Debating Debian Decisions | LINUX Unplugged 12

Debating Debian Decisions | LINUX Unplugged 12

Upstart or systemd which will Debian choose? We’ll discuss the inherent benefits and disadvantages of both, and the larger ramifications Debian’s decision will have on the Linux ecosystem.

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— Show Notes: —


Debian’s Choice

What is systemd? To quote the homepage: \”systemd is a system and session manager for Linux, compatible with SysV and LSB init scripts. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux cgroups, supports snapshotting and restoring of the system state, maintains mount and automount points and implements an elaborate transactional dependency-based service control logic. It can work as a drop-in replacement for sysvinit.\”

— Debian: to systemd or upstart? —

Whether Debian chooses systemd or Upstart has major implications on the future too, so you shouldn\’t only look at what is now, but also keep in mind what will come next. And there are at least two areas where opting for Upstart will mean you shut out Debian of major changes.

— systemd criticism —

Systemd is a one program \’garbage dump\’ of a lot functionality which used to be provided with shell scripts and special tools (aka badly designed, insofar UNIX(*) design rules go) and it consumes more memory doing nothing than sysvinit.

The systemd journal is in a binary format .

I fucking hate this new system. Its a mess of scripts that call on more scripts. Its such a pain in the ass now if you want to have a program run when the system starts. Gone are the days of just adding a line to /etc/rc.local

  • If you need access to the raw journal data in serialized stream form without C API our recommendation is to make use of the Journal Export Format, which you can get via \”journalctl -o export\” or via systemd-journal-gatewayd. The export format is much simpler to parse, but complete and accurate. Due to its stream-based nature it is not indexed.
— systemd home turf advantage —
  • No CLA
  • Used as an API by more and more projects (logind, timedated, localed, hostnamed, udev, more..)
  • cgroups (aka control groups) is a Linux kernel feature to limit, police and account the resource usage of certain processes (actually process groups). Compared to other approaches like the \’nice\’ command or /etc/security/limits.conf, cgroups are more flexible. Cgroups can be handled natively by systemd
  • Some Debian designs pushed into systemd as defaults, like setting the hostname and others that the devs felt Debian did better than other distros.


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