0.10.0 Release Notes

This page provides documentation about the features and capabilities of the 0.10.0 ISO.

Please report any bugs for the ISO you find by filing them on our Issues Page.


The ISO comes complete with man and info pages for all the utilities available on it. If you elect to install man or texinfo into your system, then you will also have access to the man and info pages for any spells that are installed in your system while you are working on it in the ISO (i.e., during smgl-chroot). When in doubt, RTFM.

Optional Spell Support

This ISO offers optional spell support. The optional spells are provided as pre-built caches that reside in /var/cache/sorcery on the ISO. The spells can be installed manually (though care should be taken about sorcery tablet information) or by running the provided smgl-enchant script. There are caches for everything that is on the ISO, including what is in basesystem. Therefore, when selecting which optional spells to install, you may end up choosing to overwrite things already provided by basesystem. This is not harmful at all, as the caches should be the same.

A word of caution: the caches should be built without options turned on. This means that possibly required support will be missing in some of the caches. For example, lvm and device-mapper are provided, but lilo is built without device-mapper support. Therefore, this lilo will likely be unable to boot lvm partitions. There may be other similar conflicts. This particular issue could not be solved for this ISO release, and will be dealt with for the next release instead.

Kernel and modules

The kernel on this ISO is

A lot of kernel modules are provided. This includes the framebuffer modules. However, as modprobe will sometimes be too aggressive in trying to load modules, the framebuffer modules have been "blacklisted" in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist on the ISO. They can still be "installed" into the running kernel via modprobe -i or insmod. If there are other kernel modules that are "misbehaving", please file bug reports so that they can also be added to the blacklist. Also, if you choose to install the ISO kernel using smgl-kernel, this blacklist will also be installed to your system so that your system functions the same as the ISO.

Slim system.tar.bz2

The system.tar.bz2 provided on the ISO has been trimmed down to only the bare essentials. It includes more than the direct dependencies of the basesystem spell; however, many of those additions are hard dependencies for spells that basesystem depends on. For example, e2fsprogs is required for a functional system. In other cases, like with nano, it was included because basesystem requires some spell that provides the feature. While the basesystem spell has the luxury of only specifying an abstract feature to be PROVIDEd, the built caches do not, so a choice had to be made. This was minimized as much as possible.

Installation scripts

A suite of scripts have been added (in addition to the previous ones, not to replace them) to make installation easier. Also, all of the end-user level scripts (non-internal scripts, including the older ones) are prefixed with "smgl-" to make their use easier. You can simply tab-complete on "smgl-" to see a list of all possible end-user scripts. All of these scripts provide usage information when they are passed the '-h' option (i.e., smgl-enchant -h). The installer scripts (both internal and end-user) are located in /usr/share/smgl.install (with symlinks to /usr/bin and /usr/sbin), and the data for the installer is in /usr/share/doc/smgl.install. Although the ISO itself is read-only (iso9660 filesystem), there are several locations that are mounted as tmpfs, so if you need to do any hacking on the installer scripts while you are booted in the ISO, just copy the scripts to one of those locations (such as /tmp) and run the script using an absolute path (/tmp/some_script).


The initrd doesn't provide much. It is meant only to get the main ISO itself booted. However, it is possible to work with the initrd. If you need to boot a shell before the initrd processes anything, just pass "shell" on the boot command-line. For example, "install shell". This will place you in a very restricted shell environment (it's regular bash, but many facilities such as less are not present), but after the initrd has processed udev and populated the /dev tree.

What this ISO lacks

This ISO is missing ndiswrapper, madwifi, and rp-pppoe due to problems in building them. I did not have enough time to properly investigate the causes for the failed builds before releasing the ISO. They should reappear on the next ISO iteration.

Available spells

The ISO comes with spells that are provided in system.tar.bz2, on the ISO itself, and additional cache files. The lists of these spells are as follows:

  • rspells - list of spells provided in system.tar.bz2
  • ispells - list of spells available during the ISO runtime and as caches to install (note: some spells overlap with rspells)
  • ospells - list of spells provided only as cache files on the ISO for additional installation