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Re: A few observations about systemd

Ian Jackson <ijackson <at> chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
> Debian has a long history of trying to make it possible to use Debian
> for as many purposes as we can, even when that means that the system
> has to be more complicated, or even when it means Debian has to be
> less perfectly suited to some particular purposes - even particular
> purposes which many people think are very important.

Like others who made similar arguments in the thread earlier, you're using a
very contrived notion of what count as different "purposes Debian is usable
for". kFreeBSD support is useful for only few people. Alternative ways of using
the same effort would be useful for a lot more people, and a lot more diverse
uses. You're obfuscating this fact by acknowledging only kFreeBSD as feature
that counts as "making it possible to use Debian" for the people it benefits.

> Or to put it another way, we place a very high value on flexibility.
> Whatever phrase one uses to encapsulate this, I think it is one of
> Debian's strengths.

Lacking good support for systemd, and especially being stuck with sysvinit any
longer than necessary, is very much the opposite of flexibility.

> Being able to run a different kernel is, I think, one of those
> strengths.  Others have given practical reasons why one might want to
> run a specific different kernel right nnow.  But another reason is
> just that it wouldn't be healthy for us to bind ourselves too
> inextricably to the success of any other project, even one as
> well-established and apparently successful as the Linux kernel.

Timescale for switching init systems is shorter than the timescale Linux could
realistically fail over. And even if you assume a switch in the future that does
not imply that it would make sense to waste effort on workarounds now. A healthy
Debian that had benefited from all Linux features would likely be better
prepared for a switch to a different kernel than a Debian that had spent years
catering to arbitrary limitations for hypothetical reasons.

> For me, all this means we should not standardise on an init system
> which depends heavily on very Linux-specific (and perhaps not even
> particularly stable) kernel features.

systemd has already been adopted widely enough to ensure that kernel features it
depends on won't just suddenly disappear.

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