Re: Finally something small about Linux
> Fortunately, there *is* something you can do about it: employ a professional sysadmin who knows how to build a Linux-based OS,
Bullshit. This isn't a "not good enough sysadmin" issue. In the real world, time is money, a good sysadmin's time is even more money. You don't want to have to do a default install, then spend ages ripping out what you didn't want in the first place in order to lock it down.
The right answer is that the install just installs the bare minimum, then you can add/open/etc... to your hearts content. Far easier to add onto a clean slate, rather than work out what someone else added for you, then work out how to rip it out without breaking anything (and preventing future updates undoing your work).
Not to mention, things like systemd you cannot just remove. Thank god we have Devuan out there as an alternative, but most companies will be loathe to change the entire OS and their library stack after investing lots of time/effort into redhat centric methodology.
Linux's strengths were that it was:
I remember back when Linux users would brag that you could fit the OS on a single floppy, with lots of useful tools. There were even competition to see who could cram the most onto a 3.5inch floppy
- immensely configurable
you could rip almost everything out. In fact you used to be able to write the kernel to the boot sector and just boot that way, without anything else, not even a bootloader. There was a goal to write everything to "do one job, and do it well", allowing the end user to mix and match programs like lego blocks, making the system do things the original authors never envisaged.
Its low memory footprint, coupled with a design targeting low end hardware with a goal to running well on it, meant that on powerful hardware it would absolutely fly. It also meant you could make use of hardware others had long since discarded as "too slow to run windows".
- Open source
If the above was not enough, you can hack on the code on an lower level to get it to do what you want. Bonus points is it will help you learn how to program (that is how I learned).
Out of the four above, only the last one is still true, which is a damn shame. Sometimes you want to just organise things in a way that gets the results you want, not have to hack on the code (and then keep track of upstream changes) to get it to work. Also not everyone is good enough a coder to make the changes, while most competent computer users could string small programs together given an understanding on how they work.
Also, while there is little need to fit on a floppy, a general goal towards keeping the bloat down and everything fast and lean seems to have been abandoned.
Linux really lost the plot. The kernel alone is almost 5MB last I checked, and there is a push to a more windows-like mass integration of programs rather than the UNIX way. I suspect as Linux became mainstream and "the next big thing" a lot of ex-Windows dev's and admins jumped on the bandwagon, and started making things work more like what they are used to, which was the main reason Windows was such a steaming pile in the first place.
The only saving grace of Linux, is that Windows has been getting progressively worse as well, so given the choice, I would still (and do) use Linux on the desktop. However I have started a slow move to BSD for servers. In my future I can imagine Linux will be for desktops (as long as things like Devuan are about), and BSD for servers.