Linux kernel hacker's open rant about systemd

by
in linux on (#3V8)
Linux kernel hacker Christopher Barry has engaged a full frontal assault of the systemd Linux subsystem and its creator, Lennart Poettering, on an "Open Letter to the Linux world" published on the Linux kernel hackers' mailing list. Here's a taste:
So why would very smart people who love and use Linux want to create or embrace such a creepy 'Master of All' daemon? Ostensibly, it's for the reasons they say, as I mentioned at the top. But partially I think it's from a lack of experience. Not a lack as in programming hours, but a lack as in time on the Planet. Intelligence alone is not a substitute for life experience and, yes I'll say it, wisdom. There's no manual for wisdom. Implementing systemd by distros is not a wise move for them over the long term. It will, in fact, be their ultimate undoing.
Systemd has been no stranger to controversy. It broke a lot of systems, and important figures in the Linux world have registered their doubt about the replacement to the well-known System V init system, which was a fully transparent collection of human-readable scripts but that led to slow boot times. It will be interesting to see if Barry's rant generates a groundswell of antagonism against the new system, or if it gets ignored, or if it leads to meaningful debate and change.

[Ed. note: picked up this story from comp.misc. Thanks, Rich!]

sysvinit was a dead end (Score: 4, Insightful)

by mth@pipedot.org on 2014-08-14 00:53 (#3VA)

I'm not a big fan of systemd, but I disagree with the idea that sysvinit didn't need replacement.

It required a large amount of boilerplate in the service start/stop script, which was different between distros, making it a lot of work to provide a decent start/stop script for your daemon. The hard work of distro maintainers hid this nuisance from most end users though.

Ordering the service startup sequence by manually assigning priorities to them (S80myservice) instead of using dependencies is a terrible hack. It also prevents services from being started in parallel, which is a pity on today's multi-core systems. It's like building your code using a shell script instead of a Makefile.

There is no consistency in how services are started: inittab can respawn, init.d scripts can query the service status (on some distros!), (x)inetd can start services on demand, but all have different configurations.

I have some doubts systemd is the right solution to these problems, but at least there is movement now. In my opinion, the solution would be to improve systemd or replace it with something better, not going back to sysvinit.
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