The base file system for Adélie Linux


README for Adélie Linux Base File Set

Authors: A. Wilcox, maintainer / developer
Elizabeth Myers, developer
The FreeBSD project and its contributors, files in /etc
Status: Production
Copyright: © 2016 Adélie Linux. BSD open source license.


This distribution contains the base file set needed for running Adélie Linux. Its contents are installed to the root file system.


The Adélie Linux project typically licenses its original source code under the permissive, open NCSA license. However, since the project has found no usable copies of some files needed for /etc licensed under such a license, it has been deemed necessary to seek outside projects for these files.

The closest project that met the criteria of freely licensed and usable files was FreeBSD; therefore, the entire base file set is licensed under the terms of the 3-clause BSD license.


Any changes to this repository must be reviewed before being pushed to the master branch. There are no exceptions to this rule. For security-sensitive updates, contact the Security Team at sec-bugs@adelielinux.org.


The baselayout package from the upstream Gentoo project is deficient in a number of ways. It was determined to be fairly inflexible, especially relating to forcing the installation of a modprobe.d directory with deprecated aliases. It also installs Gentoo-specific release files (including the /etc/gentoo-release file and the contents of /etc/os-release), and makes assumptions about shell environments that may not exist on Adélie. This led directly to the creation of this project.

Assumptions and Dependencies

  1. It is assumed that the target computer is running a Unix-compatible operating environment.
  2. It is assumed that there is no other software distribution installed on the target computer. However, an older version of Adélie may be installed.
  3. This project must supply an /etc/lsb-release file compliant with the Linux Standard Base, which at the time of this writing is at version 5.0.
  1. This project must comply with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, which at the time of this writing is at version 3.0.

Scope and Limitations

This section is informational and contains an overall roadmap for the development of this project.

Initial release

Version 1.0 must be fully usable on all Tier I architectures specified for the Adélie Linux project. It must render the system operable and compliant with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, version 3.0.

Future versions of 1.x may add support for non-Tier I architectures, if such support is necessary in this project. It is not anticipated to include any architecture- or machine-specific objects in this project.

Secondary release

If user demand is present for a port of the Adélie system to a different kernel such as FreeBSD is present, changes to this project to ensure compatibility with such a system may begin during the 2.x version cycle.

Subsequent releases

Newer versions of the LSB or FHS standards may require tweaks or changes to this project. They will be reviewed and the changes required will be determined if and when such standard updates are published.

Limitations and exclusions

The following portions of the FHS and LSB are purposefully ignored by this project, for the reason specified.

Executables in /bin

The executables specified in FHS §3.4.2 and §3.4.3 are excluded from this project as it is assumed these executables are installed by other packages included in the base software distribution.

The single executable specified in FHS §6.1.2 is specified in a way that makes it ambiguous if it is always required or only required on computers containing a serial port. Either way, this executable is provided by a separate package from a separate project and is also excluded from this project.

Files in /etc

Some files specified as optional in FHS §3.7.3 are not included in this project as they are better handled by their respective packages, including:

  • X11 - handled by the xorg-server package.
  • csh.login - handled by the tcsh package.
  • exports - handled by the nfs-utils package.
  • fstab and resolv.conf - handled by Project Horizon.
  • ftpusers - handled by FTP daemon packages.
  • gateways - handled by the netkit-routed package.
  • gettydefs - handled by the mgetty or mingetty package.
  • group and passwd - handled by the shadow package.
  • host.conf - this file is glibc-specific.
  • hosts.allow and hosts.deny - handled by the tcp-wrappers package.
  • hosts.equiv - handled by the netkit-rsh package.
  • hosts.lpd and printcap - handled by printer packages.
  • inetd.conf - handled by inetd packages.
  • inittab - handled by the sysvinit package.
  • mtools.conf - handled by the mtools package.
  • rpc - handled by the librpc package.
  • shells - automatically generated by apk on shell installation.
  • syslog.conf - handled by syslog packages that require it.

/etc/cron.* tree

This set of directories as specified in LSB-Core §18.2 is not included in this project, as any package that satisfies the cron virtual shall create it.

/etc/init.d directory

This directory specifed in LSB-Core §18.2 is created by the openrc package and is not included in this project.


Do we know what s6 does?

The /etc/mtab file

The /etc/mtab file is provided as a symlink to /proc/self/mounts only. Support for the /etc/mtab file being a regular file is not provided. This appears to be in line with FHS §3.7.3.

Files in /lib

While FHS §3.9.2 is ambiguous on whether /lib/libc.so.* is required when /lib/ld* is present or not, this project does supply a symlink called /lib/libc.so.1.

It is assumed that the symlink /lib/cpp as specified in FHS §3.9.2 is provided by gcc.

The directory /lib/modules specified by FHS §3.9.3 is provided by the easy-kernel-modules package on systems where it is installed.

Executables in /sbin

The executables specified in FHS §3.16.2 and §3.16.3 are excluded from this project as it is assumed these executables are installed by other packages included in the base software distribution.