[arch-general] systemd new dependencies impede using OpenRC

Daniel Micay danielmicay at gmail.com
Thu Jul 2 21:46:11 UTC 2015

> Now, it would be technically possible to replace *systemd* in base with a
> generic "init-system" which could be provided by both *systemd* and *openrc*,
> but that would make things much more complicated and *much* more effort to
> maintain.

Packages don't have a dependency on systemd because they need an init
system. They have a dependency on systemd IPC interfaces and/or
libraries not provided by openrc. If they depend on systemd without
needing something like this, it's a (very minor) bug to report.

Supporting alternative implementations of those interfaces (like
Debian's systemd-shim) would mean a lot of extra work across the

Arch supports one specific /bin/sh implementation, one standard C
library, one standard C++ library, one C++ exception model, one
toolchain for building the system, etc. It also tends to only support
one specific implementation of a command-line utility as the main tool
and others have to be namespaced. Packages like util-linux/coreutils
aren't split into little pieces and there's no equivalent to
update-alternatives. Sure, packages like musl, libc++, libc++abi and
busybox are in the repositories but not in a way that can actually
replace anything in the base system, it just lives alongside it without
being used by any other packages.

Arch only ever supported one init system until the transition period to
systemd where it supported two. The old initscripts adopted systemd
utilities like systemd-tmpfiles before going away anyway, and the old
scripts were still supported. It was convergence to a single supported
init system rather than two choices for the base system living alongside
each other.

Making technical decisions and then going through with them with proper
integration into other packages is the only way that things are going to
be polished. The alternative is a *lot* of extra complexity, development
effort and bugs.

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