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Distros - R.I.P ? - Page 2

post #11 of 48
I think this xkcd comic covers what's going on here well:
standards.png
    
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post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

@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".

Actually, I'd disagree with the last part. The best comparison I can come up with is that Windows is like renting an apartment. You can make some minor superficial changes but you don't own it and you don't maintain it. It's basically what the consumerist mentality of people wants. On the other hand we have Linux which ranges from "here's the plans; have fun building your own house" to something along the lines of a having a contractor/a pre-built house. The problem really is that no one is focusing on keeping the important part the same; the foundation. That's all we need fixed so to speak. The foundation and the rules about wiring. Right now we have mostly the foundation but instead of focusing on customizing the construction of the house we have anarchy about the wiring, plumbing, gas, and so on. The foundation is the kernel; the wiring is the pieces that interact between the hardware and the kernel. What I mean is that the anarchy exists in the sound, the filesystem locations, video, wifi, and so on. We don't need Pulse/ALSA/OSS/JACK to "win" for example...we just need them to agree to a form of interchangeability. If we got that fixed and standardized you can still have vastly different houses built to serve vastly different needs while still allowing people nearly the same control they have right now and have lost nothing in return. But maybe I'm not understanding it because I'm not a coder. redface.gif
     
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post #13 of 48
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post #14 of 48
I hate to come off as a windows defender but it's where I started so it kind of feels like my native language or something. Firstly there were legitimate reasons for having various versions of Vista. Namely it was supposed to be a tiered pricing structure so home users who don't need corporate features don't have to pay for them and also cheaper versions for "developing economies" that didn't need nearly the features. I think they were hoping to lure XP pirates in china/etc. to a cheap/legit alternative. You can see how well that went over. In fact I wholeheartedly agree that the hundred versions of vista (and only slightly fewer of 7) was a complete disaster and was done in the worst possible fashion. My only point was there were in fact legitimate reasons for doing it.

Also there were a lot of versions of XP: Home, Pro, MCE, and x64 (probably some others in "limited markets"). That's actually I don't know...two less than 7 has? Actually there's embedded xp as well but I won't count that.

And actually Windows has a lot more customization features than it apparently gets credit for. Windows 7 and later especially but designed specifically to be modular in that way to work lower powered devices all the way up to more modern devices (e.g. xbox one). Even with a normal version of 7 between 3rd party software, gpedit and registry tweaks you can make it do about anything you want. There's also that WinPE thing to truly start from nothing. No building from source obviously but that I've personally never done that in Linux either and even if I did I would just compile it and run it, not modify said source.

I'm kind of coming from a Windows perspective here but I'm slowly learning. Having learned most everything on ubuntu server (CLI only) I'm not sure I could fire up a CentOS box or Arch and really be able to use it just as effectively (config files/standard utils and file system differences). And it's a whole other thing entirely when it comes to embedded things like routers with or without busybox (OpenWRT is a good for instance...).

If one wanted to "build the foundation" of an OS on the windows side there's two options: WinPE (freely available from MS) and Hyper-V Server, also free-as-in-beer. Just start installing drivers through the command line and install a GUI (blackbox for windows for instance)...make your own custom Windows OS piece-by-piece. Can't legally distribute of course but you can offer scripts to make it possible for others to make it.

Sorry I went off on a tangent here. That windows-not-customizable line just always gets me for some reason. Do normal users really customize the kernel source that regularly?
 
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post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 
@subassy - When people..... scratch that, when I refer to Windows lack of user control I am talking about both the specifics, such as currently in Win7 even logged in as Administrator and even after downloading a "privilege extender" still there is much that is completely disallowed, and also of the general attitude of Microsoft that kind of comes off like Duke Nukem, "Suck it down!". They believe deeply that we only lease the software. The PC is not ours, we just get the privilege of using it..... for a price.

WinPE is Preinstall Environment and as you may know is by no means a full operating system, nor are you free to make it into one. The loophole that got Bart, and subsequent builders by the EULA was that technically on the same box you could not be running the full install, from which the PE image must be derived, and the PE at the same time. Hyper-V Server requires 2 boxes, one with the full (non-free) system and another with the limited standalone. In both cases you still need an MS license and cannot build a free, complete Windows system legally. An example pointed out in another thread is that PAE for Windows is crippled for the sole purpose of licensing. Another example might be that it is impossible to get DirectX v11 on XP and for no other reason than to force users to pay to "upgrade" to a "new*" system.

* I put "new" in parenthesis because Microsoft fairly often makes a few basic changes, like adding drivers, and changing the look which normally would be just a Service Pack, but they call it a whole new version and charge for it. One example of that was the Win95 > Win98 debacle.

Incidentally they often use this leverage to control the hardware market as well. Example - choosing to support Intel's USB but not Apple's FireWire when some would argue that FireWire was superior. Notice that Linux has supported both for quite some time. It's not just Microsoft either. Many proprietary companies buy out the competition just to bury the technology rather than have to compete with it.

As for compiling kernels I always make a custom kernel but not many do anymore and that's just a small part of the flexibility. Whether installing traditionally from source only or with the aid of a SlackBuild script it is rather common that I enable and disable various features. Only in a very few cases anymore do I directly modify code, but there is literally nothing I am disallowed from (with the exception of a few proprietary addons) even if it is harmful. Not everyone uses or prefers this, but some do, me included.

However it is not the purpose of this thread to rag on Windows. It's just that Windows does Windows very well and I resist turning Linux into a Free (or any kind of) Windows clone. As crazy as Eric Raymond might be in some personal areas, I still have confidence he was right about "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" and many other fundamental values of community development and I don't want to see that dry up and disappear.
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post #16 of 48
Just sounds like another Distribution to me.
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post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

I think this xkcd comic covers what's going on here well:
standards.png


applaud.gif I have to agree with Xaero252 here. Distros will never die because we'll never get everyone to agree to using the same thing. Having so many different Distros came from people looking at what was given to them and not liking it.

Personally I think this whole "CoreOS" thing is a load of bull to try to make Linux more Windows like, if you can force everyone to use your software they become dependent on you.

I also think that "atomic upgrade" isn't all that magical as it sounds. They have two installs (as they tell you), but they probably chroot into the other one and run the updates. You still have to restart so I would consider that an "incremental update", because you have to reboot into the updated OS. Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing if you reboot often, but for a server that needs to be up 24/7 why add extra restarts you don't need. I can also foresee this being a problem if they force the next boot from the updated partition. Lets say a major update came out that breaks a few things, well you didn't choose to download the update (like you can with other rolling release distros) but you are now stuck with it unless you can avoid restarting until a fix comes out.

Poeterring needs to get off of his high horse and realize that just because others don't do things the way he wants to doesn't mean that it's broken
post #18 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsa700 View Post

Just sounds like another Distribution to me.

Well that might possibly be because you run Mac OS and already accept proprietary limitations on any serious system level work. However although I know you cannot customize your kernel, or alter program features, how much of the root system is read-only with Admin privileges? Can Macs do incremental upgrades or only complete, monolithic system upgrades? Is Mac using anything like Docker yet ? Can you do kernel upgrades or must you wait for an official release?

I suppose there are some Linux users who find CoreOS not to be a major change and don't see this as the original desire of systemd to be a Black Hole with an ever-expanding event horizon, but some do. Some people have left Debian and Ubuntu over this already and they weren't users but rather top-level developers. Much may still be speculation but it does seem that systemd has considerable "creep" to it, don't you think? At first it was just an alternate init system. Now it is a monolithic OpSys and though they said they would maintain backward compatibility they have already tossed out considerable that they don't choose to support.

It remains to be seen if this will turn out to be the greatest thing to happen to Linux in 10 years or the death of Distros (and considerable freedom) but just another distro? Not very likely.
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post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Well that might possibly be because you run Mac OS and already accept proprietary limitations on any serious system level work. However although I know you cannot customize your kernel, or alter program features, how much of the root system is read-only with Admin privileges? Can Macs do incremental upgrades or only complete, monolithic system upgrades? Is Mac using anything like Docker yet ? Can you do kernel upgrades or must you wait for an official release?

I suppose there are some Linux users who find CoreOS not to be a major change and don't see this as the original desire of systemd to be a Black Hole with an ever-expanding event horizon, but some do. Some people have left Debian and Ubuntu over this already and they weren't users but rather top-level developers. Much may still be speculation but it does seem that systemd has considerable "creep" to it, don't you think? At first it was just an alternate init system. Now it is a monolithic OpSys and though they said they would maintain backward compatibility they have already tossed out considerable that they don't choose to support.

It remains to be seen if this will turn out to be the greatest thing to happen to Linux in 10 years or the death of Distros (and considerable freedom) but just another distro? Not very likely.

Well, I didn't mean it in a negative way but....

Yes you can build and boot custom mac kernels. XNU is open source.

Mac OS X has had "launchd", also open source, since I believe 10.5 which is very similar to the way systemd works as far as I know.

When I said it's "just another distro", what I meant was that we don't have to use it if we don't want to. They can't make us, we can run sysv init until we die but over time we'll have to deal with the consequences of that choice so I understand the debate.

FWIW, FreeBSD will probably run sysv init forever.

The whole CoreOS and parallel systems with 1 second reboots, it's the first I've heard of it so.....
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post #20 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FateousMaximous View Post

applaud.gif I have to agree with Xaero252 here. Distros will never die because we'll never get everyone to agree to using the same thing. Having so many different Distros came from people looking at what was given to them and not liking it.

Distros die all the time and for similar reasons - lack of money and lack of developers. Systemd has won over all the major distros. If they are all relegated to a second or third position because of focus on CoreOS which likely means preferential treatment after they have all become more like each other, who is likely to win out? and who will dry up and blow away?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FateousMaximous View Post

Personally I think this whole "CoreOS" thing is a load of bull to try to make Linux more Windows like, if you can force everyone to use your software they become dependent on you.

Exactly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FateousMaximous View Post

I also think that "atomic upgrade" isn't all that magical as it sounds. They have two installs (as they tell you), but they probably chroot into the other one and run the updates. You still have to restart so I would consider that an "incremental update", because you have to reboot into the updated OS. Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing if you reboot often, but for a server that needs to be up 24/7 why add extra restarts you don't need. I can also foresee this being a problem if they force the next boot from the updated partition. Lets say a major update came out that breaks a few things, well you didn't choose to download the update (like you can with other rolling release distros) but you are now stuck with it unless you can avoid restarting until a fix comes out.

No they don't need to chroot. They can simply Clone to the unbooted partition and then reboot to activate the completely, new, monolithic system. They can do this because CoreOS clusters by default, so the system doesn't go down just because a node does. Also you don't choose to not download the update. It is distributed, like "push". That's one of it's actual benefits. Hundreds of thousands of nodes can be massively upgraded in one simple deploy. Plus if for some reason an upgrade fails, they simply boot the older partition until the new one is fixed. Follow the money. It isn't in desktops.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FateousMaximous View Post

Poeterring needs to get off of his high horse and realize that just because others don't do things the way he wants to doesn't mean that it's broken

Maybe, but he is backed by a lot of moneyed interests and he is rapidly winning. Like you I originally wondered if he had created a solution looking for a problem but this is not the case. He is thinking much bigger than that and it's working.
Edited by enorbet2 - 3/17/14 at 4:54pm
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Seagate SATA 2TB x 2  Plextor PX-891SAW CM-Hyper N520 Slackware 14, Studio KUbuntu, OpenSuSe 12.3, Wi... 
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32" Vizio HDTV + DLP Logitech Wireless Corsair HX-850 Antec Sonata I 
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