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Review: Obarun 2019.11.02 and Bluestar 5.3.6

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This week I decided to test drive a distribution I have not reviewed before and, after looking through a handful of projects, my gaze landed on Obarun. The Obarun distribution is based on Arch Linux and features the s6 init software instead of the more commonly used systemd. The projects website describes Obarun as follows:

The goal of Obarun is to provide an alternative for people looking for more simplicity and transparency in maintaining their systems. Obarun is not designed with beginners to Linux in mind.

Obarun, like its parent, is a rolling release operating system which uses pacman as its package manager. The distribution is available in two editions: Minimal (589MB) and JWM (974MB). The former offers a command line interface while the latter provides a lightweight window manager. I decided to download the JWM edition. The project's website provides the default usernames and passwords for the live media. We are also given a summary of the installation steps which let us know we will need to set up an Internet connection and a partition for the operating system prior to launching Obarun's text-based installer. Obarun's media boots to a console interface and prompts us to login. If we login using the root account we are presented with a command line interface. However, if we sign in as the user oblive then the system loads the JWM graphical interface with a panel placed across the bottom of the screen. The network settings window then opens to make sure we know to enable an Internet connection.

The live media does not ship with a lot of software, but there are some utilities to help us get the operating set up, including the cfdisk disk partitioning tool. I like cfdisk because it can run in a terminal and is fairly easy to navigate. Using cfdisk and mkfs I created a fresh ext4 partition and mounted it prior to launching the system installer, obarun-install.

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