Discussion:
life is hard for small Linux distros
(too old to reply)
RS Wood
2018-05-17 00:33:22 UTC
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From the «how else will I get that cool theme?» department:
Title: Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros
Author: Scott Gilbertson
Date: Wed, 16 May 2018 06:18:07 -0400
Link: http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/16/contributing_to_keep_small_linux_alive/

If you want your fave to survive, you'll need to dig deep

If you're new to Linux you'd be forgiven for thinking there are only a
half-dozen distributions – names like Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, and Red Hat
Enterprise Linux tend to get most of the headlines.…
Computer Nerd Kev
2018-05-17 23:20:45 UTC
Permalink
Title: Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta ? life is hard for small distros
Author: Scott Gilbertson
Date: Wed, 16 May 2018 06:18:07 -0400
Link: http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/16/contributing_to_keep_small_linux_alive/
If you want your fave to survive, you'll need to dig deep
I don't think that profitability is as key to the life of a distro
as that article would indicate. There are plenty of small distros
with no obvious income stream that have survived a long time now,
wikipedia assures me that Slackware "is the oldest distribution
that is still maintained", and it's a one man show.

I can't see the death of the small distro either, most are modified
versions of major distros (or other small distros based on major
distros), so the number of modifications that are made can scale
depending on the resources available.

Unfortunately my favourite distro seems to be beyond donations now
anyway. I keep thinking about making my own spin-off based on it.
One day, one day...
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RS Wood
2018-05-19 15:18:28 UTC
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Post by Computer Nerd Kev
From the ?how else will I get that cool theme?? department: Title: Void
Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta ? life is hard
for small distros Author: Scott Gilbertson Date: Wed, 16 May 2018
If you want your fave to survive, you'll need to dig deep
I can't see the death of the small distro either, most are modified
versions of major distros (or other small distros based on major
distros), so the number of modifications that are made can scale
depending on the resources available.
Unfortunately my favourite distro seems to be beyond donations now
anyway. I keep thinking about making my own spin-off based on it.
One day, one day...
Out of curiosity, you weren't a Void user, were you?

I started on SuSE (not opensuse) in about late 2000, early 2001, and stayed
with it until about 2014. Have dabbled with Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Bodhi, Mageia,
and very briefly, Slackware. I've been super happy with Mint since about
2015. I also keep FreeBSD and what's now called TrueOS (a desktop-oriented
FreeBSD, and I hate that name) running on a couple of machines.
Computer Nerd Kev
2018-05-20 01:42:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by RS Wood
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
From the ?how else will I get that cool theme?? department: Title: Void
Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta ? life is hard
for small distros Author: Scott Gilbertson Date: Wed, 16 May 2018
06:18:07 -0400
Unfortunately my favourite distro seems to be beyond donations now
anyway. I keep thinking about making my own spin-off based on it.
One day, one day...
Out of curiosity, you weren't a Void user, were you?
No, and to be honest the fact that it was built from scratch and
hadn't been around that long probably would have scared me off. It
suggests a toxic combination of having to compile lots of software
from source, and tons of poorly (or not at all) documented parts
of the design that make tracking down problems found while
compiling (or configuring) the software very difficult.

I'm a large part of the problem there - I like to use a lot of old
obscure software that is now falling out of development itself.

I'm a bit of a nut about lightweight software. I believe in a state
being reached where hardware is suitable for a given task and that
any subsequent improvement in the hardware should directly improve
the efficiency and capacity for performing that task. Instead the
task gets lost in a sea of bloat that forces the user to regularly
upgrade their hardware when it would not otherwise be required,
and to repeatedly set up and modify their existing process for
completing the task to account for unneeded changes in the
software (including the OS).

With this in mind, the distro I was talking about was Damn Small
Linux (DSL), and to fully abide by my philosophy my spin-off
would have to either allow a very wide selection of existing
Linux kernel versions, or be built on its own modified version
of the Linux Kernel. It would ideally have some form of
compatibility with packages from a mainstream distro, or at
least a very well stocked respository of its own. It would
also be comprehensively documented and conform to as many of
the design norms in a selected existing distro without
compromising the other requirements. All while being as
light-weight, with minimal included libraries, as possible
and still presenting an immediately usable graphical desktop
upon first run.

Clearly, as hardly anyone but myself will be interested in
all of these requirements, this distro will never exist. At
best I might one day create a completely self-serving distro
that meets those requirements within the needs dictated by
my own personal usage.

TinyCore Linux (sort of a DSL spin-off itself) comes closest
in some regards, but it falls down in too many others.
Post by RS Wood
I started on SuSE (not opensuse) in about late 2000, early 2001, and stayed
with it until about 2014. Have dabbled with Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Bodhi, Mageia,
and very briefly, Slackware. I've been super happy with Mint since about
2015.
Right now I'm following my philosphy and typing up this post
on a Pentium I desktop PC from 1996. Runnning, of course, DSL.
What more should I need for reading articles on Usenet,
Websites and Email each morning? It also boots up to Win98 (its
past life) and DOS on very rare occasions.

Currently I'm running Knoppix where I need to run software that
DSL can't (or won't without me effectively making a start on my
spin-off), recent versions of Firefox being the key example.
Next might be AntiX when my last chosen version of Knoppix gets
too far behind step with the Debian package respository (this
time in 2020 apparantly (it happened to DSL in 2006)). I don't
personally believe in regular updates when things are already
doing their job, except for security (more particularly in
recent years).
Post by RS Wood
I also keep FreeBSD and what's now called TrueOS (a desktop-oriented
FreeBSD, and I hate that name) running on a couple of machines.
I've never really made an effort with BSD beyond "ohh look
that's different, and that's different...".


P.S. Appologies for the unprovoked rant, I did keep it a lot
shorter than it could have been.
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Roger Blake
2018-05-20 04:10:24 UTC
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Post by Computer Nerd Kev
I've never really made an effort with BSD beyond "ohh look
that's different, and that's different...".
I actually started with ancient BSD way before linux - 4.1 BSD running
on a Vax 780 to be specific. Interestingly its programmer's manual, which
I still have, describes experimental yet-to-be-named network protocols that
are clearly TCP/IP and UDP.

I've gotten lazy in my old age though and these days like something
that "just works" with minimum fuss. So I've been using Ubuntu Linux LTS
releases. (Xfce, Mate, and Lxde variants, or no GUI at all, depending on
hardware, purpose, and whim. I never did care for Unit or Gnome 3.)
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Bob Eager
2018-05-20 09:29:48 UTC
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Post by Roger Blake
I've never really made an effort with BSD beyond "ohh look that's
different, and that's different...".
I actually started with ancient BSD way before linux - 4.1 BSD running
on a Vax 780 to be specific. Interestingly its programmer's manual,
which I still have, describes experimental yet-to-be-named network
protocols that are clearly TCP/IP and UDP.
Similar story here. I started earlier - Sixth Edition on the PDP-11, then
Seventh Edition and 2.xBSD.

Then UNIX-32V on the VAX (briefly) followed by 4.{0,1,2,3}BSD.

I now use FreeBSD, unsurprisingly.
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Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
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Huge
2018-05-20 15:15:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Eager
Post by Roger Blake
I've never really made an effort with BSD beyond "ohh look that's
different, and that's different...".
I actually started with ancient BSD way before linux - 4.1 BSD running
on a Vax 780 to be specific. Interestingly its programmer's manual,
which I still have, describes experimental yet-to-be-named network
protocols that are clearly TCP/IP and UDP.
Similar story here. I started earlier - Sixth Edition on the PDP-11, then
Seventh Edition and 2.xBSD.
Then UNIX-32V on the VAX (briefly) followed by 4.{0,1,2,3}BSD.
I now use FreeBSD, unsurprisingly.
You're all so *old*. :o)

I started with SunOS, which was BSD based, I believe, then followed it
to Solaris (S5R4). I am completely agnostic as to Unix versions.
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Roger Blake
2018-05-20 22:10:01 UTC
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Post by Huge
You're all so *old*. :o)
Thanks for the heads up, but my creaking joints have already
given away that secret! :)
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Roger Blake (Posts from Google Groups killfiled due to excess spam.)

NSA sedition and treason -- http://www.DeathToNSAthugs.com
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Badges don't grant extra rights -- http://www.CopBlock.org
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Roger Blake
2018-05-20 22:08:14 UTC
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Post by Bob Eager
Similar story here. I started earlier - Sixth Edition on the PDP-11, then
Seventh Edition and 2.xBSD.
I've worked with sixth and seventh edition also but that was actually a
little after working with BSD 4.1. After a job change I was involved with
projects on some older PDP-11 Unix systems.
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Roger Blake (Posts from Google Groups killfiled due to excess spam.)

NSA sedition and treason -- http://www.DeathToNSAthugs.com
Don't talk to cops! -- http://www.DontTalkToCops.com
Badges don't grant extra rights -- http://www.CopBlock.org
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