[Letux-kernel] [Gta04-owner] New LetuxOS Kernels and some tricks and thoughts

Jonas Smedegaard jonas at jones.dk
Tue May 21 15:13:22 CEST 2019

Quoting H. Nikolaus Schaller (2019-05-21 12:51:43)
> Hi Jonas,
> > Am 21.05.2019 um 12:26 schrieb Jonas Smedegaard <jonas at jones.dk>:
> > 
> > Quoting H. Nikolaus Schaller (2019-05-21 12:02:06)
> >> Hi Jonas,
> >> 
> >>> Am 21.05.2019 um 11:00 schrieb Jonas Smedegaard <jonas at jones.dk>:
> >>> 
> >>> First of all, congratulations with the progress!
> >> 
> >> Thanks!
> >> 
> >>> 
> >>> 
> >>> Quoting H. Nikolaus Schaller (2019-05-21 10:22:50)
> >>>> BTW, here is another trick: You may (not) know that LetuxOS 
> >>>> images created by makesd come rooted. This means you can simply 
> >>>> ssh as root into the device without password check. This is quite 
> >>>> helpful for developers and debugging.
> >>> 
> >>> A password-less network-accesible backdoor maybe unknown to the 
> >>> system owner sounds dangerous to me: I recommend documenting that 
> >>> very clearly (at least) everywhere passwords are currently 
> >>> menioned in documentation.
> >> 
> >> Yes, please feel free to document it in the Wiki.
> > 
> > Is the wiki the only place passwords are mentioned?  There are no 
> > other places users could be helped get notified about this open 
> > access? users
> I have no idea about what users do... We need users to see the missing 
> information and add it themselves. So we just must enable them to do 
> it. Which is the Wiki.

Makes sense that users document what they do.

Makes sense that developers document what they do.

You really expect users to understand and document backdoors better than 
the developers implementing them?!?

> > Suggestion: Add a notice in /etc/motd
> Hm. Do your ever read/see that?

Why on Earth would I suggest it otherwise?

> >>>> On a very general view, we have achieved a lot, but still not 
> >>>> enough to get the LetuxOS eco-system into a self-sustaining mode. 
> >>>> What is lacking?
> >>>> 
> >>>> * users are missing because software is not good enough for daily 
> >>>>  use
> >>>> * hardware is missing because potential users complain about 
> >>>>  missing high-quality software
> >>>> * developers to polish the software are missing, because of missing 
> >>>> (new) hardware
> >>>> 
> >>>> You see the vicious circle? Ideas how to magically break it?
> >>> 
> >>> Contributing as certified OSHW your own work on designing hardware 
> >>> helps encourage developers contributing to getting the devices 
> >>> supported in mainline linux and u-boot.
> >>> 
> >>> Getting bootloader and kernel code mainlined encourage distributors 
> >>> integrate and maintain support the the devices in their 
> >>> distributions.
> >>> 
> >>> Having devices supported in distributions helps users prioritize the 
> >>> devices over other (lesser free) options available to them.
> >> 
> >> This seems to assume that LetuxOS is not itself a distribution.
> > 
> > No.
> > 
> > For comparison, I work on the Debian distribution and dearly want the 
> > Olimex Teres-I DIY laptop well supported there, which requires escaping 
> > a similar vicious circle.
> It looks as if we need someone who actively wants to get the goodies 
> from LetuxOS into standard Debian. We had such members in our 
> community in the past, but they seem to have lost interest (or more 
> likely time for pure volunteering).

Speaking for myself, I got discouraged when we met in Bavaria and it 
became clear to me that your avoiding OSHW certification was a 
deliberate business choice.

Don't get me wrong: I respect your choice, and I have not totally lost 
interest, but I prioritize OSHW devices higher - e.g. decided to devote 
time to get the Olimex Teres-I laptop in working shape instead of 
grabbing the already mostly working PineBook which is lesser free.

> > I have appreciated the efforts done in other distributions - 
> > concretely I work done in Armbian and OpenSuSE was instrumental in 
> > getting the device supported in mainline u-boot (likely included 
> > with 2019.07 release), which benefits all competing distributions.
> I just came to my mind what the most successful embedded Linux PC 
> probably is: RasPi with Raspbian.
> It is not even open hardware or software nor supported well by 
> mainline which seems to contradict your suggestions.

RPi isn't in a vicious circle, so no contradiction there.

Here's my recipe for Pi: Create a charitable foundation and partner with 
a) a university vouching for your noble cause and b) a chip maker 
needing brand value of a noble cause while keeping control (by offering 
large discounts only for charity).

> > My point is that that I firmly believe that to get out of the 
> > vicious circle we _first_ need to collaborate and only _then_ 
> > compete (if needed at all, but that's a different discussion).
> Well, I am waiting for years for collaboration (the first LetuxOS 
> dates back to 2006) but it seems as if other projects decided to 
> compete and start from scratch instead of building on top of LetuxOS
> :)

Yes, just as Debian had waited for years for your collaboration (first 
release dates back to 1993) but you decided to compete with LetuxOS 
instead of joining and improving Debian :-)

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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