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One of my pet peeves about UNIX and Linux is that certain areas of UNIX technology only serve to prove the old saying: "I like standards. There are so many to choose from."
Init is one of those. It seems that the standards (Sys V init scripts and BSD rc.* files) are insufficient; so now we have upstart, Solaris SMF, Apple's launchd, simple-init, runinit, and now yet another one: systemd.
I, for one, wonder why everyone hasn't switched to SMF: ZFS has every filesystem guru (and system administrator) swooning, and dtrace makes kernel debugers faint. SMF was the "other" new technology introduced with Solaris 10, and it has to be the most widely used original init system in use today.
So why do we need yet another SysV init replacement?
PS: The thing I miss in most non-SysV init startups? The ability to find out (in realtime even) what subsystem failed to initialize.