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Interesting what came up from this thread making me snoop around.
Possible spoiler for those in the know: I'm using Linux Mint Debian Edition, so I presume it's using the same system as Debian.
I'm nearly 100% sure it's not Upstart. For starters, my man init makes no mention of it and besides, package "upstart" isn't installed on my system.
Coming back to man init, it just says "init", no reference to either System V nor Systemd. But the former's package is installed (sysvinit) whereas the later (systemd) isn't.
There is also reference, in that man page, to the seven runlevels (0 to 6) which I know are used in System V but I'm unaware of whether or not they're used in Systemd as well. I know Upstart doesn't use them, although at least in Ubuntu they will be honored (AFAICT the whole System V will be honored by Upstart where there is configuration (scripts) for SysV and not for Upstart).
Finally, there might be yet another system init daemon perusing or somehow honoring System V scripts and runlevels and whatnot, so... I'm still not really sure what's running here...
Distribution: Mageia 3, Debian Wheezy, Maemo, Linux Mint 14.
I went to this thread because I am getting sick of systemd.
Kernel dependencies? Cgroup?
Udev? Hal (where is it?)? DBus?
Ok. The Kernel starts. Voila. You want that, but what do you want after that?
Are you running embedded?
Are you running mobile?
Are you running tablet?
Are you running laptop?
Are you running server?
Are you running cluster?
Hmm.. Should an init system ideally not fit for all of those? It should be so flexible that it could fit on any of those, yes?
How do you do that?
Systemd? (as far as I understand, no)
Do we want a binary blob for init? Personally I think that is a bad idea.
Did systemd kill HAL? But should we have so many hardware layers and alternatives?
I just want to ask the questions, because I do not know. Should every distro offer compatibility with System V AND Systemd?
Personally I think its best if the init is JUST the init. And I think the init should be completely open, easy to handle, configurable (with files) and only initialise OTHER things. Then we get into userland safely. Should there be any dependencies and prerequisuties for an init? Ofcourse not, just whatever is needed to RUN THE SYSTEM YOU ARE USING, and most often get you safely to userland. Thats it. Init should have nothing to do with desktop, and desktops should not rely on init. Desktops should rely on a running system.
This is what I always liked about GNU/Linux and bragged about to other people. In Linux, you have the Kernel. It does the hardware. Then you have userland, which is usually GNU. It starts your system, and you can make it into whatever you want basically. If you want a tiny userland, you can have it. If you want a massive userland, you can have that as well. Its up to you. Userland does not have anything to do with graphical applications aside from supporting it when that is desired.
So, you have Kernel and then Userland, what more do you want? Perhaps you want Xorg to be able to run a graphical desktop, or perhaps you want Wayland instead. Its up to you. I always liked that these things are seperate. Kernel, userland, X, desktop, compositing. Then you are free to choose as you want. You can make that choice with a distro or by doing EVERYTHING yourself if you can. (which should be easier with System V). So, what does X need? What does the desktop need? What does the userland need to comply with LSB? You dont even need LSB if you dont want. Who decides all these things? in the case of systemd it seems like systemd is the one who will decide that in the future.
What do I have against that as a regular GNU/Linux user with above average user experience? What I have against that is the same thing I have against unecessary dependencies for software. Have you ever had a case where you want to install a simple piece of software just to be told you need to install 180 other things? Yeah? I dont want that, especially when they seem irrelevant to the purpose. What about uninstalling? ooh no, my component that I absolutely want to uninstall, also forces the uninstallation of a whole bunch of things that I do want. But why? Its because of some tiny feature that I dont need in my desktop depends on it and then there is a whole domino effect from that.
Ooh my. Debian I like, but I stopped using it because of its huge amount of dependencies (in MY OWN opinion and experience).
So, what do I want from GNU/Linux and distributions? I want everything to be seperate and work interdependent of each others in as good a way as possible with as few dependencies for each thing as possible. Isnt that why we have libraries? If I want only the Kernel and one single init script to run on an embedded system with a few libraries, then I want that. If I want to be able to exchange the Kernel on a mobile phone with a new one, I want to be able to do that. If I want to stop the browser process without shutting down the system, then I want that to be possible (looking at my Nokia N900 here.) Basically I want total freedom to do whatever fits me and my needs. I also want everything transparent, flexible and clear.
Up until recently everything has turned clear for me, afterall I have used GNU/Linux for about 13 years now, and about 5-7 years as my main OS, and about 2 years as my only OS (except my game rig). But now things are suddenly turning a bit uncear again, even though I learn something everyday. Why is that? New features, OK! Fine. But why should a function suddenly become unclear, and why should it be opaque to operate it?
If I wanted a you must have (Kernel, initrd, systemd, GNU, X, Gnome) system tyrrany, then I could just as well choose Windows where everything is bundled and unclear and completely dependent of each other on every single level. Will systemd "force" some kind of bundle in GNU/Linux? Perhaps. At least to me it seems like it will, but then again, I am not the most technically advanced person on this forum, I am more of an advanced user who likes freedom. I f****** love config files and I am starting to like scripts and I dont like typing in unintuitive commands to do the same thing instead where I don't really clearly see what that is doing. I think that has something to do with my view on transparency. If I didnt care about transparency, then I would use Windows. Transparency also makes things clear. Systemd doesnt in my view. The only thing it has made clear is that System V makes things clear, which I did not properly realise before. "do one thing and do it well" is a fantastic thing in GNU/Linux that we should not understimate.
I think the problem here is that there are now so many hardware things between kernel and userland that interact with the desktop that this whole situation has got out of hand. Keep it simple!!!
Kernel - use/r/land - X - desktop.
Ok, so now this well purposed posting of mine turned into an undirected mumbo jumbo rant already.
so to summarize.
Keep everything seperate please! Make everything transparent! No F****** binary blobs and software collections please. Freedom of choice! No massive interdependencies. (what does a desktop need to rely on, REALLY?)
Kernel and userland is all YOU NEED. Everything else is additional stuff and should NOT be dependencies.
GNU/Linux users LIKES configuration files. GNU/Linux users LIKE scripts. GNU/Linux users LIKES command line. GNU/Linux users LIKE alternatives. GNU/Linux users LIKES seperation of functions.
So, thats why I think I have to move back to Slackware now.
Ooh, and keep in mind. More and more corporate GREED is moving into Linux now. So let us try to remedy that by keeping freedom involved in GNU/Linux, freedom as in GNU freedom.