Is systemd a benefit or a liability? [Was: btrfs :(]

Craig Sanders cas at
Fri Oct 10 09:18:36 EST 2014

On Thu, Oct 09, 2014 at 06:53:16PM +1100, Erik Christiansen wrote:
> So, what is all the kerfuffle about? The fact that not all new runlevels
> correspond with one of the old?

the problem with systemd is not that it makes some minor changes to the
init process, but that it tries to do too much. 

If systemd just did init, then nobody would give a damn, but it's
absorbing way too many low-level system functions into itself - udev
has been merged; it does logging; has half-arsed substitutes for ntpd,
cron, automount, inetd, and network configuration. this feature-creep
is on-going, with more being absorbed into systemd all the time....and
announced just a few days ago, a console daemon to replace the kernel's
virtual terminals.

Apart from the inevitable problems associated with being a
jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none the result will be the death of
innovation for all functions absorbed into systemd as it is impossible
to replace any one of them without replacing systemd entirely....which
makes the job of developing improvements just too big a job. right now
we have several alternatives to choose between for cron, ntp, logging,
etc - each of them with different advantages and disadvantages. With
systemd, it becomes a one-size-fits-all-or-else situation. If what it
does doesn't suit you then tough luck, because you can't replace it
without breaking your system.

the second major problem with systemd is that it is becoming (or has
become) mandatory - unneccesary dependencies on logind or systemd itself
make it nearly impossible to avoid having systemd installed.

at least when gnome jumped the shark with gnome 3 there were
alternatives like kde, xfce, lxde, etc we could switch to. there'll be
no such alternative for systemd. for a while it will still be possible
to hang on to sysvinit or upstart or whatever but eventually the effort
required to keep everything working with dependencies breaking stuff all
the time will be too great.


craig sanders <cas at>

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