Devuan releases a candidate.. finally!!?

I've just heard from The Register4: "systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0".

My views on systemd still stand. I was hoping to be proved wrong, perhaps in the long-run. But sadly what I see, has only just served to entrench those views. Gnome & systemd proponents are imposing a bad attitude on the open-source philosophy, trying to hijack & lock out everything else outside their ecosystem. Everything in their ecosystem seems to be completely dependent on them. Hence why I prefer not even attempt to use those two.

Arch was the first casualty.. quickly followed by Debian. It is amazing how code maintainers seem to have become gods wrt users. My long journey through alternatives.. seems to have ended with gentoo, which seems to have become my only choice for now. However, I still need a few alternatives to recommend to others not that technical or keen to spend time getting to know internals. Now, I think I have something in that stack with Devuan, which has just released a stable release candidate (1.0.0-RC)3. "If all goes as planned, this will be our first Devuan stable release and our first long term support (LTS) release as well."

The Devuan story began with a vision to fork debian2 - "Devuan should be a minimal, stable system which honors Debian history and embraces innovation while maintaining backwards compatibility and interoperability."

The Debian decision-makers of that time spread so much FUD, when they decided it was systemd or nothing1. A "one-size-fits-all vision" only fits the decision-makers. There are alternatives. There are always alternatives. There should always be alternatives.

I might wait a while till the RC becomes final. I don't need to, as I expect a smooth transition henceforth.. to final and LTS. If anyone is thinking of debian, try devuan instead.


[1] http://devuan.org/os/init-freedom
[2] http://devuan.org/os/debian-fork
[3] http://devuan.org/os/debian-fork/stable-candidate-announce-042017
[4] http://theregister.co.uk/2017/04/22/devuan_1_0_0_released

Ubuntu Phone is dead.. Long live The Phone!

Mark Shuttleworth writes2 about the end of Ubuntu Phone: apparently NOT "widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry... In the community, our efforts were seen fragmentation not innovation."

I think he refers to the Gnome community. There are many communities not part of the Gnome establishment.

One of the more promising efforts to bring open-source to mobile devices has been killed.. Wonder why? Closed-source can conceal covert initiatives by folks behind the scenes.

Was this to appease Gnome? Gnome has made no inroads onto mobile devices. Gnome's competitor KDE has done more.

I'm a bit sad that the only promising effort towards a Linux Phone has died. I kept seriously looking at Ubuntu Phone/Tablet, waiting for it to mature1.. even maintaining a few Ubuntu desktops just for this purpose. Unfortunately, their strategy didn't include the wider community. If you didn't have Ubuntu desktop, you couldn't have Ubuntu Phone emulator or dev.

My recommendation to folks on Ubuntu is Xubuntu. Lubuntu could be beautiful and streamlined, but looks ugly right now. When Lubuntu switches to LXQt, my recommendation will switch to Lubuntu.

I was never a big fan of Unity, and an even lesser fan of Gnome, to which Ubuntu has been pushed. I personally think the folks behind Gnome have been, and continue to be, some with the worst attitudes in open-source..

With this, Ubuntu goes back to become one of the also-rans. I don't see what differentiates Ubuntu from any other Gnome distro.


1. http://nixventure.blogspot.com/2015/12/ubuntu-touch-emulator.html
2. http://insights.ubuntu.com/2017/04/05/growing-ubuntu-for-cloud-and-iot-rather-than-phone-and-convergence

busybox .config in gentoo

busybox can be configured, just like the kernel. and we can do so in gentoo, with USE=savedconfig.

$ emerge -pv busybox

These are the packages that would be merged, in reverse order:

Calculating dependencies... done!
[ebuild   R    ] sys-apps/busybox-1.25.1::gentoo  USE="static -debug -ipv6 -livecd -make-symlinks -math -mdev -pam -savedconfig (-selinux) -sep-usr -syslog -systemd" 0 KiB

Total: 1 package (1 reinstall), Size of downloads: 0 KiB

gentoo savedconfig is the name of the package, and located here:
$ ls -lh /etc/portage/savedconfig/*/busybox*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 26K 2016-12-21 10:43 /etc/portage/savedconfig/sys-apps/busybox-1.25.1

we can edit this file manually. but it is much easier/safer to manually configure it the busybox way.

$ ebuild /usr/portage/sys-apps/busybox/busybox-1.25.1.ebuild fetch clean unpack
$ cd /var/tmp/portage/sys-apps/busybox-1.25.1/work/busybox-1.25.1
$ cp -vi /etc/portage/savedconfig/sys-apps/busybox-1.25.1 .config
$ make menuconfig
$ sudo cp -vi .config /etc/portage/savedconfig/sys-apps/busybox-1.25.1

emerge busybox with savedconfig useflag.

$ sudo rm -rf /var/tmp/portage/sys-apps/busybox-1.25.1
$ USE="savedconfig" sudo emerge busybox

reboot gentoo to test it fully. if everything works, add savedconfig flag to sys-apps/busybox in /etc/portage/package.use.

to revert back, emerge busybox without savedconfig useflag.

Phasing out Arch Linux

ref: Phasing out i686 support

Arch Linux is great at what it does.. i.e. only offering bleeding edge and providing no choices to it's users. I don't want either of that, and I am now phasing out arch from my stacks.

I liked arch for a while in the past, and seriously considered migrating over from debian. That spot has been taken over now by gentoo, which gives me endless choices without restriction -- Gentoo Foundation Principle #1.

I can not completely migrate away from i686. I am also not completely convinced that systemd is better, smaller, or even faster compared to others like runit, or openrc.

I still think arch has a great community, and the arch wiki is one of the best in appearance & contents, and I might continue to participate or lurk there. The gentoo community is very helpful too and growing on me, but the gentoo wiki is disappointing.

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