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Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the fightin'-words dept.

Debian 460

halfaperson writes "In an interview with LinuxFr.org, Lennart Poettering speaks freely about his creations, PulseAudio, Avahi and systemd among other things. Naturally, what has stirred up most of the discussions online is Lennart's opinions on BSD. Following the recent proposal to make Gnome a Linux-exclusive desktop, Lennart explains that he thinks BSD support is holding back a lot of Free Software development. He says this while also taking a stab at Debian kFreeBSD: 'Debian kFreeBSD is a toy OS, people really shouldn't misunderstand that.'"

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BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782404)

It is official; Lennart Poettering now confirms: *BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming close on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be Lennart Poettering to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a cockeyed miracle could save *BSD from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

Re:BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782494)

Geez Lennart, stop with the socket puppet AC and get yourself a /. account.

ha ha (3, Insightful)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782858)

Linux's vaguely meritocratic approach has obliterated the BSD cliquish approach, period.

Does any other OS have multiple competing teams writing the scheduler? How could anyone possibly compete with that? Seriously!

Conversely, the LLVM will eventually obliterate GCC for the same reasons, multiple participants engaging in healthy competition. Oh, plus the LLVM simplifies writing compilers for virtually any language.

p.s. Does APL/K/J have an LLVM based compiler yet?

Re:BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782594)

Where is this recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test? Are you talking about Sys Admin magazine that actually is dead?

and Usenet activity for determining FreeBSD user numbers? Everybody knows that FreeBSD is all about the mailing lists (with a nod to web forums for those with the Google mindset that the end user internet begins and end with HTTP/HTTPS)

Re:BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782678)

Dear God, you dont know of the *BSD troll?

Hand in your geek badge

(Impressed he got FP with it too)

Re:BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782706)

(Impressed he got FP with it too)

I like to think that he always has it in his clipboard on the off-chance it will be relevant.

Netcraft Confirms (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782710)

You are new here, aren't you.

Holding back? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782408)

Innovation is still happening on the OpenBSD and DragonFly fronts.

FreeBSD is all about incorporating other people's software at this point (ZFS, DTrace, LLVM), and hasn't really originated a good idea in a decade. Coincidentally, that is where DragonFly split off. That's what happens when Apple buys the FreeBSD development team...you get a bunch of core developers running FreeBSD in a virtual machine on MacBook Pros. They can't be bothered to get basic functionality like suspend/resume to work, and all new wireless drivers are lifted from OpenBSD.

NetBSD is dead.

Regarding the summary, PulseAudio adds nothing to the *BSDs...OSS has always been able to have multiple programs access the sound card at the same time. Avahi runs fine at least on OpenBSD, and systemd....well there are only about two Linux distributions even using it at this point.

Re:Holding back? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782466)

Regarding the summary, PulseAudio adds nothing to the *BSDs...OSS has always been able to have multiple programs access the sound card at the same time. Avahi runs fine at least on OpenBSD, and systemd....well there are only about two Linux distributions even using it at this point.

PulseAudio is a useless piece of shit. It's like ALSA with a bunch of stupid complications. How it got to be the standard sound system for so many mainstream distros is a real mystery.

It lends credibility to the idea that Open Source developers don't really want to achieve a mature, working codebase and stick with that unless there are serious problems that really do require moving to something else. There is a perception that it has to be hackish and in perpetual beta to be considered sexy and cool for an Open Source OS. PulseAudio is a big example of why this perception exists.

Just answer me one thing. ALSA has had Dmix for nearly ten years. It has enabled Dmix by default (as in it just automagically works) for about seven years. What glaring need is there for adding a second software layer to a sound system that already does what you need it to do? No, playing sound over the network isn't a good reason. That's what application-level streaming software is for. What does PulseAudio contribute other than needless complexity and several FAQs dedicated to replacing it with ALSA for various distributions that ship with it?

Oh, and in the case of Mandriva, a petition to remove PulseAudio by default [petitiononline.com] since more than 90% of users are disabling it and replacing it with ALSA. Yeah, that's not for no reason.

Re:Holding back? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782522)

PulseAudio is a useless piece of shit. It's like ALSA with a bunch of stupid complications. How it got to be the standard sound system for so many mainstream distros is a real mystery.

It was pushed by Redhat and nobody else had a better solution to clean up the morass that is linux audio.

Re:Holding back? (5, Insightful)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782562)

Too bad they didn't port the FreeBSD audio. It actually works.

Re:Holding back? (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782674)

PulseAudio is a useless piece of shit. It's like ALSA with a bunch of stupid complications. How it got to be the standard sound system for so many mainstream distros is a real mystery.

It was pushed by Redhat and nobody else had a better solution to clean up the morass that is linux audio.

PulseAudio is a relatively recent arrival. ALSA + Dmix by default has "just worked" for a long time now, about seven years. As a matter of fact, I don't see PulseAudio in a kernel config anywhere -- implying that PulseAudio is just an extra layer of software standing between the program wanting to play audio and ALSA. If the goal is to get rid of problems caused by ALSA (I'd love to hear what those are, by the way), then that's not going to work.

Please explain to me the specific problems with Linux audio and the ways that PulseAudio addresses them. I am hoping someone will respond to that, but if no one does I will definitely understand it is not a coincidence if no one can back up your assertion.

When I actually read user forums and do research on it, the impression I receive is exactly the opposite: PulseAudio is causing problems that didn't happen with ALSA. That's about what you would expect when you add redundant, needless complexity to an already-working system. As for me, on my system I have never installed PulseAudio. I use ALSA for all audio needs. Anytime I fire up Wine, mplayer, Amarok, or anything of the sort, audio just works and I don't have to worry about it. The only requirement whatsoever is that the user in question is a member of the "audio" group and that's all; it really is so simple and easy. I am so satisfied with this setup and the way it simply works that I have no problems with it to fix. What more do users want?

Re:Holding back? (5, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782734)

Before PulseAudio it wasn't possible to turn on a bluetooth headset and have any audio that was playing through your speakers automatically start going to the headset instead.

Re:Holding back? (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782876)

Before PulseAudio it wasn't possible to turn on a bluetooth headset and have any audio that was playing through your speakers automatically start going to the headset instead.

It's good to have a real answer to a question. Still, I have another question. Given the open-source nature of all the software involved, wouldn't the developer time be better invested in fixing the ALSA drivers to accommodate Bluetooth headsets instead of creating an entirely new layer of middleman software between the application and the audio system?

It's a question of how to best manage and invest the finite talent and effort that is available. Why would PulseAudio be the best possible method? What does that answer look like when you subtract from its gains all the time wasted by users with no such headsets who had to sort out PulseAudio-specific audio problems? There's a big picture here and it doesn't look good for PulseAudio.

Re:Holding back? (3, Insightful)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782898)

PulseAudio isn't a bad concept, it's just that it doesn't work properly for far too many people. But the widespread adoption of tablet, smartphone and other "slim computing" devices does kind of speak to a need for a software-agnostic way to stream audio from server to client - requiring every application that wants to do this to implement streaming isn't a very sensible solution to the problem IMO.

Re:Holding back? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782912)

If the goal is to get rid of problems caused by ALSA (I'd love to hear what those are, by the way) ...

Not that PulseAudio would necessarily solve these, but here's my list:

(1) The default dmix resampler sucks. The "high-quality" one is better, but that one uses up significant chunks of CPU time. I haven't had a chance to look at the code (been meaning to) but it seems to me it should be possible to maintain quality without using so much CPU.

(2) Semi-pro home-studio type soundcards are poorly supported. Currently my ENVY 1712 does not come up right on boot and it takes an iteration or two of unload-modules and restart alsa before it "catches". Seems something broke somewhere between 2.6.32 and 2.6.38. Alas I need the latter to support this motherboard.

(3) After audio's been playing for an hour or two, I'll start to get some crackling in the left speaker. Unloading modules and restarting alsa fixes it.

(4) The resampler/dmix semantics are dumb given that many soundcards can run at any of the popular sampling rates up to 96K. A smarter way to do the mixing is: when no other sound is playing and an application asks for audio, set the card to run at the same rate as the source to be played. No resampling required. If and only if a second sound source wants to come in while sound is currently being played; and if this second source asks for a rate different than the one currectly being used, then and only then the resampler is started and used to match the second sound's rate to the first.

Most the time this does what you want: music being played will sound as clear as possible. Any ancillary system boops and beeps and desktop sounds that come in the middle will get resampled if needed. And you won't be burning CPU except when needed, and only for the relatively short ancillary sounds.

(5) Perhaps there's a way to configure the behavior desired in (4), but the alsa configuration language and options are so dense and (to me) counterintuitive I don't know where to start. It is like a programming language onto itself but there's no idea of what options are relatively efficient to use, and what should be avoided if possible.

(6) Related to (5) and indirectly to (4), there are time I _want_ exclusive use of the audio, without any mixing. I live with several roommates; we rotate around who plays mood music in main room. When I'm playing audio in this manner, the _last_ thing I want is to be shocked out of my seat when I inadvertantly visit the "wrong" web-page that blasts some sounds. What's the best way of expressing this in alsa-lingo?

(7) The Jack-audio-connection-kit realtime audio router seems to solve a lot of the same problems as dmix, and as PulseAudio. Why didn't they just use that? I get much better results when using Jack. Admittedly, Jack runs on top of alsa, so what's Jack doing that the apps aren't outside of Jack?

Some of these may well be PEBKAC. I apologize but find the documentation is simply too dense and obscure for someone who doesn't yet have a grasp of just how all the pieces interact that I may know where to look and what to tweak - or, even - what pieces are available. It didn't help that I was trying to set up audio right around the time dmix entered the picture and what I thought I knew one week no longer worked the week after, which has put a rathar sour taste in my mouth over the whole thing.

redhat audio people on irc (4, Interesting)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782820)

back in the late 1990s, i had a flamewar on an irc channel with a guy from redhat, screaming at me that there was no reason anyone would want to have two programs play a sound at the same time.

Re:Holding back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782602)

Pulseaudio really is crap. Good to see I'm not the only one to think that it's more of Lennart's bikeshedding.

Re:Holding back? (1)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782692)

As for Alsa/another sound server replacing OSS, OSS do the mixing (and resampling?) in the kernel space, citing latency is one of the reasons, while alsa let userspace programs the jobs. IMO, that kind of works does not belong to kernel space, so I prefer alsa.

Regarding to pulseaudio, dmix is fine, but pulseaudio is better with features like glitch free playback (ironically, this is the reason why pulseaudio glitches so bad on some systems with broken drivers), you can set the resampling algo, per stream volume control, flat volume (another problematic feature), and as some people said, it is the only setup that allow output via bluetooth devices but I haven't tried it yet. The main reason for many problems related to it is the horrible audio drivers on Linux (as always), so you can't exactly blame pulseaudio, at least it always has fallback mode, and the distros never set them as default.
Back when pulseaudio was first integrated into Ubuntu (around 8.04, right?), it didn't work well for me and stop working for many other. But now, most people I know have absolutely no problem with pulseaudio.
PS: Aside from dmix, there are several other sound servers like arts, esd etc.... too, I'm glad that we get rid of all that and now pulseaudio on alsa is the standard.

Re:Holding back? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782760)

As for Alsa/another sound server replacing OSS, OSS do the mixing (and resampling?) in the kernel space, citing latency is one of the reasons, while alsa let userspace programs the jobs. IMO, that kind of works does not belong to kernel space, so I prefer alsa.

Regarding to pulseaudio, dmix is fine, but pulseaudio is better with features like glitch free playback (ironically, this is the reason why pulseaudio glitches so bad on some systems with broken drivers), you can set the resampling algo, per stream volume control, flat volume (another problematic feature), and as some people said, it is the only setup that allow output via bluetooth devices but I haven't tried it yet. The main reason for many problems related to it is the horrible audio drivers on Linux (as always), so you can't exactly blame pulseaudio, at least it always has fallback mode, and the distros never set them as default. Back when pulseaudio was first integrated into Ubuntu (around 8.04, right?), it didn't work well for me and stop working for many other. But now, most people I know have absolutely no problem with pulseaudio. PS: Aside from dmix, there are several other sound servers like arts, esd etc.... too, I'm glad that we get rid of all that and now pulseaudio on alsa is the standard.

The in-kernel audio drivers have always worked flawlessly for me. I have never had problems with latency, glitches in playback, etc.

But let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that I just got lucky. Let's assume most users have problems that can be directly attributed to shoddy in-kernel drivers (as highly unusual and unlike the typical linux kernel experience as this is...). The solution to that is to put available development effort towards fixing those drivers. They are, after all, the low-level foundation of the audio system. The solution is emphatically NOT to add a redundant software layer on top of broken drivers. You do like to solve problems by fixing things where they are actually broken, right? That's the sensible thing to do. That's the correct use of the talent of developers who specialize in programming sound systems.

Arts (what a piece of vulture shit that was) and ESD are not on equal footing with Dmix. Dmix is a small, relatively efficient, rather problem-free mixer for sound cards that do not have a hardware mixer. It just works and it actually serves a purpose, unlike the sound daemons. ALSA will use a hardware mixer instead of Dmix if you have high-end hardware and one is available. I have never known Dmix to introduce playback stuttering, idiotic problems with multiple users, or any of the other problems you can easily find when you do a Google search for Arts or PulseAudio. I have also never known Dmix to use any noticable amount of CPU.

Again I will reiterate. PulseAudio is a middleman standing between the applicating wanting to play sound, and ALSA. How exactly is that going to fix an inherent flaw in the underlying ALSA system? Hint: it will not and cannot. If there are such horrible problems with Dmix (that somehow I won the lottery of never personally encountering), that kind of development effort should be put towards fixing Dmix. Doesn't that make a lot more sense?

Re:Holding back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782768)

Replace "PulseAudio" with "X Window" and you fit right in the UNIX-hater's handbook. Not that that means you're wrong, mind.

I agree that PA-on-ALSA is just ridiculous. However, PA or something like it, after it matures, and over a barebones kernel layer, can make good sense.

Re:Holding back? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782834)

Replace "PulseAudio" with "X Window" and you fit right in the UNIX-hater's handbook. Not that that means you're wrong, mind.

I agree that PA-on-ALSA is just ridiculous. However, PA or something like it, after it matures, and over a barebones kernel layer, can make good sense.

What does PulseAudio-on-ALSA accomplish that straight ALSA cannot? Assuming a non-null answer to that, how many users really need that functionality to justify including PulseAudio as the default configuration for major distributions?

The case for PulseAudio rests on those two questions.

In related news (3, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782414)

Apple claims HTC is no longer relevant and Ford also claims GM is no longer relevant.

Seriously you're asking a linux developer his opinion on BSD? What answer were you expecting?

Re:In related news (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782508)

The point here is precisely that he is a Linux developer and not a BSD developer - as in if BSD doesn't get more developers porting their work between Linux and BSD and maintaining compatible builds BSD is just going to continue fading into obscurity.

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782714)

Yeah, I'll get right on that and tell Apple and the makers of SSH that they are fading into obscurity.

Get a freaking grip. Just because some guy is a Linux developer doesn't mean there aren't plenty of folks (and companies with HUGE market value) dedicated to working on BSD.

Re:In related news (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782510)

Apple does, though, claim BSD is relevant. Look at OSX for proof.

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782528)

Let Apple fund BSD development then.

Re:In related news (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782560)

Look at OS X for proof.

And iOS since they share about 80% of their code base...

Re:In related news (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782536)

Seriously you're asking a linux developer his opinion on BSD? What answer were you expecting?

Something that doesn't make him sound like a complete idiot?

The core of Mac OS X borrows heavily from BSD, so one could legitimately argue that BSD is now the most widespread UNIX variant. In fact, I wouldn't swear to it, but I suspect that makes BSD (and Mac OS X, specifically) more popular than all of the other Linux and UNIX variants put together.

You'd pretty much have to be living under a rock to think that BSD isn't relevant. Either that or you have to believe that Windows is the way of the future. Take your pick.

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782574)

The Apple variant of BSD is a dead end. All branches of linux are still alive and kicking, for example on Android phones - the most popular smartphone.

Re:In related news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782718)

The Apple variant of BSD is a dead end. All branches of linux are still alive and kicking, for example on Android phones - the most popular smartphone.

Funny, Android devs don't really consider Android to be a Linux environment. Android is probably less Linux than Mac OS X is BSD.

Re:In related news (0)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782628)

Yeah, but how many Linuxdesktop featues (Like gnome) are being ported to OSX..? The point of TFA was that the effort spent on BSD ports of the likes of Gnome is wasted... I don't know that I agree.. I wish BSD had more userbase, and the dedication to driver support that Linux has. A stable API is a good thing, and I am genuinly surprised BSD isn't chosen for more embedded OS functionality where linux gets chosen.

Re:In related news (0)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782696)

Your argument is fundamentally wrong.

The vast majority of all Linux and Unix variants are open source. Mac OS X is not free and is sold. I have never used BSD and I use CentOS myself and have never really formed a strong opinion one way or the other about BSD at all.

I think the point here is not to bash BSD, although it certainly sounds like it, but to point out that those that support it through their coding contributions are a dwindling group.

Of course Apple can easily pick up, or already has, enough coders to keep their BSD variant going strong... but that is not going to be a variant that I can download and install on my server is it?

With all due respect, you cannot legitimately argue to include Mac OS X installations as BSD installations since it is not open source or free.

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782786)

The kernel is.

Re:In related news (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782892)

You missed my point. Of course Apple has based their OS on an open source platform, and therefore it is subject to certain terms.

My point is that Apple will not let you download their entire OS for free from a distro which is being counted amongst the BSD variants that are.

So if we are going to count up all the BSD installations, in the context of open source and a comparison against Linux, then it does not make logical sense to include Apple's BSD variant. One might say such a study or analysis would be deliberately misleading.

My first point is getting modded down of course, but I hold no opinion of BSD (fanboys pay attention - not agree!=troll) either way. So I can honestly say that before hearing this story I had no idea of the state of BSD in open source at all. I knew Apple was based on it, but other than that, I just hear about occasional references by other admins that they run such and such on BSD.

Although I was curious about BSD, I am just very comfortable with Red Hat and CentOS. No judgement against anything else. So can't we just all get along? :)

I mean we are all on the side of open source right? So why get our panties in a bunch and get into a fight over it? :D

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782866)

You do realize you can download Darwin, which from what I recall, was current as of Feb of this year with the last release.

Re:In related news (0)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782720)

OS X isn't BSD, OS X is OS X. They haven't contributed crap to BSD in almost 10 years.

Re:In related news (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782780)

Sure its a BSD. Pretty much any unix that isn't linux (or minix lol) shares DNA from the early AT&T + BSD unix's.

But I wouldn't call it a sibling anymore of the modern BSDs (It was originally), more a hipster turtleneck wearing cousin.

Re:In related news (1, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782880)

Yeah, but using it as an argument that BSD isn't dead it like using you as an argument that your great-great grandfather isn't either ;)

Re:In related news (1)

sgunhouse (1050564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782832)

Android, NetOS and the upcoming ChromeOS are based on Linux, as are many routers and embedded devices. Sorry, but Linux is the most popular version of UNIX as of today.

Re:In related news (2, Informative)

Tester (591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782846)

Seriously you're asking a linux developer his opinion on BSD? What answer were you expecting?

Something that doesn't make him sound like a complete idiot?

The core of Mac OS X borrows heavily from BSD, so one could legitimately argue that BSD is now the most widespread UNIX variant. In fact, I wouldn't swear to it, but I suspect that makes BSD (and Mac OS X, specifically) more popular than all of the other Linux and UNIX variants put together.

1. Lennart is NOT a kernel developer. He is a userspace developer who wrote many important pieces of infrastructure for all free operating systems.

2. Lennart is trying to make Linux more like OSX.. What he is saying is that the other BSDs are way way behind in features. Apple had to radically change BSD to make it suitable for a desktop, and Lennart is doing the same.

Re:In related news (5, Informative)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782862)

TFS is flamebait.

LinuxFr.org : Systemd use a lot of Linux only technologies (cgroups, udev, fanotify, timerfd, signalfd, etc). Do you really think the Linux API has been taking the role of the POSIX API and the other systems are irrelevant ?

Lennart : Yes, I don't think BSD is really too relevant anymore, and I think that this implied requirement for compatibility with those systems when somebody hacks software for the free desktop or ecosystem is a burden, and holds us back for little benefit.
I am pretty sure those other systems are not irrelevant for everbody, after all there are people hacking on them. I just don't think it's really in our interest to let us being held back by them if we want to make sure Linux enters the mainstream all across the board (and not just on servers and mobile phones, and not in reduced ways like Android). They are irrelevant to get Free Software into everybody's hand, and I think that is and should be our goal.
But hey, that's just me saying this. I am sure people do Free Software for a number of reasons. I have mine, and others have others.

He's saying BSD isn't really relevant on the _desktop_ (and sorry but no, OS X is not a counter-example to this) and that if developers want Linux to succeed on the desktop then they need to worry less about other platforms. In other words, don't cater to the lowest common denominator.

Re:In related news (1, Insightful)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782618)

I guess he thinks Apple is no longer relevant too since MacOSX/iOS are both based on BSD.

PulseAudio? (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782444)

This guy needs beaten just for this.

Re:PulseAudio? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782532)

I'd like to beat him for systemd while we're at it.

Re:PulseAudio? (5, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782836)

Word. Systemd. What a pointless masturbatory waste of effort. That's just one area where BSD, far from not being relevant, is right. They don't fuck with what works fine.

Re:PulseAudio? (4, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782614)

This guy needs beaten just for this.

I don't blame him for creating PulseAudio. I blame the distribution maintainers for having the poor judgment to make it the main sound system for so many distributions. It would be one thing to have a sane default like ALSA and then have PulseAudio available in the repositories for those who really want it.

For my friends who use Linux, the first thing I do whenever a new distro is installed is to check if it is using PulseAudio. If so, I remove it and replace it with ALSA. Suddenly issues related to audio playback go away and everything just magically works. Oh and they easily have a proper mixer without jumping through hoops, too, which is handy considering some of them are using 5.1 surround sound and/or bluetooth headphones.

The first headache I had with PulseAudio was when I tried to run something as a different (normal) user account and audio wouldn't work. There was no meaningful error message. There was only a "connection refused" error in the terminal. As it turns out, this is because PulseAudio has to be run by the user and it is recommended not to run it as a system-wide daemon. User A was running the user-daemon and User B was denied access to it as a consequence. They both could not run their own, well they could but it wouldn't work, as that'd be far too easy. Rather than screw around trying to get that to work I just used ALSA since PulseAudio didn't do anything I needed it to do that ALSA couldn't do with none of the hassle.

In case you wonder why I was running something as another normal user, it was for using Windows programs in WINE. I always prefer to do that with a separate user account that isn't used for anything else. This special WINE account has additional restrictions because I do not trust Windows programs -- they might phone home, they might contain malware, they are binary blobs that cannot easily be inspected, etc. The point is, Unix and therefore Linux are multi-user systems. You expect to be able to have multiple concurrent users running programs without issue.

PulseAudio smacks of the walled-garden model, where as long as you are a very average user who does extremely predictable things that they have decided to allow for, such as only having one active user on the local system, then you have few or maybe no problems. As soon as you do anything even the slightest bit unusual (which multiple users on a *nix system hardly is) you start running into brick walls. To that I say "no thanks, not for me". If I wanted that experience I'd use Windows. If ALSA were a barely-functional, poorly designed sound system I could at least understand why PulseAudio exists and why it is becoming so popular. As far as I can tell it's a burdensome solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Re:PulseAudio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782688)

Want a dual-boot Linux/Windows system with /user on an NTFS partition? Sorry, PulseAudio wont let you. WTF?!

Poettering is the poster child for crappy Linux developers.

Re:PulseAudio? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782848)

Want a dual-boot Linux/Windows system with /user on an NTFS partition? Sorry, PulseAudio wont let you. WTF?!

Poettering is the poster child for crappy Linux developers.

How and why would a sound daemon even know or care about the filesystem type for any kernel-supported, read-writable volume? While the objections to PulseAudio are legion, I have never heard this particular one before.

Re:PulseAudio? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782740)

This guy needs beaten just for this.

Can slashdot start allowing posts to be modded up to Score:6, Insightful -- just so we can apply it in this one case?

But to be fair, BSD does have its problems. I ran FreeBSD on both my desktop and my server for years. It was OK as a server OS, but not so great on the desktop. I had a list of open-source apps I wanted to run, and I could only get about 85% of them to run at any given time. That's why I jumped ship when ubuntu came along.

Re:PulseAudio sucks cpu (1)

dfries (466073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782800)

ogg voribs playback using Alsa 5.7% CPU usage total
use PulseAudio and the PulseAudio daemon takes 36% CPU

That's telling when it's taking less CPU to decode compressed audio than it does to forward the audio to the sound card. Maybe PulseAudio was doing an expensive resampling, but that's it's fault for not letting the sound card do the resampling. This was an older slower system, but who wants to burn extra CPU cycles like that?

Re:PulseAudio? (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782826)

I used to share your opinion after I moved to Ubuntu from Gentoo. Specially developing games, Pulse caused a lot of lag and made coding sound effects terribly hard. My first install task was to remove pulse and set SDL to use ALSA.
However, one or two Ubuntu releases ago, it started to just work© and haven't had a complaint about it since then (except for the huge pipes (?) stored in /dev/shm, a directory I use often, and doesn't cause lag in my tracker or my games anymore. That's enough for me, saves the trouble of having to excise it.

Finally: BSD is dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782446)

At long last, someone FINALLY admits that BSD is dead. Or should be. No one has ever dared admit it before.

Does Netcraft confirm this? (5, Funny)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782448)

Just curious... does Netcraft confirm this?

Re:Does Netcraft confirm this? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782464)

Damn you beat me to it. The famous troll appears as a front page article. Maybe a really old troll got promoted to editor status. /troll

Linux itself isn't relevant anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782458)

At least, not on the desktop. Certainly, some people do use Linux on the desktop, but they are almost entirely either those hand-held by sysadmins, developers, or people with narrower than normal needs who don't mind reinstalling everything every couple of years. I know it is easy to take this as a troll as Linux zealots remain convinced than "next year will be the year of Linux on the desktop" as sure as they were 15 years ago, but if the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result, much of the Linux ecosystem is guilty. I would like to consider Linux an option, but it just isn't, and I don't believe it ever will be.

Re:Linux itself isn't relevant anymore (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782512)

Why are you using "anymore"? When was Linux ever relevant on the desktop?

Disclaimer: linux desktop user

Re:Linux itself isn't relevant anymore (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782566)

That was my thought, BSD gets a bit of a license in that regards because it isn't trying to take over the desktop space. There are a small number of OSes that are related, some are focused on the desktop environment, but they're more focused on polish and actually working reliably from release to release and evolving the experience over time.

Linux OTOH varies enough that I can't really make a particularly fitting statement on that. Some distros are run by people that know what they're doing and focus on fixing things that are broken, others like Ubuntu are clearly run by crack smoking monkeys and you end up with unusable garbage or releases that have nothing in common with previous releases.

But with the dozens of distros and all the talk of being relevant to the majority of users, it's hard not to view it like the short bus kid that thinks he's going to be valedictorian. At the end of the day, most of what's wrong with Linux is the direct result of trying to copy Windows and scoop up the users even if things like automounting were stupid to begin with.

Re:Linux itself isn't relevant anymore (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782542)

Linux zealots remain convinced than "next year will be the year of Linux on the desktop"

Heck, next year isn't even the year of the desktop anymore.

Re:Linux itself isn't relevant anymore (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782622)

Precisely. Linus' kernel has found critical mass in Android. It uses as little of GNU as possible and - it's just a kernel - Google could port dalvik to one of the BSDs within a year without too much trauma.

I'm still hopeful we'll see desktop wayland-enabled meego/webos to save us from Gnome3/Unity!

Re:Linux itself isn't relevant anymore (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782570)

Linux on the desktop is so last year...

Like SpinalTap (2)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782470)

I guess Gnome is becoming more selective in it's appeal just like SpinalTap.

Um... Pardon Me, But... (0)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782474)

Was BSD relevant at some point? I think I was sick that day. Could you fax 'round the memo so I can update the logs? "BSD was relevant today. Huzzah! Who knows what tomorrow will bring!"

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782534)

Here's a hint, it's unlikely that you would be on slashdot if not for BSD.

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782606)

Must have been a busy day for it!

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (2)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782582)

Yeah, it was. BSD was THE unix for awhile after AT&T got split up. In the early 80's BSD was the basis for a lot of proprietary Unix's. Afterwards, the *BSD projects came out. It was incredibly important for awhile. Further, I know a couple of places that still use net-bsd with switch cards and iptables/ipchains to act as a second tier firewall after a hardware appliance. They work quite well. I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole for anything desktop related though.

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782650)

Agreed, though PC-BSD is really nice, on supported hardware, the lack of, and/or late driver support is just unbearable... Really nice for network (monowall) or NAS (FreeNAS) base OS though... stable API structure good... breaking everything under the sun every other kernel update, bad.

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782620)

not sure about today, but years ago, Juniper networks used freebsd inside, to run the userland side of their core routers.

netbsd was used (also about 10 yrs ago, a lot) for non-intel style embedded network devices. I was at a router/switch company and we used netbsd (ppc arch. at the time).

can't say I ever ran into a bay area company, during my travels, that used openbsd. but back about 10 yrs ago, freebsd and netbsd *were* quite popular in the enterprise. corp people didn't like the GPL (at least at the time) and bsd was the most business-friendly license they could find.

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782676)

I worked in network testing recently, and JunOS is still based on FreeBSD.

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782864)

And Juniper is using JunOS on it's new Switches and Firewalls now, not just it's routers.

didnt openbsd develop ssh? (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782790)

that basically everyone and their brother uses?

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (1)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782636)

Was BSD relevant at some point? I think I was sick that day. Could you fax 'round the memo so I can update the logs? "BSD was relevant today. Huzzah! Who knows what tomorrow will bring!"

Remember to sign your entry "So long, and thanks for all the packets!"

Tomorrow will bring a centrally controlled internet. Huzzah!

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782732)

Yeah, there was this company called Sun that had some small server market share a ways back, using an OS based completely on BSD...

Re:Um... Pardon Me, But... (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782884)

Was BSD relevant at some point?

It was super influential in the early '80s.

That's funny....... (1)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782482)

I will be sure to let the good folks at Juniper know.

Re:That's funny....... (1)

xgadflyx (828530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782518)

Make sure you forward that to Apple and McAfee/Sidewinder, K, thanks!

Re:That's funny....... (1)

ampmouse (761827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782586)

And don't forget about EMC Isilon.

Pulse Audio (5, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782548)

I don't take anything from this guy seriously after dealing with Pulse Audio on a few systems. The shit never improved and only added a layer of incompatibility to systems that ran just fine using ALSA by itself.

Re:Pulse Audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782590)

I have HDA on-board sound in this HP. The microphone has never worked on Win 7, even with a separate mixer and it doesn't work with ALSA audio, either. It does, however, work fine with Pulse Audio.

Re:Pulse Audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782774)

Pulse Audio is not speaking to your hardware. ALSA probably is and Pulse Audio is somehow managing to not screw up on top. Bonus!

Re:Pulse Audio (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782652)

He has a tendency to develop things halfway, without taking any input from any users, and then everyone using Fedora has to end up using it even if it's complete shit. If you criticize him, he's got some staunch defenders that will call you out on it, mostly the people who have only ever used Linux on a laptop... that really does seem to be the only thing he cares about.

PulseAudio - a useless NIH layer. ALSA was just fine. He lists a bunch of other problems with Linux audio, but everyone was just using ALSA directly, nobody was using his straw men really (Jack? OSS? Really?) This is the first thing I remove on my Linux boxes.

I predict systemd will be his next "hit". He named the control command "systemctl" even though every Linux has a "sysctl" command already... one of the most easily avoidable CLI namespace problems I have ever seen in over 20 years of UNIX and 18 years of Linux administration. I think systemd is because he really really wants to make Linux into MacOS X. If you want MacOS X, then great, it's a fine desktop OS, have at it.... but Linux is still mostly used on servers, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Anyway, systemd just throws out everything that was good about init and even upstart, and starts over, and he is busy adding the features of cron and inetd to it for some reason. Because saving some tiny amount of space in the process table is somehow useful.

I just wish there was some review of features that make it into Fedora, etc, to see if they're really worth it.

Re:Pulse Audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782904)

Well, I reckon that's a little harsh. I've spoken to Lennart several times at Linuxconf or the like and he has been nothing but polite and most of all passionate about his projects and well, really making things better. Sure his focus is obv linux, and perhaps Pulse didn't work in the beginning. (I remember it being a pain on gentoo a couple of years ago). Have you tried fedora 15 however? Systemd just works. Pulse just works. Avahi (well ok I dont use that one, but I assume it works :))

I reckon we need more people like him, he takes and has taken a fair bit of flack for speaking his mind and his software, but he still keeps going, and keeps trying to make things better. Perhaps it's time to have another look?

BSD still relevant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782564)

I'm downloading BSD right now, and going to install it tonight.

See! BSD is still relevant!

Re:BSD still relevant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782646)

Keep that fighting spirit, you little fighter you! I'm sure the other 13 BSD users will appreciate it.

GNU HURD (1)

serkit (2358056) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782580)

At least BSD is more relevant than HURD.

bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782596)

well, i don't necessarily hate avahi, haven't really looked at it much. But pulseaudio and systemd are two horrible mistakes, so fuck this guy.

Re:bah (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782702)

avahi is fine (it's a re-implementation of Apple's bonjour/zero-conf for broadcasting local dns and services. quite useful).

Of course (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782612)

BSD is irrelevant. Nobody's played Doom for years.

Oh, wait.... Maybe I'm thinking of BFG.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782694)

BFG is my main desktop OS, you insensitive clod!

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782902)

I use it to tend cattle. They have big teeth.

who the hell is Lennart Poettering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782660)

...oh... "PulseAudio, Avahi and systemd": three good reasons why his opinion isn't relevant

Fuck PulseAudio, you bastard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782682)

How many years were wasted by the Linux community dealing with that atrocity? A curse to anyone who hires this piece of shit, grants him interviews, and timothy for posting this on slashdot.

Lennart Poettering isn't relevant anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782726)

People who really care about freedom [copyfree.org] and know what they're doing [cat-v.org] run real UNIX operating systems [openbsd.org] and wouldn't touch Linux, Gnome, GTK, Qt, PulseAudio, Avahi, etc with a 10 foot pole. As for everyone else: 99% of them run Windows or Mac.

(Signed: Alex Libman's sockpuppet.)

always wondered why PulseAudio sucked (5, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782778)

now we know.

the developer lacks humility.

Re:always wondered why PulseAudio sucked (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782850)

You put it too kindly. I would say he is a punk.

The worst thing about OSS ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782878)

... or perhaps the only annoying issue with OSS in general, is that the OSS community contains far too many fools who think that their opinion about some other project they don't like somehow matters.

Re:The worst thing about OSS ... (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782916)

Really? I thought it was all the goddamned vampires....

What's with the Newspeak? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782890)

"...people really shouldn't misunderstand that."

George Orwell is turning in his grave at such a horrible abuse of English. Why didn't he just say that BSD is double plus ungood?

Bug report #178334 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782908)

Lennart Poettering is an idiot

STATUS CLOSED: CANTFIX

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