Void Linux

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Void Linux
Void Linux logo.svg
DeveloperJuan Romero Pardines (xtraeme) and contributors
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial release2008
Latest releaseRolling release / installation medium 9 November 2019; 10 months ago (2019-11-09)[1]
Marketing targetGeneral purpose
Package managerXBPS/XBPS-SRC
Platformsi686, x86-64, ARMv6, ARMv7, ARMv8[2]
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
UserlandGNU + Glibc or GNU + Musl
Default user interfaceDash, Enlightenment, Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Xfce
LicenseVarious licenses; Void-made software is mostly licensed under BSD 2-clause
Official websitevoidlinux.org Edit this at Wikidata

Void Linux[3] is an independent Linux distribution that uses the X Binary Package System (XBPS) package manager, which was designed and implemented from scratch, and the runit init system. Excluding binary kernel blobs, a base install is composed entirely of free software, but users can access an official non-free repository to install proprietary software.[4][5]


Void Linux was created in 2008 by Juan Romero Pardines, a former developer of NetBSD,[6] to have a test-bed for the XBPS package manager. The ability to natively build packages from source using xbps-src is likely inspired by pkgsrc and other BSD ports collections.[7]

In May 2018, the project was moved to a new website and code repository by the core team after the project leader had not been heard from for several months.[8][9][10]

As of July 2020, Void is the sixth highest rated project on DistroWatch with a score of 9.08 out of 10.[11]


Void is a notable exception to the majority of Linux distributions because it uses runit as its init system instead of the more common systemd used by other distributions including Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Mageia and Ubuntu.[12] Void is the first distribution to incorporate LibreSSL[3] as the system cryptography library by default.[2] It is also unique among distributions in that separate software repositories and installation media using both glibc and musl are available.

Due to its rolling release nature, a system running Void is kept up-to-date with binary updates always carrying the newest release.[13] Source packages are maintained on GitHub and can be compiled using the xbps-src build system.[14] The package build process is performed in a clean environment, not tied to the current system, and most packages can be cross-compiled for foreign architectures.

As of April 2017, Void Linux supports Flatpak, which allows the installation of the latest packages from upstream repositories.[15]

Jesse Smith of DistroWatch notes fast bootup times which he credited to runit, but also notes that documentation and bug-testing are lacking.[13] The official docs are slowly replacing a deprecated wiki.


Using flavours, users can download pre-configured install media providing typical desktop environments, such as Cinnamon, Enlightenment, LXDE, MATE, or Xfce. The live images contain an installer that offers a ncurses-based user interface. The default root shell is Dash.[13] KDE and Gnome are in the repos, but not pre-packaged.

Void Linux live image matrix[1]
C library Desktop environment
musl glibc Cinnamon Enlightenment LXDE LXQt MATE Xfce
Platform i686 No Yes Yes
amd64 Yes
ARM-based beaglebone Yes No[note 1]
cubieboard 2
Raspberry Pi 1/2/3
USB Armory


  1. ^ Can be installed separately.


  1. ^ a b "Index of /live/current/". Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  2. ^ a b "Enter the void". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  3. ^ a b DistroWatch.com (ed.). "Void". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  4. ^ Void Linux: A Salute to Old-School Linux | Linux.com | The source for Linux information
  5. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 714, 29 May 2017
  6. ^ Pro-Linux, ed. (2015-06-12). "Void Linux: Distribution mit XBPS-Paketverwaltung" (in German). Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  7. ^ "Hackover Vortrag zu Void Linux" (in German). 2014-10-25. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  8. ^ "Serious Issues". voidlinux.org. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  9. ^ "GitHub Organisation is moving". voidlinux.org. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  10. ^ Aldridge, Michael (November 28, 2018). "ENOBDFL". Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  11. ^ "DistroWatch Project Ranking". Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  12. ^ "Without Systemd". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  13. ^ a b c Jesse Smith (2015-04-06). Distrowatch.com (ed.). "Looking into the Void distribution. DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 604, 6 April 2015". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  14. ^ xbps-src. Manual.md
  15. ^ Flatpak

External links[edit]