Linked by diegocg on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 14:10 UTC
Linux Lennart Poettering has posted a status update about systemd, an init/upstart alternative. systemd is able now to replace /etc/fstab and cron, and it seems it will be the default init system for Fedora 14. He has also written a post about systemd for administrators.
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I am not okay with this
by sorpigal on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 20:30 UTC
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I am positive on systemd for many reasons, but I am not on board with it for one big one: init scripts. I still see no *need* to kill off init scripts, replacing them as he is with "small C programs," and I see a lot of harm in doing that.

Killing init scripts doesn't make systemd (much) easier or better and it SURE AS HELL makes inspecting what's happening during my boot process harder! What's more, making a small tweak to the init system (at present) from (say) a livecd when the system boot is b0rked is *trivial*. Prevent some services from running? Sure, just delete some symlinks. Modify what happens? Edit the appropriate shell script. Did the script author not anticipate my exact distribution or custom environment? No problem, probably just a simple tweak to the human readable source code.

If you really want to improve bootup speed (and redice your pid count) simply wrap the shell script execution in a single-shell process that has builtins for most of the common tools. This "fixes" 99% of the problems that you supposedly find with init scripts without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Still, it's nice to see someone at least *trying* to improve things around here in Linux-land. It's always embarrassing to have to admit that fucking-Windows has better service control.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I am not okay with this
by Rahul on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 21:09 in reply to "I am not okay with this"
Rahul Member since:

You misread it. If you supply init scripts, systemd will parse and honor it just fine. Systemd's native service files are not init script but very very simple (.desktop style) configuration files but if you somehow want additional flexibility that cannot be done with the service files, feel free to stick with your init scripts and systemd is very compatible with that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I am not okay with this
by sorpigal on Tue 24th Aug 2010 11:01 in reply to "RE: I am not okay with this"
sorpigal Member since:

I did not misread it. Go back and read his original announcement for more details, but in the current one he brags about bringing down the number of processes used during boot ("PID now under 500"). When he says this he means "We didn't run shell scripts with lots of utilities" which means "we didn't run shell scripts" which he thinks is a good thing. In one place he says "We reimplemented almost all boot-up and shutdown scripts of the standard Fedora install in much smaller, simpler and faster C utilities, or in systemd itself" - this is part of his crusade against shell scripts as part of the init system.

Here's a fun quote from his "Rethinking PID 1" post:

Another thing we can learn from the MacOS boot-up logic is that shell scripts are evil.

You may not have a problem with it the way I do, but I am not imagining this, it is happening. I don't think Lennart's reasons are very sound, just like I don't think he was right to undermine jackd with PA when a great deal of their problem-set overlaps and could be combined.

It's good that someone is try to solve "whole problems" and not just tiny disconnected pieces (and I applaud that) but some of the choices being made are, in my opinion, just bad.

Reply Parent Score: 3