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Suck in Linux

First let me start off by saying that I love Linux. It’s been my daily driver since 2016, and I absolutely hate Windows with a passion. TBH, I don’t mind MacOS; it’s Apple that I have a problem with (and Apple Hardware). I am merely creating this thread because I am a Linux user, and Linux users like to complain to other Linux users about Linux. But our egos will never, ever allow us complain about Linux to an outsider :stuck_out_tongue: I do think this post is inspired by Mr. Lunduke’s LinuxFest series over the years.

Anyway, I have something specific to complain about: Grub. Why do most distros like to use Grub by default? In all my years of using Linux, which albeit isn’t very long compared to some of you neck-beards out there, I have never understood Grub. My knowledge intake about Linux keeps accelerating with each passing day; it just builds upon itself to and I learn about the OS faster. Yet grub makes no sense to me.

Passing in Kernel parameters is arbitrary with grub and opaque. I didn’t even know what they were until I started using Systemd-Boot on Arch Linux. I actually didn’t start using Systemd-Boot until late last year. Then, I was running Arch on 40% of my machines, but now it makes up only 20%. I didn’t know it then, but switching to systemd-boot would be extremely beneficial in facilitating my understanding of LVM, Kernel Parameters, and dm-crypt. But here’s the kicker. It took me maybe about a month to learn Systemd-Boot, whereas I’ve been using grub pretty much since I started using Linux 5 years ago (the only exception is my RaspberryPi 3 - which was my first Linux machine). And it’s not because I used Systemd on Arch; previously, I installed Arch exclusively using Grub. My point is that grub is obtuse to configure. Not only that, but grub rescue has always been a major headache for me. I used to take the lazy way out and just reinstall the whole system if I got a grub rescue prompt - this was really only a thing that happened often in my early days of using Linux xD.

I’m not complaining that grub is bloat or monolithic or anything like that. On the contrary, grub is way less monolithic than Systemd-Boot - which in my opinion is objectively better than grub. Systemd-boot also boots faster, it’s cleaner and more elegant to use, and it’s easier to diagnose and fix boot problems when using systemd-boot.

Others can rant about Linux technologies in replies. It can be PulseAudio, Systemd, or Gnome. But it would be cool to see other people’s grievances with Linux laid bare. Keep it civil though please.

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Things I don’t like about Linux:

  • Too many distributions to choose from.
  • Corporate subversion of the code base.
  • Binary blobs (esp. video and networking).
  • Rampant vertical coupling (e.g. systemd, GNOME3).
  • Special-interest hijacking of the community (e.g. CoC).
  • Lack of accurate and stable hardware monitoring widgets (e.g. temps, gpu%).
  • Excessively dispersed files (i.e. historical baggage in the file structure).
  • Default filesystems that are still optimised for spinning rust instead of SSDs.
  • The inability to manually and simply perform an immediate fsck.
  • GNOME’s mis-treatment of extension developers.
  • The dumbing down of DEs to suit touch-pad/-screen users with fat fingers.
  • Decreasing respect for and adherence to the “Unix Philosophy”.
  • The fact that a clean install of Ubuntu still generates pages upon pages of errors and warnings in the logs each and every day (i.e. poor adoption of the “suckless” philosophy).
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I use grub because afaik, grub+bios remains the only way to have seamless failover booting to a degraded mdraid.

I don’t particularly like it but also it’s mostly set it and forget it. I’ll rarely change a kernel parameter once a system is initially configured.

IMO, systemd is Linux at this point. Of course there are some obscure holdouts, but for the most part if you have a job working with Linux, it’s going to be Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL or suse (or derivatives). So to your point, why those distros haven’t all embraced systemd-boot over grub, I couldn’t tell you. Probably just haven’t gotten around to it.

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No, It’s a reference to the phrase, World Suck, coined by John Green. #Nerdfighteria :smiley:

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I’m perfectly happy with GRUB on Void Linux. I also tried systemd-boot once. It was ok while it lasted, didn’t feel much of a difference. I haven’t had the opportunity to debug a system failing to boot with systemd-boot, but it was pretty easy with GRUB. Resetting root password with GRUB also easily doable (I forget all passwords, I got a password manager, but the only times I had to do this was in systems that I didn’t configure and didn’t have the passwords they were supposed to have changed).

About sucky Linux stuff. Well, the Linux desktop. I still can’t believe I was using Unity (and being a fanboy of), Plasma and Mate. I may have bit and chewed upon the minimalist pill a bit too much, but I seriously can’t use classical desktop environments, they now get in my way. I can use them for a day or 2 if I have too, but I can’t have them as my main UI anymore, because they use too many resources (I got low-end devices and I won’t have it any other way) and they aren’t very portable (compared to 1 config file in Sway or JWM). I switch between quite a few devices (although I’m looking to decommission some of them) and I want consistency.

Bash is another thing that sucks. I installed oksh on almost all my systems. I want my scripts to be as POSIX compliant / portable as possible and if things like bash and GNU-utils (GNU sed, GNU awk etc) get in the way, then I try to get rid of their inconsistencies / custom commands and make them portable.

Systemd also sucks. And no, I’m not a systemd hater, I maintain some systems with it (mostly Fedora / Debian -based, like CentOS, Proxmox, Oracle Linux etc.). Making systemd service files is also easy. The only issue plaguing me is the timeout to kill processes when shutting down / rebooting a system. I played with the settings and set timeout of a process (autofs at the time, for a samba mount) to 10 seconds, only to have the same process with a different name timeout in 1m 30s. Edited that as well, yet another different timeout for 1m 30s. What the smoke, systemd? Can’t you just timeout and kill a process faster? Actually, I probably ranted about my experience with Manjaro a few years back when I had my /home partition (just plain ext4, no dm-crypt, no lvm) not get unmounted by systemd at reboot and wouldn’t timeout for 30 minutes twice and 45 minutes once and many more times, but got impatient and I just killed power to the system, but flipping burgers, 45 minutes timeout to reboot a system and it still wouldn’t do it without a hard poweroff? Never had this happen to runit. Also, runit boots slightly faster, but it doesn’t really matter to me, since I rarely reboot. I haven’t tried s6, I intend to try it sometime.

Let’s see, other sucky things… I had issues with audio on Linux. Both with Pulse and simple ALSA (albeit, I got around ALSA limitations easier). Tearing is also an issue (only Intel HD graphics and the Pi 2, 3 and 4 GPUs). Even on Wayland, sometimes Sway craps itself and tears the whole left side of the screen, until I switch to another workspace or tab in Firefox (it frequently happens in mpv and Firefox, but in mpv it recovers because of the moving image / changing frames).

Man pages in Linux are a little hard to read. By holy beef, OpenBSD’s man pages are so much better.

I think this is enough suck for today. With all that said, Linux is by far the better daily OS I have used. That being said, I haven’t tried *BSD as a desktop, but I like my OpenBSD VM (still haven’t had enough energy to play more with it).

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It’s so fast but not really functional unless you’re configuring an IoT device or very basic server. Hopefully it will get fleshed out over time.

Fedora 34 has a new audio system that I had never heard of, so that’s nice.

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Did they replace Pulseaudio with PipeWire? I haven’t read the Fedora changelog (since I am not using Fedora anymore, as of last Friday, not because I had any problems, but because I don’t own the laptop that was running Fedora since 30 or 31 anymore). PipeWire is supposed to be a PulseAudio replacement. I have slight hopes for it, I haven’t tried it yet. Heh, so I lost the chance to upgrade to Fedora 34 by 1 week. Oh well…

Systemd-boot > grub IMO for sure.

Whenever I install grub I end up going on a trip through DuckDuckGo to figure out what the hell is going on lmao.

I also find it more convenient to use systemd-boot for Arch Linux, since it is included with the archiso used for installation.

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I’d say systemd-boot in arch is a no-brainer if you’re booting uefi.

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Just got my work issue laptop. It was osx or ubuntu. I’m looking forward to var/log filling up on a regular basis. Fucking infosec assholes.

I think my big issue is the corporate insistence on dumbing things down.

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Speaking as someone who has had a few too many beers, and someone who knows nothing about linux. I think it is fucking amazing.

I cannot begin to wrap my head around all the amazing shit that linux offers. I think that many users are ungrateful or don’t take into consideration just how much untility they are given with this free software. Seriously ZFS, TOR, Proton, Lutris, LUKS, Syncthing, KeePass, the shit that System76 is doing, the complete open source AMD driver stack, 72% of the fucking phones in the EU are running the Linux kernel.

It absolutely blows my fucking mind what this free software has done, and has enabled others to do with it. I have the upmost respect and appreciation to the coders that make these things possible.

Story; One day two people named Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers sat down, and poured thousands of hours and their entire life’s experience of software engineering to create systemd. If you have a better solution then code it.

Be the change that you want to see in linux (or in the world).

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I’ll be that guy and say it; There’s always FreeBSD :smiling_imp:

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There’s an aspect of this, yes. Typically the ones with the most verbalized complaints are the ones who don’t contribute as much.

At least in my experience.

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The problems people have with Linux typically stem from the point when a distributor or Linux software developer does very un-Linux like things. For example, locking users into just one bootloader choice or init choice when there are several others out there is inherently anti-freedom. It’s like how the American government governs a Free* country. Gnome is the best example of locking users into using a part of your system in a specific way. Wanna change your default file manager to a better one like PCManFM? “Well too bad, doing so breaks your dependency-tree and you’ll never have a good time unless you do a hard fork.” Or you know how PulseAudio is the only sound server that software on Linux supports. Well that sucks. Also any time something betrays the POSIX standards is a big deal to a lot of Unix and Linux enthusiasts. Plus corporate interests are gunking up the kernel rather rapidly - especially companies like the University of Minnesota, Google, Intel, and Microsoft. Despite it being open source, their corporate weight allows them to put in shit code faster than the community can fix at times. Plus their code is shit because it’s development is often entirely self-interest driven rather than acting to improve the overall situation for everybody using Linux.

:white_check_mark: Strongly Disagree

An init system is a core system component. Yes, it’s not ideal to have only one choice, but a lot of the time, the distro maintainers work for free, and allowing choice is a lot of extra work both in writing configs and validation. If you don’t like that x distro only uses x init system, switch to y distro which uses the unit that you like.

Bootloader, I get, but for a distro like ubuntu, they’re going for a good experience, rather than maximum freedom. Notice that distros like arch and gentoo have choices of init system and bootloader.

I feel that you’re picking on distros that are competing for normies, not foss zealots.

You’re complaining about a faster report to resolution time?

All of my contributions to open source projects is entirely self interest driven. Is my code therefore shit?

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2021 is the year of the linux deskop!!!

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While there will always be some entitled and oblivious users that are ungrateful, I don’t think the vast majority could be described that way. I’m pretty sure everyone posting in this thread appreciates what Linux has to offer.

Having the occasional rant/vent about the flaws of Linux is not a bad thing, because Linux — even though it is very good — is not perfect. Airing dirty laundry in public helps keep Linux users grounded and realistic, and exposes areas for improvement.

The real problem are fanbois who insist their OS is perfect. Nothing good ever comes from religious zealotry. Every platform has those. They are cancer.

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Code can be:

  • “by the people, for the people”, or
  • “by the corporations, for the corporations”
    but it is never
  • “by the corporations, for the people”

Corporate interests do not align with individual interests. Corporations are solely interested in developing new or more effective ways to take money out of your wallet. That is, after all, the only reason why they exist.

In that context, it is prudent to view each and every corporate contribution to open source with the scepticism it deserves. “their code is shit” is not necessarily a reference to code quality, but to code intent. If your contributions to open source were made with the intent of taking money out of people’s wallets, then yes, your code is shit too.

Luckily, the overwhelming majority of individual contributions to open source are made with the intent of making life easier for others, making stuff work faster or more efficiently, making things more stable, or just demoing something cool. They are not focused like a laser on taking money out of your wallet, like corporations are.

Hey guys, microsoft just fixed this conditional on a for loop, but it’s totally not helping us.

Show me kernel code that harms “the people”

I don’t believe there is any, with the singular exception of the smoothbrains at university of minnesota… And they were being actively malicious, not this subversive crap that you’re peddling.

That’s a hell of a backwards position to have. So, let’s say… AMD, is releasing a gpu, and they want Linux users to be able to use it, so they get more sales. That’s writing code with the intention of taking money from people’s pockets. But everyone praises amd for doing just that. And would if nvidia were to engage in such practices as well.

Don’t lie to me and say that you do not support corporate contributions to the kernel.

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HDCP support?

Still agree with your overall point though.

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