back to article 'Experimental' Linux distro Exherbo eyes serious developers

A former Gentoo developer yesterday revealed that he has been working on a new hardcore Linux distribution, dubbed Exherbo. Bryan Østergaard said on his blog that Exherbo was at the “experimental” stage and for that reason isn’t openly encouraging anyone to attempt to use it. He said work on the Linux distro has been ongoing …

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Wow

bet he's a real fun guy at parties! Talk about an ego.

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Coat

Gripe list

Apart from the 'developers' working on this sounding so up their own ass their is little information of value known about this project. It strikes me as more of a gripe list of whats wrong with Gentoo and what they'd like in the real world. A quick read of their site and they really do sound stuck up, almost arrogant.

It will probably fade out and die when they realise that saying other mainstream distros 'do everything badly' isn't a popular notion and that this kind of thing takes an incredible amount of time to create from scratch, not just fix the apparent problems with distros such as gentoo.

</rant>

I'll get my coat, the one with the install discs for my 'bad' version of linux...

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Breathtaking arrogance

I'm genuinely impressed by the outlandishly arrogant yet endearingly childish tone of Exherbo's blog... and when coupled with the apparent inability to sense check their own copy, I can only expect the final product will be littered with the most humourously ineffectual and down right offensive help texts.

"...there are plenty of other options for users who want a distribution that does everything badly rather than a few things well. In other words, go and use Gentoo or Ubuntu please."

And then, a line break or two later...

"It's not that we think that Gentoo (or other distributions) are bad."

Bless them. Him. It. I can only imagine the initial release codename... "Up Mine Own Fundament, v.1.0" or "Me Vs. The World (Redux), v.1.0".

Chuckle.

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Fantastic...

Just what Linux needs, a new package format!

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I agree

you can't just go around building your own package management software for your brand new spanking distro; I have my concerns about ubuntu but that doesn't mean I'd abandon HMS Shuttleworth and embark on a roll my own solution.

It's better to work with people than against them.

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Paris Hilton

Why don't people just use Debian?

"Exherbo is not, at the moment, a user-targeted distribution."

i.e. Exherbo has a developer base of one and it doesn't work.

Paris, because she's more interesting than this article.

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Flame

Oh gods

This is why Linux is not yet fit for the masses. It's no fault of Linux per se (It's a powerful, is slightly user hostile, OS) just the egos in it.

"Your deployment system is 0.15% more memory intensive than mine. Sure, you have to speak the binary language of moisture vapourators to use mine; but it is more efficient. Real developers only care about efficiency."

Hardly.

Real developers care about solving business needs. Which does encompass efficiency, but not at the cost of usability, portability, extensibility, supportability and all that other good stuff.

Apologies for the rather large straw-man.

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Yippeee New Distro

Just what I was looking for - a new distro to play with. Oh, and a new and untested init system, and look a new package management system.

I love standards - there are so many to choose from.

Vote this -5 Epic Fail.

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‘'Experimental' Linux distro Exherbo

So named as it emerged from a huge cloud of pot smoke I suspect...

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Joke

wtf?

"OK, I Want to Try Exherbo"

- "No you don't."

"In Conclusion:

It's not that we hate you (unless we do). It's just that we have nothing to offer you, and you have nothing to offer us."

...

A project that doesn't work and just some ideas which the developers (developer...) doesn't share? Thats exactly what the world waits for...

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Coat

Another linux distro looking for developers

Shame none of them bother looking for DESIGNERS.

Mines the one with "Does it work for you?" written on the back.

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E

Why not...

use Slackware? It's simpler!

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Linux

"Stop whining"

This is one of the major issues I have with Linux. Sure, the support forums available are free, but the number of times I've looked at a topic started by someone with a problem and seen a "stop whining" type response is staggering. It's like joining a whole community of Comic Book Guy off the Simpsons.

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...And so it goes round again ...and again ...and...

"...there are plenty of other options for users who want a distribution that does everything badly rather than a few things well...."

Rather than flogging yet another dead horse in the shape of a "new" Linux distribution that will eventually fall out of favour, maybe he should take a look at one of the BSDs? On the whole, they do lots of things very well indeed.

I wonder how many Linux distributions there have been over the years? Does anyone know? It's amazing how new ones appear, become massively popular and ultra-cool; indeed THE distribution to have, and then a couple of years down the line, there's a new kid on the block and everyone forgets about the "old" one, which is suddenly no longer cool for reasons that nobody can quite remember.

No wonder Linux is such a mess - there's no continuity in what's being aimed at. That's why you end up with loads of half-baked GUIs, 4 (at the last count) major audio interfaces (all completely incompatible, naturally), boat loads of video players, none of which does everything you want, same goes for audio players, etc etc etc... the list is endless and strewn with dead rotting corpses.

In the very sad words of a certain Mr. Williams, "oh, what's the bloody point"?

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Lol

How do I file a bug about their bug tracker being offline?

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Paris Hilton

Actually

Turns out I know half of the guys in the project and stuck up is a good description :D

So they're doing something for themselves, don't want to share with anyone and don't want help. But they made a webpage and wasted the time of people that land there to read it. That sounds a lot like me making a cup of tea for myself and going out of my way to get recognition about it.

Hmm. Maybe all they want is appreciation?

Paris cause she can give quite a bit of appreciation if asked nicely

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@Alan

Bug tracking? Pah! This is Linux - we don't need no stinkin' bug tracking!!

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Yet another distro

These Linux guys are their own worst enemies when it comes to promoting a simple choice for the common market. No wonder people choose Windows instead.

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Paris Hilton

Great...

...another Linux Distro...

Oh be still my beating heart.

ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz..........

Paris because she's more interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

Gentoo is now an Employer

Well that is interesting :)

I think they have to sit a test now if they wish to be a Gentoo Developer. Actually they made the Gentoo founder take one when he returned, which was a bit shocking. Bit like making the Wright Brothers take their pilot's license.

But, really Gentoo is quite useful to run by dipping into the existing ebuilds, dropping in overlays for other repositories or for your own ebuilds. So it is good, it is becoming less of a central distro and blooming more into a meta-distro as it's founder envisaged.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say, that I did mention the idea of another package system, the One Package System, whereby the build instructions and dependencies from a number of distributions could be combined, to create a further set of build instructions with less effort but still leveraging on the work of others. A sort of way to up your quality, by looking at the different decisions and seeing where they coincided and where they contradicted.

Now, whilst I am not sure if they are going down that road, the response at the time was the ebuilds are ok, when of course in that person's eyes they were not, as we now find out.

In truth mainline portage is very good, but it is too large, so it can lag behind at times, this effect ebbs and flows really depending upon how many 'employees' :) Gentoo has at the time.

There is quite a lot more to this entire story, it is actually like a slice of Dallas, Meets Revenge of the Nerds. Kept me in popcorn munching for a few hours.

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Anonymous Coward

Meh

A Linux without legacy? Duh, if you run it in coLinux, Windows loads the kernel for you.

I'll stick with Gentoo under coLinux. More matureness, more users, more support.

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I'm too geeky for your code

So, just another bunch of arrogant super-intellectual gimboids out to re-invent the wheel by throwing toys out of cot on bigger project and leaving it to start project which will go nowhere with a suitably geeky name nobody else understands and a list of priorities and goals nobody but they care about.

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Flame

I'd be more interested to see

... Linux implemented with a microkernel, or a scalable Linux-derived embedded OS project.

Why ANOTHER package format? Why ANOTHER ultimately superficially different Linux distribution? coLinux could be interesting, but narcolepsy sets in before they get off Gentoo's nuts and onto this topic.

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Stop

So...

...what's the point of publishing that web page then?...

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Why all the anger?

Everyone seems mad about a new init system or a new sort of package. If you don't like change, then stick with some other distro. One of the nice things about the whole Linux thing is that if you think something sucks, you can try to fix it. Plus you don't need to be tied down to standards and things that someone else came up with in the early 90s.

It's about time that there's a completely new distro out there, not just a derived project. I love Slackware, but I'd be willing to give this a try once it gets stable.

There's no point in super loyalty to some distro or browser - you just prevent yourself from trying out those new and possibly better options out there. And if you don't want to try new things, that isn't a good reason to complain that new things exist.

And egos and writing ability don't have a lot to do with a person's qualifications to make and maintain a distro. I'll listen to music made by people that I completely hate, because I can seperate the art from the artist.

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Sounds like...

...some sort of prescription medication:

"Ask your doctor about Exherbo. Side effects may include kernel panics, unavailability of software, intense disappointment, depression, inflated ego and verbal diarrhea. People who want to do useful work with their computer should not use Exherbo, as this increases the risk of depression or suicide.

Exherbo! Because computers should be incredibly hard to use!"

FFS we don't need another Linux distro or packaging format, there are far too many already. For a distro which "does everything badly" I seem to be getting along with Ubuntu just fine, without having to spend any time on maintenance or trying to get things to work right.

Maybe ego-boy's idea of "bad" involves more than an elite geek-clique being able to use the OS? Or the real motivation is that they had a disagreement with someone at Gentoo and, geek disagreements being what they are (think flame wars here), it all got out of hand and next thing you know, ka-FORK! Another distro is born, for all the wrong reasons.

I think Linux is great, I ditched WIndows quite some time ago, but this is the sort of thing which makes me embarassed to say I have any involvement with it. :-S

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Linux

Re: ...And so it goes round again ...and again ...and...

"I wonder how many Linux distributions there have been over the years?"

Too bloody many, believe me ... I've been using Linux since 1992 and Slackware (what the old SLS system grew into) is about the only one of the 'original' distros left. Linux needs another package management system like the Xbox360 needs another bloody first-person shooter.

DeadRat for work, Gentoo for pleasure. Works for me[tm]

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Such negativity...

"you can't just go around building your own package management software"

"This is why Linux is not yet fit for the masses."

"This is one of the major issues I have with Linux."

"No wonder Linux is such a mess"

"No wonder people choose Windows instead."

Not everything needs to be for the masses. Not everything needs to pull Linux straight towards the One True Distribution. These guys are doing something that interests them, and yeah they're thumbing their noses at everyone else, and good for them. Who knows what will come out of this? Some new insight, new technique, that will eventually benefit the wider community, or perhaps nothing at all.

There is room for all kinds in Linux, that's the whole point. Doom mongers, nay-sayers, grumblers - feh.

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Anonymous Coward

@Such negativity

Here, here, Linux can be made to work for the masses.

It always amuses when they migrate over.

The first month or so they are very happy, it all works, and they can pretty much do what they like and have it like they want.

Then they wish to get involved in the meta game - initially they think it is communism, and want everyone to be working for their 'common good', those people soon get a smack down. When they are asked to just go and implement their idea of nirvana.

Then they get distro religious. And we get all the xyz FTW the comments.

Then they discover that in fact there is more than just Linux in the unix world; they tend to go quiet at that point.

Then eventually they start to have some fun and do some projects, or join the peanut gallery, and off round the merry go round again.

But, you know what, throughout it all, the systems just keep on working :)

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Linux

Not interesting for users at all currently

We announced it because I'm going to do a presentation on our initsystem and other bits of Exherbo in ~2 weeks and we'd rather announce it ourselves instead of letting rumours run wild.

It was intended as a low-key announcement primarily focused on distribution developers that might be able to pick up some interesting ideas from our work. And lots of Gentoo developers (and developers from several other distributions) have told me that they find it quite interesting and will be keeping an eye on it in the future - not because they want to join Exherbo but simply because they like some of our ideas. Which is exactly what I was hoping for.

What I didn't count on was getting the announcement completely blown out of proportion and tons of people thinking it was aimed at users.

Exherbo is interesting because we have several worthwhile ideas that other distributions can benefit from and because our development happens rather quickly making it a fairly good "playground" for testing our ideas. But the breakneck development speed and us using Exherbo for testing lots of new ideas makes it completely useless for users at this point - that will change in due time but right now it's exactly the way we want things to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Okaa-a-y

Old chestnuts roasting in an open flamewar

RE:Such negativity...

Nicely put, I thought.

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Salut!

Keep on truckin', Bryan Oestergaard! It's hard to remember back to when computers were fun. Your experiments remind me of those days. Best of luck in your explorations.

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Linux

Lintards Eat their Own

Like I said.

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Linux

One of the hidden strengths of Linux

IS the number of distros! With everyone free to branch off and try different ideas, occasionally somebody comes up with the "Damn! That's so obvious and useful, why didn't I think of that" ideas that everybody promptly adopts.

That said, Exherbo? 'Scuse me, where do they dig up these names? Just draw tiles at random out of a scrabble bag? Yggdrasil, Ubuntu, Xandros, Phlak, Mandriva, Sabayon.... I'd list more, but my spellchecker's having a seizure.

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Linux

Maybe they are in competition

with Jörg Schilling for bloated open source ego's no one likes.

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Linux project forks ...

... nothing to see here ...

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Linux

Re: Maybe they are in competition

"with Jörg Schilling for bloated open source ego's no one likes."

Ouch! Now *that* is harsh.

Fair, possibly, but harsh nonetheless ...

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Anonymous Coward

ho how exciting

a new linux distribution, oh i can't hardly contain myself. this happens so rarely there must be a really massive gap in the market... ahem

i'd wouldnt mind being a developer and creating a little kernel panic of my own, only problem is i have a girfriend, don't play warcraft and have a mental age above 10 (ok slightly) so probably would not be allowed to join this club. bet they hold their meetings in a tree house in this blokes parents back yard :D. I might instead create a distro all of my own and call it Funtuwamba any volunteers to help me develop it?

must be a quiet news day eh reg!

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Linux

Re: Not interesting for users at all currently

"It was intended as a low-key announcement primarily focused on distribution developers that might be able to pick up some interesting ideas from our work."

11th Commandment: thou shalt not piss off thy (potential) users/developers.

Seriously, get someone else to do your PR, because there's very little mileage in treating everyone like a braindead moron whilst coming across as an arrogant ass at the same time.

There's even less mileage in the "everyone who isn't in my inner circle can fuck off and die" message.

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Oh good..

Another package format, just what we need!

Why can't he just put his constructive comments to good use with an already established distro? I bet I can answer that, he did and they disagreed... Ego kicks in, I must be right, I'll make my own, and the Linux fractures open a little wider.

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@such negativity

I think it's not so much negativity as knowing that Linux can be so much more than the continued distro wars and faction fighting is reducing it to.

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Flame

hang on a sec

a couple of points.

Can people please stop getting all whiny and butthurt about a distro not trying to be popular? I know some of the exherbo devs and their aim never was and probably never will be to create something for the masses. If you don't like it then use another distro. Nuff said.

Also I know that Ostergaard didn't write the front page at exherbo.org. Could the reg please verify attributions before making the assumption that those are his words.

Finally, as an ex-gentoo user I will happily assert that gentoo is fundamentally broken.

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I'm not very clever...

So I use debian stable. CBF with anything else tbh.

Does what it says on the tin.

And when I want something special I can always build it.

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packages...

given the size discs people have these days, and the size ram.. why not just either static compile *everything* (applications wise) or use something like os x, where a program and most fo the files it needs live inside a custom folder.

'install''.. unzip & copy.. then run.

'uninstall'.. delete the folder.

no dependencies nothing. oh you want a new language for your spell check? plugin.

developers can play a bit more, make it idiot proof

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Missing the point

After all these years Linux distros nearly all miss the point on a desktop o/s. Nice easy playable games sitting there ready to play.

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