All those replacement of classic shell-script-based start-up tools, adding countless "managers" and "buses" and "services" and "settings daemons" just makes the whole thing worse.
It is like MS or SAP - keep producing bigger and bigger bloatware until there are no more suckers to buy it.
Piling up meaningless stuff is not just a Linux distro problem. It is also in languages (look at CL or R6RS) and libraries. Almost everywhere, especially in non-CS world.)
The more sane approach is, surprise! of BSD systems. They have an OS and a system of packages made out of ports of OSS software. They keep the core OS stable, sane, and without unnecessary, unreasonable changes. CenOS also has some additional repositories, but it is basically a polished Fedora anyway.
In case you are referring to the introduction of systemd, I'll mention that Arch Linux has also made the switch, and away from the BSD style in doing so. None of my Arch installs became unstable or slower and the reasons explained for the switch seemed rational: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1149530#p1149530
They just aren't part of the Unix philosophy. NT perhaps.
"You enter a world of smartphone-like diarrhea that undermines everything and anything that is sane and safe in this most important of software configuration steps."
EDIT: interesting read about the installer redesign: http://blog.linuxgrrl.com/2011/06/16/making-fedora-easier-to...
This made me curious. Care to elaborate?
I guess that because I don't use it frequently, I always have to click around several times until I find what it looks like the thing I need, and I'm almost never sure of it :)
That sort of "what's going on!?" feeling I got with the new anaconda installer of F18.
He's taken the code (mainstream distro) and tried to use it. He found a couple bugs. He even tried work around those bugs only to be thwarted by even more bugs.
All the while he's explaining what's going wrong and why he's upset. His reaction to the bugs is entirely appropriate given his past experience with Fedora: their (RH's) build quality is slipping.
Everybody else seems to be losing the plot. Well, I bet Slackware and Puppy continue to work just fine.
In comparison, Fedora 18 is superb.
Is the installer buggy, or just un-usably confusing? It's both. Sometimes the "submit" type of button is waaaay down in the lower right (e.g., "Continue", and sometimes it's in the upper left ("Done"). Modals are not differentiated from full screens.
Forget customized partitioning -- I tried everything I could and never got it to fully accept my very ordinary partitioning choices. An exercise in frustration.
To summarize, it feels like a thick, hard-to-remove layer of dysfunctional GUI gunk has been added needlessly, and it's time-consuming trial and error to remove to get back to something more tolerably vanilla (e.g., dig into grub, remove "rhgb quiet" and keep stripping things off until it's clean enough). And that's just the aesthetic stuff.
The xfce and lxde spins are vastly better but give fewer options for, e.g., little systray widgets, so I feel conky (really jurassic but lovable old pre-DE widget) is required.
If someone is looking for a "just works" distro, I'd recommend Crunchbang. Personally, I'll continue to work through the F18 issues and file bugs, but the problems are more philosophical than technical per se.
The one I have tells my kernel how to boot into my encrypted drive. It is also necessary for RAID, LVM, and NFS root filesystems, loading special modules and drivers before booting, and loading swap back into memory after hibernation.
- rhel/centos for server environment is an entirely different animal