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Which Linux distro do you use?

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Nominal Animal:
Nah, bd139 is just using funny words to describe his personal preferences; nothing unusual.

It's the underlying reasons for those preferences that are interesting, although they are difficult to suss out, because people don't usually know.  I don't know if bd139 knows, but I bet there are interesting relevant experiences and anecdotes he could share -- even if I happen to personally disagree at this moment.


Everything I have said is backed up with plenty of anecdotes but fundamentally the points for me are:

1. you need a smooth desktop experience and for the most part of its existence, windows works pretty well once you've turned off all the shitty bits. It supports disparate development tools reasonably well, every piece of client software on the market therefore it allows me to seamlessly interoperate with many diverse businesses. You can drive it entirely with a keyboard too, consistently and reliably. On top of that, a well put together windows laptop (I use thinkpad T-series) has superior and considerably more reliable power management than Linux. Plus you have decent TPM and UEFI integrated full disk encryption with bitlocker. And the "time to recovery" if there is a failure is literally an order of magnitude less than futzing with systemd and md and luks etc. These are very very very important.

2. when I need to solve a problem or create something new, linux tends to work rather well there because it's easy to automate, consistent and has by far the best repeatability of any platform. That doesn't mean I need a GUI for it though. I work with it quite happily via PuTTY :)

So I can sit here streaming Apple Music from iTunes with full fat Visual Studio in the background, a PuTTY session open to AWS where I'm building RPM packages based on a spec open in Word. Win win.

Edit: I'm actually slacking on here eating a bacon sandwich at the moment though  :-DD

Honestly the reason I like FreeBSD is that, in my experience, it tends to be a bit more refined than some Linux distributions. It's mostly a userland tools thing, in that the stuff you're given for things like package management just tend to work better. Somewhat annoyingly the place where things are put for programs (like configs) is almost always completely different in FreeBSD, but it's different among different Linux distros anyways. My only gripe is the lack of software support, because while most open source Linux tools can be easily ported, not all are, and a lot of proprietary software is not.

FreeBSD jails are very similar to the concept of a Linux chroot. The idea is that, within a single unified file system branching from a root directory, you can have another root directory usable for an entirely different userland containing different programs that shares the hardware and kernel scheduling with the rest of the system. FreeBSD and OpenBSD have very very secure implementations of this, which why people like it so much, even though it's not as polished as something like Linux's Docker which has a similar use. The more differences are something I'm not aware of because I've never used either, and I personally have never had a need to segregate different programs into different userlands.

As for experience, it's not really /harder/ it's just different. If you're used to Arch Linux or similar, you can likely pick up FreeBSD's quirks easily, just understanding that the documentation tends to not be that great, particularly for installing things like the nvidia driver port. The only other thing to say about FreeBSD is that the bootloading sucks ass. The actual design is pretty slick and simple to deal with, but the implementation breaks on a /lot/ of computers, making FreeBSD unusable even if the kernel and everything else runs perfectly fine. Don't even get me started on FreeBSD via PXE...


--- Quote from: Nominal Animal on September 20, 2019, 05:05:48 pm ---Note that eudev is a fork, and not part of systemd.  It provides both the daemon and the udevadm utility, and is standalone service.  I use it/udev mostly to create symbolic links and manage the owner/group and permissions of various USB-connected devices (microcontrollers, mostly), and it works well for that.  For me, it is complementary to the kernel: it applies my userspace policy for me.

--- End quote ---
Yup, same here. It applies whatever rules I have set for the various hot-pluggable devices. And indeed create symlinks, which is especially convenient when you have multiple USB connected dev-boards of the exact same type (same vendor & product ID) and you want an easy way for userspace applications to connect to the right one. None of that /dev/bus/usb/005/042 in userspace config. I prefer /dev/msp430thingy-used-for-xyz with proper permissions and ownership.

Also, systemd is a huuuuuge pile of something. Not quote sure yet which word to pick. To be fair, sysv-init could do with a bit of modernization. But overall, it is nice , simple and small. My main gripe with it is managing the more complex dependencies. Of course it can be done, and has been done in the past, but not as clean as I'd like. Unfortunately systemd is overkill and above all overreaching. I tolerate it on a few machines, so I can see how bad it is, and get some exposure. But on serious machines it seriously needs to die. Preemptively. by never getting installed in the first place. Did I mention yet that dbus needs to die die diiiieee? No? Well pardon me for that oversight. D-Bus needs to die!!! Not much of a bus if shit keeps losing connections, now is it? What's that little client? You lost connection and try to reconnect? Naaaaahh.  :-BROKE

TLDR: udev, yay! systemd, booh!

Nominal Animal:

--- Quote from: mrflibble on September 25, 2019, 02:15:37 pm ---I prefer /dev/msp430thingy-used-for-xyz with proper permissions and ownership.
--- End quote ---
Exactly.  When you have a dozen microcontrollers, a few vinyl cutters, and a couple of experimental USB serial devices for 3D printer development, those symlinks and permission management come in extremely handy.

--- Quote from: mrflibble on September 25, 2019, 02:15:37 pm ---To be fair, sysv-init could do with a bit of modernization.
--- End quote ---
Funny thing is, the entire init thing is much better solved completely differently, using a small library that communicates with a trivial service manager, with a trivial interface to express prior service availability requirements, services provided, and current status (starting/stopping/restarting/reloading); having an entire bus for this purpose is just insane.  Sure, each service daemon needs a few lines added to their sources, but they're trivial to stub out on other inits/OSes, and they solve the ordering and parallel startup issues in one single whoop, with minimal runtime overhead.

Yeah, I really don't like how d-bus claims to solve any problems; it just makes them different.  Uglier.


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