Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 27th Aug 2006 08:18 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Ubuntu is developing the "upstart", a replacement for the init daemon, the process spawned by the kernel that is responsible for starting, supervising and stopping all other processes on the system. The article compares upstart to Solaris SMF, Apple's launchd, and initng.
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Too ambitious?
by Wrawrat on Sun 27th Aug 2006 16:24 UTC
Wrawrat
Member since:
2005-06-30

To what I understand, one of the long-term goals of Upstart is a remplacement for init and system services like at, cron and inetd. While I am perfectly aware that GNU's Not Unix, it seems to go against the Unix philosophy, which is "do one thing, do it well".

If the Upstart process handles all these tasks, then I fear it could become a single point of failure. A bug in one of its parts could bring the whole system down. Remember that we are talking of an init replacement.

On the other hand, if Upstart is a collection of software (pretty much like Postfix), then it wouldn't be much different from the current situation, where daemons are spawned. Wouldn't it be more productive to adapt current solutions rather than writing their owns?

Support for sysv-init script doesn't thrill me either. I understand that it would ease transition, but still. Why supporting the past if you are trying to break your ties with it? It will only hinder adoption, not to mention that those who prefer to keep their old init scripts will probably just rely on sysvinit, anyway...

Of course, I can only wish them best of luck with their project. It's not the direction I would have taken, but it's not my OS, after all. Still, I believe they could encounter some difficulties at getting it as a replacement for all GNU/Linux systems out there.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too ambitious?
by evilrich on Sun 27th Aug 2006 18:54 in reply to "Too ambitious?"
evilrich Member since:
2006-07-06

> To what I understand, one of the long-term goals of
> Upstart is a remplacement for init and system
> services like at, cron and inetd. While I am
> perfectly aware that GNU's Not Unix, it seems to go
> against the Unix philosophy, which is "do one
> thing, do it well".

From my understanding, upstart does do one thing: to start and stop services in response to events.

I imagine events could include things like a particular time has occurred or a connection has been made to a particular network socket. That would be how it is able to replace at, cron and inetd as well.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Too ambitious?
by Wrawrat on Sun 27th Aug 2006 22:12 in reply to "RE: Too ambitious?"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Actually, jobs would be the proper term, since upstart doesn't make a difference between a task and a service. Furthermore, it will need to supervise these jobs for automatic restarts, logging failures, etc. That's already two things to do...

Given its event-driven nature, I guess it makes sense to replace at and cron. Still, it will need to monitor time. As for inetd, it really depends whether they plan to replace the original version or xinetd... The former would be trivial, the latter would have some complications since it got many complex fetures like access controls (hosts, number of connections, redirection) that doesn't really belong in an init daemon, at least IMO.

All that dynamic & event-driven stuff seem to add a layer of complexity that could be hard to manage. We'll see where this is going to lead, but I'm still skeptical on its impact, especially in performance.

Reply Parent Score: 1