02.11.14

Gemini version available ♊︎

What Debian Does is a Very Big Deal

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A little roundup of Debian news and why whatever Debian is doing (e.g. regarding init systems) is important

Debian, which SteamOS is based on, may already be the world’s most widely used GNU/Linux distribution (Red Hat leads only in revenue, not necessarily code or deployments), so now that Red Hat’s Systemd 197 is released (full announcement here) there is an important crossroad where init systems fight for domination. Systemd is not for everyone and dependence on Red Hat might not be ideal because of security risks in Linux [1, 2, 3, 4] among other factors. It’s up to Debian developers now; they can judge it from a technical point of view.

Debian was the distribution promoted in the “Goodbye Microsoft” Web site (which would also be a PRISM break) several years ago and it continues to be somewhat of a major choice there [1-6]. Based on [7-12], the init system for the next Debian continues to be a subject of great controversy. This is going to have an impact on Debian derivatives such as SolidXK [13] and maybe even Ubuntu [14] (although it has its own init system), not to mention the freedom-oriented gNewSense (gNewSense 3.1 has just been released [15-17]), Live CD pioneer Knoppix [18,19], and Kali [20], to name just a few that made the headlines very recently.

Whatever Debian chooses to do is a very big deal because no Linux-related project is as big as Debian (in terms of number of developers and general impact).

Now that Valve extends its offer from Debian developers [21,22] to Ubuntu developers [23,24] it should be noted that whatever Debian does is going to affect Ubuntu as well.

An “unCivil War” [25] is not needed right now. It would be best to merely follow the rivalry of init systems, not create hostilities as some journalists are currently doing.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Debian 7: X.arrrrrgh
  2. Debian 7: Menu Cleanup
  3. Debian 7: Applications

    Having got Debian 7.3.0 installed, I had to install all the application programs that I used on my previous computer. Over the years, I had installed a lot of applications; many of them turned out to be not so useful, or were obsoleted by other applications, or (in the case of anti-virus software) I want to start over with. So I began by making a list of those applications that I really used. Then I started to install them, from scratch, on Debian 7.

  4. Debian 7: rsync

    I have a new computer with a clean Debian 7 installed. I have an old computer with many years’ worth of files in several partitions. How do I copy them over? I could restore my backup media to the new PC, but that’s a lot of fiddly manual work, and not all my files are backed up that way (anything I can download again from the Internet gets rarely backed up). Besides, the latest version of everything is the version actually on my desktop.

  5. Debian 7: MATE

    In our last episode, I had decided that I was going to do a clean install of Debian 7 on the new computer. What I really want is to install the MATE desktop (pronounced Ma-Tay). I’ve liked MATE a lot since using it with Linux Mint — but Debian doesn’t (yet) make a MATE install disk. For Debian 7, the choices are Gnome 3, KDE 4, LXDE, or XFCE. I did not want to install all the baggage of Gnome or KDE. And I’m already using LXDE, which is clean and fast. So that’s what I installed as my starting point.

  6. Debian 7: In Search of the Lost Driver

    Partway through the install process, I was informed that I needed to install a “non-free” driver, “rtl_nic/rtl8168d-1.fw”. “Non-free” software is software that can’t be distributed under the GPL; for various reasons, Debian does not include such software on the install disk. Often these are manufacturer-specific hardware drivers. The installer helpfully offered to accept that file from either a CD or a USB memory stick.

    So off to Google, where a search for “rtl_nic/rtl8168d-1.fw” pointed me to…a Debian package, “firmware-realtek”. Actually I got links to two packages: one for Debian 6 “Squeeze”, and the other for Debian 7 “Wheezy”. I chose the latter and downloaded the package (.deb) file.

  7. Voting Proposed For Debian Jessie’s Init System
  8. Debian init system vote has become a farce

    The Debian GNU/Linux Project’s bid to reach agreement on which init system it would have as default for its next release appears to have gone completely off the rails.

  9. Bid to bring Debian init debate to a head fails

    A move by Debian technical committee head Bdale Garbee to bring the debate on the default init system to a head by calling for a vote appears to have failed.

  10. Debian technical committee votes for systemd over Upstart

    Debian technical committee was discussing the default init system for Debian and it bioled down to basically systemd, which is developed by the larger free software community (lead by Lennart Poettering), and Upstart which was developed by Canonical employees.

  11. Debian Init System Discussion Is Still Unsettled

    The Debian init system debate by Debian technical committee members that is largely a fight between systemd and Upstart remains unresolved.

    A few days ago there was a call for voting on the init system by the Debian technical committee members but that vote has now ended and it basically comes down to more discussion and clarifying the voting process is also needed.

  12. Call for votes on default Linux init system for jessie

    I propose we take the simplest possible “next step”. Let’s vote just on the question of what the default init system for Linux architectures should be in jessie. Once we have an answer to this question, it seems to me that we would be “over the hump” and more likely to be able to re-focus our attention on all the secondary questions, like what our transition plan should be, whether we should try to dictate a default for non-Linux architectures, how and to what extent alternate init systems should be supported, and so forth. Most importantly, we could start *collaborating* again… which is something I fervently wish for!

  13. Upstart SolidXK Distro Seeks First Business Customers

    SolydXK started last March as the unofficial Linux Mint Debian Edition with KDE. Though there had been speculation that an official KDE version of the popular desktop distribution would surface, ZDNet wrote recently, SolydXK co-founders Arjen Balfoort and Amadeu Ferreira took it upon themselves, with the support of other Mint community members, to actually build it.

  14. Ubuntu 14.04 vs. Debian 7.3 vs. Debian Jessie Preview

    For those curious about performance differences between the current Debian 7.3 “Wheezy” stable release and the upcoming but currently unstable Debian 8.0 “Jessie”, here are some performance benchmarks comparing Debian’s stable and testing releases on the same hardware. Making things more interesting, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in its current development form was also tossed into the mix.

  15. gNewSense 3.1 released

    Current users of gNewSense 3.0 don’t have to reinstall. They get all updates automatically.

  16. gNewSense GNU/Linux – News: gNewSense 3.1 released
  17. gNewSense 3.1 Available For Free Software Purists
  18. Knoppix Review, Shotwell’s Future, and 5 Insults

    A perusal through today’s newsfeeds netted several interesting topics. Jamie Watson published a Knoppix 7.2.0 review. Bryan Lunduke reported that the Elementary OS team has taken over maintenance of Shotwell. And a ZDNet blogger has listed his five reasons for using Windows 8 instead of Linux, but they are all really just jabs at Linux. All this and more in tonight’s How the Linux Turns.

  19. Hands-on with Knoppix Linux 7.2.0: A well-established and very stable Linux distribution

    If my memory is correct, the first generally available release of Knoppix (on a Live CD) was made sometime in late 2000. I don’t think it is exaggerating to say that Knoppix set the standard for Live Linux distributions when it was released, or that the Linux world as a whole learned a lot about how Live distributions should be done, and how powerful, versatile and useful they could be.

  20. Kali Linux 1.0.6, hands-on

    Exploring this Debian GNU/Linux derivative that is tightly focused on security analysis and penetration testing – and it comes with a mind-boggling array of utilities for that purpose.

  21. Valve showers Debian Linux devs with FREE Steam games
  22. Linux Top 3: Valve Gives Back, FreeBSD Updates and openSUSE 12.2 EOL

    For a variety of reasons, Valve Software decided to base its SteamOS gaming console operating system on Debian GNU/Linux. While it’s likely that Valve’s SteamOS will result in code contributions and enhancement that can benefit the upstream Debian project, Valve also want to give back in other ways.

  23. Expansion of Valve free games offer to Ubuntu developers

    As I’m sure most will be aware, for the last couple of weeks, Valve have
    offered access to all Valve produced games free of charge to Debian
    Developers [0].

    As of today, they have kindly extended this to all registered Ubuntu
    Developers [1].

  24. Valve offers free games to Ubuntu developers

    Valve Software recently announced that they would offer free Valve games to all Debian developers, which was considered a way of saying thank you to the base that is used to create Steam OS.

  25. Systemd Init System In Debian Jessie – Democratic Decision or unCivil War?
Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  2. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  4. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  6. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  7. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  8. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  9. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  11. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  12. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  13. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  15. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  17. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  19. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  20. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  21. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  22. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  23. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  24. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  25. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  26. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  27. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  28. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  30. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts