Rebootstrapped With Glibc

Friday, September 25, 2020 - Ikey Doherty (BDFL)

Only a few days ago we told you of our switch from musl to glibc. That has now been implemented in the bootstrap-scripts project. The rebootstrap is complete and we now have GCC, LLVM, binutils and glibc offering a hybrid toolchain. Most software is built and linked with clang, however linking with libgcc is possible both dynamically and statically.

Our next steps are fairly logical, but feel free to have a read.

Semi-functional systemd-nspawn

Enable early multilib support

Having established our goals, it is clear we also need to support 32-bit binaries on a 64-bit Serpent OS installation, such as Steam. We’ll add multilib support to our bootstrap to ensure we ship with support for these 32-bit binaries very quickly.

Validate AArch64 support

We made a bit of a mess in switching to glibc, so, we’ll go back and build for aarch64 and fix any fallout. It is still important we target this architecture, as the community explicitly requested support for the Raspberry Pi 4!

Pivot back to moss

We had to get this bootstrap out of the way before it became a growing issue. While it’s still “dirty” and some paths or configurations are not to our liking, the groundwork is sufficient to enable developing moss now.

Our first port of call is to develop the build side of moss, i.e. emitting binary packages that can then be installed to form a rootfs.


It actually all depends on moss now. Once moss can produce packages we can firmly put ourselves into stage4 and have package git repositories on our infrastructure, and open up contributions from the community. We intend to build a sustainable contribution led ecosystem so we can all get back to doing what we love most, using Linux on a daily basis to get stuff done.

Some of you may know my significant other is expecting a child, or rather, she was expected yesterday. When this situation changes I will of course take some downtime to help the growing family and then return to work.


At the time of writing, 18 amazing individuals have contributed to us on our Open Collective. On behalf of the team, I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Once we leave bootstrap, we’ll dedicate ourselves to providing you with a reliable, up to date operating system that is always on the edge and always safe to upgrade, enabling you to do what you want to do. Our team has extensive and somewhat unique experience in building custom systems with high performance and reliability that caters for everything from devops to gaming.

When the project funds are high enough we’ll order Raspberry Pis for myself and Peter to fully enable AArch64, and a new build box as my laptop is somewhat dated now. With your help, we can achieve the impossible, as a community.