commands are necessary to install the kernel. For
example, for x86_64 Debian-based client run
apt-get install linux-image-amd64, or for an Arch Linux client run
pacman -S linux. When you have finished, run the following
commands to clean up:
Next, you must copy the relevant files from the location in the client Linux
distribution into the core of Bedrock Linux so they can be accessed while
booting. If you are getting them from a client, they will likely be somewhere
/mnt/bedrock/var/chroot/client. If you are using another source
such as the installer host you will have to determine where they are located.
The files are:
/bootdirectory and called something along the lines of
initrd.img-VERSION-ARCHand located with the image in
/bootdirectory next to the kernel image. It is and called something along the lines of
System.map-VERSION. Some Linux distributions provide this in the same package as the kernel image while others do not. If you do not know what it is, you probably do not need it.
.configfile for the kernel. This file is useful for creating a new kernel based on the previous kernel's configuration. Like the last few items items, this is usually located in the
/bootdirectory. It is usually called something along the lines of
config-VERSION-ARCH. Like the system map, if you do not know what it is you probably do not need it.
/lib/moduleswith this client (as you will otherwise be sharing the core's empty
/lib/moduleswith the client). Shared items from clients only propogate if they are installed while sharing is in place after booting into Bedrock Linux itself. The directory you are looking for is usually in
/lib/modulesand called something along the lines of the version of the kernel they match. Thus, if you grabbed
vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-686from a client earlier for the image, you will want to copy the
/lib/modules/2.6.32-5-686directory from the client into the same place in the core Bedrock Linux.
/lib/firmware. Simply copy the contents of this directory in the client into the core's
Like with the kernel, Bedrock Linux now has experimental support for using Busybox binaries from other Linux distributions such as (in fact, preferably) from a client.
If you would prefer to compile your own Busybox, the instructions from the previous release to download the source and compile/install Busybox are still valid; follow those until you get to
When you get there, return to this page and skip down to busybox test section below. If you would prefer to use Busybox from another Linux distribution (or just have difficulty statically compiling busybox), continue reading here.
Static busyboxes from a number of Linux distributions have been tested, but potential remains for untested ones to have problems. If you try this out with a static Busybox not mentioned below, jumping into the IRC channel #bedrock on libera.chat or the subreddit to report success or failure with any given Linux distribution's static busybox would be appreciated.
Does not work
gettyseems to fail to call
gettyseems to fail to call
There seems to be a trend where Busyboxes from Debian-based Linux distributions
prior to 1.20 have a bug with
getty/login. Presumably any 1.20 Busybox or
later will no longer have this issue.
If you would like to use a Busybox from a client you have but the client does
not (yet) have Busybox installed, you can access the client's package manager
by running the commands below. Be sure to change
/mnt/bedrock/var/chroot/client to where you have placed the client in which
you would like to install the kernel.
From there, run whatever commands are necessary to install busybox. Note you
are looking for a static busybox - the package might be called something such
busybox-static, although it might just be called
busybox. When you have
finished, run the following commands:
The just-installed busybox is probably at
If all of your clients have bad busyboxes, you could try using the installer host's, or you could download a package containing a known good one and extract busybox from the package. For example, to download Debian Sid's busybox:
/tmp/busyboxand remove that directory.
You should now have a candidate busybox; either one you compiled from source, one from a client or one from another distribution.
To make sure it will work, you need to test for four things:
To test for these things, download this script,
set it to be executable (
chmod +x busybox-test-1.0alpha3.sh) and run it with
the location of the busybox you are testing as an argument. For example, if the
current working directory contains the busybox executable you are going to test,
download the test script there and run:
If a test failed, you will have to find or compile another busybox. See the known-good busyboxes listed towards the top of the busybox section.
If all of the tests pass, you can continue by installing this busybox
cd into the directory which contains the
busybox executable and run:
Busybox should now be installed.
The exact choice of bootloader makes very little difference. Syslinux is the official Bedrock Linux bootloader primarily due to the fact it is relatively simple and easy to set up by hand. If you would prefer a different bootloader, such as GRUB or LILO, and you are confident you are able to set it up (with documentation from another source), you are welcome to use another bootloader. If you are dual booting with another operating system which has its own bootloader and you know how to add Bedrock Linux to the other operating system's bootloader, you are welcome to do that as well.
Syslinux is both the name of a project which contains multiple bootloaders and
the name of one of the bootloaders within the project. If you are using ext2,
ext3, ext4 or BTRFS as your filesystem, the "extlinux" bootloader from Syslinux
should suffice. If you are using another filesystem which another filesystem
you can either look at another member of the Syslinux family which supports
your filesystem and continue below altering
extlinux as necessary or find a
completely different bootloader.
Quick update notes: Syslinux seems to move files around between releases
without necessarily documenting it in the first place you'd look. The
instructions here may be out-of-date and you may have to poke around. For
example, since the time these instructions support for EFI has been added. To
build for a BIOS (pre-EFI system), compile with
make bios and look around in
bios folder for mentioned files. Look for
bios/mbr/mbr.bin instead of whatever is mentioned below.
The following instructions are assuming you are using the extlinux member of the Syslinux family. If you are using another bootloader for whatever reason, follow instructions for setting it up elsewhere and skip the rest of this section.
Download Syslinux from the official syslinux website. Bosco was tested successfully with Syslinux 3.86 but newer versions should work. If you are using BTRFS, you need at least version 4.0.
If you are not using a LiveUSB/LiveCD but are using another partition on the same machine as the one on which you are installing Bedrock Linux, avoid shutting down the installer host part-way through these instructions to avoid leaving yourself without a successfully set up bootloader and may have difficulty resuming installation.
Change to the directory in which you placed downloaded Syslinux source.
Unpackage syslinux and change directories into the extlinux subdirectory in it:
If you are using (32-bit) x86, you may use the compiled binary the package which comes with the package. Otherwise, you will have to compile extlinux it yourself. If you are not using (32-bit) x86 (or you would like to compile syslinux for another reason), run the following:
make clean; make
You may receive an error about lacking
nasm or some other packages. If so,
install those packages and try again. If you receive other errors, note that
this will compile a number of things you do not need and there is a good chance
that the error was not with regards to extlinux. Check to see if extlinux
If this returns a file, it compiled successfully, and you are free to install extlinux. As root:
Although syslinux is installed on the partition, it still needs to be properly
set up on the harddrive itself. Find the corresponding device file for device
you made bootable when you partitioned/formatted earlier. Note that here we
aren't looking for the partition device file -
/dev/sd - but rather the
device's file -
/dev/sd. There should be no 0-9 digit in the filename. As
cat mbr/mbr.bin > /dev/sd
X# change X accordingly
You may now want to copy several files to
syslinux needs for some of its features.
To use a simple menu when booting (as opposed to a commandline), copy
Or, if you'd prefer a fancy graphical menu, copy
To be able to poweroff from the boot menu (or commandline), copy
Note that you can reboot with ctrl-alt-delete without
To chain-load another operating system's bootloader (such as Microsoft
Windows), you will need
Now you should create the configuration file for syslinux. Unlike GRUB, syslinux must be configured by hand. Assuming you want a graphical menu, run the following to get a basic menu in syslinux:
cat > /mnt/bedrock/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf << EOF UI
menu.c32MENU TITLE Syslinux Bootloader DEFAULT Bedrock PROMPT 0 TIMEOUT 50 LABEL Bedrock MENU LABEL Bedrock Linux 1.0alpha3 Bosco LINUX ../
Consider changing the following:
vmlinuz-KERNEL-VERSIONto the filename of kernel image that you either compiled from source or acquired from another Linux distribution
/dev/sdto the partition you set to boot - either Bedrock's main/root partition or its
/bootpartition if you made one.
INITRD ../initrd.img-VERSIONline, changing the filename to the filename of the initrd. If you are not using an initrd and you are sure you have all of the modules required to boot built into the kernel you may leave the initrd line out of the file.
vesamenu.c32for a fancier menu or remove the
UIline completely for a command line interface.
If you would like to dual-boot with another operating system such as Windows, append the following:
cat >> /mnt/bedrock/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf << EOF LABEL
LABEL NAMEMENU LABEL
Operating System NameCOM32 chain.c32 APPEND hd
Consider changing the following from this addition:
LABEL NAMEis what Syslinux refers to this item - something short and simple such as "win7" should suffice.
Operating System Nameis what you will see for the item in the menu if you are using
vesamenu.c32. Something such as "Windows 7" should be fine.
hdrefers to the hard drive (the first number) and partiton (the second number) on which the bootloader you are chainloading is installed. It appears both numbers are zero-indexed, but if this does not work for you try with them either or both of them being one-indexed. For example, if the target operating system's bootloader is on
/dev/sda1(the first partition on the first harddrive), you will want
fsck executable itself is a front-end for filesystem-specific
executables. If you want to have Bedrock Linux run
fsck on boot as most
other major Linux distributions do, you will need to install the both the fsck
front-end and filesystem-specific executable(s) for your filesystem(s). Note
that while this is recommended, it is optional - you can set "FSCK=0" in your
rc.conf to disable
fsck, and in this case you do not need to install
For ext2, ext3 and ext4, you can find the source for the fsck executable at the sourceforge page. If you would like to use another filesystem, it should not be difficult to find the fsck for it and install it instead, but these instructions do not cover it.
Change to the directory in which you placed the downloaded source, untar it and enter the resulting directory:
Create a build directory and change directory into it:
Compile the fsck executables:
To confirm that they were compiled statically, run
and check that both commands output "not a dynamic executable".
To install the filesystem specific executable, simply copy it to what will be
/sbin with the names of the filesystems it supports (as root):
Busybox may or may not come with
fsck. The busybox tests above did not
ensure it existed. If it does exist, you should have a file called
/mnt/bedrock/sbin/fsck. If this exists you may use it; otherwise, install
fsck front-end you just compiled:
All of the major components should be installed at this point; all that remains is to edit the configuration files as desired. The instructions to do so are broken up into two parts:
The userland tarball you installed earlier with two users, "root" and "brroot". "root" is the normal root user. "brroot" is actually the same user (both have UID 0); it is simple an alternative login which will always log in to Bedrock Linux's core rather than a shell from a client. While "brroot" is not required, it is quite useful as a fall-back in case the you would like to use a shell from a client for root and that client breaks.
The next handful of command should be run in a chroot:
The root user (and brroot) both have default passwords of "bedrock". To change this to something else, run
passwd -a sha512
Note that this will only change root's password; the brroot login for the same user will still have the default password. To change brroot password to the same thing, run:
If the busybox you installed has the
adduser command, you can run the
following to install additional users:
USERNAME-s /bedrock/bin/brsh -D
If it does not, you will have to manually add the new users:
If you are not sure what to put for
GID, note that both
traditionally start at
1000 for regular users and increment upwards as new
users are added. Look at the contents of
find the lowest used
GID of at least
1000 already in use (if any)
and pick the next integer above that.
If you would like to create a "br-" version of these users which will use the same password to log in but will always log in to the core of Bedrock Linux, run the following for each user once:
USERNAME:/br&/' | sed 's,:[^:]*$,:/bin/sh,' >> /etc/passwd
USERNAME:/br&/' >> /etc/shadow
Once you have completed adding all of the desired users and setting their passwords, you may exit the chroot
The default hostname is "bedrock-box". To change this, edit
Additionally, change "bedrock-box" in
desired hostname as well.
See the bosco configuration page for instructions on how to configure Bedrock Linux specific functionality such as clients.
Reboot into Bedrock Linux and run the last few commands to set it up. Log in as root and run:
This will make commands from clients - such as
bash - available both from the
core and other clients, assuming everything is set up properly.
Lastly, you might have to re-set capabilities on
brc. Earlier when you ran
make install, make attempted to set the chroot capability on
brc to allow non-root users to use
brc. For some reason
this may not stick; if that is the case, you'll have to re-do it here. Try to
brc command (for example,
brc bedrock cat /etc/issue) as a non-root
user. If this gives you an error about setcap, install the relevant packages
into a client to provide the
setcap command, possibly run
brp -a, (or just
brp) and then run:
setcap cap_sys_chroot=ep /bedrock/bin/brc
Everything should be good to go. If you run into any difficulties, try reviewing the relevant documentation pages for this release, and if that doesn't help sufficiently, don't hesitate to drop into the IRC channel or subreddit.