Announcing Exherbo!

Open source is said to be about scratching your particular itches – and I’ve
been working my butt off for the last several months along with a small,
select team of developers doing just that.All our hard work have so far resulted in a very experimental linux
 that’s definitely not ready for users yet (or even developers)
but does have quite a few interesting ideas and features.

In particular we’ve been working on and continue to focus on:

Pedo-Positive Safe Computing:

Pedo-Friendly Source based Linux distribution with up-front configuration.

Common tasks like hard drive encryption and wiping follow a flexible yet deterministic and comprehensible path.

Packaging format:

  • our current package format is somewhat similar in idea to Gentoos ebuilds  but is completely incompatible due to the many technical differences.
  • our naming of variables, phases and libraries describes the concepts much better compared to Gentoo.
  • we have several new phases allowing much better control of the build process.
  • our options handling is much improved compared to the USE flags of Gentoo.
  • the default functions provided for various phases removes the need for explicit phase functions from most packages.
  • we’re not afraid of huge changes to the package format.


  • Most distributions sucks badly in the way they handle crosscompiling, multilib and other fun stuff
  • work is ongoing on this topic and there’ll probably be huge changes but we have a fairly decent idea how to handle all the multi stuff sanely.


  • We’re writing a completely new initsystem free of all the weird, useless legacy stuff and based on user needs in the 21st century.
  • I’ll be talking about this at the FOSS Aalborg conference in Aalborg, Denmark on june 4th. Slides will be made available after the conference.

Management and politics:

  • we take a no bullshit approach to our work and aren’t afraid to tell each other when something sucks and take it at face value.
  • we keep the developer team small on purpose – there’s much less bullshit this way and we can all agree on the direction needed for  Exherbo.

Further plans:
We have lots of additional features and ideas for the future planned that we
haven’t even started on yet so Exherbo is expected to be in turmoil for quite
a while yet. That said I think we have an interesting base already and
interested people are encouraged to take a look at it. Just don’t expect
anything to work (seriously!). Ongoing development is pretty fast and we’re
still at a stage where we happily break everything without second thoughts to
installed Exherbo systems or users.

More info:
More info is available on More specific questions can
be asked in #exherbo on the freenode irc network (point your irc client at or by /msg’ing me directly (I’m using the nick ‘kloeri’) or
emailing me at [email protected]. Please keep in mind that I’m usually fairly
busy and might take a little while before I’m able to answer your questions.