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Re: On init in Debian

Samuel Thibault <sthibault@debian.org> writes:

> It is apparently trying to be a *Linux* standard, being adopted by all
> distributions.

That's not at all clear to me.  It seems more to be trying to be a good
init system used by Fedora, and beyond that it's left to people to make up
their own minds, although of course the author thinks it's good and more
people should use it.  Most people like the things they've written.  :)

> The current init standard boils down to /etc/init.d/foo start/stop, and
> it has been true for years. The particular content being another matter.

Which is insufficient to the point of being nearly useless.  Every
UNIX-like system has requirements that go beyond that; an init script that
only honored those options and implemented no other interfaces wouldn't be
usable on just about any environment, including Debian.

All the upstreams that I know of that have to ship init scripts have, even
before upstart and systemd, been shipping separate init scripts for each
OS that they support.  The Red Hat one had chkconfig comments, the Debian
one used start-stop-daemon, the Solaris one then ended up being converted
to SMF, and so forth.  systemd certainly didn't make this any worse.

> If they are to be adopted widely, it'd be better for them to sort of
> being one, so that upstreams could ship configuration snippets, instead
> of seeing all distributions defining its own ones, bringing small
> discrepancies here and there, which can be a pain when going from one to
> the other.

Sure, that would be great.  But that's not the situation now, and hasn't
been the situation for as long as I've been working on UNIX-like systems.
(Before things like LSB started, there were other UNIXes that only did
rc.local, or that didn't use SysV-style priorities, etc.)

My point here is that I think you're putting an unreasonable burden on
init systems by asking them to become a standard.  We effectively have no
standard now, and the init package we're using now certainly doesn't
constitute standard that everyone is using along the lines that you
describe (if nothing else, Fedora is using systemd and Ubuntu is using
upstart!).  It would be great to have a standard, but I don't think it's
very likely that's going to happen, and we still have to decide what init
system we're going to use in the interim.

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

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