[arch-general] Alternative init system proposal

Mike Cloaked mike.cloaked at gmail.com
Wed Feb 10 17:10:58 UTC 2016

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 12:58 AM, Ivan <parazyd at dyne.org> wrote:

> Hello, I have a proposal for Arch Linux developers and by mailing
> on this list I would also appreciate feedback from non-developers that
> use Arch Linux.
> Note: I am not here to hate on the current status, nor
> to disapprove of current Arch choices.
> So, to get to the point...
> I would like to propose development and official support of an
> alternative init system and service manager. My main preference would be
> >snip

> me feedback on all of this and let's see what we can do about it and
> what it can develop into...
This kind of long-running, and in the end pointless, discussion that has
developed in recent days, on this ML, was the underlying reason for a huge
and extended set of threads on a number of linux forums a few years ago,
including on the Fedora Forums, that led a significant number of users to
unsubscribe from those forums because they did not want their inboxes
filled up with discussions that looked increasingly like they were going
nowhere. At the end of the day the arch developers made the decision to
support systemd as the arch linux daemon and initialisation software. They
have devoted their time to make arch linux a beautifully efficient
distribution keeping to the "Arch Way", and with the most efficient of
package manager compared to most other linux distros. It is likely no
surprise that a number of senior kernel developers use arch linux rather
than other distributions. The required systemd packages were made available
to the arch repos, advice on transisioning to systemd for those on other
inits broadcast, and over time all of the necessary unit files and support
structures were put in place, keeping arch close to upstream, and the
current arch linux system works exceptionally well on a huge range of
different types of hardware. Users are free to write their own unit files
or to adapt the default unit files (and I do this in a few cases too where
I want behaviour to match my own needs). My systems (both laptops and
desktops) start up quickly and, like many users, I am very happy with the
performance of my arch linux installed machines.

It is tough enough for TUs to voluntarily keep the packages in the repos as
close to current upstream as they do already, and adding an unnecessary
layer of additional support for a small percentage of the user base who
wish to have a second init system available, because they think it is
better than systemd, is not a proposal that looks like it would get
majority support even if there are a few people who continue to flood the
mailing list with ongoing thread postings about this.

Perhaps those who wish to pursue the alternative init idea could do so in
private on a separate mailing list devoted to that topic alone and any
interested parties can of course freely join in that discussion if they
should wish to do so.  The number of users who subscribe to that specific
ML would be a gauge of any real interest from significant numbers of users.
If that turns out to be a small handful of people only, then that would be
at least some evidence of the level of support for that proposal. However
filling people's inboxes with this discussion I suspect is not being found
valuable by quite a few people I expect.

Anyone is of course free to develop the proposed alternative init system
for their own use, or form their own developer subgroup, and could provide
their own repos if they wish, and anyone wanting to use the alternative can
then do so.

I certainly see many helpful concise and brief threads that seek to resolve
or inform in a way that is digestible. However long running flame wars
between systemd antagonists and supporters is counter-productive. The real
question is whether or not any TUs or developers think that this is worthy
of further investigation or not. Users who wish to volunteer to do the work
can of course make themselves known.

mike c

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