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                      Bedrock Linux

Bedrock Linux 1.0beta1 Hawky

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

Bedrock Linux 1.0beta1 Hawky Configuration Instructions


The rc.conf configuration file covers the general system-wide configuration options, especially boot configuration options. It is located at /mnt/bedrock/bedrock/etc/rc.conf. It is sourced as a bourne shell script, so be careful with your syntax - there should be no spaces around the equals signs used for establishing a setting. Change the text to the right of the equals sign to set the value.


Sets timezone using the POSIX TZ environmental variable standard. For details on the nuances of the POSIX TZ environmental variable, see:

e.g.: TZ=EST5EDT,M3.2.0,M11.1.0

The content to put here can likely be found in /usr/share/zoneinfo/ in most major distros. Find the file that corresponds to your timezone and look at the very last line, for example with tail -1 /usr/share/zoneinfo/path/to/timezone/file.


Sets whether the hardware clock is set to local time or UTC. Traditionally UNIX systems use UTC, but Windows uses local. If you are dual-booting with Windows, local may be preferable. Set to LOCAL or UTC accordingly.



Sets the language/locale information.

e.g.: LANG=en_US.UTF-8


if FSCK=1, Bedrock will attempt to run fsck at boot. Otherwise, Bedrock will skip running fsck at boot. If you are using an initrd which runs fsck, it could be beneficial to set FSCK=0 to avoid running fsck twice at boot.

e.g.: FSCK=1


Sets the normal user POSIX PATH variable. These are the directories in which programs look for executables. If you aren't sure what to put here, you almost certainly want the value in the example below. Note that /etc/profile (which should be sourced by your shell when it starts) will add items to the beginning and end of this variable to make it play with Bedrock specific functionality.

e.g.: NPATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin


Sets additional directories for the super user's (aka root's) POSIX PATH variable. Same general idea as above, but for the root user who probably needs access to the s* directories that the non-root user does not.

e.g.: SPATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin


This is a list of directories used by the man executable to find man pages. If you alter this from the default, be sure to also change /bedrock/etc/brp.conf as well.

e.g. MANPATH="/usr/local/share/man:/usr/share/man"


This is a list of directories used by the info executable to find info documentation. If you alter this from the default, be sure to also change /bedrock/etc/brp.conf as well.

e.g. INFOPATH="/usr/local/share/info:/usr/share/info"


This is a list of directories that contain directories used by the freedesktop.org standard. For example, the items here could contain "icon" directories which contain icons to be used by GUI programs. For another example, it could contain an "applications" directory which contains .desktop files that are used to populate application menus and mime/default programs. If you alter this from the default, be sure to also change /bedroock/etc/brp.conf as well.

e.g. XDG_DATA_DIRS="/usr/local/share:/usr/share"


The existence of a (root owned, non-root-unwritable) file at


indicates configuration for an (enabled) client. If the filename is, instead,


then the client is considered disabled (so one cannot use it with brc). However, it will contain configuration necessary to re-enable it (with brs).

The defaults are in general fairly good. To set the client to use the default configuration, simply include "framework = default" as the only content, like so:

echo "framework = default" > /bedrock/etc/clients.d/clientname.conf

If you would like to understand what these defaults are so you can change or improve upon them for your specific situation, continue reading the rest of this "client.conf" section.

General Format

The contents of the configuration files are simply a series of "key = value" lines. Blank lines and lines starting with "#" are ignored. Baring newlines, it is flexible about whitespace.

There are eight recognized keys in Bedrock Linux 1.0beta1 Hawky:


Bedrock Linux's files are broken up into two categories: local and global. The difference between the two is there is only one instance of any given global file, while there may be multiple instances (up to one per client) of a local file.

Without any configuration, everything is local. There are three ways to make something global, one of which is "share". This is the most common method and is the recommended default for most items. If neither the description of "bind" or "union" seems fitting, this is the setting one should use to make something global.


share = /proc, /sys, /dev, /home, /root, /lib/modules, /tmp, /var/tmp, /mnt, /media, /run


Bind is exactly like share except if any items are mounted in a "bind" item, they are set to local. For example, if one mounts a CD at /mnt/cdrom, and /mnt or /mnt/cdrom is set to "bind", then only the client which ran the mount command will be able to see it. However, if the item is set to "share", then any new mount points under it will be global and processes from other clients will be able to see the contents of /mnt/cdrom as well.

For the most part, you probably want share rather than bind. The main exception is anything in /bedrock; as if anything there is set to "share" then the explicit path will not function properly. Anything in /bedrock should be set to "bind". If you put /bedrock/clients, or any specific client, on its own filesystem, be sure to both (1) add it to /etc/fstab to be mounted at boot and (2) add a bind item for it to your clients (or just to the default framework).


bind = /bedrock, /bedrock/brpath, /bedrock/clients/bedrock


Both bind and share have one notable fault: one cannot call rename() on them. Typically, one shares or binds a directory which never gets rename()'d and so this is a non-issue. However, there is a notable exception with some files in /etc. Files such as /etc/passwd should be global, but neighboring files such as /etc/issue should be local. Thus, one cannot simply bind or share all of /etc. Attempting to bind or share /etc/passwd will cause problems when the file is updated, as that file is updated via rename().

The solution for this is the union setting. Union can be set on a directory and told to only treat some files as global and leave others as local. This is particularly important for /etc. The downside to union is that it does have some overhead; one would not want a performance-sensitive database, for example, running on union. Thus, union should only be used where rename() is an issue such that bind and share cannot be used.

Note that while one can typically break up one share or bind line into multiple ones without any trouble, union's syntax requires any collection of items within a union directory all be spelled out on the same potentially long line.


union = /etc: profile, hostname, hosts, passwd, passwd-, group, group-, shadow, shadow-, gshadow, gshadow-, sudoers, resolv.conf, machine-id

Preenable, Postenable, Predisable, Postdisable

Bedrock Linux supports hooks to run programs just before or after a client is enabled or disabled. Note that the programs are run in the core; if you would like to run them in the client that is being enabled or disabled, the script itself must call brc. Also note that the first argument to the program will be the name of the client.

Bedrock Linux 1.0beta1 Hawky uses the "preenable" script to force certain symlink setups on clients.

Other possible uses for this being explored for future releases are:


preenable = /bedrock/share/brs/force-symlinks


Multiple clients will likely share similar if not identical settings. Instead of duplicating many settings, a framework can be used to indicate that a collection of settings stored in


is to be utilized. Frameworks have the exact same syntax as normal client.conf files (and can refer to each other). Typical Bedrock Linux systems may have one or two frameworks which which most client configurations utilize.

A reference framework with recommended defaults for most clients should be available by default at



framework = default

Full example

framework = default


share = /proc, /sys, /dev, /home, /root, /lib/modules, /tmp, /var/tmp, /mnt
share = /media, /run
bind =  /bedrock, /bedrock/brpath, /bedrock/clients/bedrock
union = /etc: profile, hostname, hosts, passwd, group, shadow, sudoers, resolv.conf, machine-id
preenable = /bedrock/share/brs/force-symlinks


By default, Bedrock Linux uses mdev rather than udev. A number of applications, such as xorg and SDL2 programs, assume udev is available and mdev alone may not be sufficient for your purposes. If you would like to use udev instead, ensure you have udev in a client, and then follow the instructions below.

You must modify two files. The location of these files can differ a bit depending on if you are booted into another system installing Bedrock Linux or if you are in a running Bedrock Linux system.

If you are in another system with the Bedrock Linux filesystem at /mnt/bedrock, the files are located at

If you are in a Bedrock Linux system, modify these files:

Once you have found the files, modify them accordingly:

The next time you reboot, udev should replace mdev.

To replace mdev with udev in the current session without rebooting, simply run sh /etc/init.d/rcS.udev.


For the most part, this is a /etc/fstab file such as you would find in any other Linux distribution, and documentation for those distributions should apply here as well. This file is primarily used for mounting partitions at boot or setting up the functionality for devices to be easily mounted by an end-user, such as optical drives.

However, there are a few additional things to note:


To use the Bedrock Linux meta-shell brsh, create a file in your home directory called .brsh.conf which contains the contents that should be in your $SHELL environment. For example, if you would like to use bash, have ~/.brsh.conf contain just:


rcS.clients and rcK.clients

To have a client daemon start or stop at boot/shutdown, place the relevant command to do this in /etc/init.d/rcS.clients and /etc/init.d/rcK.clients, respectively. If you are configuring this from installation where Bedrock Linux's filesystem is mounted somewhere, prepend the mount point (such as /mnt/bedrock to the path). If you are configuring this from a running Bedrock Linux system, be sure to access the files in the core, in /bedrock/clients/bedrock/etc/init.d/.

Be sure that the items fork off into the background if they are long-running, such as daemons. Consider appending &.

For example, to start Debian squeeze's cups daemon at boot, place the following in your /etc/init.d/rcS.clients:

brc squeeze /etc/init.d/cups start

And, to ensure it properly closes at shutdown, place the following in your /etc/init.d/rcK.clients:

brc squeeze /etc/init.d/cups stop

If you would like start/stop daemons during it which were written for systemd, you may have to manually parse the unit files looking for Exec= lines to figure out what to place here, as managing systemd daemons are not yet directly supported in Bedrock Linux. However, so long as the daemon is not functionally dependent on systemd to run, it should be possible to figure out what systemd is doing to manage the daemon and do so yourself.


The file at /bedrock/etc/brp.conf is responsible for managing the filesystem at /bedrock/brpath filesystem. This filesystem is used to make files from other clients accessible, altering them as necessary so things "just work". If any client provides a file, this file could be made accessilbe through the /bedrock/brpath filesystem for the other clients.

For all of the headings in the config except client-order, any keys will show up on the root of the brp filesystem and will union all of the values for all of the clients. For example, the line

/rootfs = /

means that if one looks at /bedrock/brpath/rootfs one will see a union of all of the root directories of all of the clients.

Items in the "pass" heading are passed through unmodified. Items in the "brc-wrap" heading are wrapped in a script to call brc to change the local context; brc-wrap items should typically be directories containing executables. Finally, "exec-filter" items are passed through unmodified except for "Exec=" and "TryExec=" lines which are modified to handle local context issues.

If multiple clients can provide the same file, the one which provides the file is the highest priority one of the group. To set the priority, add clients in the order you would like, one per line, under the "client-order" heading.

For example:

/rootfs = /
/man  = /usr/local/share/man, /usr/share/man
/info = /usr/local/share/info, /usr/share/info
/icons = /usr/local/share/icons, /usr/share/icons
/bin  = /usr/local/bin, /usr/bin, /bin
/sbin = /usr/local/sbin, /usr/sbin, /sbin
/applications = /usr/local/share/applications, /usr/share/applications

The brp filesystem's current understanding of the configuration can be read back by reading the file at


as root. If you change the configuration file at runtime and would like brp to reparse its config, write anything to that file as root

echo 1 > /bedrock/brpath/reparse_config

brs will automatically tell brp to reparse its config whenever a client is enabled or disabled.

As a side note, this will not work as you may expect:

sudo echo 1 > /bedrock/brpath/reparse_config

That tells the shell, running as a normal user, to write the output of what sudo echo says. If you would like to use sudo for something like this, you will need to use another program, such as tee, to do the actual writing, like so:

echo 1 | sudo tee /bedrock/brpath/reparse_config