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Bug#947847: please install systemd-sysusers using update-alternatives

Anthony DeRobertis <anthony@derobert.net>
> It's different than awk because the decision the admin is making
> ("which init system do I want to run"?) isn't done through
> alternatives. So you can't use the alternatives system to coordinate
> swapping all the different bits together.

You are mixing things here. We are *not* talking about init systems, but
about sysusers, which can be used with any init systems.

> It seems retty reasonable to me that the systemd maintainers don't
> want to support systems which are running arbitrary combinations of
> systemd with alternatives to some parts.

Absolutely nobody is asking them to do that. I'm just asking for a
solution to easily replace /bin/systemd-sysusers. There are 2 solutions,
one is to have /bin/systemd-sysusers packaged separately, though this
would probably be micro-packaging, which I'm not a fan of. The other
solution is to use update-alternatives. I'm fine with both solution, I
just don't think it's fine to say "get away, my implementation is
better", and leave no reasonable solution to install something else.

> Strikes me as there is a possible solution, though: have opensysusers
> dpkg-divert it and put a shell script in its place that checks which
> init system is running, and exec's the right sysusers based on that.

This is exactly what should be avoided. It's perfectly fine to try to
use opensysusers with systemd if one wants. In fact, that's exactly the
best way we could do to be able to test it. Also, dpkg-divert is really
ugly, and something you use as the last resort, when all other options
have been exhausted.

> This wouldn't affect systemd-only machines (as opensysusers would not
> be installed at all), and would do the right thing if someone has
> installed two init systems to, e.g., consider switching.

Again, you are mixing things (ie: what type of init system and
re-implementation of an independent component of systemd). We should be
able to allow to run opensysusers if systemd is running (exactly, why
not?). This is desirable, at least for testing. It would also be
desirable to use systemd-sysusers with other init system if one wants
(also: why not?).

> It'd need to be a script that the systemd maintainers feel reasonably
> confident will always run systemd's implementation when systemd is
> running, to avoid the mixed implementations issue.

Not at all. Systemd maintainers have no say if someone wishes to
implement things in another way, the same way there's gawk and mawk,
implementing the same thing. If we don't allow such things, then really,
Debian is doomed.

I am not buying into the "we will have wrong bug reports" argument. We
constantly get many types of wrong reports in the BTS. We just shall do
sensible bug triaging in a correct way, that's it.


Thomas Goirand (zigo)

P.S: Note that this bug also concerns systemd-tmpfiles, the very exact
same way, though I believe one single bug is enough to address both
cases which are similar.

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