2023: Linux rusting away into non-FOSS territory – Build rnote and you will see

Linux 6.2-rc2 kernel is out as the last commit in kernel.org at the start of the 2023 year.  RUST is here, the initial code-base is included in the kernel.  At least Arch seems to be disabling it for now, at the beta level at least, we shall see.

Rust is not just a language, as people commonly think, it is much more.  It is a building environment, system, and a mode change of the philosophy of building packages from source.   Rust incorporates its own git system in pulling code in from 2nd and 3rd parties.  So if you have never gotten into the real FOSS practice of auditing code before you build, try and audit this stuff.  If building in C you thought was a practice similar to building sand castles, by comparison, this is like building sand castles with quick-sand ON QUICK SAND.

Rnote is a crappy little gui similar to the old MS paintbrush, like a childrens’ sketching pad.  No, it is worse, it doesn’t even save in popular image formats but only its own.  Autosave is on.  You get the picture?  This is gtk4 only “crap”!  Not only that, you can’t find a configuration file for it anywhere in your user’s home, and for preferences to be changed and be saved, dbus should be running.  Why does a kids’ sketching pad program need dbus to save its own preferences/choices/settings?

But this crappy little gui is built with rust.  Before you start building you may have no clue what dependencies it is going to need, or the initial building source provides little clues of configurations for the build and where is it pulling code from.  ONE of the sources is Google, among other favorite FOSS contributors that happen to be multinational conglomerates out to make trillions for shareholders.  We are talking about many GBs of endless source being pulled in.  Rust stores this code in cargo, like trashcans of it full of crap.  How do I know if I restart the process 2′ later the source of the dependencies hasn’t changed?  Aahhh… some excited RUST-fan will point out you can save those tons of trash code into those tin-cans..  so you can assure “reproducibility”.   If for a tiny little gui we have 80GB of 3rd party code that needs to be stored for reproducibility, imagine what your building machine will look like for a minimal distro full of rust packages.

Linus et.al may find all this “new” technology interesting and modernizing the software building industry.  What rust is doing to linux and foss in general is to be corroding its very essence.  It has become very hypocritical to be speaking of FOSS when source code has become so damn impossible to review and audit.  Large multinational corporations may employ Terra-Flops and PetaBytes of resources of automated machines that just screen code for potential risks.  The rest of us will just have to trust the heart bleeding donators and contributors of open/free code.

What else is this new fashion doing to FOSS other rusting it, corroding it?  It re-emphasizes the hegemony of N.American and W.European control on software.  How?  Not everyone has access to fibre-optic speeds and bandwidth to be pulling 80GB of code just to build a sketching pad software, or hack it, fork it, and improve on it.  What is common and a cheap resource for N.Americans and W.Europeans is an unachievable dream that would cost many salaries in other parts of the world.  So this is not only “rust”, it is a form of racism for coding.  Some enjoy the luxury of abusing those resources of bandwidth and reliable storage, some just can’t.  But Linus and many others who influence and “control” the evolution of Linux, don’t care.  It is not their problem.  Ofcourse not, people who make 6figures $/Eu net, working 20-30hr/wk, spending half their year traveling and staying in 6star hotels giving presentations and lectures, can’t possibly be bothered with humanity’s problems.  But they are the gods of FOSS, they are not the “pope”, who does care … right!  No left!

Am I being extreme again.  Go build your copy of rnote and see if you like it, and wonder what Linux will be like 10 years from now, if not a proprietary OS sold cheap by an anti-MS consortium (Apple, Google, IBM, Oracle, HP, facebook. …etc).


YES, Linus Torvalds has approved of the incorporation of Rust INTO the kernel, and by who knows when Rust will replace C.  You will boot up your minimal system and start your rust shell and if you type a command that doesn’t exist in the system, your Rust-Engine will fetch it, build it, and provide it by the time enter key has been released.  Yeah right!   But there are plenty of linux users out there still running 32bit hardware, worried about the dicontinuation of support for 32bit.

Mind boggling bullshit coming from major corporations trying to control, alter, corrode, FOSS, using propaganda from their corporate rugs about all those good new developments (ZFS, ZSTD, IPv6, Rust, Qt,…).   And those in position to critically look at what is being “pushed” by paid propaganda, FOSS marketing that is, are opening their arms to enrich the FOSS environment with anything new and exciting.  We are all one big happy family here, all we bus-riding to 70hr/wk jobs, and Bugatti drivers as well.  Am I being sarcastic?   It is better than cursing straight out all those “FOSS godfathers and mothers”.  Not their fault.  It is the dummies who act as misguided consumers that piss me off!


PS   Remember the #1 excuse distro managers used to defend their sudden choice of zstd (facebook’s 1st attempt into contributing “free” code) was that single core compression wasn’t producing the same checksums as multicore.  Not true anymore.  XZ just simply produces the same checksums whether compressing with a single core/thread or 128 of them, yet it is fast, and compresses much better than zstd.  Now see whether you can have a modern distro without zstd in it, especially gnu-linux distro.


PS2  Brainwashing (aka conditioning) has the vast majority of the human population believe that technology and science is always “producing” new things and new things MUST always replace OLD things, no matter why and how those new things were created to “replace”.  My 60s car can still run and be rebuild easily long after I will be gone.   I can assure you that 20 years from now you will not find a single operational 20year old car, especially an electric or hybrid car.  I hope you catch my drift, and I am not getting too old to be making sense to younger people.  No it is not an antique, it is just a cheap old car kept indoors for half itslife in a dry climate I bout some years back for 3weeks worth of pay.

PS3  If you are young, and thinking about a coding career, C may have become too popular and too many people know it well, so you may not become rich working as a C programmer.  But RUST!!!  Now that is the new buzz-word, the new hot ticket to richdom, just like the millions of Java programmers thought will all become rich by 2020.  Trust me!   NOT!!!  I have a hunch that C will still be around, backwards compatible, all the way to the last day that humanity will vanish.  In the eve of biodiversity collapse we are still dreaming of becoming rich and buying electric supercars.  I have no sympathy for us!

Your favorite anti-social critical of everything and everyone anonymous friend.



9 thoughts on “2023: Linux rusting away into non-FOSS territory – Build rnote and you will see

  1. Reblogged this on Robin's Rants and Raves and commented:

    I’m not the anti-systemd activist I once was (mostly out of ignorance and fear). But this post from the sysdfree writers is about the Linux KERNEL, not added init stuff and logging stuff. It’s kinda more about the future of Linux, and whether that future is more corporate or less so. Have a look! Comment is invited.


  2. I’m thinking the only solution is to get a system built and setup that requires no net connection at all, and then never update it and just use it as is

    CLI and a text editor and a picture viewer and a media player


  3. That’s a quality rant there but most of the arguments are garbage. Yes, shitty noob coders using rust will land you with tons and tons of dependencies, change dependency versions every time there’s an update, and use massive, unnecessary libraries just because they’re new and cool (I’m looking at you, people who use Futures even though their program flow has nothing whatsoever that could benefit in any way from async execution).

    But that has nothing to do with kernel code. Shitty noob coders rarely try to write kernel PRs, so even the PRs rarely have much if any in the way of 3rd party dependencies. And kernel PRs still have to be approved by one of the biggest hardasses ever to maintain a FOSS project.

    You think xz is fast? Yes, it is damned good at squeezing something down hard but it isn’t anywhere near as fast as zstd at the same compression level #; not by more than an order of magnitude according to some tests I just ran. “Abysmally slow” would be what I went with if it’s going to affect module loading time and thus boot time.

    Code is racist? Really? Yeah, that just made the one insightful point you had (brainwashing) get utterly dismissed on account of you being a colossal asshole.


  4. userland Rust is like that, but that will just not fly in the kernel.

    It’s a completely different world, with much stricter code quality requirements. And code must be self-contained.

    Linus has already butted heads with some Rust devs on LKML and it’s going to be like that going forward.


  5. Pingback: 17.1.23 חדשות - עץ התמר

  6. The quality code requirements of Linuz Torvalds do absolutely nothing to eliminate the Trademark problems of Rust.


  7. Excellent Rant!

    As a multi-decade long archlinux user, I totally share your dislike, and distrust, of systemd. And Rust is another corporate originating tech that makes it better for orgs running compute farms in the clouds, and less accessible for actual people running their own computers, or managing the IT of small companies owned by actual people.

    I’m not so familiar with Rust, but w/ systemd the problem isn’t that it replaces sysvinit (arch never had this, and personally, I preferred the rc.d init scripts that where similar to the BSD’s) The problem wasn’t replacing sysvinit, the problem is that the ambition of systemd is total domination of user-space.. It intends to be the kernel of user space. One will put the kernel together w/ systemd, and that is the complete OS. Init has nothing to do with name resolution, or time synchronization, and yet systemd has taken over this and more.

    The objective of this is the domination of a tech sphere by a corporation.

    This brings me to one critique of your rant: “it is a form of racism for coding”

    You build a good argument about the disenfranchisement of people because they don’t have wealth, but then you misname this phenomenon. This isn’t “racism”, this is “capitalism”. The corporate takeover of “linux”, and “FOSS” is not to exclude people of any particular race, it is to concentrate as many benefits as possible into as few hands as possible.

    I’m sure the prime minister of Bangladesh, or the president of Uganda, where most people are very poor, will still agree with the shareholder value theories of the executives at Oracle, or IBM. They will still fly the world in private jets. The discrimination is not based on race, but on wealth.

    The misnaming and misidentification of this is very unfortunate, because it hides the true motives of these corporations, to turn everyone except shareholders into economic resources.

    So please, call it what it is: the greed of capitalism.

    I also agree with your concluding prediction that C will be with us for a very long time.

    In one last critique: please try to get over your hatred of electric vehicles 😎 They are overly priced for the same reasons that IBM want to own user-space, because it makes shareholders money. But this tech is sorely needed, by everyone, not just the rich.

    Best Wishes! I look forward to your next Rant for Freedom!


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