Seth Woolley's Blog

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Sun Aug 6 01:09:18 2006 -- source mage introduction

source mage introduction(0)

Source Mage GNU/Linux

Source Mage is a free and open source project founded on the principle of returning ever-eroding control back to System Administrators.  Our main project, Source Mage GNU/Linux, is an operating system distribution that also provides a complete ports-like system with a unique and powerful package management system based on our philosophies of software freedom and returning choice to the administrator.

It is written almost entirely in bash, the default shell for most GNU/Linux administrators, so it can be easily modified and extended without recompiling. Every package port is intended to be as close as possible to the upstream vendor's vision and is entirely built from source code downloaded from the respective upstream websites.

The distribution is provided with an easy-to-use, minimalist-oriented, disabled-by-default installer from which the system can be rebuilt entirely from source to your platform with a simple set of commands, is FHS-2.2-compliant for easy software porting and use as a developer platform, and has extensive quality-control processes in place for ensuring that the package collection remains advanced, yet reliable.

The package management core automatically (with sane defaults) prompts and resolves for complex dependencies such as optional dependencies, suggestions, triggers, and sub-dependencies, prompts users for alternative and useful configurations settings (compile-or-run-time), maintains system integrity with a "self-healing" system cleanse  tool, and is unparalleled in its simple, modular design and approach to modern package management designed around "tweakers'" use cases, for example that its approach to uninstalling is dependency-aware and (thusly) can even suggest other likely targets for uninstalling.

Package scripts can be created flexibly as the package manager provides a framework for extensible APIs that is script-oriented through-and-through.  Code re-use through rich library support allows script parsimony and ease of maintenance.  Many packages simply require two files, a DEPENDS file and a DETAILS file, if they follow standard gnu autotool build methods.  As many packages need processes that aren't standard at each and different stages, more files can be "created" in the package directory to override the default processes, replacing them completely or even expanding upon them.

The community of developers and users also offers friendly chat rooms, mailing lists, a bugzilla database, and freely viewable and modifiable source code.  All flaws are open and available for review or improvement, and contributions are accepted and guided through peer review and compliance with our core principles and policies.  For ease-of-learning, the command names are based on a sorcerous metaphor of "cast"ing and "dispel"ling "spells" from a "grimoire".

If you're ready for GNU/Linux so advanced, it may as well be magic, then it's time you tried Source Mage GNU/Linux.

Seth Woolley's Blog sourcemage

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