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Operating Systems Software Upgrades Linux

OS Upgrades Powered By Git 92

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-a-good-idea dept.
JamieKitson writes "The latest Webconverger 15 release is the first Linux distribution to be automagically updatable from a Github repository. The chroot of the OS is kept natively in git's format and fuse mounted with git-fs. Webconverger fulfills the Web kiosk use case, using Firefox and competes indirectly with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git."
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OS Upgrades Powered By Git

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  • arg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blymie (231220) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:01PM (#41597979)

    They describe it as "automagic", SO I HAVE NO #$%&*(*+&% INTEREST IN IT!

    Ever! Arg!

    • Re:arg (Score:5, Funny)

      by oodaloop (1229816) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:05PM (#41598031)
      You're missing a close paren (a worse crime than using "automagically".
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Blymie (231220)

        You're a missing close paren, oodaloop!

        YOU'RE A MISSING CLOSE PAREN!!!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          )) fixed that for you.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Thanks, I was already running low on stack space.

    • by Lennie (16154)

      I won't be installing it on my desktop or servers any time soon, but it is an interresting experiment and maybe interresting to see what new ideas they've come up with.

      Who knows maybe they came up with something interresting which could apply to servers.

      Anyway, I'm gonna take a look.

      • by BobPaul (710574) *

        I won't be installing it on my desktop or servers any time soon,

        I should hope not! Installing a browser kiosk on your desktop would be weird, and if you installed it on a server I might have to take away your keys to the server room.

    • by danhuby (759002)

      I have never liked the term "automagically". There's no need for it, because it is exactly the same as "automatically". Unless the user is somehow implying that magic is involved.

    • by StonyUK (173886)

      Automagic appears in early BSD kernel source, it's not some flashy new-found marketing term, although maybe the bastards have tried to pinch it! :)

  • Yet Another... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:21PM (#41598205) Homepage Journal

    Yet Another Update Manager.

    Replacing one transport with another isn't innovative enough to warrant the attention. You could use torrents under YUM or APT, you could use GIT, SVN, or any of a number of change management tools as a means to tell the client which updates to subscribe to and install.

    But I doubt any such approach will ever see critical mass, just because the two big players (Debian/Ubuntu and RedHat/RHEL) already have perfectly usable tools. You'd need some serious whizz-bang new features to justify changing those tools, and the article doesn't suggest anything that can't be done already with existing technology.

    Change for the sake of change is pointless; there has to be a benefit big enough to justify the change, and I don't see that in the write-up.

    • Please write out the use-case for an auto-updating torrent system in 5 lines or less, because the git version is.

  • by faragon (789704) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:21PM (#41598213) Homepage

    Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git.

    "clever" differential updates usually work this way (Chrome browser uses it or used it back in the day):

    • Unpacked blob version 1.
    • Packed blob version 1
    • Unpacked blob version 2.
    • Packed blob version 2.
    • Differential packed blobl version 2, taking version 1 as compression base dictionary (or any other differential scheme).

    And Git has can not do that yet, because it uses diff + deflate, having far less scope than, e.g. LZMA with 500MB dictionary (requiring 5GB of memory for compressing it is acceptable if it is done just once per version).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Alright, so I guess they're using git to keep the binaries up to date, not syncing source and recompiling?

    How is that better then using rsync or whatever to keep binaries up to date?

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:36PM (#41598421)

    My company is migrating to git for all of our versioning control. I got to be the person to fly to the UK and get everyone up to speed on it. I knew it was British slang but not the full connotation of such.

    I think you Brits need to make the next generation versioning system and call it fucker/bastard just to get us back.

    I couldn't imaging standing up in front of my managers manager. "Well yeah, we're moving to bastard next. Bastards not too hard to use. You just type 'bastard clone'...."

    • by danhuby (759002)

      The term "git" is not used in the USA? I didn't know that. I just assumed it had the same meaning over there but nobody cared. After all, there is GIMP.

    • by danhuby (759002)

      By the way GIT was developed by Linus Torvalds and he's Swedish, so it's not the USA we'd have to 'get back'.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        By the way GIT was developed by Linus Torvalds and he's Swedish, so it's not the USA we'd have to 'get back'.

        He's Finnish, not Swedish.

        • by jgrahn (181062)

          By the way GIT was developed by Linus Torvalds and he's Swedish, so it's not the USA we'd have to 'get back'.

          He's Finnish, not Swedish.

          Finnish, and of the minority there who speak Swedish.

      • Where did I use the words "USA"? Or even say where I was from?

        Get "us" non-British English speaking citizens of the world.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      It's relatively tame -- one of the first "naughty words" I learned at school, I was probably about 6 years old. It belongs with words like crap, cock, dick, fanny (another UK/US confusion...), arse. The sexual words are all worse, including bastard.

      The project manager on my project would giggle every time it was mentioned in a meeting when we were moving to it, about a year ago. I suggested he pronounced it "jit" instead, which was OK until we started using the "EGit" plugin for eclipse -- "eejit" is use

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Just be glad you're not telling them to use GIMP
  • by tibit (1762298) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:11PM (#41598809)

    It's sad that no one picked up on the IMHO biggest snafu: the chroot is mounted using git-fs. Performance-wise it'll suck donkey balls just because of that. Just think of it: every page mapping for those executables has to go through userspace! Whoever thought of that was a real whiz, sigh.

    If I were serious about it, I'd work on getting gitfs implemented natively in the kernel. Using fuse could be a proof-of-concept while the kernel driver is being implemented. I just hope that git stores its database with files still being files, because at least then the kernel driver could be, pretty much a filter driver that only rewrites file paths. Otherwise it'll have to be a full-blown filesystem driver with all the inefficiencies of using what amounts to multiple loop devices as its backend.

    • by Wolfrider (856)

      --The kernel is already bloated enough, thank you - let's keep crap like this out of it. It's not even relevant for most of the Linux user base.

      --I doubt it would ever be approved by the kernel maintainers anyhow, but you never know, there might be someone crazy enough that thinks this is somehow a good idea. Sigh

      • by tibit (1762298)

        It may not be relevant, but it's a modular kernel, with runtime loadable modules, so a one more module that takes 100kb of disk space shouldn't be a big deal. No runtime memory or performance costs until you use it.

  • The boot loader works, but after the progress bar, network connection image, and initialization image, all I get is a Webconverger logo. Running VMWare Fusion 3.1.4, selected the Live option, haven't tried to "install to disk".
  • I don't know that this is the first. Funtoo [funtoo.org] has been around for much longer and is a "real OS" rather than a internet box only OS. I'd be interested in how they think they compare, but I also don't think that people interested in linux in general would find webconverger a useful OS over Funtoo.
  • belt conveyor [uch-conveyor.com]

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