Void Linux

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Void Linux
Void Linux logo.svg
DeveloperVoid Linux Team, Void Linux Community, Original developer: Juan Romero Pardines (xtraeme)
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial release2008
Latest releaseRolling release / installation medium 30 September 2021; 24 days ago (2021-09-30)[1]
Marketing targetGeneral purpose
Package managerXBPS/XBPS-SRC
Platformsi686, x86-64, ARMv6, ARMv7, ARMv8[2]
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
UserlandGNU + Glibc or GNU + Musl
user interface
Dash, 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 September 2021, Void is the fifth 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] It is also unique among distributions in that separate software repositories and installation media using both glibc and musl are available.

Void was the first distribution to have incorporated LibreSSL[3] as the system cryptography library by default.[2] In February 2021, the Void Linux team announced the switching back to OpenSSL on March 5, 2021. Among the reasons were the problematic process of patching software that was primarily written to work with OpenSSL, the support for some optimizations and earlier access to newer algorithms.[13] A switch to OpenSSL began in April 2020 in the GitHub issue of the void-packages repository where most of the discussion has taken place.[14]

Due to its rolling release nature, a system running Void is kept up-to-date with binary updates always carrying the newest release.[15] Source packages are maintained on GitHub and can be compiled using the xbps-src build system.[16] 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.[17]

Jesse Smith of DistroWatch notes fast boot times which he credited to runit, but also notes that documentation and bug-testing are lacking.[15]


Using flavours, users can download pre-configured install media providing a desktop environment, Xfce. The live images contain an installer that offers a ncurses-based user interface. The default root shell is Dash.[15] KDE is in the repositories, but not pre-packaged. A Gnome flavor is offered, however it is not displayed on the downloads page.

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


Void Linux for PowerPC/Power ISA (unofficial) is a fork of Void Linux for PowerPC and Power ISA. It supports 32-bit and 64-bit devices, big-endian and little-endian operation, and musl and glibc. Void-ppc maintains its own build infrastructure and package repositories, and aims to build all of Void Linux's packages on all targets. It is a fork largely because of technical issues with Void Linux's build infrastructure. [18]


Project Trident is the first distribution (Distro) based on Void Linux.[19]


  1. ^ Can be installed separately.


  1. ^ a b "Index of /live/current/". Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  2. ^ a b "The Void (Linux) distribution". Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  3. ^ a b "Void". DistroWatch. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  4. ^ Wallen, Jack (2017-10-27). "Void Linux: A Salute to Old-School Linux". Linux.com.
  5. ^ Smith, Jesse (2017-05-29). "Returning to the Void". DistroWatch Weekly. DistroWatch. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  6. ^ Baader, Hans-Joachim (2015-06-12). "Void Linux: Distribution mit XBPS-Paketverwaltung" (in German). Pro-Linux. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  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". DistroWatch. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  12. ^ "Without Systemd". Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  13. ^ "Switching back to OpenSSL". Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  14. ^ "[RFC] Switching back to OpenSSL #20935". Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  15. ^ a b c Jesse Smith (2015-04-06). "Looking into the Void distribution". DistroWatch Weekly. DistroWatch. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  16. ^ The XBPS source packages collection on GitHub
  17. ^ "Flatpak". 2017-04-14.
  18. ^ "About - Void Linux for PPC (unofficial) documentation". 2019-09-20. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  19. ^ "Project Trident Ditches BSD for Linux". 2019-10-19. Retrieved 2021-02-22.

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