In the last few months I have standardized my machines on Debian testing. It works OK... but what has been happening is that things that used to be slow and not optimized well now run fast and the old systems are flakey. I'm now using kde as my environment over xfce because the reviewers were correct: it is faster and lighter.
But note where that link came from. Forbes. Linux is now corporate: the corporations have required a code of conduct and it is being used to censor people. Linus is no longer the benign dictator for life: he has been replaced by trolls from HR and otherkin who cannot even write C pseudocode.
They are banning people for their politics. This is now enough to get you deplatformed.
So it is no longer your code that matters. I miss the days of bro programming. But they have gone. The irony is that I use the most politically correct version of the OS -- Debian -- despite the Debian fooundation, but because it's solid and stable.
It makes me want to go back to a fountain pen and notebook.
There is a cost to all this. Things get slower... and break. (And in the commercial sce
@FrankNorman, I am running linux kernel 5.2 with Gnome 3.34 on an AMD system. Since upgrading to kernel 5.0 I have been experiencing freezing, slow file operation which lock the system until the file operation is finished a la DOS, and plenty of crashehes I have never experienced before.
I am most definitely getting all the benefits from the snowflakes, and not just in the kernel
Rabid Ratel, Vox Popoli
So, what to do? Most of the ilk say that the linux kernel has technical flaws, and Linus says he is no longer a programmer. They are thinking forking the kernel from 5.0 or earlier or a BSD. I tried dragonfly BSD before, and it works, sort of. OpenBSD has Theo, who makes Linus look like a fluffy bunny. I'm more likely to try GhostBSD, which is a fork of TrueOS. The Linux alternative many people are suggesting is slackware.
But you have to do stuff now. Which is why I'm running Debian and MacOS -- neither are perfect. The new version of Mac broke endnote, vidyo and sophos. I need to find a replacement for endnote anyway, but vidyo and citrix are needed for work.
I would be more inclined to invest my development or anti-convergence efforts in one of the BSDs. Linux has been making poor technical choices like systemd for a while, whether because of the growing convergence or just parallel with it, I don't know."
A study of how Pottering has been able to foist truly wretched software onto Linux would be interesting. For systemd, a lot of it is political, Red Hat having other employees trying critical software to it, and the political coup of getting Debian to use it. It was very much in Red Hat's interest, by turning the Linux userland into a Windows style hard to manage when things go wrong mess. And this was the reason I was moving towards OpenBSD before Linus was forced to drink the social justice Kool-Aid.
"The main advantage Linux has is a large number of developers to write all the hardware drivers..."
This is not an unalloyed good, for Linus refuses to create a stable kernel device driver API. So every time that changes a bunch of drivers have to be updated, and critical ones regularly rot, I've had common and uncommon standard peripherals work, then not, then work again. If you have kernel skills, which the Ubuntu Linux distribution shows is not required, you might be better off contributing to a BSD, and there's lots of cross pollination between them.
Getting back to Shimshon's original point, probably the largest amount of work in an operating system *distribution* is maintaining as many desired user level programs as possible. Few users pick a distribution because it has "the coolest" kernel, all of these are warmed over 1960s technology, they pick what can run the applications they need. Windows 10 is not cool, but just might be the best choice if the degradation of Linux accelerates. Avoid Apple, their software development is a complete and getting much worse shitshow.
Between social justice convergence, systemd, and the projected Bluewashing of Red Hat now that it's been bought by IBM, Linux is increasingly a bad bet. Damelon is sticking to FreeBSD from inertia, and because it successfully repelled a very serious SJW attack, albeit sustaining damage, I wouldn't rule it out. OpenBSD appeals to me because of its better governance as long as Theo can keep it up, and I'm for the most part willing to accept its compromises, which for many current Linux desktop users are worse than FreeBSD's.
Pick either, add device drivers if that's a skill you have or can cultivate, add software packages if you can do that. As I understand it, perhaps the best targeted work in userland is accommodating it being tied more and more to systemd, so if you have a high pain tolerance in writing shims go for it.
NetBSD has lost its mojo from what I've heard, but that could be wrong. It's unique selling proposition is that it'll run on *anything*, which is probably not our goal, which can be limited to running on x86, ARM, and perhaps someday RISC-V hardware. DragonflyBSD has its own opinions about how to do important kernel things, but is mostly an ongoing experiment in creating a distributed filesystem, which is probably not a goal of ours. If you want to stick to Linux and fight systemd, perhaps contribute to Devuan, although I note that its base Debian has one of the worst development models (details on request).
At the moment I'm using the latest LTS release of Ubuntu, which is annoying but runs some critical 3rd party software for which it's the primary Linux world target. The useland stuff I'm currently doing I make very sure runs on OpenBSD.
Karhu, Vox Popoli
Watch this space. I have an old crappy laptop and ain't afraid to experiment.