What does Solyd mean, really?

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Longshot
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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby Longshot » 01 Aug 2014 07:35

I have never had any prob's with upgrades, even the last one went fine for me. I have seen on here that a few had prob's with it but for me it was smooth, so for me anyway, SolydX is very stable. For people who have used Linux for any amount of time, we understand what Debian testing and a rolling distro means but for people new to Linux, I guess you could make it a little clearing what using the HE means and the risks and that using the BE would save them from a few bumps in the road but that they would be using older software.

As for security, I use Linux so I don't get viruses and trojans and stuff like that. I have never had any prob's on Linux like I did on Windows with such things. As for looking out for other people, I make it clear to everyone I know that I use SolydX/Linux and because of that, I have no idea if something has a virus or not because it does not effect my system. I believe its up to each and every person to take care of their own computer, if they use Windows and are not careful and don't have anti-virus programs, that's on them. It's not anyone else's job to take care of thier computers.

Now privacy should be a worry of everyone, I don't care what people say, everyone has something they want to hide, it's not a bad thing, you should have the right to hide whatever you want. You have the right to privacy, on the web and in real life. With that said, I have never used DuckDuckGo, I use Google, is Duck just as good as Google? I'm not sure what else you can do about it, privacy is the same as security, it's up to the person to protect their own privacy.

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Arjen Balfoort
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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 01 Aug 2014 08:49

Thank you very much you all for your posts. I'm happy to see that this subject is getting this much response.

For a moment now I need to be a bit more practical, but don't let that stop you from writing those posts ;)

Kurotsugi had some ideas I'd like to concentrate on:
  • Implementation of SELinux.
    Is a system still workable for a home user when SELinux is installed?
  • HD Encryption.
    I believe we have several topics in this forum about the subject.
    We'll need to think about how to implement that in the live-installer, or would it be better to create a program that one could use after the installation? Implementing this will take quite some development effort.
  • TOR - I was thinking in the line of an additional firefox-solydxk-adjustments package to install, and configure TOR for Firefox.
I have no experience with SELinux, or TOR. So, I'll need the community to work that out if we can agree on the implementation (should we? what are the consequences?).

Fargo's suggestion of a Security Center has merit, but that will cost a lot of development effort.
As you all know, we are a bit understaffed at the moment ;)

Now, let's find out whether or not we should implement these things, and if we agree on which ones to implement, we need to prioritize them.


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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby _q_ » 01 Aug 2014 09:24

i am by far NOT a security expert, but i have dabbled a bit.

TOR uses its own modified version of Ff and does not recommend using the network with third party software... really, to add TOR, it just needs a package in the reps... i have always found it to be trivial to install and use.... part of using TOR properly is knowing when NOT to use it as there is only so much available bandwidth through The Onion, so a system that was designed to only use TOR would be very_bad in several ways.... both for the security of the user and for the network.

as for the disk encryption, unless there are security concerns from starting unencrypted (cant see how on a fresh install especially) and then adding the encryption, i think it would be just fine for that to be a post install modification... i say this because that's how its been done for a minute now through TrueCrypt. i would think just having encryption available to add would be a good start... prolly take less dev time than reworking the Live installer ;)

the Kali Linux (also true Debian based) project would probably be interesting for you to look at in all your free time :mrgreen:

SolydXK is such a delicious flavor of Debian!

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby yoast » 01 Aug 2014 09:50

1. Tor is easy: you just download the correct version (architecture) and unpack to a folder. Personally I would not add it to the Software Manager because it is not a general setup. So, you cannot really install it under /OPT allowing several users to use it from there.
2. HD-Encryption is important if you ever want to make it in the business market. Ubuntu offers it during install in recent versions. EFF have promoted it https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/n ... er-you-own. Maybe a standard install with default partitioning (Swap 10 Gb, [/] 25 Gb, /home 15 Gb, [/media/data rest of available space] suggested during setup with encryption) but you will always run into the problem that Linux cannot do full-disk-encryption out of the box.

thanks,
Y.

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patzy
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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby patzy » 01 Aug 2014 10:02

Schoelje wrote: I'd like to concentrate on:
  • Implementation of SELinux.
    Is a system still workable for a home user when SELinux is installed?
  • HD Encryption.
    I believe we have several topics in this forum about the subject.
    We'll need to think about how to implement that in the live-installer, or would it be better to create a program that one could use after the installation? Implementing this will take quite some development effort.
  • TOR - I was thinking in the line of an additional firefox-solydxk-adjustments package to install, and configure TOR for Firefox.
I have no experience with SELinux, or TOR. So, I'll need the community to work that out if we can agree on the implementation (should we? what are the consequences?).
SELinux:I can't think of any reason why I, as a HE user, would find SELinux useful But it would be a great for the BE users.
Encryption: This would be good, but I suggest being able to set it up after installing.
TOR: I have used it in the past, but always with a special boot disk. I didn't know it could be used within firefox. That's a great idea.
As you are always short on time, please don't overdo your commitment. Solyd is pretty good as it is now.

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby fleabus » 01 Aug 2014 10:18

Longshot wrote:I have never had any prob's with upgrades, even the last one went fine for me. I have seen on here that a few had prob's with it but for me it was smooth, so for me anyway, SolydX is very stable. For people who have used Linux for any amount of time, we understand what Debian testing and a rolling distro means
I never have any problems either, beyond a trivial/easily fixed glitch, few and far between.

If one were to go to the thread and count the number of users with problems... Well, suffice it to say I would bet a paycheck that the vast majority of Solyd users is silent.

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Zill
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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby Zill » 01 Aug 2014 10:40

I must admit to having no experience of SELinux, HD Encryption and TOR. However, I remain to be convinced that these would be desirable in a default installation of the SolydXK Home Editions. My understanding is that, while possibly enhancing security, these technologies would add bloat to the distro and also slow down the performance. The additional security may also make trouble-shooting and maintenance of the system more difficult.

As Linux systems are already "secure by design", I am also concerned that hardening this system still further is unnecessary for most home users. IMHO, the danger is that, if SolydXK has this extra hardening by default, this will make it the distro of choice for many users we really don't want. i.e. those with criminal intent.

An example of this is Kali Linux which does have legitimate uses, but is also, unfortunately, widely used by the "cracker" community. :-(

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby helmsdeeper » 01 Aug 2014 10:47

SELinux: I haven't dealt with it for a few years as a home user (Suse back then) so I don't know how it is now, but remember running into a few issues back then.

Hard disk encryption: I think would be excellent to have as an option for home user and business alike.

TOR: I use the Tor Browser Bundle (https://www.torproject.org) almost daily, have it on all of my computers. Again, great as an option but I cannot recommend setting it as a drop-in replacement for the default SolydXK browser.

Besides all of this you also can bring up encrypting emails with Thunderbird, setting up VPN's, proxy's etc.

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby fleabus » 01 Aug 2014 10:49

@Schoelje, I've been thinking a lot about this, and I honestly believe it's time to face reality here. You're between the onrushing train and the stone wall as regards this issue of sufficient time to do what you need to do. Things will only get worse.
Schoelje wrote:It might not come as a surprise that running SolydXK is rather time consuming, and I'm putting that really mildly. The team is working out the best way to be able to continue SolydXK's present form and at the same time pursue my ambitions for SolydXK. I just had ... to step back, and look at things from another perspective. As a business consultant, I talk about the importance of an adequate view on one's business, and lately I wasn't doing that at all for SolydXK. With my eyes on details only, I lost sight of what it should be about...but, what is SolydXK really about?
Taking the pragmatic view, I don't think continuing SolydXK in its present form is possible, unless the team gets bigger real quick.

What does Solyd Mean? To me it means rock solid Stable, first and foremost. Security and privacy? Security - I think you're doing the absolute best you can, with Grizzler's instant security updates. Providing optional security apps is good, as said above. But, as Scott ably and succinctly put it, Privacy isn't something we can do a whole lot about, as the solution won't be technological.

If I understand correctly here, your vision primarily involves creating a rock solid stable distribution for business use.

If that is truly your vision, then BE/BO/Stable should be the primary focus. Concentrate the majority of your time making it even more so. Stable has problems too, and the upcoming Wheezy-to-Jessie handoff will be a big deal for the Stable/Business users. Already you offer backported software. Maybe also a backported kernel for better hardware compatibility could be considered? Or anything necessary to turn the Debian concept of Stable=Unchanging into the user concept of Stable=Rock Solid.

It is an unfortunate fact that the HE and the UP concept force you to work at cross-purposes to your vision.

Discard the UP concept as it takes up 90% of your time. It was a Mint thing anyway.

Base HE on Debian testing with relevant repos. Make it an unofficial/community thing and let them fight it out in the Testing section. You already have Testing and Sid breakage threads. Let the ones who wish to do Testing or Sid finagle with it there, and make that the "Unofficial HE".

The HE should exist only as a test bed for the Ultra-Stable BE, which is more in concordance with your vision as I understand it.

You need a professional reputation. Produce only a Stable-based distro, for Business and Home users. Retain both DEs if you wish, or concentrate on KDE and make Xfce an option.

Realistically, you need to get rid of the time-sink if you truly wish to follow your vision and your business focus. LMDE will most likely chuck the UPs and go to Stable. Not that we should "follow the herd", but I really think it's a good idea on its own merits. From a support standpoint Solyd is between the proverbial rock and the hard place here, and the resources needed to continue Solyd in its present form simply don't exist.

Just my 2c, fwiw. Sorry if I offend, but I feel very strongly about this.

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby ScottQuier » 01 Aug 2014 11:27

I can't believe I'm actually writing this .... As much as it pains me to say this (becuase I LOVE the HE) ... but I agree with fleabus.

There's at least three upsides if you should decide to sideline the HE to the community
  1. You can focus more of your time on building a business supporting the BE/BO spins
  2. I will be forced to learn much more about Linux as I don't see me rolling back to Stable - there' just too much I need/want that's in Testing but not in Stable.
  3. Most importantly, this will give you more time (I'm thinking) to spend where it really, really matters - with your family.
Scott
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systems is risky at best and entails serious compatibility
problems; usually it's the best way to destroy an install"

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby fleabus » 01 Aug 2014 11:39

Actually it would be fun to hang in those old Testing/Sid breakages threads again... <nostalgic sigh> 8-)

I'm a hopeless tinkerer, and really enjoyed that. :)

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby yoast » 01 Aug 2014 12:07

I would consider the UP approach (i.e. the rolling nature of Solyd) the most distinguishing feature of Solyd.

Basically: if UP approach is abandoned, how many of us might as well go to other distros? What is the added value of another non-rolling Debian based distro?

Maybe it would be more interesting to limit the problems on other fronts?

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby ScottQuier » 01 Aug 2014 12:25

yoast wrote:I would consider the UP approach (i.e. the rolling nature of Solyd) the most distinguishing feature of Solyd.

Basically: if UP approach is abandoned, how many of us might as well go to other distros? What is the added value of another non-rolling Debian based distro?
As the kids say these days, "True, this!"
Scott
Quoting zerozero, "The usage of PPA's in debian-based
systems is risky at best and entails serious compatibility
problems; usually it's the best way to destroy an install"

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby Longshot » 01 Aug 2014 12:33

Most of the time, I agree with what Fleabus says, but on this I can't. Its the rolling aspect with the UP system that has made SolydXK as big as it is. If we lose it, I don't think SolydXK will last long. I tried the BE version and while it was great and stable, I did not use it for the same reason I don't use Debian Stable, old programs, in some cases really old. If SolydXK gets rid of the UP's, it becomes just another Debian clone.

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 01 Aug 2014 14:32

I agree with longshot. I found that the HE was actually more stable and less bugs, and easier to use than BE. Maybe there could be a happy blending of the two's most best traits into one that can be easier to maintain?

I would still like to be able to run the latest KDE, Gimp, Blender, Amarok, etc. without it complaining that it's not possible due to dependencies that are not avaialable in the stable repos. I hate dependency h-e-double-hockeysticks! :roll: So if the BE didn't have it, I would like to be able to add them without relying on old, buggy software.

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby patzy » 02 Aug 2014 01:40

I'm here because, despite me having problems with the latest UP, I love the HE. Without it I would probably go to MX only.
I hope a way can be found to keep HE going as it is.
The main question is "how do we conjure up more devs"?

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby fleabus » 02 Aug 2014 02:23

patzy wrote:I'm here because, despite me having problems with the latest UP, I love the HE. Without it I would probably go to MX only.
I hope a way can be found to keep HE going as it is.
The main question is "how do we conjure up more devs"?
I agree with All of you. Believe you me, I love the HE too! I couldn't see any way out of the time-sink problem, and so I post ideas for radical changes to eliminate it. Whatever happens, a more realistic outlook is needed.
yoast wrote:Basically: if UP approach is abandoned, how many of us might as well go to other distros?
Not sure that really matters. If Schoelje winds up in the loony-bin all burnt out, Solyd will be gone anyway. Can anyone step up and take some of the load? I can't -- my excuses are legion and the same as anyone else's. Not a programmer/developer. Pushing 60 and in poor health. New granddaughter just had her first birthday on July 7th. I'm spending as much time as possible with her, swearing I'll not make the same mistakes I did with my own kids (Absent, Had To Work). In fact, I suppose that's what got me to thinking about all this! :) Maybe I need to stop thinking... ;)
yoast wrote:...another non-rolling Debian based distro?
Maybe so. But I like this one. Not that it matters. Everyone has their own use case. I think Solyd Stable is pretty special, and stands alone on its own merits. Anyway HE's Testing/Jessie will soon become New-Stable. And Testing will start again with yet another snapshot of Sid, and the great cycle rolls on... (what will the new name be?)

Dealing with our brand new Testing for an HE, and at the same time dealing with the business users' Wheezy=>Jessie transition promises to be its own kind of H**l. To paraphrase rokyknji: And we think we're having problems now...? ;)
yoast wrote:Maybe it would be more interesting to limit the problems on other fronts?
Maybe so. But I still think big changes are necessary. I posted this because I was worried about Schoelje's stated/possibly impending loss of his original business vision, buried in details and putting out fires, losing sight of the forest for the sea of trees.

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby fleabus » 02 Aug 2014 03:24

Longshot wrote:the rolling aspect with the UP system that has made SolydXK as big as it is. If we lose it, I don't think SolydXK will last long.
What does "last long" mean? It would still be here, only with a greatly reduced or changed userbase (I for one will still be here!). And a happier developer with a bit more time on his hands. I remain unconvinced that "big" necessarily means "good".
Longshot wrote:I tried the BE version and while it was great and stable, I did not use it for the same reason I don't use Debian Stable, old programs, in some cases really old. If SolydXK gets rid of the UP's, it becomes just another Debian clone.
I like This Debian clone. It's preconfigured, in a very conscientious fashion. Only a few of them are really well done. I also remain unconvinced that "old" necessarily means "useless". Take me for example. :lol:

Kidding aside, there are plenty of Wheezy backports out there. However it may be that even backports don't fit the bill, depending on one's needs. Here I am picturing Scott and Raven, pursuing their Glade work on the Bootable USB Creator app...

All that said, I stopped long ago trying to be the first on the block with latest bleeding-edge anything, unless absolutely needed. If a given version of a piece of software does what I need it to do, then I'm ok with it. That's not to say that every little thing works in Wheezy. Stable has problems too. The focus needs to be making it better, doing our own backporting/community repo if needed/where possible. This is a more sustainable path, with a slower progression.

Last but not least, the overriding issue confronting Solyd now, as I said above:
HE's Testing/Jessie will soon become New-Stable. And Testing will start over again with a snapshot of Sid. Dealing with our brand new Testing for an HE, and at the same time dealing with the business users' Wheezy=>Jessie transition...
Soon Wheezy will give way to Jessie in Stable. That is not so very far away.

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 02 Aug 2014 03:46

Well, if Jessie ends up being in BE, I may then give BE another go, actually... We're using Jessie in HE right now, if I'm right? That I seem to like quite a lot. Everything works good.

As for conjuring up more devs, that's not easy I don't think. I want to do dev but I already have a job, am in school (EdX Linux Course) until at least nearly mid-December (I'm splitting things up per day), and my health isn't 100% fantastic (on a good day, maybe 50% if that). I don't want to burn myself out with things to do (been there, done that, got permanent dark circles to prove it).

However, I still do want to learn (and maybe make a tutorial) for Python / Glade. One of the things Schoelje did was make a topic with his To Do list. That would be a great place to start to look for what one can do to contribute.

My biggest problem is I may in the very near future have to settle for a new ISP and a limited amount of bandwidth, which would make testing impossible. And I've always wanted to be a Linux Dev. :) Ok, I kinda am one as I put together virtual servers at work. But I really would love to help out Solyd in some way.

I just have to find the time, the education, the niche.

I don't know what is needed exactly to keep a distro going. Maybe if zerozero and/or Schoelje had time to do a write-up on what exactly happens to create an UP, an ISO, maintaining a repo, etc. I bet it's quite complicated!

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Re: What does Solyd mean, really?

Postby fleabus » 02 Aug 2014 03:49

RavenLX wrote:We're using Jessie in HE right now, if I'm right?
Yup.. 8-)


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