back to article systemd free Linux distro Devuan releases second beta

The self-proclaimed “Veteran Unix Admins” forking Debian in the name of init freedom have released Beta 2 of their “Devuan” Linux distribution. Devuan came about after some users felt it had become too desktop-friendly. The change the greybeards objected to most was the decision to replace sysvinit init with systemd, a move …

Silver badge
Flame

A pox on systemd and all things poettering

I delayed judgement until I had more experience with systemd

Some of the core ideas weren't terrible & it might have made things better.

I'm now pulling it off all my machines. It just makes thing to unstable & unpredictable

I don't really give a flying shit if my server boots in 20 seconds or 45 seconds

I'll happily eat the extra boot time for a more stable system overall

Add the scope creep & bloating binaries; Nope, just Nope.

Back to Sys-V scripts for me; My machines are stable now & I'm much happier

What really burns my balls is that they are fixing things that aren't actually broken. I don't get the it's newer so it MUST be better mantra.

Exile Poettering back to MS land or Apple-andia where he belongs.

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Re: A pox on systemd and all things poettering

"I don't get the it's newer so it MUST be better mantra."

I'm with you. Stability and freedom over fashion any time.

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You broke it, you bought it.

"Exile Poettering back to MS land or Apple-andia where he belongs."

Screw that. Linux gave birth to him, Linux can keep him.

The OSX boot process may be pretty opaque and cursed by XML - but if you spend some time there you realise it's actually still quite sensible & sane. Unlike systemd...

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Re: You broke it, you bought it.

The OSX init is launchd, and its pretty good actually.

There's been discussion in the FreeBSD community about using it but I don't think it went anywhere. Apple choosing to license it under Apache probably has a good deal to do with that, I wouldn't imagine it would be permissive enough for a *BSD core component.

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Paris Hilton

Re: You broke it, you bought it.

How is something that is Apache licensed not permissive enough for a BSD core component???

Unless a "not" has been dropped in brain-to-keyboard translation, there must be huge corn cobs stuck up arses somehwere.

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Mushroom

Re: You broke it, you bought it.

> "The OSX boot process may be pretty opaque and cursed by XML"

> "quite sensible & sane"

I'm sorry, what? You have to be swivel-eyed, window licking, barking mad nuts to use an xml parser in your boot process.

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Re: You broke it, you bought it.

You have to be swivel-eyed, window licking, barking mad nuts to use an xml parser in your boot process.

Full-on bullshit of the lowest "imma gonna hack me way out of this, in a manly way" sort

At least you can get exact error messages, the user knows what type of value he must and can set in and where (you know, XML Schema, dude!), and the data can be tested against the specs without running the boot process.

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Coat

Re: You broke it, you bought it.

> "The OSX boot process may be pretty opaque and cursed by XML"

>I'm sorry, what? You have to be swivel-eyed, barking mad insane to use an xml parser in your boot process.

What is with all this XML-hate ? Perfectly fine solution to a problem, ordering data. Oracle Solaris SMF does it, too. Microsoft, shock horror, uses it as well (boot triggers, anyone ?) ...

So ?

Grabs coat, with FreeBSD Networker's Guide in the pocket ...

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Re: A pox on systemd and all things poettering

I don't really give a flying shit if my server boots in 20 seconds or 45 seconds

I'll happily eat the extra boot time for a more stable system overall

Yep. On Monday I rebooted my Debian server, for the first time in 9 months. I then had to fire up a laptop & log in to the server to restart NFS, which systemd still can't start correctly, so that I could boot my desktop system successfully. If I want to try and fix this I need to set aside a day when I can reboot the server every 30 minutes until I figure out the problem and (hopefully) the fix. For a system that gets restarted maybe once a year that isn't worth it, so I end up with a Post-It on the box saying "after reboot, manually restart NFS". The previous releases of Debian got me to a working multi-user server faster, and more reliably.

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Re: A pox on systemd and all things poettering

Thats a complete troll post. if it was unstable the world of linux machines would be falling.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A pox on systemd and all things poettering

> Back to Sys-V scripts for me; My machines are stable now & I'm much happier

And the one potential benefit of systemd - that daemons would automatically be restarted if they crash - has been squandered. It's not enabled by default, and none of the supplied unit files I've seen enable it.

So you have remember to deploy a bunch of foo.override files which say:

[Service]

Restart=always

RestartSec=5

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Devil

Re: You broke it, you bought it.

"How is something that is Apache licensed not permissive enough for a BSD core component???"

the general idea is that anything in 'base' is BSD licensed. there are contributed softwares, of course, and it may be possible to extend the licensing around those, but if you NEED it to boot the system, chances are that "no BSD license, no way".

/me has been using FreeBSD since 4.8 [and "stability" is a VERY good thing!]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A pox on systemd and all things poettering

I have a perfectly good tool that is dedicated to monitor the status of services in a multiple ways and carry out multiple actions, with a centralized admin server if I choose to. No need to bloat my production systems with that cancerous systemd abomination.

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Re: A pox on systemd and all things poettering

I hadn't noticed that feature (partly because, as you say, it's off by default).

It might be the one useful thing about it.

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Happy

Re: A pox on systemd and all things poettering

"I don't really give a flying shit if my server boots in 20 seconds or 45 seconds"

And I don't care if my desktop takes another 25 seconds either.

Upvoted.

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Never understood the hate for systemd. Then again, it worked pretty well with Fedora when I was still using Linux distros and I never had a problem with it. If it ate one of my systems I'd probably vociferously hate it also.

Thing that gets me though is there are so many more problems that are Linux or even distribution specific that need to tackled, much less the issues that the BSDs have, which is more my concern anymore.

It would have been nice if all the energy that was expended on both sides in complaining about or defending a fucking init system of all things had been applied toward constructively solving some of the more glaring issues with Linux (filesystems, display servers, and video hardware drivers being my big three).

Regardless, I think we can all agree that PulseAudio should have gotten Poettering disemboweled, regardless of systemd's merits or lack thereof.

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Well said Sir!

I'm with you here. I started using 'Unix' when DEC released Ultrix (BSD). Moved onto Linux with Slackware 1.1 and to be honest I have found the old init system rather clunky. Getting things to shutdown in the right order was always a bit of hit and miss. more often it was a big miss.

I've recently moved for a Distro (CentOS 7) that uses systemd and the sky didn't fall in.

A bit of experimentation and I have got a system that does what I want it to and only when I want it to.

I've not seen the claimed system instability but there again my workloads are not that taxing on modern Kit.

Yes I am late to the systemd game and yes I did have some trepidation about using it but in the end, I cam to the conclusion that it is as the Bard said,

Much Ado About Nothing.

YMMV but that is my honest opinion.

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All the anti-systemd posts are from people who are either trolls, haven't used it or do not know how to configure it for their use.

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Excuse me but...

...your ignorance is showing. You might want to tuck that in and zip it up. How do you know what we are thinking?

I propose that:

A.) You so well versed in the patterns of human behavior and the infinitely large range of personal experiences that you are qualified to make that statement.

or

B.) You are making rash generalizations on an internet forum.

Now where did I put Occam's Razor? It's around here somewhere...

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You do realize Lennart's a real person, right? Like, an actual flesh-and-blood person. In the real world. With bowels, and everything. He's not a Silicon Valley squillionaire, either. He's just an engineer. You can go to conferences and have dinner with him. Whatever you think of his code, he does not deserve to have people casually talking about disembowelling him. Jesus. Put a lid on it.

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... or from people who have to manage real computers, and who saw their life become significantly more complicated because systemd is idiotic in many, many, many ways and has a tendency to crash for no good reason (which its apologist later re-label "very good reasons because something bad might have happened had we allowed the system to boot"). Sure, failure to mount /home/ftp/scan/Documents is a very good reason to crash a headless server at boot! Sure, keyboard mismatch is a very good reason to prevent booting!

Or not.

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FAIL

You're over-reacting. That was just a figure of speech. How can I tell? The rest of his post is perfectly sensible and reasonable. He even started out obliquely defending systemd. Does not come across as a person who even remotely thinks of that statement as a personal one in any sense.

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... complaining about or defending a fucking init system of all things ...

If it was just an init system then there'd be no problem - it could thrive or die on it's merits. But it's NOT an init system - it's an everything but the kitchen sink system.

It's designed (despite the outright lies told by it's supporters) in such a way that you can't just use bits of it, or swap bits out, or disentagle stuff you don't want. It's done in such a way that stuff that needs to run on a systemd based system MUST do things the systemd way - and that's done in such a manner that you can't then use that stuff on a non-systemd system without recompiling it to remove the systemd crap.

Thus, with several large (desktop oriented) packages re-built to need systemd, it became harder and harder to not have any systemd in the system. And then once you've got any systemd in the system, not using it becomes harder.

Given that Linus has found the "quality" of rubbish they've submitted to the kernel so poor that he had to revoke submit rights for some of them should tell you a lot. The fact that they break stuff and declare it someone else's problem to fix should tell you something. In fact, breaking stuff that used to work just fine - and then declaring that it's broken because it's not "done the systemd way" - seems to be their MO.

And they seem to be proud of this, and seem to have declared that they won't be happy until they've reinvented everything "their way". personally, if I wanted to run something as opaque and "hard to use by design" as Windows, then I'd run Windows - but i don't, so I don't, and that's why I'll stay systemd free please.

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Anonymous Coward

... Said the fanboy from the systemd forum. Piece of advice: this "blame the user" behavior is one of the things about systemd (and its proponents) that many people find so objectionable.

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Devil

"Never understood the hate for systemd."

a) *FORCING* people to change (apparently for the sake of change)

b) *FORCING* people to adopt a new method that's more complicated than before

c) no clear advantage over "the old method" for most people [particularly embedded]

d) done without asking first [aka 'arrogance and elitism']

systemd is also MONOLITHIC, as opposed to DISTRIBUTED, in the way it works. "all eggs in one basket" isn't good for stability. It's enough that the kernel must be "one basket", but what the kernel does is well-defined and in its own sandbox. Doing that to userland as well (all eggs in one basket) means that some mysterious overcomplicated "master control program" is in charge of the things that run on your computer.

The configuration is also significantly different. Where is "all of that" stored? SystemV-style init could be managed with a very simple text editor.

Additionally, for embedded stuff, you have additional overhead that doesn't exist in sysvinit. It's why I use an older raspian for RPi systems running Linux [*that* and the bluez bugs that haven't been repaired, as far as I can tell, so that when I *need* bluetooth serial to work, the older version is the obvious choice].

"change for the sake of change" causes *EXTRA* *WORK* to be done to ADAPT to that change, and when the change is perceived as UNNECESSARY, the resulting anger and resistance is predictable.

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Sorry, but no. I've been on the receiving end of enough of the same kind of crap, and it screws up your day no matter how 'sensible and reasonable' the rest of the post is. It's just not necessary.

Lennart isn't some cartoon devil. He's a guy who writes code. He's a perfectly nice guy with a family, and he doesn't let it show, but the eternal shitstorm he lives under weighs on him really quite a lot. He wrote some stuff he thinks is an improvement on what we had before and put it out there. It's a lot of hard work; a hell of a lot harder than writing nasty internet comments, for a start. You can't personalize every freaking issue you have with systemd into some kind of nastygram to the person most associated with it.

I don't like everything about systemd. I've been known to write people pointed emails about it at times. But this kind of crap is just wrong and I really hate it; people who are trying to do good work don't deserve it. Period. If you don't like systemd, fine: advocate against it with your OS or distribution or whatever. Or, more productively, help improve it - it's an open source and fairly well documented project, which takes pull requests frequently. Or write something better. But I'm so goddamn tired of this 'f**k Lennart' crap. It's lazy, stupid, hurtful and wrong. Do something better.

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Anonymous Coward

bowels

That's why if you are going to write software for other people to use, you better do a good job. Can you imagine if a real flesh and blood person that I have never met or had any interaction with in any way suddenly ruined my day, no make that days, no make that weeks, no make that months. Yes, months of pain. Jesus... told us to love our enemy, and yet I do feel hatred towards Lennart. Why give reason for people to hate you? It seems that he sort of likes being hated. Persecution complex perhaps?

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FAIL

He's a guy who writes code. He's a perfectly nice guy with a family ...

I can only judge by what I see. From his track record with code (PulseAudio has a similar reputation for 'quality" as does SystemD), and his appearances on video. For the latter, it is clear that he does not accept any criticism of his work, and treats anyone not prepared to sit around and eulogise about how great systemd is with complete and utter contempt.

He wrote some stuff he thinks is an improvement on what we had before and put it out there.

Not exactly. He's been a master of the politics and, thanks to the market position of his employer, has been able to "force"* it's adoption in key projects in a manner that makes it incredibly hard to not use it. In addition, he's as a matter of policy thrown out any thought of any backwards compatibility with existing interfaces - again this makes it a lot of work to rip it out of those systems it's infected.

And no-one with any sense of why Unix like systems have been so successful, and have such a reputation for reliability thinks that stuffing as much as SystemD does into PID 1 is a good idea. It means that even basic bugs, of which there are many, can bring the whole system down.

And some of these changes are a complete and utter PITA for users. Take something as simple as interface names. At present, ethernet interfaces are called things like eth0, eth1, etc and can be easily renamed. For the infrequent occasions when I change a NIC in a server, it's easy to change ONE config file to rename it to the same function as the one it replaces. But some supposedly intelligent people believe that it's better to force a completely new naming scheme, and so if I do anything with my NICs, I would now have to find every instance of that name throughout dozens of config files and scripts (which may include external monitoring systems). Yeah, finding all those and changing them is just so much better than just changing one NIC-name mapping - well some retards clearly think it is.

* As in, his employer has made sure that key projects include it and depend heavily on it. So you either use it, or you put a lot of effort into taking it out.

And just don't get me started on how good the programmers must be when you see a bit of code where the comments complain about the work involved in making the "sync" call asynchronous.

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Gold badge

You do realize Lennart's a real person, right?

No he's not. He's a homunculus, made out of disdain, arrogance and evil. A golem, animated by his own sense of self importance.

Blimey, I think he's got a real chance of being the next president of that miserable country.

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Gold badge

"Lennart isn't some cartoon devil. He's a guy who writes code. He's a perfectly nice guy"

No, he's not. He's an asshat.

Maybe Lennart is nice to his family. Maybe he even draws that circle around him just large enough to accommodate close personal friends. What he doesn't do is draw that circle large enough to encompass users. To them, he's an asshat.

Lennart isn't just hated because he wrote some code. People write bad code all the time. Most of the time we hate the people that constrained their resources and prevented them for writing something better, or saddled them with stupid requirements.

Lennart is hated - personally - for the lack of care, consideration and respect he has towards users. Especially those with valid grievances. His condescension, arrogance and overall public-facing demeanor have earned him the bile and vitriol he receives.

Lennart has set out to be more than just a developer. He's set himself up to be a moral guardian of what are the right and wrong ways to do things. When you put on that mantle, climb up in front of your congregation and damn the heathens, don't be shocked and shaken when those very same heathens get all bolshy in turn.

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Silver badge

And remember...

He had form before systemd, in that he was responsible for the cluster-fuck that was Pulse Audio, which was only really fixed after he moved on, I understand.

That was also an over-arching package that tried to control everything audio wise. He tried to offset blame to the distro maintainers (particularly for Ubuntu), but I struggled with it for many years (main problem being resampling rates and buffer-underruns after suspend on IBM Thinkpads, leading to gaps in the audio) before it suddenly just worked after an update.

Back in the tail end of the noughties, I think that one issue pushed more curious people away from Linux than anything else!

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Anonymous Coward

systemd - not the augean stable cleaning you were hoping for

Soon to be relabeled trumpd

Also: The systemd fallacy

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My first Unix system was 7th Edition on a PDP-11/45, back in 1975. Since then, I've seen Unix (and now Linux) grow from an elegant, small, sparse system to the furry, ungainly creature it is today. In part, this is due to increasing performance, reliability, or functionality. In part, it's creeping featurism. Most of a modern Linux system isn't done the way I'd do it, ranging from duplicated functionality to unwanted applications, not to mention hit-and-miss documentation.

I suppose if I really cared, I'd use one of those distro generators to roll my own. But frankly, life's too short. I fire up my various Debian or Ubuntu systems, and for the most part, they just work. I haven't really noticed any decline in stability with the advent of systemd (which is definitely not done the way I'd have done it).

So I wish the creators of Devuan success, but frankly neither the presence nor the absence of systemd really makes much difference to me. I just use whatever I have to get whatever I need done.

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@Vincent

I don't doubt your longevity with UNIX. It's definitely longer than me (6th Edition, 1978), but I seriously doubt that you were using 7th Edition in 1975 (although I believe PDP-11/45 in this time scale).

Most of the V7 documentation is dated 1978, and the Levenez timeline dated 7th Edition to 1979, so unless you were working in Bell Labs, I suspect that you were using 5th or 6th Edition in 1975.

Sorry to nitpick.

I must admit it is the use of XML and the severe scope of systemd that I don't like, as to me, it makes the startup of Linux pretty opaque.

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Re: @Vincent

Peter is of course correct, it was a brain fart on my part. In fact, by the time 7th Edition came out, I no longer had access to the 11/45 in question.

Reiterating my earlier point, much of present-day Linux distros (all of them) isn't the way I'd do it, but I have a life, and I just use what I have to get the job done. Linux/Unix on desktop, laptop, or server looks downright great compared to the Redmond alternative.

Some other posters have referred to disembowelment or the like. I prefer to judge software on its merits or demerits, without ad hominem comments.

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Anonymous Coward

<3 4 Devuan

I've been using it on servers, desktops, and notebooks since April. It's been a very nice experience so far. The only thing that has caused me problems is Flash. I bet you knew that already though.

Now for a shameless bit of propaganda, here is the announcement:

----------------------------------------

Dear Init Freedom Lovers,

Once again the Veteran Unix Admins salute you!

After some important fixes and updates, we continue down our path of

providing Debian without systemd by announcing the release of Devuan

Jessie Beta2.

This interim Beta2 release is another milestone as Devuan continues

towards its goal of sustainability as a universal base distribution.

Beta2 will be soon followed by a release candidate and the final

Jessie release, due beginning of 2017.

# Where we are, how we got here and where we are going

A presentation was given at the Free Society Conference and Nordic

Summit (FSCONS) earlier in November 2016 and is visible here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMvyOGawNwo

This video gives an extensive overview on all the work done so far on

Devuan. The slides shown are available here:

https://devuan.org/os/download/devuan_fscons2016.pdf

A list of live links to the derivatives mentioned in that presentation

are listed here:

https://dev1galaxy.org/viewtopic.php?id=9

# Downloads

Official Devuan images: https://files.devuan.org

Live iso from Refracta: https://sourceforge.net/projects/refracta/

(coming soon)

Minimal live iso with accessibility support: http://kalos.mine.nu

# Upgrade

As with the Beta, this release provides a safe upgrade path from

Debian Wheezy and a flawless upgrade from Debian Jessie while nearly

eliminating the necessity for anything systemd.

The Devuan Apt package repositories are:

```

deb http://auto.mirror.devuan.org/merged jessie main

deb http://auto.mirror.devuan.org/merged jessie-updates main

deb http://auto.mirror.devuan.org/merged jessie-security main

```

We provide access to our package repository also via Tor:

```

deb tor+http://devuanfwojg73k6r.onion/merged jessie main

deb tor+http://devuanfwojg73k6r.onion/merged jessie-updates main

deb tor+http://devuanfwojg73k6r.onion/merged jessie-security main

```

# Growing support

Since the Beta release, even more developers, supporters and now many

users have Devuan in production environments and on their personal

computers. This larger user-base has helped smooth the edges of the

Beta thanks to an active community.

As our journey lead by world-class experts, supporters, enthusiasts

and donors continues, we acknowledge with heartfelt thanks and

appreciation everyone of you. We are very grateful for every

donation, helping this project to survive and grow

https://devuan.org/donate

# Community

Mailinglist:

https://mailinglists.dyne.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/dng

Community Docs: https://talk.devuan.org

Community Forum: https://dev1galaxy.org

IRC channel: #devuan on freenode.net

happy hacking ;^)

_______________________________________________

devuan-announce mailing list

devuan-announce@lists.dyne.org

https://mailinglists.dyne.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/devuan-announce

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Silver badge

Ubuntu adopted it

Except the once "poster child" for easy use Linux has drunk kool-aid and lost the plot with drive to copy MS Win8 and MacOS and be Tablety/phoney.

Redhat/Fedora/CentOS (commercial) and Mint (individuals) are arguably far more important now.

I'm not able to give an opinion of systemd itself, I don't know if it's a good or bad idea. However C programming is a giant step sideways vs shell scripts.

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Silver badge

Re: Ubuntu adopted it

So? I've been a faithful Ubuntu user for a few years but I now cant get a middle mouse button to work on my machines. Its marked as a kernel bug that even swallows any attempt to emulate the third button. Only another 37 kernel release to wait for the fix. I dont play games but I'd imagine steam might like a MMB and its a long way off on the standard releases.

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Re: Ubuntu adopted it

Middle button works fine on my (X)Ubuntu laptop...I'd love to see the source for this!

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Bronze badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Ubuntu adopted it

ROFL "Most of the heat seems to have gone out of the systemd debate: Ubuntu adopted it in March".

I can refute that argument with two words: UBUNTU SUCKS.

Not even Mint 18 has been able to undo the suckiness this time.

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Facepalm

Re: Ubuntu adopted it

"Not even Mint 18 has been able to undo the suckiness this time."

yeah, coolaid drinking all around it seems.

I had to seriously research *THIS* at one time, and so I'll post it again: How to boot into a CONSOLE instead of a GUI on systemd-controlled systems.

sudo systemctl enable multi-user.target --force

sudo systemctl set-default multi-user.target

*THAT* is important, *ESPECIALLY* for servers. The fact that I had to RESEARCH! THE! HELL! OUT! OF! IT! TO! FIND! OUT! HOW! TO! DO! IT! is a _symptom_ of a BIGGER problem with systemd.

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Re: Ubuntu adopted it

If you are on RHEL 7 or Centos 7 just cat /etc/inittab and it will helpfully tell you what to do.

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Bronze badge

have been using Ubuntu and kubuntu, both subject to freezes where the only option is power off. I'm thinking this is a systems problem? tried devuan but it wouldn't install a desktop and left me looking at a $ prompt. haven't got time to muck about with all that...

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> ...freezes...

If you haven't already, try disabling power management (apm). I have two laptops and a desktop that would randomly get stuck at the oddest times. Logs failed to show any reasons for the lockup but the minute I disabled power management, the computers ran without issue--this laptop's last reboot was due to "cat+keyboard" if it helps. Laptop will lose any battery status information and you can set the kernel to boot that way to persist the changes (google will yield the steps). On at least Ubuntu/derivatives, this one (typically) has nothing to do with systemd at all (MMV).

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Silver badge

"have been using Ubuntu and kubuntu, both subject to freezes where the only option is power off."

Is the M/B Intel J1900 based? If so, Google is your friend. There are problems which require some tweaking of processor idle states. It can be done through BIOS.

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Anonymous Coward

> have been using Ubuntu and kubuntu, both subject to freezes where the only option is power off.

Sounds like a hardware problem.

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Anonymous Coward

"Sounds like a hardware problem."

My Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS server has two weird problems that it did not have without a systemd Linux

1) Ethernet adaptor sleeps. If you haven't connected for a while, you have to ping the machine about 20 times before you can ssh to it

2) You can't easily tell if the machine is scheduled to shutdown: there seems to be no systemd shutdown service (although you can actually shut the machine down).

I haven't got round to changing the O/S to see if this continues, but it's hard not to suspect systemd problems.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

What happens when a star gets too big?

At some point the cruft overwhelms the core and the whole edifice collapses under its own weight. We finally managed to get rid of sendmail and BIND. Powerful yet large and consequently fatally compromised packages written by super smart people. In this generation we have D-Bus and systemd. Powerful yet large and consequently fatally compromised packages written by super smart people. Will we ever learn?

Systemd does a lot of good things. Complaints about this ir that service aside, that's not really the problem. The tradeoff is the benefit of entrusting your servers to large, opaque systems. For all their myriad faults, the alternatives are simpler and less opaque: sysV init being the classic and s6 being a good example of something newer.

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Silver badge

Re: What happens when a star gets too big?

Best post is best

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Anonymous Coward

Systemd is weak and bloated and written by someone with the ego of a bus but lacking the intellectual capacity to go with it (and I would argue that pushed by redhat for their own agenda at the expense of the good health of the Linux ecosystem).

D-Bus is a desktop bus. I don't care whatever crap flavour exists on the desktop, I don't want it spilling over my servers, be it called dbus, kdbus, or whatever. This is not fucken NT. No,

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