[svlug] Devuan

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Sat Jul 9 01:48:44 PDT 2016

On 07/08/2016 05:37 PM, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Ivan Sergio Borgonovo (mail at webthatworks.it):

> [Devuan:]

>> While I do really appreciate the effort to disentangle software, I
>> think their approach has very few chances to be relevant, and I doubt
>> any of their efforts reached upstream.

> I see very good signs, starting with the vdev work.

It is an interesting piece of software but there were already alternatives.

> For server use, I actually question the need for even vdev, and am
> aiming for either static /dev again or the minimal managed-dev solution,
> Busybox's mdev -- but I respect what they're doing.

> Also, I got the clear impression that their repos are either already
> fixing the xserver-xorg package dependencies on udev (a wholly owned
> subsidiary of systemd, at this point) and fixing the other DE dependency
> problems, or soon will.

That seems it is going nowhere other than in devuan.

> I don't give a rat's ass about DEs (desktop environments), so I've taken

> I adopt architecture that meets _my_ needs.  And, as we are in the Age
> of Snowden, I care deeply about knowing exactly what everything does,
> knowing why it's there, and agreeing to its necessity rather than having

> To quote Mr. Lincoln, it's the kind of thing that will be enjoyed by
> those who enjoy that kind of thing.

The problem is that to make everything run smoothly unless you're an 
ubergeek with some special requirements you need adoption.

Adoption let humble programmers like me contribute few lines of code to 
some project just because they were using it. And they were using it 
just because it was the cheapest choice.
Adoption means testing, early testing because you have unstable, testing 
and stable and NOT a git repo where you've to clone, install.
Adoption means review.
Adoption create standards that encourage diversity at a lower cost.

As usual things are complicated, adoption can kill diversity, impose 
dumb standard, make easier to auto-exploit vulnerabilities etc...

>> Niche distributions are hard to manage unless they really have something
>> very special that solve some of your very special problems.
> This is why I specifically mention that Debian works great with OpenRC
> (or sysvinit, upstart, runit, or nosh), despite FUD from various people
> including a number of anti-systemd flamers.
>> Considering the fuss around systemd I would have expected more people
>> putting work in sundering it and most of the work is not getting upstream.
>> Judging from
>> http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Debian/openrc-conversion.html
>> and
>> https://devuan.org/os/packages/list/forked-from-debian
>> it really doesn't look you needed to fork a whole distribution.
> Quite so.  I absolutely concur.

> Far as I can tell, Devuan was a operatic overreaction, and by no means
> the most efficient way to deal with the problem.  Yet, (1) their repos
> are compatible, so their work effectively _does_ supplement and assist
> Debian, and (2) again, it's their spare time to use as they please, when
> all is said and done.
>> Probably and unfortunately if the "debate" hadn't been so hot,
>> contributing to debian packages to make them more friendly to systemd
>> alternatives wouldn't have been so hard.

> Probably.  Possibly.  We'll now never know.

yep, surely unfortunately.

> (I had no part in that 'debate', and in viewing through archives see
> much heat and little light.)
>> But if I really had to look around for a systemd agnostic distro I'd be
>> embarassed but I think I'd pick up gentoo for the second time in my life.

> I maintain that Debian itself qualifies.

Part of my point is: it qualifies for you and another small bunch of people.

> It says 'Hey, all you people who claimed Debian 8 Jessie is captive to
> systemd are wrong.  Here are two simple package commands to install your
> choice of other supported init, and four shell commands to ensure
> systemd never comes back.'

I haven't seen any bug report with patches from the devuan people to the 
debian packages that says the same.
In a parallel universe maybe that would have been easier.

Next time I see Franco around I'll try to be as diplomatic as possible 
and ask why they didn't make any bug report to debian where patches 
could be introduced smoothly.
I'm OK with systemd but I see things could be improved for debian too 
and this could be a chance they were not ready to take.
Some of the wounds of the civil war may be still open.

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo

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