A pleasant userland when you're stuck on an old box
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Bubble creates a friendly userland for you to live in when forced to use an older *nix box, such as older versions of RHEL.

$ cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Tikanga)

$ zsh --version
zsh 5.0.0 (x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu)

$ vim --version
VIM - Vi IMproved 7.3 (2010 Aug 15, compiled Nov 20 2012 23:09:46)
Compiled by Bubble
Huge version without GUI.


Bubble should install on most *nix machines that have a working build toolchain and wget(1). In particular, it is known to install on RHEL 5.8, and Mac OS X 10.7 (with external wget installed).

Clone this repository or extract a tarball in your home directory. This example will assume you call the folder that contains this readme "bubble", but you can use any name you like.

Once the directory is present:

$ cd ~/bubble && make all

This will download, compile, and install the utilities that Bubble provides, and their dependencies.

To make tools provided by Bubble available, you'll need to add its bin folder to your $PATH.


Add the following to your .zshenv file, or create it if it does not exist:

[ -d "$HOME/bubble/bin" ] && export PATH="$HOME/bubble/bin:$PATH"


Add the following to your .bashrc file:

[ -d "$HOME/bubble/bin" ] && export PATH="$HOME/bubble/bin:$PATH"

What's in the box?

  • GNU coreutils 8.20
  • Vim 7.3
  • zsh 5.0.0
  • Git 1.8.0
  • GNU tar 1.26 (with bz2, gz, and xz support)