Bonum Certa Men Certa

This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

The “tech media” including It’s FOSS, have been on a tear about Linus Sebastian breaking a copy of Pop_OS! by doing something incredibly stupid with it.

Linus Sebastian is a Youtube personality who is not a GNU/Linux or Free Software expert. He mostly (~99.9% and maybe then some) deals with Windows, and he decided to “review” a “Linux” distribution from the POV of a gamer.

Fair enough. GNU/Linux runs many games, either native, Steam, or with some TLC in a copy of Wine or Proton.

Unfortunately, Mr. Sebastian chose a very odd GNU/Linux distribution called Pop_OS!, which is produced by System76.

They’re known for packaging a distribution with bugs. GNOME and GTK developers even had to explain the “problem with themes” because of them (tl;dr, GTK doesn’t have themes, and this hacked up theme Pop_OS! shipped caused visual corruption in GTK apps and GNOME), so it’s little wonder that Pop_OS! managed to break Apt as well.

See, when Mr. Sebastian told Apt to install Steam, it warned that it would remove system packages that were vital to running GNOME or even using a graphical login to the system, and Apt (being from Debian, where such a situation is almost unheard of) stopped him from breaking his system. It said that, to continue breaking the system, you had to type “Yes, do as I say!” after explaining that the system, would indeed, be broken.

So he did it and his system broke. What a complete shock.

Then instead of reporting it as a Pop_OS! bug, he and other bloggers picked up on it to pretend there was something wrong with Linux (which is a kernel), GNU/Linux distributions, Apt, and everything except what the problem was.

Pop_OS! isn’t a very good OS, and Linus Sebastian told it to break his system.

See, had Pop_OS! not been based on Ubuntu, which is in turn based on Debian, and had Pop_OS! and Ubuntu not both done crazy stuff to the system, the package manager wouldn’t have gotten fouled up like that.

Pop_OS! didn’t bother to update their own copy of some 32-bit x86 dependencies, and so Apt found a solution. It could downgrade to the Ubuntu version, but to do so, it had to remove packages from GNOME and other things that couldn’t co-exist with that version.

Had he stopped where he was, or had just been using Debian, or even Ubuntu, then this would never have happened.

Pop_OS! will now patch their Debian to have “stupid dumbass mode” because of Linus Sebastian, where you have to put a special file somewhere to enable “Yes, do as I say.”, which shouldn’t even have come up except that they’re shipping a broken fork of a broken fork of Debian, and Linus Sebastian appears to be some sort of anti-GNU/Linux troll looking for Youtube hits.

I have literally never looked at Pop_OS!, nor have I recommended it to anyone. The fact that the OS is based on Ubuntu should kind of be a hint that it won’t end well.

Just because a distribution is out there doesn’t mean that the developers know what they are doing. I’ve probably seen more distributions get big things wrong than get almost everything right.

Pop_OS isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last.

For Steam’s part, Valve doesn’t make very good software. I went over SteamOS a while back, and why not to use it. If the only thing installing it with Flatpak did was prevent it from being a hazard to the system, you should use Flatpak if you really want it.

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