[arch-general] My end-user $0.02 on /etc/rc.conf splitting.

Menachem Moystoviz moystovi at g.jct.ac.il
Sat Jul 28 17:20:10 EDT 2012

As far as I can tell from the systemd blog and people's reactions
here, the only advantages systemd offers are:
- Splitting the configuration files, which increases the robustness of
the configuration files
- Daemon supervision
- Bootup speedup by parallelizing the daemons.
However, from the responses of some people, like Jorge Almeida, I see
that the benefits of systemd are also given by other programs.
- It has been suggested in a different thread to implement support for
rc.conf to source other files - which would allow rc.conf to split
- As Jorge Almeida suggested, daemontools [1], perp [2] and s6 [3] can
supply daemon supervision *without* changing the init scheme
- A patch [4] has been posted, and possibly added, to NetBSD's
rcorder, which allows daemons to be started concurrently.

As far as init systems go, it seems to me that while Arch touts using
a BSD-style init, it's actually hacking around sysvinit to
provide a BSD-like interface. This seems wrong to me, as BSD already
provides a robust init framework.
Why simulate that which you can use?

In addition, people have cried out against several problems with
systemd, which include:
- ini-style configuration vs. shell-style configuration
- Large, monolithic binary

It seems to me that in addition to adding support for systemd could
ease compatibility with other distro's,
it would be beneficial to add sourcing to rc.conf (or alternatively to
symlink the new systemd configuration files to files in rc.d).
However, the only reason to do so is because systemd is widely used -
i.e. I do not suggest doing this for every init system around.

In addition, it may be considered to move from systemv to NetBSD's
init, which stays in-line with the simple interface of rc.conf
but adds parallelization and modularity.

Lastly, it may be beneficial to suggest to users to install one of the
daemon monitors.

In sum, systemd offers some benefits that are covered by other
programs and patches, while drawing much controversy and exacting
a toll which seems a bit too large in the eyes of some users. For this
reason, while we should add compatibility for systemd, we shouldn't
force it down the users throats.

Just my two cents.


[1] - http://cr.yp.to/daemontools.html
[2] - http://b0llix.net/perp/
[3] - http://www.skarnet.org/software/s6/
[4] - http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=25822  (Concurrent
execution of rc-scripts with rcorder(8) )

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