Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 1st Oct 2003 23:09 UTC
General Development OSNews was the first news magazine to break the story on Gnome's Seth Nickell effort to replace the Init system. Soon, it became confusing to many readers as to if Seth is planning to completely replace the Init system or simply "bridge" it. We had a chat with Seth and discussed about his plans on the project (which is a personal project so far) and for Storage, an exciting project which aims to replace the traditional filesystem with a new database-based document store.
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a few constructive comments
by Douglas S. Keester on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 10:24 UTC

This may work well on a desktop running only client GUI-based services. (Meaning Mozilla, but not Apache, etc.) It may even help Linux/*BSD/etc. leap into the desktop arena.

However, I will not use it on a server if it reuires D-Bus, GTK+, etc. I admin approximately 750 Linux servers. (I use a single distro provider.) None of them have _ANY_ X Windows or desktop related software on them. (All run headless.) They run network services such as Apache, BIND, SSH, and Exim. That is it. I will _not_ install ORBit, GConf, DCOP, GTK+, QT, ATK, Pango, Xlib, Xterm, XDM or any of the related client software. These packages are not necessary nor useful and only waste valuable disk space. I do not want an init system that has a requirement on any of this. I use vi and bash to admin my boxes. I edit runlevels by hand. (They are not hard to figure out if you ask me.) I edit init scripts and config files from the console. I want a small, simple tool to initialize my servers. For me to use this SystemServices software it needs to provide all the functionality of SysV Init, but no more. (Who doesn't like better packaging?) I need to be able to install it and have it be _completely_ usable WITHOUT D-Bus, GTK+, etc. installed. I don't want an exception thrown for another piece of software to catch. (Desktop integration is pointless if there is no desktop installed, much less running.) I want a message sent to STDERR on my console. I want to see each service boot so that I know which started and which failed. (The services that I run are complex enough, initializing them should be simple.) These are my requirements, the requirements of your standard, every day, ordinary professional UNIX admin.


Now a few comments on profiles and parallelization. SysV Init already supports these concepts. I can easily make multiple services start at the same time by manipulating a few symlinks. "Profile" is just another term for "runlevel" in my book. SysV Init support 6 runlevels. Most UNIX-like OSes (including Solaris, etc.) only use 3 or 4. The unused ones can be configured to provide alternate profiles for a docked laptop versus an undocked laptop, or a networked configuration versus an non-networked configuration. Just choose your services wisely and use the bootloader efficiently.