Damn You Linux

So that was fun. Wait, no, actually it wasn't. Once more the people who are responsible for linux have proven that their operating system is a complete joke. More precisely, probably just Fedora in this case, but the distinction is so minor as to not be worth noting. Why am I randomly ranting about this crap today of all days? I just spent the last 3 hours trying to untangle the mess updating to Fedora 16 made of my server installation.

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.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Dec 6, 2011 3:29 am by Samson in: | 30 comment(s) [Closed]
Just one comment: switch to Ubuntu. Not fucking kidding - switch to Ubuntu.

Yeah, not to reiterate my nice snark from ICQ, but you know, sometimes people tell me about how great Linux is, and why I don't much like it, and I usually end up telling them stories like this.

But as much as I despise Fedora right now, I have double the hate for any of the Debian distros. They're even less inclined to follow the standards and some of the things on the server absolutely will not work right with it.

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.

Not sure I'd really call Ubuntu Debian anymore. As Ubuntu says, it's "Debian-inspired". We're not running Gnome - strictly command line, although we are thinking of running X, which would give us Gnome.

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...

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #5 Dec 7, 2011 12:16 am
I don't know what your setup is, but if you don't need support for bleeding edge hardware support, FreeBSD might solve your problems:
- 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

You should look into CentOS - it's RHEL without the RHEL branding, and doesn't get the crazy shit that Fedora has thrown at it until it's proven stable.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #7 Dec 7, 2011 3:28 pm
Wow running the Fedora Core as a web server. It's not really meant for that. But hey good luck with that. Since 2000 I've had the same box running RedHat I've done all of the upgrades starting with 7 just finished upgrading to RHEL 6 and I've still never had a bit of trouble.

Nope, no plans to go with FreeBSD either. The main reason I stuck with Fedora was because it offers the best environment for the MUDs being hosted on the server. I've had a few bumps here and there, but up until this mess with whatever their new plaything is, it's worked just fine as a webserver, database server, email server, and development platform for the folks running their games.

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.

Ziggy [Anon] said:
Comment #9 Dec 7, 2011 7:40 pm
I cannot comment with much worthwhile:
But it all reminds me of this XKCD

Heh. Always amazes me that there's an XKCD comic that fits every situation you could run into :)

So apt, though I prefer this one.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #12 Dec 9, 2011 11:22 pm
LOL, I had fun reading this. Now what have we learned? Instead of running crying to mum next time why not read the fuckin changelog before installing?
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.

The above anonymous post is exactly the kind of crap that comes out of the mouths of linux elitists and is precisely why nobody likes them.

people like him are part of why *nix doesn't get much use outside of servers. :\

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #15 Dec 10, 2011 11:34 am
Oh for crying out loud! Except for the "mum" part I think I was pretty much right & to the point. You just don't do such upgrades mindlessly and expect everything to work! So man up and learn to use the damn thing or ditch it for something else that works for you. Either way stop whining.

As I said you should be using RHEL or a clone in production, unless of course you know what you're doing.

ta ta

Commenting about the knowledge level of other users when a fundamental change to the system doesn't handle itself properly. Raise your hand if you didn't see that one coming. Come on, anyone?

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.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #17 Dec 10, 2011 2:27 pm

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.

Yeah, sure, mostly the right thing. According to who? Do you realize most people who choose an operating system just want it to work and not be a hassle? I know, strange concept, and oddly one Microsoft finally came to terms with about 5 years ago. One Apple wrote the book on. Linux? Nope. They seem to be all about causing maximal hassle to as many users as possible and then responding in an angry and elitist tone when someone comes looking for help. RTFM is the company line. Well, guess what? TFM is a joke and always has been.

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.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #20 Dec 10, 2011 4:21 pm
Then "most people" should just use Microsoft or Apple since they're so hassle free. Really, why are you still trying?
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.

Clearly you have no idea what I am and am not capable of using. You yourself (assuming it's been the same Anon all along here) said Fedora isn't intended to be used as a webserver. Yet, here you are, commenting on my blog which is a PHP application I wrote a sizable portion of, running on Apache, which was provided by the operating system as part of the package. If it's not intended to be used, then why the hell is it in there? Not even going to mention the rest of what I'm doing with the server that runs perfectly well despite apparently not being intended for those purposes either. At least until trying to make a logical upgrade to a supposedly improved setup that in reality simply doesn't work.

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.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #22 Dec 10, 2011 10:52 pm
Sigh. This is going nowhere.

Samson, you have been around long enough to know that "YOU NEVER UPGRADE LINUX" ever, you leave it work for ever and ever and ever and only ever apply security patches. I will agree though, you would think that in todays age of computing, that, the people at Red Hat would have warned of subsystem changes that obsolete how things have ALWAYS been done.

The problem is, eventually even the security patches stop rolling.

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.

btw Fury, Conner's appeared again, at AFK mods at least. You seemed to miss him. :tongue:

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