Sunday, May 31, 2015

Which distro is the right one?

I would guess that a major part of the friction between the Linux distributions is (a) uncertainty (b) complete understanding. I'm just not sure which one seems to win the day. Back in the day I was a huge believer in FreeBSD and Slackware. The reasons were on the trivial side. FreeBSD was the baseline OS that CyberGuard and later Secure Computing selected. The people who made the decision made it because they thoroughly understood all of the moving parts. I remember later conversations when they were trying to decide whether or not to upgrade to the latest kernel design the meaningless arguments about this feature or that and the FUD the might follow. But it was a solid OS, supported a wide variety of hardware, it was reliable, the filesystem was safe, and installer was trivial.

Slackware was my go-to Linux because the installer was solid, the distro was safe, Patrick did not take any risks and always hand selected the kernel versions and patches, the libraries and 3rd party packages and apps were also highly curated. The best part was that the inner circle lacked trolls and that made it a fun and educational place to be. Sadly they stumbled a few times but nothing to do with the project.

So when I'm thinking about the Docker version of the golang in the public registry I get a little skittish. There is nothing overtly wrong with the Debian distro except that they march to their own drum. Debian is the root to a lot of other popular distros but they have the slowest release schedule. So I'm reluctant to install golang on jessie.

I have two general needs.  (a) I want a very lightweight golang docker image for building my projects. As someone put it... my Dockerfile is my Makefile. (b) I want enough tools that I can construct my IDE and not have to worry about all the extra cruft that installing a full distro suggests. I'd prefer that everything was running on scratch or maybe even the slimmest rkt container but that may be a little premature for now. 

I may try to hash shykes' Dockerfile but it's going to take a while. His file is quite old and I'm planning on working on modern code. There are a few projects out there that are just overly complicated but would make create enterprise tool.

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