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Re: Re-Proposal - preserve freedom of choice of init systems


On 17.10.2014 22:13, Ansgar Burchardt wrote:

> I note that it was *not* possible to switch init systems in Wheezy in a
> supported way (in particular sysvinit is essential and various things
> get very unhappy if it gets uninstalled), but you seem to treat Jessie
> as more problematic even though it allows switching init systems? How
> come?

I applaud the possibility to switch init systems.

> And is "you cannot switch init systems (at all)" to "you cannot
> switch init systems if you want to run <X>" a regression that takes away
> choice?

The regression comes in two forms:

1. "a package that is a dependency of a package that is a recommendation
of a dependency of <X> requires the init system to be <S>".

This requires manual intervention by the user if they do not want to
switch init system. My laptop moved to systemd because I installed a
Japanese input method which uses GTK, which depends on libcolord, which
recommends colord, which indirectly depends on systemd.

No part of the chain is wrong. The strong dependencies are libraries in
DT_NEEDED, so they cannot be easily demoted, and the libcolord -> colord
recommendation also makes sense. The end result, however, is that
installation of an application package may require extensive changes to
the core system or manual intervention by the user, overriding the
package manager.

2. "the init system required to run <X> is mutually exclusive with the
init system required to run <Y>."

This is at present purely academic, but I'm not convinced it will remain
this way. We also ship a desktop environment aimed at less powerful
hardware, would we be okay if that system used a different network
configuration subsystem conflicting with systemd?

 - If yes, what should system administrators wishing to offer their
users a choice of environment do?

 - If no, why would it be acceptable for one system to do so, but not
for the other?

I'd rather avoid these problems in the first place.

We have a sensible default in place for desktop users, who are the ones
in need of a default setting.

However I believe that systemd is not ideal for server environments
(where we'd rather have minimal attack surface rather than features) and
downright unusable for embedded applications where memory is scarce, and
thus I find it very important that the package manager *never*
second-guesses my choice of init system because of a dependency.


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