Beginning of 2016. A major storm is brewing over the GNU/Linux landscape. Winter is coming and things are starting to change. For the much worse. Thanks to this article: http://slated.org/the_poetterisation_of_gnu_linux it became very clear to me what Red Hat is all about. For years I have respected Red Hat as a major player in the GNU/Linux ecosystem and a supporter of open-source software. I believed they genuinely cared and wanted to prove the world that the open-source development model IS the model of the future. I was wrong.
Red Hat never cared. That’s quite apparent when looking at some of the developer comments on the bug tracker: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=534047#c9. They simply wanted a new operating system to sell their software products. Furthermore, the way they organized the coup on GNU/Linux was quite devious. First, through Fedora they allowed the development of modern, streamlined apps. That produced a lot of hype and cheering for open-source software. Alas, steadily, tried and tested UNIX solutions, which worked for years, started to become obsolete, because they were too old and not modern enough. udev and a couple of other projects were created to address this. Next, came systemd, which took over the init process and gradually started to absorb all of the mentioned minor projects. You want to boot your system – you need systemd. You want to run X11 – you need udev which is now part of systemd. You want to mount devices – you need dbus, which is also part of systemd. To be specific, you don’t actually need systemd for all of this to work, but that has become the new default. Somewhere in-between came the GNOME3 project, which massacred the positive vibe left after GNOME2 and quickly linked itself to systemd. It was simple and easy to use, as the proponents claimed. Frankly, it was oversimplified, obfuscated and completely useless, much like the Metro UI of Windows 8, which appeared later.
The overall fuss over Red Hat’s agenda was and still is enormous. However, it really boils down to a single statement – GNU/Linux operating systems are not Windows, nor Mac OS X. The moment this is forgotten and/or forsaken, the GNU/Linux ecosystem will become yet another streamlined, commercial product.
Fortunately, there are options! FreeBSD has set itself apart from the mainstream long ago and will not participate in Red Hat’s machinations. Moreover, it follows the original, true UNIX philosophy. In the Linuxverse there is the OpenRC based version of Manjaro and a relatively new, but greatly promising project – Devuan.