Hey there Redcore Linux lovers!

It's been a long time since I last wrote in here. You may ask yourself if the project is still alive. The short answer to that question is...YES! The long answer however, keep reading the lines bellow !...

Due to some changes in my personal and professional life, right after the last ISO release, I've been less active than I would like to be. I had thoughts of abandoning the project, but I realised I can't. I invested lots of time in it, years to be more accurate, I invested money to have a proper infrastructure in place, and I know there are many users who would be sad if I shut down the project. I decided to go offline for a while, to recharge, and I did just that. For a while, distro maintenance was done without human intervention, but by scripts I put in place to do resyncs, package builds, pushes to repo etc. Apparently this wasn't my best decision, as the quality seems to have declined, at least according to some reviews and comments I read online. Unfortunately, even after a little over two years since I created Redcore Linux, I'm still the only developer, so the above decision was the only one I could've take. Luckily though, things are back to normal so for about a month now I've been doing lots of coding to implement the new features I had in mind.

The biggest changes are in our inhouse developed tools : vasile and sisyphus.

As you already know, vasile was used to manage the system (binary, hybrid, source) modes for Redcore Linux (for more detailes, read here) . And although this strict design and separation worked well, it seems it has hindered some potential users. I've been asked by many advanced Gentoo Linux users to just nuke the strictness, and to rethink the design to be more flexible. After lots of thinking I did just that. So, as of version 2.1812, vasile lost it's abbility to manage system modes, and they're effectively deprecated. However, it gained the ability to configure/reconfigure portage in a way sisyphus can use it's new hybrid options (details bellow).

While vasile lost some features, sisyphus our portage wrapper package manager gained many new features. The biggest one being it's new ability to manage both binary and source (ebuild) packages. So, as of version 2.1812, sisyphus gained hybrid options.

Usage : sisyphus command [package(s)] || [file(s)]

Sisyphus is a simple python wrapper around portage, gentoolkit, and portage-utils which provides an apt-get/yum-alike interface to these commands, to assist newcomer people transitioning from Debian/RedHat-based systems to Gentoo.

Commands :


  • Install binary packages


  • Install binary and/or ebuild (source) packages


  • Uninstall packages SAFELY by checking for reverse dependencies
  • If reverse dependencies exist, the package(s) will NOT be uninstalled to prevent the possible breakage of the system
  • If you really want to uninstall the package, make sure you uninstall all reverse dependencies as well
  • This will not allways be possible, as the reverse dependency chain may be way to long and require you to uninstall critical system packages


  • Uninstall packages UNSAFELY by ignoring reverse dependencies
  • This may break your system if you uninstall critical system packages
  • It will try the best it can to preserve the libraries required by other packages to prevent such a breakage
  • Upgrading the system may pull the packages back in, to fix the reverse dependency chain


  • Uninstall packages that are no longer needed
  • When you uninstall a package without it's reverse dependencies, those dependencies will become orphans if nothing else requires them
  • In addition, a package may no longer depend on another one, so that other package becomes orphan as well if nothing else requires it
  • Use this option to check the whole dependency chain for such packages, and uninstall them


  • Update the Portage tree, Overlay(s), Portage config files && Sisyphus's package database


  • Upgrade the system using binary packages


  • Upgrade the system using binary and/or ebuild (source) packages


  • Search for packages


  • Sync Sisyphus's package database with Portage's package database
  • When you install something with Portage directly (emerge), Sisyphus is not aware of that package, and it doesn't track it in it's database
  • Use this option to synchronize Sisyphus's package database with Portage's package database


  • Resurrect Sisyphus's package database if lost or corrupted
  • If for some reason Sisyphus's package database is lost or corrupted, it can be resurrected using Portage's package database
  • If Portage's package database is corrupted (in this case you're screwed anyway :D), only a partial resurrection will be possible
  • If Portage's package database is intact, full resurrection will be possible

--mirror --list

  • List available binary package repository mirrors (the active one is marked with *)

--mirror --set INDEX

  • Switch the binary package repository to the selected mirror


  • Display information about installed core packages and portage configuration


  • Display this help information

The above help menu is pretty self explanatory, so I won't go into further details. The new hybrid options will allow users to install anything Gentoo Linux has to offer, without the need to change the system modes using vasile as it was the case with our old design.

Examples :

sisyphus --install firefox

These are the binary packages that would be merged, in order:


Total: 1 binary package(s)

Would you like to proceed? [y/N]

Binary package found in repository, so it will be used.

sisyphus --install xfce4-meta

No binary package found; Source package found; Use sisyphus --hybrid-install; Quitting.

No binary package found, however there is an ebuild available, let's try again.

sisyphus --hybrid-install xfce4-meta

These are the binary packages that would be merged, in order:

['dev-perl/glib-perl-1.326.0', 'dev-perl/ExtUtils-PkgConfig-1.160.0', 'dev-perl/ExtUtils-Depends-0.405.0', 'x11-libs/libXres-1.2.0-r1', 'x11-drivers/xf86-input-libinput-0.28.1']

Total: 5 binary package(s)

These are the source packages that would be merged, in order:

['sys-power/pm-quirks-20100619-r1', 'xfce-base/libxfce4util-4.13.2', 'x11-libs/libwnck-2.31.0', 'x11-themes/gtk-engines-xfce-3.2.0-r201', 'app-laptop/radeontool-1.6.3', 'x11-libs/libxklavier-5.4', 'xfce-base/xfconf-4.12.1-r1', 'sys-power/pm-utils-1.4.1-r7', 'xfce-base/libxfce4ui-4.13.4', 'xfce-base/exo-0.12.3', 'xfce-base/garcon-0.6.1', 'xfce-base/xfce4-session-4.12.1-r2', 'xfce-base/xfce4-panel-4.12.2', 'xfce-base/xfce4-appfinder-4.12.0-r2', 'xfce-base/xfce4-settings-4.12.4', 'xfce-base/xfwm4-4.12.5', 'xfce-base/thunar-1.6.14', 'xfce-base/xfdesktop-4.12.4', 'xfce-base/xfce4-meta-4.12-r1']

Total: 19 source package(s)

Would you like to proceed? [y/N]

There are some binaries available which can be used to satisfy the dependencies, and as such, speed up the installation.

sisyphus --hybrid-install pidgin

These are the source packages that would be merged, in order:

['dev-lang/vala-0.36.13', 'net-libs/gssdp-1.0.2', 'net-libs/gupnp-1.0.2', 'net-libs/gupnp-igd-0.2.5', 'net-libs/libnice-0.1.13', 'media-plugins/gst-plugins-libnice-0.1.13-r100', 'net-libs/farstream-0.2.8-r1', 'net-im/pidgin-2.13.0']

Total: 8 source package(s)

Would you like to proceed? [y/N]

There are no binaries at all available, everything will be built from source.

Instructions :

Unfortunately, the new design require that the new versions of vasile and sisyphus to be installed before anything else. A simple system upgrade is not enough, and manual intervention is required.

All done, enjoy!

NOTE : the above instructions are valid for every Redcore Linux install you may have, no matter how old it is, even for fresh installs. You must follow them before performing any other package install or system upgrade. Failing to do so will likely break your system since the new design is NOT backward compatible. You have been warned !!!