Richard Bucker

Linux Distros

Posted at — May 9, 2020

Talking heads want to know if the multitude of linux distros are still relavent. In a word yes.

You wouldn’t know it at first but the many dstros are part economical, part personal touch, and part government espionage. Take a look at distrowatch and notice the number of linux distros from China. I remember the amount of gas that was generated when their first distro was launched… but the number of distros out there are akin to finding a thumbdrive in a parking lot and quite possibly worse than installing ZOOM.

while many distros have a country of origin that does not mean that the developers are exclusively from there.

This is sort of the GNU problem; possibly in reverse. It’s interesting to have the tools but not the operating system and vice versa. Most of these distros are simply a build/orchestration script with a currated list of add-ons, app store, and installer.

Just because it’s open source does not mean the binary you downloaded has not been compromised and does not mean you’ve downloaded everything at once

So if you had to deploy a project right now with an eye on your customers, investors, coworkers, what would you choose?

For the timebing I think that like “no one ever lost their job for buying from IBM” still holds true. Which means from any of the big boys. Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, RedHat, ClearLinux, and maybe POP. There are a few others but for the moment this is the short list. Number one on the list is ClearLinux. Sure they are thinking about VMs and containers but it’s pretty solid as a general purpose OS and it autoupdates and boots in seconds.

Keep in mind that installation needs to be easy and simple. As little as possible beyond basic packahes and bundles. And enough trust that the OS has not been compromised. As in they have a strong incentive to keep it honest.

FreeBSD is not linux but it always get’s an honorable mention because FreeBSD is the bas for most routers. While there are some linux alternatives with UFW or IPFire… FreeBSD is solid. As for OpenBSD it’s awesome but while they check so many more boxes they are far from stable. In one case they took nearly 36 hours to reolve their own network problems.

Idealy we need a better base linux distro.