Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Debian Linux

Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again 522

An anonymous reader writes: A couple of months ago the technical committee for Debian decided in favor of systemd. This is now a subject for discussion once again, and Ian Jackson says he wants a general resolution, so every developer within the Debian project can decide. After a short time, the required amount of supporters was reached, and the discussion can start once again.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:41AM (#48169233)
    Hopefully they'll come to their senses and reject the disease that Pottering has cursed the Linux ecosystem with.
    • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:47AM (#48169295)
      More to the point, as with the System V vs BSD init debate, this'll further help to separate the UNIX-method distributions from the desktop, automagic ones.

      I learned on Slack and at the time just about all of the books that I could find were UNIX admin books, not Linux admin books. With Slackware in the 2.0 kernel days this wasn't a problem; the kernel-specific stuff was really the only differentiator from regular UNIX-style admin.

      I expect Desktop-oriented distributions to increasingly obfuscate things from the user, in the manner that MacOSX does. And for most users that'll work fine. For those that want to tinker under the hood, hopefully distributions like Debian will continue to allow for a more UNIX-like method of doing things.
      • I'm assuming that you're saying that the automagic ones are the ones adopting systemd. Like arch.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mfwitten ( 1906728 )

          Compared to what Arch used to be, it is indeed worthy of the epithet "automagic".

          Then again, I've always had the impression that Arch maintainers tend to confuse "Keep it Simple" with "Keep it Simplistic".

        • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @03:08PM (#48171253)
          Yes. I look at systemd as being the opposite in what I want; I deal with mostly daemon-serving boxes that do special purpose tasks. Those boxes don't need GUIs, and outside of storage don't really even need plug-and-play. They need to be repairable on the console without ever gaining physical access to the box, and everything needs to be crystal-clear with the configurations.
      • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @01:31PM (#48170347) Homepage Journal

        The funny part is that systemd has nothing to do with making a good desktop system with things papered over. Once the whole cgroups kernel interface will be stabilized, I would expect any number of improvements on the SysV init to take place.

        Start with the parallel init already available in Wheezy and add a simple daemon manager called in the init scripts to stick a system daemon in a cgroup and manage it and you have every advantage systemd offered and none of the drawbacks.

        If desired, that manager could support the "I'm ready" callback through a passed FD (a pipe endpoint). For non-Linux systems, the wrapper can support the callback and skip cgroups.

        My big concern over systemd hasn't been that SysV would go away, but that a mediocre at best replacement would wedge itself in through crazy dependencies and prevent the better solution from even starting.

    • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:55AM (#48169377)
      i have to agree, i was running Jessie for a while and systemD is just awful, i rather have the old init system that Debian has used for years, it works and i figure if it isn't broken don't fix it, i have since removed Jessie and switched to Slackware and have made up my mind to stick with Slack and keep my eye out for using only non systemD distros
    • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:04PM (#48169477)

      I personally would like to see it (and its evil compatriot, firewalld) as options.

      In RHEL 7 and downstreams, you can choose between LVM2, standard partitioning, or btrfs as ways to carve up your disks. It would be nice to have systemd as an option, so for laptops where parallel starting of daemons makes a nice speed increase, it is useful. For a server where one doesn't want many changes to the underlying OS unless it is something to be tested, it can be an option. If one is using containers, maybe systemd might be useful to have.

      There are changes to Linux like SELinux and AppArmor which are must haves. These add significantly to the security of the OS. systemd does add security... but not really that much. One can specify that a program run with ulimits and possibly in a container, but a wrapper can do the same thing, and one thing that I get concerned about is one program having so many moving parts that touch everything on the system, even perhaps the TTY functions.

      • by csnydermvpsoft ( 596111 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:56PM (#48169995) Homepage

        The problem with supporting multiple init systems is that each package that provides a daemon needs to support all of them. A traditional init script is just a shell script, while upstart and systemd have their own formats. You could write software to convert an upstart or systemd script to a shell script, but there would likely be cases where it wouldn't be easy to translate automatically.

        With filesystems, applications don't need to know anything about what's mounted how and where—you could mount /var on a btrfs partition on LVM2, /home over NFS, /tmp on an ext2 ramdisk, /usr on a read-only CD-ROM, /etc on a floppy... and everything would just work (albeit slowly because of some of my hypothetical choices).

      • by thrig ( 36791 )

        Selinux a must have? Hardly. Look at the security bulletins. Note the stupidly large number of exploits. Tally up how many would be prevented by selinux and where selinux would even be relevant to an attacker (who are your attackers, by the way?). Why not instead dedicate that time to fixing and auditing the code (see e.g. OpenBSD), and then only if there is spare time after all that work, only then consider the dubious benefit of a RBAC system. Consider two companies, 3-tier, sell stuff on the web, blah bl

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Systemd does not add security. It removes security y being complex enough that it must introduce new vulnerabilities. There is no way around that, the human race does not know how to write complex software from scratch without vulnerabilities. Certainly, the systemd team has proven that they cannot even manage reliable software.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @04:21PM (#48171991)

      Actually, there is no problem with systemd as long as you can avoid it easily.The fanbois shall have their toy, I have no issue with that. But forcing it on everybody, even those that actually have a clue about good and reliable system design, is just wrong.

    • by gerddie ( 173963 )
      This vote is not about whether systemd will be the default init system for jessie, it is about whether to ensure that other software packages are kept independent from the init system that is installed, because currently it seems that more an more software packages pull systemd in, even though they are not directly related to the init system.
  • Hope! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:44AM (#48169261)

    A very well written proposal that outlines many of the concerns I (as a non-Debian user) and I suspect most have about systemd. It’s worming it’s way into everything for the sake of better integration, which it may deliver on, but this goes against much of the traditional Linux spirit of small self-contained bits that can be swapped out at will.

    In my mind, this comes down to whether we want a better functioning OS or an OS that adheres to the mindset that I think attracted many of us to Linux in the first place. Personally I want a hackers OS that I can play with and tweak as I feel like, but I accept that many people basically want open source windows or even just zero cost windows (i.e. free as in my wallet).

    I hope Debian rolls back on their decision. I doubt this will happen, but at least we’ll get some more discussion in a somewhat visible forum. I may not agree with a lot of the Debian mentality, but they are very good at thinking about and discussing things, so I think this will be good overall.

    And before someone says "just use gentoo", I do, and have for almost a decade (I started using it fairly soon after it came out). The problem is that systemd, being basically a virus at this point, is causing exactly the kind of problems mentioned in the proposal. I've had to use the blacklist for the first time in a while because *McBane voice* the use flags, they do nothing!

    • Re:Hope! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:57AM (#48169411)
      maybe systemD will cause a Fork in the Debian distro,

      i like Slackware too, maybe Slackian_Debware

      Gentoo users will make a Debtoo
    • Re:Hope! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rjmx ( 233228 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:11PM (#48169543)

      > In my mind, this comes down to whether we want a better functioning OS or an OS that adheres to the mindset that I think attracted many of us to Linux in the first place.

      I'm not even convinced that it makes for a better-functioning OS. I've been a Debian user for 12 years, mostly running 'testing' distributions. When systemd first turned up, I let it run for a couple of weeks, but switched back to sysV after half of my startup daemons didn't. Tried it again a month or two later, but when it had trouble stopping Samba (and, worse, claiming that it would wait *five* *minutes* before killing the processes, I decided enough was enough, and now I'm in the process of switching all five of my Debian boxes to Gentoo. Now, granted, the testing distribution is for just that purpose -- testing -- but if I'm dealing with the kind of idiot that would claim that systemd results in faster startups, but thinks that a five-minute wait to shut down a process is acceptable, then I want no part of it.

      Debian should listen to what its users want, rather than just its developers. We're not all technically ignorant.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      And before someone says "just use gentoo", I do,

      I tried to, so I followed the handbook and ended up with emerge errors I couldn't trivially solve by reading the output... just trying to emerge sudo. Last time I tried gentoo (years ago) it went without a hitch. The install process has actually been made more complicated, which is hilarious, and now it shits itself when followed. So I guess gentoo has reached parity with Linux from Scratch.

      • Re:Hope! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:50PM (#48169929)

        I've used gentoo for a long damn time, so my ability to objectively gauge it's difficulty is probably long gone.

        That said, I for one think gentoo has gotten far easier to install and especially maintain. The default profiles are no longer the joke they once were, and most packages are using more generic high-level use flags so you have one --with-feature-x instead of the old --with-compat-mode-z --with-doublefork --with-some-other-unrelated-but-required-flag type stuff you had years ago, which translates into much simpler USE flags. You can actually leave make.conf relatively untouched and still end up with a decently functional system, especially if you want a desktop and go for one of the desktop profiles.

        Portage is also a lot smarter these days, being able to resolve many issues that it previously would have died on. When it does run into problems, the descriptions these days are much nicer than before!

        I'm being completely honest when I say that systemd has been the first major gentoo headache I've had in a while. Everything was just dandy then suddenly I'm having to switch packages around (udev being the big one), and having to blacklist udev and systemd because so much random shit pulls them in (and a -systemd use flag isn't enough), and then uninstalling a bunch of random packages (like some power management widget that got pulled in by god knows what for some reason).

        I know you've probably written off gentoo at this point, here's a completely random bit of usage advice:

        - Set use flags as you need them, even if this means re-installing the same thing multiple times. This avoids big important packages being pulled in as mere dependencies (though you can add them to the world list afterwards) and more importantly lets you set up and configure everything one at a time and makes it more likely that you'll notice error messages.
        - Don't be afraid of package.keywords, especially for very specific use flags.
        - Avoid gnome if possible. I don't know wtf it is with gnome, but it seems to be the poster child for weird and hard to diagnose issues as well as crazy dependency trees.
        - Pay attention to what virtual packages are doing. Usually they are in your best interest, but not always.
        - Don't bother using ebuilds for web apps

        • - Don't be afraid of package.keywords, especially for very specific use flags.

          Another long-time gentoo user here - the above file is used for mixing stable and unstable/testing packages. I'm sure the parent meant package.use.

          Another thing to note is portage has a built-in way to deal with patches [gentoo.org] that happen outside of ebuilds, you simply create a directory specific to the package that needs patching and drop the patches in it, and portage will automatically use the patches. This is extremely handy for a sy

    • Re:Hope! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:45PM (#48169885) Homepage

      this goes against much of the traditional Linux spirit of small self-contained bits that can be swapped out at will.

      In my mind, this comes down to whether we want a better functioning OS or an OS that adheres to the mindset that I think attracted many of us to Linux in the first place.

      Personally, that principle of having many swappable self-contained bits is one of the worst qualities on UNIX.

      I've been using GNU/Linux for over a decade. I know my way around most distros, and I can usually figure out what I need to do to accomplish any task... usually. The biggest problem I face now is that distros have so many small components doing their small tasks that figuring out exactly which component is responsible for a given task is no small feat.

      I understand and appreciate the programming simplicity that a small component brings, but from a user's (or admin's) perspective, the operating environment is now more cluttered. As distros pick and choose their preferred swappable components, the view gets worse. Sure, I know exactly what the "finger" command does, but it's not obvious that "pinky" is an alternative, because having a lightweight finger command is apparently an important thing. Some distros will even create symlinks or scripts to provide alternative common names for their chosen packages, but there's seldom a guarantee that the input or output will be the same. This is why the first step of many build processes is to examine the environment and figure out exactly what is available on the system, often using methods that uncomfortably remind me of browser-detecting JavaScript.

      I'm not saying that systemd is the solution we need, or even that it is a solution. I've just dealt with far too many poorly-named packages to have excessive reverence for this archaic principle.

      We should also keep in mind that Linux itself, as a monolithic kernel, defies the concept. By design, the kernel's one job is to interface with every piece of hardware on the machine. Is it really so far out of line to define systemd's one job as interfacing with every service provider in the OS?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Palinchron ( 924876 )

      In my mind, this comes down to whether we want a better functioning OS or an OS that adheres to the mindset that I think attracted many of us to Linux in the first place.

      In my mind, it comes down to streamlining the common use cases for a given system, while throwing under the bus everyone who wants to do something with their system that Lennart didn't think of or doesn't care to support.

    • Personally I want a hackers OS that I can play with and tweak as I feel like, but I accept that many people basically want open source windows or even just zero cost windows (i.e. free as in my wallet).

      How about neither? I want a rock solid OS that can scale to N processors, allows hot swapping of hardware, allows the admin to spin up CPUs and memory on a live system, and has drivers that can be added and removed on the fly. That is, all the things that any enterprise level server OS has.

  • Remove It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:44AM (#48169263)

    Debian is by far the most stable of the Linux distros. systemd does not lend itself to this stability. Nothing wrong with the old init system. We all know it and its quirlks. I fell in love with UNIX because of editable text config files. Every aspect of the system needs to be editable by an admin. Linux is losing morally to OpenBSD because OpenBSD does not allow binary blobs in the system. Ever. Debian should be the same. No binary blobs of any kind. If it's not text, it doesn't belong.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed, well said. Now, I have no problem with systemd being there as an alternate init system for the fanbois that confuse "new" and "good". But it has no business being the default. And if the embrace-and-extend move being tried by the systemd-team with udev is not countered soon, they will get way to much power. True, it will require work, but Gentoo has laid a foundation with eudev, and that should be kept a viable alternative.

  • Please Debian (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:47AM (#48169289)

    I've been a Debian user for 14 years now, please do the right thing and get rid of systemD.

    I've been trying systemD on another machine for about a month now, it's not terrible but it's not all it's cracked up to be either.

    The part that I don't like (besides it going against the unix philosophy) is how fast it's taking over before the majority of the Linux community even had a chance to have their say. And what really gets me is, if systemd was just an init system, fine. But at the rate they are going there is going to be a systemd everything.

    • And what really gets me is, if systemd was just an init system, fine. But at the rate they are going there is going to be a systemd everything.

      I hope you're not using Emacs ;)

  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:47AM (#48169301) Homepage

    I was really unhappy with Debian's move to systemd, and the fact that once systemd is running as one's init system through a general upgrade, one cannot even go back [debian.org] to sysvinit..

    Having heard that Slackware was resistant to systemd, I installed the latest version of Slackware on a netbook I have lying around, and while it's a fine project that clearly has its fans, it seems to require a lot of retraining for someone coming from Debian. I'd love to be able to stay on the venerable old Linux distro I have so many years of experience in.

  • Completely wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2014 @11:49AM (#48169313)

    The summary is completely wrong. They are not discussing systemd, just whether packages can depend on a specific init system. I thought there was some kind of moderation here?

    • +1 Informative. That Systemd is default isn't criticised by the mail. They only want to "preserve the freedom of our users now to select an init system of their choice, and the project's freedom to select a different init system in the future.".

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:14PM (#48169573)

        A key point is the systemd approach to things seems to directly contradict this goal. It's seems almost by design to be getting hooks into as much as it possibly can to make removal very difficult. It's the lamprey eel of init systems.

        In a world where GIMP, a graphics editing tool, has a dependency on a specific init system, it's hard not to discuss whether this was a good idea in the first place when discussing the replacability of that init system.

        I'm hoping this is the path these discussions go down. Continuing to support systemd is going to lead to a two tiered Linux where not using systemd excludes you from a tonne of software, and this is about as anti-Linux as you can get.

        • you need to speak to the developers that changed their programs to use the systemd hooks and get them to make it optional so then you can install and run any other init system and they won't be dependent on systemd.
  • Keeping a tab on these changes is becoming tiresome, init?
  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:02PM (#48169451)

    I could see why a desktop user might want to have such a thing as systemd (not me though), or someone with no admin skills having a canned all-in-one solution for their little business or hobby website.

    But for where Linux dominates, server and embedded systems, I don't believe it fits into the Unix way of doing things and makes admin harder.

  • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:08PM (#48169517)

    is for me that it isn't interoperable. Please correct me when I'm wrong, but AFAIK systemd never did anything to create standards their new functionality is compatible with. Instead they only support linux APIs. I recognize that their needs exceed POSIX, but their current approach "lets make everything a hard dependency" is -to be polite- hacky. It doesn't have to be an official ISO standard, a simple document that ensures exchangeability of components inside systemd, and perhaps even makes systemd cross-platform.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2014 @01:08PM (#48170117)

      This is one of my major gripes as well. I think if we're going to start rewriting/updating software to the spec of a better init system, it needs to be a universal specification that many (perhaps systemd-like, perhaps not) alternative init systems of the future can adhere to, include those on other *BSDs and *nixes and operating systems we haven't even dreamed of yet.

      I really dread a future in which, due to current Linux dominance and all distros going systemd, all of the major software packages start depending on systemd's APIs and behaviors, and then the software packages become very hard to port sideways or forwards to other platforms. Don't get me wrong, I love Linux. However, what I love more is the idea and culture behind Linux and all *nix/*BSD. I want there to be alternatives, and I want there to be future upstarts that disrupt Linux and give us something even better.

      The reason the culture of all of this was so disrupt-able in the first place, leading to all the greatness we have today, is because we had *standards*, and new implementations could adhere to those standards and all the other software could quickly be ported over to them.

      Aside from technological gripes about how systemd operates and/or is implemented, the key failing of systemd is failing to specify a standard for authors of everyday runtime software and daemons, so that those other authors can conform to that standard, and then the *BSDs and whoever else in the world can implement that newer, better standard independently of systemd.

      Systemd is like an anti-standard. They seem to have never even *thought* about it from a standards perspective. They think only in a functional perspective, and the only function that seems to matter to them is "Today's current iteration of Desktop Linux systems". Arguably even within that limited realm systemd has standards issues. They make incompatible changes from release to release and hardly even mention them in their changelogs, much less provide backwards compatibility or a path for sane future feature changes.

      • The reason why systemd exists, and the reason why it isn't portable, are the same reason: it depends on a feature specific to the Linux kernel. [wikipedia.org]

        It's not up to the systemd developers to write kernel features for other OSes. If there's an "anti-standard" it's the kernel, not systemd. If the rest of the Unix world wants to implement something similar then I am sure it could be made part of a standard eventually. Until then, you've wasted space typing.

    • is for me that it isn't interoperable. Please correct me when I'm wrong, but AFAIK systemd never did anything to create standards their new functionality is compatible with. Instead they only support linux APIs. I recognize that their needs exceed POSIX, but their current approach "lets make everything a hard dependency" is -to be polite- hacky. It doesn't have to be an official ISO standard, a simple document that ensures exchangeability of components inside systemd, and perhaps even makes systemd cross-platform.

      The systemd developer have explained, and explained why they did what they did; they have made stable interfaces;
      http://www.freedesktop.org/wik... [freedesktop.org]

      They have explained what interfaces that can easily be made on non-systemd distros or even other OS's:
      http://www.freedesktop.org/wik... [freedesktop.org]

      There are systemd libraries and what not, and lots of documentation.

      That systemd is a Linux only thing, is because it uses kernel features that are only available to Linux like cgroups, "namespaces" and "kernel capabilities" and so

      • by laffer1 ( 701823 )

        > Seriously, what do people want? That nothing must be using Linux specific kernel features ever, because that is unfair to other OS's?

        No, what we want is for systemd to not be forced on us as a way to destroy any chance of running a graphical environment in the future. Wayland compositors, GNOME and various other things are starting to require systemd. That is why everyone is upset. Linux users may also not like systemd and that is another issue.

        The forced nature of systemd means that every linux distr

  • OpenRC (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2014 @12:51PM (#48169939)

    Seriously, why not OpenRC?

    It solves all the deficiencies with classic init, but at the same time it doesn't have the interoperability problems and un-Unix-like feel of systemd.

  • Nifty! If this plays out the right way, I may be able to drop my plans to abandon Debian on my servers.

  • by rongten ( 756490 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @01:52PM (#48170569)

    Hello,

      I have deployed some fedora 20 machines in the last 3-4 months, and so far I did not see anything that led me to cry foul against systemd.

      Actually, the handling of the user sessions for house-keeping purposes seems much simpler now.

      So I don't get all this hate. Maybe I did not look deep enough, time will tell.

      Cheers

  • by morgauxo ( 974071 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @02:28PM (#48170857)

    Maybe Potering and his other buddies at RedHat are great, the best thing since sliced bread.... but... they are working on the wrong OS. These guys don't belong in Linux. They belong working on ReactOS! Imagine ReactOS with all of RedHat's resources behind it. It could quickly be a better Windows than Microsoft's! Meanwhile those of us who like Linux as Unix and aren't in the market for "Free Windows" can go on enjoying a better Unix than Unix. We could all be happy!

  • by MouseTheLuckyDog ( 2752443 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @03:39PM (#48171567)

    The #2 developer of systemd has been banned from contributing to the kernel.
    The #1 developer of systemd was the main developer of PulseAudio-- does generate much confidence.
    He has also just given the finger to the OSS community--makes me wonder why he doesn't do Macs or Windows.
    It is being given control over critical services such as TTY and networking.
    It is hard for the average techie to audit it, given it's nature. Little access to a lot of tools: valgrind, strace, ftrace.

    This does not make me feel very good about systemd.

  • Ian Jackson (Score:5, Informative)

    by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Friday October 17, 2014 @04:19PM (#48171975)
    For those who don't know, Ian Jackson was the most vocal anti-systemd proponent on the committee. Considering that last time systemd was up for vote he tried: strategic voting, usurping the committee chairman, and finally throwing a temper-tantrum and refusing to talk to anyone for a few days. When it was all over he promised to try and reverse the committees decision with a General Resolution.

    And now having failed to win on technical merits, he is back at it again trying to kill systemd via 'loose coupling'. Something that the committee declined to rule on.

System going down at 5 this afternoon to install scheduler bug.

Working...