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Antikapitalista
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:03 am    Post subject: Feelings about Gentoo and Linux in general Reply with quote

Well, seeing the binary distributions, GNU/Linux has made great strides in recent years. Especially when I compare it with Windows, which seems to have lost its direction and pretty much everything we have gotten in the past 11 years is just fugly interface and the never-ending war on it.
On the other hand, Linux got Btrfs in the meantime. That alone is such a giant leap forward in usability that it puts Windows to shame. {In fact, I still do not understand why RHEL is preferred over SLES, maybe it has something to do with the support, maybe Red Hat, unlike SuSE, is considered the new IBM (well, it actually is!).}

Sabayon is so great that when I installed it on an old laptop, it was a very smooth experience. Gone were the days when nothing worked right, from fonts to playback and acceleration...!

A few days ago I decided to install Gentoo (from scratch, so to speak), after some 11 years... That is, it is not like i had not installed Gentoo Linux in the meantime, just not from scratch, but rather by cloning it and rebuilding it for the new microarchitecture. There is a world of difference between a 2-core Turion and an 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen. (Even a Bulldozer was a big speed-up; being able to type in "make -j8" and watching the magic was an truly exhilarating experience.)

However, my recent experience has gone sour. It no longer feels like a rewarding activity with inexorably improving results. Rather the opposite, it feels like a futile battle against a malicious entity that is constantly squeezing me out of the system and pushing me to the verge of bare usability, almost over the brink of the abyss of total unusability. And while I am desperately working on fixing something, a few other things break in the meantime... and especially after every reboot, the system is less and less functional.

My plight began with UEFI. I have lost count of how may times I cursed it in manners that are totally unpublishable here. Linus Torvards was right, as always, when he called the real mode a blessing. In those times, bootstrap always just worked. With UEFI, Linux is supposed to boot through the so-called EFI boot stub, which is turned by such and such kernel configuration settings... except that it just does not work. The settings are definitely not enough, despite what pundits at numerous places claim, in countless articles on countless websites. What happens? I do not know; nothing,... the computer just hangs there.
Well, but maybe installing a binary package, a ready-to-eat kernel, could solve it? Nope. So, in a rather humiliating way, I had to extract the kernel and its config file from the admin-CD, boot the kernel from GRUB-EFI and start from the config file. It worked for the start, but when I deviated from it a little more, while hoping to retain the important configuration options in place, the kernel would not boot, again, it would just sit there, blinking my keyboard LEDs, a notorious sign that it has panicked. But thanks to UEFI, I see nothing of that on the screen. An over 2000-page-heavy framework that was supposed to make things simpler and easier. Well, maybe only for manufacturers and their device driver developers, as it would suffice to maintain only one set of drivers for Windows.

On the other hand, i.e. in userland, gpm, the general purpose mouse daemon, was supposed to make things easier and simpler, too. Except that it would not read its configuration file. It had to be started manually. Even so, it stopped functioning altogether after a restart. I do not even know why, the was nothing in the system log. The was no output from gpm, either. Due to the the inevitable progress I guess I will have to build it manually with some debugging options. I decided to rebuild the kernel with such options that I thought that would be helpful in gaining some insight as to why was I being forced to type everything by hand in such a slaving and humiliating way. No way! The kernel simply panicked early, as described above. This breakage was, in fact, the main reason why I decided to tinker with the kernel at this stage. I still had no GUI. X.org just would not run, it crashed because it did not have the suitable drivers. As I later found out, they had not been pulled in, I do not know why. But even after they were supposedly pulled in, it would not work out of the box. As I remember, it always worked somehow... more or less... or at least there used to be some really helpful guides and utilities to help me set it up in a straightforward way. I guess not any longer... I admit, I did not look into it while I was working on other things. But it was still annoying. I had to do with a text console browser for the moment. I saw some linking breakage with some options, so I decided to rebuild the @world set with its deep dependencies. It finished successfully... or so I thought. On launching links, I was greeted with what looked like some event debugging messages, plastered all over the screen, with characters swarming like snowflakes in a blizzard over the whole screen. Links just became unusable, too. Isn't it frustrating...?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee that's a fair rant. Were you following the handbook through that process, or did you wander into the badlands by yourself?

I've only installed Gentoo from scratch for UEFI a couple of times, and that was a few years ago when systemrescuecd was still a viable install medium. IIRC I had some pain with it until I realised that I needed to boot in efi mode in order to have efivars avaiable, and that if I installed Efibootmgr I didn't need a bootloader. After that I don't recall having a problem.

I'd say all your other problems root from this shortcut
Quote:
I had to extract the kernel and its config file from the admin-CD, boot the kernel from GRUB-EFI and start from the config file
what was the point of that, really? You would have been way better off to install a binary distro and fix up gentoo in a chroot, partition or separate drive whilst you worked out the issues, surely?

You started with a booting problem which would have been relatively simple to fix, why didn't you hit the support forums for help? Now you've spent a heap of time, and endured massive frustration, only to build up an unstable basket-case of a system with multiple problems.
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Antikapitalista
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, after links broke down, I had to vent it off somewhere.
That still is not fixed, but otherwise it has been trivial. Mostly it has been a case of disabled drivers, such as USB drivers. That was quite obvious to me from the start because as I was plugging the mouse in (a venerable Logitech RX250 that is also PS/2-compatible, but there no PS/2 ports left on my mainboard.) because the Funnily enough, when I followed the handbook, I ended up with a disabled network. I do not even remember what it was, it may have been a case of non-existent dhcpcd or Realtek RTL8168 network driver, possibly both...
Except that UEFI boot issue. I still do not know what exactly is required and what may break it. In fact, it has all been about that.

Indeed, it is a rabid rant, after seeing all the good things going away, like the COM and LPT ports (so great for home-made devices), IEEE1394a for debugging, IEEE1394b for storage, component input/output on TVs and PVRs/DVRs in Europe (where SCART is supposed to rule them all, but it is impossible to get a cable with its strands shielded)—I am particularly bitter about this one because it was the highest quality option for analogue transmission—very convenient for teletext... better chipset coolers disappearing... all the little big nuisances of everyday lives.

I would have deleted my post (and the whole topic), if you had not replied to it...

ian.au wrote:
Gee that's a fair rant. Were you following the handbook through that process, or did you wander into the badlands by yourself?

I'd say all your other problems root from this shortcut
Quote:
I had to extract the kernel and its config file from the admin-CD, boot the kernel from GRUB-EFI and start from the config file
what was the point of that, really? You would have been way better off to install a binary distro and fix up gentoo in a chroot, partition or separate drive whilst you worked out the issues, surely?
It was not a shortcut, it was a detour and I resorted to it after a pre-compiled kernel failed on me.

ian.au wrote:
You started with a booting problem which would have been relatively simple to fix, why didn't you hit the support forums for help? Now you've spent a heap of time, and endured massive frustration, only to build up an unstable basket-case of a system with multiple problems.

No, it was not simple to fix, as the widely recommended options did not work for me. And I was too impatient to go to a support forum and confess to all that...
No, I had no space to install a binary distribution, I was just trying it out on a small 32GB Optane stick. I usually use them as swap devices, I have tried to make a Ryzentosh with it, but MacOS would not recognize it. I guess some ACPI patch could possibly do it but... ACPI has been another specification as "favourite" as UEFI, I feel exactly as Linus Torvards about it. I had to deal with it some 19 years ago with a broken implementation of ACPI, trying to patch the BIOS, and I felt like I had a brain fog from it for 5 months...

I know I could have gone with Sabayon, but then I would not have glibc patched with strlcpy and strlcat... and would have to rebuild possibly everything to prevent symbol conflicts e.g. in OpenRC, etc.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, confess to us all what raid mode do you have used on that small 32GB Optane stick with btrfs?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Feelings about Gentoo and Linux in general Reply with quote

Antikapitalista wrote:
it feels like a futile battle against a malicious entity that is constantly squeezing me out of the system and pushing me to the verge of bare usability


Aha, so you've had dealings with Birmingham council then.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or any other statutory authority..
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antikapitalista wrote:
No, it was not simple to fix, as the widely recommended options did not work for me. And I was too impatient to go to a support forum

All that and you didn't try the support forums here? They're practically legendary, especially so when it comes to getting a new install booting and optimised; so I question how 'widely' the recommended options were canvassed tbh ;)
No matter how uniquely complex you believe your issues to be/have been, few problems escape solution from well documented, log-supported requests in the forums here.

Why go it alone with this resource available...? You could find yourself nicely surprised and a lot less frustrated, well with your Gentoo config anyway...

As for the rest, de-nada, we all have days like that, more and more lately. This place is perfect for venting them.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:52 am    Post subject: Re: Feelings about Gentoo and Linux in general Reply with quote

Antikapitalista wrote:
However, my recent experience has gone sour. It no longer feels like a rewarding activity with inexorably improving results. Rather the opposite, it feels like a futile battle against a malicious entity that is constantly squeezing me out of the system and pushing me to the verge of bare usability, almost over the brink of the abyss of total unusability. And while I am desperately working on fixing something, a few other things break in the meantime... and especially after every reboot, the system is less and less functional.

Yeah, Gentoo isn't for everybody. Maybe you would be more at peace with something a bit more, shall we say oviparous and lubricated, such as Ubuntu, for example.
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Antikapitalista
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ulenrich wrote:
Now, confess to us all what raid mode do you have used on that small 32GB Optane stick with btrfs?

I have used XFS for the initial tinkering, I will probably switch the installed system to F2FS, mainly because I have never tried it so far.

ian.au wrote:
Antikapitalista wrote:
No, it was not simple to fix, as the widely recommended options did not work for me. And I was too impatient to go to a support forum

All that and you didn't try the support forums here? They're practically legendary, especially so when it comes to getting a new install booting and optimised; so I question how 'widely' the recommended options were canvassed tbh ;)
No matter how uniquely complex you believe your issues to be/have been, few problems escape solution from well documented, log-supported requests in the forums here.

Well, they were all like this one:
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/EFI_stub_kernel
And it did not work. So I simply tried doing it as they do, not as they say... and used a known good configuration and started from there.
ian.au wrote:
Why go it alone with this resource available...? You could find yourself nicely surprised and a lot less frustrated, well with your Gentoo config anyway...

No, I am a lazy sociopath, which means that I rarely ask others for help and rarely participate in helping others. Moreover, I often like to break things, so I am left on my own.

Bones McCracker wrote:
Yeah, Gentoo isn't for everybody. Maybe you would be more at peace with something a bit more, shall we say oviparous and lubricated, such as Ubuntu, for example.

Oh, no, please, do not be so negative! :-) I am already writing this from Firefox on KDE5. ;-)

Please excuse me if am sounding too offensive but I am a bit scared of such distributions. If anything goes wrong, it is much harder to fix. Gentoo Linux does take time to set up, with all the building... and has a horrible energy efficiency with all the rebuilding, but at least I can spot a problem early. Well, I have tried Linux Mint and I did not have a problem with it, but I did not torture it, either.

On the other hand, I once tried openSUSE Tumbleweed and CentOS Stream, just to see how the big guys do it. I started with openSUSE, as that seemed to me technologically more advanced. (I still do not know why CentOS is so massively recommended.) I used Btrfs, the recommended filesystem. I chose a complete installation, which means that I ticked all the boxes that I could. By the following day, the installer put over 100000 files on the filesystem. After a suggested reboot, the system became almost unusable, with endless Btrfs rebalancing. What, on a single partition?!
So I threw it away and tried CentOS, this time I used XFS. After a going through its horribly confusing, asynchronous installer that was constantly scaring me that my other partitions may have just been wiped out, I installed it, restarted the computer... and CentOS would hang on boot.
Maybe there was a problem with that computer, it was an old system based on GA-MA790FX-UD5P, Phenom II X6 1100 BE and some 16 GiB of memory made up of 4 sticks composed of with random 800 MHz Hynix chips, running at 533 MHz, which had passed both Memtest86+ and Google Stressful Application Test.
Windows ran just fine on it, without a glitch, and so did Solaris, DragonFlyBSD and Gentoo Linux. And the famed CentOs hanged or panicked early during booting.

Thus, I would definitely trust Gentoo Linux over any on these "professional" distributions.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antikapitalista wrote:
...
No, I am a lazy sociopath, which means that I rarely ask others for help and rarely participate in helping others. Moreover, I often like to break things, so I am left on my own....


After reading this I'm wondering if your name is tongue in cheek or not... lol
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, then Kubuntu.

I mean, why torture yourself? That way you can easily avoid all the things you complained about.

You wouldn't be alone. tylerwylie here uses Centos from 2014.. And cokey doesn't even know how to use a computer. There's no shame.
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The human thought: I cannot win.
The ratbrain in me : I can only go forward and that's it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bones McCracker wrote:
There's no shame.


No one's ashamed of not being able to use certain kinds of operating systems, it's that they want to brag about being an elitist because they can.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antikapitalista wrote:
After a going through its horribly confusing, asynchronous installer that was constantly scaring me that my other partitions may have just been wiped out,

Let me guess your precious other partition is kapitalist windows 10?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent rant. Frustration noted.

You get a motherboard with buggy firmware (like most of them) and UEFI and all hell breaks loose. When I set up my "new" Gentoo computer I thought about using EUFI, and then said to self, "hell no" and put it in legacy mode and that was like two years ago and I've never been sorry. As usual, Gentoo installation following the handbook went without a hitch (that time).

It might have helped that I hand jam my own kernel so everything I need is in the kernel and don't use an initramfs. It took me agonizingly long to learn how to do all that. It probably helped me that my firsts effort with Genkernel some 13, 14, or 15 years ago failed big time, so I spent extra days figuring out the kernel the old way using a modem on dial up to get help and gather information. I remember that by 2006 it was becoming like second nature.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mardok45 wrote:
Bones McCracker wrote:
There's no shame.


No one's ashamed of not being able to use certain kinds of operating systems, it's that they want to brag about being an elitist because they can.

My point exactly. Advanced and custom-configured technology requires expertise that not everybody needs.

If you don't need that knowledge and those skills, why waste brain cells on them? More brain capacity left for other stuff, like recipes, poetry, manga characters or whatever. It's a win for everybody.

That's the beauty of Linux: if you're not really interested in understanding it, you can just rely on it to work and depend on others to provide it to you, while you focus on your gardening, social justice comic books, man-bun how-to's, or Bigfoot research. There is no shame in that.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bones McCracker wrote:
Mardok45 wrote:
Bones McCracker wrote:
There's no shame.


No one's ashamed of not being able to use certain kinds of operating systems, it's that they want to brag about being an elitist because they can.

My point exactly. Advanced and custom-configured technology requires expertise that not everybody needs.

If you don't need that knowledge and those skills, why waste brain cells on them? More brain capacity left for other stuff, like recipes, poetry, manga characters or whatever. It's a win for everybody.

That's the beauty of Linux: if you're not really interested in understanding it, you can just rely on it to work and depend on others to provide it to you, while you focus on your gardening, social justice comic books, man-bun how-to's, or Bigfoot research. There is no shame in that.


For Linux, yes, because it's an incoherent mess of spaghetti code and features thrown together, and companies are leeching money out of everyone supporting this mess of dbus, systemd, X11, KDE, Gnome, etc.

It's a shame systems like Plan 9, which actually had some sense of sanity, never took off because people actually can understand it.

And I burn my leftover braincells with beer, thank you very much.

EDIT: And bigfoot is real, wake up sheeple.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mardok45 wrote:
Bones McCracker wrote:
Mardok45 wrote:
Bones McCracker wrote:
There's no shame.


No one's ashamed of not being able to use certain kinds of operating systems, it's that they want to brag about being an elitist because they can.

My point exactly. Advanced and custom-configured technology requires expertise that not everybody needs.

If you don't need that knowledge and those skills, why waste brain cells on them? More brain capacity left for other stuff, like recipes, poetry, manga characters or whatever. It's a win for everybody.

That's the beauty of Linux: if you're not really interested in understanding it, you can just rely on it to work and depend on others to provide it to you, while you focus on your gardening, social justice comic books, man-bun how-to's, or Bigfoot research. There is no shame in that.


For Linux, yes, because it's an incoherent mess of spaghetti code and features thrown together, and companies are leeching money out of everyone supporting this mess of dbus, systemd, X11, KDE, Gnome, etc.
Take this as a fact of the spaghetti code in the chromosome:
Biological evolution has created the messiest code you can think of. And 100Mio years ago the genome was so intertwined that evolution decided to better duplicate the genome and take the new second area for a playing field where new inventions can happen.
But this biological code is robust and extremely tolerant in case of failure. There were some million years of testing you know. And if you destroy 20% of it then the rest of it lives on. Try to think of this for your programs on a hard disk.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just because you don't have any idea how it works doesn't make it unnecessarily complex. For example, we are only just beginning to grasp epigenetics. Who knows what other mechanisms are at work that we have absolutely no idea of, some probably even involving forces were not even aware of or are only now peeking at. I love it when budding "scientists" think they are smarter than the reality they don't understand.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mardok45 wrote:
For Linux, yes, because it's an incoherent mess of spaghetti code and features thrown together, and companies are leeching money out of everyone supporting this mess of dbus, systemd, X11, KDE, Gnome, etc.

For what it's worth, Linux is NOT an incoherent mess of spaghetti code and features. Yes, some companies leech off of other people's work. That's beside the point. Linux is totally coherent, but it isn't necessary to understand it to use it.

That doesn't mean some components, which you don't have to use, are a mess and deserve your disdain, notably systemd, KDE, Gnome, come to mind.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bones McCracker wrote:
Okay, then Kubuntu.

I mean, why torture yourself? That way you can easily avoid all the things you complained about.

You wouldn't be alone. tylerwylie here uses Centos from 2014.. And cokey doesn't even know how to use a computer. There's no shame.

Well, as I already noted, CentOS from AD 2019 broke on its first boot attempt. That is, it hanged during booting. I still have no clue as to why.

Mardok45 wrote:
Bones McCracker wrote:
There's no shame.


No one's ashamed of not being able to use certain kinds of operating systems, it's that they want to brag about being an elitist because they can.

Sociopaths never brag about anything. :P

erm67 wrote:
Antikapitalista wrote:
After a going through its horribly confusing, asynchronous installer that was constantly scaring me that my other partitions may have just been wiped out,

Let me guess your precious other partition is kapitalist windows 10?

Wrong guess.
Actually, in that computer, there were the following slices/partitions:

  • on a Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB - Hybrid GPT:

    1. 6 MiB Minix v3 (as a Bios Boot Partition; empty),
    2. 498 MiB FAT32 (like an EFI System Partition; occasionally some DOS),
    3. 96 GiB NILFS2 partition (Gentoo Linux; with ACL patches gleaned from the mailing list and a custom block size of 6 MiB with patched ),
    4. the rest is NTFS (Windows Server 2019);

  • on a WD Velociraptor 1 TB - MBR:

    1. 64 GiB: ZFS (Solaris 11.3 / 11.4),
    2. 64 GiB: HFS+ (originally intended for a Hackintosh, later abandoned in favour of more space for the Solaris disk slices),
    3. the rest is ReFS v3.4

  • on a WD Velociraptor 600 MB - MBR:

    1. 128 GiB: UFS + HAMMER2 (DragonFly BSD),
    2. 32 GiB: Linux Swap,
    3. the rest is Btrfs with several subvolumes extending the above-mentioned NILFS2 partition.
      The Linux partitions are in an Extended partition so that the size of Dragonfly BSD slice (starting at sector 63), exactly matches the size of the Solaris partition, starting as sector 64 because the 1 TB Velociraptor uses 4 KiB sectors.


    So, basically, when a server-like installation program came along, built with the default attitude that "all your base are belong to us" and that it could wipe everything at will, in the blink of an eye, I naturally freaked out, considering that it had took me some considerable time and effort to set it all up.

    figueroa wrote:
    Excellent rant. Frustration noted.

    Thank you. :lol:

    figueroa wrote:
    You get a motherboard with buggy firmware (like most of them) and UEFI and all hell breaks loose. When I set up my "new" Gentoo computer I thought about using EUFI, and then said to self, "hell no" and put it in legacy mode and that was like two years ago and I've never been sorry. As usual, Gentoo installation following the handbook went without a hitch (that time).

    Suffice it to say, it was not my computer in which I was trying this, it was my mother's and I had simply slid a 32GB Optane SSD into its 1st M.2 slot.

    It was a X470 GAMING PLUS MAX with the latest 7B79vH6 firmware, with an AMD Ryzen 7 2700 passively cooled with Scythe Orochi SCORC-1000, 2 x 16 GiB Hynix ECC DDR4-2666V, Palit GeForce GTX 1050Ti KalmX 4GB and an Intel Optane 900P 280GB. A simple, quiet bedroom computer, nothing extraordinary.

    As the boot drive was a NVMe drive, UEFI booting was the only sensible option. Also, the small Optane stick was also a NVMe drive, so NVMe drivers were needed to boot from it. There are no BIOSes with Bios Boot Specification (BBS) NVMe drivers as far as I know, so UEFI booting with them is the only option.

    The motherboard with the above-mentioned Samsung 950 Pro SSD is a non-UEFI, BBS-only-capable motherboard, GA-890FXA-UD5, rev. 3.1 and I am able to boot from the Samsung SSD because it contains such a driver.

    In my other computers, I boot from add-in cards (PCI-X Ultra320 SCSI RAID cards, 6Gb/s or 12 Gb/s LSI HBAs, using soft-RAIDed 2.5'' SLC SAS drives or 1.8'' eMLC SAS drives, respectively, or from PCI-X or PCI-E (depending on the computer) QLogic HBAs -- nowadays quite rarely switched on because the 600 GB 15K Fibre Channel HDDs are noisy, draw quite a lot of power and their cooling adds to the noise, so nowadays they are only switched on briefly for backup purposes. The drives were cheap, I got one for about 1 €, so I got greedy, bought a lot of them, thinking how smart I was, getting a lot of storage space on the cheap... now they mostly take up a lot of real space instead.
    You can mostly think of my setups as concocted junk from computer scrap yards, mostly snatched on internet auction sites. :wink:

    So, as you can see, UEFI booting was a constraint which I had not chosen myself frivolously but which was forced upon me by the circumstances.

    Bones McCracker wrote:

    My point exactly. Advanced and custom-configured technology requires expertise that not everybody needs.

    If you don't need that knowledge and those skills, why waste brain cells on them? More brain capacity left for other stuff, like recipes, poetry, manga characters or whatever. It's a win for everybody.

    Like for tidying up...? :P
    "Order is for idiots, a genius can handle chaos."

    Bones McCracker wrote:
    That's the beauty of Linux: if you're not really interested in understanding it, you can just rely on it to work and depend on others to provide it to you, while you focus on your gardening, social justice comic books, man-bun how-to's, or Bigfoot research. There is no shame in that.

    But what if one has a penchant for putting together rather rare, fringe or otherwise unusual hardware in order to build Infiniband RDMA clusters out of them? What if said person engages in almost totally pointless tinkering with the ancient BlackBerry 10 SDK for their BlackBerry Passport SE, which would make them look like a pervert in a conformant society?

    That said, it is not as crazy as the favourite pastime of my former seminar teacher of operating systems, who once confided to me that he just loved watching a live system, how processes were being born and dying... He was a doctoral student himself, so he was just a few years older, which perplexed us even more, his field of research was the L4 family of microkernels, he was mad about microkernels in general and Plan 9 sat high on his altar. And he could stare into the screen for hours...

    Mardok45 wrote:
    For Linux, yes, because it's an incoherent mess of spaghetti code and features thrown together, and companies are leeching money out of everyone supporting this mess of dbus, systemd, X11, KDE, Gnome, etc.

    Well, not quite so... but this natural, this is my beloved communism: copying code is easy, understanding it not quite so, creating more code even less so... it requires knowledge, which is not quite free in the terms of time and effort, so... the knowledgeable ones offer some pecuniary shortcuts... but the knowledge is not encumbered by any crapitalist crap.

    Mardok45 wrote:

    It's a shame systems like Plan 9, which actually had some sense of sanity, never took off because people actually can understand it.

    :lol: Plan 9, again...! Oh, what is Plan 9, by the way?
    Not that I have not heard of it; during my operating systems course, it was constantly being praised both like a deity and the computing world's panacea... shame it really seemed like both: mostly a fantasy.

    That said, I never had the courage to ask why it had not taken off like, say, the BSD systems...

    ulenrich wrote:
    But this biological code is robust and extremely tolerant in case of failure. There were some million years of testing you know. And if you destroy 20% of it then the rest of it lives on. Try to think of this for your programs on a hard disk.

    The rate of failure of DNA repair mechanisms is as much as 10^-4 errors, in Knuth's up-arrow notation, i.e. as many as 1 DNA error out of 10000 DNA errors may somehow slip by or otherwise go unrepaired.

    Think of that as of reading an laser-recorder optical medium in a computer drive. If the drive has a chipset that can report the read errors, you will see that a lot more errors get repaired. And if a read error did not get corrected, your experience from watching such a movie would not suffer much, either. If 1/5 of the audio or video packets got destroyed, the rest of the movie would be somehow playable, too.

    I would not call it particularly robust and extremely tolerant, but I do recognize that it is probably the best that we have been able to get from mostly spontaneous quantum-mechanical interactions over a period of a few billion years.

    Bones McCracker wrote:
    Just because you don't have any idea how it works doesn't make it unnecessarily complex. For example, we are only just beginning to grasp epigenetics. Who knows what other mechanisms are at work that we have absolutely no idea of, some probably even involving forces were not even aware of or are only now peeking at. I love it when budding "scientists" think they are smarter than the reality they don't understand.

    No, I guess he has some idea about how it works. The idea may be simplistic, but... I would probably say that by definition, the code is messy... and using the information theory, he can make some conclusions regarding the complexity... although the degree of necessity is quite another matter, of a higher order. (By the way, he did not mention necessity in any strict way, only you did.)

    Bones McCracker wrote:
    Just because you don't have any idea how it works doesn't make it unnecessarily complex. For example, we are only just beginning to grasp epigenetics. Who knows what other mechanisms are at work that we have absolutely no idea of, some probably even involving forces were not even aware of or are only now peeking at. I love it when budding "scientists" think they are smarter than the reality they don't understand.

    Well, as I understand it, we still do not know exactly why there is life, i.e. with what probability it comes into existence, although we we are alreadly fairly confident about the way in which it is possible.

    As for the generally unknown forces - this is highly unlikely, as there is no sign of that. There are possibly unknown forces, explaining hitherto inexplicable phenomena, the search for them goes on with high intensity (dark matter interactions, or even the concept of dark energy), but not in this field.

    figueroa wrote:
    For what it's worth, Linux is NOT an incoherent mess of spaghetti code and features.
    Mostly thanks to Linus Torvalds and his memorable pieces of steering advice. I do fear for the future of Linux in a politically-correct world.

    figueroa wrote:
    That doesn't mean some components, which you don't have to use, are a mess and deserve your disdain, notably systemd, KDE, Gnome, come to mind.

    Well, if he meant the GNU/Linux environment (to please my fellow comrade Richard Matthew Stallman), that is true to a certain degree, it just needs further development to shape it into a pleasantly working system.
    _________________
    On a warpath against the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization.
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