| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 618, 13 July 2015
Welcome to this year's 28th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Every so often someone comes along and declares they have found a different way of doing things. Sometimes this new idea is a new operating system or a new way to manage software packages and sometimes it's a new desktop environment. This week we explore developers taking existing concepts and creating new approaches or designs. We begin with a review of Semplice Linux and the distribution's "vera" desktop environment. In our Questions and Answers column we explore openSUSE derivatives and where to find unique spins of the openSUSE distribution. Last week we saw some interesting new developments: the openSUSE project talked more about their upcoming "Leap 42" release, the Debian project has begun working on a migration to version 5 of the GNU Compiler Collection, FreeBSD can now run Docker containers and the OpenBSD Foundation received funding from an unusual source. In our Torrent Corner we share the torrents we are seeding this week and, in our Opinion Poll, we explore people's usage of systemd. As usual, we provide a list of new versions of distributions released last week and give a nod to the new projects added to our database and waiting list. Last week we expanded our search functionality and we talk about how we have made it easier to find features you like and avoid the ones you dislike. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Semplice Linux 7 and the vera desktop
It has been a few years since I last reviewed Semplice Linux. The Debian-based distribution has changed in recent years and some people asked if I would revisit this project. According to the distribution's website, "Semplice is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian Unstable (Sid) with the goal to provide a simple, fast, lightweight and cool environment." In itself, this description is not unusual. What sets Semplice 7 apart is the project's unique desktop environment, called "vera". The vera desktop is briefly talked about in the project's release notes. The new desktop environment is based on GTK3 libraries (the same libraries which act as the foundation for the GNOME and Cinnamon desktops). The vera desktop ships with a new power manager, a screen shot utility and its own control centre panel. The release notes also mention vera ships with an interactive tutorial to help new users get acquainted with the young interface.
There is just one edition of Semplice available and we can download 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds of the project's latest release. The ISO I downloaded was 650MB in size. Booting from the Semplice media brings up a menu asking if we would like to launch the distribution's live desktop or run an installation wizard. If we take the live mode we are then presented with a graphical window which asks us to select our preferred language from a list. We are then introduced to the vera desktop.
By default, vera is decorated with bright blue wallpaper. The task switching panel and system tray rest at the bottom of the screen. There is no visible application menu button. Shortly after the desktop appears some text pops-up and walks us through a few quick actions. We are guided to right-click on the desktop to bring up an application menu. We are then shown that typing while no window has focus will launch a search for applications that have names matching the text we type. In this way vera has, in a fashion, two application menus. One context-style menu and another that acts in a similar manner to GNOME Shell's Activities menu. The desktop, when we are not searching for applications, is uncluttered. There are no icons and notifications are quite small, taking up only a small amount of space in the lower-right corner of the monitor.
Semplice 7.0 -- Searching for applications
(full image size: 212kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
We can launch Semplice's graphical system installer from the desktop or from the live media's boot menu. The graphical installer begins by asking for our preferred language and our keyboard's layout. We are then given the option of checking for updates to the installer itself. I chose to check for new versions of the installer. A new copy was found and installed, which then caused the installer to reset and begin again from the language selection screen. We are next asked to select our region or time zone from a list and create a user account for ourselves. On the account creation page we have the option of enabling sudo and assigning sudo privileges to our newly created account. Alternatively we can disable sudo and create a password for Semplice's root account. The installer then asks if we would like to manually partition our hard drive or take a guided option. If we take the guided option the installer will seek to either take over the entire disk or replace an existing Linux installation. The installer will ask for confirmation before proceeding with either guided option. Taking the manual partitioning option brings up a nice, simple partition manager. Using the simple interface we can create new partitions, assign mount points and select file systems. I appreciate that the partition manager allows us to set a partition's size by either typing in a size manually or dragging a slider to visually indicate the desired partition size. Semplice's installer claims to support the ext2/3/4, HFS+, NTFS and Reiser file systems. We also have the option of setting up LVM volumes. The system installer next asks if we would like to install the GRUB boot loader. The following page asks which features we would like to install. The optional features include Bluetooth support, printing, productivity software, visual desktop effects, PulseAudio and third-party software such as Adobe Flash. The installer then offers to find the fastest repository mirror and then shows us a confirmation screen where we can look over our settings before the installer copies its files to our hard disk. When the installer is finished we are asked to reboot the computer. I quite like Semplice's installer. While there are a lot of screens to go through, a good balance is struck between customization and user friendliness. We could get through most screens by clicking the "Forward" button over and over, but the installer makes it possible to tweak things to our liking and I think the developers did a nice job of mixing user-friendliness with flexibility.
Semplice 7.0 -- Running various desktop applications
(full image size: 165kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Semplice boots to a graphical login screen. The first time we sign into our account we are guided through the same tutorial we found on the live media. Once the tutorial has shown us the two ways we can access our applications, the vera desktop becomes quite quiet. The desktop is mostly empty with no icons, just a small panel at the bottom of the display.
I tried running Semplice in two test environments. When running on a physical desktop computer Semplice performed quite well. The system booted quickly, networking and audio worked and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. The desktop was responsive and programs were generally quick to open and perform tasks. When running in VirtualBox, Semplice gave a similarly good performance. The distribution does not ship with VirtualBox add-ons, so screen resolution was a bit limited by default, but otherwise Semplice performed well in the virtual machine. In either test environment I found Semplice used about 200MB of RAM.
Digging through Semplice's application menu we find a collection of useful software, most of which appears to be built using the GTK toolkit. We are presented with the Iceweasel web browser, uGet, the XChat IRC client and the gFTP file transfer utility. GNU Paint is available for simple image editing and the Mirage image viewer is present. We are given a document viewer along with the AbiWord and Gnumeric productivity applications. The Pragha audio player and GNOME MPlayer multimedia player are present. We are offered a calculator, text editor, archive manager and the Xfburn disc burning software. The distribution further provides configuration utilities for managing printers and changing monitor settings. Assuming we enable third-party extras during the initial installation, Semplice includes Flash support and multimedia codecs. Semplice provides Network Manager to help us get on-line. In the background the distribution runs a secure shell service. The GNU Compiler Collection is installed on the system and the Linux kernel, version 3.19, keeps things running for us.
Semplice 7.0 -- The desktop control panel
(full image size: 271kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Semplice ships with its own control panel which closely resembles the GNOME and Unity control panels. Through this control panel we can access configuration modules that will change the desktop's appearance, manage user accounts and add additional features such as Bluetooth and printing support. Sometimes I found opening a configuration module or changing a setting would take longer than expected, there was a little lag in the control panel's interface. Otherwise Semplice's new control panel and its modules worked well for me.
Semplice ships with the Synaptic package manager. Using Synaptic we can search for new software, install or remove items and perform package upgrades. Synaptic organizes available packages into simple lists and we can click a box next to the items we wish to install, remove or upgrade. Synaptic may not have the prettiest interface, but it works quickly and is quite flexible. Looking at the list of available repositories we find Semplice pulls packages from a combination of the distribution's own repositories and Debian's Unstable ("Sid") branch.
Semplice 7.0 -- The Synaptic package manager
(full image size: 252kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Since Semplice is based on Debian's Unstable repository, the distribution is a rolling release platform and we can expect a lot of software updates to be made available. The first day I was running Semplice there were 540 updated packages waiting to be installed in the project's repositories. These updates totalled 340MB in size and were dutifully installed by Synaptic. After the first wave of updates, I rebooted the computer and found my system would boot to a text console, but I could not get a graphical login screen or a desktop interface. Attempts to fix the situation lead the further problems and I soon realized it would be easier to simply re-install Semplice. After performing a fresh installation of the distribution I performed the upgrade procedure again, this time from the command line using apt-get. The apt-get utility ran into a number of errors (mostly missing package dependencies) and I was able to manage these errors and run fixes during the upgrade process to correct problems as they came up. (The apt-get install -f command was repeatedly helpful.) Once the upgrades had been completed I was able to reboot and still access the distribution's vera desktop. While I did not find any documentation which showed a preference for one upgrade method or another, I personally found upgrading packages from the command line produced better results.
I have a few general observations from my time with Semplice. One is that the vera desktop feels mature and stable. While vera does not appear to provide the performance Xfce or LXDE do, vera offered me approximately the same performance I would expect to get from Cinnamon or GNOME Classic. It took me a while to get used to the missing application menu button. I am still getting accustomed to right-clicking on the desktop or the panel to access the application menu. Semplice's approach to launching applications does not appear to offer any significant benefit since an application menu button on the panel would not take up much space and we usually need to move the mouse down to the panel to access applications anyway. Likewise, while I appreciate what vera's developers are trying to do with the application search function that is accessed by typing, it is very rare that my desktop is not full of windows. This means when I type there is almost always a window in focus, which prevents the search function from working. Perhaps there is a short-cut key to bring up the search bar, but I have not stumbled upon it.
One further aspect of vera I did appreciate was the visual style. I like vera's large font, nice colours, the icon theme and general layout. For a new desktop environment vera looks quite nice and offers adequate performance. One of the few problems I encountered with vera was with the music controls in the application menu. There are buttons in the application menu for ordering the music player to start/stop or move to the previous/next song. None of these buttons worked when I clicked them while the music player was operating.
Most of what I experienced during my time with Semplice was positive. I certainly enjoyed Semplice's unique desktop (vera) and its control centre. The distribution worked well in both of my test environments and offers cutting edge packages. I personally am not a huge fan of toolkit purity, that is sticking with applications which use a specific toolkit (GTK in this instance). I prefer finding the best tool for a specific task, regardless of how the tool was made. This sometimes put me at odds with Semplice, which is closely aligned with GTK. However, the applications I wanted were available through the project's package manager so adjusting the distribution to my preferences required that I simply install some extra applications.
My one serious problem with Semplice was the upgrade process. Using Synaptic to upgrade the distribution effectively killed the graphical user interface. Upgrading software from the command line worked better, but I still had to wade through several layers of errors before all my software was up to date and working properly. This is what one gets from running a distribution on a base that is explicitly named Unstable.
I enjoyed Semplice's system installer. The flexibility, especially where disk partitioning and add-on packages were concerned, was very welcome. The installer did not give me any problems and I found it offered a friendly interface.
Regarding vera, I found the desktop environment worked well. I'm not sure if vera solves any problems. I missed having a button to open the application menu and the search feature really only works when the desktop is mostly empty. On the other hand, the application menu and search features work, so while these features did not improve my work flow, they did not significantly hamper my efforts either.
On the whole I liked Semplice. I might prefer the distribution be based on a more conservative foundation, but otherwise I like what the developers are doing. I especially appreciate the mini-tutorial vera offers to new users. I think Semplice is a good match for people who want to try Debian as a rolling release distribution.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Details of openSUSE 42, Debian begins migration to GCC 5, FreeBSD gains a port of Docker and the OpenBSD Foundation receives a donation from Microsoft
A few weeks ago we mentioned the openSUSE distribution will be launching a new product soon that has been given the label "42". Further details have emerged which indicate the new branch of openSUSE will be named "Leap" and will be built from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) sources. Richard Brown recently posted more news about openSUSE Leap, stating, "We deliberated other options such as starting at 1.x or some other arbitrary number such as 22 but we preferred 42. Additionally 42 has already gotten some notoriety and thus we might as well stick with it. In the end we all know the number is more or less arbitrary and the important point is that it increases going forward. .x is used to indicate the service pack of SLE from which the sources originate. We expect the first release to be 42.1 because we intend to have the release aligned and sharing code with SLE 12 SP1. The major version will increase alongside the major version of the shared SLE sources, therefore a SLE 13 SP2 service pack based release would be named openSUSE Leap 43.2." Additional notes on the new branch of openSUSE can be found in Brown's post.
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The Debian project is currently working toward making version 5 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) the default compiler for Debian's Unstable branch. Matthias Klose writes, "It's time to prepare for GCC 5 as the default compiler in Unstable. Compared to earlier version bumps, the switch to GCC 5 is a bit more complicated because libstdc++6 sees a few ABI incompatibilities, partially depending on the C++ standard version used for the builds. For some C++11 language requirements, changes on some core C++ classes are needed, resulting in an ABI change." What this means is some software packages will not build with GCC 5 or may introduce incompatibilities between packages built with earlier versions of the GNU compiler. Details on the efforts to integrate GCC 5 into Debian's build process can be found in Debian's wiki. At this time, Klose does not think GCC 5 will become the default compiler for "Stretch", Debian's next stable release.
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The Docker software has become a very popular way to manage, manipulate and share service and application containers on Linux. As the Docker website states, "Docker containers wrap up a piece of software in a complete file system that contains everything it needs to run: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries -- anything you can install on a server. This guarantees that it will always run the same, regardless of the environment it is running in." This makes it very easy for developers and administrators to share and deploy software, knowing it will run the same way in each instance without needing any further dependencies or additional configuration. Until recently, Docker was a Linux-only technology, but Docker has been ported to the FreeBSD operating system. Not all of Docker's features work yet on FreeBSD, but most of them are in place and an up to date status report is maintained on GitHub.
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Some open source software becomes so popular as to be used almost universally. One such widely used suite of software is OpenSSH, a collection of utilities for enabling secure communication and secure file transfers between computers. OpenSSH is not only used by its parent operating system, OpenBSD, but is also used by the various BSD flavours and virtually every Linux distribution and OS X. Microsoft has recently said they will adopt OpenSSH for use in their products and have, in a surprising move, become the OpenBSD Foundation's first Gold sponsor.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Seeking openSUSE derivatives
Seeking-the-green-lizard asks: A lot of distributions are based on Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora... but practically none are based on openSUSE, is there a technical reason?
DistroWatch answers: I do not think there is a compelling technical reason to not base a new distribution on openSUSE. At least there isn't any I am aware of. I suspect we see a lot of publicly advertised distributions based on Debian and Ubuntu because of the cultures which surround those projects. The Debian community is quite large and there seems to be a sense that Debian's infrastructure is like a big sandbox in which developers can play. The Debian project is very open and has a massive amount of packages available in a variety of architectures and with varying levels of stability. This makes Debian an ideal base for other community projects. Ubuntu has a similar amount of software and has a huge user base which makes it a natural laboratory in which people, especially Linux newcomers, can experiment.
Fedora and openSUSE are slightly less oriented toward novice Linux users than Ubuntu is which reduces the population of excited newcomers in their communities. Plus both Fedora and openSUSE, I feel, have an air about them which suggests they are as much playgrounds for their corporate sponsors as they are for community members. Whether that feeling is justified or not is certainly open for debate, but many see Debian as a sort of open and egalitarian community while some see openSUSE and Fedora as being lead by business interests. I think that may affect the way potential distribution developers approach each project.
In short, I think the number of publicly advertised derivative distributions has a lot less to do with technical features and more to do with the perceptions people have of the parent distributions. I also think that, while we may not see many openSUSE derivatives (or spins, in Fedora's case) publicly advertised, there are a lot of projects out there based on openSUSE. I recommend visiting SUSE Studio, a website that facilitates the creation of openSUSE spins and derivatives. There are literally thousands of projects listed in SUSE Studio's Gallery. These projects may not have their own websites and may not get a lot of public attention, but they exist and show there is a large community of developers tweaking openSUSE to fit their needs.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files. For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 84
- Total downloads completed: 45,018
- Total data uploaded: 8.5TB
|Released Last Week
Point Linux 3.0
Peter Ryzhenkov has announced the release of Point Linux 3.0, a Debian-based distribution for the desktop with a choice of MATE and Xfce desktop environments. GNOME 3, used during the development and beta testing period, has been dropped and replaced with Xfce. From the release notes: "The Point Linux team proudly announces the availability of Point Linux 3.0. This release replaces the GNOME 3 flavour with XFce. Both flavours got the new Point Linux Update Notifier that will keep your system up-to-date. Point Linux Xfce also comes with the Compton window compositor installed by default, bringing some eye candy to your Xfce desktop. The full editions include the latest Firefox and Thunderbird releases. Changes: Point Linux Update Notifier; Xfce flavour replaces GNOME 3 Classic flavour; Xfce flavour comes with Compton installed by default; Firefox 39.0 and Thunderbird 38.0.1; multiple Point Linux infrastructural changes; up-to-date Debian packages."
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
The dust has settled on the debate over which distributions will adopt systemd and which will stick with alternatives. Now that the distribution developers have made their decisions on whether to include systemd, we would like to know what the adoption rate for systemd is among our readers. Are you using systemd? Are you happy with the init software you are currently running? Let us know your thoughts on the issue on the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on FOSS usage here.
|I use systemd and like it: ||787 (30%)|
| I use systemd and dislike it: ||318 (12%)|
| I am not using systemd and plan to use it: ||111 (4%)|
| I am not using systemd and plan to avoid it: ||1170 (44%)|
| Other: ||260 (10%)|
Finding and avoiding distributions with specific packages
In recent months we have received questions asking how to find distributions which include a particular package or distributions which exclude a particular package. For instance, some people would like to locate distributions which support running on computers with Secure Boot enabled while others might wish to avoid distributions that feature systemd. DistroWatch has always tried to make it easy to find distributions which do include specific packages, but we have generally not made it easy to find distributions which exclude specific features. That is changing.
Last week we introduced a change to our Search page which makes searching for distributions with (or without) a specific package easier. At the top of the Search page there is a section called Package searches. There are three controls in this part of the search page. The first field, called Package, allows us to select which software package we are interested in. The second field allows us to search for a specific version of a package. The third field determines whether we want to find distributions which do include the package or if we want to see a list of distributions which do not include the specified package.
As an example, let us assume I want to find all distributions which do include the Secure Boot shim package. I would select shim from the Package drop-down box. Then I would try to find all versions by entering 0. in the Version box. This means I am interested in any version of the package beginning with "0.", such as "0.8" or "0.9". I then make sure the final field is set to In any releases and click the Submit button. I will get back four distributions which include the shim package.
We can narrow down the search to only include distributions which feature a specific software package in their most recent release. For instance, if we want to know which distributions include the experimental Wayland display server software in their most recent release, we can do the following: Select Wayland from the Package drop-down box and enter 1. for the version. Then select In latest release for the third field and click Submit. This will return the 36 distributions which included version 1.x of the Wayland display server software in their latest release.
What if I want to find distributions which did not ship with the systemd init software in their most recent release? For that I would select systemd from the Package drop-down box. I would skip the Version box, since I want to ignore all versions of the package. In the third field I would select Not in latest release and click the Submit button. This will return the 281 projects (some of them active, others inactive) which do not include systemd in their most recent release.
We hope you find the new search features and the above examples useful. Let us know if you have any feedback on this new feature in the comments section.
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Distributions added to the database
Chapeau is a high-performance, cutting-edge operating system built from the GNU/Linux distribution Fedora Workstation with the GNOME desktop environment. In comparison to Fedora, Chapeau adopts a more relaxed approach to software licences and is intended to be just as useful for advanced users as it is easy for those new to using a Linux system. There is built-in access to third-party software and sources repositories not included in Fedora such as RPMFusion, DropBox, Steam, Adobe Flash & Oracle VirtualBox. Chapeau also includes pre-installed core packages to make the installation of new kernel modules pain-free, built-in remote and virtual system management tools, a selection of maintenance tools that come in especially handy when running Chapeau’s live image on a DVD or USB drive to analyse & fix broken systems.
Chapeau 22 -- Running the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 556kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Boreas GNU/Linux. Boreas GNU/Linux is a Turkish, Debian-based distribution for electrical engineers.
- RaspEX. RaspEX is a Linux ARM system for Raspberry Pi 2 computers. It is based on Debian Jessie (Debian 8), Ubuntu Vivid Vervet (Ubuntu 15.04) and Linaro. RaspEX ships with the Wicd network connection manager and Adobe Flash.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 20 July 2015. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • systemd (by Bill S on 2015-07-13 00:35:21 GMT from North America) |
My two favorite distros for the last few months have been Debian 8 Jessie which I am typing this on, and Mint 17 LTS. Now I read that Debian 8 uses systemd but Mint 17 does not. Honestly, I cannot tell the difference so far. If Debian was acting buggy, I would drop it, but it has been great. Mint on the other hand has also been great. I guess I'm just not into the philosophical reasons to stop installing anything with systemd and until it causes me problems I will stick with my Debian 8.
2 • Semplice (by Gustavo on 2015-07-13 00:40:31 GMT from South America)
Those giant Gnome 3 title bars...
3 • Semplice (by Gustavo on 2015-07-13 01:28:02 GMT from South America)
In fact it uses openbox as window manager, tint as taksbar and some components from Xfce!!
That's the secret behind the right click on the desktop to open application menu.
There is one big fault with Semplice's desktop application search. I can't type application name and then press enter. Afterwards you need to manually select from the applications found with mouse or cursor keys. The first application is not automatically selected.
4 • Semplice (by dhinds on 2015-07-13 01:32:44 GMT from North America)
I installed SpaceFM which has a good file seach app.
5 • Microsoft and OpenSSH (by Kyle on 2015-07-13 01:58:38 GMT from North America)
Microsoft is adopting OpenSSH, what a turn for Microsoft, though since it's open source, I sort of expect them to create their own version, slap the label MS-SSH on it, and only add it to the Enterprise and Ultimate version of Windows 10. But, hey, with Windows 10, they've dashed my expectations, maybe they'll keep it open source.
6 • OpenSUSE derivatives (by speedytux on 2015-07-13 02:15:38 GMT from North America)
I think the level of personalization in openSUSE community is different than the level of personalization in the Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora/Arch community.
In Debian and Ubuntu usually the personalization hit the desktop level, so that communities have a lot o choice in that area.
In the openSUSE community we see more experiments in a level more underground. So many users love Thumbleweed, the rolling release distro. OpenSUSE is a big sponsor of KDE, like Arch, and the KDE users are more loyal to their DE than GNOME or others, and less prone to test other DE. openSUSE is one of the biggest contributor to the latest kernel and it is easy to use it, like in Fedora.
So I think the more people like a distro in its standard flavor, less they wish to test other options. But the huge diversity in the debian and ubuntu ecosystem is a tresure for the whole Free Software community.
7 • Systemd... (by Tom joad on 2015-07-13 02:31:43 GMT from North America)
I voted other.
I know there are some strong opinions out there concerning Systemd. I don't have one and I wonder how many folks are in my group. I looked at the voting so far and there seems to be a lot of 'other' votes already.
Right now I am running Ubuntu Mate (which I like) and a Mint Mate (which I like a bit more). I downloaded Zorin 10 RC today. I ran it once a zip drive. At first blush it seemed to be what I remember which I like a lot.
Ubuntu runs Systemd and I see above Mint doesn't. I know Zorin does use it I believe. I honest haven't noticed a performance different with it or without.
Lastly, I will note there was a lot of gnashing of teeth when our beloved Gnome 2.x went away. There was a shake down period but we all got on with what we do. (We ended up with some really nice window managers) Yes, I realize Gnome is one thing and Systemd is a bigger, more troublesome other. But life will go one as we know it.
I would, however, like to see Unity put in the 'Nether Regions' forever where it belongs
8 • Finding and avoiding distributions with specific packages (by Joe on 2015-07-13 02:37:54 GMT from North America)
If you eliminate all the distros with Iceweasel, then you are more likely to get a distro that works out of the box. Distros that use the real Firefox are more likely to include necessary items like drivers and multimedia software.
9 • Semplice Review, Weekly Poll & Search Update (by Chris on 2015-07-13 03:09:42 GMT from North America)
Review: Semplice 7.1 - Thank you for another great review. As discussed in last week's DWW Comments, later this summer the Semplice team is looking to release a Semplice Workstation version based upon Debian stable (Jessie). The stable edition is suppose to be nearly identical to the main version. I look forward to trying it out.
I do have a question for the reviewer. You mention Semplice's default setup includes an active SSH server OOB, is root login deactivated and other secure settings activated by default? Not that it is difficult to make these adjustments at the user level, but if they are including it OOB, it would be nice to see it secured by default.
DWW Poll - I selected Other. I do not currently use systemd and I have an aversion to it; therefore, I plan to avoid it for the foreseeable future, but I am willing to reconsider my position at a later date once systemd matures (along with its developers) or I have no choice.
Search Update - Thank you for updating the search function and continuing to add functionality to DW. I don't have a current need, but it is always great to have more options.
10 • @7 Systemd & Unity (by mcellus on 2015-07-13 03:19:03 GMT from North America)
I agree with you about systemd. I use it and it works for me without problems, so I can't really say that I like it or that I dislike it: it works and does what I need, and that's just fine. I think you're right: a lot of the "other" votes are probably from people who aren't ideologically involved in the matter and who just want their init system to work.
But I disagree about Unity. I use it and I like it. Why would that bother you? Since you don't like it, I'm probably safe in assuming that you don't use it. It's great that you have the choice! It's great that I have a choice, too. Ubuntu Mate is my second choice. (I tried other DEs, and particularly disliked Gnome3. Thus, I don't use it. But I have no wish that it would somehow go away and that nobody else could use it.)
11 • SuSE Studio (by Arkanabar on 2015-07-13 03:19:32 GMT from Planet Mars)
Read carefully before installing a SUSE Studio spin.
A lot of the spins are garbage. There doesn't appear to be any sort of filtering at all -- anybody can throw up any spin they make with SuSE Studio without any sort of QA, nor any sort of expiration date -- you can download spins based on long-gone versions of openSUSE.
12 • systemd (by GuntherT on 2015-07-13 03:26:58 GMT from North America)
I've primarily used Arch throughout the years, which in my opinion became slightly easier to set up after adopting systemd. That is pretty much the whole of my opinion on systemd. I responded that I use it and like it because I suppose my opinion is marginally positive. After I set it up I have little to no interaction with it. Did Debian/Ubuntu users notice a difference after the switch? It seems to me systemd is a background program that a lot of end users would not know is there if using a distribution that is already set up for them.
13 • no systemd (by Chris on 2015-07-13 03:56:13 GMT from Oceania)
OSX, Freebsd and Slackware. What more can a man want?
14 • systemd and debian unstable (by linuxista on 2015-07-13 04:08:03 GMT from North America)
I actually think systemd is quite straightforward and pleasant for checking logs (journalctl -r) and especially for starting/stopping/enabling/disabling services. The bonus is the (systemctl enable fstrim.service) command to have systemd auto run fstrim as a chron job on your ssd once a week.
I tried to run Aptosid a few years ago and migrate Crunchbang to unstable (the migration worked, at least for a while), and my experience with Debian sid is similar to Jesse's: dependency errors, package conflicts and a high risk of system instability. Way too much trouble for me. My experience on Arch is totally different. I have the same install running for 5 years and counting and it's basically painless. I'd be interested in hearing from experienced Debian Sid users about whether they can make a relatively stable personal OS out of it.
15 • @13 systemd and OSX (by linuxista on 2015-07-13 04:10:18 GMT from North America)
If the objections to systemd are political/philosophical, how could OSX any kind of answer? At least systemd is FOSS.
16 • init poll (by kernelKurtz on 2015-07-13 04:11:09 GMT from Europe)
Am reconfiguring my multiboot this summer with a variety of non-systemd systems, including Salix and AVLinux. My daily driver will remain Manjaro, which I've been on since 0.8.3, but only because there is a well-maintained openRC spin available through their forums.
I'm no UNIX genius. But I did watch what happened with Debian closely, and it troubled me. Also a lot of the people whose opinions I respect regarding techno-politics, like ignorantGuru and anticapitalista from AntiX, are shying away from the lennart thing for reasons that seem logical and prudent to me. So I vote with my feet, and the ballot is marked: "No thanks".
17 • Semplice - rightclicks, vera-search & panel launchers (by Hoos on 2015-07-13 04:24:49 GMT from Asia)
Thank you for the Semplice 7.0.1 review. I've been using it for about 2+ years, and think that for a Sid distro it's quite problem-free provided you haven't been letting updates pile up too much before updating. It is after all a rolling release so it is kind of a shifting target. The 7.0.1 image was released in April, so in your case I can understand there might be some issues installing the 500+ updates accumulated since then. In any case, like @9 said, a version based on Debian stable is coming soon.
For those who aren't so used to the right-click application menu of openbox - and I agree that the vera-search function needs to be improved on - Semplice does provide an easy graphical way to add app launchers to your panel. Go to the Control Centre, click on "Panel", and add launchers accordingly. You'll be able to pin your favourite applications to the panel for easy access in the way you're used to, ie, moving your cursor down to the panel. No need to manually edit the tint2 panel config files.
I pin all my most-commonly used programs and then right click the rest. I don't use vera-search that much because like you, the desktop is usually covered with windows. If you have to focus on the desktop first to initiate search, you might as well right-click for the full menu.
But kudos to the developer for his new ideas, making a more "luxurious", GUI-focused, openbox distro.
18 • systemd/KDBUS, sent in a pull request to Greg Kroah-Hartman (by RollMeAway on 2015-07-13 04:57:01 GMT from North America)
The April Fool joke here, about systemd forking the kernel, may be something the opposition would wish for.
Instead it seems the systemd developers are starting to take over the kernel !
One nibble at a time, we all are loosing linux and morphing into systemd.
Most users won't know or care. As long as THEIR system works why bother?
Those of us who like to get "under the hood", add this, remove that, or try a different approach, are the ones frustrated with systemd.
You will do it the way systemd developers dictate, or you can't do it.
At this rate, the day will come when you no longer tell someone you run linux. You will be saying I run a systemd operating system.
19 • init poll (by Hoos on 2015-07-13 04:58:00 GMT from Asia)
I'm not against systemd for now, but being cautious, I do wonder just how far the tentacles will reach eventually and what the future holds for Linux.
So I multiboot both systemd and non-systemd distros.
"Others" for me in the poll.
20 • @18 systemd (by GuntherT on 2015-07-13 05:28:19 GMT from North America)
@18: What specifically do you find frustrating about systemd once you are "under the hood"? What is it that systemd developers have dictated "you can't do"? I am interested to know what usage problems you have encountered with systemd that weren't an issue with your prior init system.
21 • @14 - debian sid (by Hoos on 2015-07-13 05:46:47 GMT from Asia)
I start by saying I am not an expert Debian/Linux user. I use Manjaro but not Arch, but I started by installing Manjaro from iso images that were not so outdated. Ditto Semplice.
I assume the same for you on Arch, so you got a pretty fresh starting point and presumably have been upgrading regularly since.
By this point, Semplice 7.0.1 latest download image is 3 months old.
So that could be one factor. I do think pacman is great though.
I have run my Semplice installation for more than 2 years without much problem. I update every 1 to 2 weeks, so there is some build up of updates but not too bad.
I don't use smxi, but I know others do.
I merely install apt-listbugs to have some idea of possible issues, and then decide whether or not to proceed to update the buggy package. If not, I just hold that package(s), dist-upgrade the rest, and usually when I upgrade again in 2 weeks, that package has been sorted out. There have been times I proceed anyway to update that package, and so far there have been no real problems. On the few bad occasions, I can get help from the forum.
I had tried aptosid and sidux previously, and like you I couldn't get them to last a long time on my machine before updates began to lead to problems.
Maybe it's because Semplice openbox has fewer packages to worry about than the KDE sidux/aptosid I'd tried in the past. No idea but so far it works quite well for me.
22 • We hope you find the new search features and the above examples useful. (by welton on 2015-07-13 06:32:41 GMT from North America)
Sorry to say it but, no, not useful. When searching for "no systemd in latest version", inability to also filter out inactive distros and distros for architectures other than mine... resultset from that search is not useful.
23 • systemd (by Mads Worsøe Duun on 2015-07-13 06:53:10 GMT from Europe)
@15 OSX uses launched as init, which is Apache 2.0 licensed.
24 • @20 (by Chris on 2015-07-13 06:55:02 GMT from North America)
I am not @18 but I thought I would provide my answesr to your questions. I hope you don't mind.
I have experimented with systemd several times (Arch and Debian 8). Each time it just works, logs are reletively easy to review, and it has required little for me to learn its necessary syntax. Actually, I have found it has been easier under systemd to manage startup services. As such, I think SYSTEMD SHOULD EXIST AS AN OPTION for users of various distros. Heck, even if it were a worthless pile of garbage it should exist as an option as long as someone wants to develop it.
However, IMO (YMMV) there are six problems with systemd, four major and two minor:
1. Minor No. 1: Developers attitudes. I don't think more needs to be said on this issue and if it were not for the four major issues I could live just fine with this issue.
2. Minor No. 2: Age. For such a significant part of an OS, it is reletively young and needs time to mature and receive thorough independent review to become a goto init, etc. Rarely some developments are great out-of-the-gate, so I'm willing to list this as minor - for now.
3. Major No. 1: Mission Creep. Is systemd an init or an OS? I mean seriously, WTF is it exactly?!? [Sorry for my quasi-curse, but I really couldn't think of any better way to say it.]
4. Major No. 2: Binary Logs. While my experiments have not resulted in any KNOWN log issues to date, how do I really know and why should I have to worry? Binary logs are just unnecessary and a bad idea all-around!
5. Major No. 3: System Dependencies. Once systemd becomes the default init, etc. of a distro, there is absolutely no way to replace it without parts remaining and libs and shims required. A user should be able to choose any init, etc. system they want, including systemd, without having to have unnecessary dependancies lurking on their system. For similar reasons I dislike the large DEs (Gnome, KDE).
6. Major No. 4: Other Systems and More Dependencies. Yes, this one is directly related to Nos. 3 and 5, but it is so large of a problem IMO it deserves its own spot on the list. Why does systemd need to depend on parts of SELinux?!? First, not only does a distros adoption of systemd require parts to remain on your system no matter what init one chooses (Issue No. 5), but also predisposes one to use SELinux in lieu of Apparmor, etc. and again leaves parts on a system even if one replaces systend with another init, security app, etc. I mean if they are going to pre-choose SELinux for us to use, why don't they just put in a direct connection to the NSA's server farm!!!
Overall, I like the idea of systemd, find it easy to use, and defend its right to be a choice for anyone interested. I can live with Issue Nos. 1 and 2, tolerate Issue No. 3, and pursue change in Issue No. 4, but Issue No. 5 is inexcusable and Issue No. 6 is INTOLERABLE!
25 • Semplice (by linuxista on 2015-07-13 07:27:56 GMT from North America)
@21 Thanks for the explanation; that was very helpful. On Arch and Manjaro I've never had an issue with using very outdated install media or not updating for weeks or months. I suspect the 2 levels of repos (regular & testing) compared to Debian trying to maintain stable, testing, sid, experimental, volatile, etc. might have something to do with it. I always consider it somewhat of a canard when people say you have to update every day or week with Arch or it will break. Not true, at least in my experience. Do you think if you didn't stay appraised of bug reports before upgrading you would run into trouble? Or are you just being extra-cautious and doing it by the book. I never bother with Arch and can think of only one time when it caused a problem (when Arch switched to systemd! But big changes like that are rare, obviously.) I'm just trying to guage whether Sid could be a real rolling alternative to Arch, or whether my previous experience with it is still valid.
@23 That OSX's launched init is Apache licensed is good, but isn't that like praising Hitler for being nice to his dog? :-)
26 • systemd (by Mads Worsøe Duun on 2015-07-13 07:33:17 GMT from Europe)
@25 you could say so, never owened anything from Apple for a reason. Just wanted to point that it wasn't a valid argument.
27 • vera, systemd & Unity (by M.Z. on 2015-07-13 08:00:14 GMT from Planet Mars)
It's nice to see a different desktop tested out now & then & there are some interesting points with vera. That being said none of the functionality there can't be configured on KDE, although it is obviously lighter than KDE by a decent margin. With enough improvements & tweaks I might want to give a future version of vera a test drive on some older hardware, but KDE & Cinnamon still seem like far better options for newer PCs.
On the systemd issue I'm firmly in the 'oter' camp as I use PCLOS & Mint that are systemd free & I multi boot with Mageia that runs systemd. It doesn't make too much difference, though I'm sure options that satisfy everyone will exist for years to come.
@13, 15, 23, & 25
Well for that matter didn't launchd help inspire this whole systemd thing? I might be mistaken but I thought I heard somewhere that the init in OSX was one of the things that systemd was trying to pull ideas from, & at very least the names are similar which probably isn't a coincidence.
@10 - Unity is the worst thing to ever happen to Linux
It's well documented that Unity contains spyware components. The whole concept of a major distro shipping with spyware enabled by default is a terrible thing just on the face of it & is bad for all versions of Linux regardless of which DE they use. It not only damages the privacy of unwary users, but it damages the reputation of Linux in general. If things aren't finally fixed in the next version I will start to wish the same fate for Canonical that #7 wishes for that nasty DE that Canonical unleashed on hordes of unwary noobs.
28 • systemd poll - Other (by far2fish on 2015-07-13 08:02:29 GMT from Europe)
I voted Other. All the distros I either use regularly or plan to use, uses systemd.
I have read much of the heated debate on systemd, but personally I could not care less which init system I use on a laptop.
For me Other = I use systemd, and I am netural about it,
Right now I am on a distro which uses Upstart though.
29 • @ 25 Semplice (by Hoos on 2015-07-13 08:14:20 GMT from Asia)
"Do you think if you didn't stay appraised of bug reports before upgrading you would run into trouble? Or are you just being extra-cautious and doing it by the book"
Just cautious. I always skim through the Manjaro forum thread announcing an update, before starting the update. Also I check the Semplice forum before updating but there is usually nothing. It's not busy.
I don't think Semplice would run into many problems anyway. I only discovered apt-listbugs early this year (shows how non-expert I am). Before that I just did regular dist-upgrades, but I did check the Semplice forum just in case there was a rare warning. I don't drop out of X into init 3 which sidux and offshoots advocate.
YMMV of course, depending on hardware, settings and applications used.
30 • I use systemd and… (by SuperOscar on 2015-07-13 08:35:18 GMT from Europe)
There should’ve been an option for “I use systemd and couldn’t care less of the controversy”. I think most regular users don’t even notice any change.
31 • @30 - I agree (by Naxxon on 2015-07-13 08:55:00 GMT from Europe)
I don't understand all this confusion about systemd. I couldn't care less if a distro uses systemd as an init; it does its job, and I don't see any difference with other system inits. So, my answer is "Other", that means "I use systemd; so what?".
32 • Semplice (by yerd on 2015-07-13 09:29:11 GMT from Oceania)
Thanks for the Semplice review. I like how lightweight the distro is and can't wait to have my hands on their upcoming Workstation version based on Jessie.
33 • WW-3: $$-elitist vs. Open-source (no Sy$tem admins) (by gregzeng on 2015-07-13 10:07:38 GMT from Oceania)
Distrowatch Weekly answers: why RPM-based distros (Fedora, OpenSuse) are not favored by distro creators?
Well known to insiders: RPM favors $y$tem administrators, at the cost of giving second-class status to desktop users. All DEB distro users can easily double-click on a *.deb application file. It generally installs, and allows updates to the application if available. This double-click allows adding Linux kernel changes, including old, beta, and daily releases, can be easily installed, without tedious, slow & complex compilation.
Ubuntu-based distros (including Mint-based distros) have the advantage of PPA installations & updates. Using "grub-customizer", multiple Linux kernels can be moved, selected or deselected without editing ini files.
Synaptic Package Manager allows reliable quick & easy GUI addition or removal of any files, without CLI hassles, even the Internet browsers:
Third party application writers cannot support all the many Linux operating systems. This is why so many upstream projects are underway to assist the diversity of applications in Windows-x86, to eventually be available in Linux. At the moment, the main application aids are WINE, VirtualBox & Crossover (commercial; not available for Arch, nor compilation).
Current Linux users seem extremely short-sighted, and self satisfied elitists who do not Linux to be used by the other 98% of computer users. IMO, the majority 98% need more System-D, to simplify their life.
The November 2016 USA Federal elections will decide if the winner will be the gun-happy, conservative, $$-wealthy elitists, with their $y$tem administrators. Or will the winner be majority of non-participants, free of the system admins win, favoring public health care, instead of $$-wealthy care? This is a World-War-3 question that we in the Linux world also now face. Will publicly funded USA & its military forces, who also created Internet (via DARPA), or will the $$-wealthy militia beat the mass users?
34 • Funtoo and no systemd (by SwampRabbit on 2015-07-13 10:21:54 GMT from North America)
Good issue of DWW, for sure have been getting better recently overall.
I voted no systemd at all since I stopped using Debian and Mint and strictly use Funtoo now for all my GNU Linux boxes. Run a fee FreeBSD based appliances too.
I enjoy the freedom and control over my systems.
35 • systemd (by solt87 on 2015-07-13 10:46:48 GMT from North America)
I'm one of them crazy, unintelligent, FUD-spreading, tinfoil-hatted systemd-nolikers, and I use Debian 8 with sysVinit. Apart from the "ideological thing", I find systemd to be unreliable. Installed Arch in a Qemu machine; when I tried to "systemctl enable" lxdm for the freshly installed DE, it effing failed. Multiple times. Even after a reboot. (Seriously? "Try rebooting, so it may get better"? Are we playing windowz here?) I know it works very well for many, but for me, it proved to be a buggy piece of dung.
36 • Zorin smoothness (by better Linux needed on 2015-07-13 11:00:26 GMT from Planet Mars)
zorin is based on Ubuntu, and tries to replicate the Windoiws look - which it does OK. But what it has really mastered better than other distros is smoothness in operation. There's no waiting around for apps to start or web pages to connect. Anyone know how this smoothness is achieved?
And this is how Linux development ought to progress in order to get onto more desktops. Zorin has got smooth operation down pat, so now developers ought to build more and better apps around that type of environment to push Linux forward. Follow the momentum of good coding rather than everyone just going off in all directions and Linux not progressing that well.
37 • systemd (by jb on 2015-07-13 11:01:43 GMT from Europe)
I use systemd and dislike it: 58 (13%)
I am not using systemd and plan to avoid it: 142 (31%)
That's a rejection rate of 44%.
Ain’t No Sunshine When It’s Gone
38 • systemd (by nolinuxguru on 2015-07-13 11:50:59 GMT from Europe)
I was using Debian 7, but the way they handled the systemd fiasco for Debian 8, I started looking for a Linux replacement. I know there are many distros that don't use systemd, but I actually like Debian. I discovered "The Manjaro Experiments" [Steve Litt] and the Epoch Init System, and use that to initialize Debian 7 or 8 without changing a single line of [Debian] code. If I can do this, then why did the Debian software giants spend so much effort telling us that it was not possible?
39 • This week's poll (by chemicalfan on 2015-07-13 12:19:22 GMT from Europe)
There wasn't an option for "I am not using systemd, and I don't care", so I went with Other. For me, the init system is the distro's problem, not mine.
40 • Sorry... @10 (by tom joad on 2015-07-13 12:34:48 GMT from North America)
Yes, yes, I was a bit harsh in my comments about unity. Sorry. And no I don't like it and don't use it.
But, and here was my error, I know there are those who do like it and do use it.
And to those who do use Unity I say, Rock ON!!!
41 • systemd usage (by Jeffrey S. on 2015-07-13 14:03:15 GMT from North America)
I use either Debian, Fedora, or Ubuntu as my main systems, and sometimes I play around with Gentoo and Arch, so I use systemd regularly. While I don't have any problem with systemd, I agree with the Unix ideal and would prefer that systemd not have such a monopoly over init systems. Personally, I like Gentoo's openrc, as it is just as good as systemd and it retains the Unix ideal. I welcome such projects as Devuan, which is a fork of Debian but without systemd components, but I am content with using systemd until Devuan becomes more mature.
42 • Systemd poll (by cykodrone on 2015-07-13 14:19:18 GMT from North America)
First I would like to thank DW for their bravery conducting such a poll, lol. ;D
Secondly, I voted "I am not using systemd and plan to avoid it", I migrated away from Debian on purpose because of systemd, I am quite happy with my new OS (it is a Linux distro but I'm not divulging the name on purpose, to avoid the 'shill' label). When the systemd free Linux distro well runs dry (I hope that day never comes), I will migrate to a systemd free BSD.
43 • openSUSE (by vw72 on 2015-07-13 14:26:33 GMT from North America)
openSUSE is often left out of discussions of good desktop distributions. Part of this is because every time they make a change, they don't issue numerous press releases. For instance openSUSE has been using systemd almost as long as Fedora, so when the switch for debian/ubuntu came about, it was non-news for openSUSE.
openSUSE is a good choice for those wanting a longer support period than Fedora and the relative simplicity of the various Ubuntu derivatives. Like Fedora, it contributes upstream. It also has a lot of software in personal repositories similar to ppas in Ubuntu. One thing it doesn't have is all the drama that some distributions and communities seem to have.
openSUSE isn't perfect and like all distros, it can be improved. However, it is something even my grandmother can use (and she does), without constant help.
As many on DW know, any distro can be made to pretty much work like any other. It just depends on how much effort you want to put into it to get it to do so. However, different distros do have different target audiances. Ubuntu is geared towards the consumer market, Fedora is targeted at the technical worker and openSUSE is targeted to the common person (technical or otherwise).
As for derivatives, most Fedora ones are to add support for a different desktop or add codecs and other non-oss software support. For Ubuntu, the official ones support other desktops and the unofficial ones are anywhere from different theming and default software installed to distros more focused on something other than the consumer market. openSUSE already supports the major desktops so a derivative for that reason doesn't make sense. There are some openSUSE derivatives targeting different users (ie. musicians, videographers, etc.), but for most people, there isn't a need to release a separate distro because the main one does so much.
Unfortunately, while producing an excellent distribution, openSUSE fails miserably on marketing itself to the public.
44 • @24 (by bobHere on 2015-07-13 15:23:03 GMT from North America)
Thank you. Could not have expressed any better.
In a day and age of ever increasing complexity,
ever decreasing life-cycles and value,
AND to complete the vicious circle, increasing "disposability" (for the sake of growth and consumption) ...
Why would (or should) the average IT tools user, care about systemd? Can they even afford the time?
Today very few, if any, things are "meant" to be serviceable (labor vs replacement cost). Operating Systems are following the same path. And then "One of these days", "Bang Zoom, straight to the CLOUD, Alice ...". (I must be an old fart!).
I am sure we all know of someone, buying a new smart phone because the current one malfunctions (ie non-removable battery,...), buying a new computer ... (ie ransomware,...), a new TV ..., a new transportation device ...
Yet through all this, it's a wonderful world.
45 • SystemD (by Javabean on 2015-07-13 15:33:54 GMT from North America)
So, the Linux philosophy is, do one thing and do it well. It's also about choice.
SystemD may not be the root of all evil, but it:
a.) tries to do too many things at one time
b.) removes your choice.
Don't believe it removes your choice? Look at Gnome3....not running SystemD, then guess what? You're not running Gnome3 either. (Well, not without a metric ton of work.) Slowly, systematically, you will be assimilated.
No thanks. I moved to Linux when another cumbersome monstrosity of an OS started telling me what I had to do because they said so. I'll be darned if I'm going to let Linux replace one dictatorship with another. As long as there are SystemD free Linux distros, they'll get my preference. When those run out, I'll move to *.BSD.
PS, I'm currently running a small, practically unheard of distro that I found on here that natively uses Runit (though it does allow using SystemD if that's your preference). It's by far one of the fastest distros I've used in ages, and if it holds up, it just may be the distro that stops my distro-hopping urge.
46 • @11, @6 OpenSUSE (by cba on 2015-07-13 15:34:39 GMT from Europe)
" you can download spins based on long-gone versions of openSUSE"
You can't. Look at this example:
The SuseStudio team writes with regard to the download of this EOL version:
"Downloads are no longer available for this appliance, as it is based on an OS version that we no longer support.
You can clone the appliance, then upgrade and build with a current OS version."
Moreover, one version based on openSUSE was JAD, derived from openSUSE 11.2, but with a real-time kernel suitable for audio production. Other distributions which are or were once based on Suse or openSUSE are Caixa Magica, Astaro Linux, CrOS, Linkat and Balsam Professional.
47 • systemd (by TonyVanDam on 2015-07-13 16:30:54 GMT from North America)
I voted for "I am not using systemd and plan to avoid it". I'm currently using antiX, since it's one of the few Debian-based distros not using systemd. So far, so good! : )
48 • systemd (by brain_death on 2015-07-13 16:32:08 GMT from Europe)
I voted 'Other' as I have Arch on my desktop which uses systemd and CentOS 6.6 on my server, which doesn't. Gradually, I suppose I will have to move with the times, but it takes a lot to beat the simplicity and sheer power of those old-fashioned configuration files. Systemd shuts my system down faster than before and has a beauty of its own. But put it this way - CentOS 6.x is supported until 2020 and I am in no hurry to upgrade the server!
49 • systemd (by Martin on 2015-07-13 17:12:07 GMT from Europe)
@47 Same here! AntiX is lean, fast and does everything I need it to do, brilliant distro.
50 • systemd poll (by steve on 2015-07-13 17:19:50 GMT from Europe)
I voted "I am not using systemd and plan to avoid it".
On my netbook I have PCLinuxOS installed, LXDE version.
It runs smoothly and I have no plans to change as long as I am not forced to install systemd during one of the upgrades.
I even uninstalled Pulseaudio. :)
I have nothing against systemd from a software point of view, I simply don't like loosing my right to choose.
51 • Why I like systemd (by Charles Burge on 2015-07-13 17:25:29 GMT from North America)
As a disto-hopper, I like to try other distros just to see what they are like, even though I have settled on Arch as my favorite. One thing that has often frustrated me is that with each new distro I try, they seem to a different way of starting/stopping services, or enabling/disabling them. For example, Distro A comes with postfix running by default, and I have to do an internet search to find out how to disable it. Distro B has a different way of doing the same thing, so I have to look it up again. Systemd puts all of that to rest. When a distro is running systemd, I already know how to manage services.
Now, I know that diversity of approaches has been a strength in the Linux community at large, but I believe it's time to start consolidating certain things to a single approach that works well, and I think management of services and network settings are two of those. I think that the fragmentation in that area is one of the things hampering more mainstream adoption of Linux.
52 • systemd (by PaschalisSposito on 2015-07-13 17:28:56 GMT from Europe)
For more than 10 years I am personally & professionally have used linux distributions with different flavours......
I was always enjoying the freedom of choices... and the freedom of customization.
Unfortunately, the last years linux has been circumcised by gnome 3, and now systemd... and according to my poor experience has killed the users experience....
Why they do not leave linux as is, ever since was always secured, stable and robust operating system......
Ever since some people want to apply systemd, let them create their own distributions......
53 • systemd vs not (by albinard on 2015-07-13 20:03:50 GMT from North America)
I decided I'd have to find out for myself. My three boxes run as follows:
#1. Two non-systemd distros
#2. One systemd distro
#3. One systemd, one non-systemd
I figured that would be a good test. So far I detect no difference in stability, performance, or response to updates.
Just one thing: on system#3, I could swear that systemd boots a bit faster, but the delay after login to bring up the desktop is somewhat longer. Any one else find that?
54 • @45 Javabean - systemd and Gnome 3 (by foo2foo on 2015-07-13 21:23:27 GMT from North America)
@45 Javabean - systemd and Gnome 3
Well you "can" use Gnome3 without systemd in Funtoo (probably Gentoo too).
It is a shame the Gnome devs went the dependency lock-in route though.
They lost users because of it.
I only use Funtoo and Gentoo with XFCE by choice though.
OpenRC is very fast and stable.
55 • suggestion for search (by jason on 2015-07-13 21:48:55 GMT from North America)
Separating distros that have zeitgeist installed.
Total Spyware, wish Ubuntu got rid of it.
56 • Distro search (by a on 2015-07-13 22:06:13 GMT from Europe)
Thanks for adding the package search! However as-is it’s not super useful because it returns too much (at least for the "without systemd" search). It would be great if it could be combined with the other criteria, so I could search for example "active 32 bit Linux or BSD distros that do not contain systemd".
57 • Package filters (by a on 2015-07-13 22:36:21 GMT from Europe)
Oh and it would be awesome to be able to filter on several packages:
- no systemd
- kbd >= 2.0.1
- kernel >= 4.0.5
58 • @15 (by Chris on 2015-07-13 23:12:57 GMT from Oceania)
Sorry. I didn't realise it had to be a political/philosophical objection. How silly of me.
59 • Poll (by a on 2015-07-13 23:39:15 GMT from Europe)
Not happy with systemd so I switched from Arch to Gentoo, and switching from Xubuntu to FreeBSD on a second computer.
60 • Systemd (by Ron on 2015-07-14 00:01:46 GMT from North America)
Like others here I voted "other." I personally don't care, at the user level, which one it is. My biggest concerns in any OS is stability, security, privacy and how well everything functions for my needs, (the number of packages in a repo matters but that is not an influencing choice for me. I can get the source code and compile it if needed, which is easy and nothing like it was in the late 90's for those that remember what true dependency hell was really like.)
I have had no problems between the two at the user level, at least nothing I have noticed so far. So as I said I voted other.
61 • easy RPM distros & political stuff (by M.Z. on 2015-07-14 00:59:35 GMT from Planet Mars)
There are more than a few community based & easy to use RPM based distros like PCLinuxOS & Mageia. Both of those distros are entirely community based & both have grub customizer in their default repos so you don't need any PPA's. I'd also point out that Fedora has RPM fusion repos available & it is supposed to be point & click easy to get lots of extra software going, though I haven't used it personally. I'll admit that I've had a little more trouble getting Chrome going on Mageia as easily as I got it going on Mint, but it has nothing to do with the politics of the distro makers.
As a general note on the political thrust of your commentary, I frankly see no connection whatsoever between politics & RPM or Deb based distros. I have a general agreement with some of your sentiments; however, I find singling out Red Hat as a force for corporate greed/right wing politics to be fairly ironic if only because Red Hat world headquarters is in one of the most left leaning towns in the American South. In fact Raleigh was important to the fate of 2008 presidential elections because it help swing the state of North Carolina & elect that guy who passed the health care reforms you mentioned. I highly doubt that all Red Hat employees voted against the general trend in the area of their world HQ. There really is no reason whatsoever to connect DEB & RPM distros to political elections of any sort. Just use what you like & maybe try stuff from the other side every now & then to keep things interesting.
I'm infinitely more worried about about the spyware built into Unity than some event logging daemon. I don't like the idea of it per say, but many users like to quickly view recent documents, sot it has become an accepted practice despite the fact that it is a little creepy. I think to qualify as spyware zeitgeist would actually have to connect to the internet, which is something that is seems to not do. From the project website:
"Zeitgeist events are available in the same way your Firefox and Chrome browsing history is very easily accessible. Pidgin even saves your password in plain text in your home directory.
Now remember the two golden rules of security on a Linux installation.
Don’t run as root
Don’t install untrusted applications"
It seems to imply information stays offline so long as you aren't hit by malware, which on a properly admined Linux system would be a bit like being trampled by a Unicorn. The stuff going through the Unity Dash on the other hand is sent directly to Canonical & is spyware that genuinely damages user privacy. No matter how much #33 wants to believe that DEB based distros like Ubuntu are inherently good, Unity has still done more to damage user rights for the sake of corporate profits than anything else in the Linux world.
62 • New package search options (by Will B on 2015-07-14 01:11:42 GMT from North America)
Thanks so much for implementing the new package search options! I was going to suggest it, but figured I'd be ignored. Thanks again! :-D
63 • systemd (by Thomas Mueller on 2015-07-14 01:33:00 GMT from North America)
Now I use mostly FreeBSD and NetBSD where there is no systemd. But I intend to get into Linux, likely Gentoo, and will want to see how systemd works, while also, in separate installation, trying other init system. Then I might choose to stay, or not stay, with systemd. So that puts me in the least popular position of not using systemd but planning to use it. Having a big hard drive with GPT enables one to try many separate OS installations: up to 128 partitions and no distinction between primary and logical partitions. USB sticks also come in handy.
64 • Suse... (by Baltazar on 2015-07-14 02:24:35 GMT from North America)
I for one think that one of the main reasons that there are no derivative of OpenSuse may rest with the fact that the company that has Suse is in the patent trap that the previous owner, Novell, had with Microsoft...
Since the moment that move happened I have lost interest in Suse, completely... Not because it is a bad distro or anything but simply because I don't feel like using something that may have been tainted by Microsoft shady patent extortion scheme...
As far as I know this is still the case between them, is enough to not base of them... in my opinion!
65 • systemd (by Donnie on 2015-07-14 03:06:33 GMT from North America)
I think that a bit of clarification is in order about systemd.
On a desktop system, I doubt that it really makes much of a difference whether one runs systemd, upstart, or even SysV. But, on a server, there are several distinct advantages to using systemd. In addition to the faster boot times that everyone likes to talk about, system resource management is now much easier and much better. And, there's also the fact that systemd can take advantage of kernel features that other init systems can't.
I run systemd on CentOS 7, and have come to like it very much.
66 • systemd (by Andy Figueroa on 2015-07-14 03:21:12 GMT from North America)
I primarily run Gentoo and am very pleased with OpenRC, and have been very pleased with sysvinit as well in the past. I more or less understand these under the hood, and they work well. I found systemd and it's excessive integration and dependencies like a virulent plague and as it began to infect the Linux ecosphere it was initially hard to fend off being taken over by it involuntarily. I find systemd unnecessary.
67 • easy RPM (by LinuxuserNZ on 2015-07-14 05:06:22 GMT from Oceania)
@ 61. As a long time user of Mandrake to Mageia the GUI package management is pretty much click and done. I have never had to use the command line to install a package for these distros.
@33.I have tried many times with Synaptic and apt-get... and just cant get my head around them, I guess its just what I am used to.
Systemd. The distro just works for me, I trust the community and distro devs, and that is what it boils down to for me.
68 • systemd (by dnk_mal on 2015-07-14 08:31:19 GMT from Europe)
@65 faster boot time is (and was) never a goal to a server because due to the long time runnings a fsck is always a goot idea if (and only IF) a server will be restarted.
It makes no different if it than takes 15 sec. or 5 min.
If system resource management is easier or better is a point of view, I for myself prefer simple text files for logging and administrating that do not need the help of any systemd "translator" commands and a 1:1 structure (1 command for 1 job) because if a command fails only one job will fail.
And beside that systemd increases the average load due to its event'n'control structure (not relly much but somtimes it made the difference between slow or fast running cpu cooler)
69 • systemd (by zykoda on 2015-07-14 09:24:36 GMT from Europe)
Let systemd be. Time will tell whether such entanglement and complexity is worthy of the effort.
70 • systemd @69 (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-07-14 15:06:09 GMT from Europe)
I do let systemd be, only not in my machines ;-)
71 • @64 Suse and patents (by Euler on 2015-07-14 16:35:14 GMT from Europe)
You criticize Suse for being pragmatic. Their customers wants security against legal actions and Suse does provide this for a small fee.
Unfortunately the cannot afford to be idealistic about this topic as they have to pay their employees. Is this realy enough for you to rule out a distribution?
72 • systemd (by Polaris96 on 2015-07-14 19:35:55 GMT from North America)
I've become philosophical about this. I don't like systemd, but I'm sure it'll be productive in time.
I hope application level developers will remain sensitive to the needs of legacy init users. If not, I'll run a systemd VM as a wrapper for any tools that become unavailable in my primary system.
73 • systemd (by 2damncommon on 2015-07-15 02:33:37 GMT from Planet Mars)
I voted "I am not using systemd and plan to avoid it".
I am waiting to see if Devuan produces a viable alternative rather than moving from Wheezy to Jessie. Also waiting to see what the next Slackware release holds. As well as following some nice articles here on Distrowatch regarding Manjaro with openRC and the latest version of Vector Linux without systemd.
I am just another regular Linux user that finds it really really odd that that an init system needs to co-opt so many other functions to make itself necessary and indispensable.
Luckily there exist no organized groups secretly pushing their own agenda on the internet...
74 • @Euler (by Baltazar on 2015-07-15 02:49:56 GMT from North America)
... am just stating a possible reason why there are no Suse/OpenSuse derivatives...
Is it enough for me to rule them out... yes!
You see, there is just one more playing in bed with Microsoft and that is Xandros... if they are still alive... they are in the same avoid list for me based on "my opinion".
Yes they have employees just like Red Hat and some others that don't have such contracts. Contracts that are shady... and are used to justify the abuse of patent trolls... extortions by Microsoft and others.
... oh... and I also ignore Android vendors that have such schemes with Microsoft as well... been them force in to it or not...
But all that based on my opinion... no need to be the same to you or anyone... Good luck to them all...
75 • OpenBSD Foundation's first Gold sponsor (by Daniel Cox on 2015-07-15 04:24:07 GMT from South America)
For the first time in many years, I support a move by MS. Good for OpenBSD.
76 • Comment about the weekly poll :: Linux Initialisation system (by Foxyburner on 2015-07-15 11:39:44 GMT from Europe)
I am used for years, even a decade to init . I am totally happy and accustom to it. Don't see any reason for a move. Happy that PCLinuxOS distribution share this.
77 • Systemd is here to stay. (by EW on 2015-07-15 14:46:17 GMT from Europe)
Whether we like it or not, systemd is here to stay, and SysVinit was more than ready to be replaced. The same people that oppose to systemd, are the same people that oppose to UEFI, GPT, and pretty much to everything new in linux.
If the development of Linux should depend on such conservative users, there would be no new major development at all. Get on board or be left behind. Easy as that.The train has left the station, and there is no going back. Maybe Systemd won't be it, but no matter what happens, SysVinit belongs in the past.
Ease up on the principles and embraces the benefits of systemd, which are far to many to be ignored. Faster boot and shutdown-times are just a welcomed side-effect that's let's us turn off our computers instead of putting them to sleep.
Startup finished in 4.896s (kernel) + 1.249s (userspace) = 6.145s
Just a side-effect, but a nice one. And this isn't even optimized, it's by default.
78 • @ 77 • Development... EW (by WSWS on 2015-07-15 16:02:31 GMT from Europe)
>If the development of Linux should depend on such conservative users, there would be no new major development at all. Get on board or be left behind. Easy as that.The train has left the station, and there is no going back. Maybe Systemd won't be it, but no matter what happens, SysVinit belongs in the past.<
Do you agree that Unity DE of Ubuntu is also here to stay, and that it is the most newest thing happened to Linux world? Of course, if you are not a Unity hater.
79 • @77 EW (by foo2foo on 2015-07-15 16:57:04 GMT from North America)
I don't think most people will argue that SysVinit needed to be retired.
It is that it needed to be replaced by a capable init only init system not the tangled mess that systemd is.
This is why real alternative init systems like runit and OpenRC were created.
Your statements are pretty bad, very opinionated, and ignorant of the truth.
Most OpenRC and runit users use UEFI and GPT, including myself.
Your posted numbers aren't that good, SysV can do that.
My crappy Yoga2 running Funtoo w/OpenRC from hardened kernel + into XFCE - 5.832s.
That is nonparallel boot with hardened kernel on 2.14GHZ CPU and 4 GBs RAM.
I can open Firefox before you have a network connection.
80 • @ 79 • on EW by foo2foo (by kendee on 2015-07-15 18:35:33 GMT from Europe)
Of course this EW is opinionated, and ignorant of the truth. The whole last week he was atatcking one guy and his/her distro called Monara. Now, the guy sis attacking those, who use SysVinit. He is trying hard to market his own distro, I suppose
81 • Embrace systemd? (by cykodrone on 2015-07-15 18:46:42 GMT from North America)
From 77, "Ease up on the principles and embraces the benefits of systemd" [sic]
That's like corporations and governments telling us 'globalization' is good for us, with rise in western unemployment, homelessness and food bank use, it's completely opposite of the sunny 'spin'.
If systemd wasn't so heavily dependent or cause other completely separate 3rd apps and DEs to have to write themselves around systemd or its 'shims', I might actually consider it. You fail to understand a certain corporation that funds its development and has an interest in dominating the Linux ecosystem is acting very much like that other monopolistic proprietary OS corporation.
This is what systemd feels like to me (lol)...
82 • minor issue (by M.Z. on 2015-07-15 19:42:24 GMT from Planet Mars)
Yes everything in the repos is very easy to install, & I like Mageia in general. There really are few weaknesses in the distro on the whole, & while the repos are large & cover almost everything I installed Chrome from third party sources so I could watch Netflix. Afterwards I got some annoying warnings about updating from unrecognized sources. Not A big issue, but a minor point in favor of Mint where everything just went after installing Chrome from outside the repos, or PCLinuxOS where Chrome is actually in the repos. I think both PCLOS & Mageia are very good RPM based distros that will work very well for most users, but there are a few minor issues where something like Mint might be be better, such as installing form third party sources. If Netflix wasn't so popular or were better supported in the Linux version of Firefox it would be a total edge case & wouldn't really matter at all; however, the fact remains that Chrome can start throwing up warnings when updating from on Mageia, while it just works in PCLOS & Mint.
83 • Semplice (by Dave Postles on 2015-07-15 21:45:29 GMT from Europe)
I really dislike the hints bar which appears across the screen. I find it really obtrusive and annoying. I know it is OpenBox and it is right click for the menu. Semplice should abandon it, IMHO.
84 • @ Jessie on Semplice review (by DeanS on 2015-07-15 21:54:37 GMT from Europe)
>By default, vera is decorated with bright blue wallpaper. The task switching panel and system tray rest at the bottom of the screen. There is no visible application menu button. Shortly after the desktop appears some text pops-up and walks us through a few quick actions. We are guided to right-click on the desktop to bring up an application menu. We are then shown that typing while no window has focus will launch a search for applications that have names matching the text we type. In this way vera has, in a fashion, two application menus. One context-style menu and another that acts in a similar manner to GNOME Shell's Activities menu. The desktop, when we are not searching for applications, is uncluttered. There are no icons and notifications are quite small, taking up only a small amount of space in the lower-right corner of the monitor. <
I think Jessie should look at Openbox somewhat closely. The "Vera Desktop" is very nice coding work by the Semplice developer on Openbox. There is NO desktop in Semplice, but only a WM, and that's called Openbox. The "blue" thing is a wallpaper and the application menus are applications with very good coding.
Semplice is a very good Debian based distro with highly tweaked Openbox WM. It doesn't matter, whether Semplice is based on Sid or Jessie or Stretch. Have a thorough look inside the distro, Jessie, just what you saw on the outside is not enough for the review.
85 • vera (by Jesse on 2015-07-15 22:07:02 GMT from North America)
@84: A desktop environment is really just a window manager with a bunch of helper applications, like panels, search programs, etc. So I'm not sure why you think there is no desktop on Semplice. There obviously is. It may run Openbox underneath, but all desktop environments run with window managers under them.
86 • @84 & @85 (by Chris on 2015-07-15 22:59:57 GMT from North America)
Let's not forget LXDE uses Openbox as its WM and we consider it a DE. Semplice's vera is just another DE which utilizes Openbox as its WM. What is the difference? - None.
87 • systemd init system (by phil taylor on 2015-07-15 23:46:23 GMT from Oceania)
I do not know which is the better init system, but I do believe that having one init system has to be better than 2, or 3, or 4, etc.. All that creative energy duplicated or triplicated (or quadlicated) - skill and effort going down the drain, Would it not be better to hve just one init system, and then all the people working on the others can devote there time and energy to doing something more useful - which I imagine would include almost anything.
In the FOSS world, the energy of so many talented people is being wasted making me-too products. True it gives the users more choice, but frankly i would rather be forced to use one really great product, than be able to choose between loads of mediocre products. Usually i dont want any of them.
88 • @87 systemd init (by Jim on 2015-07-16 02:45:39 GMT from North America)
The problem is systemd isn't just an init system, it's a collective of various daemons, tollkits, and other libraries.
SMF on Solaris is an init system with supervision just like launchd, s6, Runit, and sysvinit+OpenRC, sysvinit+perp, and sysvinit+daemontools. They serve no alien purpose but to start up services, stop services, bring the system up or down, and reap zombies in the system.
systemd adds in various state managers, supervisors, control nodes, and other services that are not as modular as Lennart likes to say. systemd is all one system. You can not segregate journald, logind, networkd, etc. from the core system. If it was modular, you could.
As a system admin, it makes you feel stupid and grumble when someone keeps spouting off "Oh init can be cool, posh, and fad." Sorry, but most people using Linux aren't hipster fanbois and emos taking selfies with their PCs booting up to say, "OMG! Using Linux today bitches! Holla!" Most people using Linux systems are serious IT professionals and people simply sick of Microsoft and want to get work done without headaches and annoyances.
To be honest, systemd is nothing but cheap and annoying fadware aimed at hipsters, do nothings, and lazy people wanting cool, posh, and fad. Not all of us spend all day booting up, rebooting, and shutting down our systems to see how fast it will go. People want to do work, real work and get it done correctly.
I'm so glad Slackware, CRUX, and Funtoo are ran by sane people who listen to their users and have a brain in their heads other than lazy idiots who want to not have to work on their distributions and take the easy ways out.
Look at the total number of people who don't want and didn't want systemd pushed onto them. That should be enough to say to distributions, "the users aren't happy, listen to your users!"
Maybe once the stranglehold of udev is broken by Jude nelson's vdev, people will wake the Hell up finally, and Linus will stop being senile.
89 • @83 - Semplice Hints Bar, and @85-86 DE (by Hoos on 2015-07-16 04:54:34 GMT from Asia)
The hints bar only appears the very first time a user logs into his/her account. You won't be bothered by it after that first time.
Obviously the developer did not want to assume that every single user knew how to access the applications menu. I note from Jesse's review that he tried to put himself in the shoes of someone who wasn't really familiar with openbox.
Although Semplice's vera is a Desktop Environment, it still gives pride of place to Openbox's way of accessing the applications. No Start/Menu button, no dock, no app launchers on the panel by default. The Hints bar's first hint is "right click to access applications menu".
I added a Start button for the guest account, but for myself, I like the Openbox feel, albeit with a few app launchers added. I don't really use the vera search function (needs more work).
LXDE uses openbox as a window manager, but it has a more standard Windows-y interface/look.
90 • @ Jessie on Vera and Openbox stuff (by kendee on 2015-07-16 06:11:03 GMT from Europe)
>A desktop environment is really just a window manager with a bunch of helper applications, like panels, search programs, etc.So I'm not sure why you think there is no desktop on Semplice. There obviously is. It may run Openbox underneath, but all desktop environments run with window managers under them.<
You are obviously a KDE guy. You rarely review Openbox distros. So, please go through few Openbox distros available, such as Sparky, Salentos, Semplice, Monara etc, you'd see that there is no DE over the Openbox WM. It is always the WM and some helper apps. Semplice shows the beauty of the Openbox. "gives pride of place to Openbox's way of accessing the applications." (Hoos)
Tint2 is the panel, and you can add any launcher to it, as far as it is in /usr/share/applications. Semplice has a nice control center, which would help any novice to put the menu launcher on the panel. This gives the user some fun time.
There is NO desktop in Openbox. If you add a desktop, then there is a DE, such as LXDE. Vera appears like a DE, but not a DE, only some apps, as DeanS wrote "very good coding."
My suggestion; reviews should be done by guys, who knows the given WM and/or the DE--who uses them everyday. Jessie is a KDE guy, so he can't really review Unity DE for example..
91 • Search packages (by Kazlu on 2015-07-16 11:14:54 GMT from Europe)
Out of curiosity, I tried to search for "systemd", no version and "in latest release". When I hit "send", the search results are the same that the last search I made (even if it was "not in the latest release" :) ). Nothing is returned if it's my first search.
In addition, I don't know how difficult it is to track packages in distros, but I would like to see linux-libre in the documented packages as well.
92 • systemd (by Christopher on 2015-07-16 12:28:12 GMT from North America)
The systemd software is a model of scope creep and bad Unix programming philosophy. The various distribution teams exercised their choice to remove my choice. (Even Debian which was utterly treacherous.) I also suspect that here are insidious motivations at play on the part of the distribution makers; thus, I refuse to play. I walk away. Goodbye Linux, and hello FreeBSD. My servers do not require systemd, Linux, political drama, experimental software, or any other hassles revolving around systemd. Maybe some day after systemd dies or on the creation of a Linux distribution that preserves choice, I might talk to you again, Linux.
93 • Window manager vs desktop environment (by Jesse on 2015-07-16 13:09:28 GMT from North America)
>> "You are obviously a KDE guy."
No, I'm not. This year I've been using mostly Unity and Lumina.
>> "please go through few Openbox distros available, such as Sparky, Salentos, Semplice, Monara etc"
If you were familiar with my review history, you'd know I've covered all of those with the exception of Monara.
>> "There is NO desktop in Openbox. If you add a desktop, then there is a DE, such as LXDE."
That is exactly what I said in my above post.
>> "Vera appears like a DE, but not a DE, only some apps,"
That is what a desktop environment is. It's a window manager with some applications. But please do not take my word for it. The Semplice developers describe vera as follows: "vera: an easy-to-use, modular, lightweight Desktop Environment built around Openbox that focuses on simplicity." See, even the people who made vera call it a desktop environment. (Reference http://semplice-linux.org/discover)
94 • Semplice hints bar (by Dave Postles on 2015-07-16 13:12:00 GMT from Europe)
@89 Strange that, because when I tried it some weeks ago, it was persistent.
95 • Vera Desktop Environment (by Garon on 2015-07-16 14:01:28 GMT from North America)
Vera is a desktop environment. According to the Semplice developers, "Semplice is powered by vera, an easy-to-use, modular, lightweight Desktop Environment built around Openbox that focuses on simplicity." That quote is taken from their website. I suspect that they know what they're talking about. Case closed.
Listening to all the init drama from some of these "IT EXPERTS" makes me want to go into the tin-foil hat business. Too many drama queens. lol
96 • Semplice (by Eugenio on 2015-07-16 15:06:04 GMT from Europe)
First of all, thank you Jesse for reviewing Semplice. Being featured (again) in the DW Weekly is awesome :)
I want to address some of the questions brought up both in the review and in this comment section.
Updates: Yes, there are some issues when upgrading from a freshly installed system (which is a Sid snapshot from April). Unfortunately I had to choose between releasing Semplice 7 before Debian 8.0 or after. The post-release Debian Sid is (understandably) unreliable due to the many package updates and transitions.
Going with the second route would have delayed the release process, which was something I couldn't afford as I had exams to take :)
I will probably release an updated ISO after the GCC 5 transition (that is happening now in Sid) ends.
"Is vera a Desktop Environment?": Yes, it is. A Desktop Environment is a "set of applications that implement the desktop metaphor" (slightly reworded from the Wikipedia article). There is a WM, a panel, a session manager, a settings manager, a control center, a file manager. It sounds like a DE to me :)
Of course many of the components are shared with other Openbox-based distributions but they will be eventually dropped, as the long term goal is to migrate to Wayland, goal that cannot be achieved with Xlib-based components like tint2 and Openbox.
There are plenty of under-the-hood differences between vera and most of the other Openbox distros though.
vera as shipped in Semplice 7 is still in its early stages and doesn't reflect what's my final idea for it. Unfortunately maintaining a Debian Sid-based distribution requires to have fast release cycles and this reflexes itself on the current state of vera and Semplice, especially as there is also the "stabilization & bug fix" part to take in account :D
The on-screen launcher is an example of that. It's mostly a proof-of-concept than all.
97 • @96 Semplice Eugenio (by kendee on 2015-07-16 16:06:18 GMT from North America)
OK, if you say so, Vera is a DE then. But, right now, I can see only Openbox. I also notice very good coding work had gone into producing this Vera on Openbox. Of course, when you'd get rid of Tint2 and Openbox, then I'd start thinking that Vera is a DE, say like Budgie.
Anyway, Semplice 7 is lovely! I am actually writing from it.
98 • Poll systemd usage (by Fred on 2015-07-16 16:07:04 GMT from Africa)
I was using debian-testing for many years. Now I had to vote
with my feet because recently debian broke 'runit' so badly
that I changed camps and moved to devuan-ascii (testing)...and
you know what?... I got 'runit' as pid 1 back. Needless to say
what I think about distros which don't give me a choice.
BTW, my DE is xfce + some gnome3 components + lightdm and *no*,
I am not a geek, just an old geyser who does not like to be told
what is good for him.
99 • systemd = the last straw (by CokeWhitworth on 2015-07-16 17:32:43 GMT from North America)
Linux distributions (not the kernel) have been jacked up one way or another since kernel release 0.99 PR1, and systemd is the last straw. SystemV Init may need improvement, but systemd is simply not the solution because it is not an init system. The coercion that has been used to deploy it everywhere is the signal to leave Linux in favor of an operating system that is sober, sound, tested, tried, and true in order to perform serious work on a serious platform. I can't take Linux seriously anymore. We're switching to real Unix here.
100 • VOID Linux (by Joe on 2015-07-16 18:11:22 GMT from North America)
I see there is no mention of void linux. I think this will be my future distro; it is like Arch without systemD, with a ports system like the *BSDs, and LibreSSL instead of the OpenSSL monstrosity.
101 • systemd ? opt-out (by Walter Thomas on 2015-07-16 22:59:39 GMT from North America)
Not using systemd and planning to avoid. With hundreds of licensed RHEL 6 servers and other products from RedHat, our group have considered a migration from ESXi to RHEV and CloudForms. Instead our RHEL systems will be replaced with non-Linux systems before support for RHEL 6 ends in 2020.
102 • Virtualbox 5 & Debian (by Bushpilot on 2015-07-16 23:06:24 GMT from North America)
I just installed VB 5.0 in both Debian Jessie and Testing. Ran Windows XP in VB with no issues. Testing is now using Kernel 4 for those who need it. No issues with systemd that many are complaining about.
103 • humph... (by breakalltriangles on 2015-07-17 00:10:14 GMT from Europe)
"We're switching to real Unix here."
Well ... bye!
104 • Suse Studio (by saved from BSDjail on 2015-07-17 05:19:57 GMT from Oceania)
The Suse devs have set themselves up for embarrassment by hyping their next release of "42". Let's hope they don't fall short on the delivery. Would also like to see them make some improvements to Suse studio, as there can be a number of errors that crop up with the builds - and not readily-found solutions.
105 • systemd poll (by GregC on 2015-07-17 14:10:34 GMT from North America)
In the don't use and plan to avoid group. I don't care how it functions the forced dependencies and embrace and extinguish tactics repulse me on principle. I'll continue to use PcLinux and Slackware as long as they remain systemd free and viable but when the time comes where there is no other option I'll be going to one of the BSD's or another alternative at that time.
106 • BSD to the rescue after systemd? (by Kazlu on 2015-07-17 15:36:04 GMT from Europe)
Maybe I do not understand things correctly here, so correct me if I'm wrong, but:
On the one hand, some reject systemd because it is a big anavoidable block replacing several components and is in control of too many things. On the other hand, the same people say BSD is a rescue plan. But it's the whole point of the BSDs base system to be a big block controlling everything (cathedral model). So I fail to see the logic here. Going for systemd-free distros would seem more logical, and if not possible one should seek something other than GNU/Linux *and* the BSDs.
Now if you reject systemd to keep away from RedHat or Poettering's control or something like that, the BSDs are indeed available options. But if you don't want your base system to be one big block, BSDs are no better than a GNU/Linux distro with systemd.
107 • systemd/systemctl (by Sebastian on 2015-07-17 18:47:33 GMT from Europe)
When my computer is running / booting I don't see a difference between systemd and other systems. However, I noticed that I can't Debian 8 on my systems. If I upgrade my fresh Debian installation via synaptic or via apt-get (dist-)upgrade my system won't boot anymore. This happend both on my laptop, one old office computer and in virtual machines on my laptop. The installation works, rebooting works, but after the first upgrade booting doesn't work anymore? It always shows my systemctl errors. I can't use a system like this.
I plan to use Linux Mint exclusively from now on. Apparently Linux Mint 18 will adopt systemd in a year or so from now. I might switch to Linux Mint 18 then if it seems to be a more mature system. If not I might stay with Linux Mint 17.x till the end of support.
108 • main systemd issue (by M.Z. on 2015-07-17 20:39:50 GMT from Planet Mars)
I think the main systemd issue is the question of why over 40% of those in the DW poll are avoiding systemd. Is it for pragmatic 'it broke thing x on my server' reasons, or is it just the concept of systemd/word of mouth that rubs people the wrong way? Perhaps another poll could look like this:
"When it comes to systemd I most fit into the category of:
I've used systemd distros & found no problems or don't care about the debate
I'm unsure about systemd & waiting for the dust to settle before I try it
I believe systemd will cause me problems and wish to avoid it
I'm avoiding systed on principle
I've had problems with systemd based distros and plan to avoid them in the future"
I think that would be a bit more telling about the future of systemd. To me the long term implications of this kerfuffle mostly depend on ho much of the negativity aimed at systemd are due to each of the last 3 categories. Some of those who've had issues in the past may come around if there are enough bug fixes improvements. By the same token those who are avoiding systemd out of caution or due to word of mouth may come around as well, while those avoiding it on principle will likely stay with non systemd distros for some time to come.
109 • opinion poll (by lateForDinner on 2015-07-17 20:39:51 GMT from North America)
My PC actually has systemd installed, but I voted 'I am not using systemd and plan to avoid it' because my puter is broken so I'm not using it. maybe I should've voted other tho, I dunno.
110 • Poll rewrite (by cykodrone on 2015-07-17 22:38:38 GMT from North America)
@108, I'm very well read on the subject of systemd, I have tried it, I didn't like it, I found it buggy and secretive, that being said, here's a new poll entry for you...
I don't trust systemd, its developers' and their employer's objectives. (:
111 • same thing (by M.Z. on 2015-07-18 00:44:59 GMT from Planet Mars)
That's basically the same thing as "I'm avoiding systed on principle", isn't it? I don't see any big difference, except of course that your version lays out one of many possible concrete examples of the principles that may cause someone to avoid systemd, in your case trust. Of course it's only if the principle is that was more important to your decision than the bug(s) you found. I think "I'm avoiding systed on principle" is a far better catch all than listing specific case like trust issues vs design issues, which could be a whole different poll specifically for the anti systemd crowd.
112 • @Kazlu (by 2damncommon on 2015-07-18 03:01:57 GMT from Planet Mars)
@Kazlu suggests that BSD is "the same as" and "just as bad as" systemd.
While I suspect that @Kazlu is someone that likes and uses systemd who is telling others NOT to use BSD, perhaps this is not the case.
113 • systemd again and again (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-07-18 09:27:21 GMT from Europe)
systemd was promoted as an init system that would speed up, modernise and simplify booting. However:
- It has not simplified it. With systemd things have become more complicated and obfuscated.
- Speeding up is marginal or negative if compared to Upstart or even OpenRC.
- "Modernisation" is just a matter of taste for fashion-oriented fellows.
- More importantly, systemd is not an init system. It is a complete administrative layer that seeks full control of the computer and includes init tools as well as ever growing lots of other stuff.
In summary, they have lied to us and that is why there is so much mistrust.
If they had say from the very beginning "look, we want to unify the Linux user-land administrative landscape and we are writing massive chunks of C code for so doing", things would have been very different. There would have been opposition, obviously, but not so much bitterness. But they have been cheating from the very beginning and therefore we cannot trust them.
114 • Chromixium 1.5 this time (by Ben Myers on 2015-07-18 19:11:29 GMT from North America)
When I saw that Chromixium 1.5 was available, I promptly downloaded it this morning and installed it on a sturdy but elderly 12" Thinkpad X200 juiced up with a 32GB SSD. Maybe 10 minutes to install with any updates that may have been provided. Quick booting and smooth running. Very faithful implementation of the Chromebook metaphor. What I now have is way better than the cheap plastic Chromebooks sold in the stores, more sturdy, better screen and way better keyboard. Perfect for one of my clients who needs to have a couple of very portable laptops for use while walking about the facility. Much to like here, as long as it does what you need to do.
The only thing it won't do is what I expected it not to do, namely work out-of-the-box with a cheap (under $US20) no-name 802.11ac USB wifi adapter. My next small chore is to find a Linux driver for it after noting the PCI ID of the thing (Ralink, since bought up), while still continuing to use the built-in Intel 802.11n.
115 • @78 (by EW on 2015-07-19 00:10:15 GMT from Europe)
"Do you agree that Unity DE of Ubuntu is also here to stay, and that it is the most newest thing happened to Linux world? Of course, if you are not a Unity hater."
==> Yes, of course it is. Unity is awesome for the masses. It just isn't anything for me. I like the transparency of openbox which makes it very easy to hack/tweak, and the right-click openbox-menu is a dealbreaker for me. No matter what distro or DE I use, it eventually ends up like a well-configured openbox-release :)
"Your posted numbers aren't that good, SysV can do that."
==>Yes, but did you read the part when I said that it wasn't optimized? It was just the result of a default install, and besides, numbers can't be compared like that, as it obviously depends on the speed of the hdd/ssd. 6 seconds can be awesome on one disk, and bad with another disk. But one thing is 100% sure though, shutdown is a lot faster with systemd.
"Of course this EW is opinionated, and ignorant of the truth. The whole last week he was atatcking one guy and his/her distro called Monara. Now, the guy sis attacking those, who use SysVinit. He is trying hard to market his own distro, I suppose"
==> Quite funny. Stop changing hats, I know who you are anyway. But to the point. No, I'm not working to promote my distro. As you see, I haven't mentioned it anywhere. Not submitted my distro anywhere, not created phony reviews or talking about my distro, pretending to be a end-user, like Monara does as part of his marketing strategy.
Get it into your head once and for all. I haven't yet announced a official public release, because I haven't got the infrastructure ready yet. Unlike Monara, I don't want thousands of new users every week without having the framework and infrastructure that a distro needs. So nope, I don't promote my distro yet.
I share the builds trough the CrunchBang-community, that's all. And unlike Monara, I have NOT submitted my project for review by Distrowatch or anyone else, because I most definitively DO NOT want to be promoted at this stage.
But I guess that when Monara create a CrunchBang-clone, then he probably depend on the old and real CrunchBang-community to do all that stuff for him. Which would have been fine if Monara didn't get himself banned with several hats in that community(sockpuppetry), so he won't be able to participate in the support of his own "clone".
Unless he creates several new puppets of course. Which in fact I'm 100 % sure that he will do. Both here, there and everywhere.
Quite frankly. If someone wants a continuation of a old stale release like #!-Waldorf from 2012, be my guest. Use Monara or ++. Want something better? Go elsewhere.
116 • @115 EW (by foo2foo on 2015-07-19 02:03:24 GMT from North America)
"==>Yes, but did you read the part when I said that it wasn't optimized? It was just the result of a default install, and besides, numbers can't be compared like that, as it obviously depends on the speed of the hdd/ssd. 6 seconds can be awesome on one disk, and bad with another disk. But one thing is 100% sure though, shutdown is a lot faster with systemd."
What the heck are you going to optimize, stop all the crap non-needed default services it forces to start up?
And thank you for educating me on the basics of computer hardware and software.
And Windows 8 shuts down faster than most Linux distros, so what's your point?
Numbers can be compared like that when YOU make it a point to try and show off half baked numbers, like systemd is breaking speed records or something.
"I don't want thousands of new users every week without having the framework and infrastructure that a distro needs. So nope, I don't promote my distro yet. "
Thousands every week? Thats a bold statement for a distro with probably a bloated kernel, running a bloated init system, and Gnome 3 perhaps.
I doubt EWbuntu will make that big of a splash when it does come out. I'll save your awesome distro from my time and money based simply on what little posts I have seen on here.
117 • plan9 for linux (by wimpywheelie on 2015-07-19 02:46:53 GMT from Oceania)
After the failure of Glendix to bring the Plan9 OS to Linux, Harvey OS is a new effort to try to do so. But given the speed of alternative OS development it will probably be several decades before we'll see anything usable. Would be interesting though.
118 • @115 EW (by WSWS on 2015-07-19 05:31:04 GMT from Europe)
>>Quite frankly. If someone wants a continuation of a old stale release like #!-Waldorf from 2012, be my guest. Use Monara or ++. Want something better? Go elsewhere.<<
Old stale, you say?
So you hate the "old stale Crunchbang?"
Maybe that's why no newcomer is coming in there...
119 • @ 115 EW (by WSWS on 2015-07-19 07:52:06 GMT from Europe)
Base is what we want and Debian 8.1 is the stable Debian. That's what you get from Crunchbang++ and Monara. Openbox and the looks can be made by anyone. Both those distros look like the "old" Crunchbang, just to for the nostalgia.
The only live installable isos of that "look" at the moment is Crunchbang-Monara, which is a stable release as the stability is given by Debian.
Crunchbang++ is a superb installable Debian 8 and Openbxo distro. It is considered beta, but is quite stable.
There is also a bunsenlabs live distro, but its is still in alpha stage, so no one knows, if it could possibly make your computer go "Mee-mee-mee mee! MEEP!"r.
120 • systemd (Fallopia japonica) (by Antony on 2015-07-19 10:41:06 GMT from Europe)
I am using fedora 22 and openSUSE at the moment. Yes, both using systemd. Much as I like fedora and openSUSE, I would prefer not to use a systemd distro. Unfortunately, I believe that the apex of innovative distros is behind us now, and the choice for good alternatives has dwindled.
So, it seems it is more a case now of choice of compromise, as opposed to plain choice. Yes, there are a couple of stalwart distros - but there is a reason I have not adopted them in my roughly 17 years of Linux use. People mention BSD - and I have considered it myself - but again, that requires some compromise, obviously, if systemd is THE reason people feel ultimately compelled to make the switch.
Yes, systemd is capable of quick boot/shutdown; both my installs are a tad over 4 secs and fedora shuts down in the blink of an eye almost. Still, I do have to 'roll my sleeves up' and prune a lot of unnecessary services. And, there have been various instances where systemd resulted in significantly slower boot times.
Faster boot/shutdown is nice. Problem is, systemd has not limited itself to just being an alternative init. And I do believe that it is contrary to the general Linux philosophy.
How was this allowed to happen?
121 • Edit to my post 120 (by Antony on 2015-07-19 10:46:21 GMT from Europe)
I didn't properly complete a line. I meant it to read:
And, there have been various instances where systemd resulted in significantly slower boot times compared to non-systemd.
122 • @120 Antony (by foo2foo on 2015-07-19 12:20:25 GMT from North America)
A sub-5 second booting Fedora is hard to believe, even with most services turned off, unless you are running a custom slim kernel and lightweight DE.
Would be interested in some details on that.
123 • @122 (by Antony on 2015-07-19 15:14:45 GMT from Europe)
Actually, fedora (can't remember exact instance) has been my fastest systemd boot, at somewhere around 3.8 seconds. Boot drive is an OCZ Agility SSD.
Disabled about a dozen systemd services, standard kernel and Gnome 3.16.2 in fedora. Same for openSUSE but with KDE (and I prefer KDE). I do tweak the DE, but just normal stuff.
Startup finished in 1.522s (kernel) + 1.797s (initrd) + 1.109s (userspace) = 4.429s
Startup finished in 690ms (kernel) + 2.131s (initrd) + 1.445s (userspace) = 4.267s
124 • systemd is broken and slow (by a on 2015-07-19 15:40:32 GMT from Europe)
My slowest boot and shutdown times have been with systemd. Waiting 5 minutes for god knows what? Check! Never happened with a proper init system.
125 • 120 • s*****d (by Antony from Europe) (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-07-19 16:07:15 GMT from North America)
"... I do believe that it is contrary to the general Linux philosophy."
Did you confuse the "general philosophy" of Linux with that of, say, Minix?
126 • @123 Antony (by foo2foo on 2015-07-19 16:47:24 GMT from North America)
I'm sorry but I have to say BS on those numbers. I highly doubt your getting 690ms with a stock kernel and rest with those DEs. And 3.8s is close to insane.
Sorry bud, but I'd have to see it to believe, no matter the specs of the system.
127 • systemd take-over (by nolinuxguru on 2015-07-19 17:49:28 GMT from Europe)
Having read through the comments on this emotive subject, it is clear that the take-over of init systems by the supporters and funders of systemd is succeeding against most users wishes. Most users cannot replace systemd with an alternative init system for their favorite distro, and must either keep quiet or "go away". I wonder what your poll would say if the real reasons for the popularity of systemd from the distro makers were more widely understood. All I can say from playing with alternative "modern" init systems is that this is becoming harder and harder as systemd extends its tentacles to more and more of the linux landscape.
128 • @126 (by Antony on 2015-07-19 19:14:40 GMT from Europe)
Well, those are the numbers I get. Happy to provide any output you like for the kernel or otherwise - what would you like? Btw, it is a fairly low-spec machine.
129 • @126 cont ... (by Antony on 2015-07-19 19:43:18 GMT from Europe)
foo2foo, I tried clicking on your name in your post header expecting to be able to contact you, but instead I just get taken back to the DWW front page.
As I said, I do not like systemd - so why would I try and present false numbers, just to make systemd look good?
130 • goodbye systemd (by Mitch on 2015-07-19 20:51:24 GMT from North America)
Shifted to BSD to avoid systemd. Linux users have spent years bashing OSX for the same deviation from the pure UNIX philosophy. Now Linux users are bashing each other for taking sides on systemd debate. Goodbye systemd. Goodbye Hypocrisy.
131 • @129 Antony (by foo2foo on 2015-07-20 00:10:32 GMT from North America)
Sorry, I don't provide contact details on public comments pages.
I wasn't saying the times were fake, just find it hard to believe generic stock kernels can do those numbers. Not a big deal, I can do a test to see if I can hit that with Fedora 22 and compare it to Funtoo on the same box.
132 • UNIX Philosophy (by 2damncommon on 2015-07-20 00:14:43 GMT from Planet Mars)
I'll post one more systemd comment before the week is up on this comment thread and it is regarding "UNIX Philosophy", wherein I completely disregard "UNIX Philosophy" and mention "Linux Philosophy".
Linus Torvalds created the Linux kernel (now with many, many other contributing as well) whereupon it was promptly mixed with GNU utilities to make computer operating systems. Although some people think GNU/Linux is some sort of joke, it really isn't. And each "distribution" of Linux is a separate thing even though they are all often referred to as "Linux".
Once upon a time one could find Suse making a united administrative system with YaST, Mandrake with DrakeX, Red Hat had theirs, Slackware had it's scripts...
So this is nothing new.
What is new is an administrative system that seeks
(entirely on purpose) to make itself indispensable and necessary by first presenting itself one way and then co-opting other functions so that it must be included in all Linux distributions.
Systemd intends to lock major software into itself (so that the software will not function on BSD, Minix, or any other platform) and make itself necessary to any Linux distribution using those software packages. This is something that, I feel, is not "Linux Philosophy".
Are you seriously going to tell me that systemd could not have been written to do what it does without trying to make itself as necessary as the Linux kernel in any Linux distribution? No, this was done completely on purpose.
I prefer that "free software" is free to be used in any way the user wants, not in the way they are directed to use it. I do know that the is an "all Linux must be the same" group, but I very much doubt that is really the same as the "systemd group" that we will never really know about.
Number of Comments: 132
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