back to article At last, the fix no one asked for: Portable home directories merged into systemd

The systemd-homed service, which enables portable home directories, has been merged into the code for systemd and will be included in the forthcoming 245 release. Systemd releases are typically every three to four months, and version 244 was finalised at the end of November 2019. The new merge includes over 21,000 additions to …

  1. rmacd

    Next RC codename ...

    ...I hear is "systemd-os"

    Because let's face it, it's basically an entire ecosystem at this point.

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: Next RC codename ...

      Yeah, my thoughts as well. In some quarters, emacs is referred to as "a decent OS with a lousy text editor". Clearly, systemd is going for "a decent OS with a lousy initialization philosophy and a security violation generator" or something.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Next RC codename ...

        I'd be happy if they'd just spend a few years aiming at "decent".

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Next RC codename ...

          I'd be happy if they'd just spend a few years aiming at "decent".

          Personally, I'd be happier if someone took better aim at Pottything..

    2. EVP Bronze badge

      Re: Next RC codename ...

      I dare say, systemDOS. Perhaps we should call it SM-DOS, whaddaya say?

      That piece of s-ware never given me anything but headache.

      1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist
        Thumb Down

        Re: Next RC codename ...

        You're underestimating a certain ego. It'll be PoetteringOS. Duh.

        1. Dave559

          Re: Next RC codename ...

          "PoetteringOS" would therefore be "POS" for short.

          How lucky that that particular acronym isn't already taken for anything else...

          1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

            Re: Next RC codename ...

            wow, that is fortuitous! It'll make it very easy to say and totally unambiguous!

          2. EVP Bronze badge

            Re: Next RC codename ...

            Thank you, I’m withdrawing my proposition and I fully support the apt acronym of yours!

    3. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Even better...

      The NSA is offering a free service where you can store your private profile info on their servers. Just point your work / home distros to their share and Voila!

      Nice thing is, there's no need to sync everything. Your info is already there.

      1. Mike007

        Re: Even better...

        Is this the potential compatibility thing mentioned? Encryption doesnt work with some providers...

  2. Kurgan
    FAIL

    Systemd is devastating

    Systemd is a cancer that cripples everything it touches.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Systemd is devastating

      >Systemd is a cancer that cripples everything it touches.

      SystemVD.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Systemd is devastating

      Got Devuan??

      1. keithpeter
        Coat

        Re: Systemd is devastating

        Got Devuan?

        @Bombastic

        Slackware as canary.

        If/when PV has to include systemd so as to be able to provide a full desktop within the default install as a result of the creeping symbiosis, then its freebsd.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Systemd is devastating

          "If/when PV has to include systemd so as to be able to provide a full desktop within the default install as a result of the creeping symbiosis, then its freebsd."

          Concur. However, the upcoming[0] Slackware 15 will be free of the cancer. Judging by the longevity of Slack 14.x (7+ years old and no EOL announced), Slack 15.x will be with us for the better part of the coming decade. It's probably a fairly good bet for your OS of choice for the duration. Hopefully by the time 16.x is announced, the insanity of systemd will be behind us.

          Another thing to remember is that there is enough backlash against systemd that I suspect a complete Linus-based distribution without it will be possible until long after the end of the first UNIX epoch. The kernel does not depend on systemd, and never will (according to Linus, who ought to know).

          With that said, learning BSD's way of doing things is also a good idea ... as I always say, options are good.

          [0] Who knows when ... other than "when it's ready" of course.

      2. Zolko
        Flame

        Re: Systemd is devastating

        "Got Devuan ?"

        I already downloaded it, tested the live-USB, all I need is some time to install it.

        I delayed the inevitable until now, but this home-directory stuff is the final nail in the coffin. That someone potters (*) in my base system is already bad enough, but letting such an (word would be censored) anywhere near my own data is absolutely out of question. Next-up and he'll want bitcoins to allow me access to my encrypted data.

        (*) from Pottering who potters, of course

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: Systemd is devastating

          That someone potters (*) in my base system is already bad enough

          All your base are belong to Poettering!

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Systemd is devastating

        "Got Devuan??"

        Yes.

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    One use case is where a user has a PC running Linux in both their home and office, and is able to carry their home directory with them on a portable storage device.

    This is banned in all but the smallest organisation these days. At my work your career would be "very short" if you got caught doing it....

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Indeed. Way to go and propose something that is a complete security nightmare to justify your fiddling.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        fiddling or stupidity

        1. jake Silver badge

          Fiddling and stupidity. The two are hardly incompatible.

          1. EVP Bronze badge

            You just redefined ‘symbiotic relationship’ in a definitive way. Have my humble upvote!

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      A company of any size should be issuing a company owned and managed laptop to anyone working remote. This would eliminate any need to access company files with one's home computer.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        I refuse to allow any of my personal machines to interact with my employers machines at any deep level. Doing so poses far too much risk to both myself and my employer. If my employer expects me to use mobile devices or laptops, then they must supply them to me.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          The only smart phones I have every had were issued by my employer. And yeah, the only company code I ever had on a home system was during the winddown of a bought-out startup.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Coat

            And yeah, the only company code I ever had on a home system was during the winddown of a bought-out startup.

            Did that make you feel a bit "down and out" at the time?

            Alright, I'm going already! Put the taser away!

    3. a pressbutton Silver badge

      GDPR...

      Client grants us remote access to support our app via AWS.

      No drive access of any sort outside the app sandbox (i.e. files cannot be copied local pc<>aws)

      No cut&paste

      Print to local machines switched on, but will probably be gone soon.

      The are looking into forcing fullscreen on all the time which makes it v. hard to get a screenshot.

      That portable home drive is not a use case, that is a legal case against the employer.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: GDPR...

        suggestion: dollarize (or GBP-ize) what they've done and do a report to supervisor(s) and manager(s) with financial people present in the room. Propose cost savings that include NOT doing those things [and something more sane in its place]. It might even get you a BONUS...

      2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: GDPR...

        "No cut and paste"

        Mines the one with the Phone app OCR and an arduino imitating a keyboard in the pocket.

        (At least if you allowed cut and paste with keystroke detection... you'd detect it. XD )

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Does it keep the home dir on the removable device only, or does it replicate to local disk?

      I can’t imagine depending on a USB only.

    5. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Still, unnecessary.

      This is banned in all but the smallest organisation these days. At my work your career would be "very short" if you got caught doing it....

      Once every two months I'm on call. That means either having a system at home with a Citrix (snort) client with which you connect to a portal through which you might be able to do some parts of the work you're supposed to, or carry your work laptop home (and hook up at least one extra screen because you'll need it). That laptop runs up a VPN when it detects being outside the office LAN, then attaches your shares, one of which is your home directory with all your settings and stuff. There's nothing you would need to carry home, except for the laptop itself. Unfortunately. A second machine to use at home, with the proper software and keys installed would do away with that.

      No portable home dir necessary at all

    6. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Indeed, and that use case would be my colleague's work laptop. Which is itself, oddly enough, portable. Thus not requiring this idiocy

    7. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Better idea: put that kind of thing in a cloud storage or cloud-bsed repo of some kind...

      got git[hub|lab] ??

      also with the way things are right now I have no trouble making a tarball of my /home tree for backup. if I need something more exotic than an SD card or USB drive to move files around, I can consider the cloud storage method of syncing things up.

      seriously do we REALLY need to "sync up devices" to that extent, especially when tarball backups have been sufficient since FOREVER...

      I would NOT be surprised if Poettering's latest brainfart causes my existing "tarball backup of /home directories method" to IRREVOCABLY BREAK and require much effort on my part to deal with whatever he's done...

      I now DISlike systemd even MORE than I did before.

      1. jake Silver badge

        "I can consider the cloud storage method of syncing things up."

        By "cloud" you mean "the private server I have hung off my Great Aunt Martha's DSL line in Duluth", right? Has worked for me since DSL became available in Duluth[0] ...

        [0] Town & Auntie's names changed t protect the guilty.

        1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
          Joke

          > [0] Town & Auntie's names changed t protect the guilty.

          Your Great Aunt Duluth lives in Martha's Vineyard?!?

          1. Sanguma Bronze badge

            Your Great Aunt Duluth lives in Martha's Vineyard?!?

            For so it is written in the Books of Cthulhu ...

            ia ia ia ftagn cthulhu ...for the stars are right, cthulhu. do you hear the pipes cthulhu? they were being played by shoggoths on the shores of carcosa cthulhu AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Your Great Aunt Duluth lives in Martha's Vineyard?!?

              do you hear the pipes cthulhu?

              No, but I hear the drums Fernando..

              (Reference probably only got by those compos mentis in the 1970s..)

              1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

                Re: Your Great Aunt Duluth lives in Martha's Vineyard?!?

                "....No, but I hear the drums Fernando...."

                Abba!

                'nuff said!

                ...

                ANYWAYS --- I've had this option for home profiles since 1999 on Windows 2000 !!!

                We call it ROAMING PROFILES !!!!

                And so long you have STRICT Group Policies in place, you will have NO issue with having people do their work on ANY local compute device (a laptop, a tablet, a phone or a desktop!) and resyncing that local data with the user's master home profile at work!

                I've been able to have users log-in and run corporate jobs on ANY available laptop or desktop PC using their own roaming home folder profile since 1999 and we have had complete encryption and securing of profile and work data using a set of well-thought-out group policy standards signed off by higher ups. We used to even do that with Windows Server NT 3.5 in 1995 when you had to cludge together custom domain access rules using batch files to ensure hard drive and communications port security and encryption!

                I was lucky that I had a TOP-NOTCH SysAdmin supervisor who really knew their stuff from their banking-specific IBM Mainframe shop days and KNEW something about real-world security! Whole Drive and Network Folder Encryption plus ENFORCED file access control and folder security was put in from DAY ONE when he was hired! And 128-bit encrypted local area network and wide area network communications started a few months after in late 1995! The corporate big-wigs were smart enough to give him carte-blanche to spend whatever he needed to ENSURE communications and drive security and common end-user network-usage safety training which predated today's 2020's-era anti-phishing training!

                THE KEY ISSUE was ensuring that data and hardware/software security is ABLE to be properly implemented by getting the company to pay for FAST internet connections no matter WHERE we are in the world AND making sure end-users had top-notch hardware to make it run fast enough that end-users don't notice the overhead! AND THEN have enough ENFORCED end-user seminars to ensure that users are well-educated about local and network security with some extra anti-virus/anti-phishing education.

                Sometimes you are LUCKY and have the company big-wigs on your side (in my case that was a BIG YES!) so while widespread security is MOST DEFINITELY DOABLE, it needs big-wig buy-in and some very loose corporate purse-strings!

                .

                Soooooooooo......

                Secure Group Policy +

                High Bit-Length Whole Drive and Individual File and Folder Encryption +

                Centralized File/Folder Access Control Settings +

                Secure Card + Username + Long Password-based Account and File/Folder Access Control +

                End-user Computer Security Education +

                Monthly Server Full Image Backups on All-Drives Stored Locally and Off-Site+

                Monthly All End User Devices Full Image Backups on All-Drives Stored Locally and Off-Site +

                After-Hours Daily Master Servers and All End-User Desktops/Laptops

                Multi-Drive Data Backups Stored Locally and Off-Site +

                Every 6-hour User Home Folder and Documents Folder Backups Stored Locally and Off-Site +

                = INFORMATION SECURITY BLISS !!!!!!!

                AND from experience, I can recover an entire server from image backups and daily backups onto NEWLY purchased CLEAN hardware in less than 1.5 hours! I can usually recover end-user systems in less than one hour from an offsite remote restoration server if their hardware just needs a mere wipe and restore! (We use FAST SSDs and fast 10 Gigabit Ethernet for most workstations!)

                If a user loses their work during the day, they tend to lose only maximum of about 6 hours of data from the last automated every-6-hour-backup file (usually from the 9am backup) which they can access/restore themselves via a secure-card plus username/password-based access control to the backup/restore servers.

                We also educate end-users to backup files every few minutes using their application's backup settings OR we setup an automated ZIP-file backup batch job that runs to save local temp files and end-user application/document files every 30 minute to one hour so they don't lose too much work if their app or desktop crashes!

                .

                YES! We know not every company is this diligent BUT you too can use this advice to implement some SAFE and SECURE computing infrastructure and IT security policies at ALL YOUR sites!!! (i.e. at home and/or at work!)

                .

    8. chroot

      Common

      You overlooked the quite common situation where people work at home a one or more days per week.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Common

        Find me a case where that employee doesn't have either: two machines provided by the office, or a laptop.

        I used to cycle 15 miles with a laptop. employer was kind enough to get be a spare power brick, so I had one of those at home and one at work.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Common

        I work from home every day of the week, and I don't need a "portable" home directory, or work material on my personal machine.

        I have two employer-owned laptops. They go where I go. That's been the arrangement for over 25 years, and it's always worked just fine.

        Even if I split my time between home and office, there'd be no need for a portable home directory, because for anything I need shared there are corporate change-management systems. (For historical reasons, some of my stuff is in Subversion and some is in GHE, but the specific flavor doesn't matter.)

        Windows has had portable home directories for decades. I've never had any use for that, either. We had them on UNIX workstations with NFS and other network filesystems since the '80s; I never felt the need to set them up in the years I had a collection of UNIX workstations to myself.

        Systemd is pushing an old idea that is of little or no use to most people.

    9. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

      These days?

      Why "these days"? Surely it's been banned ever since the rise of MS-DOS brought a likelihood of cross-infection and casual data leakage between $work and personal computers.

      As for portable home directories? Those who want them have had 30+ years of NFS (and variants), and before that we had terminals to a mainframe.

      Talking of which, might not a $work environment provide boxes with no writable (or no user-writable) storage, for use by staff/clients/guests with their home directory somewhere portable like a USB stick? Throw the security headache back onto the user exposing data to $work!

    10. phuzz Silver badge
      Trollface

      "This is banned in all but the smallest organisation these days."

      Steady on now, banning Linux on work PCs is a bit over the top.

      Understandable if you want a productive workforce (who don't sit around complaining about systemd all day), but banning them is still a little extreme.

  4. Joe W Silver badge

    Finally!

    That's the incentive to check out Devuan....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Finally!

      What took you so long? Looking costs nothing but a little time. What would anyone possibly think they had to lose by checking out options?

      While you're at it, you might want to eyeball Slackware. Options are good.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Finally!

        Slackware, my old friend. One of the first distros I used, but then I left for newer, sexier distros in the years since. I need to rekindle that relationship.

      2. s2bu

        Re: Finally!

        or Void Linux. I love me some Slackware, but Void is just sooo nice, especially their MUSL versions that don't use bloated glibc!

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Finally!

        I admit I haven't tried it yet, because it's not a platform we support for the products I work on, and I've had far too many home-update projects to spend time messing with a new OS for my personal machine. But the latter is getting long in the tooth and would be more useful with a decent Linux than it is running the factory Windows installation. There are only a couple of Windows-only packages on it that I'll want to keep available, probably in a VM.

        1. Lomax
          Stop

          Re: Finally!

          > a new OS

          It's not a new OS; it's Debian without the SystemD dependency. You know, like it used to be, before Jessie. If that's new to you then you can't have been long in this game.

    2. davcefai

      Re: Finally!

      Did you still need an incentive? When systemd was released on us, I felt that I was back in the Windows days! And it looks like it can only get worse. Why can't Poettering go away and write his own OS, leaving us to the stability we worked so hard to achieve?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Finally!

        "Why can't Poettering go away and write his own OS"

        Conspiracy theory: Micro-shaft money is behind it. Part of the 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' plan.

        1. P. Lee
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Finally!

          Redhat saw what Google was doing with Android and thought, "YES!"

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Finally!

      ASCII is the latest release, I think. I suggest a clean install with mate desktop using a netinstall image.

      THEN, tarball your /home from the existing box, untar onto new box, re-creaet the users and groups with matching IDs, and VOILA!

      yeah I've done this a few times, replicating my settings in VMs and on various hardware

      1. Zolko
        Boffin

        Re: Finally!

        "THEN, tarball your /home from the existing box, untar onto new box, re-creaet the users and groups with matching IDs, and VOILA!"

        What I do is to boot with the live installer, mount the /home partition (you do have a separate /home partition of curse), rename all 4 users home directories (like user → user_old), write down the fstab entries to know what user_ID correspond to what user_Name, install the new system, re-create the same users with the same user_ID (easiest is to recreate them in the same order), and let every user copy his old data to the new home directory, and VOILA.

        After a month the old user directory is removed, which has the added benefit to clean up unused garbage. Of course, you had backups before, anyway.

    4. rtfazeberdee

      Re: Finally!

      Why? its totally optional as is most of the systemd components. there are only 3 that are not optional (unless you write your own versions of them) systemd (init program), journald and udev.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Finally!

        They're all optional. The option is not to touch any of it.

    5. nematoad Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Finally!

      Did you ever use Mandrake?

      If you did you might want to give PCLinuxOS a look. It has a lot of the old Mandrake tools, like Diskdrake, Hardrake, Userdrake and so on. I always found them to be pretty easy to use so when Mandrake/Mandriva went under I looked about for a replacement. I did try Mageia and Open Mandriva but could not get on with them so when I found PCLinuxOS I was very happy.

      Now it might not be for everyone being on a rolling release but for personal use I find it ideal. Texstar has said many times that systemd would never be allowed in PCLinuxOS and given the track record of the team I reckon they have the smarts to cope with any systemd infiltration of the Linux ecology.

  5. Dr Paul Taylor

    Abandoned my home directory years ago

    When I started using Unix (variants), /home/pt consisted of my files and a few dot files.

    Now it's completely over-run with other programs' crap.

    So my filespace is /paul and /home/pt has lots of symbolic links to it. When I upgrade, /home/pt goes out with the trash.

    I don't want to take the trash with me when I move to a new Ubuntu version, any more than I do when I move house.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Abandoned my home directory years ago

      True enough. Ubuntu comes with enough trash of it's own.

      1. pPPPP

        Re: Abandoned my home directory years ago

        It's .cache that's the scary one. Full of crap. My directory is ~/Documents. Yes, it's a default directory but only my stuff goes in there. I have a .bashrc and a couple of others in there which get softlinked to the correct places.

        1. rnturn

          Re: Abandoned my home directory years ago

          I ran into serious problems with a home directory some years ago when desktop software became completely confused after an upgrade that didn't understand my old desktop config files. It prompted me to add a separate filesystem for my data files (/home/rt/Data). Anything in /home/rt is pretty much expendable; the more important "files" it contains (my profile, etc.) are actually situated under the "Data" mount point and accessed by symlinks in $HOME. (Seems like the same thing you did.)

          I actually don't care about systemd getting into the home directory business... so long as it's optional. As soon as I see that service getting installed, I'll be disabling it from starting up. If it gets to a point where I cannot do that, I'll be singing "Hello Slackware my old friend..." while I'm upgrading my desktop system.

          1. Alan_Peery

            Re: Abandoned my home directory years ago

            It may be optional for your home directory, but to make it work many tools that would otherwise manipulate things in /etc/ (shadow, passwd, group) must now be modified to make those changes into the distorted Pottering homespace dimension. Previously simple and reliable executables will become bloated and quite possibly unstable.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Abandoned my home directory years ago

      "Now it's completely over-run with other programs' crap."

      They're supposed to conform to the Open Desktop standard, put things into ~/.config or ~/.local or ~/.programname and so on. If they're NOT doing that, you should complain VERY loud to the developers and tell them to comply with open standards, maybe do a pull request with a patch to do exactly that...

      In any case, all of those ~/.programname directories are a bit irritating. I prefer it when they use ~/.config/programname instead. It makes the home dir root a LOT cleaner.

    3. Ian Johnston

      Re: Abandoned my home directory years ago

      Raspian is particularly bad for this, because it installs a lot of software in the "pi" user home directory.

  6. jason_derp

    Jeez

    I'm a systemd user and proponent, but man. It sometimes seems like the devs take a real Microsoft approach to things. I don't see the need for such a feature, have never really heard anybody requresting it, and the improvement and usability of existing features should absolutely be the priority.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Jeez

      As the article says... "It is optional"

      I agree that I can't recall anyone ever asking for this but... as it is optional...

      Personally I hope that this optional feature dies a slow and painful death.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jeez

        It is optional in *this* release...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jeez

          Waiting for systemd to filter the shell, and force the use of systemd-mount instead of mount.

          "sorry, you can't run 'mount /dev/sda1 /home/anoncoward'. Please setup a proper entry and let clippy do the work!"

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Jeez

        When you say its optional do I have to learn the binary log format to change it?

      3. InsaneGeek

        Re: Jeez

        Optional to use but it adds a large security attack vector and thousands of lines of (from previous systemd experience) of buggy code even if you don't use the feature

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Jeez

          Forget the security vector - focus instead on the migration of all your personal data from a disk, probably SSD, hopefully RAIDed and certainly backed up, to a flash disk with a life expectancy of months.

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Jeez

        "as it is optional..."

        For NOW... for now...

        The mentality of these "Feature Creepers" is to *EVENTUALLY* *CRAM* *IT* UP OUR DOWN OUR THROATS because they *FEEL* we *MUST* do it *THEIR* way. or else. Because "they" are SMARTER or something, and know better for what WE should have.

        A very very very old business principle says: The CUSTOMER is always right. Give the CUSTOMER what he wants, and if he does NOT want something you know he needs, SELL IT with a good convincing sales pitch so that he's ultimately HAPPIER about what you have to offer.

        Cramming "new unwanted" creeping features into our body orifices isn't "that".

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Jeez

      ... seems like the devs take a real Microsoft approach to things.

      Seems?

      You think so?

      Systemd is a virus.

      It works just like the registry does in MS operating systems.

      It's a developer sanctioned virus running inside the OS, constantly changing and going deeper and deeper into the host with every iteration and as a result, progressively putting an end to the possibility of knowing/controlling what is going on inside your box as it becomes more and more obscure.

      Systemd is nothing but a putsch to eventually generate and then force a convergence of Windows with or into Linux, which is obviously not good for Linux and if unchecked, will be Linux's undoing.

      So it does not seem as there's nothing new here: it's the well known MSBrace at work.

      Now go and tell me that Microsoft has absolutely nothing to do with how systemd is crawling inside/infecting the Linux ecosystem.

      O.

      1. Dr Dan Holdsworth
        Boffin

        Re: Jeez

        Really, it should be renamed "Sacculina" in recognition of what it is doing.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacculina

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Jeez

          I think Sarcoma would be more appropriate.

          1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

            Re: Jeez

            Carcinoma would be even better.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Jeez

          I visited that link - wow! thanks for that, I now have new material for nightmares (heh)

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Jeez

            The name seemed very vaguely familiar. It reminded me that it was well over 50 years since I studied any zoology.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sacculina

          I've had the misfortune to have read about those species before. They are absolute nightmare fuel.

          Don't be tempted to follow too many links from that Wikipedia page: nature has so many forms of horrible horrible parasite that you can learn about, that your skin will crawl, and you'll be fervently hoping that it's only a nervous reaction that's making it do so.

      2. steelpillow Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Jeez

        "Now go and tell me that Microsoft has absolutely nothing to do with how systemd is crawling inside/infecting the Linux ecosystem."

        Well, I am prepared to accept that Poettering is not in Microsoft's pocket as such.

        But then, the Lizards appear to have taken over both skins, so the difference is pretty academic.

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Jeez

        Systemd isn't a virus. It's a cancer. It should be cut out of the Linux body before it manages to kill off the entire thing.

      4. TVU

        Re: Jeez

        To this day, I still do not know what possessed the Debian Project to go with systemD as the init system. The unfortunate thing is that all the downstream distributions were then affected/infected.

        Personally, I prefer the old Linux/current BSD way of doing things not least because too much mission creep is still going on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jeez

          The unfortunate thing is that all the downstream distributions were then affected/infected.

          That's why it was done. As to how: certain key projects, controlled by redhat, emplaced dependencies on systemd early in it's development, requiring shims if they were to be used without it. It soon became impolitic to question this tactic or the expansion of systemd into other projects, and after a while it was easier to just give in and default.

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Re: Jeez

            The udev dependency was the big turning point. I called it out at the time but funny thing when you are writing the most lines of code in FOSS you often get to dictate. Red Hat wants as much FOSS dependent on Linux only and by extension Red Hat as possible.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Jeez

              Take a look at a typical port for a major application written "for Linux" such that it runs on FreeBSD, and this becomes VERY clear.

              Linux-isms are often all over the place, from the assumptions about /proc or /sys to the presence of D-bus or hald or (worse) PULSE AUDIO or (even worse) SYSTEMD.

              They should build/test on FreeBSD and Devuan and maybe even Slackware first, before releasing.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Jeez

                C'mon, bob, coding for portability's not a Linux issue and you know it. Spreading the FUD that you decry in others dilutes your argument.

                1. asdf Silver badge

                  Re: Jeez

                  GNU/Linux and especially Red Hat going out of their way to take a dump on POSIX means even if projects care about portability it is no longer trivial to do so in many contexts. Used to come nearly for free. For example sorry not every *nix has /bin/sh/ -> /usr/bin/bash (or dash) which seems to be assumed all too often.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Jeez

                    "For example sorry not every *nix has /bin/sh/ -> /usr/bin/bash (or dash) which seems to be assumed all too often."

                    Null argument. I'm not all that sure why people try to make out like it's important.

                    Anybody who notices the lack of sh can easily install it, either for their own use or system-wide if they have proper authority. Note that this can be accomplished without affecting any existing scripts on the target system.

                    1. asdf Silver badge

                      Re: Jeez

                      I agree if you care about portability but you get lazy devs you have only ever developed on Linux and might just assume bash is always available regardless of default shell script. There many better examples but just pointing out plenty of existing *nix systems have virtually no GNU binaries on their file system. Granted probably won't be installing much FOSS on those either though but should be easier to do without having to import in half an OS of binaries and libraries virtually unrelated to software interested in. Guess just saying Linux in many ways has become the defacto POSIX now.

                    2. Simian Surprise

                      Re: Jeez

                      > Anybody who notices the lack of sh can easily install it

                      It's not about not having /bin/sh! It's about systems which have *a* /bin/sh that *isn't* bash. All that POSIX requires is that it implements the POSIX shell as specified. Some distros use bash, some distros use dash, some use a stripped-down shell that only supports what POSIX needs.

                      The problem is software which assumes that you can write bash-isms and then run them with sh. If the script starts with #!/usr/bin/env bash" or something, then the user can install b"ash as needed. If it starts with #!/bin/sh then it won't work on non-bash-native platforms at all.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Jeez

          "To this day, I still do not know what possessed the Debian Project to go with systemD as the init system"

          This might help: http://blog.jorgenschaefer.de/2014/07/why-systemd.html

          His summary: the insight from this blog post should be that SysV init is simply outdated and The race for the standard to replace SysV init was won, for better or worse, by systemd.

          Translation: he "felt". I use the 'F' word 'feel' in a pejorative sense. If the individual processes were to use the 'daemon' utility, and/or manage themselves, this would NOT be "needed". Fixing the init scripts to comply with a standard, would have been better. and in fact, they did. 'service blahblah command' would do the trick. But I digress...

          My initial impressions with this blog were POOR, noting the "light grey on blinding white" color scheme, for starters. That's pretty clueless and irritating to ANYONE over 50 (and quite possibly younger) because, dammit, even THICK GLASSES aren't enough to see THAT kind of irritating color scheme!!! It's actually WORSE than the light blue on blinding white that GOOGLE and APPLE use! And so you can assume that THESE guys (who make their allegedly-cool-looking web pages UNREADABLE by half the people on the planet) are arrogant, just based on the color choices, with NO clue as to the reality outside of their tiny little circle.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Jeez

            He opens with assertion: "But on modern systems, this should be done in parallel, not just sequentially."

            Why?

            On a system that typically boots once in a blue moon who cares if it takes an extra few seconds to do things in a predefined sequence that is known to work?

          2. Tom 64

            Re: Jeez

            Downvoting for eye-bleeding use of caps

    3. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: Jeez

      "I don't see the need for such a feature, have never really heard anybody requresting it, and the improvement and usability of existing features should absolutely be the priority."

      Yep, very Microsoft. As in: Teams.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Jeez

      "and proponent"

      Given the remainder of the comment the obvious question is "why?".

  7. karlkarl Silver badge

    I am not a fan of systemd but at the same time I cannot blame GNU/Linux. GNU has *never* claimed to be UNIX. Actually its very acronym re-enforces this fact.

    For too long has Linux been governing the direction of unix-like platforms and this in general has been quite annoying.

    I for one am happy to see GNU/Linux go its own way. For the rest of us UNIX-lovers, there is FreeBSD, OpenBSD, etc.

    My only worry is that Linux doesn't take all the hardware driver support along with it XD

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      As a FreeBSD users, the other downside is that a lot of stuff is created, developed, built and maintaiuned on Linux before being ported to other OS. When application devs use SystemD features, it's makes the porting job that much more difficult and potentially laggy or less functional.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Yes. As also seen with the ALSA/OSS mess

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "My only worry is that Linux doesn't take all the hardware driver support along with it"

      My worry is that systemd doesn't take all the software support along with it.

  8. Mike 137 Silver badge

    The way forward

    We got used to not-strictly-compatible versions of Linux. Now Linux is becoming a non-compatible version of Windows.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: The way forward

      When MS was more dominant, Linux users regularly moaned that software should be portable.

      However, from very early on, it was obvious that "portable" meant "runs on Linux" - Stuff written on Linux generally doesn't give a crap about portability.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: The way forward

        > Linux users regularly moaned that software should be portable.

        I've been in the Linux world for decades, and I don't remember any such moaning at all. I'm not saying that it didn't happen, but it didn't happen enough that it's something that I noticed.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: The way forward

          You couldn't escape it on slashdot about 20 years ago. Everytime someone commented on some great new software (that was on Windows only) there would be a huge bunch of replies bitching that "the software should be portable". "You should be able to run it on your OS of choice", and "you shouldn't use windows just because some stupid company refuses to support all platforms".

          I remember with flash. Linux folks used to keep moaning that flash should be portable, it should be open-source, etc.etc. then when Macromedia released a --binary-- version of flash for Linux, they went quiet.

          On more than one occasion, I posted about the viability of flash on FreeBSD (this was before the emulation worked) only to get replies like "If you want to run flash, there's nothing stopping you installing Linux".

          The same attitude was used on other people, and regarding other software. - I even recall someone commenting on some forum how to port some linux program to windows, and he got shouted down for "encouraging MS crap", and there is no need to port it, he just needs to use Linux.

          It was more noticable if you weren't a windows or linux user, but it was commonplace.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: The way forward

            > You couldn't escape it on slashdot about 20 years ago.

            I was very active on Slashdot around then.

            > Everytime someone commented on some great new software (that was on Windows only) there would be a huge bunch of replies bitching that "the software should be portable".

            Well, that may explain it, then. I never bothered to read about Windows-only software. I will suggest, though, that the Linux people who did this are a serious minority and not at all representative of the attitude of the Linux community in general. We are talking about /. after all.

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: The way forward

              Well, that may explain it, then. I never bothered to read about Windows-only software. I will suggest, though, that the Linux people who did this are a serious minority and not at all representative of the attitude of the Linux community in general. We are talking about /. after all.

              True, you're right there. slashdot is like mumsnet for geeks!

              I shouldn't have impled it was more common than it was

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: The way forward

                I shouldn't have impled it was more common than it was

                Probably an easy mistake to make.. I consider using *nix, a firefox-based browser, ad- and script-blockers, other privacy tools etc to be quite normal - because I spend much of my computer time (including talking or thinking about them).

                When I come across someone using Win 7 with an AV last updated during the factory install, using IE or Chrome, no ad/privacy protection - it sometimes takes quite a bit of effort to realise THIS is normal desktop use, not what I've surrounded myself with.

                TL:NWR : If that's where you spent your time, that was your "normal". Can't fault anyone for thinking their "normal" is most people's :)

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: The way forward

            Yeahbut ... the fanbois on /. have never been known as the movers & shakers of the Linux world, now have they? Or any other world, for that matter. Legends in their own minds they are.

            Flash was always an accident waiting to happen. Some may have lusted after it on their platform of choice, but not anybody with clues.

            "someone commenting on some forum" is rather vague.

            Why would non-windows-or-linux users have cared enough about either to actually remember fanboi comments some 20 years later?

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: The way forward

              Yeahbut ... the fanbois on /. have never been known as the movers & shakers of the Linux world, now have they? Or any other world, for that matter. Legends in their own minds they are.

              Yes, fair point. I did make it sound more prevalent than it actually was.

              Flash was always an accident waiting to happen. Some may have lusted after it on their platform of choice, but not anybody with clues.

              Horrible software, yes, but often needed back then for a lot of web sites. *shudder* Remember those sites that had all their navigation links in a flash or java applet? ! arrrgh!

              "someone commenting on some forum" is rather vague.

              Why would non-windows-or-linux users have cared enough about either to actually remember fanboi comments some 20 years later?

              Yes, it was vague, because it was so long ago!

              Back then, I used to maintain the FreeBSD port of the linux flash plugin, and as such, used to track updates and chase issues on the macromedia linux-flash forums.... Also, I've got good memory :-)

              https://www.freshports.org/www/linux-flashplugin7

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Ask not what can go wrong

    Ask instead what might possibly still go right with this complete and utter crap.

    Both my main machines are already on devuan, so maybe it's time to transfer the laptop as well - even though I don't use it very much.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS can someone stop this nutter wrecking linux

    can't somebody just send him off to make his own shit OS, something like he could call it POTTYPOX

    1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

      Re: FFS can someone stop this nutter wrecking linux

      systemd not compatible with reality. Fix reality - WONTFIX

  11. chuckufarley
    Devil

    I wonder if I'll be able to...

    ...Carry my root user between home and where ever I find a system that isn't properly configured.

    1. chuckufarley

      Re: I wonder if I'll be able to...

      After thinking a bit more...

      What if I make a user whose home directory is /root/build and then try to move it to another system?

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if I'll be able to...

      I have a bootable USB stick with Linux installed that accomplishes this (in the absence of disk encryption, anyway).

  12. katrinab Silver badge
    Flame

    Why?

    I don't get it. What problem is this solving?

    If you want to sync files between different computers, you can use NextCloud, or other cloud storage solutions exist. It lets you choose what you want to share, who you want to share it with, and all sorts of other things that SystemD doesn't allow. Also, you can share with other operating systems, like for example mobile devices.

    I switched over to FreeBSD about 10 years ago for other reasons. I don't think I will be switching back any time soon.

    1. hnwombat
      Devil

      Re: Why?

      I think it's for the people that find NFS too hard to configure, and would rather copy their whole home directory over the network every time they log in rather than just the files they need. Just like Windoze!

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Why?

        Setting up NFS on FreeBSD is way easier than setting up anything related to SystemD.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Why?

          just remember to include 'soft' and 'nointr' in your mount options in fstab [or elsewhere]. Otherwise a b0rked network connect via NFS would probably create problems you don't EVEN want to consider...

          Interestingly I understand ZFS has some built-in NFS-related features... [have not tried yet though]

          1. theOtherJT

            Re: Why?

            Oh god. nfs-kernel-server. Please, please no. I'm having flashbacks.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Why?

              Any bets as to how long it'll be before the egomaniac/sociopath implements EMACS, LaTeX, Ghostscript and/or Wayland into the clusterfuck?

              Come to think of it, what about an https server? I see a great need!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      "you can use NextCloud"

      And run that on Devuan of course.

  13. Ross 12

    Cloudless hot-desking? Great. Still, if it's just an option to be used by whoever it is that needs it, then that's ok. Really don't want it enabled by default though thanks

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Flor cloudless hotdesking there exist wonderful things called laptops.

      Or on site servers with thin client access to your dekstop...

      I actually cannot see a use case - there is just soo much that can go wrong, and so little that can go right.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      So, a desktop environment that's on a network but has nowhere to store profiles? Or shared data?

      Log this invention with other great ones like the chocolate fireguard.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Flame

        The data is stored on usb sticks that the employee carries around with them.

        Comparing this to a chocolate fireguard is offensive to chocolate fireguards. Chocolate fireguards can be eaten and taste quite nice. There is nothing good to say about this idea.

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      "Cloudless hot-deskting" in this context means, "company documents carried around everywhere on non-backed-up USB sticks. I can think of lots of words to describe that idea. "OK" is very definitely not one of them.

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      > Cloudless hot-desking? Great.

      Not great. Hot-desking is a scourge whether or not the cloud is involved.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        I had one (contractor) job where technically hotdesking was in use. Since there were enough desks everyone sat at “their” desk every day.

        But when I visited an office at the other end of the country I just sat at a desk, logged in and my desktop was still running.

        Hotdesking with thin clients done well is actually quite nice, disconnect at the end of the day, pick up where you left off tomorrow, when you rock up to a desk in an office several hundred miles away - hopefully that long running task you kicked off will have finished in the meantime.

        IT have easy backups, and trivial upgrades (they just happen when you eventually log off - your next login is to the new image)...

        It might be old fashioned, but it really worked well.

        Yes there are *many* ways to do it badly!

  14. Baldrickk Silver badge

    the problems it fixes are not pressing and may be outweighed...

    Sounds like systemd in a nutshell.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: the problems it fixes are not pressing and may be outweighed...

      Have one of these for the most succinct answer!

  15. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

    This reminds me of older business model than Microsoft

    That's IBM and the "IBM Way" of designing and implementing computing systems.

    Their Systems Engineers used to have a very Poettering-like attitude of knowing what you need better than you do: you'll do this the IBM Way and like it.

    Don't forget, too, that Poettering seems to be closely connected with Red Hat as well as Gnome.org and that Red Hat is now part of IBM.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: This reminds me of older business model than Microsoft

      That's a bit unfair to IBM's engineers. Yes, it used to be like it or lump it, but they were at least engineers and produced properly engineered systems. The real problems were generally caused by management and the bean counters, as in so many big American companies once they become successful.

      Red Hat has for years been trying to define RHEL as the Linux for business and has been following similar lock-in strategies as Oracle, Microsoft, et al. And it seems to be working, or at least lots of companies seem happy enough with the value proposition. Which is probably why IBM bought their company.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: This reminds me of older business model than Microsoft

        "as in so many big companies world-wide once they become successful."

        FTFY ...I'm sure you didn't want your xenophobia attached to your real name.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: This reminds me of older business model than Microsoft

          Fair point, though I've yet to see the policy applied elsewhere quite as zealously as in the good ole USA! Though global capital markets have made it easier for "activist" investors to try it around the world.

        2. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

          Re: This reminds me of older business model than Microsoft

          I don't really give a monkeys - I saw this attitude in person back in the mid-70s. Even the IT guy and the comptroller had no good words for the IBM SE's who visited the small Long Beach, NYC company, which I was designing and building a system for. They bought an ICL 2903 to replace their System/3, at least partly to get away from IBM. That companies IT people hadn't a good word to say for IBM and their IT guy had been blackballed by them for buying 3th party disks at a previous workplace.

          However, I must say that 15 years later, when I did a lot of work on AS/400 kit I was well impressed with the quality of the hardware. No hardware glitches or software bugs in the 18 months we worked on that project. I liked OS/400 quite a lot too - and would have liked it more apart from its rather pathetic non-hierarchic filing system, stupidly short (9 character) names and the horrid RPG3 that was pushed as its everyday programming language.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: This reminds me of older business model than Microsoft

            Says a lot if they preferred to move from IBM to ICL.

            I think a lot of people consider the AS/400 to be the pinnacle of IBM's achievements in computing. Presumably the team was left alone long enough.

  16. jonathan keith Silver badge
    Windows

    Blimey.

    With the direction that systemd is going, I'm glad I decided to stick with Windows. Why use an inferior copy when you can have the original?

    :o)

    1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

      Re: Blimey.

      faultless logic.

  17. P.B. Lecavalier

    openRC

    openRC works fine for me on Gentoo. Pity it does not have better documentation, which could help to have it spread elsewhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: openRC

      It also worked fine on one of my Manjaro installations.

      Briefly.

      Maintenance became increasingly difficult as packages got ever more intertwined with systemDOH.

  18. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Solved this problem years ago

    mount file-server.local:/home /home nfs defaults 1 1

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Solved this problem years ago

      And if the server went down? Or something on the network decided to have a bad day? And what about hot-desking between OFFLINE machines?

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Solved this problem years ago

        Do think about your questins, how much offline stuff do we do nowadays?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Solved this problem years ago

          "how much offline stuff do we do nowadays?"

          Who is "we", Kemosabe?

  19. Allonymous Coward
    Devil

    where a user has a PC running Linux in both their home and office, and is able to carry their home directory with them on a portable storage device

    Wow. That must literally be hundreds of users.

    1. GBE

      where a user has a PC running Linux in both their home and office, and is able to carry their home directory with them on a portable storage device

      > Wow. That must literally be hundreds of users.

      Until IT catches them -- then they won't have an office to worry about.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        And if it turns out to be someone OVER IT's head, like an executive?

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Holmes

          " And if it turns out to be someone OVER IT's head, like an executive?"

          Cattle Prod.

          1. Fatman Silver badge

            Re: " And if it turns out to be someone OVER IT's head, like an executive?"

            Or a faulty lift!

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          An executive wanting a portable home directory? What have you been smoking?

          Any of the ones who knew enough to want one of those, probably already know how to setup an NFS share or their own, encrypted USB stick.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            An executive wanting a portable home directory? What have you been smoking?

            I'd be more surprised at an exec wanting to take work home! For that matter, even just wanting to work (beyond the bare minimum).

            --> Because.. Ah, you'll figure it out :)

        3. dnicholas Bronze badge

          >>And if it turns out to be someone OVER IT's head, like an executive?

          An executive, running Linux? There must be an endangered list for such a unicorn like beast

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      re: "hundreds of users ..."

      Of which an even smaller number aren't seriously breaking the rules

  20. JohnFen Silver badge

    A million times no

    Portable home directories give me nothing I need or want and brings extra complexity to the operating system. There's zero chance that I'll be enabling this stuff. Particularly after I'm done escaping this Brave New Linux World and go to BSD.

  21. steelpillow Silver badge
    Trollface

    Where are you?

    Yes you, the zillions of users who luuurve SystemD sooo much. You don't show your faces frikkin' here do you? And if not at the greatest IT discussion forum on the planet, then WTF? Don't exist? Got no clothes? One might be forgiven for suspecting that the SystemD evangelists are a rather small cadre of downright liars. Go on, feckin' prove me wrong!

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Where are you?

      The biggest problem is that systemd is (sort of) trying to solve issues for people with laptops (faster boot time byrunning a couple of tasks in parallel), and people who don’t have laptops (portable home directories) but is doing so by chaining servers down with impenetrable logs...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Where are you?

        "trying to solve issues for people with laptops"

        These days I use laptops almost entirely and I still don't have a problem it solves. With a hybrid drive boot time isn't a problem and time to get online is dominated by negotiating access with wireless. If I want to sync something between machines I have a specific directory for it on both machines which is separately synced with NextCloud (on a Pi running Devuan), not an entire $HOME and certainly not on flash drive.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Where are you?

        The biggest problem is that systemd is (sort of) trying to solve issues for people with laptops (faster boot time byrunning a couple of tasks in parallel), and people who don’t have laptops (portable home directories) but is doing so by chaining servers down with impenetrable logs...

        I have a nice fast computer tucked away that I hardly touch. SMGT only generally (except last weekend I made some space for a fresh Devuan install and a try of Steam/Proton - this weekend try to play it and see if I can rm -rf /Windows next weekend).

        Most everything else is done from a Dell D630 with a whopping 4g of RAM and 2TB of ultra-cheap HDD. Does have Nextcloud syncing with other machines (including my server also running a D630 - what can I say, I found some for a tenner, bricks and docks included!).

        Boot time is measured in minutes. But... I often just put it into sleep or hibernate (sadly sleep is as dead as the battery, which I discovered lifeless this morning :( ).

        On my non-working-mornings I get out of bed, walk to the desk in the lounge, turn the machine on, go for a leak, turn on the jug, let the cat out, clean the litter box (if needed), clean up, make the coffee, do my morning reading (one of those freaks who reads paper book stuff during that first coffee), wash the dishes (one of those freaks who does dishes once a day unless desperate - nice having plenty of bench space), then turn on the monitor. I don't know how long the machine actually took to boot, was it 5 minutes? 35? 2 minutes? 20 seconds? Don't have a clue, don't need to know.

        If I am working and at a client's place where I can run it, I'll check their needs first, if nothing urgent turn it on then go and start any meal I am supposed to be cooking, or do any cleaning, or gardening or other jobs I am there for. Again, no idea how long it takes to boot, when I am ready so is it.

        If I am there as someone to keep an eye on them after certain meds, same thing. Check them, turn puta on, chat with them for a while, do any other tasks that need/can help with doing (technically not there to do dishes but some of them really appreciate it when I give their kitchen a good clean - none of them will complain to my bosses and it helps me with my being borderline OCD about clean kitchens and kitchen stuff!). When I'm done with that and they're settled, the little box of stressful happiness is ready. 1 minute? 100 minutes?

        If I was in an office, I'd sort out any paper work while the machine was starting, or collect any thing else I might need to start my day (including the first dozen coffees). If I was allowed, I might also set my machine to turn on a few minutes before I am due to arrive so it's ready. When did BIOS's first have an auto-on timer? Has been some 20 years anyway I believe. And now I mention it, in '94 I had a machine turn on automatically with a mechanical mains timer switch - back in the old days of mechanical latching switches rather than the electronic push-buttons we have today.

        Boot speed isn't an issue if you have even a fraction of an IQ point and/or the slightest bit of organisational skill.

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Where are you?

      Very few people outside of Red Hat are defending SystemD. But since Red Hat writes way more lines of code than just about anyone else (few other mega corps aside) those are all that matter. Money talks even in FOSS and systemd is Red Hat monetizing FOSS.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Where are you?

      They used to try to convince us (TINU) that the systemd cancer was a good thing, but as they were always arguing from an emotional point of view, our more logical way of looking at the issue sent 'em away with their tails between their legs.

      Face it, the only people who stand to profit from systemd are the folks in charge of the money at RedHat ... now IBM. Note that I don't think IBM had anything to do with it. Nor do I think Microsoft had anything to do with it.

      Also note that IBM is in a position to do something about it. Nobody else is.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Where are you?

        The worrying thing about IBM is that with the effect on IBM's bottom line and the management changes it's starting to look like a reverse takeover.

  22. chuBb. Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Joy

    Already posted a length diatribe about this stupidity the last time el reg had an article about this nonsense. True case of not invented here.

    My pet theory for this shites existance is that the dev over thought rsyncing home folders between his test machines

    Or thought that having 20 extra locations errant config files can hide in ruining your day is a good thing, the prick

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My pet theory for this shites existance is that...

      ...the lead developer is seeking to make his mark on history and he doesn't give a dam' who else gets sacrificed along the way.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: My pet theory for this shites existance is that...

        > the lead developer is seeking to make his mark on history

        Oh, he's already done that. Probably not in the way he wanted, though.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: My pet theory for this shites existance is that...

          "Probably not in the way he wanted, though."

          Not in the way the rest of us want, not sure if he cares, though.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: My pet theory for this shites existance is that...

        ...the lead developer is seeking to make his mark on history and he doesn't give a dam' who else gets sacrificed along the way.

        Is he related to Farage or Johnson?

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: related to Farage or Johnson?

          No, Dominic "Wormtongue" Cummings. Who is unelected and not even a Tory Party member.

          Has this guy imbibed all the worst ideas of NT, such as roaming profiles that meant it took minutes to login and also would erase your own files if it went wrong, so much so that on NT 4.0 and XP we created a SEPARATE per user share for files and a separate directory on the local PC for documents as "My Documents" could get wiped?

          This is a truly stupid idea on so many levels. You could write a small book with a chapter on each stupid aspect of this.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My pet theory for this shites existance is that...

        "the lead developer is seeking to make his mark on history and he doesn't give a dam' who else gets sacrificed along the way."

        Careful there! If you obliquely mention Poettering and "sacrificed" in the same sentence, I may have pleasant dreams tonight...

      4. chuBb. Bronze badge
        Pint

        Re: My pet theory for this shites existance is that...

        Spot on have a pint on me,

        I wonder if systemd will be looked upon like the graffiti in pompei, "ohh isnt this interesting, someone carved a rudimentry phallus with what looks like brutus woz ere underneath" because its about as much use as that.

        Dont get me started on the farce that is the network config stack in current ubuntu offerings, why did they decide that 80% compatible was good enough, its not like many people and systems relied on dummy interfaces behaving like an actual interface?? Was a great day to find that the keepalived logic was irrepariably broken when trying to drop a node out of a cluster, when all that was needed before was a simple "ifdown dummy0"

      5. Kiwi Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: My pet theory for this shites existance is that...

        ...the lead developer is seeking to make his mark on history and he doesn't give a dam' who else gets sacrificed along the way.

        Somehow reminds me of a local stray tom.

        About the same result.. A foul stench that can take some effort to clean up, and can easily cause loss of sleep (ever tried sleeping through the smell of tomcat?), and is something disgusting you really don't want around your /home.

        Interestingly.. The same "solutions" could also work in both cases (although I am a cat lover and would much rather give the cat a chance to be taught better behaviour and given a better life, his chances of redemption are much better than Pottering etc)

  23. Richard 12 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    SystemD as a concept is ok

    It's only the implementation and feature set that's utterly insane.

    An easy way to say that service X depends on services Y and Z is very useful, as is a single unified interface for stop/start/restart that handles the dependencies.

    How about just stopping at that, eh?

    1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: SystemD as a concept is ok

      But then the systemd team would not get any nice backhanders from another OS maker.

      It is notable that the biggest user of Linux on the planet (Android) does not use systemd.

      Remember the M$ way "embrace,extend,extinguish" - systemd seems to be parts 2 and 3 of this procedure.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: SystemD as a concept is ok

      Pretty sure that’s what pod files have done for years...

      1. rbaba

        Re: SystemD as a concept is ok

        Well it hasn't even done that right. Windows has something more correct where the "service" notifies that is now ready, but systemd thinks a service has started if it hasn't existed after a few milliseconds.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: SystemD as a concept is ok

          I’ll assume the drunken elf changes exited to existed ;)

          Absolutely, and you only write your pidfile when you have actually started.

          There exists the “started then locked” error condition, but if your process is that critical you have a watchdog.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh, please

    This ain't nothing. A place that I do some work for (no, I'm not in charge or this would never happen) has gone all Microsoft and given everyone their very own OneDrive account. You can access the OneDrive account from anywhere which supports OneDrive (so not a Linux system, then, unless you do a hack with a toll like inSynch https://www.insynchq.com/blog/insync-3/) and you will have full access to all your files from anywhere. I can think of numerous security issue, not least of which is that if you use someone else's login ID you have full access to all their files. From anywhere. And certain people, including quite senior people, have been known to write down their passwords, and all company logins are the official email address, and the official email address is familyname and initials of two personal names with numbers if you have a common name at company dot com. If there are more than one persons who have the same fam name and initials, add numbers. There are at least six garciajas, so that's garciaja and garciaja1 through 5. If you know your target's name (the Big Boss is one of the garciajas; guess which one) and get hold of his password, you own the damn system. No thumb drive needed.

    Did I mention how much I hate cloudy crap?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: oh, please

      I’d suggest 2FA, but that boss would no doubt insist on an exception for their account...

      I had a pre-uni job and got first.last@company.com, 6 hours later another person of the same name (no extra initials) started their permanent role at the company - time zones were cruel. They got first.last.2@company.com. Since I was sat with the relevant admins and only my parents actually had the address at that time I offered to let the permie (who would end up with the two for the rest of their career there) have the prime account, but was told to keep it.

    2. chuBb. Bronze badge

      Re: oh, please

      LOL

      You dont mention it but it sounds like Office 365, Onedrive Professional is not Onedrive, in as much as Skype for Bussiness is Lync with a rebrand (as demonstrated by setting the GPO to reduce training costs and panic in users presented with different emoticons [fuck emoji] to the ones they like) and had 0 shared code with Skype for Plebs. Seriously you should have a look at the complience and security features in the admin portal, every one of your scenarios are covered. Auditing better than you probably run on handcrafted system of your own devising, very granular file permissions, and lock down based on device class and access medium

      FYI you can easily mount onedrive professional in linux, as its just a front end to your sharppoint online azure storage user containers just have a look at the various azure storage binaries and libs available (azcopy and various fuse libs)

      As for the outrageous info sec blunder of name.surname[enumeration]@company.tld, i know if only the fleshbags would use there numeric identifier, i mean its obvious that if you talk to joe blogs at a conference that 6873165@company.tld would be his email address. "But its easily phished" i hear you cry, yup well sure emails can be guessed, but phising only works because of user error and human nature, its a training problem not a tech problem, sure blow some budget on a spam/phising scanning service to get rid of the obvious chod hitting your perimeter but dont rely on it, its a saftey blanket not a bullet proof vest. Writing passwords down aint that big a deal, just enable 2fa and enable auditing and put a 16char min length and turn off password expiration and train users to use an xkcd style password (horse-MAST-tree-solder 4 random words, hyphenated, and make a storey up to remeber it "I rode my horse to the tv mast, looked at the tree and found my solder"), and to have 2 or 3 for differing levels of data value along with a HR signed off policy with teeth to deal with people who cant live with out password123 or god777 , as if your only relying on a password there is your real WTF, not the bits which make the system usable to the average user.

      Remember if everyone had an aptitude for tech you wouldnt have a job, as annoying as users are they are a necessary evil

  25. Grogan

    Context of optional

    Systemd's optional features tend to be optional in the sense that distributors decide what features they are going to implement. Your distributor will initially decide whether to use homed for home directories (I don't necessarily mean on removable media etc.) and if you know how, you can undo it. Similarly with the binary journals, a user can edit the configuration to disable the journals and install and configure another sysklog program (e.g. syslog-ng).

    I dislike systemd but I can work with it if I have to. I have one distro (a heavily customized Manjaro) that I use for gaming and I have defanged systemd as much as I can. I use straight forward static networking, I disable the binary journals and use syslog-ng, I disable unwanted init units with systemctl, mask static units that I don't want, as well as unwanted things that start through sockets. I don't mind using systemctl so much, but I do dislike what's behind it (that system of unit symlinks etc.)

    Stuff like this is not "optional" for the average user though.

    For my real system, I'd use Linux from Scratch (non systemd of course) and/or Slackware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Context of optional

      Yep. This sounds like a device/phone option for distributors. Keep all user data in a "portable" partition/usb/etc (like on a game console) and reset/reinstall/upgrade the OS without any fear of losing user data. (For the easy solution, not the *right* solution ;) )

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Context of optional

      That's a lot of trouble to have to go to instead of using a systemd-free distro.

  26. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

    I Do Not Understand Why the Hostility Toward Systemd

    Systemd is a great OS. All it really needs is a good init system.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I Do Not Understand Why the Hostility Toward Systemd

      I can't upvote you more than once, so have one on me >>=====>

  27. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Ok, blame me

    I've been informed that I'm the one guy on the face of the Earth who asked for something like homed. In my defence, I have no recollection of any software discussion that night. I have dim recollections of a great many decent shots of whiskey, some awful fruity crap, something about bras, and some other stuff my barrister says I should not discuss. So when did I talk about systemd-homed? Can't recall, must've been the booze talking.

  28. dnicholas Bronze badge

    Reinventing the wheel

    Or rather, reinventing roaming profiles. Only problem is, roaming profiles suck

  29. Toby Poynder

    On a brighter note, there *are* alternatives

    Anyone got any experience with S6? Looks promising to my uneducated eyes but would be interested to hear from anyone who has actually used it in anger.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: On a brighter note, there *are* alternatives

      From that link: "using much less resources than the traditional syslogd."

      Traditional?

      Anyone who thinks systemd is traditional is to be avoided.

  30. rbaba

    It's 2020, why is systemd-homed a thing?

    How many people shot and missed at this?

  31. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
    Meh

    No point

    It would be useful if user data AND apps could be portably moved around, but you can't really do that in Linux/Unix because when you install something, the various files that make up the application are sprayed all over the hard disk. As a relative Linux newbie it still pisses me off. I have to go hunting for config files, and the log files are somewhere else, and the binaries are somewhere else. Bah. I suppose it comes from the earliest days of Unix?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No point

      "I suppose it comes from the earliest days of Unix?"

      Not quite, at least not in its present form.

      You need to remember that Linux, like Unix, is fundamentally a multi-user system. If an application can be used by all users then its binaries, logs and configs can't be in user home directories. If the data - say a database - is shared then the data can't be either but your office files should then be in your home directory. If you have personal configs that override the defaults then they do go in your home directory.

      One area which has changed a good bit is the overall file system layout. Unix had /lib for libraries and /bin for binaries. There might well have been something like /sbin for binaries needed at start-up/single user mode because devices were small and these would be programs needed before the system was ready to mount the others.

      Home directories went in /usr - the name was a bit of a clue. Then for some reason we had some stuff going into /usr/bin and /usr/lib so eventually home directories ended up being shunted out of /usr into /u or /u2 and eventually /home. There does seem to be some inconsistency between distros as to whether some or all stuff goes into /bin, /lib or the /usr equivalents and, indeed, as to whether the /bin and /lib exist at all or as symlinks.

      Mostly there are reasons why things are as they are, some, admittedly, based on distro maintainer's choices and some into 3rd party packager's choices (does this go into /usr/local or /usr?).

      1. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: No point

        Thank you Doctor!

        You kind of re-enforced my point, though your point about the OS being a multi-user system is a good point that I hadn't considered.

        Have an up-vote!

    2. Lomax
      Boffin

      Re: No point

      > apps could be portably moved around

      There are a number of ways to package a Linux application for portable use, for example:

      Personally, I am not a fan of this approach; it's too proprietary, and only adds confusion (e.g. config files and logs are no longer where you expect them) - which goes against fundamental Linux principles. And of course Linux itself is already extremely portable - I regularly use tools like dd, rsync and chroot to move/copy things around in ways you could not easily replicate on Windows (ever heard of a "live" Windows USB stick for example?). I can understand that as a newbie it looks like your options for moving apps around are more limited than for example on Windows. But while it may require a bit more effort on the end user's part, the reality is that Linux is infinitely more flexible than any Microsoft product.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: No point

        (ever heard of a "live" Windows USB stick for example?)

        Yes, but not from MS. "Falcon 4" was doing it with a CD (that could also be made to boot from USB using YUMI or other tools - I think if you run the YUMI program it can also download F4 among others), there's also Hiren's boot DVD, and several others.

        Great tools, but something someone spent a lot of time building and likely with little or no help from MS. I used Linux-based tools for most jobs but sometimes some of the stuff available on these was much more useful.

        1. Lomax
          Meh

          Re: No point

          > Yes, but not from MS.

          Sure, and you can do similar things using Windows PE builder I think. However:

          Windows PE is not a general-purpose operating system. It may not be used for any purpose other than deployment and recovery. It should not be used as a thin client or an embedded operating system. There are other Microsoft products, such as Windows Embedded CE, which may be used for these purposes.

          To prevent its use as a production operating system, Windows PE automatically stops running the shell and restarts after 72 hours of continuous use. This period is not configurable.

          I don't understand how anyone can remain in this abusive relationship. Must be some variant of Stockholm syndrome.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: No point

            > Yes, but not from MS.

            Sure, and you can do similar things using Windows PE builder I think. However:

            Ah, my apologies - I misunderstood your meaning of "live usb".

            For me, they've generally been short-use things for repair or recovery work, sometimes hardware testing. I've not used them as an actual OS and when I posted that message I forgot that.

            You're correct.. A short-use tool stick can be done, even some stuff you might run for a few days (F4 had that capability I think, some tool/trick to bypass the "24 hour limit", but not something you'd use for anything other than repair/recov.

  32. John Crisp

    Wonder how it will cope with the mounts I have in my home?

    Can it also cope with /home/somewhere/local/me - unlike snaps....

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/snappy/+bug/1620771

    What a godawful mess.

  33. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Portable?

    "....and is thus naturally portable between systems without any further, external metadata."

    How is this in any way "portable"? Between shittyD systems? Maybe - depends how corrupted it is by the time you try to move it. Between ShiteD and anything else? Not at all!!

    I'm SO pleased I use void linux!

    And bearing in mind the obvious strength of feeling on just this forum, I am staggered that most linux outfits are sticking with ShiteD; they must be getting a barrage of complaints

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Portable?

      I'm SO pleased I use void linux!

      Oh, I think more people are using that than you realise...

      When this new systemd nightmare starts to show its bugs (which will get the old "not our problem, WONTFIX), it'll pretty quickly void any unfortunate's valuable data. And when they discover that has happened, many of them will also pretty quickly void their bowels.

      I'd not heard of Void till your posts. Is it happy with Steam? AMD GPUs? (my best box has an 8-core 4G bulldozer or similar IIRC and a Radeon HD 6950 I think - only get to play with it on weekends). If Devuan with Steam lets me down this weekend I may be looking for something else. While it will probably be used for browsing/email etc my only goal is to get Steam and HomeworldR/Quake champs and a couple of others running on it - I know SOASE:R will work happily, expect 1st Decade should (if I can be bothered).

      Desktop doesn't matter. Getting my few remaining windows things gone is all that matters (well, that and being free of the D)

  34. R3sistance

    Can't defend this one

    Title says it all, why is this all being built into SystemD? what should be at most an optional plug-in is instead built-in but more likely be a feature that should not exist at all.

    SystemD should be stripped back to being just an initialisation system and the process manager should be made a plug-in, then any other features made plug-ins/modules.... OPTIONAL plug-ins/modules so that administrators can actually control what is on their system, stop making a stupidly Monolithic solution where a monolithic solution was never wanted or needed.

    1. GBE

      Re: Can't defend this one

      SystemD should be stripped back to being just an initialisation system ...

      and then removed and replaced with OpenRC.

      :)

  35. Kiwi Silver badge
    Trollface

    I am reminded of an old "Herbs" song

    "The systemd-homed service, which enables portable home directories, has been merged into the code for systemd and will be included in the forthcoming 245 release.

    "Rust in Dust"

    Contains the line "2,4,5,T - NO!"

    Song was a protest against the use of the herbicide "245T" which was quite nasty, and talks almost of a post-apocalyptic world where many things including birds, seafood and wildlife are all-but gone.

    Much describes my feelings on SD - destruction of natural things and ruining this good land, a dangerous toxin that MUST be removed from our environment IMMEDIATELY!

    --> (WARNING: Song contains Maori words - some people here find the use of Maori words to be offensive/racist)

  36. theOtherJT

    pam_mount

    It's like they never heard of it.

    In any office environment when you actually might want home directories following you about, it's already more than capable of solving this problem.

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    carry around my home directory?

    Carry around my home directory? What does this gain me? Config and dotfiles can be freely copied anyway, or even symlinked if i'm definitely going to have the drive plugged in when I go to use that dotfile. I can click (in gui) or cd (cli) to get documents off a external.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: carry around my home directory?

      It gains you nothing; it gains RedHat everything. It effectively divides the server from the desktop. Lennart has successfully poisoned the well with systemd. Our once Free and Open Source software now depends on his machinations. What was supposed to be a replacement for init turned out to be a successful pwn of all Linux Distros everywhere.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: carry around my home directory?

        Last time I checked, there were plenty of distros without the systemd cancer. And there always will be, as long as the systemd cancer isn't a dependency of the kernel. Which will be forever, according to Linus, and he should know.

        Poethead hasn't managed a coup, nor will he. Stop spreading FUD.

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