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DATE 2014-10-01

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Key: id Value: 542583

Key: archive Value: 2014-10-01

MESSAGE
DATE 2014-10-18
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Objecting to SystemdD useless even for Linus
From owner-hangout-outgoing-at-mrbrklyn.com Sat Oct 18 19:25:35 2014
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From: Ruben Safir
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Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Objecting to SystemdD useless even for Linus
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Ts’o and Linus And The Impotent Rage Against systemd

Bringing some links buried in comments below to the top, I think these
critiques of systemd’s integration and maintenance deserve some
review.

First, kernel developer Theodore Ts’o, the developer of e2fsprogs
and current maintainer of ext4, shares his reservations about
systemd’s engineering, and the trouble he has had understanding and
using it.

…a lot of the fear and uncertainty over systemd may not be so
much about systemd, but the fear and loathing over radical changes that
have been coming down the pike over the past few years, many of which
have been not well documented, and worse, had some truly catastrophic
design flaws that were extremely hard to fix.

He goes on to describe how he previously had to neuter policykit’s
security (rendering his system very vulnerable) just to get his system
working, and how he has found systemd “very difficult sometimes to
figure out”. Should we be concerned that a kernel developer,
obviously a very qualified computer user (an MIT graduate in his 40s),
has trouble understanding and using policykit and systemd to configure
his own system? Where does that leave the average Linux user in handling
these atrociously complex and built-to-be-broken technologies?

His discussion is not a tirade against systemd, but he too warns of the
complexity of the system and its XML (even javascript-based?)
configuration files, and also of the very poor track record developers
like Red Hat’s Lennart Poettering have:

…Kay Sievers and Lennart Poettering often have the same response
style to criticisms as the GNOME developers [read other Red Hat
developers] — go away, you’re clueless, we know better than you,
and besides, we have commit privs and you don’t, so go away.

Predictably, fanboys rush to systemd’s defense in the comments,
telling us how wonderfully documented and supported it is, what a quiet,
fascist paradise the systemd mailing list is, and how responsive the
developers are to every bug, request and patch submission.

Yet just two days ago, we see Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux and
maintainer of the Linux kernel), launching into a tirade against –
yes, you guessed it – systemd developers because of their atrocious
response to a bug in systemd that is crashing the kernel and preventing
it from being debugged. Linus is so upset with systemd developer Kay
Sievers (gee, where I have heard that name before – oh, that’s
right, he’s the moron who refused to fix udev problems) that Linus
is threatening to refuse any further contributions from this Red Hat
developer, not just because of this bug, but because of a pattern of
this behavior – a problem for Kay because Red Hat is also foaming at
the mouth to have their kernel-based, no doubt bug- and
security-flaw-ridden D-Bus implementation included in our kernels. Other
developers were so peeved that they suggested simply triggering a kernel
panic and halting the system when systemd is so much as detected in use.

So much for systemd developers’ responsiveness, and its great
engineering, witless fanboys. (Are we really sure many of these fanboys
aren’t part of an Infiltrate, Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy
program?)

While Ts’o’s discussion of systemd wanted to make me wretch for
its usual polite, politically-correct crap, he did at least bring up
some core problems in that typically watered-down way that mainstream
developers express their opinions so as not to offend any fascists in
their midst. Yet even Linus’s tirade, and the lengthy user
discussion which followed it, completely miss what’s really
happening to Linux. It seems these developers and users can’t rise
up enough to get a 3D view – all they can do is focus on minute
issues in isolation and fail to put the pieces together in any coherent
way. Are they just afraid or feeling awkward to discuss it, or are they
like other kernel developers I’ve heard from who are completely
clueless about what Red Hat developers represent?

I’ll put it together for you once again. For those who missed it in
my other articles, Red Hat is a billion-dollar corporation with deep
ties to the US military (their largest customer), and thus inevitably
the NSA (a military security organization), etc. Adding to the conflict
of interest, they have as direct corporate partners Google, Apple, and
other too-large-to-imagine corporations with their hands in slime. Red
Hat developers dictatorially control the core engineering of Linux,
including components such as udev, udisks, xorg, dbus, systemd, etc.,
used by every major Linux distribution, as well as other common desktop
components such as GNOME and GTK. (As Ts’o put it, “we have
commit privs and you don’t”.) These are simple facts, though
curiously never discussed. In many developers’ views, these Red Hat
developers have consistently introduced closed, overly complex,
security-breaking technologies to Linux for years, and have a long and
tired history of sabotaging kernel development, creating unending bugs
and problems for kernel developers, which they often categorically
refuse to address. Linus knows them well – or does he?

Yet the myth continues that Linux is somehow not surreptitiously
developed as a product of the military-industrial complex, and that its
core engineering is based on open and free contributions. Discussions
like these ones above revolve around whatever the bugs of the day are,
and completely fail to assess what appears to be deliberate and systemic
damage done to the Linux ecosystem, primarily through Red Hat
developers.

Wake up, morons – and that includes you Linus (who likes to call out
morons as such himself). Start telling it like it is, and start
addressing the real systemic problems in Linux’s engineering –
namely that brown shirts like Kay Sievers and Lennart Poettering are
just front men for a much uglier reality. Otherwise you’re just
trying to sweep back the ocean with a broom – your actions are
useless and doomed to fail. Getting angry won’t help – start
getting smart, and start developing a genuinely free and open operating
system, taking you-know-who out of the loop. If you can’t or
won’t do that, then you may as well just surrender Linux to them
entirely, which is pretty much the case already.

Related:

Julian Assange: Debian Is Owned By The NSA
Biography of a Cypherpunk, and How Cryptography Affects Your Life
(second half details Red Hat’s involvement in Linux)

Share this:

  1. 2014-10-02 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] opensuse 13.1
  2. 2014-10-02 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] opensuse 13.1
  3. 2014-10-06 mrbrklyn-at-panix.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] HW 1
  4. 2014-10-07 einker <eminker-at-gmail.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Rant of the Day
  5. 2014-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Rant of the Day
  6. 2014-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Installfest
  7. 2014-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Installfest
  8. 2014-10-08 einker <eminker-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Rant of the Day
  9. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] News from Israel
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  12. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
  13. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] some none systemd chocies
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  16. 2014-10-12 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
  17. 2014-10-12 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
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  21. 2014-10-18 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Objecting to SystemdD useless even for Linus
  22. 2014-10-18 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Theodore Ts'o on systemd - almost on target
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  30. 2014-10-22 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] system D is out of fucking control
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