Stage3 Complete

Monday, September 7, 2020 - Ikey Doherty (BDFL)

Another week, another milestone completed. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve completed the initial Stage3 bootstrap. While we have some parallel works to complete for Stage 4, we can now begin to work on the exciting pieces! We’re now bootstrapped on ARMv8(-a) and x86_64

Complete build-target for x86_64

Announcing Moss

Our immediate focus is now to implement our package manager: moss. Currently it only has a trivial CLI and does absolutely nothing. We will now shift our attention to implement this as a core part of the Stage 4 bootstrap. Moss is so-called as we’re a rolling release, a rolling stone gathers no moss. The package manager is being implemented in the D Programming Language.

Moss does not aim to be a next generation package management solution, it instead inspired by eopkg, RPM and swupd, aiming to provide a reliable modern package management and update solution with stateless design at the core. Core features and automatic dependencies will be managed through capability subscriptions. The binary format will be versioned and deduplicated, with multiple internal lookup tables and checksums. Our chief focus with moss is a reliable system management tool that is accessible even in situations where internet access is limited.

Ongoing Works

In order to complete stage3, we provided linker stubs in libwildebeest to ensure we can build. Obviously this introduces runtime errors in systemd and our stage3 isn’t bootable, just chrootable. This will be resolved when systemd is properly packaged by moss in stage4.

Docker Image

We now have a test container available on Docker Hub. You can install and run the simple bash environment by executing the following command with a Docker-enabled user:

    docker run -it --rm serpentos/staging:latest

Currently we only have an x86_64 image, but may experiment with multiarch builds later in stage4.

IMPORTANT: The staging image is currently only a dump of the stage3 tree with minor cleaning + tweakups. It is not, in any way, shape or form, representative of the final quality of Serpent OS. Additionally zero performance work or security patching has been done, so do not use in a production environment.

The image is provided currently as a means to validate the LLVM/musl toolchain.

Serpent OS stage3 Docker image

Future ISO

We cannot currently say when we’ll definitely have an ISO, however we do know that some VM-specific images will arrive first. After that we’ll focus on an installer (package selection based) and a default developer experience. All we can say is strap in, and enjoy the ride.

Updated Roadmap

Arguably the simplest stage of all. Create a set of scripts to reliable produce a cross-compilation environment for stage2.

This will include the basic toolchain and some utilities to help rebuild stage1, and is partially host-dependent.

Use the complete environment from stage1 to produce a complete, functional, toolchain.

This intermediate toolchain will be used in stage3 to completely build the system.

Natively build root filesystem using stage2 as a support runtime.

At this point, the image is said to be fully self-hosting and is a fully native toolchain, not a cross-compilation toolchain.

Produce native packages matching the stage3 bootstrap, and rebootstrap the native image using the package management tools. At this point, the entire distribution will become self hosting with an initial binary repository and public image.

Stage 4 is arguably the most complex, as it requires build tooling, repository and package management to be functional.