This is what Linux should be

Please post in this category if you are extremely happy with Porteus.
WARNING: This section may contain strong language.
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Philo
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This is what Linux should be

Post#1 by Philo » 09 Oct 2015, 22:00

Hi, I've been a Linux user for some 15 years: Fedora, RedHat, Debian, some flavours of Ubuntu, some Slack and a bit of Gentoo (not so much Gentoo as I would have liked). After tinkering with Porteus for a while I've decided to sign up just to write this. It's not my first time in the forum, but I've only been reading, and up to now I always found the answers or the hints I was looking for.
Linux is becoming bloated, enormous, un-surveyable. Even the kernel is bloated according to Linus Thorvald. Well, this you can't help. But I am amazed at your achievements about all the rest. You have been rethinking the whole structure of the software; you are turning your Linux distribution into a transparent modular structure that the average user can survey, control, tailor to her needs. As far as I can see, this is by no means the case with other distributions, where every attempt to fiddle with the modules (btw, you have brilliantly and neatly widened the notion of a module and of a package) soon runs into all kinds of problems, required hacks, conflicts and obscurities about alternative ways of handling configuration parameters etc. The way you handle modules is beautiful, clean, extremely convenient. You allow the user to do in a few steps what one would normally do in Gentoo at extremely high costs. At first I could hardly believe this -- Porteus looked too good to be true.

You have actually introduced an intermediate surveyable layer between the skin (applications run from the desktop) and the bowels of the system. I can reorganize my whole configuration with a few lines of code (I am still a CLI and a bash fan). I can learn a lot about the architecture of the system by substantially treating the modules as black boxes and getting into them, layer by layer, only if I wish to. One can do all sorts of experiments without breaking one's system.
This is quite an accomplishment, hopefully a model for other distributions. If Linux has a future (which I DO hope) as a widespread OS, I think it is in this direction. Some bugs are unavoidable, we'll help to detect them. Just go ahead with the good work -- and many thanks.

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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#2 by brokenman » 10 Oct 2015, 01:09

Welcome aboard Philo. Thanks very much for the praise. Having a community of great users helped us get here. Hopefully you can add to that value.
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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#3 by SanSalvadorman » 10 Oct 2015, 01:34

I'm new here, but that's what I think too, and is the reason that excited me a lot with the idea about this amazing Porteus.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#4 by brokenman » 10 Oct 2015, 01:44

Nice to have you aboard too SanSalvadorman. Do you speak spanish?

Philo, your profile says you are in Italy, but I have to assume you are a native english speaker yes? Philo sounds kind of true blue.
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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#5 by SanSalvadorman » 10 Oct 2015, 02:32

Spanish is my native language, which is an opportunity to assist with translation into Porteus.
It is the sum of small efforts making large projects.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#6 by Philo » 11 Oct 2015, 22:14

Brokenman, I am actually an Italian native speaker and 'Philo' is just meant as 'philosopher' ;-)
I'll try to contribute as best I can but I am presently overwhelmed by a huge amount of work. For the time being, I go on promoting Porteus between students, friends and colleagues. The experience I am gaining might enable me to write a short complete-beginners tutorial, just to fill in some blanks in your very good online documentation. My main problem is time...

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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#7 by francois » 12 Oct 2015, 01:59

@philo:
You comments are really appreciated. Please feel free to intervene on the forum. Let us get in touch with your wisdom. I am sure that you could contribute to more than standard translation. :wink:

Welcome to this community.
Voltaire: Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.

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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#8 by Rava » 14 Oct 2015, 01:51

Thanks Philo, your initial post would make a perfect quote for our Porteus wikipedia page... But I cannot use it cause it's on our Porteus forum.

Do you have by change some other blog or such where you can post a similar "Porteus review" article that I then can use for a good praise review for our wikipedia entry? :)
Cheers!
Yours Rava

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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#9 by Philo » 15 Oct 2015, 23:17

Thank you, Rava. Regrettably, I do not have a personal blog or anything -- I more or less visit my Facebook page once a year (days are definitely too short). I surely could post it somewhere else. But I'd like to say, my praise was quite generic: I could be much more specific. For example, about the documentation, the close connection between users and developers, the performance and flexibility of the system. I am presently practicing with modules and different DEs and I am enjoying Porteus immensely.
And there is one more thing. Most PC users just panic before a line of code. Some of them are brave enough to cut and paste a line into a terminal but they mostly feel frustrated because they don't know what they are doing. Some have simply no time for learning, others are just scared (they are more often than not mistreated in Linux forums). Quite a few go on and become addicted. Now my point is: I don't think that Linux should only be for an elite of PC knowledgeable people. As far as I can see, the basic features of a Linux user are two: (i) the will to be in control of their system and to understand, more or less thoroughly, what is going on in it; (ii) a willingness to cooperate with the community. But this can be shared even by people who know little more than how to click in a GUI. Even a bare clicker might like to know that she can activate or deactivate a module, she can move modules from /base to /optional, she can go back and forth between changes etc. This is just a first step, surely not much: but it is a sign of an attitude towards a PC and an OS, I'd say it's Linux-oriented behaviour. Users of this kind might be tempted to take some steps more, say, to play with cheatcodes or even to learn some basic Linux commands etc. Or they might not, and even this would be fine. In my opinion, Porteus especially invites people to go on and to peel off more layers of the onion as it were. My dream is a completely onion-like Linux, where people can begin as clickers (the outer layer) and gradually become experts if they just wish to. But it is crucial that even as clickers they are not merely subjected to their OS (Linux as an unhappy Windows...) but they handle it and are to some extent in control. This can also be the case in Windows and it is certainly the case in many Linux distributions, but the learning curve from blind user to 'controller' is rather steep. In Windows, a progress of that kind is actively hindered in several ways and the whole OS is for many users a very big and a very dark box. Porteus is special even in this respect because it allows people to manipulate the system even in easy ways and so it truly invites them to go on by little steps. (Sorry for being so repetitious.) The people I asked to try Porteus were enthusiastic about the possibility of setting up the system and about the 'exhilarating feeling' (a verbatim quote) of building up their own system. For all I can see, this is the spirit of Linux, by all means.
There are difficulties. I have to help setting up the USB stick, the save file or dir, a couple of DEs and the porteus.cfg. Then some little trouble, a guy couldn't log in in mate -- I just changed the runlevel and run startx -- or little 'bugs', possibly specific to their machine. This is secondary, the documentation is excellent and the installing process might be further automated in the future, just to make the way in smoother. But the project -- that is great.
Ok, I'm a bit afraid I have over-replied... ;-)

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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#10 by Bogomips » 16 Oct 2015, 01:26

^ In respect of control, I couldn't agree with you more. In 'always fresh mode', one is in control, and not at the mercy of the system. One can do what one likes, and if it doesn't pan out, just wipe it all out and start all over again. I'm always running in ram in always fresh mode, only saving as and when it's needed. Reverting to something analogous to the early days, when a program ran in memory, and the disks were just for data storage.
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Re: This is what Linux should be

Post#11 by Rava » 16 Oct 2015, 14:35

^
That's how I do it as well, at times when the system is shut down when it should only be in suspend (happens onec in a while, dunno why so far) I might have lost some palemoon bookmarks when I did not make my 990-roopcopy-YYYY-MM-DD backup thingy;
This 990-rootcopy xzm also has all my settings from /homr/rava that I want to keep and my aliases and scripts that I keep in /usr/local/bin.
Oh, and the updates to the palemoon plug-ins, of course. :D
(Palemoon and flashplayer itself get their own module, one that has both parts in it of course)
_______________________________________

Philio, of course my above post should have read I cannot use and not I cannot sue ... *mega epic facepalm* :D
Cheers!
Yours Rava

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