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Debian GNU is Not Unix Open Source Operating Systems Software Linux News Build Technology

Devuan Releases Beta of Systemd-Free 'Debian Fork' Base System (devuan.org) 293

jaromil writes: Devuan beta is released today, following up the Debian fork declaration and progress made during the past two years. Devuan now provides an alternative upgrade path to Debian, and switching is easy from both Wheezy and Jessie. From The Register: "Devuan came into being after a rebellion by a self-described 'Veteran Unix Admin collective' argued that Debian had betrayed its roots and was becoming too desktop-oriented. The item to which they objected most vigorously was the inclusion of the systemd bootloader. The rebels therefore decided to fork Debian and 'preserve Init freedom.' The group renamed itself and its distribution 'Devuan' and got work, promising a fork that looked, felt, and quacked like Debian in all regards other than imposing systemd as the default Init option."
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Devuan Releases Beta of Systemd-Free 'Debian Fork' Base System

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  • I'm not going to bother saying anything about Lennart or other core systemd developers since it's been widely established that they have proven to be disagreeable on numerous occasions.

    What I will say, however, is that after spending the time reading up on systemd and learning how to use it, how to write unit files and all that jazz, I really fail to understand what the furore over it is. My systemd machines are ready to go much faster than any bash-script based init system and writing a new unit file for
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nobody is against systemd just because it's change. People are against systemd because it is change that causes them many problems, including computers that don't boot.

      • by the_povinator ( 936048 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @09:36PM (#52016545) Homepage
        Our Linus,
        Who art in Portland, OR
        Hallowed by thy name...
        deliver us from systemd
        For thine is the kernel
        The power and the glory
        Forever and ever
        Amen
      • yawn... thats a dead troll argument
    • by inode_buddha ( 576844 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @09:21PM (#52016483) Journal

      Seriously, who cares how fast it boots? Unless you're on some tablet type device I see no reason why boot speed should even be a thing. The old initscripts are plenty fast enough for my laptop even.

      The issue that I have with Lennarts work is that it goes completely against the design philosophy of *nix that made it so great in the first place. It also broke a bunch of stuff that relied on the old behavior - a big no-no and an instant turn-off.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Barsteward ( 969998 )
        its targeted more at VMs etc that get torn down and restarted many times a day when speed is needed, its just a nice feature for the rest of us which you may or may not see as a benefit.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        While you might not care about faster boot times, clearly many people do. PC manufacturers and Microsoft have been improving boot times for years now, with UEFI and Windows 8 really speeding things up. Personally I like that my laptop goes from off to ready to use in 4 seconds.

        And stuff breaks because it relies on specific, unspecified behaviour? Sounds to me like that stuff is broken, not systemd. In any case, the logical thing seems to be to fix the broken stuff so that it is more reliable and more compat

        • And stuff breaks because it relies on specific, unspecified behaviour? Sounds to me like that stuff is broken, not systemd. In any case, the logical thing seems to be to fix the broken stuff so that it is more reliable and more compatible.

          Yeah, but if they actually made a specific claim about something being broken, one of those know-it-all systemd users would just go and fix it for them, and they'd lose the whole complaint. You're trying to ruin perfectly good straw men.

          When people whine to me about systemd in person, I tell them straight up; find a real bug or problem and I will personally slay it for you. Nobody has ever been able to cite a real bug, that they actually had, though all of them have a cousin's friend's brother's wife's frie

      • by s4m7 ( 519684 )

        Seriously, who cares how fast it boots?

        People who pay for your time by the hour.

      • Seriously, who cares how fast it boots?

        *raises hand*

        Given booting faster, or booting slower, I'll take faster.

    • by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @09:42PM (#52016573)

      What I will say, however, is that after spending the time reading up on systemd and learning how to use it, how to write unit files and all that jazz, I really fail to understand what the furore over it is. My systemd machines are ready to go much faster than any bash-script based init system and writing a new unit file for some daemon that lacks one already is easy peasy.

      The init capabilities of systemd aren't too bad. The "scripts" look pretty similar to many other init system alternatives and, for basic stuff, are fine. The problem is that systemd isn't an init system anymore. It has become a layer between the kernel and traditional userspace. *That* is why people hate it. Basically, RedHat has gained too much control over the Linux ecosystem and so has started ramming their agenda down the throats of all Linux users. If the systemd/PulseAudio/etc abominations were just confined to RedHat, no one would even vaguely care (except RedHat users). But, it's become increasingly difficult to avoid the garbage coming out of RedHat because, as I stated before, they have gained too much control and influence over Linux.

      • by cas2000 ( 148703 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @10:53PM (#52016839)

        yep.

        systemd's init functionality is fine, as good as (or better than) most other alternatives.

        it even makes sense to have the control group manager as part of the init process (although even that should be optional if someone wants to run something else to manage control groups).

        absolutely everything else that systemd does, though, (network setup, logging, crappy cron imitation, consolekit login services, etc etc etc) should be entirely separate, completely optional programs with good documentation (incl. API and protocol docs).

        if systemd confined itself to just init services, nobody would bother hating it because there would be nothing to hate - it would be just one init option amongst many. probably a very popular option because, as init, it's pretty good.

    • The only place where I feel it falls somewhat short is in systemd-networkd which currently lacks good support for policy routing.

      no, that's the only place that you have seen it fall short, there is a difference. i'd go on to list all the ways it falls short but it would only fall on deaf ears.

    • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @11:28PM (#52016939) Homepage Journal

      So you learned to do the easiest part and called good. 'grats. Now, consider my use case. I build a btrfs using RAID1 in a VM. I dettached one of the virtual drives to test things and rebooted the VM. Systemd dumped me to an emergency shell with the network down. Try as I might, even digging through the 100 or more low level config files kept under the rug I could see no way to show systemd the error of it's ways. And yes, I specified mount option degraded on the kernel command line and fstab, but systemd ignored it. All it knew is that it was prepared to wait forever for that no longer connected disk to come online and was not going to be made to see reason.

      Naturally, I hit up google. Turns out many people had a similar problem with RAID1 volumes as root. No solution there, even from LP. Furthermore, the devs were stumped as to an approach to fix the problem. They considered it intractable and so WONTFIX. It never did get fixed as far as I can tell. The best solution on offer is to use SCRIPTING in the initfs to mount the RAID volume before systemd gets to run. Yes, SCRIPTING.

      THAT is why I object to systemd. It's just too damned easy to find something is simply won't do as soon as you use a system in any manner that LP doesn't. I guess he doesn't do much with servers.

      Now, if they would just keep their fingers out of all the pies I wouldn't care. You can use systemd and I'll stick to scripts. Alas, they insist on sticking their fingers in every pie through a pernicious knot of dependencies. For a while it seemed that the stronger the objections, the more things became dependent on it. That's why it took Devuan so long to purge it from Jessie.

      Very ugly.

      • by Wyzard ( 110714 )

        The best solution on offer is to use SCRIPTING in the initfs to mount the RAID volume before systemd gets to run. Yes, SCRIPTING.

        You can use systemd and I'll stick to scripts.

        Just not in your initramfs, I guess?

        Really, though, distros use sophisticated scripts in initramfs anyway, which should handle this sort of thing. Mounting the root filesystem is initramfs's job, not /sbin/init's. My root filesystem is on LVM on top of dm-crypt on top of bcache on top of RAID1, and Debian makes it work just by runn

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        Turns out many people had a similar problem with RAID1 volumes as root. No solution there, even from LP. Furthermore, the devs were stumped as to an approach to fix the problem. They considered it intractable and so WONTFIX.

        Since the last time you whined about Lennart not fixing bugs you were lying, you wouldn't mind backing this up with a link, now would you?

    • by s4m7 ( 519684 )

      I'm not going to bother saying anything about Lennart or other core systemd developers since it's been widely established that they have proven to be disagreeable on numerous occasions.

      Yeah, why can't they be professional, courteous and agreeable at all times like other prominent linux developers? [youtube.com]

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      When systemd is in use, installing on one partition makes the other partitions unbootable...unless they can be booted with SysV. This has been known for over a year, and, IIUC, has been marked "won't fix".

      So I find systemd to be unusable. I like to test new systems without rendering my current system unusable.

  • I am new to this and I have seen a fair few "systemd is 3vil" posts, but with little indication as to why people dislike it, compared to the alternatives? Just to be clear I don't have a position here, rather I am looking for some insight.

  • by SIGBUS ( 8236 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @10:22PM (#52016733) Homepage

    ...my take on systemd is this: As an init system, I actually like it - far better than other SysV replacements, especially SMF on Solaris and friends. Where it goes off the rails, though, is the ever-expanding mission creep into things that really aren't an init system's purview.

    If systemd would just be an init system and get out of the way, I'd cheer it on. But one of the first things I do when I set up a CentOS 7 server is to shut off firewalld and use iptables directly. Firewalld is OK on a laptop where you're connecting to a variety of different networks, but leave it off my servers, please.

  • by halfdan the black ( 638018 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @11:27PM (#52016937)
    We run SUSE SLES 12 with systemd on our 1020 node Cray XE6 and it works just perfectly. What a joke, "veteran unix administrators", it doesn't get much more complex than a 1020 node, 21,824 processor Cray XE6 with Nvidia Tesla on each compute node. Node management and integration with the job scheduler is significantly simpler than older versions. The older system was a mess of shell scripts, perl scripts, and who knows what else, the new system is all streamlined in a simple config file and few modules.
  • by SkunkPussy ( 85271 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @03:55AM (#52017509) Journal

    I still have no idea why they needed to fork from debian, instead of just maintaining packages/patches required to provide a systemd alternative from within debian.

    When choosing a distribution, why anybody choose a distribution whose only clear philosophy was that it is not something else? Unlike debian which is ultimate software freedom and stability or whatever.

    • Re:unnecessary (Score:4, Informative)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @07:11AM (#52017863)

      There's only so much you can do to maintain software packages for an alternative. When a core system component deviates the way systems did you would have to dedicate an incredible amount of testing and modifying of packages to ensure the system doesn't randomly break. If you need to retest much of the system then it's just easier to maintain your own distribution.

      • On the Fedora side, they have "spins" and it is really easy to maintain your own subset of packages without forking anything.

        Maybe "fork and wither" is a Debian thing I just don't understand?

  • I'm 61 - took me about an hour to figure out systemd - not that I asked for the change - but it wasn't a big deal. In the end I realized it fixed a few issues and all the hate-flame-bait crap was uncalled for.

    I've come to realize it is must be only a minority of really old farts that complain about systemd - I get it - as people age they can't learn new things - can't see why the changes are happening - growing old sucks.

    I suppose it is really the old guys over 70 just can't adapt to these changes - so I ha

  • I'm 61 - took me about an hour to change over to systemd syntax. I didn't ask for it - thought it was a bother, but in the end I see it fixed some things and it is working fine - the hate-flame-bait-carp was uncalled for.

    I have come to realize that it is only the really old guys over 70 or so that no longer can learn new things or see other points of view. Growing old and losing metal agility must really suck. I put up a page with notes for these guys that can't adjust on their own:

    https://wiki.xtronics.com [xtronics.com]

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