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RPi_Mike
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Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:00 pm

I just Googled the following term and was a bit surprised that no one on this website has ever mentioned this:

"gLinux" site:raspberrypi.org

So why is gLinux such good news for the long-term future of the Raspberry Pi?

It's good news because it means that one of the most influential and well-financed entities in the history of computing has now, in effect, become a major backer of the Raspberry Pi.

That entity is Google!

While it's true that Google has already made significant monetary donations to the non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation, what I'm talking about is a much bigger deal.

Google has nearly 100,000 employees and manages almost 250,000 desktops and laptops worldwide. Some of these systems are allowed to use Apple's macOS — as well as Chrome OS. And a small number, under specially-authorized circumstances, are allowed to use Microsoft Windows.

But there is now only one desktop operating system that most Google employees are expected to use.

That system is called gLinux — and it's entirely based on the Testing branch of Debian Buster!

Why is that significant?

Sometime in the coming months, the Raspberry Pi Foundation will be releasing Raspbian Buster — the next major operating system for the Raspberry Pi. It will replace Raspbian Stretch.

And what is Raspbian Buster?

With just a few Raspberry-specific modifications that are needed to accommodate the Raspberry's hardware, Raspbian Buster is entirely based on Debian Buster!

Still not getting why this is such a big deal?

It means that one of the most powerful and sophisticated corporations on Earth now has a massive "personal" stake in the same underlying operating system that the Raspberry Pi will soon use!

The transition to gLinux was quietly announced by Google nearly two years ago. As a result, Google has been contributing "upstream" improvements and bug fixes to Debian Buster ever since — enhancements that the entire Raspberry Pi community will soon benefit from. For free!

For more on this major development, see these stories:

​ZDNet: Google moves to Debian for in-house Linux desktop

​ITPro: Google moves internal systems from Ubuntu to Debian

​It's FOSS: Debian is the New Choice For Google’s In-house Linux Distribution

epoch1970
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:12 pm

I must be dense.

I google '"gLinux" site:raspberrypi.org' as you proposed, and the only link returned is this very thread.

What is the link between gLinux and Pi, exactly?
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

asavah
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:56 pm

RPi_Mike wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:34 pm
It's amazing how much negativity and raw jealousy a well-written, insightful post can generate! LOL
Honestly I don't find your post insightful, well written or even slightly useful.

Some years ago google had an internal ubuntu-based distro, did the actual ubuntu get something useful from it?
The answer is ... just a few patches...
The only difference from stock ubuntu was that google shipped their internal toolstack for their internal perusal. Period.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goobuntu

Nothing to be excited about (I really hope I'm wrong )

Heater
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:02 pm

I still don't see why this is such a big deal.

It's nice that some company is contributing effort to the Debian project.

I'm sure Debian would have been continuing anyway without that.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:12 pm

The problem with very large, rich, companies deciding to use software being developed or maintained by someone else is that you tend to quickly get into a "tail wagging the dog" situation. What is good for Google in their version isn't necessarily good for Debian or other Debian users.

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RPi_Mike
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:15 pm

epoch1970 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:12 pm
I must be dense.

I google '"gLinux" site:raspberrypi.org' as you proposed, and the only link returned is this very thread.

When I wrote my post, that search term produced ZERO results — which is exactly why I thought it was worthwhile to comment on the significance of gLinux for the Raspberry Pi.

All existing posts were written in the past — not the present or future.

epoch1970
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:26 pm

RPi_Mike wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:15 pm
When I wrote my post, that search term produced ZERO results — which is exactly why I thought it was worthwhile to comment on the significance of gLinux for the Raspberry Pi.
I see.
So I googled 'gLinux' alone this time, and now I see they announced their switch from Ubuntu to Debian in January 2018.
Very much in the past indeed.

I will bet my bottom dollar this "news" has no bearing whatsoever on Pi's destiny.
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

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RPi_Mike
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:54 pm

epoch1970 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:26 pm
So I googled 'gLinux' alone this time, and now I see they announced their switch from Ubuntu to Debian in January 2018.
Very much in the past indeed.

I will bet my bottom dollar this "news" has no bearing whatsoever on Pi's destiny.

If you had read the articles I linked to more carefully, you would know the announcement was actually made in August 2017 at DebConf17. It was the mainstream computer press that did not pick up on the story until January 2018!

More importantly, this is NOT old news for Raspberry users, as you wrongly suggest. In fact, it's the exact opposite — it's future news! That's because the benefits of Google's decision — however significant they ultimately prove to be — won't be experienced until Raspbian Buster comes out in the coming months.

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:57 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:33 pm
a large company forking Debian for their own use is not going to affect an already existing fork for a different CPU architecture.

Correcting all these false — or mostly false — or misleading statements — is getting quite tiresome.

As one man, I can't take on a whole army of randomly misinformed internet people!

But if you had actually researched things properly — as I did — you would know that Google has been carefully checking the source code of the packages in Debian Buster — and submitting reports and fixes upstream.

Now, will some of these contributions be processor-specific to the x86 architecture, for example — and therefore have no benefit for the ARM-based Raspberry? Of course! But many of the improvements will relate to general code that ALL ports of Debian Buster will benefit from.

Your focus on processor-specific ports is myopic too — because a rising tide lifts all boats. Other CPU architectures are not the enemy. Anything that improves the "Debian ecosystem" is good for Debian overall — and therefore good for the Raspberry, even if there is no direct or obvious benefit.



Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:33 pm
I haven't seen any hostility in this thread, merely people who don't agree with your view. That isn't negativity, it's simply an opposing opinion.....

Thanks for explaining this — I'm so relieved to know that all the perceived negativity was only in my head! Thanks to you, I know that even the dude that said "I don't find your post insightful, well written or even slightly useful" was just a figment of my imagination!

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:21 am

Heater wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:02 pm
I still don't see why this is such a big deal.

It's nice that some company is contributing effort to the Debian project.

I'm sure Debian would have been continuing anyway without that.

Google is hardly just "some company". Hardly!

And just to be crystal clear to everyone out there, I never once suggested that the future of Debian was dependent on Google.

It was, however, a big win for Debian — and the Raspberry too!

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scruss
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:31 am

RPi_Mike wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:54 pm
If you had read the articles I linked to more carefully, you would know the announcement was actually made in August 2017 at DebConf17. It was the mainstream computer press that did not pick up on the story until January 2018!
If other news sites didn't pick up on it, it's one of two things:
  1. not really of much import; or
  2. a colossal hushed-up conspiracy unearthed by an intrepid researcher.
Google's use of Debian will have negligible impact on how the Raspberry Pi Foundation chooses or distributes software.
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Imperf3kt
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:28 am

RPi_Mike wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:57 am
Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:33 pm
I haven't seen any hostility in this thread, merely people who don't agree with your view. That isn't negativity, it's simply an opposing opinion.....

Thanks for explaining this — I'm so relieved to know that all the perceived negativity was only in my head! Thanks to you, I know that even the dude that said "I don't find your post insightful, well written or even slightly useful" was just a figment of my imagination!
The sarcasm does not bode well. Please stop, nobody said anything was in your head.

Nobody is trying to "correct" anybody. I am simply stating my opinion that this news will have little to no affect for Raspbian. My opinion may be wrong, and you are free to point that out, so let's try to get along okay?
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RPi_Mike
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:39 am

scruss wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:31 am
If other news sites didn't pick up on it, it's one of two things:
  1. not really of much import; or
  2. a colossal hushed-up conspiracy unearthed by an intrepid researcher.

This logical fallacy is known as the "false dichotomy".

It's when two choices are falsely presented as the only options — when another explanation prevails.

In this case, there's a much simpler explanation: Google made a deliberate choice to not publicize their MAJOR transition to Debian — and just as they intended, it never made a big splash in the headlines. No conspiracy necessary!

The reality is that it was only revealed deep inside a lengthy presentation by a single engineer at a technical conference. No formal announcement was ever made.

And I know it was meant sarcastically, but there actually was an "intrepid researcher" in all of this. It was a Spanish-language website called ​MuyLinux that broke the story. Only then, three days later, did the English-speaking press ever take notice.

Not all stories worthy of attention get proper attention!

And now that I've brought this important story to your attention, I say this:

You're welcome!

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:27 am

RPi_Mike wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:39 am
This logical fallacy is known as the "false dichotomy".
Think it possible you may be mistaken.
In this case, there's a much simpler explanation: Google made a deliberate choice to not publicize their MAJOR transition to Debian — and just as they intended, it never made a big splash in the headlines. No conspiracy necessary!
Here's why it's not major: GOOG / GOOGL stocks are huge investment targets. Financial houses pore over every possible announcement that Alphabet makes. They comb the web for the tiniest piece of news in any language. If there's a conference that a Google tech presented at, someone from a financial house will either have been there or read the transcript. Debconf is not a very obscure conference, either.

So let's assume some investment house knew about Google's switch to Debian, thought it was pretty big, and started buying GOOG / GOOGL stock. Once they'd bought, the last thing they'd want to do is keep quiet about it: the more people that know about this news, the more valuable Alphabet shares become. So you'd hear about it in the financial press if the industry thought it was major.

As a traded company, if Alphabet does something that affects its profitability, they have a responsibility to their shareholders to report it. This might either be as a news release or an investor call. These don't go unnoticed by the tech industry. Someone, somewhere in the mainstream financial press would have written about it. It would benefit no-one to keep quiet about it after the transition had happened. A simpler explanation requiring a conspiracy theory is not very credible, I'm afraid.

The biggest effect would have been on Canonical. They're pre-IPO, so we can't see what this news did for their value.
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RPi_Mike
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:37 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:12 pm
The problem with very large, rich, companies deciding to use software being developed or maintained by someone else is that you tend to quickly get into a "tail wagging the dog" situation. What is good for Google in their version isn't necessarily good for Debian or other Debian users.

This, in my estimation, is the only thoughtful "push back" I've so far received.

It's a reasonable observation that ALL corporations have their agendas — and the future is inherently unknowable.

If I had access to a high-fidelity alien supercomputer — a system so advanced it could accurately simulate the individual behavior of every human for the next 10 years — is it possible it might reveal that Google's involvement had a negative impact on the future of Debian?

I don't deny that possibility, nor am I an "advocate" for Google.

So far, at least, it seems to be a big win for Debian.

But will I still feel that way in the future? Who knows!

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RPi_Mike
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:31 am

scruss wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:27 am
Here's why it's not major: GOOG / GOOGL stocks are huge investment targets. Financial houses pore over every possible announcement that Alphabet makes. They comb the web for the tiniest piece of news in any language.

Your general description of market dynamics is quite sound — but there's a fatal flaw in your money-centric perspective:

A major change in computing platforms by a leading company does not necessarily have any major financial relevance. But that alone doesn't deny its significance.

Linux, for example, is completely free — yet it has transformed the world.

That's why I consider your presentation to be yet another fallacy — the fallacy of the "straw man": Arguing against a claim I never made in the first place and attempting to "defeat" it!

Never once did I say or suggest that Google's transition to Debian was financially relevant to Google or the financial houses on Wall Street. Nor did I suggest it represented any big technical advance for Google itself. After all, they were already using an in-house variant of Ubuntu, which is based on Debian — so I certainly don't see it as a major advance for Google.

If I were an analyst on Wall Street, I would also yawn about this topic.

But just because it's not technically or financially significant for Google does NOT at all mean it isn't significant for Debian — and the Raspberry Pi!

Next challenger, please!

Hurry up though — I'm going to bed soon and can't keep crushing the random internet army forever!

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:03 am

Not sure if the foundation willing to let the future of Pi depends on gLinux instead of Raspbian. I guess it is not hard to think about what Android meant to Huawei.

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:27 am

bertlea wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:03 am
Not sure if the foundation willing to let the future of Pi depends on gLinux instead of Raspbian. I guess it is not hard to think about what Android meant to Huawei.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is not letting the future of the Raspberry "depend" on gLinux!

Google is merely making contributions — as many others do — to the continued development of Debian.

But for those that like to think conspiratorially, what if Debian somehow did get unduly influenced by Google or any other corporation in the future?

The Raspberry already demonstrates significant "freedom of movement" when it comes to operating systems. For example, Ubuntu MATE runs just fine on it. The Raspberry is not "locked in" to any operating system in the way that Huawei is with Android.

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:40 am

In other astounding news: The Russian military replaces Windows with Astra Linux:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/russian-m ... tra-linux/

Astra Linux is a recognized derivative of Debian created and maintained by Rusbitech which has partnership with the Linux Foundation.

A commenter noted:

"With the support of the Russian military and their significant nuclear arsenal Rusbitech should be able to head off any attempt by Google to annex Debian"

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:40 am

Heater wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:40 am
"With the support of the Russian military and their significant nuclear arsenal Rusbitech should be able to head off any attempt by Google to annex Debian"

Not if the DeepMind division of Google — in conjunction with an NSA tiger team — has secretly placed a series of "implants" deep inside the Russian nukes.

Then nothing will stop Google's complete absorption of Debian!

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:02 am

RPi_Mike wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:27 am
bertlea wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:03 am
Not sure if the foundation willing to let the future of Pi depends on gLinux instead of Raspbian. I guess it is not hard to think about what Android meant to Huawei.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is not letting the future of the Raspberry "depend" on gLinux!

Google is merely making contributions — as many others do — to the continued development of Debian.

But for those that like to think conspiratorially, what if Debian somehow did get unduly influenced by Google or any other corporation in the future?

The Raspberry already demonstrates significant "freedom of movement" when it comes to operating systems. For example, Ubuntu MATE runs just fine on it. The Raspberry is not "locked in" to any operating system in the way that Huawei is with Android.
Huawei is not 'locked in' to Android, other than some markets wanting all the Google stuff installed on the phones. It more like they are locked in to Google.
They can happily use non-Google Android, they just can't install the Store, Play and more importantly YouTube, all that Googleness of the official Google Version

If they don't use it, it's similar to Amazon's Distribution of Android, where they need their own store, apps etc.
I think China and India markets use a different style of setup and are not reliant on Google and it's Store so much.

It'll hurt Google too, China and India are large markets. (Iirc India, being a large user of their phones, I think that was on a recent BBC Click when they visited the campus)

---
Anyway, why does Google moving from one Debian distro, to another Debian distro make much of a difference, other than Google can determine it own skin over it.
They would still have helped fix-up Debian on either setup if they needed that fix?

Or does your evidence show they only started fixing up debian once they rolled their own and before that they didn't bother?

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:11 am

Heater wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:40 am
In other astounding news: The Russian military replaces Windows with Astra Linux:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/russian-m ... tra-linux/

Astra Linux is a recognized derivative of Debian created and maintained by Rusbitech which has partnership with the Linux Foundation.

A commenter noted:

"With the support of the Russian military and their significant nuclear arsenal Rusbitech should be able to head off any attempt by Google to annex Debian"
I thought they were moving to Raspbian
https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... on-system/
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:53 am

bensimmo wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:02 am
Anyway, why does Google moving from one Debian distro, to another Debian distro make much of a difference.....

Goobuntu was NOT a "Debian distro", as you wrongly state — it was a Linux distro based on Ubuntu. And yes, Ubuntu is based on Debian. I'm sure you know all this, but it still isn't helpful for others when you confuse your terms.

[MOD: edit out some stuff some might find unnecessarilly agressive]

I have a significant presence on this site as well — but I've attained that status through quality, not quantity!

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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:55 am

Okkkkayyyyy...

Had 4 reports on this thread. I've read it. I've deleted a load of posts.

To precis the OP, and AIUI, basically, Google now use a derivative of Debian, and because of that they are pushing back fixes etc to Debian. A lot of companies do this. We use a fork of Debian, so we get the fixes. So far so good.

But is that it?


For those people interested in who contributes to Linux, have a read of the Linux kernel mailing list. The list of email sources make interesting reading. You'll find contributions from Raspberry Pi, Google, Amazon, Red Hat and inumerable other large companies (see how I put us in there!) Many many companies use Linux, many many companies contribute code to Linux. We get ALL of those fixes eventually (as to when Buster will be released, who knows!)
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Re: Good News for the Raspberry Pi!

Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:59 am

RPi_Mike wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:53 am
bensimmo wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:02 am
Anyway, why does Google moving from one Debian distro, to another Debian distro make much of a difference.....

Goobuntu was NOT a "Debian distro", as you wrongly state — it was a Linux distro based on Ubuntu. And yes, Ubuntu is based on Debian. I'm sure you know all this, but it still isn't helpful for others when you confuse your terms.

[MOD: edit out some stuff some might find unnecessarilly agressive]

I have a significant presence on this site as well — but I've attained that status through quality, not quantity!
Can I suggest that continually blowing your own trumpet is not necessarily the best way to proceed? You may think your post was thoughtful and positive, others may disagreee. You may think you have significiant presence on this site, others may disagree. Telling people about both isn't the right approach. Problem with a post? Report it.

To all, I've trimmed a lot of posts above, please, I don't want to have to keep trimming.
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