About AryaLinux

There are two aspects to AryaLinux - The AryaLinux Distribution and The AryaLinux Platform

The AryaLinux platform comprises of build scripts that can be used to build a complete GNU/Linux system using freely available source code. These build scripts have been composed from the instructions provided in the LFS and BLFS books. While in several ways AryaLinux build scripts deviate from the norm and got beyond what is prescribed in LFS and BLFS, yet the basic idealogy is the same. Apart from build scripts the platform also consists of ALPS, AryaLinux Installer and a set of helper scripts that can help an individual build a complete Linux Distribution. ALPS is an acronym for AryaLinux Packaging System. Even though the name suggests that ALPS is a package manager but its not one. Its just a name. In reality ALPS is a simple python script with a helper bash script that resolves package dependencies and installs packages by executing build scripts. The AryaLinux Installer is a graphical installer that ships with the Live DVD. The helper scripts that form the rest of the platform are simple utility scripts that help one do simple distro-building tasks like chrooting, creating Live ISOs download base-system source tarballs etc. We use these scripts to build the AryaLinux distribution.

The AryaLinux Distribution is a general-purpose Linux distribution that is not spun-off or remastered from any other distro. Its rather build right from the source code of the various component packages that it comes with. AryaLinux comes in two flavours Mate and XFCE and supports the i686(Intel 32-bit) and x86_64(Intel 64-bit) platform. Apart from the basic Mate Desktop Environment, AryaLinux also comes with applications for Office productivity, simple graphics packages, browser and network utilities and System tools. A lot of packages other than the ones that are shipped by default, can be installed using alps in AryaLinux. The choice of packages is not as vast as the ones provided by other distributions, however its continuously growing with time. Most of the applications that are either provided with AryaLinux or are installable through alps are handpicked by us either because they are the best in their category or are used by a lot of people in the Open Source Ecosystem.

AryaLinux is a small attempt at helping people build their own Linux and if desired their own distribution

Frequently asked questions

Why would anyone build a linux from source when so many wonderful distros are around? Why create another distro?

People do because people do. That is the reason why despite so many "We've made it all easy for you" distros there exist distros that are "Not meant for the faint hearted". Building from source gives you the next level of understanding Linux.

Why I built AryaLinux? Its because I wanted to build a new distro every week and remastering "Blah" was not something that I wanted to do. I wanted a platform which could churn out distributions. That's what AryaLinux is - the builder's Linux.

What is the difference between LFS and AryaLinux? Is AryaLinux unofficial ALFS?

Though AryaLinux is based on LFS, its not LFS. In true sense LFS is more of a concept, an idea rather than a distro. In my opinion all distros are LFS because somewhere or the other someone built it from scratch whether it be folks at Fedora or Debian or Crux or Nutyx. Its just that the way its distributed and the way end users use it is different. Now getting back to the question, we have used the instructions present in the LFS and BLFS books to create build scripts that help in creating AryaLinux. We have also added a lot of our own build scripts for packages that are not a part of the LFS and BLFS books like the Mate Desktop Environment etc. We are thankful to a lot of extremely successful projects out there like ArchLinux, Gentoo and LFS for we have chipped in something or the other from all of them.

The builder disk concept of AryaLinux is yes quite same as the concept of ALFS but then again, we never used any stuff indirectly from the ALFS project.

What makes AryaLinux different from the others? Why should I put my money on it?

This is my favourite. The difference between AryaLinux and other distros is almost the same as the difference between pizza you make and the pizza you order. While the pizza you order has fair chances of being better than what you could cook, yet self-made food does taste better to few people like me. And given some time and practise one just gets better and better at building one’s own System from Scratch like the whole pizza thing. Till you can start your own Pizza joint. This is what Arya’s journey has been like so far. When I started off building my first System from scratch it took me well over two months back in 2008 when internet was expensive and slow and online/offline help not so abundant. Fast forward 8 years and AryaLinux is a distro.

The builder disk concept of AryaLinux is yes quite same as the concept of ALFS but then again, we never used any stuff indirectly from the ALFS project.

What are these build scripts?

Build scripts are shell scripts that download, compile and install the source code of several packages that AryaLinux is comprised of. You need to see the build scripts to understand what they are and what they do. If you could read any build script for any package located in the /var/cache/alps/scripts/ directory, you would notice that its a very simple bash script that just downloads the tarball for the package, builds it according to the commands provided in the LFS/BLFS books and then does the cleanup. It also contains the list of dependent packages.

Why the name Arya? And what’s with these codenames?

Aryavarth is what India used to be called before the world started recognizing us as Bharat and India much later. This distro is dedicated to our great nation, one of the world’s oldest civilization and seat of knowledge. The codenames for arya dont follow any conventions or rules as such. We just feel like giving a name and we give it mostly influened by things and events around us. Like the codename of version 2016 is going to be Dawn of justice. Why? Simply because we really liked the movie. That’s it!

What is the Package Manager in AryaLinux?

We use the ALPS(AryaLinux Packaging System) to build/install packages. Its unlike package managers in other distributions like rpm or apt, there is no provision for things like uninstalling, updating, upgrading etc, like most other package managers provide. The name is alps because it sounds nice but all that alps is a simple python script that does a pretty good job at installing stuff, resolving dependencies and maintaining track of packages that are installed yet we still think there is heavy scope for improvement. In near future, we would be incorporating features into newer features into AryaLinux like DESTDIR method of installation, building of package binary tarballs etc.

If you come from a background of one of the major Linux Distributions you would find alps paltry and featureless in comparison to their package managers. Indeed alps cannot do what other package managers can do but alps can do what alps needs to do. Its been kept very small deliberately so that once the entire system is built alps can be completely removed without affecting the built system or even be replaced by a different package manager. So Even though you would use AryaLinux to build your own Linux, AryaLinux would not leave its footprints in your creation.

The team

Chandrakant: With around 12 years of experience in coding from BASIC to Java, C++ to Python and PHP to Ruby, I have worked on al lot of programming languages and technologies. Progamming is my hobby, passion and of course bread and butter. I live in Bangalore, India the heart of the IT industry in our country and when I am not busy with AryaLinux, I travel, watch movies and cook.

Rakesh: Rakesh is a .NET guru and an ex Java guru. He has this habit of taking up a technology learning it till the learning ends and build something remarkable out it. He too has 12 years of experience and apart from Java and .NET he works on Python and C++ as well. He lives in Bangalore, India and is an avid reader and foodie.

Together we build and maintain 2 independent distros - AryaLinux and PrathamOS.