Debian/Ubuntu: Why was the service renamed from bind9 to named?

Michael De Roover isc at
Thu Jul 23 06:12:32 UTC 2020

On 7/23/20 7:19 AM, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> Well for starters there is no way for ME to validate that the compiled
> software you built for me isn't busy running your Doom network server
> behind my back.  (do people still even run Doom servers?)

People would find out when an unnecessary service is started up though, 
no? Especially with services, you can see those with netstat/ss right 
away. Additionally, the distribution maintainers are (or at least should 
be) the ones compiling it. It could be argued that by installing their 
distribution, there is already a certain level of trust being given to 
said maintainers.

For example I don't trust Manjaro's maintainers, since they screwed up 
their TLS certificate renewal no less than 3 times. That's complete and 
utter incompetence on their part. How they didn't already put certbot in 
a cron job after the first time is beyond me. On the other hand, I have 
started to get fond of Debian.. though also not entirely. But enough to 
consider that their packages are probably just fine. I could also verify 
this by compiling it myself and comparing the result. They publish their 
downstream source code along with any modifications they made.

> You are making an argument that is a desktop argument.  That is, the
> argument goes Those That Know Better Will Do It For You.

Not quite, rather my goals for the system sufficiently align with those 
of the distribution I end up going with on this or that system. And on a 
server I don't like compiling from source for the same reason that I 
wouldn't install and run a desktop environment on it. I consider it 
unnecessary cruft. And keeping those packages up-to-date... I forgot to 
manually update software I built from a git repository more often than 
I'd like to admit. I also lost count.

With my internal BIND servers now running on Alpine (because super 
lightweight), that blurs the lines a bit. With 9.14.12, they ship an EOL 
version of BIND. And their stock configuration for it was pretty much 
unusable anyway. Everything on that was replaced. Compiling from source 
or sticking with what they provide, perhaps notifying Alpine's 
maintainers that they should look into it? I don't know. But compiling 
9.16 ESV there probably wouldn't be a bad idea. Certainly doable, but 
not as convenient.

> Also, I have had at least 5 Open Source programs over the years that
> I found Really Useful to have that the authors decided they wanted to
> "take commercial" or they had other religious conversions that made them
> decide to go on a rampage and issue take down notices everywhere they 
> could find their source.  One of those for example was when 
> Nasty-Company-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Graced-With-A-Mention decided to start 
> charging
> for software that created .gif files and the graphics community went
> on a ballistic rampage jihad and destroyed every scrap of .gif code it 
> could find so as to force users to migrate to .png.  I did not wish to 
> migrate to .png so I was very glad that I had saved all the old code, 
> safe from the fires of the religious zealots.

That's an issue of licensing, it is super annoying, and having older 
source code still available in those cases is indeed really useful. I 
don't know how relevant this is to this discussion though (granted, can 
we still pretend to be on-topic anyway?) given that this is more about 
open source projects merely providing binary packages (with the source 
available), rather than said project completely denying source code access.

Regarding the ballistic rampage... I can't help but think that this is 
what's happening in BIND right now. Fortunately it was only a few days 
worth of commits that dealt with.. that totally 100% necessary change of 
> Lastly, the way I look at it is when I field a new server, if it cannot
> recompile it's OS, kernel, make world, and all of it's applications from
> source, then it's a piece of excrement that I do not want in service.
> It is also a fact that I have had pre-production servers blow up on 
> "make worlds"  In a few cases this was bad ram, in one case the server 
> was returned to the manufacturer under warranty.  These are machines 
> that did not display any issues before the OS load.  Do not ask me why 
> it was possible to install all the binaries for the OS and have it boot
> with no problems yet blow chunks/blue screen/abend/take a dive into the
> toilet/whatever your preferred term for crashing and burning is.
> I don't generally run FreeBSD or Linux as a desktop OS, BTW so that
> does affect my view of things.
> So yes, there is definitely an argument in favor of compiling the
> stuff at least on a server.

Fair points. And I agree, having the option is absolutely something I 
wouldn't want to give away for proprietary software either. But in all 
the software I use (be it on workstations or servers, I run Linux on 
both) I do have that option. It's just not as convenient and I certainly 
wouldn't want every distro to turn into a Gentoo for increased merit or 
reasons like that. If the distro makes compiling from source (be it 
upstream or their downstream version) easy, either to compare or to 
actually put it to use, all the better.

(My preferred term for for crashing and burning servers would probably 
not be suitable for this list)

Met vriendelijke groet / Best regards,
Michael De Roover

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