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#1 2021-04-02 15:59:05

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Is this the future of Linux

Lately I have been noticing a lot that distributions such as redhat and suse and many others
not only offer packaged applications for their own distro, but also for a variety of other distributions.
Then I happened to see a site for bedrock Linux, which is not, in and of itself, a distribution,
but rather a way to combine distributions, or the elements that you like from a distribution.

I am seeing things I never expected to see even 18 months ago. I was looking at it like,
oh systemd is eating every distro alive what are we going to do, but then I realised the opposite is also
true and that choice is beginning to be made available in very unusual ways.
Look at this, for example, and please dont misunderstand me:
I am not advocating people should use bedrock, but also I am not saying you shouldnt.
I'm just saying it exists. Please also, forgive me if I have this bit wrong because I havent gone very deep into it, at all.

I think bedrock installs itself on top of a distribution (Devuan, for example)
and when you configure it you can add, let's say,
the package manager from VOID Linux to run alongside the package manager from Devuan
and then have wayland instead of Xorg etc etc etc

So my question is:
Is the future of linux going to be about choosing a base distro and adding on top of it features from other
distro's . Is it going to be less about choosing a distro based on an ideology rather than choosing a distro because
the developers and maintainers want you to have much more choice.

You see, the second I saw Devuan offered me a choice of 3 init systems that too was part of what I was seeing
I knew then I would love Devuan

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#2 2021-04-02 17:41:45

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,244  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

You stated in the book thread that your studies killed your "whole enjoyment of reading for pleasure or intellectual stimulation".  Though it doesn't seem to have killed an abundant stream of mental proliferation . . .

Sorry couldn't resist . . .  big_smile

The future will be what it will be when it becomes the present which is actually all there is.  Everything else is mental fiction that we seem to think is reality but isn't.

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#3 2021-04-02 18:29:42

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

Yeah I never was a big fan of Ockham

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#4 2021-04-02 21:52:15

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 88  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

Spock wrote:

I happened to see a site for bedrock Linux, which is not, in and of itself, a distribution

Bedrock is kinda cool, but I'm far too attached to the old-school distro concept to pay too much attention to it... yet. Right now it's still a bit of an experiment IMO.

Spock wrote:

So my question is:
Is the future of linux going to be about choosing a base distro and adding on top of it features from other
distro's .

Perhaps. Personally I suspect that the "future of linux" (at least as far as the big players go) is that systemd + containers + snap/flatpack/appimage/whatever-silly-packaging-system-is-easy-for-proprietary-devs is going to take over. That's what corporate interests are pushing for, and many "open source" orgs are already thoroughly compromised.

Once this happens, a "distro" will just be cosmetic configuration on top of systemd + gnome. Big-tech will have successfully eliminated the independent maintainer, replaced all the critical GPL system infrastructure with LGPL systemd, and undermined Free Software to the point that the remaining old-school hackers will have to return to whatever holdout distros remain - which probably means Slackware, Gentoo, and maybe Devuan*... Or move to BSD.

Yes, it's a pessimistic prediction, and I do hope I'm wrong. It sure looks like "embrace, extend, extinguish" is in full swing though, and right now I'd say we're well into step 2. Even Microsoft has realised that they can't fight FLOSS directly, and they've been buying out projects and developers all over the place. Soon most of the important components of GNU/Linux will be open-source community efforts in name alone. It's not a bazaar any more if all the stalls are franchisees.

*Devuan is great and all, but we're still heavily dependent on upstream Debian... These days I don't trust the Debian devs to resist the smell of money any more than Redhat.

Last edited by steve_v (2021-04-02 21:54:45)


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#5 2021-04-03 13:07:27

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

steve_v wrote:

Perhaps. Personally I suspect that the "future of linux" (at least as far as the big players go) is that systemd + containers + snap/flatpack/appimage/whatever-silly-packaging-system-is-easy-for-proprietary-devs is going to take over. That's what corporate interests are pushing for, and many "open source" orgs are already thoroughly compromised.

Once this happens, a "distro" will just be cosmetic configuration on top of systemd + gnome. Big-tech will have successfully eliminated the independent maintainer, replaced all the critical GPL system infrastructure with LGPL systemd, and undermined Free Software to the point that the remaining old-school hackers will have to return to whatever holdout distros remain - which probably means Slackware, Gentoo, and maybe Devuan*... Or move to BSD.

Yes, it's a pessimistic prediction, and I do hope I'm wrong. It sure looks like "embrace, extend, extinguish" is in full swing though, and right now I'd say we're well into step 2. Even Microsoft has realised that they can't fight FLOSS directly, and they've been buying out projects and developers all over the place. Soon most of the important components of GNU/Linux will be open-source community efforts in name alone. It's not a bazaar any more if all the stalls are franchisees.

*Devuan is great and all, but we're still heavily dependent on upstream Debian... These days I don't trust the Debian devs to resist the smell of money any more than Redhat.

That is, of course, the other path that is equally viable and in fact probable. I too share your pessimism but I am always looking for the glimmer of hope. I havent failed to notice the greed of the major linux players. I am just hoping that the non-systemd distros arent forced into submission by some means.
Debian has already gone under in my opinion. The thing is, I remember when the puritanism of the debian devs put me off and now theyve all slid into the fiery pit and that puts me off too.

Are you aware of this absolute gem of a post
https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/8/12/459
for me, this is like your post but a more venomous attack on systemd
by venomous, I mean, nobody who reads it can deny the strength of the attack and yet the hope it displays, it's like reading
the works of a revolutionary that has a base camp in a jungle somewhere, and is playing the long game

It's a lengthy attack on systemd from 2014 and says in part

Debian has always held the line against this kind of thing in the past,
and has always earned my utmost respect and loyalty for their
integrity. Debian's decision here was as a hand forced. Debian has made
a grave and cowardly mistake here, and they need a course correction
immediately. Incorporating systemd was not an intelligent choice, and
certainly not one very well considered. Debian must reject systemd and
its ilk, and restore itself to the values that got Linux to this
point in history, in no small part *led* by Debian. They must loudly and
publicly divorce themselves from GNOME, however painful and upsetting
that may seem

Last edited by Spock (2021-04-03 14:42:28)

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#6 2021-04-03 16:41:29

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,244  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

FWIW, I have been sharing that link since it was penned nearly 7 years ago.  It seems that the assimilation is nearing completion.

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#7 2021-04-03 16:45:55

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 88  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

Spock wrote:

I am just hoping that the non-systemd distros arent forced into submission by some means.

I don't think anyone can force them per-se, at least not yet. What will likely happen is that as more and more upstream projects are subsumed into systemd, the burden of maintaining them or writing alternatives will become a major problem.

That's one of the reasons I plug Gentoo pretty hard, they (by which I mean "we", it's still "we" with Gentoo) are actively forking, fixing, and maintaining upstream stuff to keep it working. Eudev and elogind are the most obvious examples, but Gentoo also led the charge with untangling gnome from systemd, among other things, and continues to do so.

As far as Devuan goes, I do love apt and the (old) Debian attitude, but I wonder how long we can keep things working without support from mainstream Debian. The team is small (and seems pretty remote TBH), and there's rather a lot that's going to need forking...


Spock wrote:

Debian has already gone under in my opinion.

Debian fell a long time ago, they've ceased to be a democracy (or a meritocracy), stopped listening to the users, and I expect the divide between "user" and "developer" is too wide now for that to change.

I've been in and out of the Debian community for several years, and the change there is pretty stark. Gone are most of the really knowledgable sysadmin types, and the "make linux popular"/"everything work OOTB"/"I just wanna click on stuff", CLI-phobic zoom-installing, "halp everything is borken" (AKA gnome didn't start), unwilling to learn help-vampires are proliferating like crazy.
The "You're crazy if you don't want systemd, systemd is the future" inquisition is out in full-force as well.
Admittedly systemd-free distros do tend to attract the odd conspiracy theory whackjob... but then what community doesn't have it's share of nutters... And as the man said, just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you. wink


Spock wrote:

I remember when the puritanism of the debian devs put me off

The "resist shiny new shit, don't fix it if it isn't broken" attitude and no non-free stuff by default policy were two major reasons I started running Debian to begin with (that and automation for headless machines). Then somebody fixed something that wasn't broken, split the community and the devs down the middle, and it all went to hell.
Now that Debian is squarely on the slippery slope, I expect we'll be seeing proprietary blob installation and snaps as an option in the installer soon as well.

Again, I'll plug Gentoo here - it's a magical land-of-olde where you can still openly argue with the developers on the forum (they are active on the forum) without fear of locks or bans, and becoming one of those developers yourself is just a matter of proving that you have the chops and the motivation.
I rejoined that community after over a decade away (pretty much when Debian fell), and it was delightful. All the same people doing the same stuff they were doing in 2003.
No "One-Linux" garbage, no arguments over how easy the installer isn't or how the CLI is obsolete, and no being dismissed as a nutter for trying to do something outside "the way". Real bright people with real advice that isn't the "just go with the flow, it's easier" attitude you seem to get everywhere else these days.
RTFM is still alive and well (and TFM is very good), as is "help me to help you". The facebook-generation help-vampires are non-existent, and the signal-to-noise ratio is still satisfyingly high.

Want to run without systemd? Ask a Gentoo user.
Don't like pulseaudio? Ask a Gentoo user.
Want to keep your split /usr setup? Hit up the Gentoo forum, we're arguing about it right now. tongue
Pining for a static /dev like the old days? Hey, you can do that on Gentoo as well.
No crapkit, no whatever-d? No problem (and probably no DE, but that's a preference). Just compile the system without it.


Spock wrote:

Are you aware of this absolute gem of a post
https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/8/12/459

I first read it long ago, when this "One-Linux" shitstorm was just getting started. I thought it was perhaps a little overexcited at the time (after all, surely intelligent people will see this for what it is and reject it), but looking back from ~6 years later all the predictions were spot on.

What we're dealing with now isn't some conspiracy theory or the ramblings of a revolutionary, it's reality. A reality where, in most large GNU/Linux distributions, "GNU" is being systematically replaced and the many small independent projects that used to make up the OS are being pushed to the curbside in favour of a few large all-consuming projects all developed by the same special few and funded by the same corporations.
A reality where devs are mythical, unapproachable beings who know what you want before you want it, and Linux is a "product" with an "image" and a social-media presence.

Systemd as init I could live with. Systemd as an optional init I would be happy with. Systemd the OS is another kettle of fish altogether.

It doesn't help one bit that those who are driving this are mostly holier-than-thou assholes either TBH, especially Lennart. You only have to read a few of his comments regarding Gentoo and Devuan to get the picture - we're all luddites and peasants, and the future is his way or the highway... But now I'm ranting, so I'll stop there.

Last edited by steve_v (2021-04-03 16:59:33)


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#8 2021-04-03 18:00:54

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

Steve_v - when you write it I see what I have been thinking for a long time but didnt know how to write it. I agree with everything you wrote, and I am here at Devuan, using their distro because I believe this is one of the great last refuges of the non-systemd distro. I like that you know how to install Gentoo. I tried it but sort of lost interest half way through. It's quite difficult to do. One thing though, I only started realising just how far the corporate takeover had gone when I read how much money gets ploughed into Firefox by Google, and I realised then that no person or corporate entity gives money away to that extent. If you give $500,000,000 away you arent doing it to be nice, you want something in return. It is only now, after 4 or 5 years of trying to find an honest distro that I realise the full extent of the infiltration of the corporations into the organisation of linux based operating systems etc, and only in the last year or two just how devious they have been in doing that. I dont want to sound overly dramatic or anything but sometimes I sit here in despair thinking what has been lost and to a great extent I think linux is a lost cause but Devuan and Void  give me a lot of hope, however since the Void maintainer (their main maintainer) died it hasnt been quite up to standard.
I'm here using Devuan as a refugee, in effect
You're a good thinker Steve_v a very good thinker

Last edited by Spock (2021-04-03 18:07:16)

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#9 2021-04-03 19:41:32

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 88  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

Spock wrote:

I tried it but sort of lost interest half way through. It's quite difficult to do.

Nah, it's a cakewalk these days. You should try LFS. tongue
Installing Gentoo just requires a bunch of patience and an ability to follow instructions... As well as a free afternoon and about 3 gallons of coffee.
Being comfortable doing everything from the CLI (including a web-browser/reading the wiki) sure helps though, I suspect the "GUI is optional and comes last" bit is what puts people off.


Spock wrote:

It is only now, after 4 or 5 years of trying to find an honest distro that I realise the full extent of the infiltration of the corporations into the organisation of linux based operating systems etc, and only in the last year or two just how devious they have been in doing that.

I've been suspicious of the goings on at many of the big "open source" organisations for a long time, but the full-scale red-alert sounded right about when Microsoft, of all organisations, started shovelling money at open source developers and claiming to "love Linux"... Leopards and spots and all that jazz.

Then there's the whole "open source inclusiveness" movement (not to mention the RMS controversy, which we're not allowed to discuss here for some reason), which looks lovely on the surface, but fair reeks of corporate image/social media manipulation and employee codes of conduct... *politics detected: aborting*

As for Google and Firefox, yeah. That one is a pretty bitter pill, since gecko is really the only remaining independent (i.e. not  chrome/blink/webengine) browser engine in the game right now.
I'll still support Mozilla, since Mozilla was so very good to us way back when Microsoft sunk nutscrape Netscape Navigator, and that was the only GUI browser on GNU/Linux. I miss pre-google KHTML/webkit too TBH.

Google will fund any browser that punts traffic their way of course, and Firefox is no exception, but it's concerning when that's near-enough the only thing keeping a project alive. Doubly so when Google is also the main competitor in the browser space.


Spock wrote:

sometimes I sit here in despair thinking what has been lost

All is by no means lost, and there will always be old-school distros of some kind... There's also the BSD escape-pod, that's still largely uncorrupted.
IMO the days of "it's FOSS, so it's all good, it's all run by volunteer hackers and you can chat with them on the mailinglist" are pretty much over though. One might just want to be a little more careful what software one uses and who one donates to.


Spock wrote:

since the Void maintainer (their main maintainer) died it hasnt been quite up to standard.

A shame that, Void is (or at least was, I haven't used it for many years) pretty dang cool and we need independent distros now more than ever. I don't have the time or the skill to stick my oar in in any meaningful way, but here's hoping people from the Void community will step up.


Spock wrote:

I'm here using Devuan as a refugee

Aren't we all?

I'm here because Gentoo is too maintenance-intensive to run on a server (like all rolling release distros), Debian has fallen to system-everything, and pretty much all the small distros are too niche to package the software I want.
When it comes to large repo + init system plumbing freedom + low maintenance + stable releases, Devuan is kinda the only game in town IMO.


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#10 2021-04-05 16:54:22

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

Somewhere on the Devuan forums I wrote that Debian was once too puritan and their puritanical ways kind of annoyed me. Then along came systemd and debian accepted it and wow that annoyed me even more. I've been through (experimented with) every major distro a person can think of. Mostly for clients (people who pay me to think about linux and make it work for them), I have used SUSE, Debian, and ubuntu on their servers. I've used crunchbang, slitaz, and DSL on my own desktops.  Not a problem until systemd came along and started invading my server setups. Way I think of it is why do I need to add complexity to servers, If I already have everything I need,why add more? Me and you are alike I am confident enough to politicise my view of Linux without becoming a mere mouthpiece of the anti-brigade.
It's because I need a linux that is free of systemd and have actually personally ran into its faults that I can talk about it in a personal way, not just as a propagandist
yeah - youre a good thinker on this subject

Last edited by Spock (2021-04-05 16:55:45)

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#11 2021-04-05 17:30:16

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

To Steve_v
in an earlier post you wrote

Debian fell a long time ago, they've ceased to be a democracy (or a meritocracy), stopped listening to the users, and I expect the divide between "user" and "developer" is too wide now for that to change.

dang, that one sentence will probably give me cause to think for a couple of years. It says a lot. I dont know if you realise how much thought it could give someone, but it's something, for me at least, that I will chew on for a long while.

Forgot to add

Installing Gentoo just requires a bunch of patience and an ability to follow instructions... As well as a free afternoon and about 3 gallons of coffee.

dang ! that much coffee would interere with my wine buzz

Last edited by Spock (2021-04-05 17:35:48)

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#12 2021-04-06 14:04:38

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
Website

Re: Is this the future of Linux

While bedrock and similar type of overlay packages and management might seem unique, i dont believe they will last the test of time. I would rather use packages straight from devuan and if i cant i may build them from source if need be. Case in point right now are suckless programs, i benefit more building them from source as i can control what features are added rather than installing dwm or dmenu via apt.

Im sticking with devuan for linux and openbsd for unix for the foreseeable future. They have both served my needs well for over many years.

Last edited by dice (2021-04-06 14:07:35)

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#13 2021-04-09 17:43:33

Spock
Member
Registered: 2021-04-02
Posts: 36  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

dice wrote:

While bedrock and similar type of overlay packages and management might seem unique, i dont believe they will last the test of time. I would rather use packages straight from devuan and if i cant i may build them from source if need be. Case in point right now are suckless programs, i benefit more building them from source as i can control what features are added rather than installing dwm or dmenu via apt.

Im sticking with devuan for linux and openbsd for unix for the foreseeable future. They have both served my needs well for over many years.

Actually, after experimentation with bedrock and GUIX, I have come to the conclusion that they require so much of my time and energy that I just cannot afford to implement them (afford, in terms of time not money) I think you're right, they are a nice experiment but who, other than a genius of linux has got time to do all the reading and fix all the pitfalls. I'm certainly just an average user and dont have time to experiment these days. Maybe if I was 20 or 30 years younger I could afford to waste half a decade
I will stick to devuan

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#14 2021-04-09 20:22:51

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 88  

Re: Is this the future of Linux

Spock wrote:

after experimentation with bedrock and GUIX, I have come to the conclusion that they require so much of my time and energy that I just cannot afford to implement them

I came to much the same conclusion, and I run Gentoo on my desktop. tongue
There's effort, and then there's effort. Dealing with one packaging system at a time is enough for me.


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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