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Month: September 2014

Re: [trinity-users] systemd and sysvinit, a question

From: Mike Bird <mgb-trinity@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:21:49 -0700
On Thu September 18 2014 08:17:02 Lisi Reisz wrote:
> If sysvinit is as staggerigly marvellous as it is being painted by some,
> and if it was such a near thing that it got dropped as the Debian default
> init system, how come the vote was apparently between Upstart and systemd? 
> And given that it was a vote between Upstart and systemd, why are some
> people so up in arms and ranting that sysvinit was dropped by a meaningless
> margin? (The chairman's casting vote.)  When and how was the decison to
> drop sysvinit as the Debian default init system actually taken?

I believe I read every word of the Debian TC discussion as it happened.

They looked at promised features - in particular the ability to stop
runaway daemons at times other than reboot and shutdown.  But that is
an extraordinarily rare occurrence which I have yet to see in 32 years
of professional *nix systems programming and systems administration.

They also considered that the pros of declarative startup outweighed
the cons, although these directly result in systemd weaknesses such
as its inability to boot with keyscripts.  OpenRC offers an alternative
and promising approach but was given little consideration.

The TC paid little or no attention to the real problem with systemd
(and to a lesser extent with upstart) - they are power plays to
force other distros to resemble RHEL (or Ubuntu).

Making your competitors copy you allows you to weaken them by making
them waste effort, and allows you to market your distro as the one
true Linux distro which all others aspire to copy.

It is unclear which if any of the TC were improperly influenced by
Redhat (or Canonical) and which if any merely looked at the promised
features without considering the more fundamental issues.

Gnu/Linux probably does need a new init, and something along the
lines of the core 1% of systemd with optional cgroups support would
be a good approach.  But allowing Redhat (or Canonical or anybody
else) to churn your distro at will is not a smart move, and thus
far only Slackware and Gentoo among the majors seem to have the
common-sense to resist systemd's glitter.

In the case of Debian, the TC's decision was particularly unwise
because Debian supports multiple OSs and systemd only runs on Linux.

sysvinit is excellent but not necessarily "staggeringly marvelous".
However compared to a distro committing suicide by systemd (or
upstart) it is the preferred choice until something newer and
better can be adopted.

I thank Tim and Slávek and others for making TDE optionally work
with systemd without depending upon systemd - unlike Debian where
systemd proponents are frantically changing packages to unnecessarily
require systemd.

Mike Bird