general purpose linux distro?
do that beast exist? or is it a evolutionary dead end?
sure you can use the same basic distro for a workstation install or a server install. but thats for office use where you have a dedicated admin that you can turn to. a user in a office enviroment have to reason install stuff on their own.
but on the home desktop box this is a diffrent story. 99% of the time the admin is the user and will therefor spend a lot of time trying to set the box up and installing software.
and the last point is where i worry. the thing is that 99% of the problems i see come from people that want to install stuff after they have gotten the box properly set up.
sure they can use the distros install system and wait for the vendors package server or some contrib server to get hold of it. but often this can take time, at times very much time. so what then? install from source? maybe, but its not as easy as it sounds (go away you longbearded assembly reading code-wizards, i know your rant) for someone that may find a electronic version of solitaire a challange.
so maybe they should not install, but thats the office admin speaking. and from my experience they look down on anyone that dont have root (some even look down on anyone they have to share root with).
but remeber that at home the user most often is the admin.
so is there a distro out there that is desktop simple but allso server safe? im starting to think its a engineers dream.
so to all you that look down on the gobolinux distro, have you stopped and taken a look at what its attempting? its not trying to make the next workstation or server distro. they are working on a distro that they themselfs want to use on their desktops, one that give them minimal amounts of trouble when wanting to install something.
one thing that they could maybe do better tho would be to combo in the rootless system that was the basis for the distro. this so that a user can install a app into their home folder for personal use and maybe into a shared folder that dont need root access. oh, wait. just pop the user into the right group and get sudo going, my bad ;)
and why im not doing the easy thing and telling them to go mac os x (even more so after apple have gone intel)?
1) its not a linux distro, its at best a *nix distro :P
2) even with a intel cpu you will still need a specialy chiped motherboard to get the os going on your hardware. and the only company thats going to sell machines with that motherboard is apple.
micro computer resurrection?
or maybe turn next gen consoles into it?
lately i have become more and more troubled with the state of the it world.
the os's have become harder and harder to config and maintain.
so how about going back to the days of the amiga or even the c64? basicly instead of having the os stored on a hardrive one stuffs in something like a live cd (or maybe loads it read only from a chip. maybe make the chip a flash for upgrade ability but allso keep a second rom chip arond so that you can re-flash if something tryes to insert something) and then have the user run software from some source or other as self contained ro packages. this will make it very unlikely that a virus can get a foothold on the system.
user data and configs can be stored on a flash device.
every addon to the system (baring memory, or hell, even that) should be inserted into outside ports. and given the size of current firewire and usb ports one can fit a nice number of them on the base unit. even better is that with usbs you can expand the number of ports with hubs, and with firewire you can chain the devices together.
another thing is xen. put a bare bones linux as the base system onto a flash. then boot a secondary system of a xen image onto this. with the right setup one can have the linux system do a mem dump to a external hardrive or something if you tell it to suspend the session and then you can bring the same hardrive over to a diffrent computer and resume the session there.
2 or more users on the same system? seperate xen images. totaly seperate enviroments. no real need for logins (alltho having the ability to password and encrypt sensitive user data is advisable).
application can have full access inside the xen image its living in so basicly its dos/windows 9x days again (simpler for the user that way). only that you cant do anything more then screw up your "virtual" computer. and as the image is read only you can do a virtual reset by having it discard the current state and re-read the base image.
another thing is to keep the startups simple. like autoexec.bat/config.sys simple. the commands and done, one at a time from the top down. want to bring up the network with a special config? insert a line into the boot file that defines the parameters and store it in your user files, bash.rc like. all config files should be ascii and human readable.
ok so there is a way to insert a trojan in this. when it get inside it puts itself somewhere and insert a boot line for itself into the boot file.
still, cleaning it out should be no worse the accessing the user files as a removable media from a controled enviroment (preferably a rescue boot/live cd) and then delete the entry and so on.