Systemd 246 Is On The Way With Many Changes

Written by Michael Larabel in systemd on 1 July 2020 at 09:46 AM EDT. 45 Comments
With it already having been a few months since systemd 245 debuted with systemd-homed, the systemd developers have begun their release dance for what will be systemd 246.

Early release preparations have begun for systemd 246 as their summer 2020 release although no RC is available yet. Among the changes to look forward to with systemd 246 include:

- Systemd will now log leftover processes remaining in a unit after that unit has stopped.

- New unit settings for checking to see if a specific file-system path is on a block device that is using encryption like LUKS/dm-crypt.

- Various new service unit settings.

- The service manager has basic support for cgroup v2 freezer. Systemd units can be suspended/resumed using freeze/thaw verbs or via D-Bus.

- PID1 now automatically loads pre-compiled AppArmor policies during early boot from /etc/apparmor/earlypolicy.

- The CPU affinity setting now supports a "numa" value for having the CPU affinited masked to be set based on the NUMA mask.

- systemd.hostname= now works for setting the hostname during early boot. There are also other new kernel command line options like systemd.swap= to allow disabling auto activation of SWAP devices listed in fstab, systemd.clock-usec= for setting the system clock early during boot, and others.

- A new hardware database file that collections information on PCI and USB devices that correctly auto-suspend.

- Systemd-journald now supports Zstd compression of large fields in journal files.

- Many systemd networkd additions.

- systemd-cryptsetup can now activate Microsoft BitLocker volumes during boot.

- systemd-homed LUKS back-end now discards empty file system blocks automatically when a user logs out. Systemd-homed now also better prevents accidentally double encrypting user data.

- systemd-xdg-autostart-generator is new for generating systemd unit files from XDG autostart .desktop files.

One change not merged yet but that has been seeing new patches recently is introducing systemd-oomd for the low/out-of-memory handling work led by Facebook.

More details on the tentative systemd 246 changes via the work-in-progress NEWS file.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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