What is Void Linux? Void Linux is one of the Linux distributions, wholly independent and entirely developed by volunteers. Unlike most Linux distributions built from other existing distributions, Void Linux is not a modification of any other rather it is build from scratch with a focus on stability. Its continuous build system ensures building of new software into binary packages every time new changes are pushed to Void repository. This is called a rolling release which makes sure that Void binaries are frequently updated. Once you have Void Linux installed, just ensure to constantly update to pick the new changes.

Void Linux is a general-purpose operating system. It is based on monolithic Linux kernel and supports both musl and GNU libc implementations. It uses runit init system instead of the normal systemd and has a package system that enables quick installation, updates and removal of software. The software can be installed from binary packages or build from sources using XBPS (X binary package manager); a native system package manager.

Void Linux was created in 2008 by a former NetBSD developer. It was originally build to test XBPS package manager and was moved to code repository in 2018. By February 2021, Void Linux is among the top ten rated projects. In this guide, we are going to see how to install Void Linux on VirtualBox.

How To Install Void Linux on VirtualBox

At this point, I am assuming that you have already installed VirtualBox on your system. I will proceed to show you how to install Void Linux on Linux. The first thing you need to do is to head to Void Linux download site to download the iso files even with different graphical user interfaces. In my case, I have downloaded a x86_64 gnome iso file. Other available files are as shown below and you can download depending on your choice

Start your virtual box and click on ‘New

Enter the name of your OS installation and click ‘Next

Choose your appropriate memory size and click ‘next

Leave the default setting to create a virtual disk for installation. Click ‘create’

Leave the default choice for virtual hard disk and click ‘Next

For storage on physical hard disk, I am leaving it as ‘dynamically allocated‘. Click ‘Next

Here, specify the size of virtual hard disk you wish to allocate to Void Linux virtual machine and click ‘create

You should see your new Void Linux added to the list your VirtualBox virtual machines.

Select your Void Linux and click on ‘Settings‘. Here, you can edit settings such as memory and network. This is also the place that we will be able to select the downloaded Void Linux iso file to begin installation. Click on ‘Storage‘ then ‘Empty

On the far right, click on the drop down adjacent to the optical disk icon then select ‘choose a disk file‘ and navigate to where the file was saved. Once you choose the iso file, click ‘OK

Next, click ‘Start‘. On the console, select the appropriate option to boot live Void Linux.

Within a short a time, you will see the log on page with user ‘anon‘. At this point, we only have Void Linux live system. We need to proceed to install Void Linux. Login with the password ‘voidlinux‘ if prompted.

Next open the terminal and run the following commands:

sudo bash

Run the commands as shown:

Void Linux begins installing. Click ‘OK‘ on the welcome page to begin installation

In the next page, perform your settings using the arrow keys and ‘Enter‘ as explained. Here, you will be able to set keyboard, hostname, timezone, filesystem, file partitions and many others as shown. Navigate using arrows keys and make a decisions with ‘Enter

When done, select on ‘Install with saved settings‘ to begin installation of Void Linux. You should see the progress as below:

Once installation is complete, you will be prompted to reboot your VM

Before rebooting, ensure to eject the installation iso file from storage under settings then proceed to reboot, after which your VM will boot normally to logon page, with the user you configured earlier during settings

Login using the password you had set and your Void Linux should be ready to use

Void Linux Package manager

Void Linux uses xbps package manager. It does not directly run commands like other most Linux distributions. For example, to install a package in Void Linux, you will use the command xbps-install and xbps-remove to delete. Let us look at some examples of basic Void Linux commands. Note that xbps does not work on its own rather it works as a combination of commands. Check at the man pages:

$ man xbps
man: No entry for xbps in the manual

$ man xbps-install
XBPS-INSTALL(1)             General Commands Manual            XBPS-INSTALL(1)

     xbps-install – XBPS utility to (re)install and update packages

     xbps-install [OPTIONS] [PKG...]

     The xbps-install utility installs, reinstalls, downgrades and updates
     packages in the target root directory.  The argument PKG is a package
     expression, which is explained in the PACKAGE EXPRESSION section.

     If package is installed, it will be updated to the version available in
     repositories matching the PACKAGE EXPRESSION.  Otherwise it will be
     installed, or reinstalled/downgraded if -f, --force option is set.

     A package expression is a form to match a pattern; currently xbps
     supports 3 ways to specify them:

     -   by package name, i.e: “foo”.

$ man xbps-remove
XBPS-REMOVE(1)              General Commands Manual             XBPS-REMOVE(1)

     xbps-remove – XBPS utility to remove packages

     xbps-remove [OPTIONS] [PKGNAME...]

     The xbps-remove utility removes installed packages in the target root
     directory.  Removing a package involves the following steps:

     * Executes the pre ACTION on its REMOVE script (which can be shown by
     running `xbps-query --property=remove-script pkg` ).

     * Package files are removed if those have not been modified.  The -f
     option overrides this behaviour and forcefully removes the files.

     * Executes the post ACTION on its REMOVE script (which can be shown by
     running `xbps-query --property=remove-script pkg` ).

     * Changes package state to XBPS_PKG_STATE_HALF_REMOVED in the package

Some basic commands for Void Linux are as follows:

#To install, reinstall, update and downgrade packages in Void Linux
#Example, install gvim
$ sudo xbps-install gvim

# Use '-S' to ensure that you get the latest package 
$ sudo xbps-install -S gvim

#To update packages in Void Linux
$ sudo xbps-install -Su

#To remove installed program
$ sudo xbps-remove gvim

#Use '-R' to remove all associated files
$ sudo xbps-remove -R gvim

#Add '-v' to get a verbose output and '-y' to avoid being prompted to confirm with 'yes'
$ sudo xbps-install -Syv gvim 

Installing Void Linux on VMware Workstation

If you are running Vmware Workstation instead of VirtualBox, follow the next few steps to get Void Linux installed on VMware.

Open your VMware Workstation and select ‘Create a New Virtual Machine

In the next page, i am choosing ‘Typical Installation

Browse to the location of the iso file and select then click ‘Next

Give your VM a name and click ‘Next’

Specify disk capacity

Confirm the configurations and click ‘finish‘. You can also click on ‘Customize hardware‘ to change any settings you want, for example to increase memory.

Click on the power button to start setting up the guest OS

Once you boot to the live VM, the rest of the steps remain the same as explained in VirtualBox installation from the point where you had the life VM.

Up to this point you have gotten some good information about Void Linux and have successfully installed Void Linux on VirtualBox and VMware workstation and have learnt a few basic commands. I hope the guide has been useful in getting you started with Void Linux. Check other interesting guides below:


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