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Distros - R.I.P ?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
For a few years now apparently someone has been listening to those new to Linux that think there's just way too many distros. Leonard Poeterring's Vision, or Master Plan depending on your POV, has been to unify Linux to make it as essentially as much a single entity as possible, a Core OS. This is generally good news for devs. You decide if it is good for you.

So that I'm not accused of jumping to conclusions, let alone tin-foil hat conspiracy here is the man speaking for himself on systemd and CoreOS.

Systemd as CoreOS

Now, CoreOS actually exists and yes, is based fundamentally on systemd and one of the first things removed is the Package Managers, Debian and Yum. Also removed are read-write file system for root, including /etc (Geez, I really didn't think the idea of running root from an unwritable mounted DVD would be taken so seriously tongue.gif ) Now I see why faster reboots were so important to them - clustering by default. Also at least now I can finally see what benefits they hope for beyond faster boot times and it makes much more sense, for good or for ill.

See H E R E

Here's a bit of an explanation -
Quote:
Originally Posted by See Link Below 

What CoreOS Changes


CoreOS was originally based on ChromeOS. They liked the automatic updates model that, similar to the Chrome web-browser, ChromeOS implements. They used this as a starting point.

Since this starting point, things have changed a lot. CoreOS now uses a different Linux kernel and init system. Since ChromeOS was intended to be run on laptops, ChromeOS’s kernel provided a lot of support for “random hardware”, which they did not need on the server-side. CoreOS also makes heavy use of systemd.

With CoreOS, automatic updates happen in the background. CoreOS has two disk partitions, with only one active at a time. The inactive partition can be updated offline. You simply swap the disks and reboot to enable the updates. This reboot only takes between half a second to a second.

Alex points to this as a big win for security. With Debian or Yum updates you always have an inconsistent state during each package update, which is window of vulnerability. Also, packages may or may not restart processes for you. This is done incrementally as each package is updated. CoreOS aims to replace this incremental and volatile update mechanism with a whole machine “atomic upgrade”.

So is this the advent of an exciting new advance in Linux or the death of distros as we now know them?
Edited by enorbet2 - 3/16/14 at 7:54am
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post #2 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

So is this the advent of an exciting new advance in Linux or the death of distros as we now know them?

Are those the only two options?
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
@Shrak - I imagine anything is possible, but it certainly seems like a "sea change" is coming if for no other reason than a tipping point brought about by growth, freedom and power attracting really large sums of money from corporations. Those boys like to lock things down and not without some valid reasons. It's hard to make money from a wild horse ranch but not too awful bad once they're broken.
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post #4 of 48
b39cf532_712657d1337394705-need-some-help-identifying-watch-what-gen-seamaster-thanks-point_over_your_head.jpeg
post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

Are those the only two options?

What point was that exactly? You forgot to send me the crystal ball so I could read your mind.
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post #6 of 48
You guys go first, I'm right behind you.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainBlame View Post

You guys go first, I'm right behind you.

No, you first. I insist.
post #8 of 48
Ok just tried it, some of the first things I noticed.

When you list the process tree, there is now only one process running. (for easier administration)
There is only one filesystem (/) (they renamed it to "The Volume")
Default background is Leonard Poeterring's face. (the single process rotates this through his personal album)
Sound does not work. (feature not a bug)
Edited by CaptainBlame - 3/16/14 at 3:33pm
post #9 of 48
Above my head all this but I would love to see the concept of "distro" disappear. Far far to many of them out there. I am all in favor of a single core that people can customize how they wish. But it's frustrating trying different ones and finding that this or that little thing is different. For example... In debian / derivatives you plug in a usb drive of some sort and it mounts in /media. On OpenSuse ( I'm assuming this comes from Red Hat ) it mounts under /run/media. Why the difference? Why is either one better? It's like they change stuff just so they can call it their own.

To me it's no different than every moron with a few gold in WoW wanting to be a guild leader. They all think they will lead the next big guild. Reality comes in and slaps 99.9% of them down. Same with distros. I've been trolling around linux for a few years now, only recently really got into it. There are hundreds if not thousands of distros I've never heard of or seen. Sometimes to much choice is a bad thing.

*EDIT* Totally unrelated: I would love to see a Gnome Shell basic UI design with the customizability of KDE and Kwin
Edited by Tadaen Sylvermane - 3/16/14 at 7:20pm
 
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post #10 of 48
Thread Starter 
@CaptainBlame - ROFLMAO lachen.gif


@Tadaen - It's common for people coming from Mac or Windows to think that Distro choice is overwhelming because you've been stuck with a company that gives you one size fits all for a couple years before they come out with another one size fits all and demand money. However even Windows changed in that regard. Originally there was one and only one Win95, and if you wanted something more professional, there was one NT. Later, Win 2k had 4 versions. XP tried to reduce that to one at first by basically combining but then reconsidered (read - smelled the money) and released 8 different versions. Win 7 has 6 versions. Oddly few people complain about those choices but perhaps this is largely because of labeling - often the same kind of labeling that sells a stainless steel bolt for $1 but the very same bolt for $5 when it is labeled "Marine". Granted the labeling is at least also fairly descriptive when the choices are few. It's pretty obvious without much thought who these are for -

Win 7 Choices
Starter
Home Basic
Home Premium
Professional
Enterprise
Ultimate

However if you see many installations the variation is much greater because Microsoft only includes just so many applications, and often 3rd Party applications, though often costly, are usually superior to the built-ins. While there is by nature not much competition for say Adobe Photoshop, so people doing photo work tend to have just that one, still it is possible and instructive to view each personally added-to Windows install like a distro, since the base OS is essentially identical and the differences are application packages, in which case there are also probably thousands, just like Linux. The only major difference is that in Linux some collections get labeled a separate distro, wheras in Windows it is just "My Collection of Shaight". "Dude? Where's ur Winamp?"

Once you get it that Linux really is just a kernel and that everything on top is negotiable, distro choice boils down to only a few things, unless you want it all done for you by someone else.... that is, if you are just a user. If you're a developer it is somewhat easier if you only have to make and distribute one package. Presently 3 are common, Debian, RedHat and Source.

So making the base system "atomic" does have some value, but make no mistake it does also come at a cost to users who want freedom, choice and power. It is simply unsustainable to have freedom without also having responsibility for very long. So take your pick - DIY or Take What's Offered. It's a package deal. You can't just "cherry pick" or "have your cake and eat it, too".
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