Linux that kills itself and can kill You

re:buntu is an illustration of a system making decisions by itself, committing to self-maintenance and self-destruction. The system is continuously reloading a copy of itself within itself until the memory runs out. When no free memory is left the system needs to decide which one of the copies of itself it shall kill in order to reproduce itself again, again and again...

re:buntu is an OS intervention.

The kernel picks out a program process with the lowest "pid" and highest "oom_score" run by "non-root" user and terminates it to free up some memory to run new, more demanding program.

It did not take long and suddenly Linux (yes, the kernel) is everywhere around us. On our daily routes when we listen to the GPS navigation system, in our telephone conversations, in our precious on-line half-lifes. It controls motors of big machines and renders augmented realities. Many of us use Linux kernel at home - the degree of some ultimate intimacy.

But are we actually in charge of the situation, in control of the way Linux kernel manipulates our data and deals with the programs we run? It would seems logical that the User must have the ultimate control over the system she interacts with, - remember the movie Tron?

- "He's not any kind of program, Sark. He's a User!"
Yes, the User is the intelligence and thus shall be placed above any software, even above the Linux kernel.

However, the situation is not in our favor. For some numerous reasons the developers of Linux kernel decided to have something called "OOM-Killer" lurking around computer memory and deciding on its own when to crash User programs - all in order to keep System routines running. Simply put, when you open something huge on your computer and that something huge suddenly crashes - it is very likely that Linux kernel decided that you shouldn't open such huge files. Okay, not a big deal, can reboot and try again, but what about all those unmanned machines and devices working under the control of the very similar Linux kernel? It seems like we are getting closer and closer to the moment of happy singularity when our tools will not ask us anymore questions and will shut-off any root access...

Check out the screencast video!

re:buntu is a work in progress, but already now you can download an ISO of the system.

rebuntu-latest.iso (241mb) md5 hash
re:buntu is made to run as a LIVE system, i.e. from a USB-stick or CD. The latter is not very advisable because it can screw up your CD drive - the system is intensively loading itself in a dead-loop sequence. Virtualisation (VirtualBox, VMware, KVM ans so) is not going to work due to some current limitations of the technology.

Soon there will be more instructions on how to deal with the ISO file. For now - use the original UBUNTU instructions.

Do this with Ubuntu USB Creator:
  1. choose "Rebuntu" ISO file
  2. choose your USB drive [USB Stick/Pen-Drive/Card-Reader/Flash-Adapter]
  3. choose to discard any changes (non persistent install)
  4. click "Make"
  5. reboot your computer from the USB drive you just created

re:buntu gallery version:

"Rebuntu" is a hacked version of Linux operating system that loads a copy of itself, one after another, until no memory is left. after that the system has to erase (kill) its own copies in order to be able to continue what it was programmed for. This, rather ironic, tone of the work is meant to set an accent on the fact that machines are incapable of 'rational' or 'human-like' thinking and thus shall not be relied on.

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Rebuntu, 2009 by Danja Vasiliev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
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