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Re: systemd-fsck?

Josh Triplett <josh@joshtriplett.org> writes:
> Russ Allbery wrote:

>> I think we need some sort of critical debconf prompt here for the
>> jessie release, similar to how we handled the change of /bin/sh to dash
>> and how we handled the switch to startpar.  Probably in systemd-sysv,
>> which is the package that forces the conversion.  It's quite surprising
>> to, for example, install network-manager (which is an application that
>> ca be used with non-GNOME window managers) and end up with a new init
>> system.

> I strongly disagree: if the maintainers of the various packages have
> done their jobs well (which they have), upgrading should be entirely
> transparent.  While the people in this discussion certainly hold strong
> opinions about init systems, I don't think it's reasonable to inflict a
> debconf prompt on every Debian user; we should not assume that because
> *we* care, *they're* required to care.  In practice, people will test
> the wheezy->jessie upgrade path quite extensively, report any bugs that
> occur due to this or any other transition, and we'll hopefully make it a
> seamless transition.

I don't agree.

This is not consistent with how we've handled similar transitions in the
past.  Users also shouldn't have to care, and normally don't care, about
what shell they have as /bin/sh or about whether to use dependency-based
boot, but we still made sure they were alerted to those changes during
upgrades since they have a potential to break things or at least change
behavior noticably in some cases where it would otherwise be difficult to
understand what happened to cause the behavior change.  I think it's
important that we make sure this information gets in front of people.
It's at least as important (and probably more comprehensible for the
average user) as the change to using UUIDs for file system mounting, which
forced a similar debconf prompt.

We can, and should, put some effort into making that message accurate and
non-threatening and encourage people to take the default, which is what we
did for dependency-based boot.  But this is not the sort of change that
should happen without some notification, and all the similar sorts of
changes that Debian has done in the past that I can think of *always*
resulted in notification to the user on upgrades.

We should listen to the wisdom of our past decisions here.

> I'd suggest, instead, that this notice belongs in the release notes:
> "The jessie release changes the default init system from sysvinit to
> systemd.  Upgrading to jessie will switch from sysvinit to systemd on
> many systems, to satisfy the dependencies of various packages such as
> common desktop environments or infrastructure.  You can manually switch
> your system from sysvinit to systemd by installing the systemd-sysv
> package.  If you prefer another init system, you may wish to install the
> systemd-shim package rather than systemd-sysv; systemd-shim provides a
> minimal systemd compatibility layer to satisfy some packages depending
> on systemd."

Far fewer people read the release notes.  We should of course put
something there as well, but this is important enough that it needs
something more.

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

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