Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1698 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] fsh and distros
On Sun, 2011-12-18 at 17:05 +0100, lynn wrote:
An annoying problem came up recently when discussing Linux distros. A
dedicated Mac user told me he'd never change to Linux because every
distro is different. What he meant was that he has Ubuntu on a vm and I
was showing him some openSUSE stuff. He was lost when he needed to look
at /var/log/syslog because on openSUSE it gave him an error. He had
already made his point.

/var/log/syslog??? What is that.

I'm on openSUSE 12.1 and I have /var/log/messages; I don't have
a /var/log/syslog. It is /var/log/messages on every distro I've seen.

Anyway, I think he has a *strong* point. That in 2011 I still have to
grep system logs is *STUPID*. That there isn't a decent log
viewer/browser is ridiculous. Much like how there isn't a
quasi-universal and decent interface to at/cron.

Is there any communication between distro devs as to where stuff goes?
It seems to be anywhere you like, despite e.g. that the fsh saying it
should be /var/log/messages

Yes, most distributions are very similar with the Debian/'Redhat' split
being the big divide; that basically groups distributions into the
Debian-Ubuntu-MyriadUbuntuDeriviates and the
RHEL-CentOS-SLES-openSUSE-Fedora families. As long as you stay within
the family 99.44% of things are found in the same place with only the
occasional divergence as they move to things like systemd at differing

The example we were working on was bind 9, the latest version of which
is not available on Ubuntu,

Of course.

Ubuntu bind9 apt-get stuff creates /etc/bind for config files, openSUSE
uses /etc and the official bind docs suggest /srv/named/etc. But that's
just the start. The directory could be /var/lib/named or anywhere else
you can think of. Then is it /etc/init.d/bind9 start, /etc/init.d/bind
start, /etc/rc.d/init.d/bind9 start, service bind start, service bind9
start, service named start, /usr/sbin/named -c /etc/named.conf, start
bind, start bind9, rcnamed start, /etc/init.d/named start. . .Should it
run bind:bind, named:named, root:named, root something else. . .

He is correct. Pick a family and stay there; or more simply, don't
waste time using Ubuntu.

On a mac, this doesn't arise. He said.

Bogus. Mac isn't much more than yet-another-distribution with its own
proprietary glop of crud dumped on top [Mac OS/X is BSD, which is just
UNIX/LINUXs brother-by-another-mother].

I think he has a good point. Is this the price we pay to be able to have
it anyway we like?

Sure. Give people choices, and they'll make choices.

System & Network Administrator [ LPI & NCLA ]
OpenGroupware Developer <>
Adam Tauno Williams

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