Now they want to fork Debian?

Talking about SolydXK, another distribution or totally off-topic but within the Rules ? It's the right place!
Deleted User 2764

Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 20 Oct 2014 18:20

I'm hoping we can start a rather civilized discussion on this as this could get interesting.

Please read before posting: http://debianfork.org/

Ok, now as I understand it, some folks are against systemd being put into Debian. I can understand the need for "choice". I really don't have any other opinion on this either way as I have no more idea of what is going on than I did with Wayland/Xorg/X11, or OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice or anything else like that.

However, I do wonder, will there really be a group formed to fork Debian or will this idea eventually just fade?

If it does take off, what will happen to distros that rely on Debian such as Ubuntu, and SolydXK?

Should we be concerned about this and discuss this now or should we just wait and see how it all pans out?

I would think that we will have Debian Jessie stable (when it gets to that point) for SolydXK before this fork project takes off. I personally like to go with whatever seems to work. But if a major distro is forking, I'm wondering what interesting things we'll have in store for the future.

Also why hasn't RH forked? Don't they also use systemd or do they use sysvinit? Or is CentOS or Fedora a fork of RH? Isn't Ubuntu sorta a fork of Debian anyway? I'm kinda confused on this stuff.

And lastly, someone mind telling me (in simple terms please) why it even matters to a business or home user? Of course I also want to know what it would mean to server and network admins as well.

Let's (politely as possible) discuss!

User avatar
Nuke
Posts: 52
Joined: 27 Sep 2014 19:35
Location: Chepstow, UK
Contact:

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Nuke » 21 Oct 2014 00:02

This thread is really a continuation of the "Remove systemd, return to sysvinit" thread in Support-Software
RavenLX wrote:Should we be concerned about this and discuss this now or should we just wait and see how it all pans out?
I think we should, although I am not sure what we can do about it. What is in prospect is a massive fork in the Linux world. Linux already is already formed of two major camps and several minor ones that have been getting along nicely : Red Hat and their "Allies" and "Clones" in one main camp and Debian and its derivatives in the other main camp. Clearly SolydXK is in the Debian camp. The minor camps are things like Arch, Gentoo and Slackware.

What is happening is that RH has taken an entirely new direction with systemd, which it sponsors, and taking its allies and clones with it. Systemd started as a replacement for init.d but has/is growing into a massive and all-encompassing middleware layer between the kernel and the apps, replacing the sysvinit collection of daemons, but monolithic and opaque. When/if apps start using its calls instead of sysvinit calls, they will not work on a sysvinit system any more. Technically I am not sure what will happen during a transition period.

The point is, systemd is not a minor fork or alternative, like Open Office vs Libre Office - either of which do not exclude the other - it is more like KDE vs Gnome, or even Linux vs BSD but at a lower level and they not going to exist in the Linux world together.

What has infuriated people is Debian itself announcing that it will also follow the RH camp. If Debian had held out against systemd there was a good chance that its allies and derivatives (Ubuntu, Knoppix, DSL, Crunchbang, MX-14 and Solydxk etc) would have too, and apps would have needed to offer a choice of sysvinit and systemd. No small distro like Solydxk can alone buck the trend, although so far Gentoo and Slackware are trying to.
RavenLX wrote:Also why hasn't RH forked? Don't they also use systemd or do they use sysvinit? Or is CentOS or Fedora a fork of RH?
RH are forking - to systemd, that is the point. The systemd team leaders http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lennart_Poettering & co work for Red Hat. And yes, Fedora, Centos, Mageia and even Suse are in the RH camp. A suspicion is that systemd is an RH scheme to become the gatekeepers of the Linux world, as systemd is a binary system rather like the Windows registry or the Windows sychost deamon, ultimately to make at least the profesional users more dependent on RH services. Personally I suspect that RH might even go on to replace the Linux kernel itself with their own, hoping to take the Linux goodwill with them.
RavenLX wrote: Isn't Ubuntu sort a a fork of Debian anyway? I'm kinda confused on this stuff.
Yes. But on a Debian foundation Ubuntu have been looking to go their own way for some time, with increasing divergence from the rest of Linux (eg with Unity, Mir).
RavenLX wrote:And lastly, someone mind telling me .. why it even matters to a business or home user?
It matters because those resisting a RH take-over of Linux (as they see it) are (as you point out) likely to create a fork (or keep on course while RH make the fork, depending how you see it). So the Linux world could fragment, and many desert to BSD.

One of the main arguments that the systemd advocates use is faster boot time. So what? I never shut down! Another point is that the systemd coders do not have reputations for good code. Linus justifiably blew his top at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kay_Sievers a while ago. On the level of personalities, Poettering, drunk and arrogant, beer bottle in hand recently hijacked someones presentation to promote systemd - creating much comment and not a good impression (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTdUmlGxVo0 - about 50 minutes in).

Note that I have not mentioned anything about "Unix tradition" in this. What is at stake is more important than just keeping those old principles.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 21 Oct 2014 01:30

Sounds like systemd is going to be a nightmare for developers and small distros like SolydXK. :( Then you have convinced me at this point (until someone convinces me otherwise) to be on board with the fork. Hopefully if the fork does pan out SolydXK would go with that version instead of "Pure Debian"?

But another thing I'm concerned about is the Ubuntu world. Professionally, we use Ubuntu servers at work because we use RackSpace and Digital Ocean to house our servers. So would these places adopt the forked distros too? They seem to only go with the main ones.

User avatar
Snap
Posts: 1244
Joined: 25 Aug 2013 20:01
Location: Spain

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Snap » 21 Oct 2014 08:17

IMHO, a fork won't do any good to the Linux Community as a whole, at least at first sight. You know the old quote: divide and conquer... mainly because Debian is a pillar and a reference in the Linux world. Red Hat it's a different thing. It's an enterprise wanting to make money, Like Canonical, which is fine, but (personally) I don't care what it would happen to them. Though I care about the community and Debian in particular since it's supposed to be the true reference for free software and the base for so many distros. The more widely used base out there. The problem I see is Red Had somewhat ruling the Debian paths to some extent. First PulseAudio, next Wayland, following systemd. To me the underlying problem is this:
The current leadership of the project is heavily influenced by GNOME developers and too much inclined to consider desktop needs as crucial to the project
Debian shouldn't be tied to any DE or any Toolkit, but it is. Wayland is tied to sytemd, Gnome is tied to systemd, and Systemd and Wayland "belong" to RedHat.

The Poettering effect (tsunami?) seems to be growing huge to the point of endangering a Linux pillar (aka: Debian) to break in two.
This likely means that your installation is broken. -Mr Pixbuf.

Image

kbd
Posts: 99
Joined: 10 Dec 2013 17:51

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby kbd » 21 Oct 2014 15:16

It would be no small thing to fork Debian. The way it is Debian are having trouble getting enough support for their LTS. I expect there will be an anemic fork, taking more developers and energy that is needed away from main Debian. I don't think the fork will be successful. They will need to package a lot of stuff themselves and be constantly 'fixing' Debian because of systemd encroaching on the Debian packages. Redhat/Gnome is neck deep in systemd and that is probably not good for Debian.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 21 Oct 2014 15:28

Why would it be a bad idea to fork? We already have a ton of distros to choose from. I think that if Debian did fork, then it would give distros more choice and thus all of us more choice. I don't see why there's not enough room for choice. It's always been that way. I admit it's more confusing to choose a distro. And maybe can be a bit challenging for system admins to "learn everything". But if Debian forks, most of what is there will stay but at least it will stay (ie. sysvinit, non-DE specific leaving DEs to specific distros, xorg, etc.)

What I think they should do really is split off from the distro-as-a-distro thing and go base system for those who want to put together their own distros and leave distro building to others. I would see two base systems:

systemd/wayland base (maybe called wBase)
sysvinit/xorg base (maybe called xBase)

Then Debian could choose to be a wBase distro. They no longer would have to be a base as well. SolydXK could be a xBase. Ubuntu could be wBase, Red Hat would be wBase. Fedora could be xBase (giving RH users two choices there). Suse could go wBase or xBase, Slack would go xBase I'd imagine? I may have all those mis-matched to some point but the point is you get the idea. Each distro chooses a base, but not becomes the base.

I think also that package managers need to be standardized (I vote for apt but again, maybe systemd would be rpm and sysvinit systems would be apt). This way you choose a base and you develop your distro.

RH and Canonical can't lay "claim" to GPL stuff anyway which this stuff is, IIRC. They can't lay claim to the Linux kernel either. So maybe two groups can manage the two bases and RH and Canonical would just have to work with the base. If they want to make their own base, well, so be it but they can't "own" anything that is already GPL and make anyone adhere to it.

At least that is my .02. There is an old-but-works vs. new-and-so-called-improved war going on right now. But then again it's always been that way. KDE exists (I prefer it right now). GNOME exists in several flavors and spun off things like xfce, Mate, Cinnamon and Unity (if I'm right?), there are a lot of desktop environments out there.

The thing is, how will they adapt? You'd need two bases then if things are splitting. Then they could have KDE devs some work on the xBase and some on the wBase and provide an installation for either. Same with the others. But if you split things up too much beyond that, it becomes a mess. And people I think have a hard enough time choosing a distro without adding to the confusion.

kbd
Posts: 99
Joined: 10 Dec 2013 17:51

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby kbd » 21 Oct 2014 16:26

RavenLX wrote:Why would it be a bad idea to fork? We already have a ton of distros to choose from. I think that if Debian did fork, then it would give distros more choice and thus all of us more choice. I don't see why there's not enough room for choice. It's always been that way. I admit it's more confusing to choose a distro. And maybe can be a bit challenging for system admins to "learn everything". But if Debian forks, most of what is there will stay but at least it will stay (ie. sysvinit, non-DE specific leaving DEs to specific distros, xorg, etc.)

What I think they should do really is split off from the distro-as-a-distro thing and go base system for those who want to put together their own distros and leave distro building to others. I would see two base systems:

systemd/wayland base (maybe called wBase)
sysvinit/xorg base (maybe called xBase)

Then Debian could choose to be a wBase distro. They no longer would have to be a base as well. SolydXK could be a xBase. Ubuntu could be wBase, Red Hat would be wBase. Fedora could be xBase (giving RH users two choices there). Suse could go wBase or xBase, Slack would go xBase I'd imagine? I may have all those mis-matched to some point but the point is you get the idea. Each distro chooses a base, but not becomes the base.

I think also that package managers need to be standardized (I vote for apt but again, maybe systemd would be rpm and sysvinit systems would be apt). This way you choose a base and you develop your distro.

RH and Canonical can't lay "claim" to GPL stuff anyway which this stuff is, IIRC. They can't lay claim to the Linux kernel either. So maybe two groups can manage the two bases and RH and Canonical would just have to work with the base. If they want to make their own base, well, so be it but they can't "own" anything that is already GPL and make anyone adhere to it.

At least that is my .02. There is an old-but-works vs. new-and-so-called-improved war going on right now. But then again it's always been that way. KDE exists (I prefer it right now). GNOME exists in several flavors and spun off things like xfce, Mate, Cinnamon and Unity (if I'm right?), there are a lot of desktop environments out there.

The thing is, how will they adapt? You'd need two bases then if things are splitting. Then they could have KDE devs some work on the xBase and some on the wBase and provide an installation for either. Same with the others. But if you split things up too much beyond that, it becomes a mess. And people I think have a hard enough time choosing a distro without adding to the confusion.
I think it could be bad if it takes manpower away from Debian. Division in the Linux community is both a blessing and a curse. It is great in that it allows so much freedom and opportunity to create and do new things, but a curse in that it takes a small user and creator base and fractures it over and over again.
They imply they have the manpower, if they do, great, but that would surprise me. I would be happy to see systemd dropped altogether, but the reality is that Redhat (the biggest dog in Linux land) has bought into systemd, as has Gnome. Gnome has gone insane since Gnome 3, refusing to listen to their users, and the friction creating numerous desktop forks, but many of them still in some way depend upon Gnome. I think if there is a Debian fork, and it looks likely, it will end up looking something like Arch, or maybe Crunchbang. I don't think it will merely be Debian free of systemd. Debian has a huge number of packages, which is one of the great things about it, and I don't see full support for and them fixing all those packages (free of systemd support) coming from a fork, but I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong.
And yet maybe we will all wake up tomorrow and Debian will divorce itself from systemd, we can hope for that :-)

User avatar
Snap
Posts: 1244
Joined: 25 Aug 2013 20:01
Location: Spain

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Snap » 21 Oct 2014 16:44

The ugly part is that historically schisms and segregations always leave innocent victims. If this fork ever happens let's see which are the names of the corpses.
This likely means that your installation is broken. -Mr Pixbuf.

Image

kbd
Posts: 99
Joined: 10 Dec 2013 17:51

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby kbd » 21 Oct 2014 17:12

Here is the sort of thing I think a fork will have to deal with:
http://gimpforums.com/thread-why-is-sys ... o-run-gimp?
And it is also what concerns me with systemd. As an advocate of the KISS Principle, I don't like the idea of one system trying to control or being tied into every other part of the system. I think dependency hell is coming for any fork. I would rather Debian stay away from systemd, but with Gnome embracing it, what can they do? What desktop and apps will it be able to use without it? I'm not sure systemd can be stopped in Debian or that there are many good options except trying to roll back the clock before systemd spread its roots into the rest of the Linux system.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 21 Oct 2014 18:15

I agree that can be a big problem. Sounds like this systemd thing is a push to make Linux more proprietary (like Windows *cough* *cough*) which is not what Linux was ever meant to be. I think wasn't this the same concerns over Wayland, Mir and Xorg? What will desktop environments do to adapt? What do server and network admins have to do to adapt?

Another thought is, while big changes may be coming up, what is the plan for transition? If there was a good transition plan while the bugs are being ironed out of the new-and-improved item, then maybe it wouldn't be as much of a problem. And by "bugs" I don't mean coding bugs but also ethics bugs and who controls what.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 21 Oct 2014 18:25

Some more info: http://boycottsystemd.org/ This site has some talking points, some links for reference.

User avatar
Snap
Posts: 1244
Joined: 25 Aug 2013 20:01
Location: Spain

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Snap » 21 Oct 2014 18:35

what is the plan for transition?
Who knows. I've been hearing something like "beware, Wayland is coming, X is doomed and Ubuntu will go their way with MIR!" since I jumped into Linux and actually not much happened in these two years. While at the same time I was hearing a small and quiet buzzing about systemd and now it's everywhere colonizing the Linux planet. I don't know much about systemd but it's causing a lot of trouble, not only the late system bugs. It goes beyond the machines themselves.
This likely means that your installation is broken. -Mr Pixbuf.

Image

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 21 Oct 2014 19:51

Reminds me of changes like UEFI in Windows 8, for example, or Windows 8 itself. People don't mind change, as long as it's not sudden and drastic and breaks what people still are and want to keep using. There's a lot of folks who are in the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it camp" that feel things aren't broken yet. I can understand that as well. Change may be good but it depends on how and what changes.

User avatar
Orbmiser
Posts: 829
Joined: 24 Aug 2013 22:58
Location: Portland,Oregon

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Orbmiser » 21 Oct 2014 21:38

Why pro-systemd and anti-systemd people will never get along.
http://uselessd.darknedgy.net/ProSystemdAntiSystemd/
I’ve seen it countless times already, and there was virtually no variation from the archetypal formula. You have two ardent and vocal sides, roughly classified into an opponent/proponent dichotomy, neither of which have anything enlightening to say and both with their own unique set of misunderstandings that have memetically mutated into independent ideas that poison virtually every debate of this nature.
This is not meant as an indictment on systemd proponents, but rather to show one thing: the systemd debate is rarely a technical argument for either side, instead it is an ideological and cultural war waged by two opposing demographics that inhabit the same general sphere of Linux and FOSS. This isn’t about technical merits, it’s about politics. Few would acknowledge it, but the people who argue are not really concerned with improving the state of process management systems. They are involved in an unprecedented philosophical rift in free software, which will likely have some notable implications in the future. Identities and egos are at stake here.
.
Portfolio
http://500px.com/Orbmiser
Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/orb9220/

SolydK - Kernel 3.16-2-amd64 - KDE 4.14.1 Update Pack: 2014.10.15

kbd
Posts: 99
Joined: 10 Dec 2013 17:51

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby kbd » 21 Oct 2014 22:20

Actually I think it is ideology in part. You see this in the Debian camp because of its free and open software philosophy, and systemd with its all encompassing nature is especially anathema there.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 21 Oct 2014 22:21

@Orbmiser: I think if humans are involved, it will always involve some drama and politics. I guess it's inevitable. Which I guess the idea of if you don't like it, build your own is what people often resort to. Sometimes it produces great things, sometimes not.

User avatar
Orbmiser
Posts: 829
Joined: 24 Aug 2013 22:58
Location: Portland,Oregon

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Orbmiser » 21 Oct 2014 22:49

RavenLX wrote:@Orbmiser: I think if humans are involved, it will always involve some drama and politics. I guess it's inevitable. Which I guess the idea of if you don't like it, build your own is what people often resort to. Sometimes it produces great things, sometimes not.
Yep unfortunately that creates emotionally charged misinformation and a confusion of fog getting in the way of a true and balanced evaluation of the technical merits or weaknesses of any particular project. Couple that with the majority like me chiming in with little in the way of technical expertise in underlying linux workings makes for difficult decisions in saying yay or nay for a particular project. Guess I was just wishing for less of that and more discussions between the dev's on technical merits and the possible implications or impact that would have on the future of Linux.

Guess I will just keep reading trying to educate myself on this and other issues. And watch out for those emotionally biased trip-wires & booby-traps. :shock:

.
Portfolio
http://500px.com/Orbmiser
Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/orb9220/

SolydK - Kernel 3.16-2-amd64 - KDE 4.14.1 Update Pack: 2014.10.15

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 22 Oct 2014 15:55

Linux Unplugged talks about this starting at 54:58 here (Sorry I couldn't direct-link to it below and have the video show so follow this link instead): http://youtu.be/lFhlYIcPkOU?t=1h2m55s

Apparently Chris is all for forking Debian. He thinks it's good competition but didn't like the way the site was presented (the Debian Fork site). Matt and others weights on it as well. Their talk gives some interesting insight as well.

User avatar
Snap
Posts: 1244
Joined: 25 Aug 2013 20:01
Location: Spain

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Snap » 22 Oct 2014 17:04

Well, being watching this and googling a bit (Fedora too!). I don't have an opinion about systemd or other init systems and philosophies. My knowledge is pretty limited in that respect. But what I see is a deep confrontation and no way to join forces as a whole again. Parts won't reconciliate and Debian won't be a tight whole anymore. I think a fork and splitting off is the only way to go at this point.
This likely means that your installation is broken. -Mr Pixbuf.

Image

Deleted User 2764

Re: Now they want to fork Debian?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 22 Oct 2014 17:15

The other part of my question is what it will mean to distros that rely on Debian such as Ubuntu and SolydXK if there is a fork? Which way will these distros go? Some may go one way, some may another. I use both Ubuntu and SolydXK so I would be interested in finding out if I will have to work on one sysvinit system and one systemd system. And what that would mean or if it would be just a given thing I don't think about (as it is right now).


Return to “Open Chat / General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests