Damn You Linux
Somewhere in their grand plans in the last 6 months they decided that the scripts which usually reside in /etc/init.d/* that are responsible for starting all manner of really useful things like Apache, MySQL, Sendmail, and just about every other important system service you could imagine, needed to be deleted. Not just deleted mind you, for that would probably have been easy enough to get around. They replaced the entire setup with some boneheaded SystemD thing that makes use of some fancy ass message bus thing nobody cares about. All well and good, right?
Wrong. When I rebooted the server, for whatever reason, only a few select things worked. Apache, Webmin, SSH. Enough to see that the upgrade had taken but that something was very very wrong. When I logged in to restart the obviously missing MySQL database, I was greeted with an error telling me it's init script did not exist. Oh boy, here we go. Reminds me of the time they switched to udev and didn't explain what that entailed. You know, typical egghead shit from linux guys who think everything is cool.
So off I went to try my luck at the Google gamble. "start mysql fedora 16" led me here. Ok, fair enough, Redhat uses Fedora as a testbed, this should work. I skipped down to section 5 - start MySql blah blah blah.
> systemctl start mysqld.service
< some gibberish error about being unable to contact dbus
So yeah, I'm all WTF is DBus and why do I care? This rabbit hole has only just begun. In typical linux documentation fashion, I was led on a merry chase through several websites with supposedly working HOWTO guides on how to deal with this thing. All of which eventually circled me back here, to the MySQL page I just left. Oh, joy. As it turns out, whatever this DBus thing is, Linode DOES NOT LIKE IT. In typical linux fashion, the error I get seems to be something nobody else on Earth has ever seen. Not even once. I know I'm not the sharpest Googler ever but come on. So finally I just say to hell with it. Not dealing with this crap. Time to reverse course and get back a working system. Easy, right?
God dammit to hell! Naturally when I walk away to take a break and watch part 2 of Neverland (excellent btw) the Linode backups I have configured fire off. With the server in an utterly broken state. So yesterday's backup is now worthless because it just became today's backup with a broken Fedora 16 on it instead. That left me with the slightly less appealing option of restoring Sunday night's backup. Yeah, that's 3 days down the drain, but at least I had backups to use and didn't cost myself 8 months worth of pain and suffering.
So anyway, I go to tell it to restore the backup.
"You don't have enough space for this."
No, really, in order to restore a backup you have to completely delete what you've got configured. It isn't an intelligent system that just reimages your drive over what's already there. There has to be nothing present at all. Fortunately that took about 10 minutes to do, then another 15 to restore Sunday's data. Let's not do this again anytime soon. Thank God this happened during a low activity period.
Lesson 1: Fucking make a snapshot backup before doing stuff like this. I didn't, because I was being lazy. Lazy will kill you.
Lesson 2: Don't upgrade linux on a whim. EVER AGAIN. Look for the gotcha. If you don't find it, keep looking. If you still don't find it, ask someone else about it.
I mean really. Why do they do this? This would be like Microsoft deciding that SP2 for Windows 7 was going to switch the file system from NTFS to something entirely new and untested without telling anyone they were going to do it. There is no valid reason EVER to up and change fundamental core structures of your operating system just because you can. Even Apple learned this lesson years ago. As long as you idiots in charge of running linux into the ground keep at it, you will NEVER become a mainstream operating system. You will forever remain a geek's toy. An engineer's play thing.
RIP United States of America
July 1776 - November 2012.
Perhaps one day when I no longer have MUD hosting going on I can make such changes, but not right now. It would be rather painful to convert everything without risking a rebellion.
Anyway I'm not a *nix expert, but when hubby makes the switch and is singing its praises, I listen. I don't envy the task you would have in switching though...
- OS and Kernel are not developed separately but part of one whole
- There is just one distro, quite strictly following its own standard
Some things like compiling your own kernel are quite different, but personally I haven't felt the need for that on either Linux or BSD since the 1990's
I've done in-place upgrades since Fedora 8. This is the first one I had to back out because it broke so badly. This sort of thing is almost enough to drive one into using a Windows server. Whatever Microsoft's evils may be, I've worked IT long enough to know that the core operating system doesn't break itself like this, and if by chance something DOES go tits up, MS Corporate is a phone call away to get it fixed - for free in many cases.
The problem with going with some other alternative is that from what I can tell, this fundamental core change is being adopted by everyone. Debian, BSD, Redhat, you name it. It's apparently part of Kernel 3.1, and got ported to BSD as well at some point. It might even eventually make its way to OSX assuming it hasn't already. There's not going to be a way to avoid it in the future, and I'm sure we can all agree that sitting on an old OS for too long borders on dangerous once the security patches stop.
But it all reminds me of this XKCD
SystemD absolutely rocks and Fedora 16 is one of the best releases to date. It pretty much blows most of the existing OSes/distros out of the water.
What you should also know is that it has quite a rapid development cycle and is a testbed for future RHEL releases.
You really should run something like RHEL or CentOS in production.
As I said you should be using RHEL or a clone in production, unless of course you know what you're doing.
Also, yes, you do conduct such upgrades "mindlessly" when they assure you nothing will go wrong. Now maybe I should have known better than to take them at their word because Fedora is a lot like Bethesda in that regard and it will take then 5 versions to finally get their shit together. The larger point though is that every damn distro on the planet has gone along with this core systems change and I'd be facing it down no matter which one I chose to go with.
You've also missed the broader point. These idiots in charge of linux are changing critical structures just because they can. In direct violation of the if it aint broke rule. Cause it certainly wasn't broken and didn't need to be fixed.
These idiots in charge of linux are mostly doing the right thing. Otherwise it'll be year 3020 and we'd still be using an OS from 1990. Linux is evolution, evolution breaks stuff.
Deal with it.
This is why anyone with half a brain always laughs when articles about the year of the linux desktop show up, acting as though half the world has converted to the new religion. The data doesn't match the delusion. It never will, and it's precisely because of people like you who ridicule and demean anyone who runs into a problem.
1. Given the ravages of the Succession Wars and Comstar, we'll probably be thankful to be using 1990 OSes in 3020.
2. From time to time, I wonder to myself "Self, are you too harsh on Linux zealots? Do they perhaps have a point?" And then I get helpful reminders that no, this is one of those moral superiority things I'm actually justified in, and if anything, maybe I'm not being harsh enough, because man, that's some mouthbreathing idiocy right there.
3. What Samson said.
Don't kid yourself, those platforms bring their own sets of problems and require RTFM as well. If they hadn't you'd be using them right now instead of whining.
I'm well aware of the kinds of problems you can run into with Windows based platforms too. Considering linux is only useful by any stretch as a server OS. I've used Windows on PC for as long as its existed, except for futile resistance in the early years where I clung to DOS after Windows 95 came along. Only the hardware death of the PC that DOS setup was on got me to convert. Windows 95 back then was a more user-friendly setup than any linux desktop is today and that says an awful lot about the delusional mindset of those maintaining linux.
Most people DO use Microsoft or Apple. Linux has a paltry 1.5% of the worldwide desktop user market. That really ought to tell you everything. They're the Opera of operating systems. Except the entire point of this whole post has nothing to do with desktop operating systems.
So yeah, you can keep on about RTFM. Been there, done that, TFM is still a complete joke and Google is awash in millions of users who can't get a straight answer out of a linux person even when they pay them for one.
Fedora did mention the change, but nowhere was it ever indicated that it would abandoned the original system entirely and leave you high and dry should something go wrong. Mainly because they deluded themselves into thinking nothing could go wrong.