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Systemd - your thoughts

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have never used it. It scares me. Everything I've glancingly read about it scares me off. Also knowing the inventor of it and his past software adventures is proof enough for me not to touch it. I am fine with init the way it's been forever.

I know Arch and Debian etc are all in on it which is unfortunate as they were otherwise fine distros. Gentoo _has it now but thankfully it's not the default and openrc will always be an option.

Now that said, if you can convince me it's seriously better I will setup a machine to try it. I'm not close minded about new software. If you're a fan of it, convince me to try it. If you have used it and went back to init, let us know what happened. I hope to generate some civil discussion but fear it will eventually devolve into shouting match, so keep it cool.
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post #2 of 22
Greetz
I don't use it regularly as my main has been Slackware since ~1999 but I have had multiboot machines ever since I added windows 3 to my Dos & OS/2 days. So I often try out other distros to see what they offer and to be able to speak from experience. Currently this box has Slack 14.0, OpenSuSe 13.2 , StudioKubuntu 13.2, and SolydXK in addition to my main. Initially systemd seemed extremely threatening due to rapid adoption (with considerable drama and fallout) and the appearance that it was designed to make itself mandatory by dependency creep. It further seemed to be so tied into RedHat ways it seemed like a real coup was in progress. Thnkfully since then the community has only gotten healthier and no coup is likely.

All along I have had the same question as you have - "What benefits are gained and at what cost?" or "Is it a solution looking for a problem?".While I understood the value to Enterprise of ease of massive deployment and updates, for the longest time the single value I saw for SOHO Desktops was slightly improved boot times. I don't reboot a lot as I tend to try to stay in a system for an extended period or you never get to know it so boot times were not a big deal. Over time I saw that parallelism during boot could hang for a very long time waiting on some service to catch up. so even that was minimal or problematic. So other than for Enterprise I really see extremely little benefit.

OTOH the cost is still quite high, even after code refinement. My biggest complaint is it's breaking away from Unix doctrine of using code that does one thing and does it well, pipe it together with other such code, and control it through human readable simple scripts. From research I have done it seems that Leonnart reveres Steve Jobs at his most heavy-handed and especially lauds Apples "adoption" of BSD licensed code to effectively freely use around 14 Billion dollars worth of code and then lock it up and sell it. Although I see Steve Jobs as a true pioneer and brilliant innovator I prefer freedom to convenience that comes with shackles all designed to keep me dumb and weak.

So apparently you won't get the answers you seem to be looking for from me as my experience shows systemd isn't that big of a deal at least yet, as I barely notice it..... until something goes wrong. Then it is a complete pita. I will stick with SysVInit until it is absolutely no longer possible and judhing from what I read in th Slackware community that will be measured in many years.
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post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Good post, thanks for taking the time to respond. I have the same thoughts except I was not aware that it does anything to help deployment. I will have to look into that, but I already have a seed VM and a simple clone script that is easy and works well. So even there I don't really have a problem to be solved, but I'll look into it. I totally agree with what you said about pipes and plaintext, why take things away from those principles.

But yes, parallel service startup. Init could / should work that way, sure. But really, big deal. Once the system is stable I leave it on or use /sys/power/state and never cold boot. I may boot once or twice a season, so the net total of 2 minutes per year saved does not justify the investment in my situation. There is RC_PARALLEL but in my dabbling with it years ago it was not perfectly implemented. That may have changed by now, but if strange things happened with a certain service it would not always react as needed and worse things would happen. I wish I remembered more details but I know it was bad and I pulled it back.

I'd be curious to hear someone champion for systemd as well as someone who has been through hell with it. But good post mister Enorbet.
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post #4 of 22
I never found it to be a problem (or cause any) myself. I like the easy service management and networkd and nspawn save oodles of time as well. It's modular, but also universal. Maybe it's not in-tune with "the unix way" but given the complexity of the average Linux system these days I'm definitely glad for systemd to make life easier.
Edited by Petrol - 11/3/15 at 2:21am
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Alright well after reading this

https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=76935

and this problem

http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/systemd-devel/2013-January/008437.html

with THIS response.....
http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/systemd-devel/2013-January/008456.html

I'm out. So if you kill dbus, your system is dead and you have to alt+sysrq. Fantastic. To the systemd user above,

# kill -S 11 `pgrep dbus-daemon`

Whoops! rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

So, they need to move dbus into the kernel now. smile.gif Sound like an approach taken anywhere else? So now there's all this nonsense about kdbus which seems to have big hurdles to get over if it's ever going to get merged, absolute ridiculousness.

There are tin foil hats out there saying these two clowns are plants from commercial interests plotting to ruin FOSS from the inside. Doesn't seem that far fetched. How could anyone be this crazy?

A good technical treatise on systemd, I read a bunch of it but eventually skipped to the well educated conclusion. PASS.

http://blog.darknedgy.net/technology/2015/10/11/0/
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post #6 of 22
You know after reading the thread with Kay being a orifice cleaning tool and Linus's response I'm starting to think the problem isn't so much systemd but the general attitude of the guys behind it. I almost think that if they weren't as equally abrasive as Linus can be then there'd be less resistance.
     
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post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

I like the easy service management and networkd and nspawn save oodles of time as well. It's modular, but also universal. Maybe it's not in-tune with "the unix way" but given the complexity of the average Linux system these days I'm definitely glad for systemd to make life easier.

I welcome non-hysterical discussion of systemd since it is obviously going to be around for awhile, and while reduced still does threaten to "be only One!". Petrol could I ask you to take some time and expand upon your post please? Please recount some specific instances you have experienced.

Exactly how has systemd made service management easier for you?


How does networkd save oodles of time for you?


How has nspawn saved oodles of time for you?


Perhaps most importantly how are binariies, especially including simple log files, making life easier for you as compared to human readable scripts?


Up until now my experience has been that on SOHO Desktop systems the ONLY noticeable effect is in boot times so I am quite seriously wishing to discover personal experience that adds to that.



To answer an implied question by lloyd mcclendon regarding Enterprise, massive deployment and maintenance I suggest you look at CoreOS HERE to see how just a few addons can make this possible. In a nutshell the system can be dealt with as a locked-down modular whole so that incremental modifications/upgrades are all but impossible and then likely on a regular schedule ALL systems are modified wholesale so that each is always "on the same page". This, of course is much more like Windows and Mac and much more friendly to some Top Dog. It is indeed a threat to FOSS and in the age old analogy substitutes The Cathedral for The Bazaar.

For those of you new enough to Linux to not understand that reference I strongly urge you to take the time to read the book but here's the wiki

The Cathedral and the Bazaar
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post #8 of 22
this topic also popped up on HN yesterday: link
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 
I welcome non-hysterical discussion of systemd since it is obviously going to be around for awhile, and while reduced still does threaten to "be only One!". Petrol could I ask you to take some time and expand upon your post please? Please recount some specific instances you have experienced.

Why? I regularly use four different distros so it should be fairly self-evident why being able to use the same tools on all of them saves time. As for binary logs, I don't even understand why that's a problem. I just need to be able to read and understand logs, why should I care what format they're stored in? Systemd is just software to me the way that Windows is just software. I don't care about the developer attitudes or philosophical differences or even esoteric bugs if they don't affect me. There are bugs in everything, as long as the other software I'm using doesn't catch on those bugs then do I really need to care about aspects of it that are meaningless to me? I care about what works, and if/when some fool devs ruin it to where it doesn't work then I can either switch to something else or just patch old versions myself. That's what the bazaar is about, isn't it? "Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch." Right now, systemd scratches an itch and unless Poettering personally pisses me off, I have no better reason to walk away from systemd than I have justifications for using it.
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post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok here is "the master plan" for what this is all about direct from the [whatever you want to call him]: http://0pointer.net/blog/revisiting-how-we-put-together-linux-systems.html

[reading ... probably a must read if we are to have a unbiased discussion]

"operating systems that manage themselves" sounds familiar. hmm. The use of the word cabal is quite interesting. thumb.gif . We need a tin foil hat smiley.



From the link I pasted earlier,

"Despite its overarching abstractions, it is semantically non-uniform and its complicated transaction and job scheduling heuristics ordered around a dependently networked object system create pathological failure cases with little debugging context that would otherwise not necessarily occur on systems with less layers of indirection."

I've coded a few things like that myself. Seemed smart at first, but after a while of building onto it proved to be too over-engineered and difficult to debug and use. Many layers of indirection. I am quite familiar with that.
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

Why? I regularly use four different distros so it should be fairly self-evident why being able to use the same tools on all of them saves time.

This is a bit of a stupid argument, TBH. Before systemd, virtually every system used sysvinit, it was all the same in that sense. All we've done is replaced the standard default with another default and the same distributions that didn't default to it before, still aren't defaulting to it.

This would be like remaking all of the GNU tools for the sake of remaking the GNU tools then arguing you just wanted every system to be the same when it already was. This isn't like the set of tools known as Busybox which are just a basic set of tools with fewer options that had a clear goal to be different than the GNU tools for much smaller systems ( typically embedded systems ). In this sense, Busybox isn't a competitor to GNU tools or a remake, or anything. It serves a completely different purpose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

As for binary logs, I don't even understand why that's a problem. I just need to be able to read and understand logs, why should I care what format they're stored in?

Because one format you CAN NOT read, at least without the proper tools. Scenario, system crashes, you don't know why and can't boot again to be able to further investigate?... Well all systemd did was add another step to the process, mount drive, then use a systemd based system to mount the external log file with journalctl, then start poking around your log file . Human readable logs would be as simple as throwing in ANY bootable USB drive, mounting and looking in /var/logs at any of the human readable logs with any of your favorite text editors. Hell, I could throw in my Mandrivia CD's from 1999 and read all of my logs from my current machine without systemd in place. Systemd complicates this infinitely more than it needs to be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

Systemd is just software to me the way that Windows is just software.

No, it is not. A core component that is heavily relied upon is not "just software". More so when more and more software devs are being pressured into relying on systemd or it's subsequent utilities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

I don't care about the developer attitudes or philosophical differences or even esoteric bugs if they don't affect me.

So you don't care that Lennart wants to tell you how to run your system? Or the fact that if Lennart had his way, every piece of Linux software would RELY on systemd? Much like how he forced the GNOME team to rely on logind and thus systemd, which ended up breaking compatbility for MANY systems out there that don't use systemd, and we aren't just talking Linux here, but BSD and even other Unixs and Unix-likes that can run GNOME ( like OSX ).

This in my opinion is just one step behind Windows spying on people and not letting you disable it. And quite honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if he added a hard coded phone home to start tracking systemd usage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

There are bugs in everything, as long as the other software I'm using doesn't catch on those bugs then do I really need to care about aspects of it that are meaningless to me?

That's the thing, we replaced a tried and true init system with this abomination that is not just an init system, but everything under the sun. Complicating a core component of the system. This isn't like VLC refusing to open, yet still allowing you to run anything else. If systemd fails to load, so does your system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

I care about what works, and if/when some fool devs ruin it to where it doesn't work then I can either switch to something else or just patch old versions myself.

Have fun with that. You'll run out of decent software pretty fast.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

That's what the bazaar is about, isn't it? "Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch." Right now, systemd scratches an itch and unless Poettering personally pisses me off, I have no better reason to walk away from systemd than I have justifications for using it.

It only scratches his ego, and the only reason it's been adapted is because of his position with Red Hat. Had this software been made by your average joe with no reputation or corporation to back him, it would have never made it this far.
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