man 42

HitchHiker Linux is a very Unix-like distribution of Linux with a focus on simplicity, elegance and providing a solid base that the end user can turn into whatever they see fit.

Core Principles:

  • The default installation should include the bare minimum required software to provide a solid base.
  • In itself, complexity is not bad. However, it must be justified, with a strong preference given to more robust and secure code over having every possible feature.
  • End users should not be discouraged from tinkering with their system.
  • The distribution should make as few assumptions as possible regarding end use.
  • While newer releases of software often eliminate bugs and vulnerabilities, newer software packages are not by default more secure than stable, mature packages (newer is not always better).
  • Any changes to the core system functionality, especially those which change expected functionality, must be well justified and well vetted before deployment.
  • The base installation should include everything required to rebuild itself from source.
  • The distribution should make as few changes to the upstream software as possible, delivering it as intended by the original author.
  • Patching of sources should only be done to fix bugs or vulnerabilities.
  • Power users and developers are users too, and the system should stay out of their way.

HHL was born of a desire to harness the greater hardware support of Linux while paying respect to the Unix systems from which Linux was born. The author was a long time user of FreeBSD who migrated to Arch for several years, but has become increasingly frustrated with Systemd, Gnome, RedHat and Ubuntu dominance. It is believed that there is a need for a distribution that does not pander to ease of use for casual users at the expense of putting up roadblocks for experienced Unix veterans.


HHL compiles for the following processor architectures:

  • x86
  • x86_64
  • armv7l
  • aarch64
  • riscv64

Of the above, HHL is known to boot and run well on x86_64 and aarch64. Running on other architectures will require more manual work on the part of the user in order to set up their boot loader.