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Re: systemd effectively mandatory now due to GNOME

On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 12:37:11PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Christoph Anton Mitterer <calestyo@scientia.net> writes:

> > Well I hope this doesn't turn into some kind of flame war... about
> > systemd, GNOME or similar.

> > In sid, gnome-settings-daemon depends now on systemd.

> I'm missing a key bit of context here.  Does gnome-settings-daemon just
> require that systemd be installed?  Or does it require that the init
> system be systemd?

> The systemd package itself can be installed without changing init systems,
> so it's possible that gnome-settings-daemon just needs the non-init parts
> of this and one can install systemd for those bits and then go on with
> one's life without changing init systems.  However, I don't know if
> systemd installed this way then starts its various non-init services.

> This seems like a fairly critical question, since if all that is required
> is for the systemd package to be installed (but without a change in the
> init system), this is all a tempest in a teapot.

Formally, it only requires that the dbus services be available, which is
given by installing the systemd package, not by running it as init.

But there are several issues with having this all in one package the way it
is currently.  In addition to the dbus services, the systemd package ships:

 - /lib/lsb/init-functions.d/40-systemd - functions which permute the
   behavior of LSB init scripts
 - /lib/udev/rules.d/99-systemd.rules - udev rules that will be active on
   any system with /sys/fs/cgroup/systemd present (because of logind, this
   directory is not a good proxy for whether pid1 == systemd).

So even if you consider it reasonable for the GNOME desktop to depend on a
package which ships commands on the path that won't do sensible things
unless you use systemd as init (I don't consider it reasonable FWIW), it's
not the case that the rest of the package aside from these dbus services is
inert on the filesystem.  There are runtime side effects here that have
nothing to do with the dbus services that GNOME actually is interested in.

And then there's the matter of the ambiguity that's introduced by using a
dependency on a package providing an init system to express a logical
dependency on a dbus service.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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