[arch-general] Init script hidden output (careless /dev/null redirection)

Jacob Joseph jacob at jjoseph.org
Thu Sep 13 15:58:59 EDT 2012


A recurring source of frustration for my use of Arch Linux is
that many init scripts fail to produce any output, to either the
console or syslog, when something goes wrong and the script
fails.  The particular cause is always case-dependent (usually
stemming from some config error).

Some underlying programs produce no output; I'm not proposing that
Arch address all such cases.  Instead, the scenario I continue to run
into is that the init script redirects all output, good or bad, to
/dev/null.  In my opinion, this is excessively heavy-handed and
obscures the behavior of the system only to make debugging difficult.

I also interpret this behavior to be in contrast to the Arch Way
document, particularly in that it does not satisfy:

"Arch Linux developers and users believe that trying to hide the
complexities of a system actually results in an even more complex
system, and is therefore to be avoided."

I have posted bug reports about some packages (e.g.,
https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/29769), some of which have resulted in
more favorable output.  However, the issue is more general, and I'm
unsure whether I should continue posting such bugs.

So, can anyone clarify whether there is some existing policy about
this behavior?  I first assumed this was a matter of limited manpower,
but discussion in that backuppc bug, in particular, leads me to
suspect that others in the project don't have my convictions.


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