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  • #31
    Originally posted by er888kh View Post

    You don't always need to bring new extraordinary technologies to be useful. Arch makes it easy to stay close to upstream without having to sacrifice ease-of-use. Furthermore, its pkgbuild system works quite well, even if it is simple. The fact that you can find almost anything in its repos and it is one of the best documentations for everything linux related gives more than enough reason to believe it is a very well distro (it must be really good if people actively spend time developing it and its ecosystem). Thus Arch has very much pushed the linux ecosystem to some next level, by being simple and compelling to many developers/enthusiasts.

    The same can be said of free software organizations. After all, they all "waste" money on non-development tasks which users don't care about (why should I care if Linux Foundation gives money to accountants?). Anything that brings people closer and encourages and facilitates collaboration can be thought of a step forward, and more so as more people join/take part in it.
    I didn't say that Arch wasn't useful. To the contrary, it's the distro where customising existing packages or creating your own is by far the easiest and that's certainly something that has value. I was merely reacting to the post about "stagnation": when Debian introduced apt-get, the first modern package manager, it changed the Linux landscape forever. By the same token, Ubuntu released the first credible FOSS desktop and changed everything to the point that now we have Steam etc. RHEL turned a hacker's toy into a de-facto industry standard. Fedora was the first one to put Wayland in production and now with its various ostree-based distros it's fundamentally reinterpreting what it even means to be a Linux distribution. In that sense, there is clearly a before-Debian and after-Debian, a before and after Ubuntu, a before and after RedHat etc. I don't think there is a before and after Arch and certainly there is no before and after {{ small non-mainstream distro }}. Once again, I'm not implying in the slightest that Arch isn't useful (it certainly is), I'm saying that it's ridiculous to suggest that the majors are stagnating while the small distros are where the interesting stuff is.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Michael_S View Post

      A lot of the innovation in the big distributions comes from borrowing ideas pioneered by the little ones.

      Nix and GuixSD (which the developers openly admit borrow from Nix) take configuration of a distribution to a new level and blur the line between package management and configuration management.

      GuixSD and Debian are borrowing from each other and sharing ideas back and forth in the path towards reproducible builds.

      My seat-of-the-pants impression is that the only thing stopping the Void Linux package manager, XBPS, from being the fastest package manager available is that the Void mirrors aren't that fast. Once the files are downloaded, installation is fast.

      I'm sure there are other examples, too.

      So I think all the small distributions are awesome. I just wouldn't use one for my daily driver machines, and I recognize the staggering amount of work involved so I'll never start one myself.
      I didn't know there was come exchange between Debian and GuixSD in the reproducible builds area. If so, then it's interesting and it's a good example of a small distro innovating.

      Maybe we can also mention Alpine which became the container distro of choice thanks to its minimalism and trivial customisability.

      But for your other examples (Nix, Void etc) I can't help but feel that they are in fact solutions in search of a problem. They have been around for a while and there hasn't been any noticeable impact in terms of people saying "I've been running {Debian|RedHat|etc} but I'm switching to Void because it has this feature I can no longer do without".

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      • #33
        Originally posted by jacob View Post
        The only one-man project that stands out as meaning something to more than just a handful of hobbyists seems to be Slackware, but its significance nowadays is IMO mostly historical (yes I know that it still has regular releases and a community of dedicated fans). And maybe Gentoo.
        Gentoo may be run by one man, but Google contributes a lot to it because Chrome OS is based on it.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by jacob View Post

          I didn't know there was come exchange between Debian and GuixSD in the reproducible builds area. If so, then it's interesting and it's a good example of a small distro innovating.

          Maybe we can also mention Alpine which became the container distro of choice thanks to its minimalism and trivial customisability.

          But for your other examples (Nix, Void etc) I can't help but feel that they are in fact solutions in search of a problem. They have been around for a while and there hasn't been any noticeable impact in terms of people saying "I've been running {Debian|RedHat|etc} but I'm switching to Void because it has this feature I can no longer do without".
          I wasn't thinking of impact in terms of adoption - for every Linux Mint or Elementary that gets adoption there are hundreds or thousands of distributions that fade into obscurity and vanish. (And of course, Linux Mint and Elementary are based on Ubuntu, not "from scratch" Linux distributions, so they reuse work done by the Debian and Ubuntu maintainers.). I was thinking in terms of pioneering concepts that the bigger distributions adopt.

          In the case of Void, I doubt XBPS will be adopted by a bigger distribution but maybe apt/deb or dnf/rpm will shift to better compression algorithms, or parallelized package processing, or rewriting critical components in C, or only updating files that actually changed between package versions, or whatever it is that makes XBPS so fast.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by SilverFox View Post

            It's really good. A few nagging points with media keys on a corsair keyboard were an issue, But all in all it's a good solid system.
            Not all devices that work with linux may not work, But it's not as dire as some will leave you to believe.
            I'm just glad for the competition! It's nice to know that we have other alternatives.

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