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Bug#727708: call for votes on default Linux init system for jessie

On 28 January 2014 21:39, Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> I don't want to pass a resolution specifying the default without also
> answering the other two, related, contentious questions:
>   Q1: Do we intend to support multiple systems long-term, or do we
>   intend to settle on a single system, probably in jessie+1 ?

FWIW, that seems overly prescriptive to me -- if we settle on systemd
now, and as a result upstart stops getting maintained and systemfree
gets written that uses the same config files but only works on FreeBSD
and Hurd, maybe no one will want to maintain multiple init systems
later. Conversely, maybe people get excited about some init system we
don't pick as default for jessie and it becomes really awesome by the
time jessie is out; why would we want to prevent it being available in
Debian even if it's not ready to be default, or doesn't work with
Gnome yet, or whatever?

>   Q2: Is it OK for packages to depend on a specific init system as
>   pid 1 ?

I don't think that's the right question for the issue(s) at play here.

>From what I can tell, the important question isn't whether systemd or
upstart happens to be pid 1, but rather whether certain interfaces
(dbus, logind, potentially others) that are only (currently) provided
by systemd are available on the system.

That would make the question break down into something like:

  Q2a: Is it OK for packages providing init systems to provide other
APIs beyond just the minimum needed for starting/stopping services?

  Q2b: If so, is it OK for packages requiring those APIs (such as
logind) to just depend on the particular init system known to provide
them (eg Depends: systemd)?

There's a third related question that I don't think is particularly
crucial, regarding the different ways of telling different init
systems about your service:

  Q2c: Is it OK for packages to provide a service start/stop
description that is understandable by some but not all available init
systems in Debian?

After Steve's and Russ's comments in [0] and [1], and thinking about
it some more, I'm inclined to think all those questions could
reasonably be dealt with through the policy process, though I still
think some non-binding advice from the tech ctte wouldn't be out of

[0] https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2014/01/msg00382.html
[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2014/01/msg00383.html

>      Q2: Requiring specific init is forbidden

Note that this answer would preclude providing a package designed to,
say, "duplicate aj's environment exactly, because it's awesome and all
his friends want to just be able to apt-get install it and be just as
cool as aj is". I don't think that's a win.


Anthony Towns <aj@erisian.com.au>

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