Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server? - Slackware

This is a discussion on Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server? - Slackware ; Keith Keller wrote: > I think the issue is not backing up the config files, but modifying > them. If you modify /etc/resolv.conf, then some automated tool comes > along and hoses it, you might be somewhat upset. THat seems ...

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Thread: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

  1. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Keith Keller wrote:

    > I think the issue is not backing up the config files, but modifying
    > them. If you modify /etc/resolv.conf, then some automated tool comes
    > along and hoses it, you might be somewhat upset.


    THat seems fair. Do some other distro's hold the 'system config' in a
    separate file and regnerate a lot of /etc when the tools are run?

    Pete

    --
    http://www.petezilla.co.uk

  2. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    On Tue, 12 Aug 2008, Keith Keller wrote:

    > On 2008-08-13, Res wrote:
    >> Replying to OP, I never say the OP post (must be googlegrouper)

    >
    > Nope.


    Hrmmm spam filters must have got it then for some reason...

    >
    >> Finally if you are converting winblows weenies to Linux who know nothing
    >> more than point and pray, then Ubuntu would be good for them ( Fedora
    >> would be as well except they are too politcal)

    >
    > I would never recommend a beta (or alpha) product like Fedora to a
    > newbie. CentOS is a freely available RHEL clone that would be much
    > better suited than Fedora to someone just starting out.


    It used to be Ok, like back at FC1, probably because it was still 90% RH9
    which was a very, no, a highly stable release. I've not installed FC in a
    few years now, but have used later versions in an office environment, and
    it wasn't too bad, so long as you didn't want to play music/avi's mpegs
    etc etc etc or,do some things in openoffice that fedora decide to rip out
    (something very few users of it knew at the time), but lets face it, it
    only takes opnly a minute to d/l some source and build it, so no loss, we
    used to run a mirror for fedora, but I got sick of it consuming the amount
    of disk space it did, one release, was it 7? there was a GIG of updates
    within ONE F-IN WEEK of its release, its hopeless. CentOS aka RHEL is also
    mucked about with in many packages with code stripepe, so no, Id enver use
    it again if I can help it, we have 2 RHEL5's running CRM (until we can
    convince the suppliers to start supporting Slackware) .. maybe we should
    tell em we are changing unless they support it


    --
    Cheers
    Res

    "The hopes we had, were much to high, way out of reach, but we have to
    try, no need to hide, no need to run, cause all the answers come one by
    one. The game will never be over, because we're keeping the dream alive"
    -Freiheit

  3. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    In article <48a1e713$0$185$e4fe514c@news.xs4all.nl>,
    jjg wrote:

    > However, with his strong MS background he really
    > believes in big companies which guarantee support, and which you can sue
    > (if you can afford better lawyers, that is).


    Maybe you should make him actally read the Windows EULA. Especially the
    disclaimers: Microsoft is not responsible for anything whatsoever under
    any circumstances. Also, they attempt to take away all your rights.

    > However, I think that he (my colleague) has a point w.r.t. the Slackware
    > organization. Not that it would be unprofessional, definitely not, but at
    > least it is quite dependent on one single person, and if that person dies,
    > what will happen to Slackware? I do not think that anybody knows.


    Actually, Patrick Volkerding fell ill a few years ago, and the community
    took over package updates for a while. But he is not actually alone (see
    credits in the ChangeLog, the team on slackbuilds.org which contributes
    a lot to Slackware, etc.) and there are enough people competent to take
    over if that should become necessary.

    In addition, there are a number of distributions that are derived from
    Slackware, any of which could become the base of a "new Slackware" if
    the mothership should sink somehow.

    And if you do end up needing to switch, it's not like your installation
    stops working. You can take your sweet time about finding a replacement.
    And the change from Slackware to another Linux distribution is not
    actually a radical one, after all they are all variants of the same
    Linux-based GNU operating system.

    > I would like to see some commentary on security updates:


    Oh yeah, there's another pro. Currently security updates are still given
    for Slackware versions all the way back to 8.1 from mid-2002. That's
    pretty good patch support if you ask me.

    > they exist, also
    > for Slackware, and you have tools to get them. However, these tools do not
    > seem to have an official status (e.g. swaret).


    Slackpkg has an official status, although it's filed under extras. I
    don't like it much, it's slow qnd very verbose. But it works fine.

    Since each Slackware package is a complete distribution of a program,
    the number of packages is limited, so it's easy enough to apply updates
    by hand. The tools are optional.

    > There are even tools under
    > development to tap into the Debian resources (slapt-get; I do not yet have
    > experience with it).


    No, slapt-get attempts to look like apt-get but does not use the Debian
    resources, it uses Slackware packages. Common wisdom is that slapt-get
    and such are not recommended unless you know what you're doing, since
    their attempt at emulating automatic dependency resolution fails
    regularly, and they also assign more significance to version numbers
    than they should.

    For example, I do actually use slapt-get on one system I manage (the
    orthodox may flagellate me now). The other day it wanted to downgrade
    'links' back to a prerelease version because it considers "2.1pre23" to
    be a higher version number than "2.1".

    - Martijn

  4. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    On 2008-08-12, jjg wrote:
    > To explain further: my colleague comes from the Windows world, and of course
    > Ubuntu is at least a step into the right direction (and I think it is not
    > all that bad ;-) ). However, with his strong MS background he really
    > believes in big companies which guarantee support, and which you can sue
    > (if you can afford better lawyers, that is). And of course, he does not yet
    > fully realize how open source works.


    This paragraph is all I need to see to offer this word of advice:
    "Don't listen to a word your colleague says concerning Linux."
    Seriously, if he's coming from the Windows world and has very little
    experience with Linux, he is not in any position to make technical
    recommendations on anything Linux-related, distro choice included.

    > Finally, as Martijn said, Debian (and Ubuntu) are
    > designed by committee-- that may be another argument against larger
    > companies.


    Bare in mind that Debian isn't a for-profit company, but more along the
    lines of a collection of individuals who are often going their own way.
    Cannonical is a for-profit company that bases its distribution on Debian.
    This means we've got not just one design-by-commitee, but two.

    > However, I think that he (my colleague) has a point w.r.t. the Slackware
    > organization. Not that it would be unprofessional, definitely not, but at
    > least it is quite dependent on one single person, and if that person dies,
    > what will happen to Slackware? I do not think that anybody knows.


    I'm sure Pat knows. We went through a scare a few years back when Pat
    was deathly ill. As others here have pointed out, the world didn't
    stop. Slackware development certainly slowed to a crawl, but back-up
    plans were made and I assume are still in effect should disaster
    strike. Of course, you've got almost the exact same problem with
    Cannonical. Both Slackware and Ubuntu have SABDFLs and if either were
    hit by a bus it would be a devestating blow to the community. I'm sure
    both have contingency plans for just this sort of situation though.

    > - Slackware is fairly complete "as installed", hence no need to resolve
    > dependencies as other distros have


    That depends, of course, on how much third-party software you'll be
    installing. Dependencies still need to be resolved, but it is up to
    *you* to resolve them, not Slackware. The base installation has no
    unmet dependencies that I know of, but that does not mean you won't
    find any when you start adding to base.

    > I have not seen any comments on the fact that Ubuntu has a patched kernel. I
    > am strongly against that; I see kernel patches as a first step to forking
    > or vendor lock-in. They may be a necessary evil, but I do not see what
    > Ubuntu needs them for. Any other views on this point?
    > I also tried to build my own kernel under Ubuntu, and it failed because one
    > library was missing; I have not yet taken too much trouble to find it
    > anywhere, but it suggests that building your own kernel is not usual in the
    > Ubuntu world. Well, it getting less and less usual under Slackware, I must
    > admit...


    I wouldn't worry too terribly much about kernel patches in particular,
    but the number of patches in general is staggering in Debian and its
    direvitives including Ubuntu. There was a huge broo-ha-ha over some
    OpenSSL changes Debian made years ago that caused OpenSSL to generate
    weak keys, and further broo-ha-ha over their attempts to fix the issue.
    I won't go into details as that would be off-topic for the thread.
    Suffice it to say, that you should be worried about userland patches as
    well. Slackware philosophy clearly states that upstream knows more
    than downstream unless there is a compelling reason to believe
    otherwise. Debian seems to have the opposite approach and are very
    patch-happy.

    - --
    It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise,
    Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
    Ecclesiastes 7:5
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  5. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Res wrote:

    >> Wow. Ubuntu "doesn't have a root account" ...

    >
    > It has a root account, all you gotta do is give it a password


    You might have missed the context: he was quoting, probably with a
    slight hint of sarcasm (specifically *because* the root account of
    course exists).

    > I refuse to use sudo, as by deault with ubuntu, it caches the password
    > for X period of time, so I could : sudo -i ... stuff around ...
    > "exit" back to my user terminal, go get a coffee and come back to find
    > someone has typed: sudo -i ... got in without re entering password
    > ... rm -rf /*


    You don't lock your screen when you go get the coffee???

    > Sure you can disable caching, but my point is it should be disabled by
    > default, its a security joke.


    Not if the screen-locker is functioning, it isn't ...

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  6. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Artur Frydel wrote:

    > Try to install oracle databse without GUI...


    The gui in that case need not be on the server. Ssh into the server
    from a workstation running X, with X11-forwarding enabled in your ssh
    session, and get on with your work.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  7. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Wild Wizard wrote:

    >> ... Ubuntu uses the (huge) Debian libraries.

    >
    > Would that be the same group that screwed with openSSL?


    I think that this demonstrates probably the strongest argument the OP can
    make in favour of Slackware: when a Slackware package includes patches,
    there are very good reasons for including those patches. Software is
    never patched for "branding", or other similar frivalities. Patches are
    applied if they maintain expected functionality (for example), or fix
    particular bugs, but mostly the package sources are kept intact. This is,
    of course, also largely why Slackware has proven itself to provide such
    a stable system over so many years. Ubuntu simply doesn't have a long
    enough history to compare it in terms of longevity and stability.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  8. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Res wrote:

    > ... we have 2 RHEL5's running CRM (until we can convince the suppliers
    > to start supporting Slackware) .. maybe we should tell em we are
    > changing unless they support it


    Problem: you would need to let them know what alternate product (whose
    vendor does support Slackware) you're changing to, if you want them to
    take the threat seriously. I've encountered this with some systems
    here, and the worst part is that I'm quite sure the application *would*
    run just fine on Slackware. If only application vendors would focus on
    supporting their *application* and let the sysadmins worry about the OS.
    Make sure the sysadmin knows what the application *needs*, and if that
    can be provided, what difference should it make whose brand is on the
    OS?

    anyway, that rant isn't what this thread is about ... :-)

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  9. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Helmut Hullen wrote:

    > I don't need any tool. Every 3 to 10 days looking to the "Changelog.txt"
    > and the "* Security fix *" lines: for such work I don't need a tool.


    See the scripts pointed to below. Run the first daily from cron
    (requires lynx, sendmail, and diff; no special privileges, so run it from
    an unprivileged user's crontab) and it will "push" update notifications
    to you rather than you needing to "pull" them.

    The second one behaves differently if run with root privilege than it
    does without. Without root privilege, it will download package updates
    from the configured Slackware mirror, and list which of the installed
    packages would be updated from any that have been downloaded since the
    last time any packages were updated or added. Run as root, it applies
    any pending package updates.

    Again, run daily from an unprivileged user's crontab (make sure that mail
    for that unprivileged user is redirected to you so you'll see the cron
    output), and you won't miss any updates. Whether you run it with root
    privilege to apply the updates, or prefer to apply them manually is up
    to you, of course, but you'll have the packages on-hand, from whatever
    Slackware mirror you normally would use.

    http://www.therockgarden.ca/software...kware_chlog.sh
    http://www.therockgarden.ca/software...are/UPGRADE.sh

    I hope these help ...

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


  10. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Martijn Dekker wrote:

    > ... I do actually use slapt-get on one system I manage .... The other
    > day it wanted to downgrade 'links' back to a prerelease version
    > because it considers "2.1pre23" to be a higher version number than
    > "2.1".


    Slackware's own "upgradepkg" will do the same. The expectation (at
    least with upgradepkg) is that there is competence in judgement from a
    human invoking the upgrade utility.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  11. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Hallo, Sylvain,

    Du meintest am 13.08.08:

    >> I don't need any tool. Every 3 to 10 days looking to the
    >> "Changelog.txt" and the "* Security fix *" lines: for such work I
    >> don't need a tool.


    > See the scripts pointed to below. Run the first daily from cron
    > (requires lynx, sendmail, and diff; no special privileges, so run it
    > from an unprivileged user's crontab) and it will "push" update
    > notifications to you rather than you needing to "pull" them.


    Thank you - I'll take a look on it.

    > The second one behaves differently if run with root privilege than it
    > does without. Without root privilege, it will download package
    > updates from the configured Slackware mirror,


    I have a script for this job (which only updates the subdirs I need,
    especially no x* subdir). But I have to look "manually" into the
    "Changelog" nevertheless. I don't allow any machine to change the
    installation automatically.

    Viele Gruesse
    Helmut

    "Ubuntu" - an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".


  12. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Helmut Hullen wrote:

    >> Look, this is just FUD. You can install exactly what packages you
    >> want with apt (or rpm/yum) by ignoring the dependencies. The
    >> difference is that Ubuntu has a program which makes suggestions, and
    >> Slackware doesn't; you're free to ignore the suggestions if you
    >> want.

    >
    > I've tried to ignore the machine (SuSE): more and more warnings and
    > error messages. And after 2 months it's hard to remember wether the
    > error message is related to my ignoring the dependencoes or to a new
    > problem.


    SuSE shouldn't be considered a distribution, but a mess. It was
    rightfully considered M$'s counterpart in the linux world, even before
    its Novell days.

    YaST actually had a nickname even back then: YeaST.

    Damn, this feels good!

    -- Simon

  13. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 15:38:54 +0000, Sylvain Robitaille wrote:

    > Res wrote:
    >
    >>> Wow. Ubuntu "doesn't have a root account" ...

    >>
    >> It has a root account, all you gotta do is give it a password

    >
    > You might have missed the context: he was quoting, probably with a
    > slight hint of sarcasm (specifically *because* the root account of
    > course exists).


    Sarcasm there definitely was, although I thought more than a slight hint,
    because I was gobsmacked at the notion that someone who uses Slack
    couldn't find it...!

    >> I refuse to use sudo, as by deault with ubuntu, it caches the password
    >> for X period of time, so I could : sudo -i ... stuff around ...
    >> "exit" back to my user terminal, go get a coffee and come back to find
    >> someone has typed: sudo -i ... got in without re entering password
    >> ... rm -rf /*

    >
    > You don't lock your screen when you go get the coffee???


    These days you can use bluetooth proximity sensing to do it without human
    interaction, just make sure you keep your phone in your pocket.

    >> Sure you can disable caching, but my point is it should be disabled by
    >> default, its a security joke.

    >
    > Not if the screen-locker is functioning, it isn't ...


    How come people are proud of their ability to configure Slackware
    entirely by hand and then turn to jelly when faced with changing the
    default configuration of another distro? How come everyone accepts that
    Slackware is not configured by default to suit every conceivable use, but
    seem to think this is a valid criticism of another distro?

    I come here to learn more about Slackware and Linux in general. There is
    definitely nothing to be learned from anyone who can't figure out how to
    work Ubuntu :-)

  14. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 16:05:33 +0000, Sylvain Robitaille wrote:

    > Res wrote:
    >
    >> ... we have 2 RHEL5's running CRM (until we can convince the suppliers
    >> to start supporting Slackware) .. maybe we should tell em we are
    >> changing unless they support it

    >
    > Problem: you would need to let them know what alternate product (whose
    > vendor does support Slackware) you're changing to, if you want them to
    > take the threat seriously. I've encountered this with some systems
    > here, and the worst part is that I'm quite sure the application *would*
    > run just fine on Slackware.


    I'm sure you are right about that.

    > If only application vendors would focus on
    > supporting their *application* and let the sysadmins worry about the OS.
    > Make sure the sysadmin knows what the application *needs*, and if that
    > can be provided, what difference should it make whose brand is on the
    > OS?


    The problem is one of scaling. Saying they support RHEL5 means not
    having to cope with every conceivable kernel configuration and library
    setup.

  15. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 15:25:59 +0200, Martijn Dekker wrote:

    > For example, I do actually use slapt-get on one system I manage (the
    > orthodox may flagellate me now). The other day it wanted to downgrade
    > 'links' back to a prerelease version because it considers "2.1pre23" to
    > be a higher version number than "2.1".


    It seems unfair to blame slapt-get for the inability of some humans to
    understand the ordering of the rational numbers....

  16. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Sylvain Robitaille wrote:
    > Artur Frydel wrote:
    >
    >> Try to install oracle databse without GUI...

    >
    > The gui in that case need not be on the server. Ssh into the server
    > from a workstation running X, with X11-forwarding enabled in your ssh
    > session, and get on with your work.
    >


    Yep, it can be done in this way (in fact this is most popular way to
    install oracle on linux servers . But what if you are in unusual
    situation and have only one - this one machine (or have no ssh) ;-).

    --
    Artur 'Bzyk' Frydel | artur.frydel-KICK_THIS@gmail.com
    In /dev/null no one can hear your scream

  17. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Mark Madsen wrote:

    >> You don't lock your screen when you go get the coffee???

    >
    > These days you can use bluetooth proximity sensing to do it without
    > human interaction, just make sure you keep your phone in your pocket.


    Hrmmm... I like the idea, but would still want to have to type something
    at the keyboard. I could be talked into combining the two methods,
    of course. :-)

    > There is definitely nothing to be learned from anyone who can't figure
    > out how to work Ubuntu :-)


    Be careful, though, to distinguish between those who can't figure it
    out, and those who may either simply not be inclined to look very deeply
    into it, or who would actively avoid figuring it out, just because it
    isn't Slackware. The line between them might appear very fine at times.

    I don't have a lot of experience with Ubuntu, preferring Slackware quite
    consistently, but the experience I do have with it has been positively
    impressive. I see no reason not to recommend it, though I still would
    recommend Slackware as a better (simpler, more stable) choice, especially
    for a "production" environment.

    On the other hand I never felt much need to find all the ways I would need
    to make Ubuntu more like Slackware, since I can just install Slackware
    instead and be much more familiar with how the system is organized.

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  18. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Artur Frydel wrote:

    > ... what if you are in unusual situation and have only one - this one
    > machine (or have no ssh) ;-).


    Then you're probably not in a very serious production environment, so it
    doesn't really matter much if your "servers" also share "workstation"
    duty. :-)

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  19. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    Mark Madsen wrote:

    > The problem is one of scaling. Saying they support RHEL5 means not
    > having to cope with every conceivable kernel configuration and library
    > setup.


    Ok, but couldn't they just simply state that they'll support their
    application running on a system with kernel version X, with the following
    drivers and options enabled, and ensuring that some list of libraries
    is available. They could, of course, suggest that RHEL5 (or whatever) is
    their "preferred" configuration, but if a client can make a system provide
    the necessary components, the application should still be supported.

    Clients who don't understand how to provide the desired kernel, kernel
    options, and libraries could simply use the "preferred" configuration
    (RHEL5 in this example), since those are the folks that likely wouldn't
    have that strong a preference for which Linux their systems run on.

    I'm honestly surprised that no application vendor (that I'm aware of)
    has figured out that they can tell their clients simply "our application
    needs kernel version FOO, with libc version BAR and database version
    BAZ."

    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvain Robitaille syl@alcor.concordia.ca

    Network and Systems analyst Concordia University
    Instructional & Information Technology Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

  20. Re: Can (or should) I try to avoid Ubuntu server?

    According to Sylvain Robitaille :
    > Artur Frydel wrote:
    >
    > > ... what if you are in unusual situation and have only one - this one
    > > machine (or have no ssh) ;-).

    >
    > Then you're probably not in a very serious production environment, so it
    > doesn't really matter much if your "servers" also share "workstation"
    > duty. :-)


    I totaly agree

    Xavier

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