May 11, 2006
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What is Sidious Linux? There are two branches of the Sidious Linux distribution. Between these two, Sidious is able to run in a variety of conditions using common configuration files and scripts. Neither version is based on RedHat's RPM package installer, so be prepared to build any add-ons from original source (.tar.gz format.) If no other options are available, it is still possible to force-install RPMs, but none of the dependency accounting is done. Also, avoid placing your own upgrades in /usr/local, since this directory is not empty (a bug.) Other things users should be immediately aware of are the fact that /tmp, /var and root's home directory are by default not persistent! They are all emptied and reset on reboot unless you change a setting. There is no official support for Sidious Linux.
Sidious 10.x is a combination of the old embedded Sidious 8 (libc5) Sidious 9.x for laptops, desktops, and servers. Like Sidious 9, 10.x is optimized for large, centralized disk-less clusters. It uses modern (as of 2006) X11R7, glibc-2.3.6, and everything is compiled with gcc-3.4.5 except the kernel. Using non-GPL extensions written by the author, binary-compatible embedded installations can be produced from a Sidious 10 system suitable for small flash memory such as I-Opener network appliances.
For PCs, installation from a single bootable CD-ROM and remote network upgrades are possible. The default filesystem is SGI's XFS, a journalled filesystem which has many advantages both on a server and on a laptop. (EXT2, EXT3, and Reiser filesystems are also available if you prefer.) Some of the unique features for clusters include:
Laptop users can enjoy these features:
Sidious is therefore very easy to test on your computer. But there are many reasons you should probably consider a more wide-spread Linux distribution. You have been warned.
The following Web sites contained a lot of useful information and source code, which was used to build Sidious Linux:
At these sites, you will information on how to install a wide range of software without using pre-compiled RPMs. Learning to do so is essential unless Sidious just happens to include exactly everything you will need.