cLIeNUX = Client Use Linux. Do you need it? Try on this short questionairre for size and lets see.

If you answered "Me", "one", or "yes" at all, then cLIeNUX bears further investigation.


EVEN AS a client-only use version of Linux, cLIeNUX is still very full featured. One of the best features of cLIeNUX is that it let's YOU make YOUR OWN decisions about what your box will be like.

It's designed so that YOU can make it be ALL the Unix you'll ever need. Other distros, by comparison, give you almost no choice at all. They long ago decided to force feed you MORE Unix than you'll ever need, like it or not.

cLIeNUX Core is intended to be a good first Linux for a beginner. It is also intended to be a solid core for a complete distribution. What Core is should indicate what Level N and beyond might prove to be. Meanwhile, cLIeNUX is x86/libc5, and should accept sourcecode packages.

With gcc and gforth, Core has two high-performance compilers, so things can be added on top of Core as sourcecode. cLIeNUX "packages" will probably be sourcecode. Then if there emerges a large body of easily installed source, platform specific Core's should arise.

I'm not a big fan of "packaging systems". I also think SMP is a weak design idea. It's seldom cost-effective. I'm also not a big fan of IDE's. Either type, "Integrated Development Environments" OR "Integrated Desktop Environments". cLIeNUX is already based on two of the most wonderful modular toolkits ever devised, unix and Forth.

Actually, the real answer to "What will be added?" is.. "By whom?" Send me something. I don't intend to keep the world up to date by my lonesome.< Br>


cLIeNUX is intended to provide a basis for a membership / redistribution model of compensating authors of open-source software. This model is intended to be somewhat similar to the ASCAP/BMI mechanism for paying authors and performers of music. This the guideline I intend to persue with cLIeNUX membership. Nothing here is in any way guaranteed.


There are several parties to such a system as I hope to apply it to cLIeNUX.

There is the "ownership" of cLIeNUX. That is currently me, Rick Hohensee. Equity interest is available.

There is the "membership" of cLIeNUX, parties whose membership fees are current. Membership is $20-- per year.

A subset of the membership are the "contributers" of cLIeNUX. The e in that spelling is intentional. Contributers are individuals qualified to recieve re-distribution of cLIeNUX membership revenues. Qualifying for compensation for contributing to the content of cLIeNUX requires several things.

Other parties, such as the Linux kernel development community, the GNU Project, the Free Software Foundation, the Linux Documentation Project, various organizations holding copyrights on open-source software, and the users of cLIeNUX, only pertain to this mechanism as they may fit into the above categories.


Members may submit notification of copyrighted cLIeNUX content to the ownership. Ownership may also aknowledge authorship without notice from a member being necessary. On a quarterly basis a summation of these compensatable components will be made . An account will be derived from this summation of each contributer's percent of the entire member-authored content of cLIeNUX.

Binary files that are produced from text files by compilation or other processes may be compensatable in accordance with copyright notices in the text, which text may or may not be in the actual distributed cLIeNUX content. Programs that are only distributed in binary form are not compensatable by cLIeNUX.

Analysis of what portions of large works are by what authors is to be performed at the best ability of the ownership, but accuracy of authorship accounting is not guaranteed in any way. The dichotomy between cLIeNUX membership and ownership is absolute for this reason; so that the ownership's motive will be to do what is best for cLIeNUX as a whole. The ownership also is the sole authority on the content of cLIeNUX.


Every quarter 20 percent of all cLIeNUX membership revenues for the quarter will be redistributed to the contributers. Ownership may change the overall percentage with one years notice to the membership, but the overall percentage is not to be effected by variations in individual contributer percentages.

Here is an earlier draft of this system.....

Begging is so pitiful, isn't it?

cLIeNUX, probably most important of all, is an attempt to initialize a compensation model that solves some of the problems of funding the development of open source software and documentation. cLIeNUX will be available for free, as is necessary by law for most of it's core contents. However, you can become a member of cLIeNUX for an annual membership fee of $20-- US. Oh boy. All I can guarantee that will get you at this point is that you will be supporting my style of distributing open source software. I will also make public a list of members in chronological order by date of membership.

If this germinates, a plowback system will be instituted to return a defined percentage of cLIeNUX revenue to contributors of cLIeNUX-originated materials. It will probably go something like this....

cLIeNUX revenues will be announced publicly. Costs might not be. 20% of gross revenue will be returned to the membership.

The redistribution of that 20% will be by proportion of all materials in cLIeNUX as a portion of total cLIeNUX-originated material on a plain storage-consumed basis.

Example: for a cLIeNUX CD it is determined that there are 50 megabytes of material that are original to cLIeNUX. Member # 762324, Sally Bright, has contributed 3 megabytes of examples for the cLIeNUX stock paint program. Sally is due 6% of the member plowback fund for the time her stuff is in the distro. Since there were an average of 2000 members for that time, Sally gets a check for $6000-- .

A file will be considered the quantum of compensatableness except in a few cases. Compensation for important files and packages, such as the kernel image, may be subject to advisement or recusal by the aknowledged maintainers thereof.

2% of gross revenue will be donated to organizations related to Linux, open source, or other beneficial phenomena, such as sevices for the homeless, which have in a sense already made thier contributions to cLIeNUX.

I'll be going into more detail on this. Hopefully also various other benefits of membership in cLIeNUX will evolve. Any such benefits will not compromise the open-source nature of cLIeNUX. This is based on ideas I had for a from-scratch new OS proposal, but a from-scratch new scenario would be MUCH simpler, compensation-wise. Linus said last night in linux-kernel, "It will be complicated. Fairness always is." and he was talking about interrupt spinlocks or some such. Add money to the equation and complexity explodes.

The most vicious remark this proposal has recieved so far is calling it "a pyramid scheme". cLIeNUX is no more a pyramid scheme than any other original venture. As it stands now, it is just begging, except that I do believe there is more value to cLIeNUX than "I need help". cLIeNUX has been a lot of work already. I do believe cLIeNUX is well-differentiated from other existing distributions, [and am shocked by how shocked people are by cLIeNUX's unique features. Rick, 200004] and that's not easy.

Please help bootstrap cLIeNUX as a venture. I very much hope that it proves to be in your interest to do so. Email me or call if you have a question about possible equity in the venture.

Rick Hohensee
3234 Powder Mill Rd.
Adelphi, Md. 20783

Programming Influences:

My influences, and the influences I think will be of most use to Linux "on the desktop", are unix, Linux, the GNU system, the Amiga, the Forth programming language, and the ASCAP/BMI model of compensating music authors and recording performers. cLIeNUX is actually the current incarnation of an earlier proposal for a from-scratch-new Forth hardware-software platform I did, that never went anywhere, but saw some very encouraging discussion.

The open source movement in the unix world is nothing new. The Forth programming language gets much of its striking functionality from the fact that Forth is open source by design at the lowest level possible. The reusability and mutability of open source software is inate to the language, and the clear technical superiority of open source is well shown by Forth.

This Forth programming strength has generated a related and equally strong marketing weaknesses for the language. In marketing, maintaining the distinction between developer and user is all important, and yet meaningless to Forth itself. That's why vendors either break Forth or abandon it. Delivering a better mousetrap is irrelevant if you cannot profit by the act!

As an attempt to address these problems, and as an absurd attempt by one guy to reinvent an entire complete microcosm, the Linux/GNU/unix world, the existing features of cLIeNUX are created or chosen to show how things might go if open source works could be almost automatically of some material value to the authors of them.


There are a number of utilities, mostly written by me, that serve thier various inate purposes, and also serve as examples of programming in C, shell, Forth, awk, m4 and dcon:
cLIeNUX is built on PS/2's, with sincere thanks to Charles Lasitter of Durham, N.C. This keeps cLIeNUX in a bit of a platform-independant mindset for a distro that is only for x86 CPUs so far. cLIeNUX "packages" will be sourcecode only, although X may have an "XCore" or something.

Notably absent from cLIeNUX Core

*roff, except the troff calls in libc that happen to be sufficient to run man2html; C++, gcc comes with the C cc1 binary only; libstdc++, which *roff wanted; vi, which is replaced by Pico (edit) and cLIeNUX ed; most servers; su, sudo and sticky bits; Perl; pretty-printing of any kind; kernel modules; GNU libc2, BKA "glibc", etc.

Documentation versus Automation

cLIeNUX configuration features are mostly just docs, and hyperlinks to docs. There are several reasons for this.

Largely due to the urging of Charles Lasitter, there will be an XCore for the next cLIeNUX, which is now in ../interim on the FTP mirrors. It features:
The window manager is what implements the behavior of the GUI in X. CTWM as configured in cLIeNUX features 8 virtual workspaces, focus-follows-mouse, minimized ("tabbed") window titlebars for minimum pixel waste and a fairly un-occludable region at the top of the screen, per-workspace window cloning and background images, animated window buttons, and a rich menu tree available by clicking mouse button one outside any application windows.

The Orphanage

In general, applications included in cLIeNUX tend to be a few years behind what is generally considered to be the hot new must-have. cLIeNUX stuff tends to be more mature. This is not entirely intentional.

Mostly it's about 'most bang for the buck'. The side effect though is that cLIeNUX may be the closest thing to active development for many of these apps or libraries, such as Linux libc5, XPaint/xart, Mosaic, SVGATextMode, sc, CTWM and others.

There are much "nicer" alternatives to all of these, but most are resource, dependancy and configuration nightmares, and offer only marginal actual additional functionality. In the case of sc for example, I don't think there's anything similar that doesn't need X, which to the cLIeNUX view of modularity is quite unacceptable. Others may need certain libraries, or C++, or may have a bad habit of breaking thier own legacy, as is the case with The GIMP and GNU libc2.

Also, one of Linux' great strengths is it offers an escape from the mad rush to obsolete hardware with bloated software. cLIeNUX is currently built primarily on 486 PS/2's, partially for this reason.

You are of course welcome to install anything you want on cLIeNUX, but please don't bug me with problems installing the likes of Enlightenment, KDE, GNOME, x emacs and so on. Those are the sorts of things big companies have support departments for, and I don't use any of them.

My comparison between the GIMP and xart is "xart does the 30% of what the GIMP does that you use 90% of the time, in 10% of the resources", and I've been told that's a fair comparison. AND, xart even does a couple things the GIMP doesn't. That's typical of most of the apps in cLIeNUX, compared to thier alternatives or offspring. Also, smaller apps tend to interoperate better, particularly in unix. Orphan apps tend to be very self-sufficient, but also quite capable of, and open to, team play.


cLIeNUX contains much original material, which is released only as a part of this distribution, but there is no "cLIeNUX license" per se. Much of what distinguishes cLIeNUX from other distributions is not redistributable separate from cLIeNUX. The intent is to create some material value for cLIeNUX and its contents as a distinct open source entity, which I believe may ultimately serve users and authors of open source works much better than they are now being served.

Richard Stallman was quite considerate to point out some things that I should make very clear. Paid cLIeNUX membership is not required to use cLIeNUX. Membership is a mechanism to fund and control compensating contributors of works included in cLIeNUX. The terms of release of the various parts of cLIeNUX are not effected by membership in any way, and compensatable contributions do not have to have any particular release terms, other than to be permissible to include in cLIeNUX.

Having mentioned Stallman, I suppose that I should also state that he disaproves strongly of the fact that it is not permissable to modify cLIeNUX and redistribute the modified version without removing all materials released only for redistribution as part of an intact entire cLIeNUX Core. I'm not happy about that myself, but this is the least encumbering thing I can come up with that creates a distinct compensatable entity "entirely in software", so to speak.

The ncdm/Microchannel fork of cLIeNUX is an authorized fork.

Rick Hohensee
Oct 17 1999

North Carolina
Jan 15, 2000

Potholes and 'Features'

cLIeNUX is a work in progress because time is a luxury. A pretty good plan to save a ship from sinking in the next few minutes beats the perfect plan that takes hours or days. Life's like that.

Not all 'errors' are bugs.

The distro contains some 'noise' in the form of harmless error messages on bootup and in response to particular commands. You can make these messages go away if you like. It generally involves twiddling the settings of a configuration file or learning the proper use of a command line switch.

The operative word in that last sentence was "learning", because that is one way cLIeNUX is different from the other distros that insulate you from information. Without exposure to information in situations, you'll never learn to use that information to change your computing environment. The end result is called 'knowledge'.

Shutdown [this has been fixed. Rick 200004]

Pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL closes and flushes the file systems, and kills all file systems except 'init', but it does not unmount file systems or reboot the computer. "Flush" and "reboot -f" are the closest we can come at present. This results in an "unchecked" error message on reboot / remount which is spurious, as the file system is actually clean. A solution appropriate for a single user Linux is in the works.

None of your internet services are configured for you at present. Each user's internet connection and hardware are too unique for us to provide solutions beyond those out there on the Internet already.

Importing / DSFH

As you customize your machine to your own liking by installing other source packages, cLIeNUX provides scripts to facilitate the importing of software, but the process is far from bullet proof. Many packages have ugly dependencies that are not cLIeNUX's problem. We wish you good luck!

Getting Connected

Getting wired to the 'net is ultimately very rewarding, but the process can be painful. Just keep in mind that if you approach the task with a sense of adventure and the right information, you're likely to survive the experience intact.

You'll need all the usual info about your modem, plus your ISP's data on name and mail servers. That in hand, run pppsetup. This will get you going, and it's the Linux default setup program, but it uses CHAT which can prove to be problematic. It might serve you to rework the connection script in dcon.