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Re: Removing libsystemd0 from a non-systemd system

On Mon, 7 May 2018 01:25:15 +0000 (UTC) David Griffith <dave@661.org>

> On Sun, 6 May 2018, Patrick Bartek wrote:
> > On Sun, 6 May 2018 02:44:16 +0000 (UTC) David Griffith
> > <dave@661.org> wrote:
> >
> >> Have any advances been made in figuring out just how to remove 
> >> libsystemd0 from a Debian 9 machine that's running sysvinit?  The 
> >> ongoing presence of libsystemd0 has caused slowly-progressing
> >> trouble with several machines of mine culminating in complete
> >> failure a couple days ago.  Initially I thought this was unrelated
> >> to systemd, but now I tracked it down to systemd's remnants and
> >> the problem is progressing much faster with freshly-installed
> >> machines.
> >
> > First, how exactly did you convert to sysvinit, etc? And what kind
> > of trouble?
> >
> > I've been running Stretch with sysvinit for almost a year -- as
> > a personal machine, not a server -- and have had absolutely NO
> > problems.  Here's the link I used:
> >
> > http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/How_to_remove_systemd_from_a_Debian_Stretch_installation
> >
> > I used the very first conversion steps, the simplest one, and none
> > of the optional ones.  No pinning.  No third-party systemdless
> > repos, etc. I still have systemd libraries including libsystemd0
> > for those apps that have systemd as a dependenciy.  No problems.
> > Totally removing systemd is a pain requiring third-party
> > systemdless repos and keeping a wary eye out for problems. I did it
> > a couple times as part of my experiments, and always had glitches.
> >
> > One thing did just occur to me: Are you using the GNOME desktop?
> > I've heard stories about it and systemd.  It is VERY dependent on
> > it. I haven't used GNOME whatever version for about 7 years. I use
> > only a window manager Openbox.
> I followed that same thing you did as soon as the machine was
> installed. I also did optional steps 2 and 3.  I didn't do 1 because
> all the machines in question are headless.  I stopped using GNOME
> when version 3 came out and switched to MATE for most of my desktop
> needs.

I started with a basic terminal-only netinstall system. No X. No GUI,
etc. Once I had that initial system running, I converted it to sysvinit,
rebooted, and then added the rest leaving the systemd libraries
installed treating them like any other dependency. I left the system to
boot to a terminal where I log in and run startx, if I need the GUI.
So, no login manager or session manager.

I decided after numerous experiments with and without systemd
installed, and with and without third-party "no systemd" repos that
overall leaving the systemd libraries installed did nothing except take
up space, and they were there if some app needed them. I tried never to
install anything that had systemd or any part of it as a direct
dependency.  So far, I've had no systemd issues.

> One of the symptoms that made me think libsystemd0 had something to
> do with it was the output of "apt-get upgrade".  It would always
> report "1 not upgraded" or "2 not upgraded".

I experienced issues with trying to totally remove systemd.  That's one
reason I went with the just leaving systemd installed philosophy.  Plus,
I was wary of the third-party "no systemd" repos.  Would the owner keep
them up-to-date, etc.? I wanted a stable, unbreakable system.

That "not upgraded" thing is the default to prevent, for stability's
sake, major number upgrades of installed files.  Just do an "apt-get
dist-upgrade" to override.  So, you installed of something. A
standard upgrade will only install 3.2.X.XX.  A dist-upgrade will
install 3.4.X.XX for example, but will not install 4.X.X.XX.

> The trouble manifested in dependency hell and networking that would 
> mysteriously stop for no readily apparent reason (on reboot after
> kernel upgrade or out of the blue).  Usually networking could be
> regained by doing a LISH login and manually turning on the network
> interfaces.  Then interface names started changing randomly.  This
> was after names like "eth0" and friends were abandoned.  Servers died
> by way of networking only working halfway, no matter what I did.  I
> was able to ssh in and do scp and rsync transfers, but that was about
> it.

Can't help here.  Probably, removing some systemd library that some
utility needs is the culprit. I've discovered that sometimes something
that doesn't have a direct systemd dependency may depend on
something that does. That's why among other reasons I abandoned the "no
systemd" approach.

> What's the point of allowing libsystemd0 to exist when systemd has
> been purged?

That was answered by others.
> Is anyone working on a mechanism to allow for install-time selection
> of a desired init?  I brought this up a few times since systemd came
> to Debian, but I've never heard anything more on this.

I asked that question when Jessie debuted.  No one is.  Certainly not
Debian. The only suggestion I got was to build my own preseeded install
disk, but that's not the answer -- You still have to install systemd
first and convert.


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