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Topic: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux! (Read 527 times) previous topic - next topic
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I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

    So my first experience with GNU/Linux was back in 1997. It was RHL 4.9 "Mustang", replaced almost immediately with 5.0 "Hurricane"  that was the stable release. I got the idea from hanging with some guys on EFnet.

    Well, I replaced that shit, and it
was pretty shitty at the time for home usage, with Slackware!
I probably used it 3.x-4.0 ... Sources... I liked it. But I was not big C/C++ a programmer and got messy with the builds. It didn't work for me. Then FreeBSD became a favorite for some time, I dual booted it with NT 4.x and Win2000 for quite some time, had very nice uptimes, maybe over a year with bitchx open.

Fast forwarding... I work for 12 years in the internet industry, quite a lot of infrastructure work, but the main work is backend system development, APIs, data analytics, programming.

I tried many distros during this years, both for home and work.
Arch, Fedora, Mint, Gentoo, Debian at home/work computer.
CentOS, RHEL, Ubuntu, Arch for production servers.

For home, I like Gentoo very much, but compile times on updates and installs killing me and my system, so I switched back to Arch where I can "enjoy" both worlds, and still keep an updated system for development.

And this is the time to say something about systemd, RedHat were the ones who pushed this into the industry. Btw, no one except RedHat based had to replace the init with systemd, still many distros switched.
I'll tell something, from the prospective of IT/devops systemd on production servers is a blessing in many ways, I'm glad my production instances have systemd, it just makes my life easy, and the life of cloud providers as well.

But here's the important point, it was never made for home usage, and actually, I don't remember anyone wanting this, still, for some reason projects like Debian also made a switch? Why? ahh.. Ubuntu - a shitstorm of packages - and someone dares to release as "server" version.

One leader makes a horrible mistake, everyone to follow, and Arch btw made the switch pretty fast as well- before them.
I'm not sure that was a bad decision for Arch... but I don't see anyone running an Arch production instance on the Cloud... so... yeah.

So today I run Arch at home, and Arch at work when it's possible, and CentOS on the production servers.
But here's what I wish I had in the Linux world when it comes both for desktop, servers, and gaming:

  • Arch like disto, with or without systemd, but one that would be easy to maintain on the cloud - tools.
    A mistake in a configuration of a production instance can cost millions.
  • Security on top - but no SELINUX!
  • Good support for everything related to gaming and GPU, I fact, I develop a lot of AI/ANN stuff with the GPU and the availability of latest graphics libraries that I need is something ONLY Arch (and Gentoo) provides right now
  • Unlike Arch, a combined package manages that supports both binary and source packages, multiple ABIs, and multiple major (or even minor) versions (python2/python3, php54/php72)
  • An easy install process that anyone can just run default without too much hassle, it's a big issue for Arch - it's hard to convince someone to install

I probably have few more points, but would very much like to hear what you guys think about this. were my points valid? I think one of the most important things for developers like me, is to have the same system for local and production, it just saves a lot of time. unfortunately this is not an option today, because stuff I explained. If this is something you all also share, I really would like to contribute the effort for making a new GNU/Linux distro.


Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #2
Well, I also agree "An init system must be an init system".
And I'm a strong believer in Unix Philosophy as well.

While systemd is not only an init system anymore (for a quite long time by now), it does supply a set of programs that all work in a similar manner, makes it much easier to automate and maintain production systems, and well maybe this is the point I missed - it's made for the enterprise, the answers a lot of enterprise needs and restrictions. something that can be overwhelming for such when you're just a desktop user. The enterprise needs that centralization of systemd!

And putting all that aside, I'm also not claiming there are no other init systems that can do the same, OpenRC is good, I used it a lot on Gentoo ("forced" switch to systemd again at some point). However, my main point would be: when a big company decides to deploy 200 servers instances for its operations in a few hours, it's highly likely they would choose an RH (systemd) based OS, because this what cloud providers offer, they offer this kind of system images because it's easy for them to configure it for their virtualization infrastructure and the system init procedures.

And again, you *can* do same with OpenRC, ... but OpenRC has no RedHat to make it a valid option for a wider audience.

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #3
I am willing to bet when an enterprise is hiring maintenance people for a complex system that RedHat has installed for them it is a lot cheaper and easier to find qualified systemd operators.
To find people that will set an enterprise up using sysvinit maybe harder and costlier.  Eventually if you are a kid aspiring to work in IT in a large outfit all this ubuntu mint debian arch manjaro experience pays off.

At some point of evolution I suspect there will be a split between "corporate linux" and "anti-corporate linux".  We must go beyond systemd/anti-systemd and dump a whole bunch of other things off, like Oracle-VBox, and chromium, etc..

My experience is scattered, 10yrs spread over 30yr span, from unix, ultrix, solaris, ... while I spent too much time away from any desk and only checked on email and the net late at night.


Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #4
Boy, we sure are lucky that systemd came along to save linux as a server os. :o


Best regards.
We should try to be kind to everyone.....we are all fighting some sort of battle.

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #5
In short:
Behind systemd is big company which can push its ideas to others and can also provide support for their products.
Happy falling

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #6
I don't remember the exact quote but Lennart describes systemd as something like a "suite of core building blocks for an OS." Yeah no thanks, I just want an init and shell.

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #7
I have just under 20 years mostly Arch linux as my daily driver still use it now. but wish I could go back to the old Arch BSD simple scripts,
Artix has made great strides with openrc, runit, S6 so much choice from the devs I now run mate on Artix works well all this in 1 year and it nice to see serious users here unlike Manjaro openrc was the move to Artix was well timed and justified.
Artix will grow by word and mouth and become a real alternative for users of Arch that prefer non systemd  its not a Arch spin but a Distribution in its own right based on Arch 

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #8
Is it true that debian only switched to systemd because of Gnome3?

I believe that Red Hat develops a lot for Gnome3 and has developed it to work with systemd.  Debian on the other hand thought it was too much trouble to re-compile Gnome3 to work without systemd so they decided to make things easier for themselves and adopted systemd.

Is that true?

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #9
Gnome, freedesktop, pulseaudio, systemd, .....  are all part of one big thing, they are not independent to each other.  Like strains of the same virus.  RH is feeding all of them driven by their own unique interests.  Debian chose to be part of the party that RH is driving.  Just think that the travel budget for Debian developers to attend shows and conferences is in 6digit dollar figures.  Independently they can work as consultants to RH jobs.  Whether all this influences their voting motives for the direction they take, is your guess.  If distrowatch stats mean anything, in the past months and for the first time Debian has lost two spots in popularity and recently it was passed by MX linux, which is like debian without systemd.  So Debian may not be "Debian" for ever.

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #10
Gnome, freedesktop, pulseaudio, systemd, .....  are all part of one big thing, they are not independent to each other.  Like strains of the same virus.  RH is feeding all of them driven by their own unique interests.  Debian chose to be part of the party that RH is driving.  Just think that the travel budget for Debian developers to attend shows and conferences is in 6digit dollar figures.  Independently they can work as consultants to RH jobs.  Whether all this influences their voting motives for the direction they take, is your guess.  If distrowatch stats mean anything, in the past months and for the first time Debian has lost two spots in popularity and recently it was passed by MX linux, which is like debian without systemd.  So Debian may not be "Debian" for ever.
Actually MX Linux does have systemd but is not active.  Still uses SysVinit, and systemd is only there for compatibility reasons.

Re: I wish to share 20 years of thought about Linux!

Reply #11
Is it true that debian only switched to systemd because of Gnome3?

I believe that Red Hat develops a lot for Gnome3 and has developed it to work with systemd.  Debian on the other hand thought it was too much trouble to re-compile Gnome3 to work without systemd so they decided to make things easier for themselves and adopted systemd.

Is that true?

There was a big argument and a democratic vote, the outcome of which was still contested, and it resulted in Devuan starting.
This post has some kind of overview, there was a lot said on the forums around this time:
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=120652
My personal opinion is that Debian is as much based on the Debian based distros as they are based on Debian nowadays, as they are all using experimental / testing packages and so driving a lot of development. After almost all of the Debian based distros switched to systemd then Debian followed along when those era packages made it back to Debian Stable. Debian was really buggy and pretty awful in many repects when systemd was introduced too, the distro had become a battlefield and was damaged in the fighting, so it wasn't really very good to use with either systemd or sysvinit.