Hyperbola 0.4 has already been released and is already on the way to the OpenBSD migration


After two and a half years since the last version the launch was announcedand the new version of the project "Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.4", which is included in the Free Software Foundation's list of completely free distributions.

For those who are unaware of this Linux distribution, they should know that Hyperbola is based on stabilized segments of the base of the package Arch Linux, with some patches ported from Debian to improve stability and security.

The project is developed according to the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) and aims to provide users with a simple, lightweight, stable and secure environment.

Unlike Arch Linux's rolling update model, Hyperbola uses a classic release model with a long update release cycle for already released versions.

sysvinit is used as a portable initialization system by some developments in the Devuan and Parabola projects (Hyperbola developers oppose systemd).

The distro includes only free applications and comes with a Linux-Libre kernel stripped of non-free binary firmware elements. The project repository contains 5257 packages. To block the installation of non-free packages, blacklists and dependency-conflict-level locks are used, and it should also be noted that installing packages from the AUR is not supported.

Main novelties of Hyperbola 0.4

The launch of Hyperbola 0.4 is positioned as a transition on the way to previously announced migration to OpenBSD technologies. In the future, the focus will be on the HyperbolaBSD project, which envisages the creation of a distribution kit supplied under a copyleft license, but based on an alternative kernel and forked system environment of OpenBSD.

Under the GPLv3 and LGPLv3 licences, the HyperbolaBSD project will develop its own components intended to replace non-free or GPL-incompatible parts of the system.

Main changes from version 0.4 they are related to cleaning of expendable components and inclusion in alternative packages. For example, added Lumina desktop, which can work without D-Bus and therefore D-Bus support has been removed.

As well removed support for Bluetooth, PAM, elogind, PolicyKit, ConsoleKit, PulseAudio, and Avahi. Components of Bluetooth functionality have been removed due to complexity and potential security concerns.

In addition to sysvinit, experimental support for the runit init system has been added, while for the graphics stack part, this was moved to the Xenocara components developed on OpenBSD (X.Org 7.7 with x-server 1.20.13 + patches). Instead of OpenSSL, the LibreSSL library is involved. Removed systemd, Rust, and Node.js and their associated dependencies.

As for problems in Linux that pushed the developers by Hyperbola to switch to OpenBSD technologies:

  1. The adoption of technical means of copyright protection (DRM) in the Linux kernel, for example, support for HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) copy protection technology for audio content was included in the kernel and video.
  2. Development of an initiative to develop drivers for the Linux kernel in the Rust language.
  3. The Hyperbola developers are not happy with the use of the centralized Cargo repository and have problems with the freedom to distribute packages with Rust. In particular, the terms of the Rust and Cargo trademark prohibit retaining the project name in the event changes or patches are applied (a package may only be redistributed under the Rust and Cargo name (if built from the original source). otherwise prior written permission must be obtained)
  4. Linux kernel development without security in mind (Grsecurity is no longer a free project and the KSPP (Kernel Self Protection Project) initiative is stalled).
  5. Many components of the GNU user environment and system utilities begin to impose redundant functionality without providing a way to disable it at compile time. Examples include assigning required dependencies to PulseAudio in gnome-control-center, SystemD in GNOME, Rust in Firefox, and Java in gettext.

Finally, if you are interested in being able to test this distribution, you should know that Hyperbola builds are generated to the architectures i686 and x86_64.

you can get them from this link.

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  1.   Darkmind said

    I don't see the point of these totally free distributions, then half of the hardware works for you