back to article Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'

Lennart Poettering, creator of the systemd system management software for Linux, says the open-source world is "quite a sick place to be in." He also said the Linux development community is "awful" – and he pins the blame for that on Linux supremo Linus Torvalds. "A fish rots from the head down," Poettering said in a post to …

  1. ecofeco Silver badge

    Entrenched and hostile?

    Sounds like EVERY place I've ever worked.

    "Ever thought about indexing that knowledge base?" (very bad question)

    "Why are there still printers that can't do remote reporting still in use?" (yet another very bad question)

    "Why isn't this pixie image working?"

    "Why are we not updating the BIOS's?"

    "Why wasn't enough space allocated on the servers in the first place?"

    "How come this custom in-house utility was not updated to work with platformX ver. 0.newest?"

    Just part of a long list of things you do not ask of the entrenched lest you receive the hostile.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Entrenched and hostile?

      Yep. And at work you have performance reviews, a "quiet word", warnings, rights, ass kissing, etc. You have none of that crap with OSS.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Entrenched and hostile?

      He must be wrong! I mean there are soooo few security holes in Linux, and the security important bits like SSL are absolutely rock solid and the stuff that everyone relies on like the shell is tighter than a flys arse due to 20+ year of code reviews - which is so so much more secure because the source code is public. Oh, wait....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you think the Linux community is full of grumpy divas...

      ... you should try OpenBSD.

    4. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Entrenched and hostile?

      More downvotes than upvotes?

      Ah the irony.


    5. FreemonSandlewould

      Re: Entrenched and hostile?

      Screw you dude!

      It's not a crime to be white, Finnish or grumpy. Although you effeminate liberal types try very very hard to be chix with stix.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's disgruntled because he's repeatedly wrote shoddy code and he was called out on it.

    Gates + Ballmer where apparently much worse, and feared upon - but their outbursts were in the privacy of their own company, and heavily guarded by PR droids.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wrong. That's exactly the attitude he is talking about. A few years ago, I gave a few versionsn of Linux a shot, got tire of Windows, didn't have the money for macs. So I downloaded and installed, played around, wasn't bad, not Windows good, but for free, hey, couldn't complain. But some advance things and even a few basic task required me to drop down to a command line. Not a problem, but I didn't know all the commands, structure, files,locations settings, get the idea. So I go online, decide to try the official forums located from the makers of these various Linux versions and ask a few questions. I found out very quickly those users liked to Insult new users who couldn't do simple task. Long story short, ice will ornomate Satan's firy relm before I go that route again. Lack of knowledge isn't the holdback with Linux, in my case, it was the behavior of the support.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, I think in your case you got some tossers on a "support" forum, giving you a good old bollocking because you didn't know what keywords to google. They need a cattle prod up their arses.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I was sympathising - I've been in the same situation

        2. TechicallyConfused

          You just described 80% of the people I have encountered on Linux forums

          I disagree. I have found the vast majority of people that bother to respond on linux support forums are too busy being gleeful about delivering a slapdown the new guy that only knows Windows and not busy enough trying to be helpful. I suspect this is because the majority of these Linux forum trolls are sweaty, pungent and spotty (irrespective of age) and find it easier to interact with the world through a keyboard and as such have never learned the social skills necessary to interact in a professional manner. My apologies to those few of you out there who are genuinely helpful, I just wish there were more of you.

          But that is just my experience. I suspect I'll acrue a few down votes from those same anti-socialites and the plain mask wannabe's but hey I don't care. They'll never find me out in the daylight.

        3. Fatman

          Linux community "support".

          They need a cattle prod up their arses.

          Does anyone know where the BOFH is today?

          A side note, there is quite a bit of hostility toward those who pose questions without taking the time to do the research Google the fucking problem; and expect "hand holding".

          I have had my share of issues with GRUB 2 and booting from partitions, with the partition's GRUB install fucked by an update to GRUB. It took some serious Googling, but I finally came to understand what is getting fucked up, and how to prevent future clusterfucks. It turns out, I am using GRUB in a manner that the developers do not recommend, (installing GRUB to a partition), but they do not prevent you from installing GRUB in such a manner..

      2. Captain DaFt

        "I found out very quickly those users liked to Insult new users who couldn't do simple task."

        Wow, that's actually a blast from the past! In the 1990s it seemed it was prerequisite to rag the the newcomers and defend Linux against any and all attacks, real and imaginary.

        Back then:

        Skorp:"Hi, I'm new to Linux and have hit a snag. How do you frebnle?"

        Dekl: "LOL RTFM, NOOB!

        Kewy: "Yeah, LOL, man pages are there for a reason... NOOBZ, AMIRITE?

        The proper way was to attack to get an answer:

        Skorp: "Linux is sooo lame, it can't even handle something simple like frebnle!

        Derkl:"That's just typical M$ FUD!! All you have to do is ]p[io/frpn in bash, job done!

        Kewy:"LOL, he said frebnle, not drebnle, cockface! Look, I've just wrote a script to Frebnle in Linux, {download here} Just unrar that in usr/share, bash frebnle and you're good to go! See? Easy! Linux does everything!"

        Today, most distros have forums for the newbies, and even the dumbest question will usually result in no more than a link to the FAQ or post dealing with the answer.

        1. Just Enough

          You missed the usual response offered when a user wants to do something that the system either can't do, does badly, or does in the most complex way possible.

          Noob: "I can't get the OS to do x, even though it claims it does."

          Forum: "LOL you idiot, why do you want to do x? Your reasons for doing x must be invalid. The problem is you, not the OS."

          Noob: "I have very good reasons for doing x, I only want it to do it properly."

          Forum: "WRONG! You should do y, and we're not telling you how to do that either. We know better than you what your needs are. The problem is you."

          Noob: "So why does it claim to do x, when it can't?"

          Forum: "Are you still here?"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          frebnle /dev/null | drebnle | while true do; read x; echo ${x}$$; done - solved!

          This is how you frebnle the drebnle, I searched google and all I got was a link to this forum - Jeeze I don't think any of you loosers know your frebnels from your drebnles - bunch of f****g wannabe's.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Isn't this dialog the very same problem, how many women would be happy to have to engage like this for example

          1. alcalde

            Linus got called out on just this by a rare female kernel contributor. Linus kept essentially saying he didn't want to talk about it and treated it like a joke. Meanwhile the nerdrage overflowed online and lots of filthy misogynistic comments followed on the Internet. Linus also began ranting about needing to wear a suit and tie and be an a$$-kisser and all sorts of stuff like being asked to think about what he says/writes before doing it would be the end of the world.

            Greg K-H answered a question about the best thing about open source with being able to berate kernel developers. Poettering is 100% correct; Linus has set an example. He behaves like the Ann Coulter of Linux and in the same way his minions cheer every time he says something horrible to someone. I used to admire the guy but now I say that I greatly admire some of the things he's written about software design but the things he's written about people are terrible and simply unacceptable in 2014 in regards to bullying. I've seen him tell people to go kill themselves after a rash of teen/young adult suicides due to bullying made national news. Sadly I've discovered he's not a man I'd like to sit down and have dinner with for fear of what would come out of his mouth if I or anyone else had a different opinion. Now take Steve Wozniak - another tech genius, but also a kind, warm-hearted human being who I would love to talk with. He builds people up rather than tearing them down.

      3. Benjol

        Can't believe it. Taylor 1 gets more downvotes than upvotes just for recounting his experience, with no insults involved.

        Kind of confirms what he says.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

          Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

          Now write me a detailed tutorial on how to do $STUFF because I can't be arsed to read the man page or search the forum/mailing list history.

          Oh, and did I mention that your stuff is not quite as good as anything else on the market and the only reason I try it is because I can have it for free?

          I can sort of believe it...

          1. The First Dave

            Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

            I've never understood - if you are a newbie (however intelligent) how the fuck do you read the man page for a command you have never heard of?

            For example, I want to find something, so I look up GREP ... ?

            1. phil dude

              Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

              man man

              man -k 'keyword'

              On modern systems (well opensuse) if you type an unknown command it will make suggestions and give you a means to dig further, tell you which repository it might be in. That command is called "cnf" (command not found).

              For everything else there is the interwebs search engines. In linux you can run a command line browser (links or lynx) which means if the gui fails (say your monitor blows up/fails) and you have a serial line, you can still access the computer. It happens often enough this is worth knowing....!

              Your welcome.


              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

                man -k/apropos: I've got more UNIX experience than, probably, your age and on more versions than I expect you have heard of.

                I use man -k. But the fact is that for a newcomer it is not awfully useful. e.g. Try "man -k search", assuming that the admin has run catman(1) to create /usr/share/man/windex (of course, everyone understands the error message if it has not been done): on the system in front of me I get 107 lines of output to stdout plus an error to stderr. The output gives stuff about ldap, X, compressed files .... find(1) is not in the list. i.e. the find(1) man page does not give "search" in the summary. So, a user wanting to search for a file (rather than thinking he wants to find a file) is out of luck, assuming he found the right entry in the list.

                No, your smart-arse answer is just what the complaint concerns and reeks of fear and inexperience when asked a simple question by a naive user, who may not understand or even know about man pages or the man sections and what they mean and is unlikely to consider "man man" to find out.

                If volunteers want their efforts to be rewarded by wide acceptance and use, they had better understand about high quality in all of their work, not just some cunning algorithm that they probably found elsewhere.

                Torvalds was once an ignorant student. He built on the efforts of helpful and understanding people, whether the original UNIX developers and designers, Minix or his teachers and fellow students. If he is really so wonderful, so all knowing and such a wonderful person, he should develop some tolerance, understanding and an appreciation that the, apparently, silliest questions can be some of the hardest and most useful. He may spend every waking moment in his area of expertise. For most people, it is just a tool to get a job done and their expertise lies elsewhere, just as if you hammer a nail into a wall to hang a picture, no one expects you to be an expert in the making or even best usage of hammers or nails. But you may have the perfect eye for what picture to choose and where to hang it.

                I should have thought that the recent, highly publicised matters concerning SSL software, bash and others would have instilled a bit of sobriety and humility in the contributors here.

                By the way, I do scan the internet for ideas and answers fairly often. It is horrifying how many people parade themselves as experts and publish a scrap of shell script or python that is screamingly awful, dangerous and ignorant (though in the right circumstances it gets the job done) and are rewarded with responses that "you have saved may life/sanity/day...". I fear that Linux hides a lot of code of that genre that is never caught until it breaks.

                1. meqaniqal

                  Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

                  This is spot on (and apropos). Especially the lunacy of suggesting newbies using `man -k` to find answers. Shows a complete lack of empathy, in the sense of being unable to comprehend different and valid perspectives (in other words, an inability to put oneself in the other's shoes). Sadly, these are the same people suggesting that people who are asking real questions are the broken ones -- the askers don't have thick skins, and they aren't worth answering if they can't weather some abuse.

                  The people who already know `man -k` are not usually the ones asking the questions. (If they do know, and they should know better, well, I understand ....)

                  On the other hand, I've spent a lot of times answering questions (and sometimes asking) on forums and the like. It isn't a paid position, and sometimes those who are replying are having a bad day, month, or whatever. I know I've been rubbed the wrong way by something in a question that's probably really innocuous....

                  But for those who are on forums asking questions honestly and who are basically decent ( -- not the troll-y, disingenuous, the boorish with a sense of entitlement....), we should try to be as efficiently helpful as circumstance and our natures allow. I kind of see where Torvald's comments as to his own disposition apply, but it is sad that the followers emulate the same kind of behavior when they don't have to. It's probably that they don't want to take time to work on being more flexible and empathetic human beings. Sometimes, it isn't in our nature ; but when are we just being lazy?

              2. The First Dave

                Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

                Not to mention that you need to know MORE or LESS or something more or less the same, before you can even read a MAN page...

            2. Nigel 11

              Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

              If you don't hve a clue, use Google to get one! I want to find something in a text file on Linux, so Google ... let's see ... "Linux search text file". Never let it be said that I make comments like this without trying it out. My very top hit had grep halfway down the first screen as the first suggestion. ( )

              There are also hundreds of guides for students of various sorts of ability. Then there are complete books, although you usually have to hand over a few quid to the author.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Your stuff is crap but it's free so I'll take it.

                Interesting that the advertising firm, Google, is your first option: UNIX users would use man(1), particularly if on a train for a long journey, without internet connection. Well, some GNU die-hards may use info. I have been reduced to strings(1) on binaries to get usage where no man pages were installed (pray they were not stripped to save space).

                However, it seems to be true nowadays: you get what you pay for.

                If, as a volunteer, you resent answering questions, do not volunteer. Do not read the DLs. Do not learn what new users need to know, how non-techies work and so how to improve your software. Better still, spare us all and do not design or write software for which, clearly, you have done no user interface research.

        2. Hans 1

          Actually, I downvoted him ... for several reasons. I help out n00b's on Linux in several forums.,, and for example (too many to mention here). I have been for years and I must say we are very tolerant and helping. The ubuntu forums look ok to me as well. I do not know which forums he is talking about but I have yet to see any evidence of this kind of behavior for complete n00bs ... of course, if you come along as an aggressive prick you might get some flack - that is no different on windows forums, though.

          I think it is unfair towards us who spend time helping out users.

          Look at this poor former Microsoft dev:

          It is not a forum but a comment section on a blog ... still.

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

            > that is no different on windows forums, though.

            It is a bit different on Windows forums for 2 reasons that Windows transfuges often don't get at first when posting on *NIX forums:

            -on widows forums you usually talk to fellow users; it is customary to begin with "This app is crap and the doc is useless, please help a bro out". On Linux forums you're usually talking to the people who coded the damn thing and / or wrote the doc. You can't be a total dickhead to their face and demand that they fix your problems politely.

            -in the Windows ecosystem when you talk to the official support and/or the devs they already got your money. You're a customer and thus benefit from a higher tolerance if you're being a bit of a dick. On linux forums (excluding the paid-for support like RHEL) you usually did not pay the devs you're insulting, so they don't have to be nice if you're being a jackass.

          2. DropBear

            There is nobody sitting on those forums getting paid to patiently copy-paste the same thing for the 1001th time for the sake of a noob who can't be arsed to make a good faith effort to find one of the previous 1000 answers to the (usually) trivial problem he doesn't know how to solve. Now, if he already tried that and it still doesn't work or the problem is a particularly specific one not covered in the usual places that's a different situation and people normally don't get abused for asking for help with that sort of thing. But I'm really not surprised nobody likes people who go "hey, listen, no idea how to do XYZ, could you write me a step-by-step tutorial?"; the expression "let me Google that for you" exists for a good reason. And this isn't even specific to Open Source - try telling me with a straight face you have never met any of those people who figured out long ago that getting anything done is much easier by straight-up asking others to do it for them than expending any effort of their own...

            1. Vic

              try telling me with a straight face you have never met any of those people who figured out long ago that getting anything done is much easier by straight-up asking others to do it for them than expending any effort of their own...

              The Help Vampires


          3. alcalde

            Hans, some Linux forums are indeed friendly and helpful, such as the ones you cited. i've also known Sabayon and OpenSUSE forums to be friendly and helpful. But the phenomenon does exist. Remember Sidux Linux? It was infamous for treating users terribly. There was a giant FAQ about exactly how you should install and uninstall programs, what programs you should run, what file systems you should use, how you maintain your systems, etc. Some of it was common sense; other parts were like weird pseudoscience. Regardless, it was stated that if you didn't do all of these things then any problems weren't bugs; they were your own fault and you wouldn't be helped. They had a completely rigid ideology about many things - for instance a 64bit distro had to be completely 64bit with no 32bit libraries for compatibility, even if it meant you couldn't run some things at the time like Opera, Flash, etc. Object and you'd get banned. Do anything differently and you'd get banned.

            It was a joke among other distros. Eventually they had a fight with their own governing board and forked the distro. Now it's called aptosid and spends its time actively discouraging anyone from remastering it and banning users from IRC.

            Arch is another place I've heard hasn't been historically friendly to newbies (few realize its "keep it simple" means for the developers, not the users). Of course, nothing tops sidux/aptosid.

            So yes, there are friendly and hostile places for newbies.

        3. Alan_Peery

          Or kinda doesn't. Perhaps we've had a different experience, but can't be bothered to write a detailed list of the 90 times people have helped versus the 5 times that people were less helpful / responded with RTFM / were abusive.

        4. Nuke

          @ Benjol

          Wrote "Taylor 1 gets more downvotes than upvotes just for recounting his experience, with no insults involved. Kind of confirms what he says."

          This is not an Open Source forum, so why does that confirm anything? In fact, I have found that factually recounting any non-upbeat experience on any forum (political, lifestyle, closed source, whatever) can bring downvotes even when you think you are being neutral; it is not exclusively an Open Source thing.

          Perhaps in this case the downvotes are because he refers to "a few years ago" and by implication goes on to assume that remains the case today (would not go back etc). In recent years I have used a number of Open Source forums and have not found any of that behavour.

        5. SineWave242

          Well, if you ask me I think Taylor 1 has an attitude problem, too. Judging from his posts.

      4. fandom

        "I found out very quickly those users liked to Insult new users who couldn't do simple task"

        A link to a thread in which you were treated like that would be nice

      5. Rick Giles

        Can you imagine

        "Lack of knowledge isn't the holdback with Linux, in my case, it was the behavior of the support."

        Can you imagine the brow beating you would get from a M$ support person if you weren't paying for it?

        I love how someone can take the experience of one or two bad apples and blame the whole bushel. Just tell them that their mom will kick them out of the basement if they don't behave.

      6. bjb1959

        you're right, and you're wrong

        Been using Linux as my primary system since 2008 and there are tons of helpful people on forums willing to help newbies out, there are also tons of ***holes that think they are the absolute geniuses and everyone else are idiots and feel they have the right to tell everyone they are idiots. It makes it difficult for newbies if they wind up on a forum with those ***holes. In all fairness, I have also experienced plenty of "I'm smart and you're an idiot" ***holes on Windows forums as well so it isn't something unique to Linux. Keep in mind that forums are not paid service, if you call Microsoft you pay per hour for support, so with free comes compromise. You, unfortunately, need to either just Google for a solution to an issue without dealing with another human, ignore the jerks until someone helpful answers you or try to find a different forum with better human beings on it.

    2. marcus777


      There are those who think the squabbling here is unique to gnu/linux, or that somehow Linus is to blame ... but the truth is that any large development project (kernel included) has these kinds of disagreements, and prima donnas, and no-nonsense managers who know how to take names and kick a$$es. So, if Leonnart could get his team to be less cavalier about bug reports, and more responsive to the development community he might find that its easier to work with them. Linus is a flip-you-off kinda guy NOW and then sees if your attitude changes. NVidia deserved to be flipped off, and so does Leonnart. I hope he learns a small humility. But, he needs to stop bashing Torvalds and the kernel team.

      1. alcalde

        Re: Yes

        Marcus - not every large development process engenders bullying. Not even the majority. Software development doesn't cause bullying. Bullies cause bullying.

        Could we please stop with glorifying verbal violence and mental torture? Linus doesn't "take names and kick a$$es" - he unneccessarily verbally abuses anyone who has an opinion different than his. He's lucky he has the kernel and I guess somebody pays him for it - he'd be fired and unemployable otherwise unless he got some professional help.

        Nobody "deserves" to be treated the way Linus treats people. If there's a bug in your code, you don't deserve to be told to kill yourself. Have you been watching the news lately? People take that advice.

        You're blaming the victim for the crime, just like saying rape is the woman's fault. Poettering doesn't need to "be taught humility". Linus needs some sort of therapy to deal with his lack of human empathy and anger management issues. It's Linus who does the bashing, not Poettering. Making Linus and his henchmen out to be the poor victims of an evil Poettering is a real sick twist. I'd be ashamed to have my handle attached to a statement like that, let alone my real name.

        It seems Linus really has engendered a spirit of anti-social bullying in the Linux community. It's a shame, and at least there are many open source communities where it would be unacceptable. Can anyone imagine Guido van Rossum telling people to go kill themselves?

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge


      I have contributed to several open source projects and the rule of thumb is:

      1. They are usually fairly tolerant in the beginning

      2. Once you get to know the lay of the land you are expected to write high quality code and that quality is expected to be consistent too. If you do not deliver the tolerance will quickly disappear.

      I believe that quality of the code is not something which systemd is renowned for so it is not surprising that he is getting flack. He is long past "phase 1" so there is an expectation from him to deliver. Like any other workplace for that matter.

      1. alcalde

        Re: Indeed

        1. This has nothing to do with code quality!!! Poettering is being bullied BECAUSE HE EXISTS. Because PulseAudio is different. Because Systemd is different. Because he's actually putting his money where his mouth is and showing what he can do and really fixing problems. He could announce the sun sets in the West and 50 tweets would go out calling a bunch of four-letter words. It's disgusting.

        2. Poettering has "delivered" more than most any other developer in open source.

        3. If Poettering handed in a bunch of spaghetti code written in BASIC, it would not justify DEATH THREATS. Why is that so hard for the Linux community to understand - or do they not want to understand because then they'd have to realize it's time to demand Torvalds get therapy for his anger issues or be shoved aside for someone who can behave like a professional? '

        3B. That's the real irony with your post - it's Linus who's behaving like a 16-year-old intern and needs to learn how to behave in the workplace. In fact the last time he was asked to treat people nicely he went off on a tirade about maybe he should wear a suit and tie and kiss a$$es and tell people what they want to hear and blah, blah, blah. He's got some serious unresolved issues with anger and with authority.

    4. Błotosmętek

      Whom do you mean, Torvalds or Poettering? If the later, I wholeheartedly agree; systemd is crap.

      1. Cipher

        Kevin Toppins' take on systemd:

        Toppins on systemd

        systemd does appear to be a cancer on *nix, I will not install a distro that uses it...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Alistair

          systemd does appear to be a cancer on *nix, I will not install a distro that uses it...

          Best get your Slackware on then. Or Gentoo.

          Sadly RHEL7 is infected.

          I don't need Toppins opinion, mine's even lower and more vilifying.

          Poettering's crew are ignoring pleas from app teams, system admins, and environment managers, insisting on tying non server toolkits into a core server process and then dropping the ball on bug filings "because it doesn't meet our agenda" (I've seen that on a closed bug once, I'll see if I can find the BZ entry)

          Personally as an SA, having had the exposure through F18/19/20 I can see nightmares ahead of us on a scale that staggers the imagination. .......... (ahhhhhhhhhh I could go on for quite some time, but that would make me an intolerant, ignorant empowered white male egotist in some dev's mind. Instead of a grumpy old bastard.)

      2. Chika

        Oh how I've waited for somebody to back up my views on systemd. If it were any good, I wouldn't have half the headaches I've had with upgrades and installations over the last couple of years or so and any bad words from LT about this were, IMHO, well deserved. systemd is a great example of somebody rewriting from scratch something that already existed (and did the job reasonably well but just needed a bit of fettling) and now, because everyone + dog wants to be "up to date" (i.e. using the latest fad), it's headache time for everyone that has to use the damn thing.

        I'd say more, but it wouldn't be safe...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tired old racial angle

      "He's disgruntled because he's repeatedly wrote shoddy code and he was called out on it."

      Yup. And the only way he can see to get a good shot in is to wheel in the old racial angle as what, a trump card? It just makes him look like an idiot. So what if most core devs are white and middle class, its not like there's some racist exclusion policy. What does he want - affirmative fucking action?? Does he think non white non middle class people might like his POS systemd more? What a dick.

      1. alcalde

        Re: Tired old racial angle

        Wow boltar, you really exhibit the angry intolerant bullying that's the real subject here.

        The point, when one takes time to think about it, is that kernel development is a "good old boys club" of homogenous people who think alike and act alike - just as you're sounding like Torvalds now. The good old boys club attacks anyone who thinks or acts differently and tries to tell itself that they did it because they "deserved it" just like you do in your post. As a result, they only attract people who behave just like they do and they force anyone out who wants in anyway by bullying them.

        The "POS systemd" is now going to be in use by essentially every major Linux distro. That means it's not a POS; it means there's something tragically wrong with those who have to keep calling it thus - perhaps a clinical aversion to change?

        As Poettering goes from success to success and proves his ideas right time after time the nerdrage grows and grows. If he's not careful they may go Reiser on him.

    6. alcalde

      "Called out" - first of all, Poettering has contributed some amazing code that's in use throughout the Linux world, and he puts up where others were content to talk. Second, there's no need to "call out" anyone. That's bullying. Last, the attacks on Poettering have nothing to do with code quality. They have to do with the hyper-partisan ideological purity that's engendered by that other dysfunctional bookend of Linux, Richard Stallman. Poettering is hated and reviled because he dared to change things. He dared to make something better, and for that he has to put up with THREATS ON HIS LIFE.

      We just had a Linux gaming writer step down from actively participating on the site he created because of intense bullying from a Linux podcast - all because he dared to suggest they weren't the best when someone was looking to send a game review copy out.

      This is madness. This is 2014 and bullying is no longer socially acceptable, period. Linus' "I tried and it just isn't me" isn't going to cut it. Admitting you're a mean-spirited SOB doesn't make it better and he'd be fired today for talking to co-workers like he does. In a time when there have been high-profile suicides caused by teen bullying, telling the OpenSUSE security team to kill themselves reveals that there is something stupefyingly wrong with Torvalds' common sense. Perhaps too many sycophants around and no one ever told him no? How would he feel if a teacher treated one of his children at school the way he treats others? What if a teacher ripped up their work in front of them and then suggested they commit suicide? Linus really, really needs to work on his empathy. And when he's been called out on this by a contributor, he insisted on changing the subject. For all his brashness, I don't think he can stand personal scrutiny himself. The Linux kernel would probably be a lot better today if Linus wasn't like a toxic substance to those who consider contributing.

      The bullying needs to end. The defending of Linus needs to end - he's becoming as much an embarrassment now as Richard Stallman has been (such as when Jobs' body wasn't even cold and Stallman was proclaiming it was good for software that he was dead).Linux is bigger than any one person - even Linus. As it is, he now has Greg Kroah-Hartmann answering a question about the best thing about open source by saying it's being able to insult kernel developers. Linus needs to clean up his act, get some therapy (and possibly be screened for sociopathic tendencies) or hand the reins over to someone who doesn't freak out and start ranting about suits and ties and kissing up when he's simply asked to watch his language.

  3. Daniel B.

    Oh please...

    The systemd developer saying the Linux kernel dev community is awful? Has he seen his own work? systemd is awful and one of the worst things that Linux has ever got saddled with in the last 20 years! Not to mention that part of the Big Leap Forward with systemd is killing text logs, now they're some weird binary format. Yeech!

    I'm also guessing that many of Linus' hostility would probably be because his code is crap as well. See, the shouty man may not be nice all the time, but it doesn't mean he isn't right.

    1. h3

      Re: Oh please...

      Pulseaudio and avahi are garbage as well.

      He singlehandedly is the reason I won't have a Linux Desktop any more.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        Re: Oh please...

        > Pulseaudio and avahi are garbage as well.

        Tru dat. Perhaps I failed to throw enough resources at them, but I never could make them work reliably.

        > He singlehandedly is the reason I won't have a Linux Desktop any more.

        He singlehandedly is the reason why I have Linux desktops that don't have either Avahi or PulseAudio. Or systemd for that matter (tried it, reversed to sysV after a couple magistral borks on update)

      2. phil dude

        Re: Oh please...

        not to be picky, but could you be more specific about pulseaudio?

        I too USED to have problems with pulseaudio being a complete PITA, but as far as I am concerned it is FIXED. I am running an old opensuse 12.2 , version pulseaudio-1.1-6.4.1.x86_64.

        One of the MASSIVE benefits of PA is that EVERY process can be given its own volume control. Hence, you open windows with youtube videos or other things that like to make a noise, they can all be muted/controlled individually.

        Better still, if you are forced to run a VM , you can complete isolate all sounds from a VM...(for those who ever used the DRM encumbered aubible crap, you might like to know that).

        I didn't get it when buggy, but I get it now.

        I am however, with you on avahi....


        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

          Re: Oh please... @ phil dude

          > not to be picky, but could you be more specific about pulseaudio?

          I can answer only for myself, and perhaps it's fixed now, but until recently it kept crashing on me, repeatedly, often bringing the calling app down with it. Be it for games, online video, local video, anything a bit demanding that had sound was likely to crash within a few tens of seconds (with an error message about pulseaudio on stdout). That, or grind to a halt with distant "tt tt tt" as the sole audio output (and a whole bunch of pulseaudio error messages to stdout). That on an otherwise remarkably stable system. Pulseaudio had become synonymous of crash: whenever anything crashed or stalled, you could be sure there was a pulseaudio error message waiting for you on stdout. Switched back to a more "basic" sound system and everything magically works.

          It may be because I'm always using bare-minimum hardware configurations, perhaps a few more GB of RAM would have solved the problem, but if so it's still bad code IMHO.

          > One of the MASSIVE benefits of PA is that EVERY process can be given its own volume control.

          You see it as a good thing, I see it as a telltale sign of crud. Typically that's not the job of the sound daemon, that's the app's job. Same as how systemd is trying to do everything at once. Not only is it bad design because it leads to unmaintainably huge codebase and some features will inevitably fall behind in terms of development, it also means to encorage app developpers to not include volume control even though their app would need it -because it's done by the sound system anyway so why bother, right?

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

            Re: Oh please... @ phil dude

            On the last part of my post I have an example: I usually try to minimize unnecessary resource hogs so I use minimal windows managers, like twm, quite a lot. twm windows don't have a "close" button: it's a widows manager, it gives the application a window to work in, that's it that's all. BUT most windows managers do have a "close" button... and although every sane developper includes one, sometimes several, in-app ways to close said app, one particular project visibly thought "windows manager have a close button anyway so why bother" and did not provide any way to cleanly close the app from within.

            That -otherwise excellent- application is Rawtherapee (give it a try, it's not quite as complete as lightroom but it's stable, has everything *I* need and then some, and is open source). Much to my dismay, to close it nicely in twm you have to send it a kill -15 signal from a virtual console. It's not lazyness, as the application itself is extremely well finished, has a lot of well thought-out functionalities, and very complex ones to code, too. The app's worth it but it's annoying, and a sign of what happens when you start relying on "gadget" niceties in parts of the system that don't require them.

      3. Alistair

        Re: Oh please...

        Agree - avahi is crap that causes more problems than it solves in most cases. I pull it out the instant I can.

        Pulse has been a serious PITA... oddly of late I've found it seems to be getting its act together -- I wonder why...... (checks commits)

        But then I have been an *anything* but gnome user for ages.

      4. Elfo74

        Re: Oh please...

        Hey, I use Slackware at home and at work, and it is Poettering-free software! :D

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh please...

        And yet, I use Fedora with systemd and pulseaudio. The latter is great for my purposes, I've had no trouble with it since Fedora 10 or so. Systemd? Well, it seems to work well for my needs, I only had one problem with a SpamAssassin update where I was trying to use -d as a spamd option without realising that systemd works a little differently.

        Personally I don't understand the total dislike for it that some people have but then I am quite happy to see people build distros that use SysVinit if that's what they want. There is room for both camps.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

          Re: Oh please...

          Personally I don't understand the total dislike for it that some people have but then I am quite happy to see people build distros that use SysVinit if that's what they want. There is room for both camps.

          You'd think that, but actually there isn't room for both camps when one camp is trying to push kernel commits that would break the other camps' solution.

          What I dislike in systemd is not primarily what it is* but more what it wants to become: OS in place of the OS (that's the self-admitted goal of Poettering, for whom systemd is poised to become "a group of blocks from which to build an OS" -or something to that effect). It means that devs are faced with a choice: either you code against systemd, and then you let it do everything it does because redundancy is not good (and in some cases even impossible); that means removing key parts of other userland tools, and even modifying the kernel in some cases. That also means that other, simpler init methods won't work anymore. Or you let systemd alone entirely.

          *although I do think that journald's binary logs and the all-encompassing, everything-but-the-kitche-sink approach to software design are imbecilic, to name only 2, but that's only my opinion.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh please...

            I've seen some of the complaints about systemd on the kernel list, the one in particular I remember was the one about the debug argument and I agree that it seemed pretty odd although I believe that someone patched it up to work properly after this. This was a Kay Sievers issue as well wasn't it?

            There's no question that LP is very much a marmite issue to some people, possibly quite a lot of people. I wonder if he's just bad at explaining himself. I've read some of his blog, it didn't seem particularly obtuse but clearly he's a man on some sort of mission.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Oh please...

      systemd is awful and one of the worst things that Linux has ever got saddled with in the last 20 years!

      Let's face it, every Linux distro team has it's own opinion on how to do system management, and as the saying goes: opinions are like farts, everyone has them but you only like your own. Linux system management is a shambolic, inconsistent mess. Just my opinion, of course...

    3. fortran

      Re: Oh please...

      I was running Debian. My server is running Gentoo (make.conf has -systemd) and I am thinking of Dragonfly BSD for my desktop machine.

      Lennart, your programs may be useful, they tend to not follow UN*X philsophy. Buy The UNIX Programming Environment and Software Tools. Read them to the point you have almost memorized them. Then if you still want to do programming, do things that follow in that philosophy.

      But, I hate pulse, I disable avahi binaries, and in Gentoo my make.conf comment is just the start. I really think you should be working in Redmond for M$.

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: Oh please...

        Actually as far as I know, he already has a fixed opinion about the UNIX philosophy. Apparently he thinks it's bollocks.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Oh please...

        Lennart, your programs may be useful, they tend to not follow UN*X philsophy. Buy The UNIX Programming Environment and Software Tools. Read them to the point you have almost memorized them. Then if you still want to do programming, do things that follow in that philosophy.

        Lennart has read them.. and then heavily criticised them. His vision is the only way forward.

        Fortunately, his vision precludes seeing BSD even exists, so you can still get a UNIX environment without any of Lennart or Kay's bullshit baked in.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh please...

      The systemd developer saying the Linux kernel dev community is awful? Has he seen his own work? systemd is awful and one of the worst things that Linux has ever got saddled with in the last 20 years! Not to mention that part of the Big Leap Forward with systemd is killing text logs, now they're some weird binary format. Yeech!

      Ah, so the best way to address that is be insulting, instead of finding a way forward that works for all. That validates what the guy says. I also buy the prima donna compliant, I have seen that a lot. It's what gives us those crap UIs because you couldn't *possibly* want to involve the actual users in what you're coding. Oh no, they have no clue. You also see that with younger users who think they're l33t because they use Linux. Sigh (you get a mirror of that tribal attitude in the comments here too).

      Don't get me wrong, I think Linux is a fantastic achievement. In the light of the personalities involved even more so. Just the whole teamwork thing seems to be lacking. Having said that, you hear the same sometimes in the BSD camp.

      1. Daniel B.

        Re: Oh please...

        Ah, so the best way to address that is be insulting, instead of finding a way forward that works for all. That validates what the guy says.

        Nope, it's actually the other way around. He was originally told "hey dude, we have the UNIX philosophy stuff, maybe you should read this" and he dismissed it as utter crap. That is, he's coding stuff for a thing he absolutely hates. This is akin to Stallman doing code for Windows. Would you really expect Stallman to play nice with MS developers, especially given his hostility to propietary code?

        Yes, I know about the Linux prima donna effect. In fact, the way someone refers to Linux itself will raise red flags (or yellow flags) on his attitude. Does he/she insist on saying "GNU/Linux"? There's a good chance you've got one of the hostile dudes. But in Lennart's case, it seems he's a prima donna himself!

  4. Vociferous

    The Linux community has always been this way.

    Doesn't seem to hurt it much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Linux community has always been this way.

      Apart from it's lack of market share for anything other than web servers and embedded devices/mobile phones.

      True story. Whilst working for the NHS in IT I noticed a simple niche that would have been perfect for a Linux box to run, but quite expensive to put a windows box in for due to having to license it for about 6k users.

      Putting it in would have been cheap, it would have given the staff more experience with administering Linux which then would almost as certainly led to wider adoption. When I suggested the idea to the head of department the look he gave me (ie, lunatic) immediately said as a picture that unprofessional zealot idiots had already been suggesting Linux in the past, and had permanently burnt and blown up bridges in that direction.

      As a result, I immediately had to resort to damage control and couldn't push it, and they ended up using the Windows option (which was available, but comparatively massively expensive. A more professional approach by it's advocates would help Linux adoption immensely.

      1. fandom

        Re: The Linux community has always been this way.

        So the Linux zealots had been suggesting a solution that, you agree, would be perfectly suited to solve a real problem.

        And the head of the department put you into the 'zealot' category even you didn't deserve it.

        Therefore the fault is with zealots like you.

        Ok, makes sense to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Linux community has always been this way.

          So the Linux zealots had been suggesting a solution that, you agree, would be perfectly suited to solve a real problem.

          And the head of the department put you into the 'zealot' category even you didn't deserve it.

          Therefore the fault is with zealots like you.

          Ok, makes sense to me.

          People's perception is their reality. If one of those frothing-at-the-mouth zealots had gone into a meeting with this manager and did what I have seen plenty Open Source fans do then yes, I can well believe that that would have pretty much shut the door.

          Two friends of mine are good hacks, and have been involved in Open Source for decades . Both have built a business on it, and one is politically quite astute. However, as soon as I have either in a meeting with me I have to control them like mad to stop them from slipping into zealot mode and preach the benefits of Open Source and Linux. I guess they had to do this so often that it's hard to switch off, but it is sometimes simply not appropriate - you can actually break the conversation there and then. Management doesn't like black and white fanatics (it's one of these things that Richard Stallman will never learn either), and especially at board level you'll find few people who are even remotely interested in the wheels inside the machine so you're wasting precious time with stuff they're not only not interested in but can actually scare them away from the table.

          With people like that, the ONLY thing you can ever put on the table is cost/benefit analysis. In scenario A we invest X, and over 5 years we'll have a TCO based on these factors, in scenario B we pay Y, and over 5 years our TCO is thus. You stay off words like "communities" and "free" (that's instant distrust, and ignoring support costs), and you pick one distro in advance (be ready to motivate that choice, and that should again be about economics). In some cases, you don't even talk about Windows or Linux, you treat it as a black box called "solution". Why do you think this Cloud rubbish sold so well?

          Go in as a zealot, and you've burned it for quite a few years to come.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Linux community has always been this way.

            Budget. Needs. Wants. And I get downright anthropological on culture in relation to fixing wants/needs and organic capabilities (in manager-speak)

      2. Lee D

        Re: The Linux community has always been this way.

        Sorry, I work in schools. Linux has a bad reputation, not because of the lead developer (who nobody has heard of), mailing list flamewars (which nobody has witnessed) or anything else.

        It's people who throw it in because "it's free" and expect it to do the same job without the same amount of management that they'd give a Windows machine in a similar position.

        I've done it. I've put Linux in schools. Several times. And I've also taken it back out again. Because the primary problem is not "Linux community is unfriendly" (it's NEVER been mentioned). It's actually "Linux isn't Windows and doesn't run Windows binaries, and isn't supported by the people selling us Windows on commission". And pretty much no other reason.

        And you'll find that almost every school in the country has a Linux box or two, anyway. Espresso and Knowledgebox are two HUGE content providers who put Linux Apache/Squid proxies for their content into school networks. Almost every primary school has one. And most schools (primary and secondary) have Smoothwall controlling their front line - a Linux box in a 19" rackmount. And let's not even get into their access control, CCTV, or other systems.

        Linux isn't in certain places, not because of anything to do with attitudes or personalities (because even Linux experts don't deal with people like Linux or Lennart), but because "it's not Windows". It's not even Linux's fault, that. And it's unsolveable while people are blinkered. It's pretty much the same reason that almost every Mac I've ever seen in a school is Windows in some way (dual boot / boot camp) and sees ten times more use as Windows than as Mac.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. JEDIDIAH

        Re: The Linux community has always been this way.

        > Apart from it's lack of market share for anything other than web servers and embedded devices/mobile phones.

        You mean any market that didn't already have a deeply entrenched monopoly before Linux ever even existed?

        Thriving everywhere except DOS legacy apps is not at all bad.

  5. Michael Hoffmann

    Systemd - the Init of the Beast

    If this had come anybody but the author of Systemd, I would be paying attention.

    The ulcers this abomination has cause since I've been trying to migrate to RHEL7... the looks I get for drinking Peptobismol straight out of the bottle...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Systemd - the Init of the Beast

      This is an unfortunate truth.

      There are good ideas in that there systemd, but there are also a LOT of very bad ideas.

      I guess trying to solve the messy traditional insecure, non-transactional-state, convention-based alignment of scripts and making possible "fast boots" on devices that are switched on and off often is worth it... but...

      It has the smell of a Windows solution. Like the "Registry"

      The first problem: WHY SO COMPLEX

      The second problem: WHY SO BINARY

      The third problem: WHY SO OPAQUE

      Trying to understand what went wrong and why something isn't working feels like being at the end of a labyrinth, or at the end of having made an error in a git repository.

      What happened to the Art of Unix Programming?

      I have been sitting through a few days of my holiday trying to "get" systemd, to no avail.

      Maybe it's me.

      Maybe it's systemd.

      It is too complex.

      I want to deny it.

      It is impossible to deny.

      Maybe systemd v2 will be viable.

      What is there now isn't.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

    Poettering quotes Linus: "How did they not die as babies, considering that they were likely too stupid to find a tit to suck on?"

    Got to at least appreciate the creativity.

    However, what goes unacknowledged is that a lot of people who take the severe abuse Poettering is speaking about are VOLUNTEERS. As in, actual bug trackers and others who DO NOT GET PAID OR GIFTED millions like Linus and pals do. From that perspective, it's pretty despicable behavior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

      If you volunteer to clean up graffiti by covering it up with more graffiti, you'd get called out on it too. Not being paid to do it isn't an excuse for being bad at something. Ever.

      To a certain extent, poor volunteering should be rooted out at the lower levels of development. I know my coding skills are shit, so I occasionally help out with translation and language stuff because I'm better at it.

      Wanting to volunteer rocks - but pick something you're good at, or you're part of the problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

        You just assume the volunteers who get screamed at are bad at their jobs. The specific instance I recall, Torvalds was screaming one-to-one at distro bug tracking volunteers because he was having trouble getting his daughter's laptop to hop onto the local public school network. Turns out that the "bug" wasn't really a bug, and that it was an upstream security decision from KDE maintainers anyway - nothing to do with the distro's volunteers that were getting screamed at.

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

          LOLZ. Let the NOOB read a man page. Couldn't even get a simple network connected - at school!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

        >Not being paid to do it isn't an excuse for being bad at something. Ever.

        Maybe not, but if nobody else is going to do it, do you have something that's not great, or nothing at all?

        If systemd is so bad (I don't know, I've run Linux a few times, but couldn't tell you anything about the system really), why hasn't somebody "better" come and written something to replace it?

        1. Hans 1

          Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

          People have, the rants here are just unfounded. If you do not like systemd, use something else ... you are not going to say that you do not have a choice, you do! Just like a window manager, you use whatever floats your boat.

          sysvinit, upstart, and even openrc are alternatives to systemd.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

            If you do not like systemd, use something else

            Not possible if Poettering gets his way. He wants to infect the Linux kernel with stuff that only systemd requires, hence a part of the reason Linus is pissed off with him. Those changes would break the ability for other existing init systems to work. It would also mean Linux becomes less Unix-like, since Poettering doens't like the Unix design and concepts. Makes you wonder why he doesn't write his own kernel. Perhaps he simply doesn't have the ability given how bad the design and implementaiton of avahi, pulseaudio and systemd are.

            As someone else points out, at least the BSD Unix-likes aren't on Poettering's radar. However, he's already infected other software that used to run on the BSDs. Take GNOME 3 for instance, which is a nightmare to port thanks to being infected with systemd dependencies.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

            "sysvinit, upstart, and even openrc are alternatives to systemd."

            The problem is that systemd is gradually being introduced as a requirement for other stuff. Sure in theory you could just fork the other stuff providing "other" is a small integer and "stuff" is a small codebase. As these get bigger this becomes less & less practical.

            From my own PoV I came into being a Linux user via a whole lot of other Unix flavours from V7 onwards so, providing what I need to run is available on it it will cause me no great upset to move on to some BSD (and I've got an ISO image downloading right now to evaluate that option). But I can see why Linux users who have become emotionally invested in their preferred operating system will be upset.

        2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases @AC

          You're looking at this the wrong way. The problem with your argument is that you think that systemd is better than what preceded it. May of us who have long UNIX and Linux experience do not believe that the advantages of systemd, mainly of faster boot time outweigh the horrible, horrible complexities that it introduces.

          Just because someone has come up with an interesting alternative to init and the traditional rc scripts does not mean that it is automatically better.

          I blame the fact that a lot of people have grown up with Windows as their learning platform. In that model, complexity, opaqueness and proprietary lock in is a way of life, and too many young (and not so young) programmers producing Open Source software accept that it is the way to produce a system.

          One of UNIXs real advantages was that there were serious efforts to keep it simple. Systemd does not fit in that model, nor (as others have pointed out) does most of the sound system in Linux (not just pulseaudio, but the other things that came before it) or several other additions.

          Where systemd has crossed Linus's path is although there is a kernel/utility separation in Linux, systemd (which is not really part of the kernel, but part of the utility toolset), the systemd developers were demanding changes in the kernel, and abusing some of the management and logging facilities of the kernel in a way that was never envisaged. That caused what looked like kernel problems, like the system hanging on boot.

          Linus did not agree that the kernel needed changing, and certainly did not agree with the way that the logging facility was being used, and pushed back in his own inimitable style.

          As he is the custodian of the kernel, not of the utility tools, that is his prerogative.

          1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


            I've been thinking about this a bit more. What we are seeing are the first signs of battle-lines being drawn up between two different factions. The divide is whether Linux should stay as mainly a UNIX clone, or whether it should become a new operating system based on UNIX but no longer adhering strictly to the UNIX ethos.

            I'm getting old. I've been working with UNIX for 36 years. I'm definitely in the "UNIX clone" camp. I really don't relish learning what would rapidly become a new operating system. I fear that complexities would effectively produce a technocracy who are the only people who understand the inner workings of the new OS, to the exclusion of people on the 'outside'.

            I think that the systemd people will be in the "New Operating System" camp. I don't know which camp Linus would sit in. If he is in the UNIX clone camp (and this was really how he started Linux in the first place), I think that people who want to move away from the UNIX roots should fork the kernel, and really make it a new OS. According to the rules as I understand them, they would no longer be allowed to call it Linux, however.

            If they do not want to take on the responsibility of maintaining their own kernel, they really should listen to the influential people who do control the existing one, and that means paying some heed to what Linus says rather than trying to browbeat the development team or slip poorly coded patches into the kernel source, because it does not work the way they think it should.

            With the direction Canonical want to take Ubuntu, and the friction between the kernel developers and some other projects in the community about the future direction of what a core GNU/Linux system should look like, I can really see there being a schism on the horizon.

          2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

            Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases @AC

            Peter G is right that systemd is about weighing the advantages of the capabilities it provides vs the disadvantages of its deisgn and implementation. Debian struggled with this, with a public and acrimonious debate, and decided to go with systemd. Not because it was well liked but because it was useful.

            There is no realistic prospect of anyone else implementing a (FOSS) alternative to systemd that is as useful. Not while the systemd team continues to exist. So, individuals may decide that they don't want to take on board the horrible design decisions made, but the large distributions are moving to it. Personally, I don't like it but I agree that it is the only viable option.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Unpaid volunteers in a lot of cases

          "If systemd is so bad ... why hasn't somebody "better" come and written something to replace it?"

          Systemd is being shoe-horned in to replace what was there already. And a lot of very experienced users of Linux & other Unices view what was already there as being better. They don't like being given new problems by something put in to fix other problems they don't have.

  7. phil dude
    IT Angle

    peer review....

    you should read some of the peer review reports...anonymous comments can be very harsh....

    Sometimes entrenched scientists defend their work by trying to torpedo is amazing how defensive some intelligent adults can be when challenged.

    At least here, the source code is all that matters. Pretty much like musicians or comedians. I don't have to like the person if I can respect the product.

    On the matter of systemd, LP is not a dumb bloke and I see where he is going with it. Furthermore I'll wager LT has got many powerful corporate forces railing against him too.

    I don't read too much into this, good FOSS software will rise to the top, and the boat rises for everyone...


    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: peer review....

      "Furthermore I'll wager LT has got many powerful corporate forces railing against him too."

      AFAIK he works for Red Hat so he has at least one powerful corporate force backing him.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hostile leadership vs hostile software

    That Linus's management style would be actionable if he were an actual manager in a real company is undeniable. But he isn't. There are a lot of sysadmins who think that Lennart's software achievements, like pulseaudio, NetworkManager and systemd, were designed to make their lives a living hell. Of course Linus and Lennart would say that their goal is to make things better, and each can line up persuasive arguments in favor of what they've done and how they did it. Still, everyone needs to keep in mind that Linux is not one project, it's a jumble of many projects that are most often integrated at the distribution level. If anyone is looking for something built from the ground up by a single project managed by people who are mostly less profane and more polite, I'd recommend they check out one of the BSD's.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

      @AC - "There are a lot of sysadmins who think that Lennart's software achievements, like pulseaudio, NetworkManager and systemd, were designed to make their lives a living hell."

      And yet those exact technologies have been extremely broadly adopted. So, somewhere there's a big disconnect between what "a lot of sysadmins think" and what actually works.

      1. spodzone

        Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

        Pulseaudio I like.

        NetworkManager has taken me about 5 years to develop any confidence.

        systemd is going to take me yet another 5 years.

        None of them has been as broadly adopted as Linux, though.

        1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

          Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

          Pulseaudio might possibly be OK on reasonable systems - on an old single core Atom based netbook it caused so much trouble with sound breakups that I reverted to the basic ALSA drivers. Now at least YouTube and MP3 playback work.

          If systemd and NetworkManager came from the same group as Pulseaudio then I need to hunt for distros that do not use either !!!!

          1. Mark #255

            @Duncan Macdonald Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

            Pulseaudio might possibly be OK on reasonable systems - on an old single core Atom based netbook it caused so much trouble with sound breakups that I reverted to the basic ALSA drivers.

            I recently fixed a problem like that for an Atom Netbook (an eeePC 1101).

            1. Hans 1

              Re: @Duncan Macdonald Hostile leadership vs hostile software

              So, you have choice, what is the problem ? It is not like Mac OS X or Windows where they shove it down your throats ...

            2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

              @ Mark #255 Re: @Duncan Macdonald Hostile leadership vs hostile software

              I like Jose Rodrigues' solution better (although the version he posted seems to be missing several characters...)

          2. JEDIDIAH

            Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

            Pulseaudio is only tolerable because it's trivial to get rid of. If you have some stripped down HTPC machine, you can easily and quickly ditch pulseaudio. SystemD doesn't seem to be like that. It seems to have it's hooks into a lot of things at a low level that makes ripping it out a fatal proposition.

            The key feature of Unix is that you can ignore a component that you don't like.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

          Name a major distro that's not using systemd? That's not using pulseaudio? Even if it's not as broad as the kernel, it's very broad adoption on the systems that could use them.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

            it's very broad adoption on the systems that could use them

            Not an argument for the sanity of said solution.

            Someone has to says "let's put this in, I suppose it's a good idea, people will get used to it". He may be wrong. Like with TIFKAM.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

              @Destroy - 'Someone has to says "let's put this in, I suppose it's a good idea, people will get used to it". He may be wrong. Like with TIFKAM.'

              Comparing one decision made at one company (Windows Metro) to a common decision made by all of the largest Linux distros (systemd) is a bit of a stretch. Each of the distros has a different technical evaluation process, and each one independently decided to change to systemd.

          2. NP-Hardass

            Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

            Gentoo. KTHXBAI.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

              Gentoo Wiki: "systemd is a modern sysvinit & RC replacement for Linux systems. It is supported in Gentoo as an alternate init system."

              And of course, a Gentoo Gnome install is going to require systemd. Unless you want to start going through and removing and replacing various packages. But it is the default.

              So yeah. KTHXBAI.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                @Andy Prough Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

                When you're installing Gnome, you only get what you deserve.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Andy Prough Hostile leadership vs hostile software

                  Which is a workable desktop environment for most people that do. I've used it for years, I never got on with KDE and haven't been able to live with Mate or Cinnamon (although I did try for quite a while).

                  Alternatives exist, as long as someone maintains them then that's fine for everyone.

          3. slack

            Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

            "Name a major distro that's not using systemd? That's not using pulseaudio?"


            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

              Finally someone gets it. Good job!

          4. Jonathan Richards 1

            Avoiding systemd

            > Name a major distro that's not using systemd?

            Kubuntu, at the moment, at least. I haven't got it here on 14.04, which is using upstart []. This forum post from January 2014 says "... the Ubuntu Technical Board has said that they won't turn away from Upstart without a compelling reason". So even if Debian puts systemd into its distro, Canonical envisages replace it with Upstart when syncing Ubuntu with Debian, in the same way as they replace SysVinit now.

            PS There are systemd builds for [K]Ubuntu, if you want them. Seems that there are a number of folk here that don't.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Andy Prough - Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

        I'm not aware of any serious Linux sysadmin who would accept NetworkManager or pulseaudio on a server. Anyway not in each and any company I've been working for. As for systemd there aren't many people eager to get it on the servers they manage.

        I'm sorry but you don't seem to know much about the daily tasks of a sysadmin.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Andy Prough - Hostile leadership vs hostile software

          I wouldn't expect a server to have any of this stuff on it, it's used for workstations (although my own machines with pulseaudio and systemd do a bit of serving for IMAP etc) and that's where it is useful.

          What I don't do is claim to understand it all fully or want anyone else to do something they don't want to, my view is that systemd should be configurable to be as minimal as possible or even be removed in cases where it provides no useful benefits.

        2. MiddleAgedGreyBeard

          Re: @Andy Prough - Hostile leadership vs hostile software

          I can tell you right now that NetworkManager causes far more harm than good in an enterprise environment.

          RHEL6 + DHCPwith NM_CONTROLLED=no and NetworkManager service enabled == Correct IP on interface but no nameservers or search domains in resolv.conf

          RHEL6 + Infiniband + NetworkManager service == No IP addresses on infiniband NICs

          RHEL6 - NetworkManager == Sane environment where stuff does what you expect

          TL;DR: Unless you are using wireless, don't use NetworkManager.

    2. Adam Inistrator

      Re: Hostile leadership vs hostile software

      "pulseaudio, NetworkManager and systemd" all from LP's team ... suddenly it is all beginning to make sense! Linux is making a Faustian bargain.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This guy is claiming systemic discrimination within the kernel community against non-white, non-middle-aged, non-males. That goes a bit beyond merely claiming bad tempers or defense of prerogatives.

    I know nothing about the kernel community, just wondering what the truth is.

    1. alwarming
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Bias

      Thanks OP for making me re-read. On my first glance of the article, I thought it was yet another butthurt n00b on lkml, that el reg is having fun with. But looks like he thinks he is OK with the harshness but probably people from other cultures are not. Pretty sure that the reference to "saving face" is directed at Asian cultures.

      From what I've been told, in the US offices of Sun and Microsoft, about 30% of the OS devs were of Asian origin. My SWAG is that this ratio in the Linux community is much lower (< 5%). In theory, it should be higher because they don't need work visa to contribute to Linux, but maybe it's lower because they don't see themselves "fitting in" ?

      PS: how many people are fine with Steve Jobs/Ballmer running their companies like a dictator but not when Linus does it ? (Or the other way round).

      1. Craigness

        Re: Bias

        White people are an underrepresented demographic at those US offices and the new goal of "diversity" instead of "equality" means they will become even more so. They have to go somewhere, and if the OS community doesn't discriminate against them, that's where they will go.

        It does seem quite sexist and racist to assume women and non-whites cannot cope in a high pressure environment. But if you frame your bigotry as anti-white, anti-male then you'll get a lot of coverage.

        1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

          Re: Bias

          @Craigness: if I could have upvoted you multiple times, I would have. Spot on.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bias

          Sure, hiring for "diversity" is coporate B.S. And what you are saying might appeal to a simple mind, but reality is always a little bit more complex (than what you want it to be).

          Premise of this opinion is that you need top talent to succeed, specially in your core areas. But if we are objective, then why are we talking about US demographics ? For a globally competing organization, the top talent in CORE FUNCTIONS (like engineering, marketing, leadership) should come from all over the world, because you are competing against Samsung and Alibaba.

          In non-core functions requiring college degree, US demographics should apply as you just need "smart enough" bodies to perform the tasks. However, don't look at the whole population demographics; look at demographics of college grads. For college education trends for white folks, see [1].

          Some more points to consider:

          # 60% humans live in Asia. Agruably, what is lacked in the spread of high quality education, is usually more than compensated by intent.

          # Demographics in US corporate census doesn't distinguish between US born Asians and immigrant Asians.

          # I don't think anyone can drive a point home when all doors are closed.


    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Bias

      And he's playing this card because he, a white, middle-aged male, is feeling unjustly harrassed?

      It may be a problem in the Linux communities, but it's not the problem he is confronted with.

      Just stop writing bloated, buggy, boundary-violating code and maybe you won't have as many adversaries.

      Better yet, stop writing code. Period.


      Re: Bias

      It sounds like someone that can't handle being judged based on his merits.

      He's been judged harshly by the community so he has to make up some nonsense and lash out. Ironically he's engaging in exactly the sort of juvenile nonsense he's trying to accuse the community at large of. He's making up baseless and wildly inflammatory accusations.

      He's trying to exploit similar current media narratives.

  10. thames

    This is the pot calling the kettle black.

    "In April [Torvalds] called top systemd coder Kay Sievers a "fucking prima donna" and said he didn't want to ever work with him.

    Sievers screwed up in one of his new features in Systemd and made people's computers un-bootable. When found out as being the root cause, the Systemd developers (especially Sievers) blamed everyone but themselves. They refused to admit fault because they feared they might lose face (Systemd be anything but perfect, impossible!) and tried blaming the kernel development team despite everyone showing them where they went wrong.

    Torvalds eventually had enough of it, and told Sievers (who works for one of the big IT companies as a system developer) that his kernel commits rights were being cut off until he smartened up. If Linux development were all in one company instead of a multi-vendor cooperative venture Sievers would have been booted out the door. As it was, Torvalds had to use the ultimate weapon in his arsenal until Sievers backed down and fixed his bug.

    Torvalds can have a sharp tongue at times, but the targets are generally deserving of it. It's pretty much the only management weapon he has, since he doesn't sign the pay cheques of most of the other developers (most of them work for companies such as Red Hat, Intel, IBM, Samsung, etc.).

    Poettering however is renowned for his arrogance and relentless trolling of any competing projects. The reason he is disliked is because so far as he is concerned, he's never wrong, his competitors are never right, and any time there's a problem with something he's worked on, it's all the fault of other people who are out to get him.

    In many ways, he's like de Icaza, who was another person who trolled other projects relentlessly and then stood back with a look of surprised innocence when people got fed up and told him to sod off.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: This is the pot calling the kettle black.

      Sievers isn't the only problem. Poettering is an ass who can never admit his baby is ugly, and will viciously go after anyone who suggests it is. The both of them are 10,000x worse than Torvalds will ever be. Worse; they're wrong, and Torvalds is right.

      Butthurt bastards foisting their abomination on the world.

      1. king of foo

        Re: This is the pot calling the kettle black.

        Torvalds is constantly criticised for his choice of language. I'd say it's very good; you can't exactly misinterpret his meaning!

        I'm sick of people speaking utter bollocks just because it sounds "professional".

        Communicating complex ideas in a manner in which your average Joe can understand is a difficult task so the plainer the language the better. When did I.T. get invaded by PC politicians and project managers?

        Also, we need to celebrate characters like torvalds or stallman because they remind the world what true genius looks like; hint, it's not "Mr Suit" with his impeccable style and personal hygiene, it's more like "Sweary Bob" with his odd socks and those mysterious purple stains on that hideous wrinkly tie... what is that? It's gotta be beetroot, right???

        1. Anonymous Bullard

          Re: This is the pot calling the kettle black.

          Torvalds is constantly criticised for his choice of language.

          There's nothing wrong with C.

          1. CRConrad

            Re: There's nothing wrong with C.

            Well, except for it not being Object Pascal, of course.

            (Upvote anyway, at least as of course-ishly.)

    2. Craigness

      Re: This is the pot calling the kettle black.

      Who is the bad guy? Is it the dictator who comes down hard on people who screw up, and gives the world a secure, versatile OS for free, or is it the one who thinks women and black people are not capable of succeeding in such an environment?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "In the past, Torvalds has explained away such outbursts, saying that being grumpy is just in his nature.

    "I'd like to be a nice person and curse less and encourage people to grow rather than telling them they are idiots," Torvalds said during an online chat with Finland's Aalto University in April. "I'm sorry – I tried, it's just not in me."".

    Sounds pretty arrogant and/or extremely lazy to me. I can understand the "its just not me" part, I really do. But here's the thing: a relationship is about giving and taking, won't work either way. Well, it may work but then it usually doesn't last for too long.

    So yah; its easy to simply take without giving. In this case; not giving a little more effort to keep yourself in check, even if it isn't you. I'm pretty sure that if Mr. Torvalds would have a regular job where this behaviour isn't tolerated then he'd also refrain himself from bursting out.

    Oh wait, I know: that's different. Because that's a job and this is merely a hobby, right?

    Yeah sure... For some this might explain it, for me it simply re-assures that Torvalds simply doesn't seem to care at all about other people. And (IMO) doesn't even want to take any effort into that issue at all.

    Its easy if you don't have to. Which is why I describe this behaviour as arrogance and laziness. Because a moment when you don't have to is where your actions count the most. Because then its your choice and yours alone to make.

    And some people would rather do what they want without even bothering to think about how others might feel about that. Me, me, me, its all about me and I don't care about the rest.

    It works if you're in a position of power. Take that power position away, with the right attitude that usually happens sooner than expected, and all of a sudden you'll end up getting back what you sowed. Which won't be pretty by then.

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Arrogance....

      Not defending him but it is tough for Finns to act this way.

      On my first trip there I had a long chat to a Finn on the plane. In passing, she said "Remember, when you are walking through the airport and someone just runs into you and carries on without a by-your-leave, it is not that they are being rude per se, they are just Finnish, it is how they are - they make Germans look like open, friendly people!"

      She was right, but I still love Finland, the lack of bullshit is worth a few curt or non-existent familiarities.

      One realises why Nokias are like they are and why fashion ultimately destroyed them, or a bit of them at least.

      1. CRConrad

        Re: Arrogance....

        Also, it could be that they're just too shy to stop and apologize: "What do you mean, apologize to the person I just bumped into -- isn't it bad enough that I bumped into them, without disturbing them even further by talking to them?"

        Admittedly, that may be Finns more than Finland-Swedes... Which might at least partially explain why Linus doesn't have this problem.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Arrogance....

      Yeah, that Torvalds guy. It's always take, take, take! What did he ever do for the Linux community?

      Poettering seems to be unable to grasp that he's living and working in the real world. Maybe he should try standing in a dole queue or being in a pub for a few drinks. I've heard things in other peoples' "normal conversations" that make me ashamed to be white and male, but at that same moment so relieved that I am.

  12. cambsukguy

    But I thought Linux was the dog's

    It seems people who know about these things suggest otherwise.

    My exposure to pulseaudio (Nokia N900 uses it) was not fabulous; using dbus intercepts ruined the ultra high priorities (none of that 'nice' rubbish) given to pulseaudio so that the phone actually rang when you got a call.

    Any adjustment wanted (like setting a per-contact ring tone) meant it could take seconds to ring.

    The kernel code I have looked at appears horrible but this could be reasonable given the "do this but not if that hasn't started yet but don't forget that, unless the service isn't running otherwise wait a bit, but don't if the waity system isn't going yet else return horribly in the middle of some awful function".

    Still, at least that sucker just could not be bent! It was a useful weapon too if really required.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: But I thought Linux was the dog's

      this could be reasonable

      In a sane world, you would develop an appropriate language to describe this kind of problem, then generate all your code from a short, correct description. Esterel maybe?

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        Re: But I thought Linux was the dog's

        I'd like to know why your post got a downvote.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow,at first I thought the comments were being satirical but they just kept coming. Now I understand the article. Oh the irony.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Poettering, please!

  14. beast666

    And you wonder...

    Why we like Windows!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And you wonder...

      Oh I thought it was because it's all you know and you're all resistant to change and learning new things.

    2. fandom
  15. chuckufarley

    It looks like...

    ... Mr. Pottiecoder (along with quite a few others) have never read which is really all I needed to know once I decided to learn about Linux. From there I was able to educate myself with little or no outside help. As others have been up-voted for saying, his code sucks worse than it's implementation. I'll go the extra mile and say his code is clearly meant to remove transparency from Linux as a whole and increase the learning curve to a point where most people will need to pay someone to explain how it works.

  16. David Kelly 2

    Torvalds reminds me of Obama in most every way.

    1. hplasm


      Funny how you never see them both together...

  17. JeevesMkII

    I think this article can be neatly summed up as...

    Noted opinion haver has opinions. Film at 11.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assholes seem to be part of the deal for success in the tech world

    Linux has Linus

    Apple had Jobs

    Microsoft had Ballmer

    Sure, there are plenty of exceptions, but those are three pretty good examples that even if it isn't a requirement, it certainly hasn't proven to be an impediment. They weren't even assholes in the same way.

    The first holds everyone up to his own very high standards of programming. The second held everyone up to his own very high standards of taste. The third held everyone up to his own very....well, he was an asshole too.

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: Assholes seem to be part of the deal for success in the tech world

      >Linux has Linus

      >Apple had Jobs

      >Microsoft had Ballmer

      I spent years in the microsoft.public newsgroups, and they were nothing at all like the alt.comp newsgroups.

      microsoft.public.* was populated by volunteers with a willingness to helpfully answer boring simple questions, including from some very experienced experts.

      alt.comp.* was marked by insults from people who didn't understand the question, much less know the answers, including some people who thought they were very experienced experts.

      I agree with the characterization of the Open Source and kernel communities. But it is shared and pre-dated by the BSD community, so I don't see that Linus is in any way the source of the problem.

    2. Daniele Procida

      Re: Assholes seem to be part of the deal for success in the tech world

      This is simply untrue.

      There are plenty of examples of leadership that don't follow this unpleasant pattern, including in the world of open-source software.

      The Python and Django communities (representing the software behind such things as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, global telescope networks and so on, so not exactly insignificant) have explicit, unmissable and accepted codes of conduct.

      People in those communities tend to be polite, welcoming to newcomers and helpful to beginners. Abuse of the kind described is not tolerated.

      It doesn't hold back the software.

      1. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: Assholes seem to be part of the deal for success in the tech world

        >Python ... explicit, unmissable and accepted codes of conduct.

        Actually, I was including Python when I wrote "insults from people who didn't understand the question, much less know the answers, including some people who thought they were very experienced experts".

        The Python newsgroups were marked by the extraordinary delusion that they were polite, helpful, and supportive. Which was true only in comparison to groups like the kernel community.

        Let me be explicit: The Python comunity was NOTHING LIKE helpful, supportive, informative, or even generally correct, when judged on an absolute scale, or when compared to the the Microsoft newsgroups. As in "can I go here and get a true and correct answer to a common question?"

        Microsoft killed off the newsgroups, and the volunteer community. But, while it lasted, it (and the onetime Borland community) demonstrated that volunteer technical communities aren't all populated by assholes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Assholes seem to be part of the deal for success in the tech world

        Daniele: What you say simply isn't true either. Django is no longer inclusive and merit based contributions, since you have banned collaboration from anyone you deem to be an asshole.

        qv, one "Christian Schmitt" offended you yesterday by giving his honest opinion on your website redesign. You dislike that much honesty when it is mean, so he is banned from mailing lists…

        You have no idea whether it holds back the software, because he is unlikely to ever feed anything back to you.

        PS: the new design is shit. It does look like it was slapped together by someone who just read "Johnny Ive: How to make things pastel and waste lots of white space". I especially like how you've fucked up the documentation by making it harder to read with less information visible on the viewport, and how almost everything on the index page is under the fold.

        Is it really better if everyone just said "Wow! Much pastel!" like all the other gurning morons on the user list?

  19. Grikath

    Blaming Thorvalds is easy...

    The whole Linux/open source scene has been rife with Fanbois from day 1. These are notoriously ...difficult.. to deal with.

    It's one of the many reasons why I personally never bothered with Linux-flavoured stuff. It's not that the whole OS/ideology is without merits. It's simply that the loudmouths killed off any semblance of proper adaptation and acception in the 90's, and in some respects still do.

    it's not just one person, it's a whole bloody religion you have to deal with sometimes. And no, the Few Good Men do not compensate for the hordes of cellardwellers** you had/have to contend with if you're even just looking for information on whether or not a partcular flavour is suitable/adaptable for something you're working on.

    ** granted... nowadays it's Fashionistas *and* the cellardwellers.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Blaming Thorvalds is easy...

      . . . it's a whole bloody religion you have to deal with sometimes. And no, the Few Good Men do not compensate for the hordes of cellardwellers** you had/have to contend with if you're even just looking for information on whether or not a partcular flavour is suitable/adaptable for something you're working on.

      You don't need to deal with anyone you chose not to. That's the beauty of the internet. Like meatspace, it's who you chose to associate with. I've managed to find perfectly friendly and informative help with all my Linux problems since the beginning. The hand holding and detailed help I've gotten from the community over the years is amazing. I'm not now a huge Linux fan, but if you can't manage to find friendly and helpful people on the internet it is your own fault.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Blaming Thorvalds is easy...

      Linus' discussions with Tenenbaum were indicative of how he behaves. That said, I don't think his occasional outbursts are a real problem. Sometimes you have to tell someone what they're doing is no just wrong but total shit.

      I prefer the BSD development model over the release early, release often chaos of Linux, but that hasn't excluded the odd high-profile tantrum.

  20. marcus777

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks...

    Leonnart Poettering might be a whiner. I'm just say'in. If he were working at Microsoft Steve Ballmer would have thrown a chair at him a long time ago... or fired him.

    The trouble with the 'entire' systemd team is that they are all F prima donnas; and you can only really have one prima donna at a time...

    The systemd team want to take over the startup world (and just about everything else including the kitchen sink) with their project, but they are not responsive to the development community, nor to the user community. They have been cavalier in their approach to bug reports, and frankly if anyone is not playing well in the sandbox it is the systemd team.

    The reason I call Leonnart a whiner is that he is complaining about a 'norm' in expectation | response from the rest of the development community (NO different than the normal expectation |response from the corporate world). It reminds me of my favorite line from the movie Ratatouille--- "You will keep your station clear and follow the recipe OR I WILL KILL YOU!" One cook to another...

    Harry Truman said it best, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!"

    (at least, I think he said that)

    SystemD was a big mistake. It started out as a good thing. But then feature creep and prima donna personalities and master egos got in the way... and now, well, its just not a good thing any longer.

    Leonnart Poettering is crying sour grapes. He's a big fat whiner, and not a very good designer | collaborator; at least his code is mostly not crap, but the rest is, and we don't like that. He just needs to come down a couple of notches, learn a little humility, and try to get along with the rest of the community. Frankly the guy reminds me a little bit of Hans Reiser, except that Poettering hasn't killed anyone yet.

    1. CRConrad

      Never mind "whiner" -- who the F is "Leonnart"?!?

      "The reason I call Leonnart a whiner..."

      Yeah, yeah, whatever. What I'm wondering is, what's the reason you call Lennart "LeOnnart"?

  21. Christian Berger

    The problem is how people get judged in this society

    in the FOSS community people get judged by what they do, not where they come from or what race or gender they are.

    Poetterling may be a decent programmer, the Systemd code I've seen at least looks OK at a first glance, however he has no idea about software design... which you can see by Systemd having around 250k lines of code! (only counting C-Files, no headers)

    People still wouldn't mind him, if he was just trying to do his own thing and leave the rest of the people alone. However he is trying to shoehorn his "grand technology" into Linux distributions, by combining them with everything he can find. Then when people refuse to comply with his grand plan of the future he gets angry. This is a very non-free way of thinking about software. What made UNIX great is that you could just swap components. If you wanted different logging, just replace the logging daemon. If you wanted a different init just do so.

    I'm not surprised people get angry at him. Maybe he should just leave the FOSS community and go to Microsoft or Google or something.

  22. blainestereo

    Lennart sure is a hard guy to like. Sure you can dismiss bugs in his projects as a price of progress. Sure you can discount the downright bad design, the way he snubs peoples' criticism on mailing lists and his poorly written kernel patches designed to alleviate flaws in his own code as parts of his greater vision of Linux on the desktop. You probably shouldn't, but you can. this, though:

    > I perfectly fit in that pattern, and the rubbish they pour over me is awful. I can only imagine that it is much worse for members of minorities, or people from different cultural backgrounds

    This is just inexcusable. No, Lennart, because members of minorities didn't make systemd. You colossal wanker,

  23. Herby

    As the saying goes...

    If you don't like an open source program, feel free to make your own.

    From the looks of it, some people have and those that complain gripe about it. So, if you don't like systemd, or pulseaudio, feel free to make up your own substitute.

    Life goes on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As the saying goes...

      >feel free to make up your own substitute.

      Which would be fine if certain people didn't work for Redhat and didn't have a thing for taking over vital parts of the Linux base userland to steam roll into systemd. The problem is now that it's almost impossible to have an x86 Linux system without parts of systemd.


      Re: As the saying goes...

      You're confused.

      You've got things backwards.

      It's his "substitute" that we are rejecting. We are not seeking something different or "better". He's trying to force his sh*t on us without our consent.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a few patches in Linux

    My patches went in fine after reviewing them with the people responsible.

    I have talked to Linus via the LKML on a problem that the maintainers for a platform I was using didn't want to acknowledge/fix. I explained the problem and said I had no idea what was the right fix but that it wasn't being acknowledged even though it was breaking a whole set of systems. I didn't get a "rude" response for being a noob or anything like that.

    I find it amusing that someone that is known for being a complete ass hole has balls to accuse Linus of being a exactly what he is. I especially love the social justice warrior white shaming.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: I have a few patches in Linux

      "I didn't get a "rude" response for being a noob or anything like that."

      You know why? It's because you're helpful and you want to learn/contribute. The hostility tends to come from someone just wanting the answer, not wanting to know why. No one in their right mind would ever tell someone to f**k off if the person wanted to know how something worked or wanted to help fix something.

  25. channel extended

    Add to the list.

    I am running Jessie/testing and have another bunch to add to systemd and network manager. That is gnome, their latest work has turned to crap. Some of their programs can't even update themselves correctly Such as five-in-a-row and iagno.Gdm3 has turned off the boot reporting by default and can't manage to do a shutdown cleanly. I can work around it but it is irritating that I have to

  26. Benjol

    "I'd like to be a nice person and curse less and encourage people to grow rather than telling them they are idiots," Torvalds said during an online chat with Finland's Aalto University in April. "I'm sorry – I tried, it's just not in me."".

    I hope for his kids' sake that he tried a bit harder with them...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the tone is wrong the content is lost

    In normal society or in day to day business, the use of degrading insults or poor language means that the reader will be drawn away from the content of what is being said so the message is lost.

    I think what happens in the coding community is that they only care about the content because that's what coders do. They rate the people they deal with based on the quality and function of the code, because good code is elegant and works and bad code does not.

    However. Coders would do well to recognise that they operate in the real world too. It's ok to tell someone their code is poor. You don't have to tag on the words "you twat" to make your point however cathartic it makes you feel.

    1. DropBear

      Re: If the tone is wrong the content is lost

      "Real life" is already too much about obligatory ass-kissing as it is. I certainly want less, not more of that in volunteer-collaborative software development. People needing their fluffy feelings protected are kindly asked to go do something else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If the tone is wrong the content is lost

        To all the down voters - you get what you deserve.....

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Alister

    "A fish rots from the head down," Poettering said

    Umm, no it doesn't, it rots from the gut...

    Just sayin'

    1. CRConrad

      Re: "rots from the gut"

      While you might be correct in a technical sense, that's not how the saying goes.

      (Off-the-cuff hypothesis: How about from the gills? Seems like a structure most exposed to the elements, so airborne/waterborne bugs could set in there. Very close to the head, so it might seem that's where it starts from.)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Olivetti and Time Travel

    Many years ago, I had an Olivetti laptop which I liked to potch about with. I tried Linux and it was Ok, then I tried Windows which was I used for a while but then I decided to get back to Linux. However, for the life of me, I couldn't get the blasted sound card to work. I was certain I'd managed to get the sound card to work before, so I went on the interwebs to find out how to do it.

    After much searching (I think I used AltaVista back then), I found perfect instructions for my model laptop. Exactly what I wanted. I worked down the page and before I could say Dr. Sbaitso, it was working.

    I decided to thank the person who wrote the document and scrolled right to the end for their email address.... I found it and it was none other than..... me!

    I still can't remember writing that doc and I sometimes wonder if a future me is yet to go into the past and write it for me.

    I don't use Linux now for a number of reasons. The hostile community isn't the dealbreaker for me, but it is a factor.

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: Olivetti and Time Travel

      I found it and it was none other than..... me!

      Yes, things like that happen to me.

      But more like: "Who the fuck checked this code in? such an obvious bug, I'm surprised it ever worked... oh"

      1. Alistair

        Re: Olivetti and Time Travel


        "Who the hell decided that we need to do....."

        "oh...... crap."

        But being willing to stand up and ADMIT that you screwed up in the past (or even right this moment) is *FAR* more important than putting a lead shield around your ego.

    2. Jim 59

      Re: Olivetti and Time Travel

      Fair enough. This story is not about an expert raging at a noob but two experts raging at each other. I don't know if there is any justification but many 'tards appear to think that there is, with the systemd man's contributions being more of a nuisance than a help seemingly. True he does it for free, but if you are just interfering in an unwelcome way, that fact that you are doing it for free is by-the-by.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Olivetti and Time Travel

        "True he does it for free"

        No, unless something has changed recently, he's paid by Red Hat.

        1. Vic

          Re: Olivetti and Time Travel

          No, unless something has changed recently, he's paid by Red Hat.

          I don't think he's ever been on Red Hat's payroll.

          He made a load of money by selling the RH shares he was given.


          1. Havin_it

            @Vic Re: Olivetti and Time Travel

            Aren't you talking about Linus there? OP was referring to Poettering.

            1. Vic

              Re: @Vic Olivetti and Time Travel

              OP was referring to Poettering

              My aplogies - I got the wrong end of the stick.


    3. Steven Raith

      Re: Olivetti and Time Travel @_RCH_

      "I don't use Linux now for a number of reasons"

      Too much danger of meeting yourself and dividing by zero?

      Steven R

  31. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    In other news

    It was announced that the earth revolves around the sun.

    Peer review can get nasty (it did in Newton's time). Just as some people need to develop thicker skins, others can also learn to be slightly less of dick.

  32. naive

    Real men doing dangerous work

    Easy to complain about the attitude of these men doing linux kernel. It is difficult work in an unforgiving and highly complex environment, where every mistake can have subtle and far reaching consequences. Kernel code runs unprotected in memory, if it crashes the system crashes, and even small addressing errors can introduce hard to find problems in seemingly unrelated components.

    People doing work in such environments indeed tend to develop such attitudes to protect themselves against strangers outside the group, because mistakes of others can create serious trouble for them too. Implicating that they would select people on descent is sickening, that man complaining about Linus should perhaps do something useful for Linux instead of complain about its creator.

    In the end the world got stable Linux for free on several processor architectures, compare this to the Intel only offer for $100,- and more per machine, from Redmond, although key loggers from Redmond are a big advantage over Linux which does not have this as a default part of its installation.

    So just say thank you, and respect these people. Read the link below for more background information, it gives the idea.

  33. Robinson

    Reverse racism

    How often recently (over the last few years) have I heard or read the following, "Western, straight, white, male" written or spoken in a derogatory manner. Can you imagine if I'd written something similar about gays or black men? How long would it be before I had a visit from the fuzz?

    Western civilisation (created by Western white males) is slowly disappearing up its own behind and people like Lennart Poettering are the reason why.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Reverse racism

      Conversely, what response do you think you'd get if you complained about the "lack" of white people in hip-hop and blamed it on black people creating a hostile culture?

      1. Linux? Crap more like.

        Re: Reverse racism

        Fair point but let's be honest - hip-hop couldn't get any worse. Best thing would be to let the Koreans have a crack at it.

        1. CRConrad

          Re: Korean hip-hop

          Isn't that that "Gangnam Style" thingamabob?

  34. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    As an 'ordinary' user, systemD creeping into debian (virtually unannounced) has caused me major problems when trying to keep machines up-to-date and secure, such that on two of them I've had to go back and do a complete re-install of squeeze. I don't really want to move to another distro - it's a whole new learing curve - but I'm teetering on the brink.

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Why a reinstall? I just switched back to sysvinit, no problem at all (I did have to remove a few things, mostly meta-packages with one "gadget" dependency coded against systemd, but no core thing).

      I too was disturbed by Debian's switch to systemd. That's only for the i86 version but i reckon it's the most used one. Dangerous to say the least.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        As only a moderately capable Linuxian, when things started breaking for no apparent reason, it was quicker and easer to go back than try and work out why apparently unrelated things were no longer working. More recently when I tried to uninstall the wretched thing on a different machine there was a laundry list of programs that would also be removed :(

  35. itzman

    There are definitely some a-holes in the community..

    I once fixed a whole chunk of code. Sent it off to the developer.

    "Oh that was all fixed years go - check out git latest' (iy was fixed only a few weeks ago)

    I replied that wasn't much use if it depended on me then reinstalling and upgrading every library it depended on.

    I think there is a deep disconnect between te people at the bleeding edge who are repsonsive for code fixes, and the people who are actually just trying to get the stock distro linux working.

    The answer has been the likes of Mint and ubuntu., where not especially bleeding edge people share fixes and workarounds.

    Therefore my point is this: If you are a linux noob, dont report bugs to the developer community. You will be asked to do things quite beyond your capabilities to check whether its a bug or not.

    Go to the distro forums, where if you are lucky, someone has a fix in, and if not, it can go to someone a bit more senior to be reported.

    Unless you have paid a support contract, remember no one is being paid to answer your questions.

    Finally, if you had a bad experience 2+ years ago, try again. Mint in particular has spent a huge amount of time not in just getting the code to work, but in making sure installation works and there is little if any need to touch the command line, at least until a basics system is up and running.

    And remember, Linus and this dude are having a private battle over something that, hopefully by the time you ever use it, will be sufficiently hammered into shape that you will never notice its there.

  36. wolfetone Silver badge

    If he doesn't like it he can f**k off back to Windows.

    I remember the argument between the two, and I sided with Torvalds because he was right. Systemd is shoddy, and the dev here wrote shoddy code. You can't be complaining of being spoke to like he was if you, repeatedly, wrote crap code. If he was in a paid environment he'd have been sacked long ago - not at Microsoft though.

    The man is obviously a hippie, and I don't think many people involved in Linux will be too bothered about him going.

    1. Jim 59


      "The man is obviously a hippie..."

      Lol. Who do you think wrote unix ?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: @wolfton

        "Lol. Who do you think wrote unix ?"

        I don't care, because LINUX isn't UNIX.

        1. CRConrad

          Wow, nice backronym!

          Only, you slightly misspelled "Linux Is Not UniX".

          (OK -- maybe this is old, but if I ever knew it, I must have forgotten.)

  37. t.est

    Obvious answer to this is, get a mac

    There are plenty of friendly forums for new mac users. I participate in a few of them, and I'm not directly a newbee, been with macs sins late 80's.

    If you have a problem with a mac, you will find people with the exact same problem, and among them you'll find those who have found a solution.

    This is not present with the rest of the PC users, as each user has a unique setup regarding both hardware and software. Many mac users have the exact same hardware as you do, and quite often the same software.

    So people get a mac, and instead of systemd you get the original launchd that has been present since Mac OS X 10.4, you know the thing that inspired systemd. And yes launchd is opensource, just some linux heads that didn't trust Apple on it that had to go and reinvent the wheel.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Obvious answer to this is, get a mac

      Can you give the Linux community up to £1,000 per user in order for us to do that?


      Re: Obvious answer to this is, get a mac

      > If you have a problem with a mac, you will find people with the exact same problem, and among them you'll find those who have found a solution.

      ...unless you manage to use computers in a remotely interesting or creative fashion. Then the wagons start to circle and you get berated and accused of being a pirate.

  38. davcefai


    I can only state this from a personal viewpoint. Systemd appeared out of nowhere and suddenly I felt I was thrown back 20 years. My systems are more difficult to maintain and stability is not a fact of life. This guy has the cheek to complain about his treatment. Yes, he has reduced a large number of previously happy users to nervous wrecks!

  39. Reg T.

    Oh My!

    "The Linux community is dominated by western, white, straight, males in their 30s and 40s these days," Poettering wrote. "I perfectly fit in that pattern, and the rubbish they pour over me is awful. I can only imagine that it is much worse for members of minorities, or people from different cultural backgrounds, in particular ones where losing face is a major issue."

    "Linus is sooo mean." "He is just a brute." Flounces off.

    If Torvalds bothers him so much, and the Pulse Audio "terrorist" is so manly, let him rip off Torvald's stones and hand them to him.

    This RedHat manliest_of_men is laying the groundwork to remove Linus from the kernel - a definite goal of RedHat who have declared the desktop dead. And, the charge is "not_culturally_sensitive" and "talks_sooooo_mean".

    Redhat basically is the worst thing ever to happen to Linux. Think about it. RedHat finances this clown. Who is thus behind the sissy war on Linus?

    1. Linux? Crap more like.

      Re: Oh My!

      I think you'll find Novel's acquisition of SuSE and subsequent emergence SLED was the worst thing that ever happened to Linux.

  40. Linux? Crap more like.


    Let's hope ISIS don't run Linux or both these guys are in trouble.

    1. CRConrad

      Re: Beheadings

      "ISIS" feels like such a generic acronym, and there are (and have been) soooo many distros, I'd actually be more surprised to learn "ISIS" *hasn't* been used as a distro name than to learn that it has.

  41. Mukti

    SystemD sucks, not the other way around.

    I would much rather use OpenRC or UpStart

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      or the good old sysV, which still does the job...

  42. sawatts

    OSS survive on its Community

    Any large OSS project relies on the goodwill of its community, which in turn needs to attract willing and capable people. If that community (expressed through its forums) represents a hostile environment, then it will dissuade the very people it needs to attract.

    Worse, lack of fresh blood can reduce such a community to an inward-looking clique, which inevitably loses touch with its target audience, and rapidly become irrelevant.

    I can reference the comparitive treatment of beginners by the Python and Perl forums in the late 90s, and the more recent unwanted direction of Gnome 3...

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Re: OSS survive on its Community

      > [...] and rapidly become irrelevant. I can reference the comparitive treatment of beginners by the Python and Perl forums in the late 90s

      Heh? Which of these do you reckon became irrelevant?

  43. Kurgan

    Stop destroyng Linux, Poettering

    Poettering should simply STOP trying to destroy the Linux ecosystem by imposing systemd, which is absolutely non-compliant with the UNIX philosophy.

  44. Bruce Ordway

    Environment hostility

    When inquiring about the arcane, I have received abuse rather than useful feedback... on occasion. Unfortunately even the software specialty forum I frequent has members who are guilty of bullying. When I see poor behavior I might try to intervene, if I have time and something useful to add (both of which are rare).

  45. Munchausen's proxy

    You know what?

    On the one hand, if I ever develop something that is so notable that Linus feels it necessary to call me a worthless fucking idiot who should have done it better, I would consider it the high point of my career.

    On the other hand, if it was pulseaudio, I would be embarrassed.

  46. Christopher E. Stith

    Maybe having no contact with the kernel team or other open source teams explains why systemd goes against so many time-earned tenets of the movement.

  47. i1ya

    I understand the poor guy but probably public whining is not a good idea

    There is really too much hate around systemd. And, as I see from upvotes above (and on other formus too) to criticise systemd and its developers is almost considered a good taste. But why? The guy(s) created something (probably, something new), gave it away for free, the systemd was adopted by distro maintainers - which are quite a smart people, I think, and no one forced them to make such decision! You dislike some technical decisions? As it always is with open source, why not to fork it? If there is dependent code, a compatibility layer can always be introduced. And, finally, there are other solutions - upstart for example. But why to continiously bash systemd and its' developers with such effort and energy? Why to create boycott petitions and write hate letters? What other wanna-be-contributors will think when seeing such awful response of a community to a successful (on scale of adoption) and modern (created in recent years) open-source project developed from the scratch to be used with Linux?

    As for me, none of init solution seems perfect. When I see a pile of bash scripts in Debian init, it looks more like a spaghetti code. If someone re-created such spaghetti in C, that's ok - at least I won't be able to break anything by an accidental edit. Helpers such as update-rc.d don't look beautiful and well-designed too. And really, "systemctl start Foo" vs "/etc/init.d/Foo start" is no big change to care about it either.

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

      Re: I understand the poor guy but probably public whining is not a good idea

      Creating a compatibility layer just to get software to work is a pain. There is a rapidly developing culture that ignores diversity of platforms and is segmenting operating systems into clearly defined niches.

      By all means create a pluggable startup system, but don't tie a desktop environment to it and specifically to Linux.

      It used to be that operating systems had some similarity. Now there's not even any consensus about how to configure network interfaces (ifconfig on BSD, ipconfig/netsh on Windows and fuck knows on Linux - depends on the distribution).

      Now there's systemd that's Linux only and increasingly foists dependencies on a load of software, Xen is practically Linux only even if in theory it works with a NetBSD and Solaris dom0, FreeBSD are creating their own hypervisor, OpenBSD their own mail server and web server.

      There are often reasonably good reasons for this, but it's still a colossal pain in the arse that skills are increasingly non transferable.

      Not to mention that Linux is increasingly deprecating swathes of hardware and deciding historical interfaces are troublesome because they inconveniently get in the way of new shinies..

    2. MiddleAgedGreyBeard

      Re: I understand the poor guy but probably public whining is not a good idea

      Did you actually bother to read anything about systemd and its hooks into other parts of the system? It's not like you can take RHEL 7, remove systemd and just choose another init system is it?

  48. Adam Inistrator

    the gentleman doth protest too much

    from the tone of his email it seems that he knows that he has lost the argument and now tries to savage the community to save his own face

  49. Hescominsoon

    systemd is just garbage. It's windows in Linux form. Systemd folks wonder why they aren't liked.....

  50. Adair Silver badge

    Linux is gradually being corporatised and obscured.

    The systemd fiasco is just the latest and most high profile indication of a trend. Big money has grasped the value of Linux as a workable alternative to the Windows hegemony, but they cannot allow all and sundry free range over its inner workings.

    Have you noticed how over the last four/five years Linux is gradually becoming harder to maintain as core software moves away from UNIX principles? Android is the model, where the only way to get access to the inner workings to to 'jail-break' the device. The word tells you all you need to know. Big money wants devices that are appliances, with a 'No user serviceable parts inside' sticker stuck on the back. Software must be one of those 'parts'.

    It's all about power and ownership. The good consumer of product is a powerless consumer. Nothing, or as little as possible, must be allowed to impede the steady flow of money from the consumer to the corporation, preferably by direct debit.

    Linux now has enough traction in the commercial world (albeit behind the scenes; as far as most people are concerned it is invisible), that big corporate players are now desperate to take control, to lock it down, and to monetise it according to their whims.

    No one need ever know they are using Linux when they pick up their shiny device, and they certainly can't be allowed to go poking around and taking over control. Systemd is merely a symptom of a process of take-over and control. There's no need to see a conspiracy, from the corporate point of view it makes perfect sense. Follow the money.

  51. Levente Szileszky

    Since systemd is quite controversial...

    ...he got a bucket of crap poured all over him time by time, I bet (FWIW I see the point behind systemd but the crap that comes with it defeats the pupose, I think and it should not be default in any distro.)

    "Poettering said Torvalds' confrontational and often foul-mouthed management style is "not an efficient way to run a community" and that it sets an example that is followed by other kernel developers, creating a hostile environment for newcomers."

    I'm fine with calling out LT for his foulmouthed posts etc but I failed to see the point about LT's mgmt style: he manages everything openly and it IS definitely a MUCH MORE EFFICIENT way than some kind of shady private dealings behind each others back, a practice that would emerge from any other mgmt style at this size.

    "The Linux community is dominated by western, white, straight, males in their 30s and 40s these days,"

    Yeah, sorry for us being white etc but it was developed and released by a Western, white, straight male, who is now in his 40s, just like many of us, his early users & backers, who kept pushing it so others took notice and started developing it. I could say it's part of the baggage, deal with it - but it's really a stupid, somewhat sinister point so I'd say just drop it altogether, you have zero argument here... no, it's not a closed (=racist) community and after laziness language and technical barriers are the two most common factors behind non-participation, not race, gender or sexual preference. Your point is just stupid, sorry.

    "I perfectly fit in that pattern, and the rubbish they pour over me is awful. I can only imagine that it is much worse for members of minorities, or people from different cultural backgrounds,"

    You're saying... what? You're white etc but you get all the crap due to your bad code so you assume minorities, 'people from different cultural background' make even worse contributions so they get even more crap...? That would quite a racist comment, don't you think...?

    "in particular ones where losing face is a major issue."

    Oh PLEAHSE, not THIS crap - this fake 'cultural sensitivity" BS is the lamest of all.

    It is a TECHNICAL community, first and foremost, WITH ITS OWN CULTURAL BACKGROUND too and aside of treating everybody with basic respect NOBODY SHOULD GIVE A FLYING *&^%$ about individual 'cultural sensitivities', absolutely not, hell no. Say it out loud if (s)he messed up something, if (s)he's wrong - and the person should grow the hell up and take it or be able to defend his/her point if (s)he thinks (s)he's still right.

    That's the only way to maintain a healthy conversation, PC BS should not be even considered, your suggestion otherwise is absolutely awful. What's next, if someone cracks a joke about something politically incorrect then he should be disciplined? Screw that - I want to see technical advancement, not nice chitchat about everybody's curry recipe, sorry. If you want that take it to forums that are in such business and start throwing your purses over there when someone does not like your recipes..

    "As a result of the behavior of Torvalds and a few other core kernel developers, he said, he hasn't posted to the Linux kernel mailing list "in years"

    So somehow, suddenly just now, you realized it was all awful back then? And just how relevant it is now? See, I'm perfectly fine staying on the reader side and can just skim over stupid posts - how come you, who knew it so well, cannot? Perhaps you're just missing the attention...?

    " – although he added that the systemd development community is "fantastic."

    Perhaps that has to do with the culture too, hmm...?

    "If you are a newcomer to Linux, either grow a really thick skin. Or run away, it's not a friendly place to be in," Poettering wrote by way of advice. "It is sad that it is that way, but it certainly is." ®

    No, it's not sad - it is simply just what it is. And yes, in part THAT'S WHY IT IS WHAT IT IS TODAY, that's how it grows.

  52. CRConrad

    What's to say they can't BOTH be right?

    Memory fails me as to the specifics, but I have the feeling I've seen articles on the 'Net years ago about how a) SystemD is a cancer trying to take over Linux, and b) Linus bawling out Lennart on that account and being proven, mainly, correct.

    OTOH, I also definitely recall lots of different isnstances of Linus being unnecessarily confrontational and calling people names where it's been pointed out that he could have made his point much more professionally, without the insults.

    One being right doesn't necessarily prove the other wrong -- AFAICS, they are *both* in some sense right: Linus is right that Poettering is an asshole for writing evil software that perverts open-source Linux, and doing it badly to boot; for WHAT he does. And Poettering is correct that Linus is an asshole for bawling people out and calling them names when a more civilised style would be more productive; for HOW he does what he does.

    1. Chika

      Re: What's to say they can't BOTH be right?

      To put it bluntly, Poettering needs to be sure of his ground first before he criticises either LT or the community in general.

      Having been on the end of a sizeable amount of work to resolve problems with more than one piece of software broken by the imposition and obfuscation of systemd (not to mention other problems with other Poettering outpourings), I've been less offended by the foul mouth of LT and others. As things continue, Linux is slowly turning into systemd rather than systemd is providing a service to Linux.

      Of course Poettering can only shoulder so much of the blame - the various distros that use his work made a decision to do that. The people behind these distros are as much to blame here.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are Both Wrong

      Open Source is a joke, but it is the best we have. It is another example of politically correct terminology and should be renamed, it is definitely not Open. Those on the inside spend all their time obfuscating to prevent outsiders seeing what is really going on. It is al just a virility show for the "cleverest coders". to exhibit. RTFM was invented to confuse because the Effing M is always out of date and missing the details that newbies need.

      The Linux gang is total anarchy - nothing is completed, if there are pet projects they get reinvented over and over just for the hell of it and the real meat and bug fixing, or even just usability are ignored. Someone needs to take a massive axe and remove the duplication. We don't need a thousand different flavours of Linux. All that effort could be managed to produce something great.

      I know I will be destroyed for saying this, but people are scared to criticise Open Source because it is "free".

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