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Gentoo Developers Fork udev 152

In October, Linus Torvalds expressed concerns that udev was making "...changes that were known to be problematic, and are pure and utter stupidity." Several Gentoo developers were also concerned about the removal of features and uncooperative nature of udev maintained by the systemd developers, so they've announced a fork: "After speaking with several other Gentoo developers that share Linus' concerns, I have decided to form a team to fork udev. Our plan is to eliminate the separate /usr requirement from our fork, among other things. We will announce the project later this week." The project name (for now) is udev-ng, and you can grab the code from Github. Update: 11/16 21:29 GMT by U L : One of the developers commented that this isn't yet an official Gentoo project (but hopefully it will be!). There's also an informative flamewar about the fork on debian-devel.
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Gentoo Developers Fork udev

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  • Stick a fork in it, it's not done.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:23PM (#42006113)

    I doubt anyone will listen to me at this point, but that was not an official announcement. I wrote that email to preempt a policy decision by the Gentoo Council that would have negatively affected the goals of our nascent project. A consequence of doing fully open source development is that with the exception of issues involving the security of our infrastructure, all of our internal emails are public.

    Anyway, the official announcement will come later. We are still working on becoming organized. I also probably should register on slashdot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I want to thank Gentoo for not accepting this buggy piece of crap called systemd and all the unholy sh-- it depends on. It's great that there are still people left who have a good understanding how Unix(oid) is supposed to work.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:53PM (#42008041)

        There's plenty of us here watching from afar with large grins on our face.

        Hello from FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonflyBSD, and OpenBSD.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Ah, yes, does your USB hotplugging works yet?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by m6tt ( 263581 )

            Works great...we even have non-udevd based automount, with custom mount flags...does that still require hacking and a recompile?

            How's pulseaudio working out for you?

        • by m6tt ( 263581 )

          Maybe Linux could use FreeBSD's least it's documented...

          • It's also not inexcusably stupid. All it does is match up PCI device IDs and then run a command like.. say.. kldload, which in turn manages all the firmware loading itself without "help" from some bogus daemon.
        • by jgrahn ( 181062 )

          There's plenty of us here watching from afar with large grins on our face. Hello from FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonflyBSD, and OpenBSD.

          And some of us Linux people are happy that you are there. But it is not a good idea for you to gloat -- if Linux fails to keep the Unix legacy alive, your support base dwindles too.

      • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

        Well, systemd is in fact packaged and working on Gentoo - in fact I use it on a Gentoo VM. Gentoo is, after all, about choice.

        I see the fork as being positive in that regard - keeps everybody honest and gives the end user more choices. As long as somebody is willing to maintain it, Gentoo will accept it.

      • In most areas I'm a bit of a unix curmudgeon but I'm happy to be rid of SysV init scripts.

        And why would I like systemd?

        All the reasons given here: []

    • just call it udev (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:35PM (#42007069)

      Why don't you just call it udev.

      I like systemd, logind, and journald. But I take serious issue with the fact that they're pulling all of these logically distinct things into the same repository. There's no difference with udev. The innovation is good, but what happened to the Unix philosophy?

      Udev should never have been pulled into the same source tree. If there was a lot of code overlap, then it should have been put into a library that both udev and systemd can depend on.

      So, forget the -ng. The systemd guys will probably be happy enough calling theirs "systemd-udev" or "udev-systemd"

    • I masked all versions of udev above 171 because of the /usr merge. There are some nice things that udev does, mainly ensure consistent matching of device names to actual hardware. However, (for any of my systems anyway) the plug-and-play stuff isn't really needed until after the OS is up and running. I really don't need the system to do anything with random USB thumb drives or game controllers at boot time. The thought had occurred to me to simply go back to a static /dev.

      I've looked into alternatives.
  • I had trouble with udev 182 and 187 myself, I had no idea they were so widespread.

  • by semi-extrinsic ( 1997002 ) <> on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:29PM (#42006185)
    I had this problem with my eeepc 1215b hanging 30 sec at boot. Spent half a day fixing it, didn't understand why the fix worked. At the time i cursed Broadcom, but it was intentionally done by udev? Wtf?? I say "Forks away!"
  • Yea! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:36PM (#42006257)

    Well, at least there's one distro that's tired of letting Red Hat developers dictate the course of linux component development and marginalize the whole independent distro model. Hello Debian? Ubuntu? SuSE? Are you guys beginning to see a pattern here?

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      Keep in mind that this isn't a distro-wide move - I doubt the default udev will be changing anytime soon on Gentoo.

      On Gentoo any dev can start an official project at any time. Gentoo is about choice. Keep in mind that with Gentoo swapping out init implementations or things like udev isn't much harder than changing desktop enviornments on most other distros. There are some using busybox mdev as an alternative to udev since things started getting tense. I've got a systemd-based Gentoo box and an openrc-ba

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "informative flamewar"

    I literally LOLed.

  • by knorthern knight ( 513660 ) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:42PM (#42007137)

    A full-of-themselves group of developers pissed off enough people to get a viable fork going. Hopefully systemd-udev gets kicked to the curb by udev-ng.

    BTW, Poettering and Sievers are the same characters who wanted a binary syslog with an undocumented format [] The Slashdot summary noted "This is being done as an extension to systemd". Sound familiar? Give them enough time, and those guys will end up rolling the linux kernel into the systemd tarball.

    • And binary logs would actually make it *much* easier for programmatic tools to parse the logs for events that they care about.

      As it stands it's actually quite tricky to automatically sort through a kernel log stream looking for critical events to raise alarms over.

      • As it stands it's actually quite tricky to automatically sort through a kernel log stream looking for critical events to raise alarms over.

        Really? Logwatch seems to do an effective job of this.

      • by t0rkm3 ( 666910 )

        Huh... That's weird cuz I have stuff that parses about 150,000 syslog/sec without it being a binary format... So WTF?

        When I read about journald I about shit my pants that some asshole was trying to make linux more like windows.

      • I was going to provide an example of a regex demonstrating how impossibly *easy* syslog is to parse, but /. says "use fewer junk characters."

        That's not junk, it's perl dammit! :P

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Everything Lennart touches turns into a pile of shit. He should be the villain in a bond movie or something.

  • I completely agree with the Gentoo devs, udev is getting problematic, for starters, there are a lot of gentoo people using AUFS and squashfs to reduce the size of their /usr. Well if /usr is on a different partition, udev freaks out. It got to the point where I didnt' want to update udev but I ended up reverting my AUFS/squashfs /usr partition because of it. Can't wait to go AUFS/squashfs for /usr again!

    • Ah I see the problem, you're using AUFS ... you should be using Union Mounts since that's the one right way. The code for them will be ready real soon now ...

  • This is why... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by A bsd fool ( 2667567 ) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:41PM (#42008479)

    ...I'm a (Free)BSD fanboy/fool. There is occasional stupidity (witness the recent replacement of sysinstall with some half-assed, half-baked, incomplete alternative), but usually the core team is sane, and the flamewars don't have two people both arguing from flawed foundations. The obviously *right* thing to do with this whole mess is simple: toss it.

    Create a standard place for firmware files, allow it to be configured and overridden easily, make judicious use of symlinks/union mounts. Then, let the drivers do the right thing: Load up, determine if a firmware needs to be squirted in, load it if so, and continue. This idea of some entire subsystem tied to a userland daemon being responsible for loading device firmware is plain absurd. Drivers know how to load their own firmware, and with an extremely simple knob (rc.conf, linux equiv to loader.conf, sysctl, whatever) they will know where to look for it as well.

    Somebody, somewhere, smoked some serious shit to come up with this udev/systemd fiasco to begin with.

    • by zx2c4 ( 716139 )

      Looks like that's the plan: Here's a preliminary patch from Linus [], with the ability to configure it coming later on.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Case in point, nginx init script comparison (I'm going to count blank lines and such just because it doesn't really matter and w/e):

    Length of the systemd script: 15 lines (
    Length of the init.d script (for ubuntu): ~300 (

    I use this example as I recently ran into needing to manually create this service file and make a couple modifications for my setup. This was thankfully stupidly easy thanks to systemd. Oh, and my server

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Really? It's one line on FreeBSD, why do Linux admins want to work so hard?

  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @05:24AM (#42010869) Journal

    And anyone who doubts the wisdom of the move to systemd on the Arch Linux forums gets roasted by the maintainers. Arch Linux maintainers get hostile, and defensive and unbending very quickly. Not attitudes that inspires confidence.

    The switch has not been smooth. Documentation is lacking. The latest thing was that a routine update removed the shutdown option from the GUI menu. I've also noticed that journalctl (the replacement for "less /var/log/messages") is slow when one wants to view more of the recent history than journalctl shows with the -f flag. I'm thinking systemd compresses the logs almost right away, then journalctl must uncompress everything from the beginning each time the admin wants to view the latest logs. If so, it doesn't speak well of the systemd developers' ability, to have designed software to proceed in such an inefficient manner.

    • by geek ( 5680 )

      I'm afraid Arch is dying. I used to love it back when it made sense but they've abandoned what made Arch great. They killed their own installer, moved to systemd by default and are still huge gnome3-shell fanboys despite all the backlash on it.

      Its a shame, Arch has/had some of the best documentation out there. It's also the most up-to-date distro out there which I really appreciated. I'll miss Arch and hope they go to a more sane system soon.

    • by aix tom ( 902140 )

      Uh-Oh. Time to look into that, and how to avoid that. But as far as I can see the change so far only affects the default choice on the new install media, so I hope there is still at least a 1-2 years period in which we see if the whole thing straightens itself out or if it goes up in flames. Especially since it seems to be completely contrary to the "KISS" principle for which I choose ARCH. (For home use and a few dozen service boxes at work)

      For example one points from the systemd Wiki page:

      Service startup

    • by vigour ( 846429 )
      burning mod points for this...

      The problem with Arch is that it got too popular, and the forums got overrun by people who wanted to be spoon fed. The devs got sick of being friendly and nice to people, and the more ignorant of the newbies who stuck around turned into something like Gentoo ricers [] (note: I like Gentoo, and it's users, some very knowledgeable people on the mailing lists and forums). These days the Arch forums can get pretty hostile if you criticise Arch in any way, but it's because of the bar
  • by zzyzyx ( 1382375 ) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:44AM (#42011077)

    This whole idiocy is intended to force modules devs to actualy do nothing during init so that udev/systemd can advertise faster boot up times.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus