Friday, 17 October 2014 12:15

Feature-creep will ensure that systemd stays Featured

By

A few days back, the Debian project leader Lucas Nussbaum averred that the new init system, systemd, that has been made the default in Debian, could be avoided and that users could go back to SysV init.

Nussbaum was, no doubt, sincere in what he said. But his remedy to avoid what has become a major issue for many Debian users can only be used for so long.

Feature-creep is a major aspect of systemd. It seems to want to take over the entire Linux system and poke its tentacles into unwanted places. And there is no better way to describe this feature than the way senior systems administrator, Craig Sanders, did recently.

Sanders, a Debian developer himself, has that rare ability of being able to strip a great many things of hysteria and emotion — very common in the FOSS world — and stick to pure commonsense. With a few others, he resides in the no-BS zone. In this respect, what he has to say is worth reading.

"The problem with systemd is not that it makes some minor changes to the init process, but that it tries to do too much," Sanders wrote in a post to one of the mailing lists of the Linux Users of Victoria a week ago, as part of a thread about Lennart Poettering's baby.

"If systemd just did init, then nobody would give a damn, but it's absorbing way too many low-level system functions into itself - udev has been merged; it does logging; has half-arsed substitutes for ntpd, cron, automount, inetd, and network configuration. This feature-creep is on-going, with more being absorbed into systemd all the time... and announced just a few days ago, a console daemon to replace the kernel's virtual terminals.

"Apart from the inevitable problems associated with being a jack-of-all-trades (and) master-of-none, the result will be the death of innovation for all functions absorbed into systemd as it is impossible to replace any one of them without replacing systemd entirely... which makes the job of developing improvements just too big a job.

"Right now, we have several alternatives to choose between for cron, ntp, logging, etc - each of them with different advantages and disadvantages. With systemd, it becomes a one-size-fits-all-or-else situation. If what it does doesn't suit you then tough luck, because you can't replace it without breaking your system.

"The second major problem with systemd is that it is becoming (or has become) mandatory - unnecessary dependencies on logind or systemd itself make it nearly impossible to avoid having systemd installed.

"At least, when Gnome jumped the shark with Gnome 3 there were alternatives like KDE, XFCE, LXDE, etc we could switch to. There'll be no such alternative for systemd. For a while it will still be possible to hang on to SysVinit or Upstart or whatever, but eventually the effort required to keep everything working with dependencies breaking stuff all the time will be too great."

Read 11875 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

GET READY FOR XCONF AUSTRALIA 2022

Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.


Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event

GET YOUR TICKET!

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous