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Re: systemd requiring Linux >= 3.7

Hi Paul,

On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 7:49 AM, <csirac2@yahoo.com.au> wrote:
With our dear universal operating system set to switch over to systemd, I am just wondering if anybody has communicated that this breaks many ARM platforms

I'm not sure what you mean here by "breaks many ARM platforms." The examples you give below, like Congatec, are already broken from a Debian perspective since they're not "based" on Debian like the Raspberry Pi and the Beagle Bone Black are. I think instead the vendors have chosen another approach, Yocto in Congatech's case which matches Freescale's approach. But even there you can still run Debian on those machines no? And its not just systemd that won't work in Jessie, its anything that relies on control groups from the kernel. 

You can of course swap out systemd for another init system in Jessie, nothing prevents you from doing that. That shouldn't be too hard since most of those embedded devices can boot from a SD card on which you can craft an image with debootstrap without systemd, but of course that may depend on your build process and might get fiddly with cross compilation. 
with "typical" vendors who only care to ship a kernel they once hacked at product launch, and/or the one provided by CPU vendor who barely does much more than fork and abandon stuff on linaro.org.

Okay, Linaro isn't that bad, the expensive ARM chips are better supported than that and the sky isn't really falling. I actually really do like systemd features (though I think complaints about its monolithic approach are valid) and I currently maintain a systemd  build of my work for a candidate ARM target which mostly works well.

Except that critical out-of-tree kernel modules written for 3.0 need to be ported to a newer kernel, and undergo expensive re-validation.

Eg. Congatec still actively maintains its fork of Freescale's fork of Linaro kernel 3.0.15: https://git.congatec.com/yocto/meta-fsl-arm-extra

Count how many of gumstix' offerings officially run Linux kernels >= 3.7 (hint: zero) http://www.gumstix.org/access-source-code.html

These vendor's products easily run Debian today but won't boot a Jessie image with systemd.

Not because the CPUs are unable but just the sheer fork-happy, hack&slash insanity of  software practice in the embedded space. Has this been communicated to the vote participants?

How would this be communicated? Would you say that "some companies have old devices that use old kernels and they won't update." Wouldn't the reply be "backports"?

Or am I completely off-base here? Most of my career has been x86-only until recently.

x86 is embedded, for $value of embedded. ;)


Paul Harvey

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