BSD to the Rescue

Within the past year I ran across a few stories and blog entries about people moving from Linux to BSD, all because of systemd mission creep. I suspect if the systemd developers had restrained themselves to keep systemd as an init system there would be less controversy about systemd. Empire building is a temptation tough to resist once the proverbial ball starts rolling.

I looked at BSD many years ago. Back then BSD was not ready for the desktop or from my perspective in this blog, for non technical users. I suspect that remains true today despite significant strides in BSD development. BSD development suffers from a similar impediment of Linux development, too much dependence upon the terminal, which non technical users are not going to use.

I do not think a mass exodus to BSD is needed to avoid systemd. There remain Linux distros not using systemd. Slackware is an obvious example. The lack of interest by many in the Slackware community toward usability by non technical users probably is not going to change soon. Slackers love the “Slackware way.” If a desktop environment does not provide the GUI tools non technical users expect or need, most Slackers just shrug. Yet moving to systemd is not going to happen any time soon, if at all.

Yet there are teasers for the potential. Salix OS is an example, as is Absolute Linux, Zenwalk, and Vector, although the derivative distros do not have significant followings. Could the parts of the above become a greater whole?

With the on-going debate about systemd and the upcoming 14.2 release based on eudev, perhaps Slackware could be poised for a comeback of sorts. I doubt Slackware itself will change toward more GUI tools (traditional Slackers would scream bloody murder — browse the forum if you think otherwise), but a derivative distro could be the trick. Especially one that combines the best of breed GUI tools. Of one thing I am sure, the Slackware developers will do all they can to merge patches upstream to ensure such software continues to function outside of systemd. At least until such patches are rejected or fail utterly.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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