With Linux almost 30 years old, we ask: is it time to modernise some of its aspects?

In a series of blog posts we look at opportunities to improve Linux to make it serve the needs of Enterprise better. With Android being based on Linux, embedded systems like Raspberry Pi and industrial controllers embedded in all manner of routers, ticket machines, etc. it's certainly made its mark on the world. And that’s not even mentioning the majority of servers and cloud instances on the web that run it, nor Microsoft’s move to add WSL allowing Linux to be used at the core of its Desktop operating system. But we think there are some shortcomings related to the computing landscape of the 2020s.

At OpenLX we make extensive use of Linux, from our LoraWAN base stations that collect sensor data, to our data-warehouse and analytics systems in the cloud. We also use Amazon AWS, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud services and noticed an opportunity for Linux to do things differently. In all projects, we need to manage configuration so we or our users can make updates or ensure consistency across entire fleets of devices and deployments. And for that, using managed cloud services is easier.

Most of the cloud platforms have a similar approach to configuration and management, with role based security and rest APIs to read and write configurations. In contrast, Linux configuration settings tend to be set in text files, with file-based permissions. In the next series of blog posts, we explore if it’s time to reconsider how configuration and security are handled in Linux?