The squirrels have reasserted themselves and are chirping at the base of the tree. Over the last 2 days I have been
fixated on getting a running OpenBSD or FreeBSD laptop in my lap and I just do not know why. Back in my PDP-11
days everything was a dumb terminal… whether it was a literal terminal connected to the RS232 multiplexor
or connected via some 1200bps modem to a PC running a very basic VT100 terminal emulator.
Over the last 20 years I have been jealous of those OpenBSD programmers who had converted costly IBM Thninkpads and
even today those same machines are costly and I have the same envy. But one thing I no longer appreciate is the
installation and configuration of any and all of the X windows cruft. The basic OpenBSD desktop is very painful.
ChromeOS and the web are the modern telnet terminal
Over the last two days I’ve been reminded of my technology prejudices
- OpenBSD - secure, less code is more, do one thing well, cannot do everything, must be opensource, iSCSI client functionality, VM options, chroot offers no network jail
- FreeBSD - committee is slow, more is more, do everything, showing it’s age
- OSX - updates take hours and sometimes days, recovery is worse, local development can easily crash a machine
- Windows - vendor lock in, viruses, terminal sessions are not very vt100-like, incomplete without lots of add-ons, like OSX easy to crash and hard to recover, so many patches, huge code base
- Linux - rust in the kernel, HUGE kernel, HUGE number of CVEs
- ChromeOS - it’s a terminal device … conditionally runs android or a linux container; there is something wrong with the terminal windows and the mouse support
- ClearLinux - from Intel, boots in seconds, (see Linux), has it’s own package manager but incomplete
- CoreOS - boots in seconds, immutable, no package manager, everything runs in a container, rocket was discontinued, acquired
- Pop_OS - nice/desktop GUI on top of Ubuntu, nice packages and can in stall from
apt, no server packaging
- Ubuntu - (see Linux), so many packages, easy to kill and hard to recover
- RedHat - vendor lock in (see windows, see linux), too many certifications
- CentOS - dead, (see Linux), they tried to emulate the redhat enterprise
- OpenStack - never worked well, deployments were always very fragile, gave inspiration to pets vs cattle
- VMware - need license to access basic features
- Proxmox - based on FreeBSD (needs evaluation)
- Synology - based on Linux, hardware is expensive and lacks CPU cores and RAM for VM, not all models have same features (arm vs intel)
- TrueNAS - based on FreeBSD and ZFS, terminology makes learning a challenge
What am I using today?
- ChromeOS as my desktop
- Intel Nuc Bare metal Pop_OS, OpenBSD and FreeBSD
- VMware hosting ClearLinux server and desktop, FreeBSD.
Where am I going next?
- ideally I want to be bare metal all around with some sort of reliable network file system. I would have liked iSCSI but it’s painful in OpenBSD
- test TrueNAS (iSCSI) and compare pricing
- I would like to do more on-prem, however, there is a lot of overhead and disaster recovery needed. VPS might be the way to go but it’s cost, security and reliability are all questionable. I have many outstanding complaints at DigitalOcean; AWS and Google are just too complicated for SOHO compute in a box.