Porteus "Nemesis" a Manjaro OpenRC based aufs distribution


Hallo everyone, especially because of the clear “start up” nature of the new forum, I would like to inform the community about a Manjaro openRC based project called “Nemesis”. It has been started as an alternative to the classic Slackware “Porteus Linux” distribution.
I am sure some of you already know its existence. I can assure you this is an interesting project with much of possible uses. The latest version is 3.5, and although in a testing phase, it seems pretty stable. It is fully updatable through manjaro repositories, pacman is there, and a special wrapper “pman” creates aufs union modules, a read only format for package installation persistence.

This is a so called “frugal” installation distribution, this means it is based on aufs union packages and can have full persistence on image file containers (dd command) or on real linux partitions. It can express its magic when installed/copied to flash USB media, SD cards etc. Very easy for a first time trial run, with a tool to create bootable media for MS windows and Linux. I suggest to try the LXDE version, but an openbox only desktop is possible with small modifications.
It can be easily customized the “manjaro way” [except kernel and kernel hardware based drivers…], but it has a pretty straight foreword how to for a kernel compilation, even nvidia drivers installation is possible with instructions on the forum. As far as I can test it, I can use AUR… and it responds to most of manjaro/arch documentation.

As a new project it has its drawbacks, bugs and it is open to ideas, that is why it needs testing support and its future could depend on this.
If you could find a good use of it I encourage you to try it, and decide what you would like to do with it. There is a well written documentation for the classic “Porteus” version, but you could use most of its contents for the Manjaro based “Nemesis” also.

If there is not much of interest it could be abandoned. So you could give it a chance… And who knows, you might like it. It’s OpenRC too…
Good Luck on the new forum.


USB install Live Save Data File
Install Manjaro onto a 16 GB USB Stick
Run Manjaro xfce on USB stick

I am not sure, but I see the only benefit compared to manjaro openrc is that aufs union packages which will allow fastest & clean uninstall.

am I right?
Also i may consider testing it if you provided Mate with mate-menu (like manjaro mate) instead of XFCE.

Thanks for letting us know


The benefit is frugal install with persistence. Manjaro has great lack of documentation when it comes to persistent live usb.

I think this is cool. I’d like to know how to do it myself.

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Yeah, so many people asked for a live persistent Manjaro. Now they can cater form excellent Porteus know-how with its Nemesis spin. Porteus used to be the distro I gave to people who didn’t want to install Linux in their HDD.

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It is good to hear that there is interest :slight_smile:,

if you want I could provide very basic instructions. It is really easy to make it work. Documentation covers many aspects, try not to be confused. I propose to start with basic general Porteus instructions and then continue to the specific Nemesis setup. You can start here:

First time Porteus installation

Porteus FAQ

Porteus Savefile Image container

Nemesis Readme Installation/setup instructions

Nemesis Specific Tutorials

and if you want to go deeper, take a look at bug/issue reports:

Manjaro USB Version
Manjaro JWM Tempura 16.10 released

AFAIK, it borrows the unionFs based packages and so called "modules " to Slax.

Which is good, since we all prefer Arch :wink:


I just wanted to give it a try.

I love the downloader which is an installer http://build.porteus.org/

You can choose the Desktop (and other things) before downloading.


I love the download page as well, but are you sure that you are downloading the Manjaro based version and not the regular Slackware based one (which is, of course, good and actually better tested)?


oops :wink:



A useful guide on how to update pacman and pamac for nemesis 3.5 so be in sync with the current update system:

Pacman / Pamac update & keyring issues for nemesis 3.5

if someone wants to try to update nemesis as a rolling release, sooner or later will face those issues.


Thank you for posting about this Manjaro based Porteus edition, didn’t know it existed.
Used to use AlphaOS a lot for a while (many years back) and liked the approach of it.

Anyway, have one question for you:
The app packages pman creates are these self sufficient?

Explanation what I mean:
In AlphaOS if there is a new version that changed the based date from the Arch Rollback Machine all apps packages needed to be recreated because some used libraries got updated.
Is the same true for Nemesis or are all the needed libraries in the app package?
(Which would make things like snap and flatpack redundant…)
I know Nemesis is not based on the Arch Rollback Machine, but a rolling release; the outcome (libraries out of sync) is the same.


There are some possible issues when you use persistence and modules at the same time. As far as I understand, I have never faced such a “libraries out of sync” issue. Pamac shows every installed package, both installed to persistence or installed through a module (base or user).

If you mean that if you can create full “fat” modules even if the dependencies have been installed either way (base, module, persistence container), I do not think so. But pman creates all missing dependencies as a full module or separate modules. There are anyway missing features I personally would like to see in the future evolution of this tool. Remember this is in alpha stage for the time being, but very stable. You can update anyway individual packages. Try it and see if there is such an issue, I am not sure under what circumstances this can possibly appear.
Maybe if you use an updated module and have it installed in container image without updating it there.

The aufs layering priority is:
savefile image->user-module alphabetically->base-module alphabetically-> but i am not so sure (I am sure savefile is the first)

Right, and this is a bit of a difference.

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This is a cross post, a copy from an other topic. I will try to gather here every related post for reference.

from: USB install Live Save Data File

I will post some clarification notes/experiences as I understand them.

– I had installed and used in the past full Manjaro on a USB / SD
card with pretty much the same behavior as a HDD/SSD install. This is
clear I think.

– Persistence concerns a system with a read only file-system
bootable base. The system boots in a pre-configured initial state and
then, user can create and save persistence state by choosing either a
linux partition or an image container file (dd command) in order to save
all changes that will happen during a session (and every next session).

The read only system could be: An ISO image file, a CD/DVD media, a bunch of files in a layering system (e.g. aufs).
approach has the advantage of deeper user interaction. This, under
careful use, can extend the base system with more read only files that
can be added to the layering file system union, even without read/write
persistence. Those files can contain full program installations with
dependencies, or the changes that can happen during the session. A
normal user could use both models, but changes will be more convenient
to be read/write with the partition or image-container option. A small
minority uses constant read-only files for safety reasons. Those above,
fit to the porteus model and on some similar extend, to puppy linux and
its devariates.

Porteus nemesis is a Manjaro based (experimental? / alpha stage) but
very usable and stable distribution built on above principles.
update model has to be defined for future versions and will be a new
development phase for this (if the project will be continued), but as
manjaro is a rolling release, I could use this one for years with
careful use and frequent backups.
I use this daily, I update only
individual packages by will, and I can create entire system copy forks
of my updates easily. A minimum 4GB SD/USB could fit all (minimum 2-3GB
for persistence if you want a full update).

For the time being I am using an ext4 image container for persistence
on a SD card. I have also tested btrfs with success after a kernel
recompile. This will be the next file system for me (slower but safer).

— So, Porteus-Manjaro hybrid has not to be confused with other Manjaro , internal, non aufs “persistence” experiments.

New users will have to study a bit, this is not the typical linux installation.


It is good to see that people are using us as a base. When I find time I might take a deeper look into this. Might push our OpenRC effort.


A persistant community edition of Manjaro Xfce 64-bit would be great too.

I know how to make Manjaro portable and persistant through bash scripting, as I’ve ported my Manjaro installation to other PC’s and they are persistant.

However I have no knowledge of making a community iso edition.

Having your Manjaro installation on a 256GB USB-stick, being able to load your system anywhere you go on any pc, laptop or x86 based tablet.

I think it would be very popular.


I think it is good enough if Porteuse Nemesis grows, no need for Manjaro to compete with them.


We should focus more on a stable basis to 3rd-party distros have fun using us as their base.


Thanks philm. The Porteus manjaro project relies on this. We appreciate the excellent work the Manjaro team does.


Would it be a good idea to start a thread in the general section about:
Manjaro OpenRC based aufs distribution: troubleshooting the manjaro part

For example, I get:

root /var/cache/pacman # pacman -S manjaro-keyring
error: target not found: manjaro-keyring
root /var/cache/pacman #

Or should we stay on the porteus forum and wait for your intervention or an intervention of someone else?


That would seem the appropriate thing to do, since Manjaro is in no way responsible for anything outside of their confines.

Best regards.

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