On One-Man Linux Distros, Stability, Simplicity

It kinda makes you wonder, when you think about the many super-cool Linux OSes out there that are supported by just one person, maybe one or two others helping. Recently the main guy behind the wonderful (and systemd-free) PCLinuxOS announced that he needs to step down for health reasons. Not a surprise, he’s been having health issues lately and everyone knew and had time to prepare. PCLinuxOS will very probably continue it’s awesome run for many years after Texstar, the lead developer, passes on. That’s because the distro has an awesome, large, and loyal community that will no doubt keep PCLOS going.

That may not be the case for one-man distros like Linux Lite, though, if anything happens to Jerry, the lead (and only?) developer. Slackware, God bless it, is the oldest surviving Linux distro. But it’s still basically a one-man show, and struggling financially, and losing popularity to “the big guys” with huge corporations behind them (SUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora/RedHat/CentOS). Maybe the best support for a Linux distro is actually one of those community-based distros. I might count PCLinuxOS amongst them because of the very substantial community around it. I doubt that the same is true for Linux Mint, and smaller distros like Bodhi, Salix, and Linux Lite.

Some real community-built and community-maintained gems can be found in official spin-offs of the big corporate distros. My old favorite, which I will remain a rabid fanboy forever – Xubuntu – is such a distro. Probably the same is true of Lubuntu and Kubuntu as well. Little known but truly community-developed and users can get involved in all kindsa ways. Mine has always been “evangelism” of a sort, though I really don’t do that much “Linux evangelism” anymore; and donating dollars.

Just something else to consider when choosing a distro.

EvilGnome – Linux malware aimed at your laptop, not your servers — Infosec News Ireland

Some of our readers asked us this week, “What do you guys think of EvilGnome?” #ICYMI, EvilGnome is a recent malware sample that’s made a few headlines, and though we haven’t seen any examples of it actually popping up in the wild, we thought we’d answer the question anyway. Because Linux! As you probably know, […]

via EvilGnome – Linux malware aimed at your laptop, not your servers — Infosec News Ireland

My perfect distro: Salix 14.1

Another Salix review, a little out of date, but very good!

Geek-rants

Is Salix the perfect distro? Some might argue that it is, others will argue that it isn’t. Basically, it all depends on what you want from a distro: Do you want the system to be as exposed as possible (and therefore as configurable as it possibly can be), or do you want a distro that shields you from the nitty-gritty, and just offers an array of GUI tools to configure everything. 

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A new Linux distribution is here with a new init system

Can Arch Linux be Systemd-free and Fast as Light? Read on!

systemd-free linux community

For those who have never heard the name of the distribution and have not researched the late and current differences of init systems and service management and supervision, this may be a shock and major news.  For those who have really done their research, they have gone beyond the pop-ular polarization and fallacy of “systemd vs sysvinit” , there is nothing new here to read …

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Debian 10 ‘Buster’ Linux arrives — Reshared from debexpert

What’s holding the Linux desktop back? Linus Torvalds looks to Chromebooks and Android for the future of the Linux desktop, while Linux Mint developers aren’t happy with each other. Debian, the most important, truly independent Linux distribution, has just released Debian 10 “Buster”. Apart from Debian, there are many important community Linux distros such as Fedora, […]

via Debian 10 ‘Buster’ Linux arrives — debexpert

Diaspora: A Digital Ghetto

For over three years I have encouraged people to dump Facebook and move to Diaspora. I still say dump Facebook, along with Google, because they’re just evil, and their users become the commodity they sell.

But I retract my recommendation to join Diaspora or any of those “decentralized, free-and-open-source, federated” platforms. There are probably a dozen of them now, all competing and arguing over which protocol to use, what features are important and which aren’t, whether or not to block other instances or “pods,” the definition of free speech, and all the rest of it. The result is a hodgepodge of completely different platforms, some of which communicate with others and some of which can’t. Different interfaces, features, protocols, user bases, filters or the lack of any. I chose to stick with one, the oldest, best known, and most used: Diaspora.

But it’s still a digital ghetto, still full of fragmentation and the same arguments. And users who come from the Big Platforms join only to find the squabbling and juvenile conduct offensive at worst and a waste of their time at best. Following tags you like only shows a half-dozen other users, maybe, most of which have given up and left.

Me too. I can’t recommend any of those platforms in “the Federation,” and I have tried several.

I think I can do better just posting to forums that are dedicated to the stuff that interests me. I think Forums could replace social networks altogether and the world would be a better place.

Mastodon, presumably a Twitter alternative, has no settings or ability for a user to delete his or her account!  You would think that kinda matters, huh?  The best you can do is abandon a Mastodon account.  That’s just stupid design.

Pluspora, a Diaspora pod that was created for users of the now-defunct Google Plus platform, is perhaps the only exception to the general rule that while Diaspora is a great idea, the users generally SUCK.  If it’s not cat pictures and political memes, it’s political shills, porn, and people showing off their pictures of sunsets, flowers, landscapes, etc.  Many Diaspora users left or were kicked off other platforms for antisemitic rants, hate speech, advancing stupid extreme conspiracy theories and fringe cult stuff.   But Pluspora has it’s share of political extremists now as well.

My experienced advice to anyone looking at alternatives to Facebook and Twitter:  Don’t bother with these “Federated” platforms like Diaspora, Friendica, Hubzilla, Pleuroma, RedMatrix, or Mastodon.  Maybe someday they will be worth revisiting, but for now, with rare exception, these “social networks” are a gathering spot for people who have been justifiably expelled from other platforms.  Don’t bother.