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David Demelier, 03/14/2019 04:32 PM


Welcome to the vanilla wiki!


What is vanilla?

It's a new Linux distribution targeting technical and/or experimented users who like simplicity, consistency and elegance.

Goals and non goals

  • No systemd. Systemd isn't a bad thing in itself, but it's too complex to be qualified as KISS.
  • No installer. Installers are too complex, error prone and not enough flexible. The key idea is to use the tool vboostrap to install a set of packages to the target device.
  • Flexibility. The vanilla source tree allow package customization with ease.
  • Stability. Fixed version with ABI/API compatibility honored.
  • Weak dependencies. The vpk tool installs dependencies by default but let user process dependencies manually.
  • Elegance. All vanilla applications, init scripts and package paths are following a strict coding style and UX style.
  • Simplicity. Packages are simple tarballs and inspected via simple text files.
  • Free and opensource. The vanilla source tree does not contain proprietary software. All vanilla sources are written using the permissive ISC license.
  • Pure shared libraries. No static libraries are built nor libtool .la files are installed.
  • Vanilla. Packages are kept as close as possible to upstream with no or few changes for compatibility only.


  • musl a clean and lightweight C library
  • llvm modular toolchain for several languages including C, C++ (not yet but planned)
  • sysvinit an old fashion traditional init system
  • linux obviously the Linux kernel


Mailing lists

To subscribe, send a mail at "listname+subscribe@domain".


  • 0.1 (May 1) : Highlight: bootable system with core components
    • vpk: install with remote support [partially done]
    • vpk: remove [done]
    • vpk: update
    • vpk: build [done]
    • vpk: list
    • vbootstrap: able to install presets into a directory
  • 0.2 (June 1) : Highlight: X.Org and wayland support
    • vpk: upgrade
    • vpk: tag/untag
    • PAM support
  • 0.3 (September 1) : Highlight: XFCE and MATE desktops
    • vinitrd: create and list initramfs
  • 0.4 (December 1) : Highlight: vpod
    • vpod: bulk
    • vpod: test
    • vpod: shell
  • 0.5 (January 1, 2020) : Highlight: KDE Plasma desktop
  • 0.6 (February 1, 2020) : Highlight: Public website available
    • File hierarchy is ready for public downloads
    • Documentation is complete
      • Manpages: vpk, vbootstrap, vinitrd
      • Vanilla book
  • 1.0 (March 1, 2020) : Highlight: First stable release

Raw ideas

A set of ideas that are no answers yet.

  • Switch to llvm
    • LLVM is lighter than gcc/binutils and licensed under a more permissive license but it can't compile the linux kernel yet


See READMEs in repositories. Upcoming documentation in the wiki.

About vanilla


Updated by David Demelier 5 months ago · 29 revisions