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Myths not debunked but confirmed

Myths not debunked but confirmed

Posted Jan 27, 2013 18:30 UTC (Sun) by smurf (subscriber, #17840)
In reply to: Myths not debunked but confirmed by niner
Parent article: Poettering: The Biggest Myths

Debian has all three of them. They think about switching to systemd and auto-generate the others' config files (which requires limiting the alowed stanzas to some subset). After the Wheezy release. Whenever *that* is.

Good idea if you ask me.

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Myths not debunked but confirmed

Posted Jan 28, 2013 20:25 UTC (Mon) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]


It's a _TERRIBLE_ idea.

If Systemd is such a burden, then why the hell is maintaining no less then three different init systems better?!

Between sticking with sysvinit, going upstart, or going systemd, Debian has choosen the worst possible outcome. I mean this is just mind boggling terrible decision making on the part of Debian. Choosing to do _anything_ else would of been a better move. A drunk hobo rolling dice would of done a better job.

And this is really sad thing for me to say, because Debian is one of the few distros that I actually like using.

Init systems in Debian

Posted Jan 28, 2013 21:23 UTC (Mon) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

Well, if things work well you will not feel the burden of maintenance, any more than with the myriad of desktop environments that Debian supports. You may argue that it is a waste since (GNOME|KDE|XFCE|...) provides anything that a grown adult may desire, but proponents of the others will not agree.

And before you say that an init system is a core component... Debian maintains three different kernels, and one of them is not even widely used.

Users familiar with one of the init systems will appreciate its existence. Interested users will be able to compare init systems side by side. The rest will be grateful for being able to migrate at their own pace. That for me is enough reason to have all three.

Init systems in Debian

Posted Jan 28, 2013 21:42 UTC (Mon) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

I'd rather just have a system that actually works. I don't care about the implementation details as long as I don't have to deal with the implementation details.

By not choosing Debian has more then tripled the amount of workload they have to deal with to make the system function properly. This not only increases their workload, it exponentially increases the amount of bugs a person is likely to run into. It makes it harder to write software for the system because now you have at least 3 different operating systems personalities you have to deal with.

Throwing scripts at it to try to automate the creation of other scripts for upstart and sysinv just means that now instead of just supporting 3 different init systems they have to support 3 different init systems and a bunch of new scripts.

To put it another way:

* It makes the workload they have to deal with much higher. This is Debian's developers problem. Maybe they prefer to play around with init systems rather then having a working OS. I can't fault them for how they want to spend their time, but... if their goal is to have a stable working OS with lots of software and third party support it's not something that is going to help them any meaningful respect in that regard.

* It increases the burden of third parties writing and maintaining services much harder. This is something that anybody trying to use or support Debian is now forced to deal with.

* It exponentially increases the amounts of bugs any person is likely to run into with Debian init's system. This is something that will bite end users and will likely contribute to issues for people that try to use Debian in production.

This is why it's a bad decision. It makes the OS worse, not better. Maintaining different kernels is very silly also if your goal is to have anything other then a toy OS, but at least the non-linux-kernel-debian folks can be marginalized by the fact that nobody actually uses that stuff. Unlike KFreeBSD I expect that they will have users that actually expect that sysvinit, systemd and/or upstart works.

And what is the benefit? So I can compare init systems side by side? Doesn't seem like much of a return of on investment.

Init systems in Debian

Posted Jan 28, 2013 22:05 UTC (Mon) by smurf (subscriber, #17840) [Link]

Debian didn't decide. Or rather, they discovered that any attempt to force a decision would fail, so they decided not to decide.

In any case, I am fairly optimistic that post-Wheezy the "best practice" way to start a service in Debian will be a native systemd script, with auto-generated SysV-ish shell scripts and/or upstart-esque config files, whenever there are no special requirements.

How much time will elapse until then, I have no idea and refuse to speculate about. This is Debian, after all. :-/

Init systems in Debian

Posted Jan 28, 2013 22:08 UTC (Mon) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

As stated above, the same argument could be made for desktop environments, text editors, graphical editors, spreadsheets and every other redundant set of programs; not only for kernels. Perhaps you are interested in a distribution that offers just one set of integrated, polished components. That is not Debian in my experience. And that is its strength, despite the burden of development.

As to that burden, I expect that it will not be so difficult to develop for three init systems given that both Upstart and systemd claim to be SysV init-compatible. Even if the script automation script does not work out. I have had to customize init scripts every once in a while, this should not be too different.

Init systems in Debian

Posted Jan 28, 2013 23:00 UTC (Mon) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Various components have support for systemd. Some still fall back to other methods at runtime, some do not. This does add a lot of complexity, potential bugs, etc. I noticed this when Mageia switched to fully systemd in the development version. That just took a few days, because quite easy if the goal is systemd only. If you want to support all, I guess you might need to write some code because not every component (package) compiled with systemd support has that support as a runtime extra feature.

Init systems in Debian

Posted Jan 29, 2013 16:51 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

The goal of the operating system is to make it easier to write and run applications/services. Anything that is done to make those activities more difficult then necessary is full of fail.

Myths not debunked but confirmed

Posted Jan 29, 2013 0:01 UTC (Tue) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953) [Link]

As long as I've been using Debian there has been a default set of install options, but ultimately it was possible to replace nearly everything with "non-standard" components using the Debian archives.

In other words, even though they pick a "default" they understand that every user will have different preferences and where there is developer support for it they provide the options. Honestly if they had more volunteers they'd provide even more options. Hell, they even have a hurd port and no one has a hurd port.

That's the beauty of Debian, they don't pick sides, they pick a default for a base install then allow the user to rip out and replaces with options fairly painlessly. That's the Debian way I'm familiar with, not the Debian way you are advocating.

Myths not debunked but confirmed

Posted Jan 29, 2013 17:56 UTC (Tue) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

Going systemd is not an option. It only works on a subset of the systems supported by Debian.

Dunno about upstart - that may have the same problem.

So the only thing that will actually work across ALL supported platforms is SysV. But you've got to give people the OPTION of the others.


Myths not debunked but confirmed

Posted Jan 30, 2013 8:36 UTC (Wed) by micka (subscriber, #38720) [Link]

Different systems could have a different default init system. After all, they already have a different default kernel.

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