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A problem with Debian and Debian based Linux distributions is that these are not stateless.

Files shipped by the distribution and files created by the user are mixed up in the same folders /etc and /var. Wiping /etc and /var on Debian will break the system and render it unbootable.

Resulting issues:

  • It is difficult (impossible?) to factory reset, i.e. to reset a machine to the same state as everyone else using the same version.
  • It is difficult (impossible?) to choose to have a boot without any user modifications.
  • It is difficult (impossible?) to generate an overview of all user created configuration changes.
  • It is difficult (impossible?) to generate an overview of derivative distribtion created configuration changes.
  • It is difficult (impossible?) to safely / fully downgrade / rollback upgrades. [archive]
  • It is more dangerous to upgrade.

Work towards stateless:

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