Linux distro opinions

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guardian452
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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby guardian452 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:50 pm

Linux mint left a foul taste in my mouth when I tried to switch the default search engine to bing. They really don't want you using anything other than yahoo or google and they make it obvious mint is getting paid for your searches. At least with bing I can cash in my rewards :)

Not to mention it is just ubuntu with a coat of paint. In my experience the more the OS tries to do, the more opportunity for it to screw up. Why I like OSX so much is it tends to stay out of my way. Slack is very similar in this regard. I can banish away the app store and updates on mac without fear of retribution or even a slap on the wrist, and I can do the same in slack.

Anyways, if you use DWM, you will probably want to make a script to write the root window name, here's mine:

Code: Select all

while true; do

# Get current WiFi ESSID
        WIFI_STRING=$(/sbin/iwgetid -r);
if [ "$WIFI_STRING" == "" ]; then
        WIFI_STRING="(Offline)";
fi;

# Power/Battery Status
        BATTERY_STATUS=$"`cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/status`";
        BATTERY_CURRENT=$((`cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/current_now` / 1000));
        BATTERY_VOLTS=$((`cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/voltage_now` / 1000));
        BATTERY_POWER=$(((BATTERY_CURRENT * BATTERY_VOLTS) / 1000000));
        BATTERY_POWER_REMAINDER=$((((BATTERY_CURRENT * BATTERY_VOLTS) / 100000) % 10));
        BATTERY_SOC=$(( `cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/charge_now` * 100 / `cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/charge_full` ));
if [ "$BATTERY_STATUS" == "Charging" ]; then
        BATTERY_STRING="+$BATTERY_POWER.$BATTERY_POWER_REMAINDER Watts $BATTERY_SOC%";
elif [ "$BATTERY_STATUS" == "Discharging" ]; then
        BATTERY_STRING="-$BATTERY_POWER.$BATTERY_POWER_REMAINDER Watts $BATTERY_SOC%";
else
        BATTERY_STRING="$BATTERY_SOC%";
fi;

# Date and Time
CLOCK_STRING=$( date '+%a %d %b %I:%M %p' );

# full string
xsetroot -name "Network: $WIFI_STRING | Battery: $BATTERY_STRING | $CLOCK_STRING";

sleep 5s;

done;

Which will give wifi network, battery power (if in use, in watts) and SOC, and of course the time. Go easy on me as I am still learning the shell-scripting and have been cobbling things together from examples, etc... ;)

The output is something like...
Network: Blaugrana | Battery: -9.6 Watts 94% | Tue 08 Sep 11:49 PM

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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby hamei » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:21 pm

guardian452 wrote:Linux mint left a foul taste in my mouth ...

Do you suppose there are enough people in the kermyooonity to create a "distro" <spit> that's quality-centric ? It would be a lot of work but there's really nothing out there like what Linux used to be, or Irix, or BeOS or even classic Macintosh. It's all such avaricious shit now :(

Or is personal computing well and truly dead ?
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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby Kumba » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:06 am

hamei wrote:
guardian452 wrote:Linux mint left a foul taste in my mouth ...

Do you suppose there are enough people in the kermyooonity to create a "distro" <spit> that's quality-centric ? It would be a lot of work but there's really nothing out there like what Linux used to be, or Irix, or BeOS or even classic Macintosh. It's all such avaricious shit now :(

Or is personal computing well and truly dead ?

Gentoo lets you build your system however you want. Sure, it's not for the faint of heart, and even I've had my days of tearing my hair out over strange depsolver oddities where Perl wants to marry its own mother. But in the end, Gentoo gives any user more switches, knobs, dials, levers, and even some booby traps, that lets them tailor the systems however they want, given time. You can maintain your own custom ebuilds in an overlay, set CFLAGS however insane you want (just don't blame compile-time failures on us unless you have proof), turn off various features in packages via USE flags, and so on.

We're still one of the better distros as far as SELinux support goes, we've got a full hardened profile that uses grsecurity+PaX, we support different libc's, like glibc, uclibc, and just recently, musl. There's even, as ghastly as it sounds, Gentoo/FreeBSD, which uses Portage as the package manager instead of Ports (but retains the BSD Userland, so no, it's not like Debian's kFreeBSD). Oddly enough, I actually like our FreeBSD port better than original FreeBSD. Multiple architectures (the ia64 team would love some help, if anyone wants to put their Prisms and Altixes to use), multiple ABI's (MIPS o32 and MIPS n32 are well tested, need some n64 love), etc.

We've even got an active s390 port, just in case anyone has one of those sitting in their kitchen/garage. Could use some help on a VAX port, though...

So, no, personal computing is far from dead. The definition of "personal computing" might have changed from the desktop to the laptop to the tablet, but who wants to live their lives defined by someone else's definition? Redefine "personal computing" to whatever you want and go with that.
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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby hamei » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:09 am

Kumba wrote: ... the package manager ...

There. Right there, you put your finger on it, and this is probably why there will never again be a Linux I can stand.

"Package manager." FUCK PACKAGE MANAGERS !!!

Sounds like Gentoo might be nifty.

Then what ?

Yeah. A huge shitpile of applications designed and built by chimpanzees poured over the top.

What if I don't want atk anywhere near my computer ? thanks much but I am not crippled or blind.

Unicode ! Internationalization ! hooray ! I can fill my drives up with Tibetan error messages and 500 pages of html docs that are usually wrong instead of 64 kb of man pages. Cool !

What if I can't stand CUPS ?

Why the hell should I want Truetype when Type1 is what real printers use ? When Type1 is better ? When X supports Type1 without six more layers of shit ?

How about a browser that doesn't redirect me to google and facebook and tweeter and every other craphole worthless cave full of vampire bats hidden from the sun ? A browser that you basically can't make do what you want ? "Free and Open Source" RIGHT ! Sure it is ! "Pitch in like the OS/2 guys ..." RIGHT again, liars ! As if the Mozilla creeps never heard of Mike Kaply, an IBM EMPLOYEE who worked at full pay on Mozilla for TWO YEARS to get it to run under OS/2. Free and Open Source, super.

I could continue for a week :P

The point, to me, is that the operating system itself can be mucho nifty (this seems to be where all the Loonies with taste hide out), but if the applications are trash, what's the point ?

The Desktop, in LoonixLand, has become nothing but a mass of Windows wannabe apps, except with no quality control.

They need to get away from package managers entirely and instead put the work into making the build system robust, reliable, flexible, and functional. Kinda like autoconf already was, before the twits adopted shithub and autoreconfig -i regurgitate ... Make it so we can build the software the way WE want it, not how some acne-riddled teenager living in his mom's basement thinks is l33t.

And we need a penalty box for anyone who says, "Works in gcc !" -- a line from each ankle to the stern of Arneson's speedboat, fifteen minutes on the Bay. There's nothing like a 50 mph power enema to teach people to keep their stupid trap shut :D

I don't see Loonix returning to any kind of usefulness On the Desktop any time soon :P
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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby Kumba » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:59 am

hamei wrote:
Kumba wrote: ... the package manager ...

There. Right there, you put your finger on it, and this is probably why there will never again be a Linux I can stand.

"Package manager." FUCK PACKAGE MANAGERS !!!

The "tree" (/usr/portage right now, though that may change) is just a collection of build instructions. I.e., if you want to compile software A, odds are likely you'll need to have software B, C, and W already built. So really, all Portage is, is a glorified dependency solver with extra bits like tracking what files were installed and where, so it can remove them later on if needed. Not everyone likes Portage (the name for the primary package manager in Gentoo, not the tree of ebuilds; yes it's a touch confusing), so one guy went off and wrote his own, called Paludis. So Gentoo even gives users choice there, too.

That said, there's nothing wrong with the general concept of a package manager. Ultimately, all it's doing is following instructions. Source-based distros like Gentoo just allow a lot more functionality because you are giving the user control of what to compile. Binary distros are more limited because of just simple combinatorial insanity -- choices have to be made somewhere, and sometimes, those choices don't go over well with the users (like Debian switching to systemd for Jessie). How a distro handles the making of those choices is often where the conflict lies (again, Debian's method for handling the systemd thing pissed off a *lot* of people).

But the package manager itself? It's actually innocent. Surprisingly.


hamei wrote:Sounds like Gentoo might be nifty.

Then what ?

Yeah. A huge shitpile of applications designed and built by chimpanzees poured over the top.

What if I don't want atk anywhere near my computer ? thanks much but I am not crippled.

What if I can't stand CUPS ?

Why the hell should I want Truetype when Type1 is what real printers use ? When Type1 is better ? When X supports Type1 without six more layers of shit ?

I could continue for a week :P

Then don't build atk and its related dependencies. Or CUPS, or truetype fonts, or X entirely, etc. That's the awesomeness behind USE flags:
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:X86/Working/USE

Downside is, there's almost 10,000 USE flags, so for the person who really wants to control things, they'll spend a lot of time reading over both global flags (those which affect multiple packages in the tree) and local flags (those which are specific to a small handful of packages, or individual packages only). This is where binary distros win out, as most people just don't want to invest the time into completely tailoring an OS to their liking. They're more apt to accept the defaults and just "get used to it", they figure, like everyone else.

I personally don't use CUPS, nor atk. I pretty much eliminate all sound-related packages entirely from my main Linux system. But, you have to watch what you merge, as sometimes, a package update adds a new dependency on something you don't want. So a lot of users always test an update by passing the '-p' flag to emerge to see what actions emerge would take for the parameters given to it. Others pass the '-a' flag, which causes emerge to prompt the user for every package merge.


hamei wrote:The point, to me, is that the operating system itself can be mucho nifty (this seems to be where all the Loonies with taste hide out), but if the applications are trash, what's the point ?

The Desktop, in LoonixLand, has become nothing but a mass of Windows wannabe apps, except with no quality control.

There's really no good answer for "Linux on the Desktop". Humans love to copy what works, and give Microsoft credit, Windows does work, and works very well. The NT Kernel especially is a piece of work. Side-effect of Windows being successful is people copy it. Some do it poorly, while others do it well. The nice thing, though, is users have the choice to choose what interface they want to run. The downside is, unlike most other Linux/UNIX/BSD packages, Getting X to work is often an exercise in futility and voodoo sacrifices. And then, you go to try and figure out how sound works, and next thing you know, Windows is getting reinstalled.

Also, a lot of free software is coded by one or two people. Sometimes, it's just a project that they started for themselves and later decided to dump it out to the rest of the world (ironically, this is how Linux got started). Other times, they want to really make a polished product for some kind of motivation. That means further lack of consistency between projects.


hamei wrote:They need to get away from package managers entirely, instead put the work into making the build system robust, reliable, flexible, and functional.

Again, it's not package managers that are the real fault. Linux is the way it is because it's extremely heterogenous. Lots of little parts each doing their own thing w/o really considering what every other part (mostly) is doing, let alone what the whole organism is try to do. Imagine a Linux distro as an OS designed by intelligent cats (no, not the Kilrathi). It's very....ADHD.


hamei wrote:And we need a penalty box for anyone who says, "Works in gcc !" -- a line from each ankle to the stern of Arneson's speedboat, fifteen minutes on the Bay. There's nothing like a 50 mph power enema to teach people to keep their stupid trap shut :D

gcc is still the only free, multiplatform, multiarch C/C++/Ada/Java/Fortran compiler out there. Clang/LLVM is coming along nicely, but it's still not there yet, especially on the other, non-Intel architectures. There's a lot of work and effort going into making Clang more robust, and for once, gcc will have some serious competition, which is a good thing.
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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:17 pm

Hamei I don't think you would want to bother but slack is working well for me so far. I've been using it for almost a week. It is about as close to the "un-distro" as you can get in the sense that it is just a loose collection of packages, the kernel, and an installer to put it together. You add programs with installpkg pkgname.txz which is a tarball. Of course the old tar xvf, make, make install works pretty good too :) There is no branding, no updates to break things, no custom versions, no repositories that have trouble connecting, etc.

Also the paths are where you'd expect and there's no g-damnned sudo.

I will concede to kumba that I have mostly fond memories of gentoo. But emerge definitely has reliability issues. Package managers are not dumb and have a very difficult job to do even just resolving dependencies. I often feel that the decisions they make are often in not the user's interest but instead the developer of whatever the most recently updated package wants.

If I had known about slack a while ago I would have been using it all along (I knew about it, at some point I even had a free sticker??) But I was always told that it was too "advanced" (for 1##7 users only!) and I should stick to more mainstream systems. Like gentoo :P I suppose arch is the new gentoo but I've never tried it and don't care to.

Maybe someday I will update beyond firefox 24. Or at least get a version of adblock that supports it. I almost feel like an irix user when it comes to my default browser :twisted: However (on some level) I like my vintage firefox...

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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby Trippynet » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:40 am

Random question (sorry it's a tad off-topic), but have you tried Pale Moon? Available for Linux and Windows, uses the classic "Firefox" interface (it's a fork of Firefox 24, so no awful Australis), but is up to date with security and other feature updates. And as some newer addons are more problematic with old FF versions, there's a Pale Moon specific addon site which contains more compatible stuff, including some addon forks. I use it with AdBlock Latitude, which is a ported version of AdBlock Plus. Works a treat!
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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby ajw99uk » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:01 am

zagnut wrote:
Alver wrote:I wouldn't go for Ubuntu because of its obvious unfitness out-of-the-box for slightly older hardware, but it all comes down to taste. :)

If you've never checked out Manjaro, I recommend it. It runs well on older hardware.

Shame the ISOs are x86-64 and i686, which again rules out older hardware (though I guess that should be "very old" hardware plus old hardware that lacks the full i686 instruction set! - like my Via C3). Same problem with Arch and (recent) CentOS.
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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby guardian452 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:33 pm

hamei wrote:
guardian452 wrote:Linux mint left a foul taste in my mouth ...

Do you suppose there are enough people in the kermyooonity to create a "distro" <spit> that's quality-centric ? It would be a lot of work but there's really nothing out there like what Linux used to be, or Irix, or BeOS or even classic Macintosh. It's all such avaricious shit now :(

Or is personal computing well and truly dead ?


http://sta.li looks promising, but probably over ambitious for casual use. Up-and-coming OpenBSD 5.8 will support my thinkpad's wifi card with their new rtwn(4) driver which looks more interesting to me. ;) I used to run OpenBSD on an old Satellite (i586) and it is also "quality-centric".

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Re: Linux distro opinions

Unread postby armanox » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:39 pm

hamei wrote:
Kumba wrote: ... the package manager ...

There. Right there, you put your finger on it, and this is probably why there will never again be a Linux I can stand.

"Package manager." FUCK PACKAGE MANAGERS !!!
*** SNIPPED FOR SPACE ***

They need to get away from package managers entirely and instead put the work into making the build system robust, reliable, flexible, and functional. Kinda like autoconf already was, before the twits adopted shithub and autoreconfig -i regurgitate ... Make it so we can build the software the way WE want it, not how some acne-riddled teenager living in his mom's basement thinks is l33t.


That's actually exactly what Portage is - a build system. The packages it fetches are the source code, and pulls in dependencies that you configure it to allow (want to build the system without Bluetooth support? No GTK? No problem). Want software built to run on a i486? Or optimized for an AMD-FX? Or cross compiled for MIPS? No problem. You tell portage what you want in your system. Initial setup can take a while, but in the end it's completely customized (I could pull up the make.conf from my Pentium IV box if you really wanted to see how picky I used to be wabout what got installed. Or if I boot that box and search really hard there might be a copy of the make.conf from the Octane that I ran Gentoo on in college)
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