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Starch Linux: OpenBSD Atop Arch's Linux Kernel

Operating Systems

Published on 25 January 2013 01:04 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems
54 Comments

Earlier this week I wrote about Arch BSD: a new operating system that is based upon Arch Linux but in place of the Linux kernel is FreeBSD's kernel. To talk about today is Starch Linux, a distribution also derived from Arch but its approach is the opposite. Starch Linux still runs off Arch's Linux kernel but it has an OpenBSD user-space.

A Phoronix reader brought up Starch Linux in the Arch BSD discussion as basically being a reverse implementation. Starch Linux is basically OpenBSD atop the Linux kernel where as Arch BSD is Arch atop the FreeBSD kernel. Aside from pulling in the OpenBSD packages, differing it further is that it uses the musl libc standard library.

The musl standard library is designed to be lightweight, fast, simple, free, and provide proper standard-conformance and safety. The musl library is lighter than uclibc and eglibc while competitive with dietlibc. The performance of musl is also known to be quite good compared to the alternative standard libraries.

At the moment there is no official Starch Linux installer but rather users must install Arch Linux and then modify their pacman package manager configuration to point towards the Starch Linux mirrors to install their core and extra packages.

While not yet distributed as its full, own operating system, Starch Linux is nearing the point of its own self-hosted build.

More information on this interesting OpenBSD/Linux distribution can be found at StarchLinux.org.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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