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Per Lidén wrote this handbook. RobertMcMeekin converted it to DocBook, the CRUX team made a Wiki version. Numerous others have given feedback and improvement suggestions.


What is CRUX?

CRUX is a lightweight Linux distribution for the x86-64 architecture targeted at experienced Linux users. The primary focus of this distribution is "keep it simple", which it reflects in a simple tar.gz-based package system, BSD-style initscripts, and a relatively small collection of trimmed packages. The secondary focus is utilization of new Linux features and recent tools and libraries. CRUX also has a ports system which makes it easy to install and upgrade applications.

Why use CRUX?

There are many Linux distributions out there these days, so what makes CRUX any better than the others? The choice of distribution is a matter of taste, really. Here are a few hints about the tastes and goals of the people behind CRUX. CRUX is made with simplicity in mind from beginning to end. Making it easy to create new and update old packages is essential; updating a package in CRUX is often just a matter of typing pkgmk -d -u. The usage of ports helps keep your packages up-to-date; not the latest bleeding-edge-alpha version, but the latest stable version. Other features include creating packages optimized for your processor, eg. by compiling with -march=x86-64, and avoiding cluttering the filesystem with files you'll never use, eg. /usr/doc/*, etc. If you need more information about a specific program, other than information found in the man-page, Google usually knows all about it. Finally, it strives to use new features as they become available, as long as they are consistent with the rest of the goals.

In short, CRUX might suit you very well if you are:

If you are using CRUX we highly recommend to subscribe to our low volume mailing list, because security updates and updates that need user action are announced there .



Since CRUX is a Linux distribution, it contains software written by a lot of different people. Each software package comes with its own license, chosen by its author(s). To find out how a particular package is licensed, have a look at its source code.

Build Scripts

All package build scripts in CRUX (in package categories core, opt, xorg, and compat-32) are Copyright © 2000-2015 by Per Lidén and the CRUX development team, and licensed through the GNU General Public License.


CRUX is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Use it at YOUR OWN RISK.