Void Linux in Short Review

And by short review I mean that I’ve only done some basic things so far. I still have a lot more to learn about it.

So. Void. Apparently its a meme OS to some like gentoo is to most. I’ve never heard of it being a meme though. Long story short, take arch, replace systemd with runit, make some of the devs actually be BSD devs instead of linux people, build a custom package manager called xbps that is similar to the BSD pm (pkg), make enlightenment a main DE on it, tada.

This was my first time really playing with enlightenment and my first time ever hearing of runit, which really is the more interesting part. So runit itself is much faster than systemd ever will be. Where SD is a complete suite of services and managers, RI is effectively an init system with the ability to just run scripts. So rather than something like systemctl or whatever you have a file / folder for your specific services and whatever service you want to run at whatever time, maybe at startup, when firefox runs, or when x / wayland starts, you just have a config file with whatever the hell you want in it to have run in services. I find that pretty cool to be honest and I’m not sure what other OS’s use this. Gentoo? No clue.

XBPS is pretty interesting as it is. I like to use flatpak now for all my package management, but to use xbps for stuff isn’t that bad. Most of the use of it is very similar to pkg with a blob of extra flags. So I can do the normal search, install, remove, purge, update, but also do pgp and package scans/checks, have directories made for where I want packages specifically installed (at least I think that’s what it means?), and a few other things that I don’t really have a grasp on yet but I’m sure they could be handy in like a server environment.

As for the rest of it that I find immediately important… Its a rolling distro so its up to date but NOT on upstream packages like arch. It has stable packages pushed. File management isn’t awful as they don’t force their own package manager in so thats nice (been seeing some independent os’s and debian based ones do that lately just give me thunar for fucks sake). From what I have used of it, I’d say its probably up there with arch and ubuntu on my list.

Cons? Not many people have heard of it so theres no demand for better documentation. Pretty much you have the man pages and you gotta figure it out from there. I’m not sure what it does for error management like how systemd has journalctl so that could definitely be an issue… But again I just don’t know how runit works yet so maybe its a service. I just don’t know. And lastly it looks like there’s no manager for installing nvidia drivers so that makes it annoying for me. If I have to install nv drivers from the website I am absolutely fucked I will break something.

Interesting parts? Well for one if you want non-free packages you have to add that set of repo’s to your system. Otherwise the system tries to be as free as possible out of the box. Also, it hardly gives you any apps to start out. Choose your DE of choice, and you get a terminal, file manager that matches your chosen DE, and firefox. You do the rest. Because of this the ISO is less than a gig. Want to run 32 bit? Or arm? Not a problem they have those covered too!

So in total if you want a fun project OS to build over the weekend this is a solid recommend from me I think. If you want something independent, similar to arch, and probably the most BSD linux ever Void is probably it.

Good luck.


I’m sure the biggest question upon the minds of the inquiring Reader is: Based on your immediate experience thus far with the operating system, would you state it to be stable enough to install upon a production machine?

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What do you define as production?

Code? Sure. If you learn how the OS works and how everything goes together, yes.

Video? If you use linux tools, sure, but if you do VM’s I have no clue. I’ve never really gone past virtualbox. And even at that:

VM’s: No idea.

Music? Sure, I guess.

Basically if theres anything you install to it that you need to use, it’ll stay stable. Between updates, whatever app you install whether it be by flatpak or xbps, it should stay stable as the OS doesn’t operate on upstream like arch or gentoo. You’ll have an updated kernel almost always, and once you’re settled in you should be fine. Hell I don’t even see a need to update every day like with arch. Maybe once a week or every two weeks.

Maybe look at it this way. If you want an OS to set up to do one thing on a certain VM with the features void has by default then void can do it. You want a gaming machine? It can do that too. The great thing about all linux right now is that if you have an up to date kernel and flatpak or snap available you can do whatever the hell you want without any problems. It all just is there and ready to go.

A production machine is one that supports internal business functions and/or customers directly. As opposed to a test, staging, or development machine. It basically means any machine you can’t live without since the software is still in a testing phase.

So in other words, it can be installed for operation on a production machine due to the very stability it offers. Might have to give that a run myself. And what I especially find acceptable is the fact that Void is also a rolling release. Aside from which, it’ll give me an excuse to muck about with Flatpak and Runinit. The latter I haven’t seen around for several years as default in an operating system. Almost reminds me of Vector Linux.

Ohhhhhhh. In that case of a specific business, no. Unless they made their own custom images of void, no. It is very much a custom solo or duo user OS that you build yourself. Much like arch, as I mentioned, if just comes with a DE already.

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Roger that.
Nonetheless, seems to be enough prevalent to do just that for a single workstation to that end at the very least.

Its more than capable of whatever you want it for, but its the BSD of linux’s. You have just a base system with some magic thrown in. Personally for me, its invaded all of my laptops and I’m pressured to install it on my desktop too because I standardize my machines. So at that end? If you’re a linux user and enthusiast like me, sure. Its a user’s linux, not a company’s.


A base system that can be built on top of to meet whatever the needs of the *Nix user’s requirements. And in my case, that would be a bare metal install to my System76 Serval WS workstation for personal production needs. Perhaps I should have detailed my own inference of “production” more thoroughly.

Package wise, whatever happens not to be in the repositories can always be compiled from source. May not be ideal for Company production per-se, but more than good enough for personal use in a singular sense of production.


That being said, a system like Void is more complicated than System76’s own POP_OS. POP comes with some stuff already, similar to void (DE, package manager, firefox, terminal), but also has a store. To that end, I had an idea for an app yesterday that would solve the problem of “Wait how do I install apps here” on OS’s like Void where people can’t read the docs.

Exactly why people should be reading the documentation where available.
My particular workstation came with naught installed upon it by request.

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