Reply to post: Re: This is not a football match. @h4rm0ny

And the buggiest OS provider award goes to ... APPLE?

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: This is not a football match. @h4rm0ny

System administration is one of those areas where Linux has suffered because of the diversity of the distros.

The one-size-fits-all processes like useradd will do the basic job at hand on the local system, and are pretty similar across all versions of Linux. Once you get beyond this, each of the distros have their own idea of how to streamline this and other admin tasks, and most of these are pretty distro specific. In some cases they are proprietary and closed source to try and generate a revenue stream, and do not interoperate.

There is not even a consistent package management format across all versions of Linux.

It is very difficult for a new Open Source package to come along and streamline this. What is needed is a low-level tool that goes in at a suitable level so that it can manipulate the configuration files/databases/objects fundamental in Linux, to provide a consistent system management layer in all distros .

What you actually get (like with Puppet) is a whole load of distro specific methods layered on top of and driving the specific interfaces for each distro. This works, but is high maintenance, which often means that it becomes paid-for software (again, Puppet is an example of this).

There are two ways this could happen. One is if the major distros decide to collaborate and produce a common administration interface. The other is for a standardisation body to add the specification of such an interface, and have the distros adopt that standard.

The former is unlikely to happen, as the distro specific sysadmin stuff is where people like RedHat and Canonical make some of their money. The latter cannot happen as there is no accepted Linux standard or even standardisation authority, and even if there were, it would be dominated by the commercial distro maintainers, because they are the only people who might have resources to invest in a standard, and then we are back to the former point.

So what we have left is paid-for software or home-grown scripts put together by sysadmins which do the job, but are seen as being messy.

I can see no way of moving this forward unless someone with big pockets and a lot of influence with the distro maintainers decides to take it on.

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