Openwall GNU/*/Linux - a small security-enhanced Linux distro for servers
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Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2014 16:28:44 +0300
From: croco@...nwall.com
To: owl-users@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Re: owl-startup

On Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 07:49:08AM +0300, (GalaxyMaster) wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 03:22:32AM +0300, croco@...nwall.com wrote:
> > hour, then, the problem is not with me but with the distro), I can't launch
> > nor stop daemons, and I CAN'T VIEW LOGS!!!  It was the first time in 20+
> > years of my personal Unix experience when 'less /var/log/messages' gave me
> 
> Well, this just means that you didn't install a syslog daemon, why blame
> some developer for that?

If I install syslogd, I know what I do and as the immediate consequence I
don't expect 'less /var/log/messages' to work; furthermore, once I
installed syslogd, I *know* where the logs are (on what machine, and how do
I view them).  And the most important thing is that, installing syslogd, I
explicitly ask for that, having a reason to (e.g., having all the local FSs
read-only, or smth. like that) -- so having a bit of trouble (no
possibility to view the logs locally traditional way) I *gain* something in
exchange, and this "something" is what I really need, or else why would I
bother installing syslogd.

In the abovementioned situation, I never asked anyone to take my logs away
and, more importnatly, I gained NOTHING I need, only the trouble.


> > BTW, I even hate these people who wrote Grub and I'm glad Openwall
> > continues to use Lilo.  Why?  There's only two things I really need from a
> > boot manager: I want to be able to replace the kernel and I want to be able
> > to boot with init=/bin/sh in case of troubles.  I perfectly know how to do
> > these with Lilo.  I never feel good doing exactly the same things with
> 
> I project a lot of hatred, yet your arguments are weak.  For example,

Well-well, that's very possible, but let's consider your arguments, too.

> all other modern bootloaders are addressing one LILO deficiency: every
> time you update lilo configuration you are playing a Russian roulette
> game since it updates the master boot record.  With all other boot
> loaders (e.g. grub, syslinux, etc.) you install the bootloader once and
> you have the options to recover if you messed up with the update of your
> configuration.

Well, here is what I consider THE wrong thing: if you look at your text
again, you can notice that *YOU* try to convince *ME* that there's a
problem with LILO which is so serios that definitely I should move from
LILO to something else, and, hence, you (or someone else, this doesn't
really matter) have the reason to replace the boot manager (or any other
thing) and *FORCE* me to move -- for my own good.

In philosophy, this is called ``paternalism'' (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternalism) and, being a philosopher, I
strongly believe that paternalism is the root of all existing evil, and
this particular situation is just another prove for that.  Look, do you
really think I never heard about that ``russian roulette''?  Not only I
know about that (yes, MBR replacement), I also enjoyed playing that
``russian roulette'' for some twenty years, and the revolver never fired;
however, I also perfectly know how do I recover in case it fires for some
weird reason.  So, for me the trouble that you explain simply doesn't exist
and definitely doesn't need any solution: solving unexisting problems is in
general dangerous.  What all these paternalists really do is making me a
lot of troubles solving problems that exist in their imagination only,
trying to convince me afterwards that I really had the problems they've
just solved.  What I say is simply 'No thanks'.  I only need the solution
for problems I really have, and I KNOW BETTER what problems I do have; I
refuse to pay for pizza I never ordered.

>  Anyway, this is irrelevant to the discussion.

This is relevant, as the situatioin with systemd is generally the same,
only it makes a lot more troubles.

> > See http://debianfork.org/  People are so unhappy with systemd that they
> > are going to fork Debian.  I understand them.  Perfectly.
> 
> If it was such a good idea surely they would have raised more than just
> $5K for the project.  So far it seems as a poor attempt to get
> publicity.

Hmmm, this really seems a _poor_ attempt, in case we consider it as a PR
action rather than technical.  If they were better at PR, they perhaps
could raise more.

Does this have anything to do with the idea as such?  Obviously no.  This
only means one thing: they aren't that good at PR.  I'd say the opposit:
these people seem to be sysadmins, not PR folks, *and* they raised $5k so
far -- it is an excellent result for sysadmins.

> > This 'trend' is a thing to resist up to death.  There must be SOMEONE who
> > resists.  Openwall GNU/*/Linux is a server distro which nearly by
> > definition has none of these 'problems' that damn systemd tries to address.
> 
> You are using quite strong words, but just try to look from the other
> side:
> 
> * we claim to be RH compatible, but our compatibility is lacking and
>   behind like 8 years or so;

So don't claim this any longer, that's all.

> * there is no active development going on and the option of installing
>   packages from other RPM distros is getting more and more unrealistic
>   since everybody else has moved on (much newer glibc, systemd
>   dependencies, etc.);

Sure.  Actually, I never had any success with installing RPMs from other
distros under Owl and I was always confused with statements of such
possibility.  To my mind, Owl is way too different to make anything like
that possible.

> * it would be great to use Owl as a server VM distro on cloud providers,
>   but we don't have Xen support and DHCP client out of the box, so most
>   popular Clouds like AWS and RackSpace are not available to us out of
>   the box;

So add them as packages, wy not?  And what does all this have to do with
systemd?

> All in all, the original idea is indeed great, but if we do not invest
> into moving the project forward I think we will lose whatever userbase
> we currently have.

This is entirely another problem.  Definitely it exists.

> Don't get me wrong, I am all for keeping Owl small
> and if possible not to tie it up with things like systemd, but we are
> not alone out there and to make our work more rewarding we should
> consider what other distros are doing.

If we do the same things the other distros are doing, then there's no point
in having an own distro: it is easier just to use other distros.

> > What opinions?  Simply go shut in the head these bastards who invented
> > systemd.  And, perhaps, those who force distros to switch to it, as well.
> 
> That's a lot of people... and distros.  IIRC, the following distros has

No, not a lot of people.  As my experience shows, there's usually one or
two bastards who do the evil and thousands of those who just don't bother
preventing the evil from being done.  So shuting only these one or two will
do the thing :)

> already switched to systemd: RH (RHEL, FC, CentOS), SuSE, Arch, ALT.

I know.  They are now out of my consideration -- unless they get rid of
systemd again, they are absolutely useless for any purposes I have.

> The list is much longer, but the first two are what enterprises are
> mostly using (at least here in Australia and in the United States),
> others are extremely popular for home enthusiasts.

The most popular operating system is still Windows; the vast majority of
computer users (even Linux users) nowadays strongly bind the notion of
'file' with a pictogram that appears in GUI, and tend to panic when they
see command line.  Should we add X Window and all these GUIs to Owl, then?
Nonsense.



--
Croco

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