I’ve been reading of the struggle between Red Hat and Canonical over changing the nature of the GNU/Linux operating system. Until now, we’ve mostly done things in a manner similar to UNIX System V init processes. It works. It’s been improved a bit over the years with some parallelism. Why change?
Well, it seems Red Hat, the biggest and baddest GNU/Linux company wants “systemd” for a lot of good reasons and Canonical, the next biggest and baddest GNU/Linux company wants something else, called “upstart”. It’s on the verge of being a civil war with multiple factions: those who want to stay as they are, those that want systemd and those that want upstart. I’ve read that systemd intrudes into just about everything so it might be a lot of work to migrate. I know Canonical wants to call the tune for GNU/Linux desktops and I resent that.
So, I did a little test. I have a virtual machine running Debian GNU/Linux “jessie” testing packages. I use it to run the newest version of Gnumeric (because I like the SVG charts/graphs). I apt-get installed everything systemd in Debian’s repository, just 7.5MB of disk space and the damned thing worked immediately after I rebooted. To my surprise booting took half the time of the SYSV method. I’m OK with that. Also, my network mounts and Gnumeric worked exactly as before as did my SSH setup. I have read that there are advantages for security as well and better control by administrators. I’m OK with that. Let them figure out the details…
All in all, I’m leaning to systemd. At least my minimal test worked and caused me no pain. As long as Red Hat doesn’t try to force me to use RPM again, I’m fine with that.
see Lennart Poettering’s blog all about systemd. If he improves GNU/Linux, speeds up booting and doesn’t break my system, he’s my hero. 😉