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Bug#727708: Init system resolution open questions

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

> I don't believe we need to know the answer to these questions to know
> that Ian's requirement is a correct one.  If we are saying that packages
> cannot drop their sysvinit scripts in jessie in order to ensure smooth
> upgrades, then the same requirement should apply to desktop
> environments, even if we don't know at the moment precisely how the
> maintainers of the affected packages will solve this - because having
> smooth upgrades between releases is a *baseline* for the quality of
> Debian integration, and we should not vacillate merely because some
> people fear it will be hard in this particular case.

I believe it is reasonable to allow GNOME to require systemd as the init
system if that's the only way to get a working logind with the software
that we release with jessie, and I don't believe holding systemd to
pre-206 in order to make that possible makes sense.  204 will be getting
pretty long in the tooth by the time we get to the jessie release.

So, basically, I disagree with this.

Now, obviously, hopefully logind will work fine in the jessie release
without requiring systemd as the init system, and this will all be
theoretical, but I'm worried that we're going to paint ourselves into an
unreasonable corner by stating a hard and fast rule about this before we
know what the shape of the software will be at the time of the release.

> The consequences of a desktop environment having a hard dependency on a
> particular init system in jessie are that a desktop system becomes
> unusable partway through the upgrade.  If a user tries to open a new
> login session while the upgrade is in progress, or if for whatever
> reason the user running the upgrade logs out (or gets logged out due to
> a bug) and tries to log back in, this will in all likelihood fail.  I
> don't think that's an acceptable outcome; so the requirement not to
> hard-depend on systemd follows directly from this.

Clearly the release team and the GNOME team will need to look at proper
behavior during the upgrade, including aborted upgrades, but I think this
is a separate issue that they would be looking at regardless.  If the
dependency causes separate RC issues around upgrades, obviously those
issues will need to be addressed, but I'm dubious about simply *assuming*
it will without looking at how the actual system could be assembled or
letting people try to find good solutions to the problem.

In other words, it's not that I want to say the *opposite* of what Ian
stated as consensus.  Rather, I want to make sure that we don't rule on
things that we don't need to be ruling on, and make sure that we don't
write a decision that effectively ends up telling the GNOME team that they
have to get the version they target for jessie working without logind or
have it removed from the archive.

> Separately, I don't agree that it's actually hard to support logind on
> non-systemd for jessie.  This already works for v204, and the work to
> support v205 is in progress.

In this case, omitting this requirement from our ruling won't actually
make any difference, since it will be easy to support and hence
uncontroversial.  So, either way, I think we should make sure the
statement we make permits packages to depend on logind.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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