[arch-general] dash as system /bin/sh? (Was: dash as default shell?)

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Thu Jun 18 22:18:57 UTC 2020

On 6/18/20 6:00 PM, Bardur Arantsson wrote:
> On 18/06/2020 06.33, Eli Schwartz via arch-general wrote:
>> You pulled this assertion out of thin air, do you have any proof that it
>> "breaks more than a decade of setups"?
> OP is the one making an assertion, so the burden of proof is on them.
> That said... I suspect most the system-wide breakage that would have
> been expected would be due to init scripts and systemd ameliorates that
> to a large degree.

The OP is sharing an assertion made by many people, that /bin/sh as dash
is safe. As I've mentioned previously in the thread, there is a lot of
prior art. Anything that is expected to work on multiple distros,
generally should work.

SysV init scripts might not work, if they were Arch-specific. Yes. That
is of course no longer a concern, and the primary concern is instead
system scripts, applications, frameworks, etc. which run after boot, not
as part of boot.

>> Note that as has already been pointed out, any setup which it breaks is
>> inherently flawed, and in addition was broken on Debian, the most
>> popular linux distribution by sheer numbers, as well as most non-Linux
>> forms of Unix.
> Inherent flaws in a setup doesn't mean that shit doesn't break. Ideally,
> yes, there would be no flaws, but this is the real world.
> Doubtless, we all try to strive towards perfection, but there is no such
> thing in practice.

That is completely beside the point. If it doesn't work on Debian,
chances are someone is going to notice and fix it. :p

The world is no longer a place where everyone assumes /bin/sh works like

Following in the footsteps of Debian in this regard is not some super
dangerous endeavor.

>> It's actually in practice very unlikely that this will break anyone's setup.
>> Also if you really think Arch Linux is afraid to break people's setups,
>> I suggest you reread https://www.archlinux.org/news/python-is-now-python-3/
> In practice, I agree that it probably won't break much, but your
> arguments largely don't hold water.

I've provided rationale why I don't believe it will break much, you
*agree* with me, and yet you say my arguments don't hold water?

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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