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Good-bye Debian

Posted 08-13-2014 at 04:46 AM by Randicus Draco Albus

I have been a great fan of Debian for the last few years.
1) The commitment to producing a quality system with rock-solid stability.
2) Commitment to the cause of free software.
The result was a reliable system that I was proud to use, knowing I was doing my very small part in contributing to the cause of free software.

Those days are unfortunately past.
By rushing to adopt systemd while it is still in development, the developers abandoned the Debian policy of only including well-tested software in the system. And for the purpose of adopting something that is counter to the *NIX philosophy of simplicity and modularity.

With the ranks of Debian's developers being infiltrated by Canonical employees, the last few years have seen the Buntising of Debian. Synaptic added to a default installation; Debian fora inundated with sudo this, sudo that; etc. Of course I have been accused of being conspiracy-minded, but I see it as Shuttleworth's desire to take over Debian. And a merger is now within the realm of possibility. Debian developers (many of whom are also Canonical employees) are now discussing the feasibility of letting Ubuntu maintain the kernel! Are we honestly expected to believe that a project as large as Debian has insufficient resources to maintain the distribution's version of the kernel? If that is true, it would be indicative of a serious problem.

With Debian's developers making questionable decisions, some that even go against the distribution's philosophy, I find myself no longer able to recommend the system to anyone. Debian's new course of development resulted in me switching to Slackware. It is lamentable to see a once great distribution embark on a journey of self-destruction.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Well, you're not the only one who has been considering leaving. I have been too, for either Slackware, LFS, or even another journey into the BSD universe... it's been years since I've touched a BSD.

    Now I'm one of those who doesn't care what init system Debian goes with as long as it worked... unfortunately systemd doesn't just work. I have enough messing around with my system to do without worrying if the init system's gonna mess things up.
    Posted 08-13-2014 at 08:04 PM by goumba goumba is offline
  2. Old Comment
    This showed up in the syndicated news forum this morning:
    https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/8/12/459

    He seems pretty upset too.
    Posted 08-14-2014 at 06:50 AM by GazL GazL is offline
  3. Old Comment
    That letter showed up yesterday in a an on-going discussion on the smaller Debian forum. Quite a few long-time Debian users are worried about the distribution's future.
    Posted 08-14-2014 at 06:02 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
    Updated 08-15-2014 at 06:55 AM by Randicus Draco Albus
  4. Old Comment
    Aren't most Linux distros jumping on the systemd bandwagon, or worse, if they haven't yet, aren't they going to *have to*?
    Posted 08-16-2014 at 03:03 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Yes, Red Hat has done a wonderful job of promoting their shit. Apparently it is quite easy to brainwash people into believing it is up to non-believers to prove that the new thing is not sufficiently better than the old to warrant it replacing the old thing. I always thought the onus was on the believers to prove the new thing is so much better than the old that it should be adopted, but I am old-fashioned.

    Unfortunately, the day may come when there will be no alternative. Of course, the destruction of Linux was inevitable. As Linux gained a little popularity, corporate interests got involved, made changes to "polish" the system and attract Windows users with a free (no money, who gives a shit about free software) so they could could make more money. Systemd is simply a symptom of the problem. The future of Linux is bleak. Soon Linux will consist of three locked-down corporate systems competing with Windows and Apple.
    Posted 08-16-2014 at 05:47 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Slackware should be a good safe haven for refugees fleeing from systemd. It would have to be an absolutely no-choice, inevitable situation for it to get adopted by Slackware. Alien Bob comments on that open letter in his blog, Alien Pastures:
    http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/
    Posted 08-17-2014 at 11:48 AM by brianL brianL is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Hopefully systems like Slackware, Gentoo and Crux can stay away from it, but once systemd becomes entrenched to the point that applications are dependent on it, avoiding it may not be possible. Gnome for example. No systemd, no Gnome. If distros continue offering Gnome, they must use systemd. Other software must then also be systemd-compatible. I do not like following this line of reason to its ultimate conclusion.
    Posted 08-17-2014 at 05:11 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Meh, I'll keep running Puppy Linux on a partition for grins.
    Posted 08-18-2014 at 09:48 AM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Gnome itself will eventually become it's own thing, either a linux distribution itself, or perhaps even an entire different OS.

    I'm not that happy with systemd, but, as a non-developer, not highly technical user, I'm not entirely against it either (I've found quite cool the embedded featurettes to "benchmark" the boot process. I never had the time to make the equivalents work with sysv, but with systemd it "just worked"). But indeed it used to be that I'd not have this sort of issue I'm having sometimes (PC only halts instead of shutting down, despite of the correct command), even in the "testing" line of Debian. I must concede though that it's not exactly shocking since sysvinit was quite well-developed already and one wouldn't expect such problems, even in Debian testing, unless they were implementing many independent "hacks" on sysv. Possibly these things happened in the early days of sysv too.

    Hopefully it eventually gets good enough. And Debian manages to save itself from the worst aspects of Ubuntu, actually influencing it positively instead. Or something somewhat closer this ideal scenario than the worst case scenario.
    Posted 08-18-2014 at 02:03 PM by the dsc the dsc is offline
    Updated 08-18-2014 at 02:05 PM by the dsc
  10. Old Comment
    No matter how much systemd is polished it will still be a turd. A turd that controls the system by combining several processes. I have no interest in it.
    Posted 08-18-2014 at 05:57 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Posted 08-18-2014 at 07:14 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Wishful thinking. With Debian going systemd, all of its derivatives will have no choice but to follow suit. A big distro like Buntu does not have the resources to go their own way, so how could smaller ones do it?
    Posted 08-19-2014 at 07:02 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  13. Old Comment
    At some point, Linux (and any sufficiently advanced open source project) will have to implement some form of systemd-like capabilities. Unless, of course, Linux is forked.

    I sincerely doubt that the Linux community could, in a manner of speaking, survive the shock of a split like that. I suspect that many will end up in the FreeBSD camp, many will wander back to Windows or Mac, and a few perhaps to other OS's. The majority will have no choice but to suffer "vendor lock-in" and go with systemd.

    Time will tell, but at this point I don't see how anyone could be hopeful.
    Posted 08-19-2014 at 08:37 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rocket357 View Comment
    At some point, Linux (and any sufficiently advanced open source project) will have to implement some form of systemd-like capabilities.
    Why? Why is it necessary to replace something that has worked perfectly well for thirty years. What am I missing?

    Once the modular design is replaced with an integrated design that limits the choice offered by a modular design, the system will cease to be Linux.

    Quote:
    The majority will have no choice but to suffer "vendor lock-in" and go with systemd.
    Those using Buntu, Mint, et al who know nothing about their systems, Linux/UNIX and free software will continue on blissfully ignorant. BSD will definitely gain from the systemd (and future developments) fiasco, but I predict a new operating system using free software will be created to replace what was one Linux. Of course, that is a few years away.
    Posted 08-20-2014 at 01:52 AM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  15. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Comment
    Why is it necessary to replace something that has worked perfectly well for thirty years. What am I missing?
    You really don't need to look any further than a few of the personalities in the game to know this has turned into a religious crusade. As with any oligarchy (magocracy? theocracy?) you have a few decision makers who know best, and their will trumps all reason. That aside, I don't pretend to have an answer to this question. I don't know why the powers that be determined, against all common sense, community feedback, and developer backlash, that systemd is a grand idea. I do not know what they are smoking.

    It must truly suck to be the warden of such knowledge. To know, better than the people themselves, what is best for the masses...what a burden. </sarcasm>

    edit - and to clarify my stance on the BSD portion, corporate and legal interests with BSD caused Linus to write Linux as a clone, completely from scratch, rather than "waste effort" on an OS whose future was uncertain during the AT&T lawsuit. Too bad he couldn't avoid corporate and legal influence indefinitely...but I do suspect that FreeBSD will gain a large number of skilled users who will influence FreeBSD's future, and those who remain in the Linux camp will be doomed to the magocracy/theocracy they are powerless to rebel against.

    Or perhaps another Linus will come along and surprise the world with a new kernel project, with all of the beauty and freedom that Linux once promised. Or perhaps Hurd will cease to be an academic project and RMS will finally be vindicated with his GNU OS concept. Or perhaps even the battle against monolithic kernels will boil over and Minix will take it's rightful place in the minds of the people as the technically superior gem it is. Or maybe Solaris/BeOS/VMS/ReactOS/MyOS/YourOS will reign supreme after ripping open the void. I don't know, but I'll be watching from the (relative) safety of the OpenBSD camp (and the "Theocracy" that Theo provides =).
    Posted 08-20-2014 at 10:42 AM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
    Updated 08-20-2014 at 10:54 AM by rocket357
  16. Old Comment
    Damn, above comment makes me want to have a alternate universe look see type of machine where I could see all the neato coolio scenarios all play out.

    One of my genie wishes was to be able to travel through time as a tourista and just look see
    at what other people only theorize about.

    I have a feeling application dependency libs and systemd will be tied together like siamese
    twins. So no matter how much you wanna leave.

    "They just keep pulling you back in"
    Posted 08-20-2014 at 01:46 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
  17. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rocket357 View Comment
    Or perhaps another Linus will come along and surprise the world with a new kernel project, with all of the beauty and freedom that Linux once promised.
    I would love to create a new OS. Just one small problem. Complete, utter and hopeless lack of knowledge.
    Posted 08-20-2014 at 06:43 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  18. Old Comment
    As much as I do like Gnome Shell, perhaps this will serve as a kick in the rear to the developers of XFCE and other DEs that don't rely on systemd to get going on improvements.

    The BSDs will need a DE for their systems, unless they themselves implement a systemd-ish functionality. The XFCE devs should jump on this. It will help both XFCE, and the BSDs.

    Unfortunately OpenBSD is looking for devs to do something to get that systemd functionality. http://www.openbsdfoundation.org/gsoc2014.html#systemd
    Posted 08-23-2014 at 07:20 AM by goumba goumba is offline
  19. Old Comment
    Apparently, PCBSD are writing their own desktop:
    http://blog.pcbsd.org/2014/04/quick-lumina-desktop-faq/
    Quote:
    Why create a new desktop environment? Whats wrong with KDE/GNOME/XFCE/<other>?
    Answer: There are many reasons for needing a new desktop environment instead of using the existing ones, mainly because all the major existing DE’s are developed on/for Linux, not BSD. This causes all sorts of problems on BSD, and I am going to try and list a few of the big ones here:
    Posted 08-23-2014 at 07:48 AM by GazL GazL is offline
  20. Old Comment
    I saw that about Lumina a whiole back. Cool stuff.

    However now we're going to have even more fragmentation in FOSS... can this ever be a good thing?
    Posted 08-23-2014 at 12:09 PM by goumba goumba is offline
 

  



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