Building on Linux

helloSystem is designed for use with helloSystem, which is based on FreeBSD.

However, developers may want to verify that the code is reasonably platform independent by building on Linux from time to time.


That the code build does not necessarily mean that it works properly on Linux or that all features are implemented for Linux.

Building in a chroot on a FreeBSD host

To verify that the code builds on Linux without needing a different development machine, one can use an Alpine Linux chroot in FreeBSD.

Beginning with build 0H165, helloSystem ships with an alpine rc.d script. When started for the first time, this downloads a minimal root filesystem.

$ sudo service linux stop
$ sudo service debian stop
$ sudo service alpine onestart
$ sudo chroot /compat/alpine /bin/sh

In the chroot, build the essential helloSystem components

// launch, open, and other essential command line tools that are required
$ git clone
$ mkdir -p launch/build
$ cd launch/build
$ grep ^apk ../ | sh
$ cmake ..
$ sudo make -j $(nproc) install
$ cd ../../

// Menu
$ git clone
$ mkdir -p Menu/build
$ cd Menu/build
$ grep ^apk ../ | sh
$ cmake ..
$ sudo make -j $(nproc) install
$ cd ../../

// Filer
$ git clone
$ mkdir -p Filer/build
$ cd Filer/build
$ grep ^apk ../ | sh
$ cmake ..
$ sudo make -j $(nproc) install
$ cd ../../

After you are done,

$ sudo service alpine onestop


If the compiler crashes, make sure that /usr/bin/clang++ is being used rather than /usr/bin/c++. This can be edited in CMakeCache.txt.

Running helloDesktop on Linux

Run Alpine Linux, e.g., in VirtualBox on helloSystem, or on real hardware.

  • Download ISO from, “Standard”

  • User root, no password is the default

  • Install to to a hard disk using the setup-alpine command, need to use a classic (“sys mode”) installation

  • Enable community repo by sed -i -e 's|^#||g' /etc/apk/repositories

  • Install KDE Plasma using setup-desktop; set up a user

  • rc-update add sddm and rc-service sddm start

  • Log into a KDE Plasma session on Alpine Linux.


    Select X11 session. Wayland doesn’t work smoothly

  • Optionally, install VirtualBox related guest packages using apk search and apk add

  • sudo su to become root (there is no sudo configured on Alpine Linux by default)

  • Build and make install the three core components of helloDesktop (launch, Menu, and Filer) as above

  • From within the running KDE Plasma session, you can switch to the minimal helloDesktop with


launch Menu &
sleep 1
launch Filer &
killall plasmashell

Menu shoud work including full text search in the filesystem.

The result will look somewhat like this:



That the code runs does not necessarily mean that it works properly on Linux or that all features are implemented for Linux. Please keep in mind that for the best desktop experience, you should be using helloSystem which helloDesktop has been designed for.

Building and running helloDesktop on Raspberry Pi

Loosely follow (not all commands seem to be working exactly as written anymore), but also create “Linux Swap” partition. Alternatively, in the running Alpine Linux system

# fallocate -l 8G /swapfile
# mkswap /swapfile
# swapon /swapfile

to have enough RAM or else the compilation will be killed (at least on the 1GB and less RAM models).