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                      Bedrock Linux

Bedrock Linux 1.0beta1 Hawky

© Bedrock Linux 2012-2022
Linux® is a registered
trademark of Linus Torvalds

Bedrock Linux 1.0beta1 Hawky Installation Instructions

Before beginning installation, be sure to at least skim the other pages for this release of Bedrock Linux (1.0beta1 Hawky). Make sure you know, for example, the terminology used here, are aware of the known issues and troubleshooting advice before you begin following the instructions below.

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 release unaltered: /home, /root, /boot, and /bedrock/clients. Be sure to also bring along /etc/passwd, /etc/group and /etc/shadow so the UID/GIDs on disk in the clients match up.

Additionally, it could be useful to keep your configuration files to reference

Installation Host Environment

First, boot a Linux distribution from a device/partition other than the one on which you wish to install Bedrock Linux. 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 client through debootstrap. The installer host should also have internet access.

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. These instructions do not cover compiling on a separate machine from the one on which you wish to install.

There have been reports of issues with hardened gcc toolchains, use a "normal" gcc.

gcc 4.8.2 and 4.9.0 both contain an optimization bug which results in difficulties with the libc library Bedrock Linux is using, musl. At the time of writing, Arch Linux has 4.9.0 and Ubuntu Trusty has 4.8.2; it is best to avoid these. Try to use an older gcc for the time being, such as from Ubuntu Raring or the gcc47 package in Arch's AUR.

If you are using a distro/release such as Arch which has gcc-4.7 available but not as the "main" gcc, try setting the following environmental variables before running any bedrocklinux-installer commands:

Some people have reported success with gcc 4.9.0 using CFLAGS=-fno-toplevel-reorder, but this does not seem to work consistently. Alternatively, you could disable all optimization with CFLAGS=-O0, which should work more reliably but will also result in slower executables. At the moment using an older gcc without this bug is recommended instead of attempting to disable optimization, but if you would like to stick with a gcc release hampered by this bug and simply disable optimizations prepend the CFLAGS item from above to every ./bedrocklinuxinstaller make command. For example: CFLAGS=-O0 ./bedrocklinuxinstaller make all

See here and here for details.


Using partitioning software such as gparted or fdisk, partition the device on which you wish to install Bedrock Linux. 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:

  1. Your main partition for mounting the root directory (ie, /)
  2. A swap partition. Recommendations for swap sizes usually vary between equal to your RAM size to two-and-a-half times your RAM size.

If you are comfortable with typical partitioning schemes for Linux - such as making /boot, /home, etc their own partitions - you are free to do so. Before doing so, note some unusual aspects of Bedrock's layout:

Note which devices files correspond to which partitions of the Bedrock Linux filesystem. These are normally located in /dev, and called sdXN, where X is a letter a-z and N is a digit 0-9. This information will be used later to mount these partitions.

Hawky 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).

Mounting Bedrock's partitions

Make a directory in which to mount Bedrock Linux's fresh partition(s). These instructions assume 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 Linux's root directory when you are done. As root:

mkdir -p /mnt/bedrock

Mount the newly-created main/root partition. Replace sdXN with the corresponding device file to the main/root partition. As root:

mount /dev/sdXN /mnt/bedrock

If you created more than one partition (other than swap) for Bedrock Linux, 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.

Creating the Userland

The Bedrock Linux userland repository contains build scripts to install much of the Bedrock Linux operating system. Clone the latest version of the 1.0beta1 branch from git into /mnt/bedrock. You may use a non-root user (as permissions will be fixed later) for this.

Acquiring source files

The Bedrock Linux userland repository comes with a script, bedrocklinux-installer, which in addition to compiling and installing the userland can also acquire the required source code for you. Note, however, that the version of the files it gets are largely hardcoded and, if has not been updated recently, may be lacking security or other important patches. It may be advisable to find the upstream source code yourself. However, newer versions could change APIs and break things as well.

If you would like to have the installer get the source code for you, run

Once you've done that, you can skip on to Building the userland.

If you'd like to hunt down the source yourself, continue reading this section.

All of the source code should be placed in /mnt/bedrock/src. They can be either in their own directory next to the existing directories for brc, bru, etc, or in a (optionally compressed) tarball which, if you have GNU tar, will be automatically untarred when needed. Just make sure the directory or tarball has the component's name it it. For example, musl's source should have a directory/tarball name containing "musl".

The musl libc library is required. The project's website is available at:


Use the newest version from the 1.0.X series you can find here:


For example, at the time of writing the newest is 1.0.3:


No testing has been done to see if the Bedrock Linux software works against 1.1.X or newer.

linux headers

The Linux kernel repository is required for the Linux header files. A tarball containing the latest Linux kernel should be found here:



FUSE is required. The project's website is available at:


At the time of writing, the 3.X version is still pre-release and has been found to have some problems, and the 2.9.X release - 2.9.3 - was cut just before the commit which includes support for musl. Use the latest from the fuse_2_9_bugfix branch - which should include the musl patch - or a tarball of 2.9.4 or later.

Tarballs can be found here:


And the git repository should be available here:

git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/fuse/fuse fuse-fuse


Busybox is required. Tarball releases can be found here:


And the git repository should be available here:

git clone git://busybox.net/busybox.git

Linux capabilities

The Linux Capabilities libraries and utilities are required. The project's website is at:


You can get a tarball here:


Or use the git repo here:

This release of Bedrock Linux was tested with version 2.24.

Building the userland

You will need the following items to build the userland:

On a Debian-based system, this should install everything required:

If you are on another system, install the equivalent packages.

To compile everything, run

If it does not complete successfully, look at the output the script generates as well as the logs in the location indicated. You may simply be missing a dependency or third party source code.

To install everything, run (as root)

You should now have everything required to use Bedrock Linux except the following:

This process leaves a handful of files left over which are not used when running the Bedrock Linux system, such as source code. You may keep them if you like - for example, to easily recompile a component. If you would rather remove them, run the following as root:

Acquiring a client

Acquire at least one client as described on the client page and return here.

Install the Linux kernel

The client acquired in the last step will provide the kernel for Bedrock Linux.

Most non-live distro's kernels will work. The notable exception is grsec-hardened ones. grsec changes aspects of chroot() that Bedrock Linux's design depends on.

Check your client came with a kernel:

ls /mnt/bedrock/bedrock/clients/client/boot

If so, you may skip this next step (up until "resume here"). Otherwise, chroot into the client and acquire a client through its package manager:

From here, run whatever commands are necessary to install the kernel. For example, on x86_64 Debian-based clients, run:

apt-get install linux-image-amd64

or for an Arch Linux client run

pacman -S linux

When you have finished, run the following to clean up:

If you already had a kernel installed in the client, resume here.

Next, you must copy the relevant files from the location in the client into the core of Bedrock Linux so they can be accessed while booting.

Install a bootloader

Next you will need to setup Bedrock Linux to boot, either with its own bootloader, dual-booting with another operating system's bootloader, or without a bootloader.

If you have another operating system installed which can boot a Linux distribution and know how to add Bedrock Linux to it, feel free to do so.

If you know how to boot Linux distributions without a bootloader (leveraging EFI, for example), you can set that up instead of installing a bootloader.

Otherwise, you should install a bootloader. If you have a preferred bootloader which you know how to install, go ahead and use that one. If you do not, limited instructions for installing syslinux/extlinux are available here. Follow those instructions then return here.


The typical 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 filesystem-specific executable fsck should call 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, in which case you do not need to install fsck.

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 the desired executable was compiled statically, run

and check that the output is "not a dynamic executable".

To install the filesystem specific executable, simply copy it to what will be Bedrock's /sbin with the names of the filesystems it supports (as root):


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:

Add users

The userland repository defaults to having 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:

chroot /mnt/bedrock /bin/sh

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:

Next, add normal user(s) as desired:

Note that this seems to chmod g+s /home/username. While this is not necessarily a bad default, not everyone is a fan. If you would rather not have this, consider running chmod -R g-s /home/username now while there are still only a few files in there.

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:

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 /mnt/bedrock/etc/hostname as desired.

Change "bedrock-box" in /mnt/bedrock/etc/hosts to your desired hostname as well.

Bedrock-Specific Configuration

See the Hawky configuration page for instructions on how to configure Bedrock Linux specific functionality such as clients.

Note that Bedrock Linux uses mdev by default, not udev, and that many programs - such as xorg and SDL2 programs - rely on udev to act as one would expect. Seriously consider using udev as described here.


At this point, everything should be good to go. Just reboot into Bedrock Linux and enjoy!

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 #bedrock on libera.chat.