Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (602 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] Re: [PLEASE SPEAK UP] Disabling legacy file systems by default?
Am 06.02.19 um 17:46 schrieb Liam Proven:
* The Linux market is very competitive. Different distros have different
strengths and weaknesses. It is fatally short-sighted to ignore what
other distros and other companies are doing, for any reason, whether the
reason is "Not Invented Here" syndrome, or because $DISTRO is not seen
as a real competitor, or because of tradition.

But, IMHO, it's at least equally short-sighted to do things just because
$OTHER_DISTRO is doing them.

Example, not directly related to this thread:
* Ubuntu has (had, last time I looked) a simple installer, just click
"ok" two or three times and the distro is installed.
* SUSE has the YaST installer, which gives you almost all options you
could ever want already during install time.

Arguably, the SUSE installer is more complicated to understand. And if
you only click "continue" in it, you get something you^WI most
likely^W^Wcertainly do not want (*cough* btrfs *cough*).

I still prefer the SUSE installer over Ubuntu. Why? Because I do want to
change things during installation, partition my disks etc as I like and
want to taylor my package selection.

So I see there's Ubuntu, and if someone comes on over to me and asks me
if it is worth trying this Liehnuggs thingy, then I give them the
download link to an Ubuntu ISO and tell them to try it.
(To be honest, usually I tell them "no, that's crazy geek stuff, go and
buy yourself a win10 license", because if I tell them linux is great,
they'll later ask me to help all the time and I'm not really interested
in other people's computer problems).
If they then ask me "is the thing on your screen this 'UHBUHNTUH'
thing?", I tell them "no, this is openSUSE, but that one is not for
stupids, use ubuntu". If they then still opt to install openSUSE, they
deliberately made the choice for the "complicated techie stuff" and are
prepared to handle it.
If they opt for ubuntu and later come back "my $WINDOWS_ONLY_CRAP
printer does not work, can you help me", or "but my windows tax
declaration program does not even run" I can tell them to go away
without feeling bad.
If they opted for openSUSE, then they consider themselves tech-savvy
enough, so I'll tell them what the problem with windows-only hardware is
and why they probably should just buy a compatible printer instead of
wasting their time.
And if they just use ubuntu without any problems, that's still fine with
me. It's not like (ubuntu|debian|fedora|arch|you_name_it) are our
enemies, it's our coopetition. I don't win anything by trying to
convince someone to use openSUSE who then gets frustrated and returns to
windows, when he could have been a happy ubuntu (or whatever distro) user.

If a company wants to survive, it has to attract new customers.
Capitalism mandates growth.

Linux distributions are not companies.

And someone (you?) already mentioned in this thread, that the decision
of a company (to only support what its customers really need, no
dual-boot of different linux distributions but only dual boot one
windows and one redhat installation) are not necessarily good decisions
for linux distribution users.

To thrive, Linux distros have to attract users from other Linux distros.
If you only get income from your existing customers, then you are going
to die, because sometimes your customers will die. They will fail, or go
bankrupt, or get bought out, or switch providers, or something.

This is a law of the market.

I have my doubts that this law applies to linux distributions.

For example, I think I converted quite some users to openSUSE because of
the openSUSE build service, and the easy way it provides to build your
own packages (and to fix the problems you have with how openSUSE does
things by just forking and changing the packages that annoy you). Of
course you can build packages using OBS for other distros, but it is
just most used and tested with openSUSE). Also, if some of these users
need a simple one-click-all-preselected installer, they just create
their own OEM openSUSE installer ISO in OBS and then it's even easier
than the ubuntu installer.

Another big plus for openSUSE is the low entry barrier if you want to
participate and contribute as a package maintainer, or even if all you
want is your pet package included on the distribution (heck, for long
years we shipped tuxcursors, just because my kids liked it, but as long
as someone wants to do the work, almost every package can be included).

It is _necessary_ for any company and any distro that wants to remain
competitive and to remain viable to attract users from its rivals.

Therefore, it must offer _benefits_ over those rivals. It must offer a
better value proposition. That means it needs to strive to be at least
as good in every way, and better in some ways.

The problem is to define "as good as" for a majority of users.
Our target group, AFAIU is the tech-savvy, more developer-like user, not
the "One click install Ubuntu User".

If you ignore your rivals, that means you will let them get ahead of you
in some way. By ignoring them, you don't know what they're doing, and
everyone is trying to advance.

So if you let them advance, they will end up with an advantage over you
and you won't know about it.

It is _necessary_ to continuously monitor them and keep pace with them.

but it's also very valid (IMHO) to look at their stuff, conclude "that
ubuntu installer is cool for newbies, but not for us" and keep going as
before.

Ubuntu decided on a fairly simple play. Pick a free distro with, at the
time, the best packaging tool -- i.e. Debian, circa 2002-2003 or so --
and put a really nice easy desktop on it, with a complete set of
integrated apps, and an easy installation program, and give it away for
nothing. This was so the sponsor could give something back to the FOSS
community that made him a billionaire (or near enough).

This has made Ubuntu the #1 end-user desktop distro.>
Many people argue with this and it's very hard to prove, but in terms of
mindshare, press coverage, etc., I think it's obviously the case.

Now, a decade and a half later, that means that there are hundreds of
thousands of Linux folk who learned on Ubuntu first and know it best,
and because of that, Ubuntu is what they choose to deploy on their
servers and in their VMs and clouds.

Yes. And if it works for them, that's fine with me.
For me, what counts (mostly) is, that it is not windows.

They don't care if it's approved or supported for expensive enterprise
software that they've never heard of. They know it because it's a better
desktop and that's all that matters.
It *still* has the edge as a desktop.

Some graduated on to Debian, the upstream. It's weaker as a desktop, but
a good solid stable base for servers, and Ubuntu knowledge transfers well.

So that means that openSUSE _must_ keep pace with Ubuntu's developments.

Not copy it slavishly, not duplicate everything, but it sets a baseline
in terms of ease of installation and ease of use which all other distros
must attempt to equal.

Unfortunately, you would need to define an universal measurement unit
for "ease of $whatever". And I'm pretty sure I would disagree with your
measurements...

SUSE doesn't have to keep up with RH. It is at parity. RH and SUSE are
the 2 dominant paid enterprise distros.

But although they're both a decade+ older than Ubuntu, in that decade,
Ubuntu has stolen a lot of users from both of them.

but not in the area that is important for them: the paid services.

Hey, I'm on one end of a fairly big SUSE support contract, a RedHat
support contract and we almost would have bought a Ubuntu support
contract, but you know what? That was just not available, at least not
with a remotely acceptable service level.

So once your servers start getting "a bit" bigger and thus more
expensive (talk about multi-Terabyte RAM machines with a $100k+ price
tag), then the management shoving out that money will be pretty
interested in as little downtime as possible. And then you want to be
able to buy a support contract and to use "certified" software, just to
cover your ass. Even the ones that think "ubuntu has a better desktop"
will then buy rhel or sles.
(Most of my colleagues are actually windows or MacOS users, and are
convinced that Windows or MacOS are vastly superior desktop OS than
ubuntu, but still we buy SLES subscriptions for maybe 100k machines,
which contradicts your prediction that "the best desktop OS will take
over servers")

That's a problem and it needs to be addressed.

Trying to not discuss it, or ignore it, will be a very expensive mistake.

Servers are where the money is, yes. But servers need server admins.
Those are not born. They learn as they grow up. People tend to get into
Linux by playing with it, because it's free. "Just for fun" is a motto
of the entire FOSS movement.

And one of the main places they learn from is playing with desktops on
old kit.

And you know what? A future admin does not have to be a genius to use
the knowledge he had learned on his ubuntu installation at home on his
SLES/RHEL server at work. Because it's more or less the same.

Maybe if he is an "IBM advanced techie", then he'll have problems, but
if he is only 10% worth his salary, he will not have problems.

One reason for this is, btw, the much hated systemd. Because this thing
has done more for linux unification than all the offtopic discussion
threads on linux distribution development mailinglist in the last 20
years combined.

Again an example:
I switched almost all my raspberry pi's back to raspbian. Before I had
built my own yocto image and from time to time tried openSUSE. But
openSUSE just does not cut it on raspis (sorry, Andread and Alex, I know
you are doing a great job, but raspbian just feels twice as fast and
everything *including multimedia* just works).
A few years ago, on debian everything was vastly different, if you were
used to SUSE's insserv and "rcfoobar restart". Even enabling an init
script to start at boot, I had to google how to do that.
Today, the only thing that's really different is "apt update" <=>
"zypper ref", "apt search" <=> "zypper se", "apt install" <=> "zypper
in", "apt remove" <==> "zypper rm".
Everything else is the same: "systemctl enable foobar"; "systemctl
restart foobar", I can even use exactly the same systemd unit files for
my user instance as on every other distribution.

The only thing that's still much inferior is stuff like console
configuration, readline, vim, screen defaults that actually just work on
SUSE and do not work at all on all other distros (for me, at least), but
I can live with that for embedded appliances (which is what my raspis
are), and it never worked on my own yocto poky image, too ;-)

So for your enterprise distro to thrive, you _must_ have a good desktop,
and that means competitive with Ubuntu, Mint, Debian and Fedora.

nothing is less important for your enterprise distro IMVHO then the desktop

We have to tempt users in with the desktop, in order to get them into
our camp and then sell them the enterprise distro.

No, you have to give them superior support offerings.
And offer stuff that most of the time works.
On these servers I mentioned early, the ubuntu kernel does not even
reliably boot (did not last time I tried out of curiosity), and if it
booted, it could not saturate the 4x25G ethernet bond.

As I said, the company I'm working for has a SUSE support contract,
probably for over 100k installations. And a big RedHat support contract,
too. But "productive ubuntu installation" is just not really imaginable,
because nobody wants to explain to management why no kernel hacker was
available to fix the problem.
(Actually, if I was in charge we would just hire our own kernel hackers
and some more core system guys and create our own linux distribution,
but this is a) not our core business and b) would probably destroy a
healthy partner ecosystem).

Back to topic:
I think it's much better for openSUSE (and SUSE) to be on the
"NOT AFFECTED IN DEFAULT INSTALLATION:" list, once one of these frings
filesystems comes up in a CVE than to have hfs auto-mounted if a disk
with it is plugged into an USB port.
--
Stefan Seyfried

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over
public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." -- Richard Feynman
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