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Debian Still Debating Systemd vs. Upstart Init System

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  • Debian Still Debating Systemd vs. Upstart Init System

    Phoronix: Debian Stil Debating Systemd vs. Upstart Init System

    The Debian technical committee hasn't yet decided what will be the default init system for the 8.0 "Jessie" release, but it still is a heated debate as some of the committee members are starting to publicly cast their views...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTU1NjA

  • #2
    Popcorn's available in the lobby, folks!

    *munch munch*

    Comment


    • #3
      The best idea for debian would be OpenRC or Upstart for portablilty reasons. I would be fine with both, just no systemd please

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      • #4
        I wouldn't touch Debian or its derivatives, so this doesn't affect me, but i think Debian should pick any non-Systemd. I am a systemd user myself, but Debian needs the portability, so systemd is not an attractive option.

        I would also like other systems receive attention, because i like having alternatives available...

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        • #5
          I think compatibility to non-linux kernels is a non-issue. I appreciate the desire for portability, but they threw a big chunk of that out the window when they started supporting the BSD kernel. I'm not sure if this is true for debian, but for Arch linux vs Arch BSD, there are a lot of significant differences. To list a few:
          * They have a different set of documentation (debian seems to share a lot, but not all of their linux and BSD documentation is shared)
          * They don't share all of the same drivers.
          * They don't offer all of the same packages.
          * They're not binary compatible.
          * For software that does work on both, I highly doubt all of them are the same version.
          So, if so many fundamental features/traits are so different between the two, why does it matter what the init system is? In the end, all debian should be doing is striving for the 3 things they are known for - the apt package management system, supporting a wide range of CPU platforms, and stability. This debate is fruitless and counterproductive, so just pick one, deal with the opposing side's bitching for a few months, and move on.
          Last edited by schmidtbag; 12-30-2013, 02:47 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Annabel View Post
            The best idea for debian would be OpenRC or Upstart for portablilty reasons. I would be fine with both, just no systemd please
            You must not be have read the discussions at all then. Both Upstart and systemd use Linux specific API's extensively and neither can run on anything other than Linux at the moment. Moreoever Debian is going to adopt systemd components like logind regardless of whether they use systemd as a init system. So they do have to figure out what porters can do about it but considering the very dismal use of non Linux kernels in Debian, it might not be a real issue. Other init systems are not serious contenders because of poor feature set, lack of adoption, lack of comprehensive documentation etc.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
              In the end, all debian should be doing is striving for the 3 things they are known for - the apt package management system, supporting a wide range of CPU platforms, and stability. This debate is fruitless and counterproductive, so just pick one, deal with the opposing side's bitching for a few months, and move on.
              I am glad that this is not how Debian works, which is pointed out also in one of the follow ups in that thread.
              I hope that they go for Upstart, so that there is a strong counterpart (Debian+Ubuntu, the most used distros) to systemd. While diversity is not in all cases good I believe that this one is a case were it actually is.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RahulSundaram View Post
                You must not be have read the discussions at all then.

                [snip]

                So they do have to figure out what porters can do about it but considering the very dismal use of non Linux kernels in Debian, it might not be a real issue. Other init systems are not serious contenders because of poor feature set, lack of adoption, lack of comprehensive documentation etc.
                Talking about who has not read the discussions:
                Unless you are proposing to make systemd mandatory for all Debian
                installations, this is work that needs to be done anyway.
                Under those kind of circumstances I am willing for the Debian project
                as a whole to go to quite some effort (and, indeed, impose some effort
                even on the maintainers of systemd in Debian) to retain the
                flexibility that I think is important.
                We have
                historically been entirely unafraid to do our own better things, even
                if it is more work and takes us longer.
                We have got where we are by doing things the way we think is best, not
                by simply following the herd.
                http://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/.../msg00259.html

                All of those points where not opposed by anyone in the discussion, so one can assume that they are valid.

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                • #9
                  Part of me wonders how this is even a discussion.

                  One technology at play is compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines: http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines

                  The other does not: http://www.canonical.com/contributors

                  That's the end of the discussion. Period. Upstart isn't even an option for Debian to consider on any level.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vim_User View Post
                    Talking about who has not read the discussions:http://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/.../msg00259.html

                    All of those points where not opposed by anyone in the discussion, so one can assume that they are valid.
                    Russ's reply addressed them just fine. I don't need to repeat them here.

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                    • #11
                      If Debian refuses systemd, there is no point for me to install it.

                      If they adapt Upstart, they have to sign Canonical's CLA, if they want to change it even bit. This means any Debian works on that matter go into whatever license Canonical sees fit. Half the worry - they break a lot of things in ecosystem and will generate a lot of bugs, which they can't upstream to Linux, udev, systemd etc.

                      Finally, I don't see any reason for BSD and Hurd kernel support, that they downgrade and deviate from much more advanced technologies.
                      They can create special packages in case these kernels are in use and work it this way. I assume when and if BSD work out the launchd port, then they also will deviate from SystemV, and especially from Upstart.

                      Time to show who Debian is really for. For following and bending over, or for keeping in touch with most modern DFSG-compatible kernel that powered them up till now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I could give a rat's ass what Canonical/Ubuntu is pushing. What should override the choice is the ease of integration into KDE and GNOME and lesser known DEs.

                        KDE and obviously GNOME already support systemd, in a mature state.

                        Russ Allbery of the Debian technical committee, meanwhile, came out yesterday. Allbery is in favor of systemd over Upstart. His response was the opposite of Jackson's. He feels that Upstart trails systemd in features, they should go with systemd so Debian developers can focus on new issues rather than re-doing component integration that developers have already done for systemd, and that it's a "clear choice" going with systemd even though it faces portability issues with non-Linux platforms.
                        +1 for Allbery's position. Debian is already nearly 2 revisions behind GNOME being fully ready in Experimental never mind Unstable, and to deal with Upstart matching being on equal footing when the project doesn't have enough people to manage the packages they support, in any remotely timely manner, is just asinine.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by brosis View Post
                          If Debian refuses systemd, there is no point for me to install it.

                          If they adapt Upstart, they have to sign Canonical's CLA, if they want to change it even bit. This means any Debian works on that matter go into whatever license Canonical sees fit. Half the worry - they break a lot of things in ecosystem and will generate a lot of bugs, which they can't upstream to Linux, udev, systemd etc.

                          Finally, I don't see any reason for BSD and Hurd kernel support, that they downgrade and deviate from much more advanced technologies.
                          They can create special packages in case these kernels are in use and work it this way. I assume when and if BSD work out the launchd port, then they also will deviate from SystemV, and especially from Upstart.

                          Time to show who Debian is really for. For following and bending over, or for keeping in touch with most modern DFSG-compatible kernel that powered them up till now.
                          You had me until you whined about the FreeBSD/Hurd ports.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Saist View Post
                            Part of me wonders how this is even a discussion.

                            One technology at play is compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines: http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines

                            The other does not: http://www.canonical.com/contributors

                            That's the end of the discussion. Period. Upstart isn't even an option for Debian to consider on any level.
                            Agreed.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by brosis View Post
                              If they adapt Upstart, they have to sign Canonical's CLA, if they want to change it even bit. This means any Debian works on that matter go into whatever license Canonical sees fit
                              That is certainly overstating the concerns here. Upstart patches can be maintained downstream by Debian and they already have several patches where the patch writer may not sign the CLA. So yes, there is a burden of a fork to maintain if they want to deviate further but for an integral component, they should be willing to do so if systemd is really that unacceptable to them.

                              With two Canonical employees in the Debian Technical Committee and Ian (Ex-Canonical employee), there are currently atleast three votes in favor of upstart. Russ is favoring systemd but other members haven't really participated in the discussions much if at all. We will have to hear from them more to understand their perspectives as well.

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