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Debian Still Debating Systemd vs. Upstart Init System

Debian

Published on 30 December 2013 01:55 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Debian
183 Comments

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.

Back in October on Phoronix I wrote how Debian would be switching to Upstart or Systemd, but the ultimate decision would be left up to the Debian technical committee. More and more distributions are switching to systemd, but Debian-based Ubuntu remains committed to Upstart, and Debian is concerned about non-Linux kernel support too where systemd isn't really an option.

Ian Jackson of the technical committee in the past few days has been sharing a number of bug entries / mailing list posts about his evaluation of systemd vs. Upstart. Ian concluded he's in favor of Upstart. To Upstart's benefit, Ian says, it's simpler than systemd, the integration is better into a daemon source code, it's easier to package, the community is much better to work with, it's more portable, and its disadvantages can be more readily fixed. Overall, he feels Upstart is the best choice over systemd or SysVinit or OpenRC for the next Debian release. This long-time Debian developer was also a former Canonical employee.

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.

More details forthcoming as the rest of the technical committee and Debian developers at large continue in their very polarized discussions.

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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