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A Mini-Systemd Rant (Split from Ray's Fedora/Mageia thread)


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#1 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 03:58 PM

View Postraymac46, on 31 May 2017 - 07:53 AM, said:


In fact, with the latest on the rails install (Thinkpad 430) I chose Debian. Haven't been disappointed.*


*Emphasis mine.

And why ever should you be disappointed? Debian is a legendary mainline GNU/Linux distribution with so, so many wonderfully good things going for it:
  • a simply diamond-plated rock-solid operating system
  • probably has the absolute best package management scheme ever invented (apt)
  • documentation is abundant
  • community support is everywhere
  • software availability is second to none
With its sole not-so-wonderful aspect being its adoption of systemd in recent iterations (just my opinion).

If Slackware were to disappear from the world tomorrow morning, however, Debian would not be my second choice. Because I'm not a systemd fan, I'd have limited GNU/Linux choices (with all the Slackware derivatives gone with Slackware in the morning). I may at that time consider BSD.

Off-topic, but ran across an fun anti-systemd blog post earlier today:

Systemd again (or how to obliterate your system)

It's a free opensource world, so... to each their own. :)

#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:27 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 31 May 2017 - 03:58 PM, said:

[*]probably has the absolute best package management scheme ever invented (apt)

I used to think that as well but honestly, Pacman is much more versatile and easier to use.

BTW have you ever used system now than a couple of minutes?  Honestly I think you would enjoy the power and minimal approach.

Sorry to get off topic, it was just a thought. :)
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#3 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:36 PM

I was going to say that systemd fans should feel free to "Like" my post above. I'll understand that you're not "liking" the anti-systemd part of that post. ;)

If you remember waaaay back... I was the first one around these parts to install and use systemd in my Arch installation. I'm not saying that it doesn't work or that it's not easy to use, etc. I just don't like it because it lessened our choices in GNU/Linux and it felt as though it was foisted upon us; not to mention that sysvinit was a fully-functional and VERY simple init system that didn't really need to be replaced solely because a few in the GNU/Linux world thought that it was old and obsolete and couldn't do as many of the new dog tricks that systemd does. Also, I don't care for Poettering much. It's not personal. I don't know him personally. I just didn't care for his attitude regarding systemd and its implementation/support. And furthermore, I still think that systemd (a non-POSIX implementation) does not follow the KISS principles of UNIX... or the original simplicity tenets of GNU/Linux OSes like Debian and Arch.

WOO-HOO! Trashed another thread. Well, it's Ray's own fault. He brought up Debian. I just ran with it... ;)

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Oh, and you say that about Pacman because you're biased. HA! ;)

#4 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:55 PM

All the above being said (ranted), I have a feeling that one day Pat V. is going to just say, "to heck with it," and utilize systemd in Slackware. Why would he do this? Because any OS must evolve in order to stay efficient and usable to its adherents. If sysvinit goes the way of the dodo, will Pat have a choice to make? He chose PulseAudio in 14.2 (why? see here). If something occurs similar to the Bluetooth thing, will that force implementation of systemd in Slack? I wonder, is that day coming for Slackers?

#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 05:22 PM

More on the systemd/Slackware situation from Slackdev Alien Bob (Eric Hameleers):

On LKML: an open letter to the Linux World

Read the comments. Fun stuff!

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Also, interesting discussion on Reddit re: Slackware/systemd:

https://www.reddit.c...2d8vij/systemd/

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And the discussion thread on Slack's support forum @ lq.org

https://www.linuxque...emd-4175523380/

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From an lq.org interview with Pat V. a few years ago...

Quote

LQ) Right now, there are a number of potentially intrusive technical changes coming to some of the major distributions. How do you feel some of these will impact Linux in general and Slackware specifically? Are there any you would considering merging into Slackware? (55020 & tuxrules)

volkerdi) Yeah, I see a few things coming down the line that may cause a shakeup to our usual way of doing things, and could force Slackware to become, well, perhaps less UNIX-like. I guess the two big ones that are on the horizon are Wayland and systemd. Whether we end up using them or not remains to be seen. It's quite possible that we won't end up having a choice in the matter depending on how development that's out of our hands goes. It's hard to say whether moving to these technologies would be a good thing for Slackware overall. Concerning systemd, I do like the idea of a faster boot time (obviously), but I also like controlling the startup of the system with shell scripts that are readable, and I'm guessing that's what most Slackware users prefer too. I don't spend all day rebooting my machine, and having looked at systemd config files it seems to me a very foreign way of controlling a system to me, and attempting to control services, sockets, devices, mounts, etc., all within one daemon flies in the face of the UNIX concept of doing one thing and doing it well. To the typical end user, if this results in a faster boot then mission accomplished. With udev being phased out in favor of systemd performing those tasks we'll have to make the decision at some point between whether we want to try to maintain udev ourselves, have systemd replace just udev's functions, or if we want the whole kit and caboodle. Wayland, by comparison, seems fairly innocuous, assuming that they'll be able to implement network transparency either directly or through some kind of add-on compatibility layer. Again, another thing that most desktop users don't have a lot of use for but many users can't do without. I like X11, and would probably stick with it if moving to Wayland meant losing that feature, even if Wayland's rendering method carried with it some benefits like reduced rendering artifacts or increased video performance. I guess we'll just have to see what the overall benefit is when it's far enough along to make such comparisons.

*colorization of selected parts in the above quote mine.

Anyway, just keeping the conversations lively around here. Next week, I'll start and Emacs/VIM thread. :w00t:


#6 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 05:25 PM

It seems I've discussed this before. I'm old. I don't remember stuff as well as I used to. That's what the Search function is for here at Scot's. I found this:

http://forums.scotsn...showtopic=67964

:)

#7 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 05:49 PM

Looks like Devuan is coming along pretty well...and there are the AntiX/MX-16 distros. So your options are not "just" Slackware - and lets face it Slackware isn't going anywhere soon.
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#8 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 06:17 PM

Hope not! :)

#9 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 07:09 PM

Call me naive (lots of people like my wife do) but most of the passion around Systemd and PulseAudio is quite transparent to me or goes over my head.
Whenever I've run into a PulseAudio implementation it has worked just fine and never broke anything or had to be disabled.
As far as Systemd goes, the first time I have had to do anything with it was in configuring some stuff in Arch Linux - stuff the normal "user-friendly" distro handles for you.
I found Systemd to be quite logical and useful to get a wifi printer going by enabling a bunch of daemons. Probably this could be done with init scripts but my first introduction to it was painless enough with Systemd systemctl and the Arch Wiki.
I wonder how much of this controversy has to do with the technical issues and how much with the personality of the Systemd developers. There seems to be an arrogance and jerkiness about them that probably turns a lot of community members off.

Edited by raymac46, 31 May 2017 - 07:11 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 07:17 PM

I'm not going to take sides on systemd. It works for me in siduction, my No.1 system, and I appreciate the fast boots and really like journald. My No.2 system is MX-16 without systemd and it works fine too.
For those who like Debian but don't want systemd, Devuan just released version 1.0.0 last week -
https://devuan.org/o...announce-052517
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#11 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:10 PM

View Postraymac46, on 31 May 2017 - 07:09 PM, said:

Call me naive (lots of people like my wife do) but most of the passion around Systemd and PulseAudio is quite transparent to me or goes over my head.
Whenever I've run into a PulseAudio implementation it has worked just fine and never broke anything or had to be disabled.
As far as Systemd goes, the first time I have had to do anything with it was in configuring some stuff in Arch Linux - stuff the normal "user-friendly" distro handles for you.
I found Systemd to be quite logical and useful to get a wifi printer going by enabling a bunch of daemons. Probably this could be done with init scripts but my first introduction to it was painless enough with Systemd systemctl and the Arch Wiki.
I wonder how much of this controversy has to do with the technical issues and how much with the personality of the Systemd developers. There seems to be an arrogance and jerkiness about them that probably turns a lot of community members off.

I basically feel the same way. :)
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#12 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 09:14 PM

Well, not really being a guru in the seriously technical meaning of the word, I pretty much just do a lot of reading on a subject and then trust the "experts" who actually do know something about the technical aspects of something. There are a LOT of gurus who are not enamored with systemd. There must be a reason for that. Mostly, I hear that systemd is a multi-tentacled monster that takes control out of the hands of the user and "automates" it using complicated (to us, anyway) mechanisms that basically do what sysVinit does with simple human readable (and editable) scripts. Also, most of the "gurus" who don't like systemd are hardcore Unix KISS type folks. Systemd violates the KISS principals.

Buy hey... whaddo I know? As I get older, I just want things to work. Of course, MS Windows used to "just work"... well, some of the time, anyway. ;)

About pulse audio... now, this is something I can talk about from experience. I installed 14.2 on this main system when I first built it back around Christmas of last year. The issue I had with P-audio was that it just didn't sound as good as ALSA to my ears. Maybe it was just my imagination. If I ever do install 14.2 on the main system again, I'll try P-audio again. If I don't like it, I'll get ALSA running (it is possible to do that in 14.2, I understand).

I've read that there are quite a few folks out there posting some not very nice things about Lennart Poettering, but in all fairness, the fellow is probably pretty sharp. He's a software engineer for Redhat. I don't think it's right for people to poop all over someone just because they don't like his software. Not to mention the fact that the kid probably worked for many, many hours on PulseAudio and Systemd and then just gave them to the opensource world. That in itself should be worth something in the way of positive points for Poettering.

Anyway, enough defending of L.P. I'm sure he can take care of himself. I wouldn't mind having a chat with him and listening to his logic on why systemd is more advantageous than what we already had that was simple and worked well. Sadly, most of his argument would probably just go over my poor ol' head.

So, am I for or agin' systemd? Well, I don't use it. I don't need it. I don't agree with the philosophy behind it. However, I'm not going to condemn it out-of-hand. As I said above, "to each their own."

Happy computering!

#13 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:13 AM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 31 May 2017 - 09:14 PM, said:

The issue I had with P-audio was that it just didn't sound as good as ALSA to my ears. Maybe it was just my imagination. If I ever do install 14.2 on the main system again, I'll try P-audio again. If I don't like it, I'll get ALSA running (it is possible to do that in 14.2, I understand).
PulseAudio is basically just a control system for ALSA so it is hard to imagine it sounds any different. PA doesn't work without ALSA. Maybe it's just different levels that make it sound better. We have a sound engineer at work who was all excited about his new "sound grouse" plugin he configured on our FOH mixer that he was convinced made the mix sound awesome. We looked at it and realised all it did was raise the level by 2dB! :D (grouse is Aussie slang for great, amazing etc.)
The only advantage in PA is it allows you to set different relative volumes for different programs. Something I never had any issue with before it existed. Solution looking for a problem IMO.
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#14 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:04 AM

Also, remember that a lot of those who bad mouthed Systemd just didn't want to change their old way of doing things. So a lot of this rhetoric is just folks not wanting to adjust to change..
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#15 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:57 AM

Any development process - whether it's software, automobiles, or instant pudding - has the characteristic that the easier you make it for the end user the more complex the product will be intrinsically. And complexity always gives more bugs - another Law of Unintended Consequences.
Add to that the fact that Linux development is open with lots of experts giving input and you cannot avoid controversy - especially on something as big as Systemd.
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#16 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:01 AM

^^^^^ Agreed
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#17 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 01:29 PM

HA! I find it ironic that someone (me) who is 80% deaf in one ear is complaining about differences in sound quality between PulseAudio and ALSA. ;)




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