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Re: Bug#727708: tech-ctte: Decide which init system to default to in Debian.

On Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 07:20:12AM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 01:41:53AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > I'm surprised by this comment.  Very little policy is actually encoded in
> > upstart's C code; in fact, the only policy I can think of offhand that is is
> > some basic stuff around filesystems, which, aside from some must-have kernel
> > filesystems without which it can't boot the rest of the system, should be
> > entirely overrideable via /etc/fstab.  Perhaps you could expand on what
> > policies you saw a need to change?

> The details are a bit fuzzy, because this was a quite a while ago,
> when Upstart was first introduced into Ubuntu, and it was so
> frustrating that it was what caused me to abandon Ubuntu and switch
> back to Debian.  The high bit was I couldn't get a particular service
> to start (it might have been bind, or some such), and I had no idea
> how to debug the darned thing.  With shell scripts, it's possible to
> insert "echo debug 1 $variable >> /tmp/debug.log" to figure out what's
> going on.  With upstart, I had no way of figuring out what was going
> on, and why it was failing, and the "no user-serviceable parts inside"
> was extremely frusrtating.

Ah.  Sounds like you may have been hit by upstart's lack of logging support
for jobs at the time.  Upstart has supported logging of all output from jobs
(stderr,stdout) since 1.5, which was included in 12.04 LTS.  This was added
precisely because of that sort of frustrating experience you describe - an
experience that was shared not only by administrators, but also Ubuntu
developers trying to debug remaining corner cases in the init system
integration itself.

So on 12.04 and later, you just look at /var/log/upstart/$job.log to get the
debugging info you're looking for.  And if you need to debug upstart's own
state, you can boot with --verbose (or if necessary, --debug) to get useful
information dumped to kmsg - or turn this on with 'initctl log-priority
info' after boot.

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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