Below is a list of commonly asked questions with answers sourced from the Clear Linux* OS team and Clear Linux community forums.
- What is Clear Linux OS?
- Why another Linux distribution?
- Is it a derivative of another Linux distribution?
- Can others copy improvements from Clear Linux OS?
- How often does it update?
- Is telemetry required?
- What is the default firewall?
- Where are the files that I usually see under /etc like fstab?
- Does it use the Intel Compiler (icc)?
- Software availability
Clear Linux OS is an open source, rolling release Linux distribution optimized for performance and security. See the about page for more information.
The Clear Linux OS team felt that performance was left on the table with Linux software. Clear Linux OS takes a holistic approach to improve performance across the stack. We also wanted to take more modern approaches with OS updates and tooling.
No. Clear Linux OS is a new Linux distribution. It is not a fork and does not have a parent Linux distribution.
Yes, we absolutely love open source reuse and upstreaming improvements.
The Clear Linux OS team puts out multiple releases a week, often releasing two or more times a day. This rolling release approach allows Clear Linux OS to remain agile to upstream changes and security patches.
The telemetry solution provided by Clear Linux OS is entirely optional and customizable. It is disabled by default. If you do choose to enable telemetry, the data helps the Clear Linux OS team proactively identify and resolve bugs. See the telemetry guide for more information.
Clear Linux OS packages iptables and firewalld as optional bundles, however, there are no default firewall rules. All network traffic is allowed by default.
Clear Linux OS has a stateless design that maintains a separation between system files
and user files. Default values are stored under
Clear Linux OS starts with a mostly empty
/etc directory to store user-defined
configurations. See the stateless page for more information.
See this blog post for an
example explaining how this is accomplished with
Flatpak* is an application virtualization solution that allows more software to be available to Clear Linux OS users by augmenting the software Clear Linux OS packages natively with software available through Flatpak.
Our goal is to have software packaged natively and made available through bundles whenever possible.
No. Clear Linux OS provides software to systems in the form of Bundles. Under the hood, Clear Linux OS developers use the RPM format as an intermediary step for packaging and determining software dependencies at OS build time.
Individual RPMs and DEBs can sometimes be manually extracted and installed on a Clear Linux OS system with the right tools, but that is not the intended use case.
The Clear Linux OS team wants software installation and updates to be as efficient and error free as possible. Clear Linux OS packages software differently and uses a novel updater to solve some of the classic problems with how the software packages are on Linux.
For a more detailed explanation, see this discussion on our community forum.
Software that is packaged in other formats for other Linux distributions is not guaranteed to work on Clear Linux OS and may be impacted by Clear Linux OS updates.
If the software you’re seeking is open source, please submit a request to add it to Clear Linux OS. Submit requests on GitHub* here: https://github.com/clearlinux/distribution/issues
The Google Chrome web browser is not distributed as a bundle in Clear Linux OS due to copyright and licensing complexities.
A discussion on manually installing and maintaining Google Chrome can be found on GitHub.
The Clear Linux OS team is working on a natively packaged version of Visual Studio Code for future release.
FFmpeg is a multimedia software suite, which is commonly used for various media encoding/decoding, streaming, and playback.
Clear Linux OS does not distribute FFmpeg due to well-known licensing and legal complexities (See https://www.ffmpeg.org/legal.html and http://blog.pkh.me/p/13-the-ffmpeg-libav-situation.html).
ZFS is not available with Clear Linux OS because of copyright and licensing complexities. BTRFS is an alternative filesystem that is available in Clear Linux OS natively.
A user on GitHub notes that the ZFS kernel module can be compiled, built, and installed manually.
If a kernel module is available as part of the Linux kernel source tree but not enabled in the Clear Linux OS kernels, in many cases the Clear Linux OS team will enable it upon request. Submit requests on GitHub here: https://github.com/clearlinux/distribution/issues
The Clear Linux OS team does not typically add out-of-tree kernel modules as a matter of practice because of the maintenance overhead. If the driver was unable to be merged upstream, there is a good chance we may be unable to merge it for similar reasons.
Kernel modules can be individually built and installed on Clear Linux OS. See the kernel modules page for more information.