[luv-geelong] systemd vs upstart (aka Ubuntu vs everyone else)

Eric Stacey ejstacey at joyrex.net
Fri Apr 27 09:07:41 EST 2012

In the vein of posting something that I found interesting...

I'm going to assume people know about upstart and systemd, two new
(next generation?) system init.. systems.  Recently Mark Shuttleworth
announced some things about the next version of Ubuntu, and quashed
the "move to systemd" rumours.  Not surprising, I guess (Ubuntu keeps
trying to do things their own way...), but they'll be basically the
only major distro still using it (besides ChromeOS, does that count as
a distro?).  Everyone else haven't made a move, or have switched to
systemd.  This is where it gets good (drama-wise).  Shuttleworth
started slagging "the competition" and heavily trying to sell upstart
(IMHO) in his post:

"Rumours and allegations of a move from Upstart to SystemD are
unfounded: Upstart has a huge battery of tests, the competition has
virtually none. Upstart knows everything it wants to be, the
competition wants to be everything."


Of course, people wanted to hear what Lennart Poettering (creator of
systemd) had to say.  He posted:

"I think this decision is not good for the Linux ecosystem. Ubuntu has
now become an island that is growing more or more apart from any other
bigger commercial Linux. Because they have not adopted systemd they
will have to continue to develop and support infrastructure (such as
ConsoleKit, independent udev) that is officially orphaned by its
developers and maintainers. They are stuck with a half-obsolete stack
that receives no new development. Of course, Canonical could step up
and invest major work in the development of their platform, but that
would definitely be a first for them, and I seriously doubt they have
enough knowledgeable engineers for that. Canonical contributes barely
anything to the Linux plumbing layer, much the same way they stay away
from the kernel. There are now two options for them: a) stay stuck
forever with a half-obsolete stack or b) invest a lot of work to
develop their stack entirely on their own in order to stay competitive
with us."


Both authors posted more at the links above.

This could be an interesting 'battle', and that's how they (or
Shuttleworth, at least) is framing it.  Ubuntu is easily one of the
most popular distros for Desktop users, so it holds a lot of sway.  If
ChromeOS/Chromebooks explode, that will help expand the
"upstart-using" market.  However, Lennart makes some good points about
an outdated software stack, and history shows Ubuntu's not real good
at maintaining core software/giving back to the community.  They're
better at taking what's out there and putting little niceties on top
for user interaction (although with Unity...).

Either way, it's something cool to keep an eye on.

(For those playing at home Lennart Poettering is the creator of
pulseaudio, and has almost as fervent fans/haters as Shuttleworth and
Ubuntu.  He's also quite opinionated, and says things like "BSD isn't
relevant anymore" (last year)).


More information about the luv-geelong mailing list