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OS Upgrades Powered By Git

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the sounds-like-a-good-idea dept.

Operating Systems 92

JamieKitson writes "The latest Webconverger 15 release is the first Linux distribution to be automagically updatable from a Github repository. The chroot of the OS is kept natively in git's format and fuse mounted with git-fs. Webconverger fulfills the Web kiosk use case, using Firefox and competes indirectly with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git."

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92 comments

NOW YOU GO GIT YOU HEAR !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41597917)

Go on !! GIT !!

Re:NOW YOU GO GIT YOU HEAR !! (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41599179)

No, no. That's *not* what the headline meant when it said "OS Upgrades Powered By Git".

I still think it's a bit rude to describe Linus as a "git", though.

arg (4, Insightful)

Blymie (231220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41597979)

They describe it as "automagic", SO I HAVE NO #$%&*(*+&% INTEREST IN IT!

Ever! Arg!

Re:arg (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598031)

You're missing a close paren (a worse crime than using "automagically".

Re:arg (1, Funny)

Blymie (231220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598057)

You're a missing close paren, oodaloop!

YOU'RE A MISSING CLOSE PAREN!!!

Re:arg (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599087)

)) fixed that for you.

Re:arg (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599287)

Thanks, I was already running low on stack space.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598037)

Amen to that. It's usually my cue to stop reading.

Re:arg (0, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598053)

I agree. "automagic" is is one of the things that make Microsoft products suck so badly: If you are doing only what the designers anticipated, it may work (or not). As soon as you have your own ideas, you are screwed.

That is not the Linux way. To expect understanding and willingness to learn and giving freedom and power in return is. It is no accident that a command-line gives the power of command, while a user-interface merely lets you click on the colorful buttons.

Re:arg (4, Insightful)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598123)

It's designed for web kiosks, like the kind you see in libraries. It's not for power Linux users. It's for a "set-up-and-forget" installation where everything just works, and magically stays updated and patched.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41602261)

Which is something I wish we did with our "Visitor Stations".

These stations pretty much just allow you to browse the Library's pages at our University, auto-logging into a pre-set account and having no access to the hard drive (just thumb drive IIRC). They also have an office suite (MS Office of course) installed and PDF viewer.

I've questioned why they use Windows for that setup at all instead of just using a kiosk version of Linux. If say you used Ubuntu, setup a cron job or some other service to apt-get update; apt-get upgrade every so often so it automatically installs the updates (or just setup apt to do it its self). But alas, us IT folks don't get to decide that stuff, the dean does. We're just stuck with trying to figure out how to implement what hey want.

Re:arg (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41602301)

This could be for power users.

Just point your Git repository sources at Linus' personal nightly build!! This is the next, next step past Gentoo. Gentoo pioneered direct from source code distros. Now we can have developers check out that source we are booting from on a daily basis.

Now when Linus commits, it can be in production the next day! Real IT people run all their developing in PRODUCTION.

Re:arg (1)

Wolfrider (856) | about a year and a half ago | (#41619697)

--That's all fine, well and good - until you get a bug in the source code that "automagically" gets sent out to 10,000 endpoints and breaks everything.

Re:arg (1, Interesting)

Zenin (266666) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598267)

Using git (or any decent VCS) as the engine behind an updater system is incredibly smart and powerful. Roll your OS patches forward, backwards, merge customizations in or out, all very reliably, trackable, and managable. That isn't magic, it's just smart. A hell of a lot smarter then rolling one's own from scratch.

It always amazes me how often and fiercely the Linux crowd equates banging one's head against the wall with "understanding", "willingness to learn", "freedom", or most laughable of all, "power". It's bad ideas, half implemented, and hastily shipped off to the masses. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's very rare to see solidly good ideas advanced in the Linux world and this is why: Moronic "If it's not hard it's not good!" fanbois trashing any smart idea that might pop its head up as quickly and vehemently as possible.

Re:arg (3, Interesting)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598571)

Except that you are managing highly interdependent binary files (executable and libraries) which you can't merge in any useful way. With a large percentage of changes being security related so the goal is never to simply role back to previous versions.

Yes managing the dependencies that result form allowing people to choose different programs and libraries and even the versions they prefer is an incredibly difficult task. Lucky the are several brilliant systems already available.

Re:arg (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598799)

I would tend to suspect that(unless you have very competent admins who actually screen the incoming updates in some way deeper than mere bug-checking, in which case you run your own damn update server and vet before anything gets sent out to the clients) the version control system would merely need to be not pathologically bad at handling binaries.

Yes, the binaries do change; but the trajectory of a production box is, most of the time: 1. Start 2. Update available. Apply? 3. Yes. 4. Goto 1. As long as Git isn't a zillion percent worse than rsync for that, it doesn't much matter.

Where the beauty of the revision control system comes in is with the config files, that are mostly text and should integrate readily with the strengths of a versioning system. You can track changes, have different branches for different purposes, roll back issues fairly trivially, all quite handy.

Re:arg (1)

johanatan (1159309) | about a year and a half ago | (#41600189)

So, why not put the source code in git and let the OS download, compile, and install the updates from source [automagically]? Or maybe even have the entire operating system be an interpreter (a la BASIC, erlang, smalltalk or LISP machines).

Re:arg (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41600765)

There wouldn't be anything stopping you; but you'd really have to hate handling binaries with git to respond by getting all Gentoo on the problem. Unless you have something specific in mind, compiling something exactly the same way that everybody else has already compiled it is a bit of a waste of time...

Re:arg (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598811)

git is a great tool, however it is extremely poorly suited for handling binary files in the way this project is using.

The CyanogenMod project recently encountered issues with getting locked out of some repos temporarily because they were simply too big and driving too much traffic - in almost all cases, the culprits were device trees that contained prebuilt kernel binaries instead of using the inline kernel building process that has been strongly encouraged for quite some time.

As a result of the most recent lockout issues, placement of prebuilt kernel binaries in the device tree has gone from "strongly discouraged" to "banned".

Re:arg (2)

paulatz (744216) | about a year and a half ago | (#41602093)

i agree that git is a great tool, especially when i do not have to use it; as Linus Torvalds put it [kernel.org] , git stands for:

  1. “Global information tracker”: you’re in a good mood, and it actually works for you. Angels sing and light suddenly fills the room.
  2. “Goddamn idiot truckload of sh*t”: when it breaks.

One specific use of git that i love, and where you never have to touch git at all, is SparkleShare [sparkleshare.org] , granted that i self host it in a mini NAS

Re:arg (0)

snemarch (1086057) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598919)

You'd get a +1 if I had mod points - although I would assume Blymie takes offense at the word 'automagic' moreso than the process being... automagic ;-)

I guess it wouldn't be a half bad way to manage Gentoo's portage or FreeBSD's ports, but it doesn't seem like a smart idea for binaries - and I wonder if the bulk source (rather than the makefiles, patches and descriptors of a portage/ports system) would be manageable, assuming that most people would want to only download the source for the parts they need. How'd one do that with Git - huge amount of submodules?

Re:arg (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about a year and a half ago | (#41607083)

Well, the three most popular package management systems for Linux, as far as I know, are .deb packages for Debian-based versions (usually managed with Advanced Package Tool -APT, or some GUI front end on APT), .rpm packages for Red Hat package-based versions (usually managed with Yellow Dog Update, Umodified - YUM, or some GUI front end on YUM), or Portage for Gentoo and Gentoo derivatives.

But while they work damn well for end users in practice, they are work intensive for package maintaners. There have been several attempts to innovate in package management for Linux by keeping the end user experience just as easy but make the developer burden lower.

I'm aware of Conary ( http://docs.rpath.com/conary/Conaryopedia/index.html [rpath.com] ) which is used by Foresight Linux (a relatively unknown distribution) and rPath Linux, and which uses revision control system concepts like changesets to reduce upgrade download sizes just like git does, and which also tries to have better naming conventions for package sources, source build number, package build number, and branch so that the developer has less work than with .deb or .rpm building the package. I say tries to be better because I'm not familiar enough with any of the package systems to know for sure if Conary really is superior. But in any event it's seven years old or so and has relatively little public adoption.

For even more obscure package control, there's the Nix package manager and NixOS ( which as you can guess is a Linux distribution that uses Nix ). http://nixos.org/ [nixos.org] I think Nix is a serious attempt at building a .deb and .rpm replacement, just like Conary, but as far as I can tell it's got even less adoption and interest.

In any event, the idea that we've already reached ideal package managers in maintream Linux is absurd. Obviously what we have now is better than manual dependency management with tar.gz archives of source and binary packages, but I'm sure better designs exist or could be built. The question is whether Conary or Nix or anything else really are those better designs, and whether the better designs are so much superior that it's worthwhile to switch.

Re:arg (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41599257)

It always amazes me how often and fiercely the Linux crowd equates banging one's head against the wall with "understanding", "willingness to learn", "freedom", or most laughable of all, "power".

Odd, the only time I feel like banging my head agaisnt the wall is in Windows. It took months to figure out how to disable the retarded "tap to click" on my notebook. When I installed Linux on it it took five minutes. Windows had it in some icon at the bottom right of the screen you had to click to get to the icon where you could actually disable it, and it was buried half a dozen menus down, rather than being in the "mouse" function in Control Panel where it belonged. In Linux, it was in KDE's version of Control panel, in the mouse settings, three clicks and done.

It's bad ideas, half implemented, and hastily shipped off to the masses. Lather, rinse, repeat.

That's Windows, not Linux. Example: Vista, W8.

It's very rare to see solidly good ideas advanced in the Linux world

Rare? What solidly good ideas has MS ever come up with? OTOH in Linux I can set it up to boot to a default user and enter your user password for you (as long as it's not root). Why can't Windows do that? And not only am I logged onto the machine and network, all the apps and documents that were open when I shut it down are reopened. Why can't Windows do that? I can have movies as wallpaper, why can't Windows do that? Audacity lists lyrics of songs while they're played, downloaded from the internet. Why can't Windows Media Player do that?

Moronic "If it's not hard it's not good!"

Ah, I see... I was going to accuse you of shilling, but I'm pretty sure you're not, but tried some flavor of Linux (probably Red Hat or Debian) and couldn't find the C: drive. Your problem is your youth. Us geezers are used to unfamiliar operating systems; starting with BASIC, moviong up to DOS, then Windows... then Linux.

Linux is far easier to use than Windows and does far more, is more stable, faster, more secure... Windows can't hold a candle to it. But then, Microsoft is a single company and Linux is many different companies and private developers, far more than MS could afford to hire (because the stockholders would be up in arms).

Linux is Burger King: have it your way. Windows is McDonald's: you get it how we make it and you'll LIKE IT, serf!

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599399)

OTOH in Linux I can set it up to boot to a default user and enter your user password for you (as long as it's not root). Why can't Windows do that?

Windows can do that: my girlfriend's mother's XP machine does so. But I've no idea how to configure Windows to do that, it's probably some arcane option hidden away in Local Group Super Policy Editor.

Re:arg (2)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year and a half ago | (#41601515)

You have to play around with the registry, but there are 3d party applications available that does it. We used it in a previous work place to auto log in to NT machines since all the services we ran there was normal desktop applications and not windows services.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41600197)

Odd, the only time I feel like banging my head agaisnt the wall is in Windows. It took months to figure out how to disable the retarded "tap to click" on my notebook.

I prefer Apple's approach of making tap to click actually work.

Re:arg (1)

IMightB (533307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41601023)

Re:arg (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year and a half ago | (#41601543)

Since we always hear that no user shall ever have to use the command prompt (to which the registry clearly belongs) this means that it's actually impossible to enable auito login in Windows without a 3d party application.

Re:arg (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41601607)

Regedit is neither commandline nor third party.

Re:arg (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about a year and a half ago | (#41605283)

For your grandma, regedit is exactly as complex as the command line (what windows zealots use to say about Linux). No one has claimed that it's a 3d party application, I said since no one can use regedit then one of course cannot use regedit but are forced to use one of the 3d party applications that enables autologon.

Re:arg (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41607141)

No, but editing the registry is a lot closer to a hack than modifying a text file. Joe Sixpack can't edit the registry, but he can easily set up his Linux computer to do it without any registry hacks*; it's a checkbox in kde.

* Linux has no registry.

Re:arg (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41606867)

You make my point for me. Joe sixpack can edit the registry? In kde the choice is there on one of the install screens; you click a check box and that's it. No need to trawl forums to find a link to figure out how to do it. It's there, automatically.

A registry edit is a hack. If you have to hack your PC to make it functional, well... isn't that what MS shills continualy spew about Linux?

Re:arg (0, Troll)

Zenin (266666) | about a year and a half ago | (#41602655)

Mostly I compare Linux against other Unix systems, not Windows. To which even the most modern distributions (the plethora of distributions being a large part of the problem itself) can't even stand up against most other Unix systems from over a decade ago. *BSD, Solaris, HPUX, Irix.

a.out vs ELF
libc vs glibc
VM of the week
Filesystem of the week
Package system of the week
Source management via an email Inbox of patch files, seriously?
KDE vs GNOME
Does audio work yet?
etc, etc, etc.

The point is Linux, at its very heart, is a hacked up experimental prototype. Nothing is polished, nothing is built well, transitions and stability are never considered. Why bother? It's an erector set, it's built to be tinkered with. It's not built to be a final product, it's not built to be part of anything else's final product (see GPL). The fact that it has been as wildly successful in the market as it has is a frightening testimony.

But since you're focused on Windows: Frankly Windows 7 with Cygwin makes for a far better "Unix Workstation" in most every conceivable way then any Linux system ever made. By workstation I refer to a personal computer used for productive work. Office tasks sure, but the whole of software engineering very much included. Which is why you still find practically no Linux workstations at the desks of nearly any real professionals. Even the heavily Unix centric guys are running terminals from a Windows machine.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41616785)

Experimentation is good. Experimentation is what gets you progress (unless you know how to build an operating system that cannot possibly be improved – in which case get the fuck off slashdot and take my money).

> Which is why you still find practically no Linux workstations at the desks of nearly any real professionals. Even the heavily Unix centric guys are running terminals from a Windows machine.

You've made the mistake of assuming that your experience is typical and generalized from it. We have zero developers using Windows where I work, and our quarterly revenue says we're at least a little bit professional.

Re:arg (1)

Zenin (266666) | about a year and a half ago | (#41634847)

Experimentation is great, in a lab.

The Linux community (very much including Linus himself) makes the mistake of subjecting the entire user base to lab experiments. The community is a combination of bleeding edge lab experiments (mostly on the core OS side) and blatant copying (mostly on the GUI side).

So users get the best of both worlds: A half baked GUI cloned from Windows and Mac, running on top of an immature, unstable OS.

As to my experience, considering how much I get around I'm quite confident it is typical. In common hypocritical fashion, you've made the mistake of seeing your ONE fanboi filled Linux shop and generalized it to the world. I've worked with dozens of organizations large and small, with all sorts of love affairs with all different kinds of software. Yes, your Linux-only shop happens, but not very commonly. It's almost exclusively the domain of tiny startup groups filled with 20-somethings right out of college programming Ruby.

The fact is there isn't any modern Unix system from any vendor that makes for a better workstation then Windows 7, even for doing Unix-centric work. I held onto my Unix workstations longer then practically anyone I've known, and even I gave them up once Cygwin was solid.

Windows Server is still a pathetic excuse for a Server OS in practically every possible way, for which Unix still solidly holds the prize. But while any Linux system is wildly better then any Windows system for server use, it's still the worst of all Unix options. It beats Windows only because Windows is so bad, not because Linux is so good.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41685393)

If uptime measured in years on systems that constantly have high volume isn't good, what exactly is your definition of good?

Re:arg (1)

Zenin (266666) | about a year and a half ago | (#41726759)

"Uptime"...has a more pointless metric ever been created?

It's very, very difficult to crash any decently mature OS at this point, reguardless of load. This means "uptime" really means "unpatched time", because for most all systems it's most accurately a measure of how infrequently updates are applied or how diligent the admins are generally. Yes, most updates to most systems won't require a reboot...but a diligent admin will bounce them anyway in most cases...if only to be sure they still restart correctly (that the startup process for both OS and services hasn't been botched, etc).

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41685327)

Linux has been extensively tested in and has stood up to high volume, in realtime systems, in critical systems of all types.

To say it is unstable and a hacked up prototype is ignorance at its finest.l

I guess all those gadgets that use Linux aren't a "final product".

Do you think the mars rovers would be working if they had windows in them?

Re:arg (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598359)

Command-line is a user-interface.

Re:arg (0)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598433)

That is not the Linux way. To expect understanding and willingness to learn and giving freedom and power in return is. It is no accident that a command-line gives the power of command, while a user-interface merely lets you click on the colorful buttons.

Oh please if you'd bothered to read the very short snippet in the story summation, you'd see that this was for kiosk automation. Please don't ban WebConverger from the land of Linux for heresy.

I propose that Slashdot require a TL;DR for every story that is written in huge bold letters and displayed above every single response textbox.

Re:arg (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598861)

I even read TFA and wrote my posting afterwards. Maybe you should stop jumping to invalid conclusions?

Re:arg (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609781)

So you just plain missed the whole "this is for kiosks" part? Good reading comprehension skills there, Tex.

Re:arg (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609977)

Forgive me, I just assumed that you missed the part about this being for kiosk automation. I now realize that you just don't care about using Linux in any great capacity. Each Linux installation should be it's own delicate house of cards held together by deft handling and the force of gravity and friction. To use Linux for anything other than that goes against the "Linux way".

Oh, I assume you don't use any package management system to "automagically" install and maintain your software? Compiling from the source is so much more the "Linux way". You shouldn't use any version control software, either. Not the "Linux way". Merge those changes by hand.

Re:arg (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | about a year and a half ago | (#41599169)

And a TL;DR for the TL;DR. And more until the final TL;DR is only one word.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599451)

And a TL;DR for the TL;DR. And more until the final TL;DR is only one word.

Lemme guess, that word would be "TL;DR" ?

Re:arg (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41599499)

I agree. "automagic" is is one of the things that make Microsoft products suck so badly

I disagree, what makes MS products suck so badly is bad design and sloppy programming. What makes their "automagic" so bad is simply that it's poorly implimented.

LINUX DOES AUTOMAGIC BETTER!

Take my bluetooth dongle for example. For Windows, install the program and drivers with a bunch of clicks, UACs, and a reboot. In Linux? Plug in the dongle and it works. People who think Windows is user-friendly have never used any other OS, or only tried it out for a few minutes and gave up when there was no C: drive and all the slashes weren't backwards like they're used to.

Re:arg (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#41601409)

LINUX DOES AUTOMAGIC BETTER!

I see you never had an udev or PAM problem. True, it is still better than MS, because you can find documentation and you can access and debug everything and fix it yourself, but that is about it.

Re:arg (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41608403)

Linux is neither perfect or even the best fit for everyone (artists need Macs, gamers need Windows). I'm just tired of MS fanbois and shills lying about it. And you are correct, I never ran across those problems.

Re:arg (1)

Lennie (16154) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598105)

I won't be installing it on my desktop or servers any time soon, but it is an interresting experiment and maybe interresting to see what new ideas they've come up with.

Who knows maybe they came up with something interresting which could apply to servers.

Anyway, I'm gonna take a look.

Re:arg (1)

BobPaul (710574) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598401)

I won't be installing it on my desktop or servers any time soon,

I should hope not! Installing a browser kiosk on your desktop would be weird, and if you installed it on a server I might have to take away your keys to the server room.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598141)

They describe it as "automagic", SO I'M GOING TO BE A COMPLETE SPAZ AND THROW A FIT!

This makes sense to me! Arg!

FTFY. Seriously, chill the fuck out.

Re:arg (1)

danhuby (759002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598545)

I have never liked the term "automagically". There's no need for it, because it is exactly the same as "automatically". Unless the user is somehow implying that magic is involved.

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599117)

I have never liked the term "automagically". There's no need for it, because it is exactly the same as "automatically". Unless the user is somehow implying that magic is involved.

The difference is: "automatically" = I know how it works, "automagically" = I'm completely clueless.

Re:arg (1)

StonyUK (173886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598621)

Automagic appears in early BSD kernel source, it's not some flashy new-found marketing term, although maybe the bastards have tried to pinch it! :)

Re:arg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41621937)

Isn't everything about computers is automagic, to some degree? Don't we all just choose that which supports the degree of automation magic that we need? Some folks like Gentoo, some want precut Ubuntu AMI images. Others don't even care about IaaS or PaaS and just want a SaaSsy thing like Google App Engine. I'm pretty appy aobut not having to flip jumpers on MFM controller boards anymore. Others still are not content without writing their own embedded code.

Anyhow, you don't sound particularly disinterested when you SHOUT ABOUT IT! ;)

Yet Another... (3, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598205)

Yet Another Update Manager.

Replacing one transport with another isn't innovative enough to warrant the attention. You could use torrents under YUM or APT, you could use GIT, SVN, or any of a number of change management tools as a means to tell the client which updates to subscribe to and install.

But I doubt any such approach will ever see critical mass, just because the two big players (Debian/Ubuntu and RedHat/RHEL) already have perfectly usable tools. You'd need some serious whizz-bang new features to justify changing those tools, and the article doesn't suggest anything that can't be done already with existing technology.

Change for the sake of change is pointless; there has to be a benefit big enough to justify the change, and I don't see that in the write-up.

Re:Yet Another... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598585)

There's not really a problem with having more manager programs, the problem that is x1000 bigger is with making managers compatible with a common standardized packaging format so that devs can release once and forget it instead of building packages in 10 different formats for 300 different distros. The open source community has forgotten its morals and purpose as corporations attempt to subvert that disruptive force.

Re:Yet Another... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598737)

Please write out the use-case for an auto-updating torrent system in 5 lines or less, because the git version is.

Re:Yet Another... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599243)

I love seeing horse and buggy people talk dirty about horseless carriages, completely missing the point. .. since that's probably to obscure, hey man, you said it, unlike these ancient tools, using git allows you to subscribe to the branch that's right for you. once you master it/git, it ends all night-mares . and yes git, not some half-baked legacy mind alternative.

so, no, this tech actually makes a lot of sense.

Git is not that clever, yet (2)

faragon (789704) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598213)

Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git.

"clever" differential updates usually work this way (Chrome browser uses it or used it back in the day):

  • Unpacked blob version 1.
  • Packed blob version 1
  • Unpacked blob version 2.
  • Packed blob version 2.
  • Differential packed blobl version 2, taking version 1 as compression base dictionary (or any other differential scheme).

And Git has can not do that yet, because it uses diff + deflate, having far less scope than, e.g. LZMA with 500MB dictionary (requiring 5GB of memory for compressing it is acceptable if it is done just once per version).

Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598275)

So the Github repository is compromised, the attacker gets a free botnet?

Re:Security? (2)

DraQ (161513) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598337)

Commits can be signed and verified ?

Re:Security? (2)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598793)

Git has integrity checking built into it already, presuming you trust the source. The only way this can happen is if someone gets access to the git repository and commits malicious code. No project is safe from that case.

Re:Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41600253)

Yes, so it's exactly the same as any major OS.

pardon my ignorance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598277)

Alright, so I guess they're using git to keep the binaries up to date, not syncing source and recompiling?

How is that better then using rsync or whatever to keep binaries up to date?

A True Debian/Ubuntu Alternative/Competitor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598289)

This officially represents serious alternative to Debian/Ubuntu/Mint.

The Dam Tour. (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598421)

My company is migrating to git for all of our versioning control. I got to be the person to fly to the UK and get everyone up to speed on it. I knew it was British slang but not the full connotation of such.

I think you Brits need to make the next generation versioning system and call it fucker/bastard just to get us back.

I couldn't imaging standing up in front of my managers manager. "Well yeah, we're moving to bastard next. Bastards not too hard to use. You just type 'bastard clone'...."

Re:The Dam Tour. (1)

danhuby (759002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598593)

The term "git" is not used in the USA? I didn't know that. I just assumed it had the same meaning over there but nobody cared. After all, there is GIMP.

Re:The Dam Tour. (1)

danhuby (759002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598609)

By the way GIT was developed by Linus Torvalds and he's Swedish, so it's not the USA we'd have to 'get back'.

Re:The Dam Tour. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598685)

By the way GIT was developed by Linus Torvalds and he's Swedish, so it's not the USA we'd have to 'get back'.

He's Finnish, not Swedish.

Re:The Dam Tour. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599335)

And he has lived in the US for the last 15 years.

Re:The Dam Tour. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599857)

He's Nerdish not Terran.

Re:The Dam Tour. (1)

jgrahn (181062) | about a year and a half ago | (#41601651)

By the way GIT was developed by Linus Torvalds and he's Swedish, so it's not the USA we'd have to 'get back'.

He's Finnish, not Swedish.

Finnish, and of the minority there who speak Swedish.

Re:The Dam Tour. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41598749)

'bastard'... Would that be a fork?

Re:The Dam Tour. (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#41599765)

It's relatively tame -- one of the first "naughty words" I learned at school, I was probably about 6 years old. It belongs with words like crap, cock, dick, fanny (another UK/US confusion...), arse. The sexual words are all worse, including bastard.

The project manager on my project would giggle every time it was mentioned in a meeting when we were moving to it, about a year ago. I suggested he pronounced it "jit" instead, which was OK until we started using the "EGit" plugin for eclipse -- "eejit" is used in Ireland, it roughly means idiot (or git). My manager is Irish.

Software called "ass" would probably be the best opposite case. Pronounced "ass" (rather than "arse") it means the hybrid animal, and generally wouldn't raise eyebrows.

Note that Linus was fully aware of the British meaning of Git when he names his software.

Everyone fails to get the WTF :( (2)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598809)

It's sad that no one picked up on the IMHO biggest snafu: the chroot is mounted using git-fs. Performance-wise it'll suck donkey balls just because of that. Just think of it: every page mapping for those executables has to go through userspace! Whoever thought of that was a real whiz, sigh.

If I were serious about it, I'd work on getting gitfs implemented natively in the kernel. Using fuse could be a proof-of-concept while the kernel driver is being implemented. I just hope that git stores its database with files still being files, because at least then the kernel driver could be, pretty much a filter driver that only rewrites file paths. Otherwise it'll have to be a full-blown filesystem driver with all the inefficiencies of using what amounts to multiple loop devices as its backend.

Re:Everyone fails to get the WTF :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41604383)

Git files in the "standard" repository format have a little header and are gzipped, and can optionally be packed with multiple logical files in one physical file.

Of course, other store formats are possible... it's just a content-addressable blob store at the end of the day, so if you write your own backend you can store and index those blobs however you like.

Re:Everyone fails to get the WTF :( (1)

Wolfrider (856) | about a year and a half ago | (#41620165)

--The kernel is already bloated enough, thank you - let's keep crap like this out of it. It's not even relevant for most of the Linux user base.

--I doubt it would ever be approved by the kernel maintainers anyhow, but you never know, there might be someone crazy enough that thinks this is somehow a good idea. Sigh

Re:Everyone fails to get the WTF :( (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#41620319)

It may not be relevant, but it's a modular kernel, with runtime loadable modules, so a one more module that takes 100kb of disk space shouldn't be a big deal. No runtime memory or performance costs until you use it.

Just tried it in a VM - doesn't work (1)

Crimey McBiggles (705157) | about a year and a half ago | (#41598885)

The boot loader works, but after the progress bar, network connection image, and initialization image, all I get is a Webconverger logo. Running VMWare Fusion 3.1.4, selected the Live option, haven't tried to "install to disk".

Git is not a package manager (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41599095)

I don't quite get the idea of using git for something like this. Git stores the entire history of the project in question on the 'client' drive. This project will just expand until it explodes in a shower of bits.

It's meant for distributed VCS, this just seems silly.

What about Funtoo? (1)

nikkie (717603) | about a year and a half ago | (#41602729)

I don't know that this is the first. Funtoo [funtoo.org] has been around for much longer and is a "real OS" rather than a internet box only OS. I'd be interested in how they think they compare, but I also don't think that people interested in linux in general would find webconverger a useful OS over Funtoo.
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