Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

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Papasot
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Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by Papasot » 4. May 2015, 00:07

Greetings Salix community.

As the title says, I am a refugee from the "systemd plague" - quite probably, not the first nor the last. I can't really stand the vanilla Slackware (reasons below), so I looked for a Slackware-based distro which does not differentiate much from Slackware, but addresses its main flaws. After trying a few disros on a spare laptop, I ended up with Salix, and it turns out it is exactly what I was looking for. Excellent distro, very good work, Salix developers! No wonder Salix is generally praised in the distro reviews.
Long story follows, with a few remarks and questions.

I switched to Linux back in 1999, and never turned back to Window$. After a short passage from RedHat (which I didn't like), and a longer one in Mandrake waters, I "settled" at Debian around 2002, mainly because of its excellent packaging management. I also tried Slackware in the meantime, and I liked it, but I also hated the total lack of any dependency checking. I just don't get it, despite the fact many Slackers actually praise it as a "feature".
I dislike bloated systems, so I prefer to start with a minimal installation, then add only the packages I really need. While it is perfectly possible to do that in Slackware, it is a real pain in the butt (I did it once and will never do it again). The other option is to install everything (Slackare installer even recommends to do so). But I refuse to do that; I don't see why the heck I have to install everything just to ensure dependencies for the packages I really need are met. It doesn't make any sense to install everything including, e.g., an Apache server, grub (while lilo is used), or Japanese/Mongol fonts - things I will never use. Yes, I can select all packages, then pick the "expert" option and deselect the packages I don't need. But that's also a pain, not to mention I can't know what every single package does, so in many cases I can't tell if I need it or not. For those reasons, although Slackware is a respectable distro, it never made it to my main computer. Luckily, Salix solves that issue. You guys call Salix a distro for "lazy Slackers", but I call it "common sense". :lol:
Quite some time ago, Debian decided to fall in the systemd trap. I dislike systemd for many reasons, including its monolithic nature (far from being just an init service), has binary logs (for god's sake, binary logs!), and it is extremely intrusive. The list goes on, not to mention I can't stand or trust its main developer (a quick look in his posts will suffice). Recently, Debian officially adopted systemd even in the "stable" version of the distro, making dodging systemd way harder than before. This was the end for my Debian days, after ~13 years using it. Slackware came in mind, and Salix was one of the distros I tried. It is also the one I settled.

Salix installation went very well, with a few surprises - most of them pleasant ones. I picked the "minimal graphical installation" - a pleasant surprise by itself, and a thing that should be in Slackware years ago. I picked that option as a first test, just to see what Salix will do. It turned out Salix wasn't joking: what I got was a really minimal installation, with a graphical (Xfce) environment that worked out-of-the-box (although I had to set my Radeon GPU in xorg, as the vesa driver is picked by default). Salix did exactly as I said - for the first time in my Linux years I didn't get a "bloated" installation despite what I asked, and there was no need to reinstall a minimal, non-graphical system, then install a window manager to avoid useless stuff installed by default. Of course, not everybody thinks of "minimal" as I do, so I had to uninstall a few things that Salix included in the "minimal graphical" installation (most notably gdm), and I also had to install a few others that I expected to be there already (e.g., xpdf).
I don't need a display manager so I got rid of gdm. Gslapt uninstalled gdm as I asked, but I expected it to set my default startlevel to 3, or to tell me that I have to do that manually. Instead of that, gslack went "the Slacky way", doing nothing. Nothing serious, as everyone who uninstalls all display managers is supposed to know what he is doing and should edit /etc/inittab after that. However, it might be frustrating for some people. I understand Salix is not "I can't configure Slackware" (what Ubuntu is for Debian). And I'm glad it's not that, but such small things could drive some people away from a great distro.

After installation, and being new to the distro, I installed the packages I wanted using gslapt (although in the Debian world I never used Synaptic in favor of aptitude). Gslapt did a very good job - at last, dependency maintenance for Slackers! I also used Sourcery (awesome name, by the way), which did what I expected it to do. I tried to install, e.g., "Worker" (my favorite file manager), and Sourcery found it but told me I need to install p7zip first; it waited for me to do that with glsapt, with a button to "try again" once p7zip is installed. After that, it downloaded, compiled, and installed Worker, which was ready to use (and present in the menus immediately).
All in all, a very smooth package management. It's not apt-get/aptitude, but it's quite close to that.

A few remarks concerning installation/use; note that all of them are far from being serious issues:
(1) xfs file system is the default filesystem in Salix (in contrast to Slackware or Slackel). Nothing wrong with that. However, if I pick the more common ext4 filesystem everything works, but I get two warnings during early booting: the kernel complains that ext2 and ext3 are not supported. Nothing serious by any means, just annoying. I guess Salix's kernel is tweaked or somehow the system really loves xfs? In any case, I reinstalled Salix picking xfs this time, and the warning messages are not there anymore.
(2) After installation, I tried to switch to the stripped, "generic" kernel for faster booting, but, to my surprise, the only kernel in the /boot directory is the "huge" one. This is quite different than Slackware. The generic kernel is marked in gslapt but it's not there. I guess it's not there for a reason, and since playing with the kernel is not a very wise thing, I decided to ask about that first.
(3) Salix doesn't want the user to login as root, and encourages going "the sudo way" (which is a good thing). However, i expected it to ask me for a root password anyway. The option to set the root password is present in the corresponding installation menu, but if you forget to set it, go figure what's the root password on your own system - quite frustrating.
(4) Traces of Slackware's "install them all you need them or not" philosophy are still there. For example, I installed cmake and, to my surprise, the corresponding package also installed the useless graphical front-end of cmake, which in turn installed qt libraries; I expected a "cmake-cli" and a "cmake-x" package, but they are all-in-one. Many packages are like that. I understand this is a Slackware-based distro though, and I don't expect Salix developers to repackage everything in a more convenient way.
(5) Some packages available via Sourcery won't compile, and it's not always easy to figure out what went wrong. For example, Maxima is in Salix's repos but it won't compile because of a rather poor makefile - it assumes the lisp compiler is in /usr/lib/sbcl, while it is actually in /usr/lib64/sbcl. A simple symlink or, even better, a small change in the makefile will make it work. Other packages, such as LyX, won't compile but it's not that easy to fix the problem. I just hope I will be able to contribute some fixes in that domain soon.

Well, that's all for now. This turns to be a long post - sorry for that.
Again, congratulations to the Salix developers, they really did a great job! I am not a "distro-hopper" and I guess I'll settle in Salix's waters for good... Unless Slackware 15 turns to be a systemd-infested distro, as many others did - in which case Salix would have to follow, I am afraid... Let's just hope that won't happen.
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laprjns
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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by laprjns » 4. May 2015, 10:22

Welcome to Salix. Sorry but I don't have much time this morning to try to address all your remarks, but a quick comment on your #5.
Papasot wrote:5) Some packages available via Sourcery won't compile, and it's not always easy to figure out what went wrong. For example,
Maxima is in Salix's repos but it won't compile because of a rather poor makefile - it assumes the lisp compiler is in /usr/lib/sbcl, while it is actually in /usr/lib64/sbcl. A simple symlink or, even better, a small change in the makefile will make it work. Other packages, such as LyX, won't compile but it's not that easy to fix the problem. I just hope I will be able to contribute some fixes in that domain soon.
Sourery is a tool to build packages from Slackbuilds.org using their slackbuild scripts and therefore Salix has no control over the scripts themselves. So the problem you had with maxima can only be fixed by Slackbuild.org. Also since all slackbuilds scrips assume a complete Slackware installation, once in a while you will come across a script that will fail due to a missing dependencies (usually a build time dependency). In this case Salix can and does fix this, by having a list of additional dependency is the Salix Salckbuild mirror repository. Here's some info on the Salix SBo repo.
http://salixos.blogspot.com/
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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by gapan » 5. May 2015, 10:32

Γεια σου Papasot και καλώς ήρθες!

Great introductory post by the way.
Papasot wrote:(although I had to set my Radeon GPU in xorg, as the vesa driver is picked by default)
Unless you are talking about installing a proprietary driver, I'm sure you are mistaken. Some people get confused because they see /etc/X11/xorg.conf-vesa. But that file is only there as a sample. It's not actually used unless it's renamed to xorg.conf.
Papasot wrote:Gslapt uninstalled gdm as I asked, but I expected it to set my default startlevel to 3, or to tell me that I have to do that manually. Instead of that, gslack went "the Slacky way", doing nothing. Nothing serious, as everyone who uninstalls all display managers is supposed to know what he is doing and should edit /etc/inittab after that. However, it might be frustrating for some people. I understand Salix is not "I can't configure Slackware" (what Ubuntu is for Debian). And I'm glad it's not that, but such small things could drive some people away from a great distro.
Something like this would take a lot of effort and a lot of changes in package management. Every single package that is a login manager should be indicated as such, somewhere, and then checks to see if any login manager is installed would have to be done every single time a package gets removed. It works somewhat like that in debian and it's the exact opposite of simple. And that's why it fails as soon as someone tries to manually install another login manager that is not a part of package management.
Papasot wrote:All in all, a very smooth package management. It's not apt-get/aptitude, but it's quite close to that.
In general everything you find in gslapt should install with no problems at all. If it doesn't, it's a bug. Sourcery is a different story though. We don't have any control over the SlackBuilds that are provided. So, expect some things to not work. If they don't work because of a missing dependency, we have control over that and we can fix it, but we cannot test everything as changes are introduced very often (usually there are about a hundred entries in the changelog per week). But if you report it, we can fix it. If something is broken in the SlackBuild itself, only its maintainer in slackbuilds.org can fix it.
Papasot wrote: (1) xfs file system is the default filesystem in Salix (in contrast to Slackware or Slackel). Nothing wrong with that. However, if I pick the more common ext4 filesystem everything works, but I get two warnings during early booting: the kernel complains that ext2 and ext3 are not supported. Nothing serious by any means, just annoying. I guess Salix's kernel is tweaked or somehow the system really loves xfs? In any case, I reinstalled Salix picking xfs this time, and the warning messages are not there anymore.
This is just because when an ext? filesystem is used, the kernel tries to mount it as an ext2 partition first. If it fails, it tries ext3 and if that fails too, it tries ext4. That's just the way it works. It's the default behavior in every vanilla kernel. If it's not like that in any other distribution, it's because they patch their kernels for that. You can change that behavior with a kernel boot parameter, I forget what it is. If you search the forums you will find it. But in my opinion xfs is a better choice than ext4, so...

Papasot wrote:(2) After installation, I tried to switch to the stripped, "generic" kernel for faster booting, but, to my surprise, the only kernel in the /boot directory is the "huge" one. This is quite different than Slackware. The generic kernel is marked in gslapt but it's not there. I guess it's not there for a reason, and since playing with the kernel is not a very wise thing, I decided to ask about that first.
The generic kernel is there. But it is locked, since you shouldn't install/upgrade kernels mindlessly. However, you can install it just fine with slapt-get from the command line (think of it something like "I know what I'm doing, install it now"). But you will need to create an initrd and edit lilo.conf accordingly. Tread carefully.
Papasot wrote:(3) Salix doesn't want the user to login as root, and encourages going "the sudo way" (which is a good thing). However, i expected it to ask me for a root password anyway. The option to set the root password is present in the corresponding installation menu, but if you forget to set it, go figure what's the root password on your own system - quite frustrating.
There is no root password by default in 14.1. It is disabled. There is no option to set the root password in the installer, you are mistaken in that part. If you really want the root user, there is a wiki page describing what you need to do to get the root user back.
Papasot wrote:(4) Traces of Slackware's "install them all you need them or not" philosophy are still there. For example, I installed cmake and, to my surprise, the corresponding package also installed the useless graphical front-end of cmake, which in turn installed qt libraries; I expected a "cmake-cli" and a "cmake-x" package, but they are all-in-one. Many packages are like that. I understand this is a Slackware-based distro though, and I don't expect Salix developers to repackage everything in a more convenient way.
We have a policy to not replace Slackware packages unless we really have to, which is almost never. The cmake package in particular, is a Slackware package, not a Salix package. The package includes a Qt GUI, so that's why it has a dependency on qt. If it wasn't a dependency, you would get a menu entry that would fail to start anything, which would be a bug. If you know what you're doing, then you can install cmake without qt, just use the --no-dep option with slapt-get. You could also remove qt after cmake installation with spkg or removepkg.
Papasot wrote:(5) Some packages available via Sourcery won't compile, and it's not always easy to figure out what went wrong. For example, Maxima is in Salix's repos but it won't compile because of a rather poor makefile - it assumes the lisp compiler is in /usr/lib/sbcl, while it is actually in /usr/lib64/sbcl. A simple symlink or, even better, a small change in the makefile will make it work. Other packages, such as LyX, won't compile but it's not that easy to fix the problem. I just hope I will be able to contribute some fixes in that domain soon.
These are probably different issues. It's usually not anything we can do in Salix. If it's a dependency issue, we can add it, but we need to know about it first. So, you can open a new thread for any of those, post the respective logs and we'll see what the problem is with each one.
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Papasot
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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by Papasot » 5. May 2015, 11:39

This is quite a few of useful information, gapan. Thank you, made some things clear. :)
And you are right, I was mistaken about the graphics driver. I also kept the xfs filesystem, and didn't change the kernel, although I know how to do such things. By the way the installer does have a menu where I can set the root password, although not asked to do so (I am talking about the ncurses/dialog-based installer, not installing via the live CD. If not set there, I guess the wiki article you mentioned is the way to go.
Qt libraries were actually needed to compile LyX from the repos, so I needed them anyway. I won't uninstall them, because a future SBo update might need them again to recompile a newer version of LyX and other Qt-based applications I might install - although I avoid Qt-based software as much as possible, to be honest.
By the way, how Sourcery/splapt-src treats package upgrades? Does it keep current compilation and only applies patches to the new version, or it recompiles everything from scratch? My guess is the second, as that is what SBo seems to do.

Sorry for all those questions, but after a really long time floating in Debian waters, it takes time to adapt myself to the "Slackware way" of doing things.
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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by gapan » 5. May 2015, 11:59

Papasot wrote:By the way the installer does have a menu where I can set the root password, although not asked to do so (I am talking about the ncurses/dialog-based installer, not installing via the live CD.
No. It doesn't. It asks for the user's password. Which for the first user is also the sudo password.
Papasot wrote:By the way, how Sourcery/splapt-src treats package upgrades? Does it keep current compilation and only applies patches to the new version, or it recompiles everything from scratch? My guess is the second, as that is what SBo seems to do.
It doesn't care about upgrades. "Upgrading" a SlackBuild is equivalent to recompiling and installing the new package.
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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by ChuangTzu » 20. May 2015, 00:18

Hello Everyone,

I have a similar story as "Papasot", with regards to the recent widespread adoption of systemd, causing me to leave Debian.

I was a long time user of Windows from the early 90's (DOS before that), been using GNU/Linux for a long time as well. I began my journey with Debian and also tried all of the *buntu variants (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu etc...). Spent a long time with Debian (Stable and Testing, never tried Sid), then for different reasons began a distro-hopping journey... In no particular order after Ubuntu and Debian...openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS, Trisquel, gNewSense, Parabola, Arch, Manjaro, Antergos, Puppy Linux (live cd use), antiX, Mageia, Mandriva...and I am sure that I am leaving out others... :)

I was quite dismayed that Debian caved into the systemd pressure, and became concerned about the ever increasing influence (control) that RedHat has over Debian. I thought for sure that Debian would offer users a choice between using systemd or keeping the old tried and true method or even switching to openRC, but no they caved instead...Devuan is promising but seems to have stalled, and I am not sure what traction they will have, also foresee lawsuits as the name is too similar to Debian, but that is another story.

Always wanted to try Slackware, loved Arch, the idea anyway, it was a little too bleeding edge for my liking, Gentoo seems like too much unnecessary work, liked some aspects of the BSD's, however, not the overall license, so systemd was a great excuse to expand my Linux training and move up to a new challenge.

So far the installation (Fluxbox, and added Xfce), was very smooth, gslapt-get is very familiar, sourcery is amazing, although I have been having fun building from slackbuilds with cli. :)

I think Salix/Slackware will be a nice fit for a long time, and I look forward to contributing and helping the project as well.
Last edited by ChuangTzu on 21. Aug 2017, 22:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by maroman » 24. May 2015, 17:25

I'm not systemd-refugee. I would rather say I'm looking for new options. simple I'm not sure if systemd direction is right or disaster (opinions are competely different).

so long as it is possible I will use the (old)stable Debian-based systems (point linux and watt os) but I've found salix (mate) very interesting alternative. I'm a bit surprised I have exactly the same functionaltity as with point linux (I was a bit afraid not all apps are in salix repository but I was wrong). at the moment I'm using salix as a production system on my desktop. it's nice salix apps management tools are similar to those of Debian.

firstly I installed salix on xfs partition. but to some extend it does not correspond (I do not know if it is right term) to systems on ext4 partitions. I've decieded to move to ext4 file system. secondly I've installed grub instead lilo (however it's a bit strange - I have config problems). thirdly my video player doesn't work. I've installed all codecs, I can listen to music but the screen is blank (white) when I'm trying to watch video - something went wrong with my inatallation or there is totem issue?. there is no problems with vlc and mplayer.

I hope I will be longer with SalixOS whether I am or I am not a refugee ;) it seems to be good system for me.

cheers
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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by GJones » 28. Jun 2015, 01:15

I actually was rather pleased with systemd, in terms of the whole idea of "integrating the Linux base system under one umbrella"... Implementation aside. And then today I fired up my Debian netbook, noticed it was very sluggish, looked at top, and saw systemd hogging one of the cores entirely.

Seriously, how does that even happen?! I don't think that is even possible with sysvinit.

(And there was nothing odd in journalctl, no error messages, no warnings, nothing at all. Almost like Windows, where services are DLLs loaded by svchost.exe and you can't see which one is pigging out...)

So yeah. I'm now having some serious second thoughts about the whole thing. The concept might be a good one, but the implementation seems... seriously lacking.

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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by ChuangTzu » 28. Jun 2015, 02:30

GJones,

You may find these links helpful with regards to systemd and what people are not discussing, inside the major distros anyway. The kernel dev's and longtime *nix dev's are really concerned.


Kernel dev.
https://plus.google.com/+StevenRostedt/ ... tGhnM4jVoP

http://judecnelson.blogspot.com/2014/09 ... d_fragment_=#!

look at all of the services systemd has gobbled up, and the list grows daily.
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/vie ... stemd.html

Linus has blocked all code from Pottering and Key (systemd dev's) as their coding is complete crap.
http://www.zdnet.com/article/linus-torv ... s-systemd/

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=n ... px=MTY1MzA

Potterings own blog, where he boldly says that systemd will eventually run the entire OS even upgrade your system automatically with zero input from the user or admin.
http://0pointer.net/blog/revisiting-how ... stems.html

Happy Reading!

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Re: Another systemd-refugee found a new home here.

Post by Luffy » 4. Nov 2017, 01:51

gapan wrote:This is just because when an ext? filesystem is used, the kernel tries to mount it as an ext2 partition first. If it fails, it tries ext3 and if that fails too, it tries ext4. That's just the way it works. It's the default behavior in every vanilla kernel. If it's not like that in any other distribution, it's because they patch their kernels for that. You can change that behavior with a kernel boot parameter, I forget what it is. If you search the forums you will find it. But in my opinion xfs is a better choice than ext4, so...
> uname -r
4.4.88-smp
> dmesg
EXT4-fs (sda1): couldn't mount as ext3 due to feature incompatibilities

If you want to get rid of it you can add rootfstype=ext4 to the append line of your /etc/lilo.conf (wiki: LILO bootloader - fix, configure and customize)
Papasot wrote: [...] "Worker" (my favorite file manager) [...]
http://www.boomerangsworld.de/cms/worker/
[...]
volume manager for mounting/unmounting devices (HAL and uDisks supported).
[...]
thx,

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