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Debian Open Source IT Linux

Debian Forked Over Systemd 647

jaromil writes: The so called "Veteran Unix Admin" collective has announced that the fork of Debian will proceed as a result of the recent systemd controversy. The reasons put forward are not just technical; included is a letter of endorsement by Debian Developer Roger Leigh mentioning that "people rely on Debian for their jobs and businesses, their research and their hobbies. It's not a playground for such radical experimentation." The fork is called "Devuan," pronounced "DevOne." The official website has more information.
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Debian Forked Over Systemd

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  • by weilawei ( 897823 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @04:26PM (#48480787) Homepage

    But that website is atrocious suck. Top AND bottom panes which don't move and serve no purpose other than to obscure the window? What the hell is this shit?

    • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @04:32PM (#48480823) Homepage Journal

      This recreates the correct 800x600 experience for optimum viewing. We've had 800x600 for years and years and it's well-proven and stable. There's certainly no need for all these extra resolutions to complicate things!

      • by jhol13 ( 1087781 )

        Oh *uck even Gnome One is better looking! BTW, does it have systemd?

        Well, at least it did not have blinking background. Or have my brains fused, did it?

        My new-year-resolution will be "640-is-good-for-everybody, if it is white on black"

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This recreates the correct 800x600 experience for optimum viewing. We've had 800x600 for years and years and it's well-proven and stable. There's certainly no need for all these extra resolutions to complicate things!

        Are you still using cash instead of the latest crypto-currency? That's soooo last century! When are people going to understand that keeping critical infrastructure running in a tried-and-true fashion is un-sexy and un-cool?! Plus, the people who invented it mock your concerns as antiquated, childish, and just plain dumb, so you know you should trust their plans and advice!

        To the future!

    • by myrdos2 ( 989497 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @05:02PM (#48481015)
      The gratuitous use of bolding grants me insight into the developer's mindset and makes me despair for the future of this fork. Still they're just getting started, and probably slapped something together that will soon be replaced.
    • But that website is atrocious suck. Top AND bottom panes which don't move and serve no purpose other than to obscure the window? What the hell is this shit?

      In an attemt to make a real source for info about Devuan aside from that horrendous page, I've created a wikipedia article:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Please help me fill it out with information and sources. Thanks!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Never let sysadmins name anything. They couldn't find one single marketing / PR person to test that name?

  • Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ynot_82 ( 1023749 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @04:31PM (#48480815)

    ...a fork of Debian,
    Such a thing is unheard of in Debian's 20-odd year history.
    I wonder what the impact of this fork will be on Debian-proper.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by walterbyrd ( 182728 )

      I think it's fair to say that this fork is far more significant.

      I certainly wish them luck, but I am concerned that they may not be able to get the resources needed to successfully compete against the Redhat/Debian agenda.

      • by brunes69 ( 86786 )

        More significant than what?

        Anyone who thinks that this is going to become more significant than Ubuntu has rocks in their head. Yes, Ubuntu started as a Debian fork... hell it still shares many upstream packages.

        • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2014 @05:40PM (#48481241)

          Of all Linux distributions, Debian was *the* first choice for running servers, but since they decided to force systemd down users throats they have lost a lot of credibility in the BOFH world. A sysadmins first concern is reliability of its systems and this was also Debian's for a very long time. Clearly the adoption of systemd is not going in this direction. It seems to me that Devuan people understood that and want to take the now deserted land of server oriented distros. Of course the meaning for Debian is they will now have a hard time to compete with the whole lot of very good desktop distributions if they don't want to lose most of their users.

          • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dbc ( 135354 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @06:18PM (#48481483)

            You comment is well put. A distro that is "Debian without systemd dependencies" has a very large built-in audience right out of the gate. And that audience is technically sophisticated, with the ability to contribute. Regardless of whether or not you consider that audience a herd of Luddites (which I do not) it has both critical mass and sufficient know-how and motivation to give Devuan a fast ramp, which is the key to survival in today's crowded distro world.

          • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @07:18PM (#48481847)

            Of all Linux distributions, Debian was *the* first choice for running servers, but since they decided to force systemd down users throats they have lost a lot of credibility in the BOFH world. A sysadmins first concern is reliability of its systems and this was also Debian's for a very long time. Clearly the adoption of systemd is not going in this direction. It seems to me that Devuan people understood that and want to take the now deserted land of server oriented distros. Of course the meaning for Debian is they will now have a hard time to compete with the whole lot of very good desktop distributions if they don't want to lose most of their users.

            Then why aren't you hearing anything from the Red Hat customer base? If anyone wants reliability it's the enterprise which is Red Hat's entire market. The fact that nothing is coming from that side tells me that this is about something else entirely where people are more concerned about the political process and symbolism than the technical merits.

            Maybe there is a big demand for a very stripped down low feature server distro, but I suspect this isn't going do become a big player.

            • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Informative)

              by skids ( 119237 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @07:35PM (#48481963) Homepage

              Then why aren't you hearing anything from the Red Hat customer base?

              I am. Were I to walk into the systems suite here at work and yell "yeah centos 7!" I would probably be bombarded with nerf darts. In a mean way.

            • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by armanox ( 826486 ) <asherewindknight@yahoo.com> on Friday November 28, 2014 @07:49PM (#48482053) Homepage Journal

              Except there is plenty coming out of the RHEL customer base - we're being told to shut up. Also notice how many RHEL shops are not moving to RHEL 7 (us among them).

              • Also notice how many RHEL shops are not moving to RHEL 7 (us among them).

                Ok so that's one. You got any more numbers? No seriously I'm interested to know how much this is affecting RHEL 7's adoption rate, are there any statistics published somewhere? Even inferred ones like adoption rate since release compared to previous adoption rates since release would do.

            • by thaylin ( 555395 )

              I am part of the red hat customer base, and to be honest some of us have started looking elsewhere.

              The other problem is that a lot of the RH base is not purchased by the admins, but by people who know nothing about systemd and force it down.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Then why aren't you hearing anything from the Red Hat customer base? If anyone wants reliability it's the enterprise which is Red Hat's entire market. The fact that nothing is coming from that side tells me that this is about something else entirely where people are more concerned about the political process and symbolism than the technical merits.

              Maybe there is a big demand for a very stripped down low feature server distro, but I suspect this isn't going do become a big player.

              We're a Red Hat shop. 500+ servers by current count with capacity expected to double in the next 6 months. Not one single system 7 server yet and the more official Red Hat training we get the less we like the changes in system 7. But you won't hear our complaints because our concerns go directly to Red Hat.

              Let's be clear here for the 'people more concerned about desktop users', systemd has absolutely NOTHING to do with desktops. The servers we manage are headless boxes (all of them). Red Hat is pushing

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by swillden ( 191260 )

        I think it's fair to say that this fork is far more significant.

        I think this fork will be fairly insignificant, and, further, that it will increasingly run into problems as desktops and other packages depend more and more on systemd components (that trend was one of the major factors in the Debian decision to adopt it).

        I actually wish the Devuan guys all the best; I'd love to see another solid server-focused distro (server focus may help them avoid the issues with DEs). But I'm really glad to hear about this fork because the systemd debate has been a huge distraction

    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @04:42PM (#48480873) Journal
      Seems clear that we've lost Debian, an operating system, to developers of a mere application, "desktop." Why do we even need operating systems? A desktop is all anyone needs... just run your servers on that!
      • Why do we even need operating systems? A desktop is all anyone needs... just run your servers on that!

        Why do we even need desktops? A browser is all anyone needs... just run your servers on that!

      • Why do people keep rehashing this without any arguments? We've deployed many RHEL7 servers and are really enjoying systemd. Unit files are vastly superior to init scripts, not to mention you get cgroups for free.
    • The sarcasm on this site is usually a bit more obvious. Needless to say...or maybe not...Debian is the most forked linux distribution on the planet. Its the prison b!tch of distros ;-)

    • Why is this modded insightful instead of funny? Pretty much all debian based distro's(like ubuntu) can be considered forks and there's ridiculous amount of those..
  • by Anonymous Coward

    GCC was forked successfully to egcs
    XFree86 was forked successfully to xorg
    FreeBSD was forked successfully to netbsd and dragondflybsd
    OpenOffice was forked successfully to libreoffice

    Now it's the debian's turn to be forked. Good luck to everyone.

    • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
      NetBSD is not a fork from FreeBSD. DragoFlyBSD does, but we can hardly speak of success, more a niche market. EGCS was a temporary fork which became GCC back. X.org was a general decision after XFree licensing change.
    • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @05:12PM (#48481077)

      When this new distro no longer refers to *any* debian repos, maintaining and compiling their own deb packages entirely, then I'll recognize it as a fork. Until then it's just one of many distros that base themselves off of debian and its package base while changing parts they don't like.

      I bet there is a high probability that Devuan will be based on uselessd. If so it will be interesting to watch the approach. Uselessd, if anything, validates the original ideas of systemd, just taking issue with the packaging, as near as I can tell.

      I too wish them well, but I do not hold out much hope that they will go anywhere.

      • just taking issue with the packaging

        Not just the packaging, but also binary logging and cruft like embedded web servers and QR encoders.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Uselessd addresses not only the packaging but the excessively tight coupling of components.

        The fact that a small team could make such substantial changes shows that it really is a lack of maturity in the design/implementation of systemd.

        • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @07:55PM (#48482083)

          I disagree. Uselessd shows that systemd's parts are not as tightly coupled as people suppose. Just because they are all part of one umbrella project does not, in fact, mean they are tightly coupled and integrated in some sort of orwellian fashion. Uselessd proves this fact. And Uselessd is a good thing to have. Provides competition for systemd, provides a few features people want, and could pave the way for modern desktops like Gnome to run on non-linux systems such as BSD. Gnome isn't bent on having *the* "systemd" just the capabilities that systemd provides. If Uselessd can do it, so much the better.

          • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday November 29, 2014 @12:43AM (#48483135) Homepage Journal

            Uselessd requires code patches to relax the coupling. That means the code was more tightly coupled before. It bolsters my claim that systemd is gratuitously coupled to make it harder to rip out OR that it is a poorly executed project. Hanlon suggests the latter, so I'll go with that.

            Were your claim true, there wouldn't be a uselessd project.

    • by phoenix_rizzen ( 256998 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @05:38PM (#48481231)

      Slight correction:

      NetBSD and FreeBSD were developed independently in the 90s, and mostly in parallel.

      OpenBSD forked off NetBSD.

      DragonflyBSD forked off FreeBSD.

    • by jmccue ( 834797 )
      actually NetBSD came directly from 4.3BSD, not from FreeBSD, both appeared around the same time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org]
  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @04:49PM (#48480911)

    The fork is called "Devuan," pronounced "DevOne."

    Then just call it DevOne and be done with it. Stop with the words play and the phonetic cuteness, not everyone speaks english and spanish. If I read "Devuan" I'm going to pronounce "Dév-u-en" (french).

    • Neologisms confustrate everyone.

    • by drolli ( 522659 )

      Just call it -traditional-init

      What is this thing about creating supposedly funny or original names for technical things (a branch is not a brand). Just makes things hard to remember.

      And look at:
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi... [wikimedia.org]

      Are you really telling me than not one of the countless existing forks of debian wants to stay with traditional init and you could help there? would that not increase the chances of continued support. Or is this just about being the boss of something?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I was just thinking that what's holding back the Linux community is the lack of yet another distro.

    2015 will surely be the year of the Linux Desktop now!

  • Far more important than removing systemd
  • Diversity is a good thing. I understand that, with increasing use of Linux as a desktop OS by people who don't run servers, systemd makes a lot of sense for some people.

    I am the primary admin on servers in three different states. The benefits of using init for remote admin outweigh the simplicity and user-friendliness of systemd on my laptop.

    I switched from Mandrake to Debian almost fifteen years ago when I first started doing heavy remote admin, I'll make a change again now, and the world will keep on spin

  • by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @06:44PM (#48481631)

    I don't suppose someone has a good article or explanation about why the entire systemd thing is a hot issue in the first place?

    • Re:explain? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by paulkoan ( 769542 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @07:33PM (#48481947) Homepage Journal

      Systemd changes the way various start up and backgound processes are triggered.

      The aim is to come up with something that can do more than the current init / cron et al processes in a more coherent way than at the moment, which dates back decades. Many approaches have been taken over the years, but generally try to keep the foundation of how it works the same, but make it "better". systemd throws out everything and starts over with a different approach.

      The reasons why people don't like it are legion. Some because of change resistance - this manifests in many different ways. Some because of the "who" of it. They don't like source of the change. Some of the resistance has a technical foundation - the first process in the current init is very simple and everything spawns from it. With systemd, it is complex, and so the fear is that it has an increased probability of failure or instability. And linux is founded on a reputation of stability. Arguments are that it isn't very unixy - which is to have lots of small tight components that do one thing well all working together. Arguments are that having many processes spawn to do something relatively straight forward is unixy, but that doesn't automatically make it good. Arguments are that having one (main) process mediate all this stuff is better than having everything mediate itself and try to cooperate with everything else.

      The difficulty with all of the arguments, is that a significant proportion of them are emotionally based, rather than technical, but all are couched in a technical setting, which makes it extremely hard to really get to grips with the real pros and cons.

      I am happy to have systemd on some machines, and happy to not have it on others. With regards to this whole topic, the best bet when you see a discussion unfold is sit back with popcorn and watch either sides arguments dissolve into logical fallacy.

      • Some people don't understand the motivations and goals of systemd. The whole "better foundation" view depends on where you are standing. According to the systemd developers:

        What's systemd again?
        A system and service manager
        A platform
        The glue between the applications and the kernel

        That also means that this "glue" enables proprietary, close source binaries to run on, and access all the low-level functionality of, the GPL'd open source kernel software. The goals actually go even further than that:

        What

  • by tadas ( 34825 ) on Friday November 28, 2014 @08:11PM (#48482175)

    From a Linux Journal article by Ian Murdock in 1994: [linuxjournal.com]

    As the Debian developers create their pieces, they follow strict guidelines for constructing and maintaining these pieces, called packages. Because these guidelines are followed, each package can be dropped into the system independently without damaging or interfering with programs from other packages. By working with a set of consistent rules and with identical tools, the volunteers can and do create a truly modular system.

    Nuff said.

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