UNIX Diary - Psychology, Philosophy, and Licenses
Dear UNIX diary, today I installed NixOS on my laptop.

Having run Arch Linux for quite some time I couldn't shake the feeling of probable inconvenience; if any of my systems, for whatever reason, decided to kick the bucket it would take a long time setting everything up again. While I have my dotfiles in a repo my system-wide configurations are not backup up anywhere, and having a seperate repo for those, or even merging them with my current repo never felt like the right way. Keeping tabs on what programs I wanted installed was also a challange. While I kept a dedicated file for it in my dotfiles, I always forgot to update it.

So yeah, atomic updates, Nix-expressions for everything, etc. made NixOS too attractive. For `/home/*` I use home-manager. Stumbled upon a bug which I submitted last night and it got fixed today; I think I'll keep using it. The disto has turned my knowledge upside-down somewhat, though. I was trying to compile bookwyrm only for cmake to complain that it couldn't find curl. Compiling in a `nix-shell -p cmake`, however, fixed that issue; I'll dedicate a day to documentation, methinks. In any case, I look forward to when I can deploy it on my desktop later this year.

In other news, I flipped the spacebar on my HHKB upside-down; it truly is as good as they say.

PS: I want to thank neeasade again for his dotfiles, which nixos configs I've used as base for my installation.
(21-01-2018, 10:02 PM)Tmplt Wrote: So yeah, atomic updates, Nix-expressions for everything, etc. made NixOS too attractive.

I admit that I was tempted to give it a try because of these reasons, but NixOS has systemd and I did not want to share the negative experiences of other people. I wonder if the reliability is good enough though.
(22-01-2018, 08:14 AM)jkl Wrote: I wonder if the reliability is good enough though.
Thus far I've not have had to invoke systemd manually. It remains to be seen if I must do that when I deploy on my desktop, though. I'll be a happy man if everything systemd can be taken care of automagically in the background; it has been a bit of a nuisance on my Arch installation.

On the other hand bookwyrm now segfaults on NixOS when loading Python modules, but this is probably because something I've done wrong.
Dear Unix diary.

In a moment of what-the-fuck i decided to nuke my notebooks arch install to go on a distrohopping spree. I'm pretty sure it was a dumb idea, because i've not yet found anything that felt _right_.... I'll propably install arch again after a few weeks. Although i'm intrigued by Tmplts praise of nixos. Or should i give one of the bsd's a spin? damn.

Decisions, decisions...
Yes, you should give one of the BSDs a spin. :)
Dear UNIX diary,

as I do not want to talk about Linux all the time, it is time to get back to why we are all here.

So I confess that I made it - I installed a real UNIX on a server which is aimed to replace one of my BSD servers. (This is rather embarrassing after my previous post in this topic, I guess.) After struggling with FreeBSD's ethical mistakes and random port breakages for too long (I haven't been able to update sbcl for months, and having new incompatible features like port flavours added over night does not make me love it more than before), I had to make the decision:
  • The venerable OpenBSD? It would have been the easiest choice, but I want to run some databases on the new server and they were never OpenBSD's strong point. Also, the 6-month update cycle with no support for anything but running the full installer (with no ssh during most of the process) is annoying enough on one server, I did not want to double the time for it.
  • DragonFly BSD? Ha - I tried! But sbcl is one of the essential applications for me - and both pkg and DPorts failed to let me install it flawlessly. I could report that, but I honestly do not have enough urge to run DragonFly BSD by all means.
  • illumos (in its OmniOS flavour) - which, when equipped with Joyent's pkgsrc, works exactly as advertised for me.

So I'm one of those Solaris(ish) guys now. Wish me luck.
Dear UNIX diary,

it took me eight years with various incarnations of vi and Emacs to finally understand the awesomeness that is Acme.

I seriously consider switching to it on my non-Windows desktops. (Sadly, the only way to make it work on Windows is via emulation. The WSL seems to work as advertised, but the requirement of using /mnt/c/... disturbs my workflow.) Windows will remain to be my Emacs machine for the time being.

I feel ashamed for not having tried it earlier and having thought that mouse chords suck. They actually don't. Brave new world.
Dear UNIX diary,

Today I start using my very own mail server.

This project has been in my head for years now, and it's finally there: my own self-hosted mail infra!
I used to be a happy mailoo.org user (a FOSS email plaftorm 100% French, cocorico!), but recently they started announcing the end of their project. Due to their lives changing (wife, kids, work, whatever) they can't run the service anymore.
No worries, they pass it on to a company (after a poll alomgst all users, thanks guys for caring!), to keep the service alive. The only change there: it is a company. Ads, paid services, and no more FOSS to run the platform.

What a good time to move on!

I bought a new .pw domain, and installed postfix + dovecot on my server. After some doc reading and a bit of tinkering, I can now send and receive emails with SSL turned on! The main providers (google, hotmail, ...) don't flag me as spam, and IMAPS works like a charm!
I can even create mail-list with mlmmj(8) for when I need to organise events with multiple people (birthday, holidays, ...).

All the emails are, of course, backed up and encrypted (thanks to tarsnap(8)). All I need now is a good spam filter (most likely spamassassin) and I'll do the switch for my main account!

For now, I'm slowly moving ”receive only" services to this new box, like news maillist, or notifications.

It feels good to do things on your own!

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