Today I hear about existence of a revolutionary distro named Gobolinux. I am very interested and excited about it (in particular its file structure). Unfortunately it is not updated for a while.

Does anybody have some info about its state? Is it a live project? Is it safe to use it? Is there any other distro that uses a similar file structure?

  • Although it is not a similar structure, and not one designed primarily for readability, another distro with a radically different directory tree is NixOS. – Liam Proven Jun 30 '14 at 21:59

Does anybody have some info about its state?

It's had some things updated in 2013, so I believe someone is still running it. I tried to find out who via their mailing lists, but the lack of a new live CD is discouraging. The live CD installs at least, but can't be upgraded properly.

Is it a live project?

It seems not to be anymore.

Is it safe to use it?

I would only virtualize it; you can easily break it if you try to upgrade glibc. I had problems with RootLess, so I'd personally use VirtualBox (VMDK, dynamic allocation) for it. It installs, but you can't upgrade the core applications (glibc and so on). I'm looking into workarounds now.

Is there any other distro that uses a similar file structure?

None that I know of. The core idea is concurrent applications versions I think. Despite the file structure is appealing.

PS.: anyone, feel free to edit/fix this post, I want to know better what is going on too..

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  • Do you know why they stop developing Gobo? It's a innovative disc and I hope see it alive one day. – PHPst Jun 14 '13 at 6:28
  • @PHPst It is clearly not a "live" project, as the other poster said that it is "dormant", but this dormancy completes 4 years now :(, so it cant be said as a live project. As I read in some few emails from the lists, they seem to be testing and researching things up. But I cant say they are preparing for a release... We can try and dig up at their email archives. – Aquarius Power Jun 14 '13 at 16:24
  • @PHPst Basically I believe if we can grab the latest live-cd and fully upgrade it: right steps to upgrade Glibc basically; we can have an upgraded Gobolinux to 2013. Also From some ppl asking, they seem to want not to use Gobolinux but to integrate its concept into other distros and be free from package management hassle, I believe they may be working on such, so we would have no more ".deb" or ".rpm" but a gobo linux based "package management" that could be used with all distros, and developers would just make their ".tar.gz" and a "install recipe"; but unfortunately that is just a guess... – Aquarius Power Jun 14 '13 at 16:28
  • I will see if someone there could come here give some more accurate tips! – Aquarius Power Jun 14 '13 at 16:33
  • here some links: ideas to 015, script to update glibc, but I still think it would be better to have it running on another distro like ubuntu (managing its packages) that has huge loads of ppl helping.. – Aquarius Power Jun 14 '13 at 19:18

It's not completely dead, but the original developers have not had time to work on it for several years. There is still interest and at least 2 volunteers have been working on trying to update it -- one based on the existing code, one starting over with Linux from Scratch. The project really needs some skilful help from some more experienced people, IMHO.

There is nothing else quite like it, no. Possibly the only other thing that is close that I know of is MoonOS, an Ubuntu remix with a revised filesystem layout.

Unfortunately their web page has been down for some time, but you can read about MoonOS here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_OS

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  • 1
    Thanks, Can you give a layout of MoonsOS's file structure? – PHPst Jun 15 '13 at 2:10
  • On the wish list for 015, I saw request for 64 bits. For what I do, it is a necessity. Also I always wondered if what they created could be distro independent; could be just a set of scripts that take control of the package management and could be plugged into any distro, in a way that all packages would be absorbed by their mechanism? – Aquarius Power Jun 15 '13 at 8:30

As of 2014, it has come back to life and there is a new release out now!

There is also life and discussion on the mailing list.

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  • Glad to hear that. Gobolinux can bring popularity for linux for non-geek users. – PHPst Jun 28 '14 at 2:31

According to Distrowatch's data, the distro is dormant.

With no personal experience with the distro, but taking into account:

  • the above
  • that the last release was on March 30, 2008
  • the unique directory hierarchy,

I guess you would face quite a bit of trouble using it.

edit: from Wikipedia:

"Gobolinux has been officially made for the i686 only, and the porting to i386 remained incomplete by the time the project fell dormant. Ports have been made to embedded architectures, such as ARM and SuperH; these tasks were easily achieved with Bootstrap, a tool developed especially to automate making ports"

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Is slow development but is still alive



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Active in 2017!

Biggest problem is "reallife time constraints" for the two main devs. They work on GoboLinux but can only do so during spare time, as far as I understand it.

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