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Debian Open Source Operating Systems Linux

Debian Dropping Linux Standard Base (lwn.net) 220

basscomm writes: For years (as seen on Slashdot) the Linux Standard Base has been developed as an attempt to reduce the differences between Linux distributions in an effort significant effort. However, Debian Linux has announced that they are dropping support for the Linux Standard Base due to a lack of interest.

From the article: "If [Raboud's] initial comments about lack of interest in LSB were not evidence enough, a full three months then went by with no one offering any support for maintaining the LSB-compliance packages and two terse votes in favor of dropping them. Consequently, on September 17, Raboud announced that he had gutted the src:lsb package (leaving just lsb-base and lsb-release as described) and uploaded it to the "unstable" archive. That minimalist set of tools will allow an interested user to start up the next Debian release and query whether or not it is LSB-compliant—and the answer will be 'no.'"

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Debian Dropping Linux Standard Base

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe we should look at creating some standards for editing and submitting articles, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 09, 2015 @02:36PM (#50694867)

    It seems like Debian has decided to live up to its logo, the spiral. In adopting systemd and abandoning LSB, Debian has begun its death spiral.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Etherwalk ( 681268 )

      It seems like Debian has decided to live up to its logo, the spiral. In adopting systemd and abandoning LSB, Debian has begun its death spiral.

      Identify the actual problem you are claiming is a problem. Random comments that XYZ is bad are unhelpful and not particularly nerdly.

  • Well (Score:5, Funny)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Friday October 09, 2015 @02:38PM (#50694889) Homepage Journal

    as an attempt to reduce the differences between Linux distributions in an effort significant effort

    My effort significant effort is effectively effortless. It's the effort effect at work. So there.

    "editors" -- I don't think that word means what the slashdot "editors" think it means.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

      No, wait. Is this one of those "evolving language" things where "editor", which used to mean "person who corrects prose" is now the word for "person who screws up prose?"

      This could all be my fault.

      Although I should point out that in the current social mindset, "my fault" actually means "their fault" or "your fault" or at a minimum, "someone else's fault."

      • Honestly, at what time in the time you've been using Slashdot with that 6 digit ID have you ever seen evidence of the editors at Slashdot doing any of this stuff?

        Honestly, you might as well be shocked and appalled that bears shit in the woods.

        It's not like this is new.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why not go to the source and use Ubuntu instead?

  • Debian's Filesystem Hierarchy Standard [debian.org] predated the LSB for quite a while. I kind of wondered if they would be able to make the two match, and why LSB didn't just pick that up and use it, considering it had been in place for so long.

    • You missed a turn. Development of the FHS passed into the hands of the Linux Foundation, and it became part of the LSB. That's to say, they did pick it up and use it, and then continued to develop it.

  • What's the obligatory XKCD for removing a standard?

  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Friday October 09, 2015 @03:16PM (#50695145)

    would be to know where Debian is heading.

    I'd very much like to support a distro which has clearly stated technical and societal values which mirror my own, but it's hard to distinguish exactly what Debian's values are anymore. Merely embracing GPL licensing and its values doesn't really tell you a lot, because even code with ethically questionable goals can be GPL.

    Perhaps it's time for a Debian Conference in which "What do we stand for?" could be addressed and made a little more specific.

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      I fear that it is rather clear that what they stand for is a lot of bullshit that has nothing at all to do with what your, and my, values and priorities are.

  • I read the article but I wasn't quite certain why people weren't interested.

    It sounds like it was too much work to maintain and implement, but it sounded like a lot of their implementation simply wasn't being used by anyone. Is it just the fact that LSB isn't as necessary/useful as people thought it would? I feel like most projects end up checking against Debian or RHEL and most distros adopt one of those as a sort of informal standard.

    • It got sabotaged by corporate interests. Those clowns changed it to suit their needs and then didn't even bother to use it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The LSB is RedHat saying "do it precisely the way we do it", and calling it a "standard".

    • I'm not sure there's ever been that much interest. It's more of a theoretical standard, useful for people packaging binaries with hard coded paths, but even that isn't particularly useful right now. The LSB lost credibility from the Debian side from the start by picking the rival RPM as the packaging manager, and while I gather that different was papered over in time, the other fundamental issues - differing library versions, different standards for inclusion, etc - that prevent the concept of a "universal

  • Wait! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How can they do that? Isn't it all about the base [youtube.com]?

  • WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

    by kamakazi ( 74641 ) on Friday October 09, 2015 @03:37PM (#50695285)

    What is all this doom and gloom about debian spiralling into oblivion and the end is coming? Did anybody read TFA before posting? The only thing that I can see from the LSB that has actually had a positive effect on me is the FHS, to which Debian is still adhering.

    The LSB in its entirety actually contains a list of required libraries and standardized symlinks which may or may not be used on a system, but which must be there for "LSB compliance". IRL Debian package maintainers spend a lot of time and effort building dependancy lists into their packages so you DON'T have to have all those libraries on your system if you are not going to use them.

    If you use dpkg or a wrapper (apt-get, aptitude, etc) to manage your system the LSB requirements are redundant at best and bloatware at worst.

    The only situation where something like the LSB really makes sense is proprietary copy and run programs that depend on proprietary pieces. Even closed source proprietary software can utilize the apt database to resolve dependencies if it only has open source dependancies, or if the company hosts their own repository.

    A large company running large numbers of Linux machines that wanted to standardize will probably (hopefully) do so to meet their requirements, rather than a generalized LSB desktop spec which attempts to be all things to all people.

    If people went to their local computer store and bought software packages on CDs, and installed them on computers that did not have internet connectivity, the yes, up with the LSB. Do you do that? I don't even use a full installer package to install an OS anymore, just a network capable installer that then pulls all the dependancies in the appropriate versions from a repository on the net.

    Yes, it was a noble concept, to try to define a standard set of always available libraries, and where they were, but in reality you rapidly run into the same problem software has on Windows, where software is written to depend on shared DLLs, but because people don't update their OS, or because people do update before the developer tests against a new version of the shared DLL, so software starts shipping with it's own copy of the relevant DLLs, and you end up with multiple versions of standard DLLs on your system.

    When I started playing with slackware years ago, I really wished for something like the LSB, because I was sneakernetting everything home or taking days to download things on dialup. Those days are now distant memories.

    Both rpm and apt solve the same problems, but do so without requiring a pile of unused libraries that just sit around cluttering up your system.

    And just as a last point, how in the world does the LSB/NO LSB discussion compare in any way to the systemd/sysvinit discussion? One of them fundamentally changes the way a system operates, the other one just installs a bunch of packages that you can install just fine on your own. That's not an apples and oranges comparison, that is an apple and cinderblock comparison.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      The only situation where something like the LSB really makes sense is proprietary copy and run programs that depend on proprietary pieces

      That is, I believe, one of the primary reasons why the LSB was created - because a robust software archive, including both free and proprietary apps, is generally a good thing.

      Then again, depending on the app, sometimes it's easier to just modify the environment than the app. Like a few programs we use that are designed and supported on RHEL. LSB would make life easier so

      • That is, I believe, one of the primary reasons why the LSB was created - because a robust software archive, including both free and proprietary apps, is generally a good thing.

        I think what happened, is that a decade and a half ago, people thought they needed proprietary apps. But what actually happened is that we didn't get enough of them anyway (LSB or not) to keep our dependence going, so eventually we stopped missing them. LSB is from a time when your web browser might have been Netscape Navigator!

        I b

    • by Burz ( 138833 )

      IRL Debian package maintainers spend a lot of time and effort building dependancy lists into their packages so you DON'T have to have all those libraries on your system if you are not going to use them.

      This is a question of reasonable default configurations.

      What if someone wants to write a program for their own use or for distribution among a small group of friends/coworkers/associates? The person could target the LSB so they can have a reasonably complete set of libraries and tools to work with and not have to chase down dependencies on each and every 'unique' Linux system where the program is going to run.

      A specification like LSB is part of the solution to Dependency Hell. People who aren't familiar eno

    • One of the complaints of software vendors has been that with Linux you would have to maintain a completely different installation package for each of the 200 Linux distributions. LSB was meant to help fix this problem. Abandoning the effort bodes poorly if people who want to ship binaries, this does not include just proprietary software, many, many open source projects also distributes binaries, so if your going to abandon LSB your really setting back and really wiping out a facility for distribution nuetra

    • Your post would be fine except Debian is already dead because of NSA/systemd.

  • Remember a short while ago when the minimal install images were less than 50mb
    ... fortunately Puppy linux can build a working system with debian packages without the standard required and base packages

Backed up the system lately?

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