I’m a long time GNU/Linux user (started in 1994). I work as an academic and my main activities are: researching, teaching and programming. I have been using Clear Linux for more than one year now. I like it a lot because of its:
- High performance w.r.t. other distros
- Silent rolling-release upgrades
It just works ™ and it works fast!
But I often wonder whether I’m gonna have to leave for another distro. Why? Because, every week or so, I need to do some stuff that’s hard to achieve with it. To do videoconferencing with Jitsi, I need Chromium; to produce videos for students or play some made by fellow colleagues, I need all sorts of codecs; to code, I need Codium… Alas, there is currently no systematic, easily-achievable solution. I end up wasting a lot of time trying to circumvent these issues by:
- Relying on Appimages
- Relying on Flatpaks
- Adding some RPMs (as explained on some posts of this very board)
- Relying on the only 3rd-party repo I know about
- Creating Docker images
- Compiling stuff myself
Phew that’s a lot! And it doesn’t even work all the time! Furthermore, some of these things can be broken when updating CLR.
I gather that Intel doesn’t want to offer repos for this, which I can understand, somehow (somehow, because even Debian has nonfree). And I don’t blame the excellent Clear Linux team, who I thank for the nice work.
But I would expect at the very least that CLR would make a priority of enabling users to address this easily. I think the matter is both technical and social. On the technical side, it seems that 3rd-party repos are a first step, certainly the simplest for users. But as of now, the only such repo I know about is akin to a PPA in the Ubuntu world. From a security point of view, I’m wary of PPAs: I don’t want to end up with tens of 3rd-party repos. I don’t care about the technical solution (3rd party repos or even Snaps or whatever) but I do care about having one well-identified repo, with known bundle developers, perhaps provided by an Intel-promoted (if not endorsed) organization that users could trust. I would absolutely give some personal money to help fund servers.
In conclusion, my question is to the CLR team. Do you acknowledge this situation? What are you allowed to do? What are you gonna do? What are the expected deadlines? What are your thoughts?
Once again, this is not a rant or a troll: I like CLR and thank its developers, but I need to be able to do basic work that’s very hard or impossible to achieve right now and in the foreseeable future. I’m opening this thread because it seems to me discussions about this have varied in time and are scattered on this board.