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Old 05-29-2020, 01:03 PM   #1
mikefot
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Bedrock Linux and Flatpak


Dear All,

I have a question concerning Bedrock Linux and flatpack. Is there a way to combine the two to have a working linux distribution?

If I understand it correctly Flatpack can produce useable executables for most linux desktop applications.

It is supposed to do a good job regarding dependencies.

But it can't create window manager environments like gnome etc (please correct me if I am wrong).

But maybe Bedrock has enough of a minimal desktop environment contained within it that it can fill in the blanks there: ie no other distro need be added.

Would that be a runner?

Regards

Michael Fothergill
 
Old 05-29-2020, 04:04 PM   #2
ParadigmComplex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
I have a question concerning Bedrock Linux and flatpack. Is there a way to combine the two to have a working linux distribution?
As far as I know, flatpak works on Bedrock just as well as it does other distros. I haven't used it much myself, though; it's use case is diminished for Bedrock users relative to users of other distros. If there are issues with flatpak on Bedrock I'd be happy to fix them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
If I understand it correctly Flatpack can produce useable executables for most linux desktop applications.
This matches my understanding as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
It is supposed to do a good job regarding dependencies.
It makes a certain set of trade offs regarding how dependencies are handled that some find valuable and others dislike. It's a nuanced discussion probably better suited for more general parts of LQ than specifically the Bedrock section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
But it can't create window manager environments like gnome etc (please correct me if I am wrong).
No idea. Wouldn't be surprised either way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
But maybe Bedrock has enough of a minimal desktop environment contained within it that it can fill in the blanks there: ie no other distro need be added.
The idea behind Bedrock is to enable access to features from other distros, including things like desktop environments. To keep scope creep in check, Bedrock's "core" doesn't provide any such features it could get from some other distro. If any Bedrock developers were interested in making their own DE, it'd be an independent project that doesn't fall under the Bedrock umbrella. If you want a DE on a Bedrock system, the expectation is you get it from another distro (or some distro-agnostic solution like compiling it yourself).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
Would that be a runner?
I don't think I actually follow what you're proposing. If it's whether or not one could use flatpak on Bedrock systems, then sure. If it's dependent on Bedrock having its own DE - not one added from another distro - then it's likely not.
 
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Old 05-29-2020, 04:41 PM   #3
mikefot
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Many thanks for your response.

I googled around and found this web page https://www.everything-linux-101.com...-with-flatpak/ which suggests to me that you could create a desktop environment using flatpak.

But you would need a partition and a file tree of some kind to put it in.........................

Can Bedrock help with that or is that not within its remit?


Cheers

MF
 
Old 05-29-2020, 07:51 PM   #4
ParadigmComplex
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I don't see why Bedrock would be any better or worse equipped than any other distro here. I don't follow the association you're trying to draw between Bedrock and Flatpak.
 
Old 05-30-2020, 01:31 AM   #5
mikefot
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Many thanks for your reply.

I will try to explain myself a bit more. I am a gentoo and debian user.

In gentoo you compile almost every application package you run on the OS.

You have to be careful all the time not to fall into dependency problems.

If you get in a mess you can end up having to reinstall.

It occurred to me that a way keep the gentoo install simple and stable in my hands
would be to limit myself to using a small desktop like LXDE and take care doing world updates to
keep the dependencies tidy.

Quite a few of the QT packages take a long time to compile and they pull in a lot of extra dependent packages.

If you want to install libreoffice that adds another 100 or so packages that all need to be compiled.

THis all adds to the periodic world update compile time workload and deepens the dependency bug lottery pool you are carrying.

I thought to start using flatpak in gentoo to avoid certain compilations e.g. to install libreoffice and some QT packages.

But then a thought occurred to me.

If I would start using flatpak to install desktop applications then I don't really need the host distrubtion to be able to create or recruit
executable binaries from a repository or a dvd etc.

So, where could I find a distribution that doesn't do that; ie cut out the middleman.

Bedrock is such a distribution.

In gentoo I could make a fresh installation on a PC where I would create the disk partitions with parted (or gparted if you do it from e.g. a neighbouring debian install sat on the same hard drive using a chroot environment). When you download the stage3 tarball and install it a whole file tree is created containing enough key binaries to allow you get your system up and running.

In theory I could manually compile and optimise the kernel on install and set up the networking functions etc and then set up flatpak.

That should allow me to create a working desktop environment without having to compile any of the application packages or their dependencies.

Then I would be free to use gentoo to other things than just compile and install desktop applications.

But would it not be simpler to
create a partition and a file tree in a similar way as you would in gentoo but now you use a different distribution to provide
a kernel and a networking set up to allow flatpak to be installed and used.

That would be a simple arrangement that would avoid duplication of function.


If I would at some point wish to be able to compile in style I could create a third installation of gentoo on the same disk and then intergrate it into the existing Bedrock flatpak install using the ability of Bedrock to do that.

Comments appreciated.

Regards

MF
 
Old 05-30-2020, 06:26 AM   #6
ParadigmComplex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
Many thanks for your reply.
Happy to help

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
In gentoo you compile almost every application package you run on the OS.

You have to be careful all the time not to fall into dependency problems.
Portage handles this for you. While the Gentoo devs are human and certainly could make mistakes, I would expect dependency problems related to the fact one compiles everything locally to be rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
If you get in a mess you can end up having to reinstall.
Without adequate understanding of what's going on, perhaps, but I would expect experienced Gentoo users to understand how to remedy a broken dependency situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
I thought to start using flatpak in gentoo to avoid certain compilations e.g. to install libreoffice and some QT packages.
Using flatpak to install things on Gentoo external to portage seems reasonable. I would expect this more to skip compile time impatience rather than concerns about broken dependencies, but in the end the goal is the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
If I would start using flatpak to install desktop applications then I don't really need the host distrubtion to be able to create or recruit
executable binaries from a repository or a dvd etc.
Ah, I think I see now. You're interested in building as much of your system as possible from flatpak, and given so, you're interested in minimizing the non-flatpak part of your system. You want a minimal distro to put flatpak stuff on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
So, where could I find a distribution that doesn't do that; ie cut out the middleman.

Bedrock is such a distribution.
Bedrock is too minimal here. Just Bedrock's files alone won't even boot.

You could use Bedrock with some bare minimum from other distros to make the system bootable, make flatpak accessible, and fill in whatever gaps flatpak can't provide. However, in that case, Bedrock isn't providing you anything. You may as well just go with whatever the distro is that's providing the boot system and flatpak itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefot View Post
If I would at some point wish to be able to compile in style I could create a third installation of gentoo on the same disk and then intergrate it into the existing Bedrock flatpak install using the ability of Bedrock to do that.
If you want:

- A minimal distro that's just enough to get flatpak going
- Flatpak
- Also use Gentoo

You could certainly start with some minimal traditional distro that's just enough to get flatpak going, hijack it with Bedrock, then `brl fetch gentoo`.

However, I would think in that case just getting a minimal Gentoo with flatpak would be simpler. It doesn't sound like you're actually utilizing the initial distro or Bedrock; they're just overhead. Getting _most_ of your stuff from flatpak lessens the Gentoo compile time overhead (or dependency concerns you've described, I guess).
 
  


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