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Ubuntu Turns 10 & systemd Is Not Contagious

FOSS Week in Review

Everyone is either at Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, Ohio LinuxFest or All Things Open, so there’s no one around to bounce off some ideas regarding what’s happening this week. Besides, if you were at any of those three events –- and if not, why not? — you probably know more than I do at this point.

In any case, besides two great stories this week by my colleagues, FOSS Force editor Christine Hall’s ATO coverage and Ken Starks’ pre-OLF piece, there were a few things of note that happened this week, like…

Ubuntu turns ten, releases 14.10: Many accolades were made, toasts were proposed and Ubuntu turns ten while releasing Ubuntu 14.10 –- all the way up to the letter U with Utopic Unicorn –- on Thursday.

This time around Ubuntu focuses on application updates, as well as maintenance and stability improvements. Unicorn’s biggest addition is a developer tool center focused on writing Android apps and 64-bit ARM chips.

It’s OK. You don’t have to stifle that yawn.

Ubuntu logoPerhaps the best commentary on the situation was posted by Ars Technica. Sadly, there was the laughable statistic, since removed from the story but quoted in the Lxer forum, stating that Ubuntu is used in 240 countries. That’s either a phenomenal accomplishment or just more Canoracle PR misdirection, since there are only around 200 countries in the world –- at least in this world –- though there may be many others on whatever other planes of reality that Mark Shuttleworth operates.

But no matter: Happy Birthday, Ubuntu, and congrats on 14.10.

Systemd not that widespread: Despite the panicked screams by some that equate systemd to Ebola for Linux, quite frankly –- like Ebola –- it’s not as widespread as one might think. In fact, avoiding systemd seems to be pretty easy, according to Erich W. Schubert in his blog item.

“Debian was and continues to be about choice,” Schubert writes. “Previously, you could configure Debian to use other init systems, and you can continue to do so in the future.” He continues on in the blog on how to do just that, while admonishing “trolls” who seem to find systemd evil.

Personally I don’t have a dog in this hunt, so to speak, but some folks do. And I guess that means, then, commence flame war in 3…2…1….

The ghost of Google Glass: Google may have pulled the plug on Google Glass –- thank whichever deity you like –- but that doesn’t mean that now that Pandora’s Box has been opened someone won’t take the baton and run with it.

Enter Laforge, an eyewear maker which will be incorporating electronics into frames that continue what Google started. Where Google Glass frames were somewhat unobtrusive, albeit attention grabbing (for better or, more than likely, worse), Laforge offers what can best be described as eyeglass frames that set a new standard for phenomenally ugly. Seriously. Don’t take my word for it, read the LinuxGizmos article and, honestly, tell me that you’d be found dead in public wearing these.

But hey, it’s your $500, and if these frames appeal to you, go for it.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants could wrap it up in this World Series homestand. Remember, you heard it here first. See you next week.


  1. Mike Mike October 24, 2014

    Schubert demonizes people who oppose systemd by calling them trolls. He should probably look in a mirror.

    The truth is people oppose systemd for a lot of reasons, and many of them are valid technical concerns. It is also not nearly as easy to avoid systemd as he proposes. Someone technical and motivated can take steps to remove it, but it will always initially be present on a Debian Jessie install if you use the installer. Many users will likely keep it through sheer inertia. The installer should at least offer the choice to opt out of the systemd mess. Having the bulk of Debian users using systemd simply due to it being the default will mean more pressure on developers to work with it. Having large projects like Gnome deliberately and needlessly choose to depend on systemd sucks even more people into the systemd ecosystem, again putting pressure on developers.

  2. Microlinux Microlinux October 24, 2014

    Let’s take a simple look at the facts, then. The CentOS bugtracker currently lists 39 systemd-related bugs, some with a “major” status, some even “crash”. This must be the crappiest CentOS release ever. Guess why.

  3. Scott Dowdle Scott Dowdle October 24, 2014

    Microlinux, I took a look at the bugs (and I could only find 11) and none of them were really significant (in my opinion). A “major” one was that someone couldn’t get the LiveGNOME iso to boot… obviously a video card issue… yet it is filed against systemd. Another is related to udev which indeed is part of systemd but probably exists on non-systemd-based systems with udev. The crash issue was with a custom kernel… yeah, CentOS should really make sure custom kernels work. (sarcasm) Anaconda had 32 bugs filed and the kernel had 34. All software has bugs especially complex software… but seriously, a raw count of bug reports is a “simple look”.

  4. tracyanne tracyanne October 24, 2014

    Systemd doesn’t really concern me, it makes little to no difference to me, other than I have to learn a few new commands. I still haven’t noticed the sky falling, as predicted, and… not that it matters that much, I use suspend a lot, my computer seems to boot a little faster

  5. Mike Mike October 25, 2014

    I noticed under Debian Jessie that switching to systemd caused ridiculous amounts of delay when launching applications under XFCE as compared to sysvinit. Switching back caused the mysterious delays to vanish. I was able to repeat this behavior on multiple systems over a period of months.

    No thanks, I prefer my systems to NOT act like Windows.

  6. Andrew Andrew October 25, 2014

    You lost me at “while admonishing “trolls” who seem to find systemd evil”.

    Why is it that everyone who doesn’t like something that someone else does is automatically a “troll” in this community? Don’t they realize that calling others a troll because they dislike or disagree only hurts the person who slings that mud?

    I no longer have a horse in the systemd race thank goodness, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think systemd is a problem for the community and no..thinking that does not make me a troll. Just ask all of the people in forums all over the map who are dealing with log corruption, are they all trolls too?

  7. Barry Kauler Barry Kauler October 25, 2014

    The cupsd daemon in Ubuntu 14.10 has a systemd dependency,, which is in package libsystemd-daemon0.

    I maintain a tiny distro (Quirky Linux) built with 14.10 DEBs, and I just used the cups DEBs from 14.04, printing works fine.

    I don’t know what that library does, but I didn’t want to put it in, even if it just sits there doing nothing.

    Note, Quirky is using eudev, a fork of just the udev component of systemd, maintained by Gentoo developers.

    I am worried about the future though. I am seeing the tentacles of systemd reaching out!

  8. tim lovejoy tim lovejoy October 29, 2014

    As someone who wears glasses, the anti Glass or glasses as ways to communicate have been somewhere between sad and pathetic.

    Many people love smartphones because they want to use one device for many uses, phone, computer, camera, browser, games,etc..
    Instead of carrying 5 devices, you have only one.
    Its only normal that since you wear glasses all the time for some, part time for others (reading and sun) that this would be a place where youd want to store one device that could do all the things mentioned.
    I dont HAVE to wear a watch or carry a phone but I MUST always wear my glasses. Thats where these models dont work for me, I dont want glasses AND phone. We can put computers in the smallest of places as it is.

    The privacy scare was idiotic since when Glass came out you could already buy for 100 bucks or less, glass frames with hidden cameras with excellent quality. For 200, you could get those frames to fit a real prescription.
    So your fear of perverts is a bit late, hidden devices to tape are cheap, have good video and can be found in 10secs on the net.
    But this article does like the Glass haters who kept harping on the physical aspect of a prototype.
    You can have MANY types of frames for real glasses or for those that are devices. Just because you dont like a model doesnt mean that A) others wont B) that the concept is bad.
    Just for work purposes, our company’s on the road technicians could greatly benefit from a hands free access to plans and schematics. Knowing handicapped people and seniors who have problems manipulating a phone I could see how theyd benefit.
    The uses for a glass based device can be many but the sheer fear of them is simply mindblowing.

    As for the ugly frames, thats a question of taste. I have a coworker who wears Dolce and Gabanna glasses with the huge logo on the side. Big frames are in AS LONG as you overpay to have some logo on the side. Seriously, go to a store.
    And the ones the asian girl is wearing at the top are perfectly fine

    imagine if someone showed you a car for the first time and it was an ugly thing like a Kia Soul. would you say “This car concept sure is ugly.”?

    heck, if I told you 4-5yrs ago that people would be carrying 6inch phones, youd have said that it was stupid.

  9. Larry Cafiero Larry Cafiero Post author | October 31, 2014


    First, relax.

    Second, I wear glasses. I’ve been wearing them since junior high school. They pretty much went from Kevin-Costner-in-JFK frames to aviators to a variation of the round tortoise-shell frames I currently wear today. I am certainly not anti-glasses because I’ve never worn anything else when it comes to corrective lenses — no contacts, no laser surgery, nothing but glasses for me.

    Third, I have driven a Kia Soul – rented one to drive down to SCALE 12x earlier this year. It was a great car, with excellent visibility and excellent gas mileage. I’d own one if I could afford it, and I can show you pictures if you like. If you’re going to buy a Kia Soul, get it in black.

    Now that this is all out of the way, you have to be joking to think that you need something on your face to process information that could easily fit in your pocket. Putting aside the huge privacy infringements inherent in Google Glass to which you seem oblivious, I have consistently argued that you don’t really need to be as connected as you are when you’re wearing something like Google Glass.

    Seriously, how hard is it to reach into your pocket, pull out your smartphone and look at it?

    My point in the item above is that Laforge takes a very bad, laughably flawed, and potentially dangerous concept and makes it physically ugly.

    You may disagree. And yet, life goes on.

    Have a nice day.

  10. […] Ubuntu Turns 10 & systemd Is Not Contagious by Larry Cafiero. Published October 24, 2014. In this Week in Review our Larry Cafiero helps […]

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