Debian General Resolution: Init systems and systemd

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Debian General Resolution: Init systems and systemd

Sven Gothel
Administrator
Debian General Resolution: Init systems and systemd
Voting from 12/7 - 12/27!
<https://www.debian.org/vote/2019/vote_002>

My blog entry today
<https://jausoft.com/blog/2019/12/06/debian-general-resolution-init-systems-and-systemd-on-12-7-12-27/>

Just in case they vote on
"Choice 1: F: Focus on systemd",
i.e. completely disabling another init script,
I have to pick up a new distribution.

Today, I mostly run Debian on desktop and server.
Most server use a non-systemd init system for sanity.

Easing systemd dependencies via 'systemd-shim', 'libsystemd0'
and using 'sysvinit'.

Documentations of not using systemd are

- Debian: Installing without systemd
  <https://wiki.debian.org/systemd#Installing_without_systemd>
- Use Devuan (init freedom initiator, dunno status)
  <https://devuan.org/> and <https://devuan.org/os/init-freedom/>
- Linux distros without systemd (2019-05-20)
  <https://ungleich.ch/en-us/cms/blog/2019/05/20/linux-distros-without-systemd/>


IMHO the only good proposals are

- Choice 3: A: Support for multiple init systems is Important
- Choice 6: E: Support for multiple init systems is Required
- Choice 7: G: Support portability and multiple implementations

Problem is, the more lenient a policy is towards init abuse,
i.e. only supporting systemd and creating hard dependencies on it,
the less likely it is most packages will work w/o systemd
running nor installed.

Risk: Who controls systemd will control the Linux desktop.

An init system originally only handles process
initialization and management,
which was usually done in a few lines of code
and was always considered very security critical.

It is a long debate, but I get goose bumps when
an init system and its environment takes over
more than half of a Unix like system's services,
especially when the user land applications
start to make it a hard requirement.

I didn't keep too much track of systemd,
but after keyboard and console control,
networking, harddisk partitions and what not
- now they want full user identity control,
naming it 'Home Directories' or 'systemd-homed'

<https://github.com/systemd/systemd/blob/8be2ce8895bf457a7e0bef27c219824f3937a21a/docs/HOME_DIRECTORY.md>

This not only includes home partition setup
but also control of key management for encryption etc.

Is all the systemd work still coming solely from Red Hat giving us a single
service provider concentration risk, which other distributions intended to
avoid? Now being reintroduced and enforced via systemd?

Good evening and let's hope init choice
can be still be made in the future.

Cheers,

~Sven
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Re: Debian General Resolution: Init systems and systemd

Sven Gothel
Administrator
Revised my opinion a little after a bit more reading ..
- Choice 3: A: Support for multiple init systems is Important (compromise 1)
- Choice 4: D: Support non-systemd systems, without blocking progress
(compromise 2)
- Choice 6: E: Support for multiple init systems is Required (ideal)

However, it is a very complex issue and important maybe
to understand the driving force w/o getting too much into
the field of conspiracy.
(Even though 2013-19 were the years of the proven conspiracies.)

Devuan’s take on the vote in a post, as Debian is essential for Devuan and all
other distributions based on it willing to provide a non-systemd system.
<https://www.dyne.org/devuan-cannot-exist-without-the-help-of-debian/>

In this sense, KUDOS to Debian and hopefully they can make the right
choice[tm] ;-)

~Sven
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Re: Debian General Resolution: Init systems and systemd

gouessej
Administrator
Hello

Personally, I call the SystemV scripts in the SystemD services and it works correctly. I did it for Jetty, I contributed, it has worked as expected for months. If Debian drops SystemV, you'll still be able to call your SystemV scripts but it will require some redesign.
Julien Gouesse | Personal blog | Website
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Re: Debian General Resolution: Init systems and systemd

Xerxes Rånby
All options that makes it possible to write a minimal init in java that for example populate /dev/ and enable GL hardware acceleration. Is good.
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Re: Debian General Resolution: Init systems and systemd

gouessej
Administrator
In reply to this post by Sven Gothel
I totally understand that SystemD may give a lot of power to IBM that owns Red Hat, it doesn't reassure me. However, SystemD helps in configuring services that must work similarly on several distributions.
Julien Gouesse | Personal blog | Website