This Space for Rent

The world of the commercial linuxes just keeps getting more and more unpleasant

Because I was sinful in a previous life, I occasionally have to load R*dh*t Linux onto a test machine so I can track down whether a new bug is due to the big wad of patches that makes RHEL or the little wad of patches I apply to the kernel to make it actually do what we want. Today was one of those days. I fire up the nasty p*th*n RHEL installer in text mode, tell it that, no, I do not want your goddamn X11, thankyouverymuch!, spend 35 minutes watching the installer walk through four of the five install disks, reboot, and *tada* there's the X11 graphical login screen I didn't want.

Gee, thanks, that's just what I wanted to see on a server. A server that sits in the machine room and is only accessed by telnet.

Whatever happened to the traditional Unix behavior of only doing what you tell it to do? Oh, right, that vanished around the time true --version was written, and now people get to deal with the operating system just sort of randomly grabbing binaries out of the clear blue sky.

If I wanted the OS to just randomly grab binaries out of the clear blue sky, I'd buy a Mac (or, um, 4 Macs. And they have some pretty annoying behavior quirks too, not the least of which is that the mini in the library won't hibernate unless I'm sitting there with a stopwatch.) At least that way the bulk of the binaries will actually be somewhat polished and functional instead of the large collection of dysfunctional Open Source®™© X11 and p*th*n code that was sloshing around on suzzy before I went on a package demolition tour.