* Posts by coredump

41 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Dec 2013

NetBSD 10 proves old tech can still kick apps and take names three decades later


Re: 32 bit support for x86 and they mean it

32 bit is my use-case for NetBSD at the moment, on a little ITX with a VIA C7 CPU.

I used to have a pair of those running pfSense, but 32-bit support went by the wayside there a while ago, and I never got rid of the hardware. Since then they've been mostly FreeBSD but now that 32-bit support is finally going away circa 15.0, and Debian is making similar noises, it was time to find something else.

So I revisited NetBSD. Previously I'd run it on SPARC, DEC, SGI, and even PPC Mac for a little while, but rarely on PC hardware. Imagine my pleasure (but not surprise) that most things still just worked as I remembered, and as this review illustrates, more things are even better. I returned to NetBSD with 9.3 and now 10.0 and look forward to continuing.

Hello NetBSD, it is very good to see you again.

Tough luck, bosses, AI is coming for your job, too


Re: Who needs AI?

I was thinking cronjob and a shell script with a non terminal while loop echo'ing "Is it done yet?"

Venturing beyond the default OS on Raspberry Pi 5


Re: arm64 versions of OpenBSD (and likely FreeBSD) should work too

I tend to agree: the BSD installers aren't as "pretty" as the Linux full-blown GUI installers (though comparable to Debian's regular installer IME), but to me they're pretty simple to use. Fairly single-tracked, you can back up a bit if you change your mind, the choices aren't overwhelming (ymmv), and if you're familiar at all with installing computers you can probably accept the defaults and end up with a bootable system.

However, I suspect for some people the perceived difficulty in installing a BSD isn't interacting with the installer itself; rather it's how (or what?) to configure the BSD after it's installed.

Now yes, I expect some folks find parts of the installer daunting, my guess is disk partitioning is the likely usual culprit for folks who don't do it often, or ever.

But after the bits are on the sysdisk, I imagine the experimenting distro-hopper might look at a typical BSD and just think "now what?"

A big chunk of that is probably because "there's nothing to click". And thus the perception that BSD is for servers and people who are comfortable with (even prefer) the commandline.

So my advice to people considering a new OS is give some thought to what you want to do with it before you even download the installation media.


Re: arm64 versions of OpenBSD (and likely FreeBSD) should work too

IME FreeBSD support is pretty solid on rpi4, but whether you decide to try it depends largely on what you want to use it for.

E.g. I ran FreeBSD 13 on my rpi4 as a small server: DNS, SMTP, NTP, and that was about it. Because my out-of-band management uses serial consoles, I also installed a Serial HAT and it worked well enough for most things. There's an annoying problem with stray chars sometimes popping up during reboot (possibly a u-boot problem), which the FreeBSD loader interprets as an interrupt and waits for you to tell it to carry on. But aside from that, for actual serial console troubleshooting and maintenance activities, it was fine.

OTOH if you're looking to play with fun projects, e.g. hosting a camera or acting as the remote control brains in some LEGO kit you've built or something, Linux may still be a better option for rpi. Especially if wireless is part of your plan: afaik the rpi4 wireless is not supported yet.


I played with MX a little after your review a while back (cheers for that!), and liked it well enough. This was on a desktop system in the lab, so a nice big monitor and keyboard. Thing is, MX is almost *too* pretty. :-)

I think it would've grown on me more if I'd used it longer, but I'm already using (or migrations underway to) Debian servers and Debian+XFCE for desktop/laptop; so while I enjoyed the MX experiment, there's also something to be said for a little consistency in the environment.

That said, I wonder: how does MX get on as a server? I expect it's fine, being in the Debian tree.

I have to admit, the lack of systemD is attractive, perhaps moreso than the pretty parts of the MX desktop. I've made my uncomfortable peace with systemD, which is to say I've learned to drive it well enough for my needs (essentially the 'chkconfig' -ish functions), and disabled the creeping features (timesyncd, resolved, etc.) wherever they don't suit me.

But I can't help the nagging feeling I'm pushing a rock up hill, merely delaying the inevitable squishing when systemD has some new module or unit which you can't turn off.

Seems like MX should stack up much like Debian as a server, but I haven't actually tried it. Perhaps it's worth an investigation after a few more server migrations. If MX is enough of a "drop-in replacement" for Debian server, that's another plus for it.

GNOME 46 beta has more tweaks than a coffee shop


Re: I keep on hoping that GNOME will switch

> Default desktop on Debian? GNOME.

Well, yes; but Debian makes it pretty easy at installation time to pick something else. It's not necessary to select GNOME at all and e.g. install XFCE instead. But yes: you *do* have to (un-)click a couple boxes to make this choice vs. the default, so I do take your point.

IME Debian makes it easier to choose something else at install time than the Red Hat family anaconda installers did, which is one of the reasons I prefer it these days.

I admittedly haven't done an interactive install on a Red Hat flavor since circa RHEL/CentOS 8, and they were non-graphical servers. The AlmaLinux laptop I dabbled with for a while was upgraded from CentOS 8 during the Stream mess, and I'd previously installed XFCE from EPEL so I never experienced GNOME there either. But I can't imagine Red Hat's defaults or installation has changed very much, even with RHEL 9 -- Red Hat is (and has been for some time) all in on GNOME, for better or worse. Again, your point.

GhostBSD makes FreeBSD a little less frightening for the Linux loyal


I've been running FreeBSD servers for years, but I think the last time I ran a graphical desktop on FreeBSD was probably back in 5.x or 6.x days, with Xorg and likely Fvwm at the time.

Recently I've been toying with the idea of of revisiting it, and my plan was FreeBSD 13.2 or 14.0 when it releases, with Xorg and XFCE since the latter has been on my Debian daily driver.

Now I may just try GhostBSD first, so cheers for the ideas, Liam!

Long-term support for Linux kernels is about to get a lot shorter


I read the comments the same way you did, though I went a little further: it seemed to me he was also at least implying (exercise for the reader, etc.) that the enterprise vendors are also duplicating effort and costing themselves some work cycles they wouldn't otherwise need to do if they followed the longterm kernels at least somewhat more closely.

Whether that was intended or not I dunno, but I could see how it might be. In some ways it might actually be more work to cherry pick and apply kernel patches, or at least more work to properly test and qa the results. I'm speculating of course, I have no idea how much time and effort is expended by the kernel devs or the enterprise kernel maintainers in those areas.

Google killing Basic HTML version of Gmail In January 2024


Re: POP3. IMAP ?

Replies go on the opposite leg, surely.

30 years on, Debian is at the heart of the world's most successful Linux distros


Re: POLL anyone?

I suspect you are not alone.

I further suspect that even Rocky Linux is still somewhat trying to figure it out, though they do seem to be making some moves, at least (Ciq, SUSE, et al partnership, or whatever you call it).

Personally, I converted a couple CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux, not so much because I have anything for/against either Alma or Rocky, it was simply that at the time Alma had a release out sooner, with a conversion script that was pretty easy (run this, reboot, enjoy), so I went that way. It might have just as easily been Rocky instead, had the timing been a little different. Either way, it "felt like RHEL (really, CentOS)", and that was the goal at the time.

Now that Alma has said they're not going to try to be a "clone" as a "compatible", the decision is potentially more interesting. If you simply _must_ have a clone or the bone fide thing, you essentially choose Rocky (for now) or go RHEL, possibly for money if necessary for your size and situation.

But if your situation is more like "our engineers are used to Red Hat and CentOS, but we don't care about 100% compat with Red Hat" then Alma is a realistic alternative. And it might come with less corporate shenanigans causing problems downstream, though that remains to be seen.

Of course, there are folks who decide to step away from Red Hat's family tree altogether. Debian and Ubuntu await.

Rocky Linux claims to have found 'path forward' from CentOS source purge


Re: What they've achieved

I get what you did there.

Red Hat strikes a crushing blow against RHEL downstreams


Re: I am surprised that IBM took this long

I don't think Red Hat has been "nice" for many many years. Perhaps not since RHEL came out and "Red Hat Linux" went away.

Why you might want an email client in the era of webmail


Re: Does it allow commune with monks on usenet?

I tried slrn, it was fine. Way way back when, I also tried tin. It was fine too.

Mostly I still use trn. Built from src myself, because it was a bit of a scavenger hunt to find it for CentOS.

Fortunately there seems to be a Debian maintainer for a trn4 package, so that'll be worth a try after next workstation refresh.

Ubuntu 23.04 welcomes three more flavors, but hamburger menus leave a bad taste


> things get taken out not because they're not useful, but because no one uses them because they don't know they're even there.

I suspect there's a lot of accuracy in that analysis.

I also think the cycle of evolve, devolve, remove, repeat is driving some people off. That is, when you've just got your infrastructure dialed in the way you want it, and the devs yank away some feature you rely on, or toss it aside and stop supporting it in the next release, it tends to diminish your enthusiasm for upgrading and using the thing.

Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster scuttles into public view


Re: "Pause" updates?

Echo this. I'm still mostly running Debian but my foray into MX Linux (after reading Liam's review write-up) was a good experience. It's a good combination of the better parts of Debian without the worst bits.

It's also very pretty. :-) Almost too much so.

Oh, Snap. openSUSE downloads increasing, and Leap 15.5 is coming soon


Re: The heck it does!

I suspect the point is that SUSE is an rpm-based distribution, that is, its packages come in the "rpm" format, rather than "deb" like Debian & Ubuntu.

Not that you need to run 'rpm' command itself -- though you can. zypper is a fine tool, I think of it as the SUSE counterpart to yum/dnf.

Microsoft promises it's made Teams less confusing and resource hungry


Re: Basic UX problems

Arrogant stupidity, sounds like. Though I'll allow it could also be stupid arrogance.

Linux Mint 21.2 and Cinnamon 5.8 desktop take shape


Re: Meh. It's still using systemd

Pre systemD, I might have written a simple executable automount map script, which checks for the home network (or other conditions as desired) and performs the mount, else exit.

Executable maps have been supported by autofs-style automounters for a long time; what's the systemD sort of hammer for this nail?

Most Londoners would quit before they give up working from home


Re: Never!

> A lot of wasted time travelling,


Debian dev to the rescue after proposal to remove Itanium from Linux kernel


Alpha > Itanium ?

> [Linus] opined that keeping IA64 alive isn't much more onerous than the effort to keep another long-dead architecture – DEC's Alpha

Granted, since he would probably know best; but if it came down to it, and I'm not saying it does, then I'd rather see Alpha support than Itanium. It's probably difficult to take headcount, but I wouldn't be that surprised to find the DEC Alpha population still ticking along out in the world outnumbers the Itaniums, for that matter.

In any case, cheers to Glaubitz for volunteering to pitch in -- well done!

Make Linux safer… or die trying



Hah, SMIT / smitty on AIX brings back ... memories. IIRC I used some F? key with smitty for a bit to figure out what it was really doing behind the scenes, and script it elsewhere. That was a nice feature, at least. But I mostly had a meh-hate relationship overall with AIX.

Didn't love HP-UX either, SAM didn't help.

helloSystem 0.8: A friendly, all-graphical FreeBSD


Re: "Not quite BSD command line"

FreeBSD's default root shell is still /bin/csh . But that csh is actually tcsh fwiw.

FreeBSD also ships with /bin/sh by default, Bourne shell functionally.

After that you can install nearly any shell you want from Ports or pkg. I've used Bash on FreeBSD for years, but all the usual suspects are there too. Zsh, ksh (multiple variants), rc, etc.


Re: Don't get this MAC is simple thing

I think this rings true. It has been suggested to me that I would like Macs because I use and like FreeBSD, and MacOS "has FreeBSD underneath".

Whether that description is apt or not, I found my initial experience with a Macbook (Air, I think?) to be an exercise in frustration. I admittedly went into it with the wrong expectations: i.e. a FreeBSD system with a slick GUI desktop. IME it is not that. In fact, I was hard pressed to find the FreeBSD "underneath", and honestly I'm not sure what you'd do with it even then.

My Unix/Linux desktop/laptop usage for years now has primarily been Xfce, as a vehicle for several virtual desktops to switch between tasks or projects, and a bunch of xterm-alikes for ssh'ing around to other systems, email, patching, logs, whatever. It's somewhat the modern day equivalent of a bunch of VT100 that I focus on for different activities. I practically never click on icons, or drag things into other things or leave them on the desktop. I type. Mouse is mostly for context-changing focus and cut-paste.

So, I expect if you want a FreeBSD (or Linux) with a nice GUI desktop of your choosing, you'd best be prepared to install it, perhaps manually yourself.

And if you want to use MacOS (or Windows) for whatever reason, if you're coming from a Linux or BSD world with the cli as priority, be prepared to change the way you work, and how you think about maneuvering around the desktop. Odds are your MacOS won't feel like FreeBSD to you, any more than Windows would feel like Linux, modulo applications like Cygwin or MobaXterm or Putty to give you some Linux functions.

That doesn't mean one is bad or the other is inherently superior and so on; merely that they're different things with different audiences. I imagine if I give MacOS another go and really stick with it for long enough, I would get used to it and even like it. But I'll still be looking for how to open xterms so I can type....

Fresh version of Xfce, the oldest Linux desktop of them all, revealed in Xubuntu builds


MX Linux is certainly worth a try. If you like Debian-flavored stuff it will feel comfortable.

Also check out Liam's review of same for a good overview.

Cisco warns it won't fix critical flaw in small business routers despite known exploit


Re: Did I read that right?

You maybe wouldn't mind so much about the gear outliving the software support if the hardware could run OpenWRT / DD-WRT or similar, but how many SMB are really up for that sort of migration?


I had the same thought. You'd *hope* there's somebody familiar with at least the idea of patching, but putting that into practice at a SMB sans IT person (let alone "staff") is probably a longshot as often as not.

Plus, unless Cisco et al are proactive about notifying customers of the peril, let alone the workaround / mitigation port-blocking or similar actions, what're the odds said SMB even knows they have a potentially affected device. Probably slim.

Reality is kinda grim sometimes, eh?

Corporate execs: Get back, get back, to the office where you once belonged


Re: "Hybrid"

This is rather well-said. There have been many debates (arguments, sometimes) about what amount/ratio of onsite vs. wfh constitutes "hybrid", and they often turn contentious because there really is no One True Answer. At least, no one-size-fits-all.

Choice + flexibility + cooperation seems like a good answer.

What did Unix fans learn from the end of Unix workstations?


Re: Dissenting opinion: Nostalgia is a drug, kids...

"people don't use old Unix systems in order to be impressed by their performance compared with modern kit."

True. They use them for running NetBSD. :-)

CERN, Fermilab particle boffins bet on AlmaLinux for big science


Re: Been using it for almost a year.

Echo this. I had a CentOS 8 laptop for mobile duty, and after Red Hat changed CentOS to Stream I wasn't sure about next steps and upgrades.

Rocky & AlmaLinux announcements happened, so I watched and waited a bit; Alma released first, to pretty good reviews, so I decided to give it a try -- I was already considering a reinstall to Debian so it was a low stakes move.

Downloaded the Alma almalinux-deploy.sh script and let it go, came back later and after a reboot it was AlmaLinux. Updates as usual ever since, now at 8.7, no reason to think I can't continue like this for a while if I want to.

In short, if you want an RPM-based Linux and you're used to CentOS, AlmaLinux should be a pretty easy transition for you.

Not sure if I'll stick with it to version 9, seems like Red Hat are making fundamental changes again and I haven't really investigated yet; but at least AlmaLinux brought me some time to continue running like I had been, while I decide if there's a compelling reason to move forward with Red Hat's new paradigms or return to the known comfort of Debian.

Equinix to cut costs by cranking up the heat in its datacenters


Re: We make a rod for our own backs...

It was indeed. I miss the 90's era "Unix wars". The immediate aftermath saw the messy downfall of essentially all of them, and while we have Linux to inherit their place, it's not the same.


Re: We make a rod for our own backs...

Rackable bought SGI (rather than the other way around) and rebranded themselves "SGI" afterwards.

And by the time they were acquired again, it was "HPE" doing it, rather than "HP" (post-split of that company).


Intel's top-spec Raptor Canyon NUC can double as a 700+W space heater


Quite -- that NUC5i5 family were a sweet spot for the NUC products.

Nice desktops, sure, but depending on exact model, you could put 2 storage buckets (e.g. 2.5" and m.2) inside, 2 DIMMs for 16GB max, often a wireless option, and some had a cutout for rs232 DB9 port if you wanted a serial console for your little Linux or FreeBSD server.

You can still occasionally find NUC5i5MYHE used for around $150 or less. They're getting a bit long in tooth -- most units you see are circa 2015 or so -- but still useful little things. Not sure what the equivalent follow-on from Intel would be at this point, but it's a fair bet they aren't < $200.

Nitrux 2.5: The latest update to a radical Linux


Re: Great articles

Likewise. Cheers to Liam for putting in the time and effort to dig in a bit to OSes that I might never have heard of, let alone tried.

I don't always agree with the analysis or conclusions, and I won't try them all as Liam has done, but I've definitely found the write-ups interesting and informative, and went on to look into a couple releases (e.g. MX) after Liam's review.

Not sure if MX will become a daily driver for me vs. today's typical Debian, but it's good knowing it's out there as a viable option. Likely that wouldn't have happened for me without Liam's write-up.

Well done!

Why I love my Chromebook: Reason 1, it's a Linux desktop


Re: Or, you know, you are wrangling Linux servers/clusters/doing network stuff all day

> There are often advantages to working in the native OS of the platform you are wrangling.

Very much so. And unfortunately it can be a hard thing to explain to other folks who aren't used to doing it that way. Either direction, really.

I respect the people who've learned to be productive with Putty or MobaXterm or similar, wrangling a linux fleet from a windows desktop. I could get things done that way, but never got really comfortable with it.

The GNOME Project is closing all its mailing lists


Quite. I still have 'trn' installed, and still use it occasionally to browse a few (nearly all technical, and often unix/linux -related) newsgroups.

Thing is, most of those groups also have a corresponding email list (for now, anyway), and I do subscribe to some (and others) rather than read them via NNTP. Some of them are mail-news gatewayed, so you can read and follow the topic in whichever medium suits you -- very nice.

So the Usenet groups still serve a useful function for me: I can follow a bunch of topics I'm interested in, when I'm ready, in non-real time, without carrying around the full content and threads in my mailbox. That's convenient, and it's great that there are still public NNTP servers keeping Usenet alive.

FreeBSD comes to Amazon's lightweight hypervisor


Re: FreeBSD

Over the years I've used all 3 of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD for various duties, and found all to be clean and sensible.

And dare I say, enjoyable to use. I'll freely admit they may not be for the uninitiated, but if you grew up around the 90's era "Unix wars" you'll probably be comfortable enough with any of the BSD.

Added bonus that some of that same old Unix iron will run some of the BSD as well, if you've still got the gear knocking around the basement or garage.

In any case, cheers to Colin for sharing the results of his FreeBSD work!

Excel's comedy of errors needs a new script, not new scripting


Re: Brilliant article

Some managers I know would say "where's the slide deck for this?"


Re: From "Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors" by Matt Parker

> Can't they focus on fixing major frustrations with the product rather than adding new features?

How many other projects have we said the exact the same thing about? Most of them aren't spreadsheets.

VMware teases replacement for so-insecure-it-was-retired P2V migration tool


Well done. [icon]

Only curious: did you consider other opensource solutions at all, e.g. Proxmox or oVirt?

Take your pick: Linux on Windows 10 hardware, or Windows 10 on Linux hardware


Re: Year of the Linux desktop?

I miss IRIX.

Fedora 20 Heisenbug makes ARM chips 'a primary architecture'


Re: Heisenbug?

Not quite: NM is pretty broken pretty consistently.

Good one, though.