[svlug] Maintaining systems without certain problematic packages (was: BAFUG)

Sanatan Rai sanatan at gmail.com
Thu Jan 1 09:22:27 PST 2015


On 1 January 2015 at 04:18, Rick Moen <rick at svlug.org> wrote:

> Sanatan Rai wrote:
>
> > But then the `alternative' is plain: a *clean* Linux distro that doesn't
> > make it mandatory to use freedesktop.org cruft. Aren't there any? Seeing
> > Debian `sell out' to this particular evil *is* a bit of a blow though.
>
> I'll start by acknowledging the quotation marks indicating that you're
> speaking figuratively, not literally accusing anyone of misdeeds.  That
> being said, the immediate resort to moral condemnation, and in other cases
> to outright conspiratorial[1] thinking, long ago gave this subjecct a bad
> name.
> Distro package maintainers aren't out to push some sinister agenda.
> They're
> appying distro policies and compiling in library calls and features they
> believe their users requested.
>

Quite, figuratively is correct. Having read the discussion on the Debian
lists on the init systems, one would have to be paranoid indeed to claim
that it is
a conspiracy!


> I'm not convinced that minimising this malarkey requires picking a specific
> distro, as there are numerous ways around problems that bear investigation,
> including package-oriented recompiles to create local-variant packages.
>
On
> RPM-based distros:
>
> cd ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/
> rpmbuild -bp mypackage.spec
> cd ~/rpmbuild/BUILD/
> cp existing_directory existing_directory.orig
> cd existing_directory
> find the file you wish to change, modify it.
> cd ~/rpmbuild/BUILD/
> diff -Npru existing_directory.orig exiting_directory >
> name_of_your_patch_file.patch
> cp name_of_your_patch_file.patch ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES/
> cd ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/
> edit the mypackage.spec file to add the definition of
> name_of_your_patch_file.patch and the application of your_patch_file --
> please look in the file to see how that is done.
> rpmbuild -ba mypackage.spec
>
> For deb-based distros:
>
> # apt-get source foo
> # apt-get build-dep foo
> # cd foo-nnn
> modify stuff
> # debuild -us -uc foo
>
> (Above are rough stabs at the process, and untested.)
>
>
Bear with me, but why could one not create a distro that uses (say) SysV
init with a `barebones' xserver, and run fvwm2? Could that not avoid
freedesktop.org stuff and systemd entirely? So for example, based on the
approach you outline above, could one not create a Debian-style distro with
`clean repositories', ie with binaries that have no dependencies on systemd
or freedesktop.org packages.

I should stress that my comments should be taken as that of the `ordinary
Linux user', ie someone who uses it as a tool. That is if the naivety of
the last question isn't a sufficient clue!

I find Linux a necessity entirely because one finds the alternatives (BSD
excepted) dreadful and inadequate. I'd switch to something else in a flash
if
it sucked less. So irritating to see that a lot of decisions seem to be
made
with the `ordinary user' / 'desktop user' (whatever that means) in mind,
and
which are a hindrance rather than aids.

On another note, here's what y'all missed by not being at Chez Moen for New
> Year's Eve:
>
>
> Hot Cocoa with Saffron Cream
>
> 1 litre / 1 at milk
> 225 g / 1/2 lb. dark chocolate
> 3 dl / 1 1/2 cup cream
> 1/4 g saffron
>
> Carefully melt the chocolate and bring it and the milk to a boil, taking
> care to avoid burning either.  Pour into serving cups.  Whisk the cream and
> saffron until it's light and airy.  Spoon it atop the cocoa.  Serves about
> five.
>

Seems to have been a blast, happy new year!


-- 
Sanatan Rai
3, Admirals Court,
30, Horselydown Lane,
London, SE1 2LJ.
+44-20-7403-2479.
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