Haiku could learn from new system Chimera Linux

Chimera Linux has a fresh approach for an Operating system - like Haiku and Fuschia. It is a cross between linux and BSD userland (and tools). It emphasises clean coding, good software design, and one recommended way of doing things. Maybe Haiku could learn something from it - especially in building for different architectures:

“Various CPU architectures are supported by Chimera: AArch64, little endian and big endian POWER, 64-bit RISC-V, and x86_64…There is a central infrastructure that automatically builds all incoming changes on every architecture…Adding support for a new architecture is extremely easy, as long as the LLVM stack properly supports it.”


Chimera Linux builds upon the extensive multi-architecture support Linux and other system components it relies on have already. There aren’t many takeaways from it for Haiku, other than more work needed to support other architectures. This has been known for a long time already, with the main hurdle being a lack of developers.


Linux is already a mix between Linux and BSD. OpenSSH is from OpenBSD. Debian is also available on many architectures and used to have a version that included the FreeBSD kernel instead of Linux (Debian GNU/kFreeBSD as opposed to of Debian GNU/Linux). Also, Haiku already uses some of FreeBSD’s networking stack.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is the exact opposite of Chimera linux, if you think about it; one has GNU userspace on BSD kernel, and one has BSD userspace on the Linux kernel.

Just for fun. “Linux is already a mix between Linux and BSD”, I guess you meant “Unix and BSD”, though it will still remain confusing. Linux is inspired by Unix and BSD is just another flavor of Unix (there was even a legal battle for copyright issues because of that). We can even throw inside the GNU tools to make the semantics even more complicated.

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Have to say that while I understand *BSD sticking to what they have a long history with, replacing GNU coreutils and such with ones from FreeBSD like Chimera has decided doesn’t make much sense to me as a user. I’ve always found the GNU tools to have a much more rich featureset.

Their explanation seems to be that they think code is cleaner (not really clear to me why this is all that relevant) and that they can reuse the same toolset in contexts where things have to be lightweight. Poor tradeoff to require everyone to use feature-poor tools all the time to enable special cases where you don’t have the luxury (ultimately tiny amounts in modern context) of disk space if you ask me.

Especially if we consider

→ Linus Thorvalds started to work on Linux kernel as he admired the Minix OS, which was an educational UNIX OS, and wanted to have same on his cheap and affordable 386 CPU driven PC

→ Richard Stallman wanted to continue writing programs as open and free as it happened when the UNIX was started on the universities, when developers each other shared the code and enhanced the UNIX code and programs (or apps, for the younger ones) running on it. It was before UNIX commercialized and the big firms started to have their derivatives.
Now it’s something like the open source model actually.
Lately he and his fellows wrote GNU Hurd kernel and programs for it.

Some met with Linus’s kernel stuff and provided shells, editors, compilers, etc. for the linux kernel core , so it was partly the OS itself and also the userland, and as this kernel completed earlier than GNU Hurd … the world became more rich with a “UNIX” OS … available for the mass … on the name : Linux - really GNU/Linux - inspired by UNIXes on many ways.


The same reason Android uses Toybox instead of Busybox?

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Most Unix applications are easily portable to other architectures, if the compiler supports it, regardless if it is GCC or LVM. Many Linux Distributions Support multiple architectures, as long as compiler and the kernel support it it is not a big deal.
While most Linux distros use GCC, glibc and gnu Userland, chimera uses llvm, musl and bsd Userland.
The architecture support is already in the Linux kernel and llvm, it has nothing to do with haiku

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That seems to mostly be about licensing, of course all major businesses will skip GPL whenever they can so they don’t have the obligations it comes with. Chimera’s FAQ claims this is mostly not about licensing but I guess the other reasons could be rationalizations invented afterwards.

Morbid fear of the gpl?


The GPL3 is incompatible with software patents. You can guess which side companies who own patents picked.

It’s not just fear, they have pretty valid (in their viewpoint) reasons for this.

GPLv2 was not a problem. For example Apple used GCC, Bash, … until these projects switched to GPLv3. Then they started work on LLVM, switched to ZSH, etc.


I’d say it is more that software patents are incompatible with open source in general. If a license does not adequately protect you from hidden issues with software patents that license seems a bit risky for everyone else besides these giant corporations that hold huge software patent portfolios they can use to negotiate with each other…


Not really your work is as opensource is protect so long as it predates the patented software… aka prior art. There are lots of limitations on what is patentable.