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Re: Integration with systemd


On Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 05:14:02AM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:

> If we're going to have a GR, part of the goal should be to either
> confirm the current state that we're never moving very far past the
> capabilities of sysvinit even when most people don't run it, or that
> we're allowed to use the full capabilities of our default init system
> even when there's no equivalent elsewhere.

I doubt we have that choice. Those packages embracing systemd will require
all the features, and it will be hard enough to put our foot down and
insist that they restrict themselves to the set in the stable release.

Debian is a community distribution, and we're competing with distributions
maintained by full-time employees that have less trouble following the
releases of a project driven by other full-time employees. Of course we're
having a hard time catching up if we keep our processes.

On the other hand, these very same processes have been what distinguished
us from other distributions in the past, and what has led to our current
reputation as a very stable distribution with very few quality issues.

I believe this GR is less about technical than about organizational
aspects. If we want to fully adopt systemd, we need a faster policy
process, which will disenfranchise users with less-common use cases,
because there is no time to integrate their concerns (I'm also sceptical
that we have the necessary influence upstream to alter the trajectory of

This is a massive change for Debian, because the technology decisions drive
policy decisions here, and we need to formulate a vision for where the
project will be in a few years. Can we provide something unique?

One option I'd like to see on the ballot is splitting packages into
systemd-integrated and standalone versions where these deviate too much
from each other, and making it normal that such packages are
team-maintained. If we can't find people for one variant, that is fine, but
it should be the exception, and it should be normal and acceptable to
depend on or conflict with systemd-sysv as needed (those that conflict
would go to Priority: extra).

There is still a massive Free Software scene outside the Linux+systemd
world, so I expect that we won't run out of software that works without
systemd anytime soon.


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