Debian Decides; systemd vs. Upstart

OK, my .00002 cents worth. (sorry for the lengthyness of this post, it touched a nerve maybe or something close)
First, what is the problem with sysvinit?  OK, so systemd will do a complete userspace boot-up in 900ms.  So what?  Having personally tried systemd with VSIDO, I saw no ‘great’ benefits. OTOH, I have never tried Upstart.  (does using Upstart mean using Mir/Unity?)
Second, when you mention Upstart, all that I can think of is “we’re Shuttleworth’d”…
And third, why do we have to have one, or the other?  There are multiple choices now.  (As Digit so aptly mentions above)

Back to boot speeds, I read one posters comment, (on one of the other forums) and I’m paraphrasing here, if my system takes 3 to 5 minutes to boot, but once booted it remains solid and has no issues, then I don’t care.  Personally I think that the boot speeds that most people are talking about these days have more to do, generically, with UEFI than systemd. (yes, I know systemd drastically can reduce boot times, and have seen that with my own eyes) But, UEFI passes the boot off from the BIOS (read; slow) and directly to hardware, which, if your using an SSD, can seem instantaneous.  So, in a server environment, IMO, boot speeds tend to be irrelevant.  On a desktop (laptop) this becomes even more irrelevant. (unless of course, your James Bond, the earth is getting ready to explode, and you have to save the Universe, then I’ll agree, you need a fast booting piece of metal)

I also feel that for the most part, if your using Linux, and your making decisions like this (hmmmm systemd or Upstart) then most likely, you can pick and choose your init system for yourself.

The nice thing about systemd, to quote from the Debian wiki: “Fedora, OpenSuSE, Arch and Mageia have already made the choice to use systemd, and it is getting excellent upstream support for a growing number of packages”.  Another nice ‘feature’, “The transition plan is easy, since existing init scripts are treated as first-class services: scripts can depend (using LSB headers) on units, units can depend on scripts. More than 99% of init scripts can be used without a modification”. (another quote from the Debian wiki) Wow, without modification?  Nuff said ’bout dat.

Gentoo, I think, is into OpenRC, but also supports systemd.  I always kind of looked at Gentoo as the true geeks Linux!  No offense intended there…

While I ask, who would use it, doesn’t Gnome3 depend on systemd?  In realistic terms I would bet that if your not using a ‘buntu’ flavored derivative, (unity) stats would say that A LOT of ‘new’ users are using Gnome3. Does this affect their decision to part ways with Linux?  Same question for KDE4…

At least 2 of the Tech-Committee members at Debian work or worked for Ubuntu/Canonical/Shuttleworth.  Does this mean an “automatic” vote for Upstart?  At least one of them has publicly stated his support for Upstart. (Ian Jackson)  This scares me.  I think there are actually too many nuances to this discussion that we’ll have no say in.  If it comes right down to it, my stubborn and anti-establishment mind set automatically makes Upstart a no go for me.  While I appreciate what Ubuntu has done for Linux as a whole, (bringing in LOTS of new users, that once they find out how intuitive Linux can be, run for the Linux distro hills so-to-speak)  The commercial an PR aspect of canonical/Ubuntu really discourage me.  I feel that Shuttleworth wants Linux as his own personal kingdom similar in aspects to little Billy Gates and his desire for MS to eventually rule the world, then on tot the Universe!

I have no personal experience with OpenRC, epoch, or runit.  SysVinit, and systemd on the other hand I have plenty of personal exp with.  I have no complaints about either.  IMO systemd has a lot of dev’s working hard to keep the upstream satisfied in that it already supports so much.  I think Upstart has a lot of catching up to do in this regard.

Also back to philosophy; FOSS, OpenSource are the bare bones basics of Linux to me.  I have yet to actually HAVE to pay for anything related to Linux.  How many of you have?  systemd doesn’t threaten me or my stand on the FOSS project goals.

To specifics.  I, like VastOne, am concerned about Lennart’s attitude.  The guy is brilliant, a genius if you must.  However his curt, and sometimes antagonistic views, are a real turn off.  Brilliance sometimes has it’s idiosyncrasies/eccentricities, and I take most of his angst as par for the course with how brilliance works.  I happen to really like pulseaudio.  Lennart was the original dev there if I’m not mistaken.  The project almost died.  Since his leaving, pulseaudio has continued to improve, and I think if the same happened with systemd, the same would happen that happened with pulseaudio.  There are plenty of competent dev’s working on it at this point that I’d say it is completely reliable in being maintained.  Just as pulseaudio continues to improve without him. (Lennart)  This is not meant to be offensive to Lennart, just stating what I’ve read and heard talking to other dev’s.  To clarify, I’ve never spoke with Lennart and have no personal feelings there at all and am not trying to start a flame contest!

Debian’s results in their systemd survey were pretty succinct;  If not overwhelming support for systemd, it was substantial.  You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and when you try, YOU FAIL! Period.  There are many examples of this in the ‘nix’ world.  Here today, gone tomorrow.

All of this said, I don’t know a lot about any of it!  Just reading I’ve done over the past month or so a little at a time.

OTOH, tomorrow, OpenRC may make a breakthrough and all of this dribble will be for naught.  All of a sudden we’ll all want OpenRC.  After all, what’s good for Gentoo must be good for everyone else, right?

statmonkey, in the end, is right of course.  This will impact every Debian user starting now for some, but certainly all others in the future.  Another important note in statmonkey’s post,

statmonkey wrote:
I believe I mentioned to him that his “truculence” was not earning him many converts and his response was pretty much “so?”
This seems to be a trend especially the last year with some of the better Linux dev’s.  Alienation is the last thing needed here.

In the end, I am not touting one over the other.  However, it seems that one has been totally thought through and the other has not.

Being listed on the Canonical agreement has me worried about LightDM in a big way. I was not aware of that, and I also am quite fond of LightDM and, I suppose I’ll have to start looking at a different option. Unfortunate, as I truly liked LightDM and the ease with which you could script your way to personalized setups. Oh well…

Digit wrote:
PS.   having said all that… if it aint broke…

 

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Jed

Top Dog at NixNut.com
My children and wife are my life! Worked in the computer industry as a network engineer, living between Maine and Indiana for the past 20 years or so. Love to write. Love Linux, the community it has inspired, and most importantly, I can run my computer free, better than yours, even with all that money spent to "buy" your OS. Oh yeah, I think I'm funny, (though I know looks aren't everything) and you'll laugh if you read my site posts!

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