Systemd 214 Comes "Stuffed With Great New Features"
Written by Michael Larabel in systemd on 11 June 2014 at 05:57 PM EDT. Add A Comment
Lennart Poettering announced, "Here it is, version 214. Stuffed with great new features, improvements in all areas, in particular when it comes to security, networking and socket units."

Systemd 214 offers new file-system sandboxing features, support for new network interface types via networkd, and moves towards state-less system support with being able to rebuild /var if it's empty at boot time. The systemd 214 release also has support for virtualization detect without root rights, systemd-networkd/systemd-resolved/system-bus-proxy now run as their own users, new socket unit features, and much more.

Lennart explained the new state-less system support with being able to rebuild /var as:
What I find the most exciting change: a first step towards a state-less system: we will now rebuild /var if it is empty on boot. My favourite new command line making use of this is:

systemd-nspawn -D /srv/mycontainer --read-only --tmpfs=/var -b

Which spawns an nspawn container, with the directory tree mounted read-only, and an empty, volatile /var mounted on top, that is flushed when you terminate the container. With that in place you can easily run hundreds of ad-hoc throw-away container instances from the same tree, while making sure they don't end up interfering with each other. As next step (planned for the next release): add the infrastructure to support boots with /etc empty, too (or to turn this around: with a tmpfs as root and only /usr mounted in from a read-only vendor tree).

More details on systemd 214 can be found via the release announcement.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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