The second question in this post’s title is meant for the “nontechnical” normal so-called Linux “Desktop” users, and not for the Technical people like Developers, Programmers, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc.

That second question is meant for the “nontechnical” normal DistroWatch ‘Groupies‘, the Phoronix ‘Groupies‘, the YouTube ‘Groupies‘, the Linux message board ‘Groupies‘, etc. who tell me I am too hard on Linux. Who tell me I am too hard on their *Beloved* Linux Distro. Who tell me I am being “mean” to them.

I can be hard on the so-called Linux “Desktop” OSes, but not nearly as hard or ‘mean‘ as Linus Torvalds…for example:

  1. Linus Torvalds: ‘For the last 20 years, I kept hearing how Linux on the Desktop would go mainstream in “five years.” “One of the problems Desktop” Linux has is it’s not made for “normal people, and by normal people I mean, obviously nontechnical people…”‘
  2. Linus Torvalds on Why Linux Hasn’t Succeeded on Desktop: ‘I still wish we were better at having a standardize desktop that goes across all the distributions … It’s more of a personal annoyance how the fragmentation of the different vendors have, I think, held the desktop back a bit … It seems to be that Chromebooks and Android are the paths towards the desktop.

How much ‘meaner‘ can you be than telling a Linux audience that “Desktop Linux” is not made for “normal people” like DistroWatch ‘Groupies‘ or Phoronix ‘Groupies‘ or YouTube ‘Groupies‘ or even the Linux message board ‘Groupies‘?!

YOU can be this much ‘meaner–> by telling a Linux audience that “Chromebooks and Android are the paths towards the desktop!?!”

Do you, the “nontechnical” normal so-called Linux “Desktop” user, support the free software community with anything besides Lip Service?

  • What? 😉 No, not that kind of Lip Service. This is what I meant by the term – Lip Service: an avowal of advocacy, adherence, or allegiance expressed in words but not backed by deeds —usually used with pay.

Technical people like Developers, Programmers, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc. are usually backing their support of the free software community wid ‘Deeds‘ & Actions like donating their labor, taking massive pay-cuts on their sought after skills, etc. BTW, most of those skills are so ‘SKILLED‘ that I have no clue what is involved…hey, I’m just a “normal people“!? 😲

The LWN.net FAQ:

  1. What is this LWN thing? – LWN.net aims to be the premier news and information source for the free software community. We provide comprehensive coverage of development, legal, commercial, and security issues. The LWN.net Weekly Edition is our weekly summary of what has happened in the free software world; our front page offers up-to-the-minute coverage.
  2. How did LWN get started? – When LWN was initially designed, at the end of 1997, it was intended to be an attention-getting side project of a new consulting company called Eklektix, Inc. The initial editors (Elizabeth Coolbaugh and Jonathan Corbet) wanted to share the results of their efforts to keep up with developments from all over the Linux community. Over the years LWN has grown with Linux and become one of the definitive Linux news sites.
  3. Where does LWN get its information? – We spend an unbelievable amount of time wandering the net in search of interesting developments to cover for our users. We also depend heavily on tips from our users; see the next section on how to send in something you have seen.
  4. What does LWN stand for, anyway? – LWN, initially, was “Linux Weekly News.” That name has been deemphasized over time as we have moved beyond just the weekly coverage, and as we have looked at the free software community as a whole. We have yet to come up with a better meaning for LWN, however.

During my internet searches for Linux information ‘n news, I have come across a couple of very interesting articles from LWN.net, e.g. “Fast Kernel Headers” Tree -v1: Eliminate the Linux kernel’s “Dependency Hell”.

The LWN.net Weekly Edition for January 6, 2022 section is loaded wid stuff…ooops, sorry!?

Well, looks like those articles will “become freely available on January 13, 2022.” They offer a $3.50 monthly subscription for the poor…I took the $7 monthly “professional hacker” level for 3 months.

LWN.net offers lots of free news ‘n info also, e.g. Leading Distributions:

Leading distributions have usually been around for a while and are well-established. They generally support several architectures and are translated into multiple languages. Some come from companies that supply service and support contracts for their products, others are community projects.

Android – Android is Linux without any GNU. Google backs Android, which can be found in the wild in phones, tablets and other devices. These devices usually contain proprietary software, and some of the available apps are proprietary as well. See the Android Open Source Project for the open source parts. Android was first announced November 5, 2007.

Debian GNU/Linux – The Debian Project is one of the oldest distributions, dating back to 1993, and is currently the largest volunteer-based distribution provider. Debian, the “universal operating system”, has been translated into many languages; works on many hardware platforms; has a large repository with a wide variety of packages; includes experimental kernel variants for kfreebsd and the GNU Hurd; and has many derivatives.

Fedora – The Fedora Project is Red Hat’s community distribution. It is intended to be a fast-paced distribution for those that like to stay on the leading edge of technology. It is also a test-bed for Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux products. The first Fedora Core release was dated November 5, 2003.

openSUSE – The openSUSE community distribution is supported by SUSE. openSUSE was opened for community development with the release of SUSE Linux 10.0, dated October 6, 2005.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux – Red Hat, Inc. provides one of the best known Linux distributions in the world. In 2003 the company announced its decision to drop its popular Red Hat Linux in order to concentrate on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux line. The Fedora Project (see above) has replaced the Red Hat Linux line for the home user or small business.

Slackware Linux – The Slackware project is headed by Patrick J. Volkerding, with a cast of volunteers and a loyal following. It is the oldest active Linux distribution with the first release dated July 16, 1993.

SUSE Linux – SUSE Linux has been around since 1994, making it one of the older Linux distributions. The company SUSE originated in Germany and has gone through a few owners, while remaining an independent distribution.

Ubuntu – Ubuntu is supported by Canonical Ltd. The official ‘flavors’ use the Ubuntu repositories and infrastructure, but are supported by the community. Ubuntu takes a snapshot of Debian unstable and then creates a small fork, recompiling and stabilizing the code to get a final stable release.

Two last quotes before ending ‘n sending:

1) LWN’s unreliable predictions for 2022

Starting with something that is, hopefully, fairly obvious: 2022 will see a wider awareness that maintainers need support for free-software projects to be healthy. It has been a while since companies working with free software realized that they needed to support the developers of that software; that is the path toward stronger projects and better influence over how those projects evolve. But even the projects with the most economic support struggle to support their maintainers, and the effects can be felt across the entire community. The ongoing Log4j debacle is just the latest symptom of this problem.

Supporting maintainers can be a hard sell for a corporate manager. Developers can focus most of their time directly on their employers’ needs, but maintainers have to make the project work for all participants, including their employers’ competitors. The value of their contribution is harder to quantify. But the cost of neglected maintenance is high and growing, and the smarter companies will start to figure this out.

2) Log4Shell

Experts described Log4Shell as the largest vulnerability ever; LunaSec characterized it as “a design failure of catastrophic proportions”, Tenable said the exploit was “the single biggest, most critical vulnerability ever”, Ars Technica called it “arguably the most severe vulnerability ever” and The Washington Post said that descriptions by security professionals “border on the apocalyptic”.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!