[LAU] [arch-general] Lennart Poettering on udev-systemd

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Fri Aug 17 23:51:13 UTC 2012

On Fri, August 17, 2012 3:22 pm, Chris Bannister wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 06:57:19AM -0500, Gabriel M. Beddingfield wrote:
>> Have you ever actually tried to get SysV Init scripts to work out
>> the dependencies among themselves?  Even if you get the
>> non-standardized syntax right... most SysV implementations don't
>> even support it (e.g. Debian).
>> systemd offers solutions to this that result in faster boot-time, a
>> more reliable boot (fewer race conditions), and (eventually) less
>> system init-script maintenance time.
>> SysV only offers that "after all the countless hours of hand
>> crafting these damn scripts and hand-sorting them into the right
>> order -- if you don't touch them then they won't break."
>> At some point you have to turn a deaf ear to nay-sayers and move on.
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2012/08/msg00393.html
> In particular:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2012/04/msg00751.html
> openrc is being looked at as a possible alternative.

As a musician... One of the fundamental problems I have is that a computer
set up for desktop use is less than optimal for music. As the sole bread
winner in a family I must be able to use My computer as a desktop machine
as well as for music. The best way would be to have a computer(s) just for
music and remove a lot of the un-needed junk. It used to be that one tool
could decide what services would run in what run level and simply by
changing run levels I could have a quiet machine (most services turned
off). Enter upstart and or systemd. I have the former and I can turn some
services off by runlevel (cron and friends that might do just about
anything during recording) but to do that I have to edit  a file for each
one by hand. If I want to make some software to change things from a nice
gui, it has to deal with three or more ways of doing things.... or worse.
If you think init.d scripts are bad, try working with upstart files or as
Ubuntu is, half and half... systemd would be half and half too. Both say
they are backwards compatible with the old system, but the author of
systemd at least is actively (in his own words) looking to get beyond
Quite honestly, does it matter if the system takes 30 seconds to boot or 3
minutes? Only as a show off to a non-linux user. windows and OSx are one
mode OSs and to be fair most people use their system that way, the days of
RL2 for text base and RL3 for X are long gone. But the usefulness of
different operating modes has not.... for a small number of people who do
more than use their computer to write documents and browse the web while
listening to MP3s. (there may be some game situations where a quiet
machine would be nice too... I don't do games enough to worry)

I agree with the links above, we are seeing versatility being removed
Linux for the average user. A tight coupling of the kernel with init (of
what ever kind) removes almost all of the embedded, science and fringe
uses (like pro and semi-pro audio)

Yes it took hours (months, weeks) to get init.d scripts to work, but so
did it take all that time to get systemd and upstart just as far as they
are. And they are not IMO finished yet. I have done some reading on
upstart (a little less but some on systemd as well) They are designed to
start the system and shut it down, not make changes mid run. upstart is
lost if it is restarted without a reboot (sounds like windows), but the
old init can be replaced with a new version and restarted. Upstart once it
has started a sequence of programs may not be able to restart just one of
them because startup depends on signals that are issued once (here I think
systemd is the same). Upstart scripts only read the "and/or" states once.

It is easy to look at something new and think it is great, but I expect
(Linux systems being what they are) that there will be just as many messy
work-arounds with the new stuff.

A new system? great! but start with flexibility rather than speed. Scripts
are still the most flexible things around. Make it so services can easily
be turned off and on without hand editing or uninstalling...

I agree with Debian's wait and see... think about all the uses and if this
new thing will fit.

Len Ovens

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