What is wrong with linux ?

Alain De Vos

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This is an opinionated post and on purpose.
Everything on my PC is compiled from source, including kernel, kernel-modules, applications.
Trying the same thing on linux, i tried gentoo, it did not work, there was always a conflict. Meaning here I put option X there I must put option Y and you never get it right. So in some sense freebsd is doing something right what gentoo is doing wrong. But what is it ?
 

Geezer

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I had a go at linux more than twenty years ago when the only choice around was redhat. It had a graphical desktop included but still felt much like unix. One of the graphical applications was for setting options for and compiling the kernel. It had source code. I could quite easily compile a kernel, but...

... it was not the kernel that was originally installed. I could not find which set of configuration would lead to the basic kernel. It was not documented.

So much for open source. It was open, except those bits that they did not want you to know.
 

tingo

Son of Beastie

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You should edit the title of this post. Your question is about Gentoo; the title should reflect that. Linux is soo much more than just a single distro.

Back to your question: I haven't tried Gentoo, but I have tried many other distros. Like FreeBSD, a Linux distro requires a certain level of familiarity (call it acquired knowledge on the subject if you will), in order to succeed with more complex tasks, such as compiling from source after changing stuff.

Is it inherently wrong to require someone to acquire knowledge on a subject in order to perform a complex task? I don't think so - this is how our world works, and how we develop as a species.

Sometime in the future, we will be able to speak to our robotic transport and tell it where we want to go, without needing to understand how it gets us there. But - this doesn't mean that nobody understands that. Somewhere there is a technician (rather a task force of technicians) who understand this system, and all parts of it.
 

SirDice

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The FreeBSD base OS has always been meant to be built from source. Heck, that was the only way to update the OS before freebsd-update(8) came around (somewhere around 8.0 I believe it was). As for the third party applications, the ports tree existed for a reason, packages were somewhat of an afterthought with the old package tools. Again, somewhere around 8 or 9 this shifted to pkg(8) or PKGNG as it was known back then.

This whole "being able to build everything from source" was always an integral part of how FreeBSD operated. Most Linux distributions however are built around installing packages from the start and being able, as a user, to build them from source is an afterthought, some distributions do give you the tools to do it but most don't.
 

Menelkir

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Trying the same thing on linux, i tried gentoo, it did not work, there was always a conflict. Meaning here I put option X there I must put option Y and you never get it right. So in some sense freebsd is doing something right what gentoo is doing wrong. But what is it ?
What you want is gentoo working as freebsd, and doesn't work like that. Can I use apt-get in freebsd? No? Yeah, something like that.
You've asked by gentoo and it have some similarities on how freebsd work but, of course, in different ways. For example, freebsd uses a dialog to show you the options when you're about to compile a port, while gentoo call this USE flags and you should set in /etc/portage/package.use/whatever. Pretty much the same, but a different thing to be learned. It's the user choice to use and learn what they want and/or if it's the right tool for the job.
 
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Alain De Vos

Alain De Vos

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Once a year, I do a make config for a linux kernel.
It gives me options. So many options I'm away for two hours.
Some linux distro's have a freebsd feeling, notably void-linux and alpine-linux
 

Menelkir

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Once a year, I do a make config for a linux kernel.
It gives me options. So many options I'm away for two hours.
Then why you don't just stick to the defaults and modify only the bits you really want? You'll have the same issue if you want to explore freebsd kernel, and in the end you'll probably sticking to the defaults here too.
 

Crivens

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Linux has (can have) a /dev/config, which contains the config of the currently running kernel.
 

astyle

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Kernel compilation is one of those things where you don't want to do some half-assed messing around. If you just want a recompiled kernel on your hardware, then sticking to defaults (that you're provided with at the start) is a good idea. If you want to make adjustments, be prepared to spend a LOT of time and to take a LOT of good notes on exactly what you did. That way, if you mess up, you can go back and fix it. But for that kind of learning - Unless you have a Threadripper or a recent Xeon with at least 8 cores - it takes up too much time just compiling. And you gotta have the patience to figure out the options, verify that they don't conflict, and gotta finish the job, don't just drop it halfway and complain into the Internet that 'Linux Kernel Compilation Isn't Working'. BTW, even Linus Torvalds himself uses a Threadripper.
 

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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What is wrong with Linux?
Lots.

Linux (and earlier Windows) sucked too much in too many areas that were pissing me off.

Some details here:

Some info why FreeBSD and not other systems (and lots about why Linux sucks) here:

My other reasons why Linux sucks:
View: https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393329071506010115

View: https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393329355774889990

View: https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393329507281555456

View: https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393329673405444096

View: https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393329983167373313

https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393330051689717764
https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393330142974513152
https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393330437297250304
https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393330537083949059
https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393330602582151168
https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393330836175474688
https://twitter.com/vermaden/status/1393330892765110274




 

astyle

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I've been reading Distrowatch, and there, I saw quite a few Linux distros now support ZFS... On that account, FreeBSD beat Linux to the punch by about a couple years. But booting different kernels - that ability has been with Linux for a while. /boot/kernel1, /boot/kernel2, etc. It did take messing with the bootloader by hand every time. Not impossible, but there were a LOT of details that needed to get lined up correctly - I never had the time or patience to do that.
 
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Alain De Vos

Alain De Vos

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I have alpine-linux-on-zfs and void-linux-on-zfs on root. The installation was fairly very simple and straithforward.
The boot ison ext4/grub, but thats only for loading the kernel.
Grub is really a powerfull loader and I use it to chainload the freebsd loader on zfs.
 

Jose

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Vermaden you missed one from your Valuable News posts. Listen to Linus himself 'splainin' why Linux sucks. Short version: glibc is stable like warm Jell-O.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzl1B7nB9Kc


And there's more than one libc to choose from on Linux now. See Musl and Busybox.

I dream sometimes of how good Steam OS could've been if Valve had based it on Freebsd instead of Linux.
 

Jose

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I have alpine-linux-on-zfs and void-linux-on-zfs on root. The installation was fairly very simple and straithforward.
The boot ison ext4/grub, but thats only for loading the kernel.
Grub is really a powerfull loader and I use it to chainload the freebsd loader on zfs.
Alpine uses the Musl C library. Most linuxses use Glibc. It's fine as long as you stick to the US locale:

Yes, this has bitten us at work.
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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I dream sometimes of how good Steam OS could've been if Valve had based it on Freebsd instead of Linux.
True but just think of the kinds of users that would attract to flood these forums with invalid demands. It would be painful to see!

As for packaging on Linux, it is unfortunate that we now need to wait for messes like Snap, flatpack, docker, etc to fizzle out again before we can attempt to actually solve the problem :/
 

Aeterna

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I don't recall having problems with building custom kernels on linux, FreeBSD or OpenBSD in last 10 - 15yrs.
Always considered OS wars as something specific for users that need to let go off steam or novices.
Compilation times:
even in VM it takes 7min/10min depending on OS.
That is on old laptop with i7-4710MQ with 32GB of RAM (VM gets 13GB of RAM).
 

Beastie7

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True but just think of the kinds of users that would attract to flood these forums with invalid demands. It would be painful to see!

As for packaging on Linux, it is unfortunate that we now need to wait for messes like Snap, flatpack, docker, etc to fizzle out again before we can attempt to actually solve the problem :/

I mean, is there a reason for Linux to even exist anymore besides being a driver dumpster? You want good free Unix? Join team Beastie.

Or did people just want free windows? 🤔
 

PMc

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This is an opinionated post and on purpose.
Everything on my PC is compiled from source, including kernel, kernel-modules, applications.
Trying the same thing on linux, i tried gentoo, it did not work, there was always a conflict. Meaning here I put option X there I must put option Y and you never get it right. So in some sense freebsd is doing something right what gentoo is doing wrong. But what is it ?
This was always the case. Linux as an OS is not and never was a homogenous build. And this is alright for most people as they just want a running OS installed from binaries. (I was told there are some linux distros that can compile as a whole, but I never tried.) There is nothing done wrong with either, it is just a difference in the development process: when the development itself does not happen within a consistent OS landscape, it is a lot of work to put it correctly together afterwards.
 

Jose

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Once a year, I do a make config for a linux kernel.
It gives me options. So many options I'm away for two hours.
Some linux distro's have a freebsd feeling, notably void-linux and alpine-linux
make oldconfig made all the difference for me. Gentoo's Portage was originally inspired by the Freebsd Ports Collection, BTW.
 

bobmc

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I started with Slackware Linux when it was a box of CDs. I had to recompile the kernel for my old mechanical mouse to work. Linux has shown steady improvement ever since so it is a superior system, in my view. On the other hand, there is Windows10 which thinks I am thief. It truncated my user name to "Rober" without warning so I am stuck with it.

The only thing about Linux, I suppose, is too many me-too distros.
 

gpw928

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So in some sense freebsd is doing something right what gentoo is doing wrong. But what is it ?
Right or wrong is a subjective assessment.

I have worked in many places where being without a support contract from a "credible" major industry player was simply not an option. No senior manager with an ambition to maintain their employment (let alone their career) would consider anything else.

Learning to humbly accept the adulation when things go well, and to re-point the finger of blame (sometimes at the external support contractor) when things go wrong, is an essential lesson in how a professional manager advances their position.

I can also say that not being able to compile the kernel, or even run a desktop, has never been a major issue at places where I did Linux support. And the ugly nuances around /sys and /proc (let alone systemd) were simply not relevant. They are technical issues, and not relevant to the overall management goals.

What was relevant was a support contract with Redhat (now IBM), so there was always somebody external to lean on for assistance, and a supply of developers and software suppliers familiar with that turf.
 
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