Picking a new distribution - GNU/Linux

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stratex
Nixers
I want to migrate from Gentoo and thinking about my options. My main goal is to be portable, in a sense of my package manager, I want for "install x" to install x in any distribution/system I happen to find myself on. So it would mean a portable package manager. I don't really want to go all-in to BSD either, because I need lots of things from my system (nvidia drivers, virtualization, heavy browsing in chromium, occasional steam, openssl support etc.) I don't think that OpenBSD is suitable for heavy PC usage. So I'm thinking about this combo: T2 SDE+pkgsrc. What do you guys think? Did anyone had an experience with pkgsrc? Can it be used as the main package manager for heavy usage scenario (not only servers)?
jkl
Long time nixers
What’s wrong with Gentoo?
TheAnachron
Members
I'm using Void Linux because it's Arch Linux without systemd and with more stability.
stratex
Nixers
(11-05-2021, 02:26 AM)jkl Wrote: What’s wrong with Gentoo?
Core devs behaving like a bunch of entitled dickheads, they are not even supporting their own shit properly anymore (openrc, elogind etc). They are slowly changing the core principles of the distribution (choice), without forking it. It feels like they want to make systemd the default, to ease the maintenance burden, but it goes against the community, and they also don't want to lose their power and community by forking Gentoo.

(11-05-2021, 06:22 AM)TheAnachron Wrote: I'm using Void Linux because it's Arch Linux without systemd and with more stability.
Do you use glibc version?
I heard the core dev is back, is this true?
Are you hanging out in their IRC? Is it more active now than used to be?
How fast is xbpc comparing to pacman?

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I like Void in general, yet still, it is a particular distribution, let's say I won't like it in 3-5 years, and would want to migrate. I don't want to rewrite all my xbps-src ports like how I should now all my ebuilds.
_-_Specter_-_
Members
Maybe try Nix/NixOS? The Nix package manager works on most Linux distributions, so that seems portable enough. Nix also has quite a large package repository (over 80,000), so most packages you'll need will probably be in nixpkgs.
freem
Nixers
(11-05-2021, 11:28 AM)stratex Wrote: I like Void in general, yet still, it is a particular distribution, let's say I won't like it in 3-5 years, and would want to migrate. I don't want to rewrite all my xbps-src ports like how I should now all my ebuilds.

Void was created to test xbps on the field, originally. This package system was, IIRC, created to work on a BSD system, so I suppose you can still install it aside from the regular package manager of your distro.
As for my opinion, the package system in void is not really the thing I like the most in it (notably, it lacks "optional" dependencies, an equivalent of debian's recommeds or suggests, it also lack an interactive package manager, last but not least, the package DB is an xml file, so I kind of have serious doubts about the performances here, compared to e.g. binary databases or /var/lib/dpkg/status, which is close to mail headers, described in `man deb-control`).

What i really like is the fact they provide a musl port, and that this port have noticeable performance improvements over the glibc. Or at least, had.
Performance improvements like, requires less RAM, might be handy on VPS or old computers.
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
Best reason to use Void is to have a fully working musl-based distro in no times, and easy to use. However, last time I tried (probably monthes/a year ago now), a 100% musl distro was painful in some cases (eg. awful/inexistent javascript support in firefox).

As you said, the only viable package manager for portability is pkgsrc. And as it works basically everywhere, you can pick any distro. I'd recommend a stable one so your core doesn't change much (like debian or fedora), and "build" on top of that.

I used to do that myself (and still do it !). I wrote my own package manager (pm(1)) which I use as a complement of whatever is the "default" package manager on the distro I use (currently successfully tested on crux, openbsd, debian and ubuntu). It's not "portable" though, as it's tailored to my particular needs, but you can totally replace that with pkgsrc IMO.
jkl
Long time nixers
^ pm is 404 here.

(I wish musl was supported by more applications.)
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
404 ?? shows just fine to me. https://z3bra.org/pm or https://git.z3bra.org/pm (the website is a glorified version of the readme file).

I also wish musl had better support !
jkl
Long time nixers
It works now. When I clicked it, it went to /p.
freem
Nixers
(01-09-2021, 04:31 PM)z3bra Wrote: I also wish musl had better support !

Does it support locales, i18n and that kind of stuff now?
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
No idea, I didn't look it up in a while.
freem
Nixers
According to https://musl.libc.org/about.html not really: «Localization functionality, a related but different matter, is also presently limited but slated for major improvements». Could not find more details on that, but I'd say it's a rather good reason to having less support than GNU despite it's qualities.
petar
Members
Hello, how did you pick your current distribution? What were your criteria?
I'm using Ubuntu LTS, I've been using it for quite a while now. I find it comfortable because it's a "just works" distro. Sometimes my family members use my computer so that also makes it useful because the Gnome interface is very simple. I don't need snap, but it doesn't bother me, it might come in handy. I haven't noticed systemd cause me any issues (I use distributions with other init systems as well). I use my computer first and foremost for programming, and then for software design. I'm thinking of switching back to Debian, I used it for a while until about the end of 2019. I find Debian to be very similar to Ubuntu, but without all the funky stuff, much simpler, and also easier to avoid proprietary software.
What are your use cases? Do you perhaps even use a BSD, which one and why?

Thank you for your answers.
(This is a question for everyone, not just OP.)
jkl
Long time nixers
I stopped using Linux for FreeBSD and I have since stopped using FreeBSD in favor of OmniOS and OpenBSD. (Talking about servers, exclusively. My desktops are a mess.)

The two things which matter to me with servers are reliability and POLA; OpenBSD and OmniOS provide both. :)
pfr
Nixers
(11-05-2021, 06:22 AM)TheAnachron Wrote: I'm using Void Linux because it's Arch Linux without systemd and with more stability.
This statement is technically inaccurate and missleading. Void Linux is not (like, at all) "Arch Linux". It is not a fork of anything, it's an independent Linux Distrobution. This is stated clearly on their website's front page.

(11-05-2021, 11:28 AM)stratex Wrote: How fast is xbpc comparing to pacman?
xbps is quite fast, but I cannot compare it to pacman.


NetBSD & Void user here...

I'm probably biased but I love pkgsrc, it's excellent and its portable!. However, in stating that I only use it on it's native OS, NetBSD. But if you're not all in on BSD then I rate Void. I only recently moved accross from Pop!_OS to Void on my main (family friendly) machine. I have GlibC as I do not have the time set up a musl system or deal with the wife's complaints when things dont work. So far it works well and boots in seconds! Runit is amazingly fast. As for XBPS & xbps-src, I'm quite impressed. xbps-src is similar to pkgsrc in many ways and Void itself feels somewhat familiar coming from BSD.

What I find frustrating though is that Void keep their repositories minimal in the sence that they dont accept packages that replicate/duplicate the functions or services of already packaged software. Ie., if you really like using the Brave browser then you'll need to manually bootstrap it into xbps-src to build it. From memory the only electron based browsers available are Chromium and Opera. Of course there is also Firefox (and your more minimal browser like dillo, NetSurf, Falkon etc).

I've come accross a few tools so far that have been submitted to void-packages as pull requests but rejected by the Void devs for duplicating other pakages. It's a fairly simple process to manually bootsrtap and build these pakages provided the templates are up to date. I've even reached out to a few devs to request that they keep their master branch (fork of void-packages) up to date so I can continue to build new releases.

I also think Void's popularity has grown significantly in the past 12-18 months and this hopefully means more support and more packages.
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“Maybe you have some bird ideas... Maybe that's the best you can do.” - Terry A. Davis (R.I.P Terry & Percival)
movq
Long time nixers
What I want from a server system: Minimal default installation, stability, good upgrade paths.

Switched to OpenBSD for my servers a while back. I love it because it’s a no-nonsense system (i.e., sensible default configuration, no stuff enabled that you don’t need – except for sndiod, which is useless on a server), very stable (little surprises on upgrades) and I’m a fan of pledge and unveil. Granted, I only switched after syspatch and sysupgrade were introduced. Before that, uhm, no thanks. OpenSMTPD is a great MTA with a very simple config – all other MTAs that I tried (exim, postfix, courier, sendmail (lol) ages ago) are a total nightmare compared to OpenSMTPD.

What I want from a desktop system: Same as server, but I can tolerate more changes, hardware support is super important, virtualization as well, and I want to do audio stuff.

My desktops still run Arch, because I’m too lazy to migrate. I’ve been using it for a really long time now and, honestly, other than being a bit annoying with regards to systemd, it works really well for me. It still doesn’t install tons of useless stuff by default, it’s a relatively simple system, and I really like that they stick to their policy of “we’ll use the software as upstream provides it, no local patches” whenever possible. When I install nginx, then I want nginx – not some Debian-ized version of it. Building my own packages is incredibly easy. Lots of people keep ranting about rolling releases breaking their stuff, but that doesn’t happen for me. Granted: A lot of the software that I run is stuff that I wrote myself – this might be a very important factor. Anyway, if I were to start from scratch, I’d go for Void these days. Well, actually I’d give OpenBSD a try first on the desktop, but I have a feeling that it won’t work very well, because Linux just has a much superior hardware support (they simply have more manpower). And I like the flexibility that Linux offers in the filesystem area (more filesystem drivers, LVM, maybe btrfs or ZFS some day). And there is no Ardour and no guitarix on OpenBSD. Aaaaand QEMU+KVM is a blessing on Linux. So there’s probably always going to be a Linux box in my house, at least for the foreseeable future.



(17-11-2021, 10:30 PM)pfr Wrote: TheAnachron Wrote:
I'm using Void Linux because it's Arch Linux without systemd and with more stability.
This statement is technically inaccurate and missleading. Void Linux is not (like, at all) "Arch Linux". It is not a fork of anything, it's an independent Linux Distrobution. This is stated clearly on their website's front page.

I can’t speak for TheAnachron of course, but knowing that he’s also from Germany: He probably meant that Void feels a lot like Arch (once did). :-) In German, we’d probably say “Void ist Arch, nur ohne systemd und stabiler”, which doesn’t imply that it’s a fork, but that probably got lost in translation.