Category: Software

“Has Linux lost its way?” comments prompt a Debian developer to revisit FreeBSD after 20 years

February 17th, 2015, 59 Comments

I’ll admit it. I have a soft spot for FreeBSD. FreeBSD was the first Unix I ran, and it was somewhere around 20 years ago that I did so, before I switched to Debian. Even then, I still used some of the FreeBSD Handbook to learn Linux, because Debian didn’t have the great Reference that […]

Reactions to “Has modern Linux lost its way?” and the value of simplicity

February 11th, 2015, 76 Comments

Apparently I touched a nerve with my recent post about the growing complexity of issues. There were quite a few good comments, which I’ll mention here. It’s provided me some clarity on the problem, in fact. I’ll try to distill a few more thoughts here. The value of simplicity and predictability The best software, whether […]

Has modern Linux lost its way? (Some thoughts on jessie)

February 9th, 2015, 115 Comments

For years, I used to run Debian sid (unstable) on all my personal machines. Laptops, workstations, sometimes even my personal servers years ago ran sid. Sid was, as its name implies, unstable. Sometimes things broke. But it wasn’t a big deal, because I could always get in there and fix it fairly quickly, whatever it […]

Debian – A plea to worry about what matters, and not take ourselves too seriously

November 9th, 2014, 3 Comments

I posted this on debian-devel today. I am also posting it here, because I believe it is important to more than just Debian developers. Good afternoon, This message comes on the heels of Sam Hartman’s wonderful plea for compassion [1] and the sad news of Joey Hess’s resignation from Debian [2]. I no longer frequently […]

Update on the systemd issue

October 13th, 2014, 7 Comments

The other day, I wrote about my poor first impressions of systemd in jessie. Here’s an update. I’d like to start with the things that are good. I found the systemd community to be one of the most helpful in Debian, and #debian-systemd IRC channel to be especially helpful. I was in there for quite […]

First impressions of systemd, and they’re not good

October 11th, 2014, 24 Comments

Well, I finally bit the bullet. My laptop, which runs jessie, got dist-upgraded for the first time in a few months. My brightness keys stopped working, and it no longer would suspend to RAM when the lid was closed, and upon chasing things down from XFCE to policykit, eventually it appears that suddenly major parts […]

Agile Is Dead (Long Live Agility)

March 12th, 2014, 4 Comments

In an intriguing post, PragDave laments how empty the word “agile” has become. To paraphrase, I might say he’s put words to a nagging feeling I’ve had: that there are entire books about agile, conferences about agile, hallway conversations I’ve heard about whether somebody is doing this-or-that agile practice correctly. Which, when it comes down […]

Backing up every few minutes with simplesnap

February 13th, 2014, 8 Comments

I’ve written a lot lately about ZFS, and one of its very nice features is the ability to make snapshots that are lightweight, space-efficient, and don’t hurt performance (unlike, say, LVM snapshots). ZFS also has “zfs send” and “zfs receive” commands that can send the content of the snapshot, or a delta between two snapshots, […]

Migrated from Hetzner to OVH hosting

February 7th, 2014, 5 Comments

Since August 2011, my sites such as complete.org have been running on a Xen-backed virtual private server (VPS) at Hetzner Online, based in Germany. I had what they called their VQ19 package, which included 2GB RAM, 80GB HDD, 100Mb NIC and 4TB transfer. Unlike many other VPS hosts, I never had performance problems. However, I […]

VirtFS isn’t quite ready

February 7th, 2014, 9 Comments

Despite claims to the contrary [PDF], VirtFS — the 9P-based virtio KVM/QEMU layer designed to pass through a host’s filesystem to the guest — is quite slow. I have yet to get it to perform at even 1/10 the speed of the virtual block device (VBD). That’s unfortunate, because in theory it should be significantly […]

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