Devuan Weekly News Issue XII
Volume 002, Week 7, Devuan Week 12
Hit a Wall? Here’s a Ladder
An uneasy wind blew fetid laments of arrogance and ivory towering.
These accusations are plain wrong. They come as voices from people invited to a cooking party sitting on their asses and complaining to the host who just arrived from the market that the meal is not ready. If you see a wall, you should get up from your chair and move around it.
OK, the site sucks, the absence of logo sucks, the release is not ready, Winter is too cold, Summer is too hot, etc. There’s plenty to complain about. But if you look around, you’ll see a vastness of empty space with work to do that’s just waiting for you to pick it up and make it nice.
If you lack time, the Devuan Weekly News is saving you some by pointing to what’s being said on the mailing list. It’s volunteer work, and you’re welcome to give a hand. As the list traffic grows, more attention is required to read everything and get to the point. Every week.
If you have time, you can explore the Gitlab and see what’s cooking. You can even register an account and chime in, opening issues, solving issues, meeting people, and joining teams.
Here’s from the project’s wiki:
> During the initial phase, until 1.0 is released, we shall follow a > very simple conceptual line: the more you do, the stronger your > voice on decisions.
(Hint: complaining and bikeshedding are not "doing")
Last Week in Devuan
The first issue to track this week started in DWN XI, where Noel "Envite" raised the question of separating the single DNG list (this one) into a users list and a dev list. Steve Litt suggested that maybe the line should be drawn differently, like code Vs. philosophy, which was effectively in line with Envite’s proposal. Others suggest that it is not the moment, or that users should be aware of what developers do. The thread also had its own amount of litter.
The thread about the logo poll saw an announce of partial results from Jaromil as well as a recommendation to the design team about keeping these results in mind when designing. It seems this whole thread created some confusion, as hellekin points out later.
The DWN team (currently Noel "Envite" and hellekin) wants to state that:
- Our opinions count exactly the same as any other opinion.
- We try to provide a neutral view of what is happening on Devuan, but we positively do not refrain from shedding our own light on it.
- We welcome you to help us, and cast your own light as well.
- We do not endorse any logo proposal.
- We think democracy (and polls) are not always the best solution, specially when they can cause discussions on the roof of a bikeshed.
- We think that a dedicated visual design team is a good idea, and that it should be a part of, and fully attentive to the community.
In summary: please keep Devuan Jessie going on, whatever we use for the roof of the bikeshed (or as the distribution logo).
Robert Storey highlights the newly released Raspberry Pi 2, which could be used to test ARM support for Devuan. Jaromil informed about the possibility of selling Devuan preinstalled Raspberry Pi boxes. Wim reported that Raspberry Foundation will use Debian Jessie with systemd included. We also got news about ARM machines bought by Devuan.
The previous thread offspringed this one about whether Kali Linux does actually have systemd. The consensus (trolls permitting) is that it doesn’t in the standard installation.
The discussion about Bastille Linux keeps going on with quite a high trolling level (it is not an error there is no link here). If somebody deserves to be quoted, he is william moss, throwing some sanity in.
Mitt requests guidelines about trademarks and non-free stuff. Our hellekin notes that the current focus is on providing a systemd-free Jessie, with almost no other changes.
dev and screen resolution]9
SteveT asks if
vdev could not change screen resolution. The various answers point that no
*dev actually does that, but may delegate the functionality to a module that does on its own.
Jonathan Wilkes indicates
depinit, yet another alternate init system.
Nate Bargmann started this week’s most prolific thread by pointing to a blog post by John Goerzen in which the issue of "modern Linux" being difficult to administer and troubleshoot is discussed.
Article and followup by John are here and here.
The thread has a fair amount of thanks posts and its dose of troll posts. In fact, the list people seems to mostly agree on the points, and in particular that servers should not be forced to use solutions meant for desktops. Discussion seems to revolve around complexity in general and not about systemd in particular. Citing Steve Litt:
> I think systemd is just the worst of many entangled monolithic > monsters, and is a symptom of the true problem.
One branch of the discussion teached how to configure wifi without network-manager, kindly provided by Didier Kryn, with contributions by others, specially Isaac Dunham. Hendrik Boom, on its turn, explained to substitute Network-Manager by wicd.
Another branch discussed again static devfs, and sg_map.
Yet another branch discussed diversity and how it can be a strenght and a weakness. Vince Mulhollon pointed that the problem is in the "obese DEs".
From the thread about "modern Linux" raises again the discussion about programming languages, where hendrik passes some in review and remembers that we agreed to use whatever is currently on Debian. Didier added:
> Dear developpers and maintainers, please continue providing us with > applications written in the language you prefer.
with the important point though of not forcing people if what you write is an API.
The previous thread itself mutated into a mild complaint about the dev team being somehow isolated from the DNG list. This caused Jude Nelson to get the bullet with the tooth and write a status update, intended to be weekly. DWN recommends reading it (e.g. from the link at the top of this section).
Last week’s thread goes on with indications from Jaromil about how to use the SDK, news regarding
udev about to be replaced by
vdedv, Rob Owens looking towards
udevil, Isaac Dunham towards
mdev, and Jaromil stating that the most probable course of action is to keep
udev, but just by now, in order to have Devuan Jessie out.
joerg reports that Linux 3.20 may be renumbered as 4.0 because it includes some new features, among which there is ‘Live kernel patching support via KDBUS’. He fears this makes the kernel depend on systemd.
Jude Nelson explains that kdbus just moves messages, and that while its userspace implementation is actually on systemd, it can be made out of it as well.
Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton raised an important concern. Two actually:
It’s hard to tell, argues KatolaZ, who’s expecting a "functioning and fuss-free GNU/Linux, which I can tinker with as I like".
Both questions have some elements of answer in the wiki:
> "Devuan is born for a simple goal: having a systemd-free debian > jessie to preserve freedom choice on init and decoupling between > init and the rest of the system … initially, it will NOT be a > complete fork, but just a complete infrastructure to distribute a > personalized version of debian jessie, testing and unstable where > some packages from us will be pinned up on top of the debian > repositories…"
Then we hear fiery tales of bridge burning, the happiness of the catharsis and the bizarre, and a recurring question: yes, or no? Is it a fork, or is it a spin? Luke Leighton brings some welcomed light about the context of these questions: yes, Devuan can choose to be mergeable with Debian and should not discard the possibility of a future merge. He insists that "it would be desirable for a future merge to actually happen." Devuan, he adds, "could be a ‘testing ground’ for radical ideas such as shredding systemd, which Debian could not possibly do without a massive amount of risky disruption."
The keyword here is continuity: whatever happens with Devuan, people will use it if they can switch to it from Debian without an itch–which at this point can happen, as some will need to be scratched sooner or later.
Devuan can be welcoming to existing Debian Maintainers and should be, thinks Hendrik Boom, as the probability of Devuan needing the collaboration of Debian Maintainers only grows with the growth of Devuan.
Luke: "if you try to go too far, you will overwhelm the team with the amount of work that will need to be done". He recommends that the differences between Devuan and Debian be kept to a minimum.
He wants "to have a word with the systemd team. i’m going to advocate to them that they make libsystemd0 be a dynamically-loaded runtime library", which Gravis wants to listen to, for the lulz.
TJ Duchene reminds that "Devuan was created because in our eyes, the Debian process failed under its own weight." He calls for not looking back. We’ll probably hear more about this topic next week!
Didier Kryn wonders if Devuan’s intended audience and current community is that of server admins only or users that want to "own their desktops" should be taken into account as well. The question is not yet settled by list consensus, while people explain why they are on Devuan’s ship.
Gravis tells us that he is working in a new security paradigm using POSIX means.
Franco (and we all) received a Valentine’s Day gift from Jaromil. By explicit request it is not linked here, since it is a pre-alpha version. Svante Signell reports that it runs in quemu-kvm currently.
In a related, but different thread, KatolaZ wrote the instructions to make it run in qemu. Steve Litt reminds us all of the importance of good documentation, due to a question about qemu.
Devuan’s Not Gnome
DNG is the discussion list of the Devuan Project.
Do you want to continue reading Devuan Weekly News? Please help us:
- Join us at IRC: #devuan-news at freenode
- Contribute by resuming threads for the upcoming issue XIII
Thanks for reading us. See you next week, time permitting.
- Noel, "er Envite" (Main writer, polisher)
- hellekin (Editorial writer, co-writer, markup master)
- golinux (typo spotter)