Target Audience

My first computer was a Tandy TRS-80 handed down from an uncle. The interface consisted of a blinking cursor on a monochrome screen, and it had no storage beyond RAM and ROM. Whatever you could type into memory before shutting it off and run with the included Basic interpretor was the extent of the software that ran on that computer. As limited as it was, it was fascinating to me.

In this day and age an interface consisting of a blinking cursor without wallaper, icons, notifications and voice input is bewildering to the average human. Nevertheless, that is the interface that a fresh installation of HItchHiker will always present to the user. Therefore, it can be reasoned that the target audience will consist of individuals who either are comfortable with using a command line interface or are eager to learn. Some proficiency using Linux or Unix is helpful, but not 100% necessary given an ability and willingness to read the documentation and get used to being "close to the machine".

Indeed, HitchHiker will not do any kind of hand holding while you are installing and using your new system. You will be expected to learn the hows and whys of what makes a computer work. Most operating systems, including the majority of Linux distributions, will gladly install, configure, and run 100s of programs without your ever being aware that they are doing it. By the time you have achived proficiency with HitchHiker, you will know what every running process is for and why it is needed.

One major benefit of HitchHiker over other Linux systems is that the base installation contains a complete C/C++ development environment out of the box. The default packager, pkgsrc, delivers third party software as if you compiled it yourself from the source package. That is, it includes all documentation, shared and static libraries and development headers that come with the source distribution. Developers may find that HItchHiker is a great distribution in that it will stay out of their way.

Another benefit of HitchHiker is that it is small in comparison to other Linux distributions. It is much easier to build up a small system for an embedded device or a small Arm home server and fit the entire thing into a limited amount of storage.