ownCloud 7 Interview | LAS 324

ownCloud 7 Interview | LAS 324

The founder of ownCloud joins us to discuss their latest release, future plans and challenges. And we’ll ask a batch of the tough questions you sent in.

Then we take a look at CRUX, a legendary Linux distribution with an amazing history. Plus an app pick that will instantly tickle your retro bone, a cautious tale…


All this week on, The Linux Action Show!

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— Show Notes: —

CRUX Linux Review:


Brought to you by: System76

About: Crux

CRUX is a lightweight Linux distribution for the x86-64 architecture targeted at experienced Linux users. The primary focus of this distribution is keep it simple, which is reflected in a straightforward tar.gz-based package system, BSD-style initscripts, and a relatively small collection of trimmed packages. The secondary focus is utilization of new Linux features and recent tools and libraries. CRUX also has a ports system which makes it easy to install and upgrade applications.

In short, CRUX might suit you very well if you are:

  • A somewhat experienced Linux user who wants a clean and solid Linux distribution as the foundation of your installation.
  • A person who prefers editing configuration files with an editor to using a GUI.
  • Someone who does not hesitate to download and compile programs from the source.

History of CRUX

  • Started May 2000
  • No public releases made during this time
  • A strong community by 2002, and was responsible for working together and adding important package management features to the distro.
  • CRUX was built from scratch and has never been based on any other Linux distribution.

  • Tracked by Distrowatch since 2002-01-14

CRUX vs Arch

  • Before creating Arch, Judd Vinet admired and used CRUX; a minimalist distribution created by Per Lidén. Originally inspired by ideas in common with CRUX and BSD, Arch was built from scratch, and pacman was then coded in C.
  • Arch and CRUX share some guiding principles: for instance, both are architecture-optimized, minimalist and K.I.S.S.-oriented.
  • Both ship with ports-like systems, and, like *BSD, both provide a minimal base environment to build upon.
  • Arch features pacman, which handles binary system package management and works seamlessly with the Arch Build System. CRUX uses a community contributed system called prt-get, which, in combination with its own ports system, handles dependency resolution, but builds all packages from source (though the CRUX base installation is binary).
  • Arch officially supports x86_64 and i686 only, whereas CRUX officially offers only x86_64.
  • Arch uses a rolling-release system and features a large array of binary package repositories as well as the Arch User Repository. CRUX provides a more slimmed-down officially supported ports system in addition to a comparatively modest community repository.

CRUX 3.1 Released July 17th 2014

Toolchain updates

CRUX 3.1 comes with a multilib toolchain which includes glibc 2.19.0, gcc 4.8.3 and binutils 2.24


Linux 3.12.24


CRUX 3.1 ships with Xorg 7.7 and xorg-server 1.15.1.

CRUX Install:

  • Very Manual.

Packages in CRUX

The package system (pkgutils) is made with simplicity in mind, where all packages are plain tar.gz files (i.e. without any kind of meta data).

When a package is installed using pkgadd a new record is added to the package database (stored in /var/lib/pkg/db). The basic package system does not have any kind of dependency checking, thus it will not warn you if you install a package that requires other packages to be installed. The included prt-get tool, however, does support dependencies.

Since the package file itself does not contain any meta data. Instead, the package manager uses the package filename to determine the package name and version.
Thus, when installing a package file named bash#2.05-1.pkg.tar.gz, the package manager will interpret this as a package named bash at version 2.05-1.

If pkgadd is unable to interpret the filename (e.g. # is missing or the filename does not end with .pkg.tar.gz) an error message will be printed and pkgadd will abort without installing the package.

Package management frontend: prt-get

To address the different requirements towards package management in CRUX, a number of users started discussion about an advanced package management frontend to pkgutils, with dependency handling and support for large install transactions. The result of this community effort is prt-get, a tool which provides a number of features on top of pkgutils while keeping pkgutils’ original character and power. Its main features are

  • Dependency handling
  • Build logging
  • Powerful search and query functionality

Nowadays prt-get is an official project and tool of the CRUX project.

The Ports System

The term Ports System refers to a remote repository containing ports and a client program capable of downloading ports from that repository. CRUX users use the ports(8) utility to download ports from the repository and place them in /usr/ports/. The ports utility uses rsync(1) or httpup(1) to do the actual downloading/synchronization.

A port is a directory containing the files needed for building a package using pkgmk. This means that this directory at least has the files Pkgfile (which is the package build description) and .footprint (which is used for regression testing and contains a list of files this package is expected to contain once it is built). Further, a port directory can contain patches and/or other files needed for building the package. It is important to understand that the actual source code for the package is not necessarily present in port directory. Instead the Pkgfile contains an URL which points to a location where the source can be downloaded.

Have a Question about CRUX? Ask one of the Devs!


Runs Linux

The Future of Desktop Computing? – Computerphile – YouTube

Tablets are taking over from desktop computing but what if we merge the two? This prototype demonstrates something new, that builds upon something centuries old – working with paper on your desk.

Desktop App Pick


Developed by Swordfish’s Labs, cool-old-term is a terminal emulator which tries to mimic the look and feel of the old cathode tube screens. It has been designed to be eye-candy, customizable, and reasonably lightweight.

Weekly Spotlight


Toxic is a Tox-based instant messaging client which formerly resided in the Tox core repository, and is now available as a standalone application.

Toxic Screenshot.


Powerful Tox client that tries to follow the Tox UI mockup while running on all major systems.
This GUI uses code from @nurupo’tos ProjectTox-Qt-GUI, in particular the “Core” Toxcore wrapper.
However, it is not a fork.

  • One to one chat with friends
  • Group chats
  • File transfers, with previewing of images
  • Audio calls
  • Video calls (alpha)
  • Tox DNS
  • Translations in various languages

Missed any of our OSCON 2014 Interviews? Here’s each interview broken out and added to an OSCON Playlist

— NEWS —

OpenSUSE Factory Turns Into Rolling Release Distribution

OpenSUSE Factory will still serve where openSUSE development takes place, but it’s also going to aim for being a distribution on its own as a “tested and stable fresh-daily bleeding-edge distribution.”

Fedora security team is announced

== What are we doing? ==

The Security Team’s mission is to assist packagers in closing security vulnerabilities. Once alerted to a
vulnerability on a package, the security team can help work with upstream to obtain a patch or a new release
of a package. Once we have a patch or a new release we attach it to the vulnerability bug and work with
packagers to get the fix pushed.

== How bad is the problem now? ==

As of a few days ago we had 566 open vulnerability tickets that cover both Fedora and EPEL. The breakdown of
those bugs by severity looks like this:

Fedora 21 Has Been Delayed By Three Weeks

At Wednesday’s Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee it was agreed upon to push back the entire release process by three weeks. This three weeks is to give additional time to finish outstanding work prior to the changes freeze and for also then working around Fedora’s “Flock” contributor conference.

Fedora 21 will not be officially released now until at least 4 November while the alpha release is at 26 August, beta release on 30 September, and the final change deadline on 21 October. The updated Fedora 21 schedule can be found via this Fedora Wiki page.

OMG! Fedora is just getting a security team? Does this mean Fedora has been insecure this entire time?!?

Umm, no, it doesn’t mean that Fedora has been insecure this entire time. In all actuality Fedora is in pretty good shape overall. There is always room for improvement and so we’re organizing a team to help facilitate that improvement.

XBMC Is Getting a New Name – Introducing Kodi 14

We are excited to announce that the media center software we’ve all loved for so many years will have a new name, starting with version 14. Instead of XBMC 14, we’d like to introduce you to Kodi 14.

ownCloud 7 Released With more Sharing And Control | ownCloud.org


ownCloud 7 Community Edition has significant feature improvements for users, administrators and developers.

Questions for Frank:
  • What brought about Server-to-Server syncing, and how close to real time is that syncing?

  • Sleepee asks: Any plans for better auditing on who shared filed. He’s working in an Enterprise, and the management would like some records.

  • Seal20 asks: I could not find anyway to replace the last closed and evil tool: evernote. I hate it but I couldn’t switch to any other free alternative. Do you plan do include an evernote alternative somewhere down the road?

  • Seal20 also asks: What about an “owncloud phone” you could rip off an android os from all google or even better start from a firefox os and include all owncloud related apps: cal/carddav sync, owncloud news, sync apps, etc! I and i am sure others will surely pay a premium for this!

  • pierre4l asks: I wonder whether the focus of OwnCloud is going to be home users wanting to set up their personal cloud servers, or whether it is veering more to the enterprise deployments. Or is it trying to be a solution for all?

  • OwnCloud apps seems to be really growing. Where do you see OwnCloud apps going? Even casual games on apps.ownCloud.com

  • autodidactos: I know there are two email client apps available (roundcube and rainloop) but neither seem to be as integrated as an official client would be. Are there any plans for an official OwnCloud email client?



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