The systemd folks have an agenda, changing everything. While I, like many others, resist change I want to have some idea of where we are going and how we are gong to get there.“we push quite a few problems into btrfs, that other solutions try to solve in user space. One of them is actually signing/verification of images. The btrfs maintainers are working on adding this to the code base, but currently nothing exists. This functionality is essential though to come to a fully verified system where a trust chain exists all the way from the firmware to the apps. Also, to make the home sub-volume scheme fully workable we actually need encrypted sub-volumes, so that the sub-volume’s pass-phrase can be used for authenticating users in PAM.” One idea is that they will choose a single file-system, btrfs, and use some of its features/complexity to standardize the GNU/Linux file-system, versioning of software, production, distribution and installation of software. They seem to want to turn the GNU/Linux PC into something more like Android so that developers will have a standard target and more control over the run-time environment.
Ewww! This might be fine for the developers, OEMs, and perhaps distro-makers who could share their efforts more efficiently but what of the end-user? No choice of file-system? Umpteen versions of libraries in umpteen branches of the file-system? Relying on the file-system to de-dupe stuff and secure everything?
Imagine the fluff that will replace our solid, dense, reliable distros like Debian GNU/Linux. Imagine how little control the end-user will have over anything. Imagine how complex an installation will become for ordinary folks. Imagine how much expertise will be required to fiddle anything on a GNU/Linux system. Will such systems even be GNU/Linux any longer? Not likely. It’s just not UNIXy enough.
Is this better, desirable at all or necessary? I don’t see it. Is this the evolution of what AT&T and GNU started so long ago? Nope. It looks like starting over from scratch. Is this going to delay, undermine or prevent domination of the world of IT by GNU/Linux? Almost certainly. I can see this process taking a decade or longer. Look how long it took us just to get OEMs to install GNU/Linux. How long is it going to take them to install something few if any understand? Ages. I’m too old to wait for that. I’ll stick with Debian for now. Oops. I’ve just installed systemd on all my machines…