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Lennart Poettering Takes To Battling Systemd Myths

GNOME

Published on 26 January 2013 02:49 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME
83 Comments

Lennart Poettering, the controversial open-source developer behind PulseAudio and systemd among other projects, has written a lengthy blog post as he attempts to battle some myths about his Linux init daemon.

Lennart in a new blog post entitled "The Biggest Myths" he points out what he calls are the biggest myths concerning systemd and attempts to debunk them.

Below is a partial list of what Lennart describes as the biggest myths and then a brief synopsis of why he doesn't believe they are true statements.

Systemd Is Monolithic - Lennart says this is false since the init daemon is comprised of 69 individual binaries.

Systemd Is About Speed - Lennart says that systemd's speed is just a side-effect of designing things right...

Systemd's Fast Boot-Up Is Irrelevant For Servers - Many administrators like to keep system downtime to a minimum. It's also important for the cloud with booting VMs quickly.

Systemd Is Incompatible With Shell Scripts - It is compatible, but thjey just don't use them for the boot process out of the developers' beliefs.

Systemd Is Difficult - Lennart says no because it's a unified platform, the configuration file language is easy, and there's uniform tools. He does acknowledge though there's a bit of a learning curve from his views.

Systemd Is Not Modular - There's configure switches to select what you want to build.

Systemd Is The Result Of NIH Syndrome - Originally they were pushing for Canonical's Upstart, but then decided that its design was "inherently flawed at its core." The major flaw in Lennart's mind with Upstart is "it leaves dependency management to the admin/developer, instead of solving this hard problem in code."

Systemd Is A FreeDesktop.org Project - FreeDesktop.org is little more than a hosting infrastructure.

Systemd Is Complex - Lennart admits again there is some truth, but that modern computers are complex too. He even argues that systemd is simpler and has less redundancy.

Systemd Is Bloated - "Systemd is probably the opposite of bloat" and Lennart brought up again that it's modular. The required dependencies of Systemd are just Glibc, libcap, and DBus.

Systemd Is Linux-only & Not Nice To BSDs - Lennart claims that it's the BSD folks who are uninterested in systemd. In terms of systemd being Linux-only being a problem for Debian's adoption of it, Lennart claims that maintaining systemd unit files and the traditional init scripts is nominal compared to the work done by Debian developers who ported the operating system to non-Linux kernels.

Systemd Is Not Portable For No Reason - "Non-sense! We use the Linux-specific functionality because we need it to implement what we want. Linux has so many features that UNIX/POSIX didn't have, and we want to empower the user with them."

Systemd Forces You To Do Something - The software is not the mafia but Free Software where you can do what you want.

Systemd Makes It Impossible To Run Syslog - While systemd introduced its own journal method, developers made sure to maintain syslog daemon compatibility.

Systemd Is Incompatible - "We try very hard to provide the best possible compatibility with sysvinit."

Systemd Is Unstable & Buggy - Not according to their data based upon the Fedora bug tracker.

Lennart attempted to address thirty myths about systemd in his posting, which can be in full on his blog.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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