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Intel's Clear Linux To Divest From The Desktop, Focus On Server + Cloud Workloads

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  • #31
    Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
    Sounds like you misunderstand the role and benefit of FOSS.
    Or it could be the FOSS world not understanding what the rest of the world wants.

    If your only interest in Linux is the ease in which you can rebuild packages, I would tend to agree with your friend. But in that case, it sounds like you misunderstand the role and benefit of FOSS.
    At the same time I really believe that people over state the value of FOSS for the general user. FOSS is great for the technical user but for the person with no desire to become a technically inclined use it has little to no value. The technical user can cry all they want about a locked down OS like IPhone OS and be justified while the average user flocks to iPhones because they just work. In effect what many of us see as great in FOSS is seen by the rest of the world as a massive burden.

    In 2020, "server" = Linux, "desktop" = Windows, and "mobile" = Android and iOS. In terms of market share, macOS basically doesn't exist.
    Mac OS is probably the best UNIX out there At the moment. Current the BIG problem with Mac OS is Apple not the OS. Further it has been Apples recent direction of making the hardware even more out of sync with reality price and quality wise. A little extra in cost was justified for a quality piece of hardware but lately they have raised prices even as hardware quality crashed.

    it would be nice to see MacOS considered for what it is and not the fact that it is associated with Apple.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by ms178 View Post
      I haven't tried MX-Linux yet and never understood why it is so popular on Distrowatch these days.
      It's popular because like how Mint is the user friendly optimized version of Ubuntu, and Manjaro is the user friendly optimized version of Arch, MX is the user friendly optimized version of Debian. Has a lot of specially written tools and tweaks to make your Debian desktop life a lot nicer.

      Originally posted by ms178 View Post
      To name a few things I would look out for in my dream distro: 1) KDE/Plasma with kwin-low latency (or KwinFT when it becomes more stable), 2) Linux kernel with BMQ scheduler and tuned for performance and low-latency (I usually compile one with more aggressive compiler flags myself and configure it to my liking, disabling a lot of cruft and things I don't need), 3) a very recent but stable Mesa/LLVM/GCC/Glibc (incorporating some of Clear Linux patches would be great), 4) Chromium with VAAPI-patches, 5) great Steam integration (as my experiences with Steam as a Flatpack were not that great), 6) providing the infrastructure and tools to compile my own packages with some changes to the default compiler settings (a big plus if it is integrated into the system package manager).
      Sounds like you need some version of Arch. KwinFT and its dependencies are already available via AUR last time I checked. Might be best sticking with Manjaro if you can access AUR and if the Steam implementation is to your liking.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
        Not a chance is Gnome 3 seen on servers. Servers predominantly run either in some sort of Jail, LXC, VM, etc. They do not have access to a GPU when running bare-metal that could even start a typical casual Linux desktop like Gnome. The OpenGL support alone would not be enough. I am very glad Intel has stopped wasting man hours on that cruft.
        Unless you meant hobbyist music "server" for home running on an old ASUS laptop with a broken screen?
        Likewise VNC and ssh/X forwarding has been rendered completely useless with the silly "gamer" requirements. Gnome 3 is not fit for purpose as a server UI.
        I see a lot of Windows servers and Redhat Linux boxes with Gnome. We may just work in different environments.
        I agree that servers should run headless for performance and security. However, I know that a server OS needs a DE option because there are people that want that.

        Also, I don't know any modern IPMI/KVM that cannot run Windows or Linux/Gnome..

        I'm completely at a loss how and why you are connecting Gnome with VNC or X/forwarding. The latter two are subpar with RDP, nomachine, and Spice on any DE.
        Last edited by mppix; 23 April 2020, 05:05 PM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by mppix View Post
          I'm completely at a loss how and why you are connecting Gnome with VNC or X/forwarding. The latter two are subpar with RDP, nomachine, and Spice on any DE.
          Because VNC and X/forwarding are standards. NoMachine is a product. If a corporation prefers brands to standards, they would use Citrix. NoMachine is... small.

          The problem is that modern fanless low power Matrox GPUs are a big hit with a number of servers. Their driver is mga:
          https://man.openbsd.org/mga.4
          http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/...an4/mga.4.html

          This will not be a fun experience with Gnome 3. Will work great for proper desktop environments though!
          Besides, that is if the server even uses the driver. Multi-session would be using something like Xvfb or Xvnc which doesn't even connect to a physical card (I predict that Wayland based solutions will fail to provide a solution to that).

          Note: I actually think it is cool that the open-source Matrox driver is actually current with hardware that are still for sale brand new from the manufacturer. This is fairly rare in this day and age (no doubt thanks to reverse engineers and FOSS developers rather than Matrox XD): http://shopmatrox.com/europe/product...ID=65&Column=2
          Last edited by kpedersen; 23 April 2020, 06:00 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
            Because VNC and X/forwarding are standards. NoMachine is a product. If a corporation prefers brands to standards, they would use Citrix. NoMachine is... small.
            Ignoring NoMachine, there is still no correlation between Gnome and VNC or X forwarding.

            Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
            The problem is that modern fanless low power Matrox GPUs are a big hit with a number of servers. Their driver is mga:
            https://man.openbsd.org/mga.4
            http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/...an4/mga.4.html
            This will not be a fun experience with Gnome 3. Will work great for proper desktop environments though!
            Besides, that is if the server even uses the driver. Multi-session would be using something like Xvfb or Xvnc which doesn't even connect to a physical card (I predict that Wayland based solutions will fail to provide a solution to that).
            Matrox? Servers come with BMCs (Aspeed AST2400/2500 and the like) since quite some time. They support screens with 1920x1200 with any DE. I'm not sure if I'd pass a blind test between this and an Intel iGPU (set at the same resolution and without launching programs that probe specifically for graphics performance). Of course, you'd not run a terminal server like that.
            Last edited by mppix; 24 April 2020, 12:39 AM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by edwaleni View Post
              In defense of the Clear Linux Team, since I opened a ticket with them last year I have been getting email updates from their system advising me on new tickets and community discussions.

              These guys have been getting bombarded with all sorts of questions ranging from the noob stuff (why doesn't it install?) to complaints about why a certain file system isn't on the GUI choices, why some really obscure piece of hardware isn't supported. Some dude was belly aching because he couldn't set up his point of sale system on it. (really?) Some people were just downright rude when Clear wouldn't work in their very specific use case. It was like they were personally offended Intel didn't build it for them!

              I can't tell you how many times the Clear Linux Team simply had to tell all of these people, over and over, the install is to merely get you there, the rest is up to you to figure it out.

              This probably gives one an idea of just how hard it is to support an OS in such a diverse word of expertise and hardware.
              I can reassure you ... this happens everywhere unfortunately. The thing that bothers me is that some people have a very arrogant approach, others even rude.
              Welcome to the 21st century!

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              • #37
                For the use-case I have for Clear, I want fast. I don't want Gnome. I never want Gnome anyway. When I desperately need some form of GUI, for a Clear box, Openbox or XFCE is more than sufficient. Admittedly it would be nice to tinker around with it on my daily-driver Linux box (thus Cinnamon would be nice) but overall? I'm happy for Clear to be focussed on things that are not DE related.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by mppix View Post
                  Ignoring NoMachine, there is still no correlation between Gnome and VNC or X forwarding.
                  I probably agree. VNC and X forwarding is very common in server space (the most common solution in fact). Especially if desktop environments are involved. Since Gnome 3 is unable to be squashed down the pipe, there really is no correlation between the two. Since VNC is more important than Gnome 3; the admins would remove it and use a desktop environment that works. Gnome 3 is of no consequence and will disappear as soon as the next generation of FOSS UI developers see sense.

                  What I find interesting is that macOS's official remote desktop is VNC based (because there is very little alternative when it comes to standards), however that desktop (and all its eye candy) performs much better than Gnome 3.

                  The best performance I have noticed is still RDP. I think it is embarrassing that Microsoft provides a better remote desktop system than Linux.
                  (Note that RDP on Linux doesn't truly exist, it actually uses Xvnc so scrapes the screen and translates to RDP raster protocol underneath so Gnome also grinds that to a halt. Xrdp is purely to expose a UNIX server conveniently to Windows obsessed people who will only use the Microsoft Remote Desktop utility).

                  To fix this, we need to go back to the ideas in the late 90s where Microsoft and Citrix were designing Citrix WinFrame and rewriting the entire UI system to be network aware. X11 is too low level (thus too chatty) and VNC is too high level (needs rasterisation and a server GPU for beasts like Gnome 3). Unfortunately I strongly believe Wayland is an even bigger step away getting remote desktops working well.
                  Last edited by kpedersen; 24 April 2020, 05:01 AM.

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                  • #39
                    I am using Clear Linux as primary desktop for work, also using development environment in docker(also clearlinux) due to it's stateless design, but I am using custom kernel config and will continue using it, because they optimize kernel for servers/cloud systems.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
                      I probably agree. VNC and X forwarding is very common in server space (the most common solution in fact). Especially if desktop environments are involved. Since Gnome 3 is unable to be squashed down the pipe, there really is no correlation between the two. Since VNC is more important than Gnome 3; the admins would remove it and use a desktop environment that works. Gnome 3 is of no consequence and will disappear as soon as the next generation of FOSS UI developers see sense.

                      What I find interesting is that macOS's official remote desktop is VNC based (because there is very little alternative when it comes to standards), however that desktop (and all its eye candy) performs much better than Gnome 3.

                      The best performance I have noticed is still RDP. I think it is embarrassing that Microsoft provides a better remote desktop system than Linux.
                      (Note that RDP on Linux doesn't truly exist, it actually uses Xvnc so scrapes the screen and translates to RDP raster protocol underneath so Gnome also grinds that to a halt. Xrdp is purely to expose a UNIX server conveniently to Windows obsessed people who will only use the Microsoft Remote Desktop utility).

                      To fix this, we need to go back to the ideas in the late 90s where Microsoft and Citrix were designing Citrix WinFrame and rewriting the entire UI system to be network aware. X11 is too low level (thus too chatty) and VNC is too high level (needs rasterisation and a server GPU for beasts like Gnome 3). Unfortunately I strongly believe Wayland is an even bigger step away getting remote desktops working well.
                      I agree with a lot of this, just a few things stand out.
                      - Gnome 3 is neither good nor bad for VNC. Oversimplifying, VNC (and RDP) screenshots the desktop and submit the frames as a stream (X11 forwarding screenshots the application).
                      - "Standard VNC" is from the 90s and cannot really be changed because the governing bodies do not function anymore. Because "standard VNC" is hopeless in performance for many use cases (internet is painful due to ancient compression if any, no audio, clipboard, etc) a number of noncompliant implementations exist (tigerVNC, realVNC, ...) that are partially incompatible with each other
                      - IMO, VNC's biggest limitation is that it is a screen sharing tool as opposed to a remote desktop (without additional software) and needs massive babying such that it does not become a major security problem when it is used outside of tech-support use cases.
                      - RDP on linux is there and wayland/sway has a non X a backend for example. However, it is a tough sale to a corporation
                      - Netwok aware UI are out of fashion since at least a decade. You need PCIe type bandwidths to leverage OpenGL or Vulkan and a lot of applications need that. Xorg is not network transparent since at least a decade and X forwarding is based on raster images (but a bad version).

                      To summarize, yes, linux remote desktop is not at its best. However, all high performance remote desktops use screen grabbing and submit (compressed) video streams. Gnome, X11, Wayland, etc. don't matter here.
                      I'm hoping that once Wayland is in shape, Linux remote desktop gets some attention. I don't think VNC is ready for the 21st century without heavy modifications and transforming it in something that resembles either RDP or Spice. However, there are also new concept/ideas, e.g. waypipe.

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