01.29.23

Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 76599171df667cb220bae1c371058d11
My Life With Debian 11 on Main Laptop
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here’s what that did to my life.

THIS household isn’t unfamiliar with Debian 11. My wife’s Raspberry Pi (400) has had it since 11 months ago and my own Pi has had it for over a year. But our main working machines were running Debian 10 for 3 years already. It worked really well. My sister recently moved from Debian 10 to 11 and complained about it; her colleagues had suffered the same and she was pressured to ‘upgrade’ regardless. Some people in IRC say that moving from 10 to 11 caused them problems, partly overcome by moving to 12 (testing).

“My move to Debian 11 wasn’t entirely voluntary.”The video above explains that some of my main problems with Debian 11 is software that’s no longer supported, causing me to make rather big changes, as happened this morning. Time will tell if any other issues may be coming up. The Debian repository is still very extensive, but any change can be disruptive. The Pis with Debian 11 aren’t used as traditional laptops, so that never bothered us (my wife uses 3 computers that are switched on all the time; I use 5). My move to Debian 11 wasn’t entirely voluntary. My hard drive died and it make no sense to stay on Debian 10 given its limited support plan (remaining time). The same is true for my Pi; after the hardware was damaged it made sense to move to the latest stable version of Debian, i.e. 11.

Over the past year I heard and read many stories about Debian upgrades, especially from 10 to 11. On our Pis it didn’t seem so disruptive and so far on my desktop/laptop I’m pleased with this latest version. In all cases — two Pis and a laptop — those were ‘clean installs’; I’ll probably report again on my experiences in weeks or months. Two days is way to little to properly assess a distro.

01.13.23

[Meme] Qualifications Versus Sleeping With Debian Project Leader (or Sirius Manager)

Posted in Debian, Deception at 2:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I never coded anything; But I sleep with the manager; I studied Computer Science for 4 years

Summary: The situation at Sirius ‘Open Source’ has become so bad that most of the workers lack the ability or knowledge required for the job

01.11.23

From ‘Punch a Nazi’ to ‘Punch a Debian Volunteer’ (or Even Stab)

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux at 9:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Context: Matthew Garrett Appointed to Debian Technical Committee Nearly 17 Years After Saying Debian Made Him Want to Stab the Volunteers Working on it. (And Himself.) | Microsofters Stabbing People in Debian

Baby punched

Summary: It’s always nice to see a self-described “social justice warrior” saying that he wished to stab unpaid coders (volunteers) whom he disagreed with back when he was a transphobe, according to himself; a terror sympathiser has just put him in the Debian Technical Committee

Matthew Garrett Appointed to Debian Technical Committee Nearly 17 Years After Saying Debian Made Him Want to Stab the Volunteers Working on it. (And Himself.)

Posted in Debian, Deception, DRM, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:29 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

Matthew Garrett has been appointed to Debian Technical Committee nearly 17 years after saying Debian made him want to stab the volunteers working on it. (And himself.)

Debian has made some unforced errors in recent years. Some technical, some political, some “other”.

It has also taken quite a lot of money from nefarious and corrupting sources, such as Microsoft, who never gives away money without expecting ruinous and self-destructive favors from the recipient.

As usual, the amounts in question were peanuts on the scale that Microsoft operates at, even as they are in trouble and in the middle of implementing massive layoffs and their CEO is speaking in euphemistically-coded pessimism about the future of the company.

Microsoft has supported Matthew Garrett by proxy during his work to foist so-called “Secure Boot” onto GNU/Linux, in a way that requires binary-only software in your boot path, whose only purpose is to lock the user (userspace) out of low level access to the computer.

I’ve been over and over why I just turn it off before I destroy Windows and replace it on a new laptop, so I will try not to flog this horse again, but at a certain point, even Matthew Garrett admitted that even turning on the Microsoft 3rd party signing key that works with this “shim” bootloader stage more or less destroys Windows, at least from the point of view of an average user, who is unlikely to know how to recover, and the entire “Secure Core Initiative” is just another milestone to a point where the user won’t even be able to choose a different OS for their computer, at all, no matter what they want to do.

Garrett left Google under generally unknown circumstances years ago. When pressed by me on Techrights IRC to explain the logic of leaving a gigantic corporation with deep pockets for an unprofitable “self-driving truck” company that only has enough cash to go on for about another year, whose stock shares have halved again since September of 2022, which has no future prospects except either bankruptcy or a takeover for patents, he has been rather cryptic and evasive.

Logically, why would you leave Google and take a job at Aurora voluntarily? That’s all I’m asking. It doesn’t follow, at least to me.

His pattern has been job hopping and always working on something Microsoft wants, no matter where he’s at officially. And he makes prolific usage of their GitHub division.

Whenever he does comment on Free Software, it’s either to try to cancel the main most directly responsible for its existence (like RMS or Linus Torvalds) or to say he wants to “stab” the volunteer people at Debian in 2006.

(I’ll assume he was speaking figuratively, but why would you even say this?)

And the issue that frustrated him so greatly at the time, which led to his resignation, was that he felt it was “too Free” to easily set up.

There have always been ways to set it up with non-Free firmwares and programs. That should be the user’s choice.

He was angry at them for making the point that Linux is a growing pile of binary proprietary-only software, and that most people’s PCs just don’t work without it because the Free parts of the Linux kernel turn out to be woefully incomplete on PCs, and that this should alarm the user. The operating system shouldn’t silence the problem, hide it from them, and give them backdoored firmware and hardware by default without asking.

Stabbing debian

But I think it’s safe to say that people who openly say that they want to stab other people and themselves (even if it isn’t literal) should seek counseling, not be elevated to the Debian Technical Committee in the middle of the night.

Because that kind of toxicity has no place in society, and they should get the help they need for their own benefit, of course.

He boosts Microsoft, including their fake disk encryption in Windows that exfiltrates your decryption passphrase to Microsoft, and by extension, any cops that want it.

The disturbing content about “stab people” came up in literally the first five seconds after I looked up “Matthew Garrett Debian”. So I can only imagine what else might be out there.

I suppose I might continue looking through things before Matthew Garrett catches on and starts deleting years-old posts.

I put the disturbing post I found in Archive Today just so there can’t be any confusion about what he actually said on his blog in 2006.

Bonus for pimping for Ubuntu before they turned into a Microsoft Troll Farm posting spam about “WSL”.

Words simply cannot describe how horrified I am at what is going on at Debian.

I figured, wrongly it turned out, that it would be a safe place away from the Microsoft Troll Farm known as Canonical/Ubuntu.

Just going to the Web site, it barely says anything anymore about why you would want to use Ubuntu as a GNU/Linux distribution, and it encourages you to use some bastard version of it like the Alien Queen shackled up at the bottom of the pyramid. (WSL)

The wrong people are assuming (usurping) control of Free Software and perverting it.

Contrast the following.

Richard Stallman: (Paraphrase)

I could have made more money if I had sold out my principles and gone to work for a proprietary software company, but I would have made that money by doing harm to the world and leaving things in a worse place than if I had never done any such work at all.

I could have lived on a waiter’s salary and not actively harmed the world.

Matthew Garrett: (Basically his world view, in my opinion and experience knowing him.)

Who will pay me the most, even if it helps bring about the end of Free Software and destroys millions of jobs?

They put Matthew Garrett on the Debian Technical Committee and IBM defunded the Free Software Foundation as punishment for not canceling Richard Stallman and weakening their position on software patents?

Hmm.

Bad people doing bad things definitely always seem to have the upperhand.

It takes constant work to fight them off and the minute you don’t, you lose everything.

Sometimes all at once, sometimes a piece at a time (Secure Boot) so they can deny you’re even under attack at all.

Debian’s Wiki has denied for a while that Secure Boot is an attack on Software Freedom.

So the fact that they’ve had some bad people lying their asses off to the users isn’t new, it’s just made so much worse now that Garrett’s back.

In my opinion, the Return of Matthew Garrett puts me squarely at “Debian is Finished”.

Now, don’t mistake this for being an immediate and dramatic end of Debian. It may go on for some years, or at least something calling itself Debian.

Remember that something calling itself the United States of America went on after 2001, but it’s not the America you grew up in.

Same thing.

I suppose that the avalanche started to take off back when they signed the deal with Mozilla to get rid of the “IceWeasel” branding.

We see where that led. Right? Now there’s DRM in Debian. It’s in the browser. There’s keyloggers and adware.

If they were worried about what the user wants, they would IceWeasel it again and rip it all out, but it’s so painfully obvious that they simply do not care anymore.

These are the sorts of compromises that Matthew Garrett was talking about in the “stab people” article.

You compromise here, you compromise there, and you don’t stand for anything. Eventually, you’re just….totally compromised.

01.10.23

Microsofters Stabbing People in Debian

Posted in Debian, Microsoft at 8:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anyway, good news for today so I'm in a good mood: https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2023/01/msg00003.html

Stabbing debian

Summary: Hours ago Microsoft Matt bragged that he had just entered the technical committee in Debian; he probably doesn’t want people to see what he wrote before (content warning: violence)

10.11.22

You Cannot Remove Google-Controlled Web Browsers From Debian

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Google at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 5d236eb9e412b8c2cd
Debian Mandates Google
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: It’s virtually impossible to run a Debian desktop without either Firefox or Chromium/Chrome; this should be regarded and treated as a high-priority bug considering how bad Mozilla has become (Firefox is fast becoming little but spyware, guarded by truly untrustworthy people)

THE video above demonstrates a bizarre behaviour that we mentioned here months ago and was mentioned again two days ago in “Debian is basically useless unless you use Firefox or Chromium”.

We already worry about Debian’s CI outsourcing (Google, a security risk), SPI ‘donations’ (Google bribery), and GSoC ties to Google (which beget censorship by Google). Those aren’t even a secret. But who inside Debian has decided that you must have either Firefox or Chrom* installed (but not neither)? Ryan wrote about this in an blog post (back when he was testing Debian 11) and the mystery was discussed in IRC yesterday and today at around 9AM (logs due tomorrow; they’ll explain why this happens). Debian Developers oughtn’t consider this a harmless thing. They need to rectify this because Firefox — unlike some forks — does not respect users’ freedom. It’s not about trademarks anymore (IceWeasel). Mozilla is very dodgy and it is controlled mostly by Google. The urgency will grow over time. New experiments with ‘monetisations’ harm users.

“They need to rectify this because Firefox — unlike some forks — does not respect users’ freedom.”Regarding the video above, it shows this behaviour in Debian 10. I’ve tested the same in Ubuntu (Debian derivative) and it does not have this awkward behaviour.

An associate suggested and then added an additional sentence clarifying that at least one of those two browsers must now be present in Debian. “If they are hard dependencies for base packages,” he said, “then that should be mentioned too.”

“From what we can gather, this is limited to desktops (or laptops), so servers running Debian do not need any Web browser installed.”“Does that apply to just the desktop or does it affect Debian in other forms, server and embedded etc?”

From what we can gather, this is limited to desktops (or laptops), so servers running Debian do not need any Web browser installed. Heck, most lack a GUI.

“You could at least ask the user if they want to bring in “epiphany-browser”,” Ryan noted. “It’s part of the alternatives system. Like, if something calls a Web browser without looking to see what GNOME has as the default or what the default is with xdg-open. It’s this really stupid Debian thing.”

10.05.22

Assimilation to Ubuntu and Chrome OS is a Step Away From Software Freedom

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum a2345451b594442f092bdf3b48a76b63
Freedom or Firmware
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The emphasis on software freedom (or Software Freedom) inside Debian has been lessened a bit; while this can make Debian easier to install in the ‘Wi-Fi era’ this might signal the shift towards Ubuntu-like Debian, i.e. a distro without principles

THE recent vote on firmware in Debian has been mentioned here in many batches of Daily Links (since more than a month ago) and even in IRC. It’s a question of freedom versus convenience and vice versa.

“Debian is the “base” (like template) for most GNU/Linux distros, so the decision to include firmware blobs on the media is kind of a big deal.”The video above is spontaneous commentary on coverage we’ve found since the results were revealed this past weekend. In the video I discuss my experiences adding the firmware (usually required for networking) and why for most people who choose Debian it should not be too shocking having to add a file from USB (or similar media; I’ve done this for over a decade). The impact on software freedom is perhaps minimal as many people choose Debian derivatives (like Ubuntu), but it’s a matter of principles. With Debian quickly becoming widespread (not just on desktops but devices and servers) we can expect many compromises and promotion of convenience by people who simply don’t grasp software freedom and probably underestimate the threats posed to security, at hardware, hardware-software interfaces, and software. Sure, software freedom (or Software Freedom capitalised, as if to denote or coin a concept) is not enough. Even the FSF and its founder Richard Stallman admit that. In the case of firmware, no hardware modification is required, however, so why not insist on full disclosure and transparency?

Debian is the “base” (like template) for most GNU/Linux distros, so the decision to include firmware blobs on the media is kind of a big deal. Having said that, many of the derivatives already add those blobs regardless. So have we lost so much? Are we worse off to the point of desperation? I’m personally a lot more concerned about Debian’s bad treatment of some high-calibre volunteers and censorship of their blogs (IBM did the same). Freedom of speech is very important. Without it, software freedom will be harder to attain.

One associate of ours said that “more important even than the bad treatment of volunteers is the lack of commitment to freedom. If derivatives want to modify the base, including by adding proprietary crap, then that’s on them. the upstream should strive to stay clean. However, the bad treatment of the volunteers might demonstrate a pattern matching that lack of commitment to software freedom.”

A few minutes ago in IRC FigOSDev called it “debibm: the universal sellout”.

To quote what Richard Stallman told me in person: “If you want to reach a goal that requires a long journey the crucial point is to remember the goal. If you forget the goal, you won’t get there.”

08.29.22

The Inquisition of Norbert Preining is a Cautionary Tale About the Clique That’s Killing Debian From the Inside

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d532ecde5c79535bae77b762cab6a6ee
Passive Bullies Disguised as Victims
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: This morning Norbert Preining, a veteran GNU/Linux developer (maintaining key packages including KDE and widely-used LATEX stuff), indicated that he was still being harassed by the same people who had pushed him out of Debian, where his volunteering track record is decades long and highly productive

EARLIER this year we did a video about Norbert Preining and how he had been (mis)treated by a vocal, abusive minority inside Debian. Dr. Preining isn’t new to Debian or to GNU/Linux. The thought police probably deemed him a “high-profile” target and having been put in positions of unjust power (like the so-called ‘anti-harassment’ team) mischief was likely imminent, firing the first shot over the word “it”.

To make matters worse, the same incompetent fools are still chasing and mobbing him. They want nothing short of destruction/end to his career. Maybe they derive pleasure from causing the downfall of very productive developers. Maybe this is a mental sickness akin to the Zemlins'. Who knows…

Dr. Preining has already attempted to just go along, sucking up to the mob that ousted/demoted him from the “DD” status. It didn’t work; nothing would ever please them, so he just left Debian completely, but they still chase him, just like FSFE autocrats chased Daniel Pocock after he had exposed to FSFE members (who elected him!) some of the dirty laundry from inside the FSFE.

I end the video above by commenting on Debian selling out to a Microsoft front not too long after Microsoft had paid DebConf. There’s a whole bunch of stuff happening inside Debian that causes my wife and I to reassess our choice of Debian (for 4 of our computers, which still run Debian for the time being).

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