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preseeding choice of init system?

Hello Folks,

I wonder if someone here might be able to provide some guidance.

Apropos all of the discussion of systemd vs. sysvinit vs. other init systems - the question has come up about whether the installer might present a choice of init systems, or in the alternative, how one might preseed choice of the init system.

So far, the conclusion seems to be that the installer will install systemd, then one can preseed its replacement with an alternative - but that seems a less than satisfactory solution - unwinding installation of a deeply embedded packages tends to leave artifacts, and always risks dependency hell. Not to mention being a lot harder to test and debug if/when things go wrong.

Which leads to several questions:

1. Where in the installer code does the init system get installed into the target build?

As far as I can tell, from somewhat out-of-date documentation (http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/doc/internals/ - last updated 2010):

- the installer runs the base-installer package, which uses debootstrap, to install the base system - including the init system - before the tasksel phase, or installation of additional packages.

- In turn, this process uses the hard-coded package priorities, in the repository, to determine which init system to install (which, for jessie, are set to favor systemd)

Is this correct? If not, where does the init system get selected and installed?

2. Assuming the above is correct, is there any way to preseed an alternate choice?

- so far, I haven't been able to find any such command that could be put into a preseed file

3. If this can't be preseeded, it looks like the alternative might be to build an alternate installer image per https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/Modify.

Can anybody offer any guidance as to what specific changes to make to force installation of an alternate init system?

Thank you very much,

Miles Fidelman

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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