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Re: <nettime> Design patterns, imposed developments and a fracture
darkcrimson on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:43:59 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Design patterns, imposed developments and a fracture

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Agreed. I've read a lot of bandwagon propaganda regarding systemd and
it's acceptance purely because other distributions are offering it as
default. Bearing in mind that as an Admin, I find it very concerning
to see that Red Hat and CentOS went the way of the desktop, with
Fedora being a more expected change. Bottom line, this is definitely
fueled by desktop benchmarks and (dare I say it) usability factors
that are predominantly Gnome-centric.

I have to agree with what Paul Venezia wrote about systemd:

"While systemd has succeeded in its original goals, it's not stopping
there. systemd is becoming the Svchost of Linux â which I don't think
most Linux folks want. You see, systemd is growing, like wildfire,
well outside the bounds of enhancing the Linux boot experience.
systemd wants to control most, if not all, of the fundamental
functional aspects of a Linux system â from authentication to mounting
shares to network configuration to syslog to cron."

Most will say "What difference does it make?" but I think to end-users
and the like; it makes every bit of difference not being in control,
administrator or not.

The old axiom stands in this regard: Don't put your all of your eggs
in one basket. In the sense of age, I don't think ten years will
change my mind, regardless. -Just my two cents.


On 10/19/2014 02:04 PM, Jaromil wrote:
> For those interested in technopolitics: the concern around a
> necessary fork of Debian is growing. This declaration generated
> some interesting threads on HN http://debianfork.org . Pasting it
> here.
> Needless to say I feel very much like the Veteran Unix Admins. Not
> debating if this systemd is amazing good code or not - simply
> smells not to me, knowing pulseaudio: really made by desktop minded
> people in comparison, for instance, to jack
> But srsly wearing the admin hat: I would never run anything so big
> as systemd on my production servers before it has been at least 10
> years around...
> Shall we fork Debianâ? :^|
> Who are you?!
> We are Veteran Unix Admins and we are concerned about what is
> happening to Debian GNU/Linux to the point of considering a fork of
> the project.
> And why would you do that?
> Some of us are upstream developers, some professional sysadmins: we
> are all concerned peers interacting with Debian and derivatives on
> a daily basis.
> We don't want to be forced to use systemd in substitution to the 
> traditional UNIX sysvinit init, because systemd betrays the UNIX 
> philosophy.
> We contemplate adopting more recent alternatives to sysvinit, but
> not those undermining the basic design principles of "do one thing
> and do it well" with a complex collection of dozens of tightly
> coupled binaries and opaque logs.
> Are there better solutions than forking?
> Yes: vote [1]Ian Jackson's proposal to preserve freedom of choice
> of init systems.
> Then make sure sysvinit stays the default for now, systemd can be 
> optional.
> Debian leaders can go on evaluating more init systems, just not
> impose one that ignores the needs of most of its users.
> Why don't you do that yourselves?
> We are excluded from voting on the issue: only few of us have the
> time and patience to interact with Debian on a voluntary basis.
> Now we do what we can, hoping our concerns will be heard by those
> who can cast a vote about it.
> [edit/clarification] Since this seems to be one of the most
> prominent critiques, we'd like to clarify this point. With lack of
> time and patience we refer to our possibility to be involved in a
> complex bureaucratic system like the one governing Debian. While we
> respect this way of working, we think that our time is better
> invested in new directions, also according to our expertise.
> Is really all this fuss necessary?
> To quote Ian Jackson:
> "This resolution is not only important within Debian, and not only
> for jessie (its next release). It is also important feedback for
> upstreams, and our peer distros and downstreams".
> Why is this happening in your opinion?
> The current leadership of the project is heavily influenced by
> GNOME developers and too much inclined to consider desktop needs as
> crucial to the project, despite the fact that the majority of
> Debian users are tech-savvy system administrators.
> Can you articulate your critique to systemd?
> To paraphrase Eric S. Raymond on the issue, we see systemd being
> very prone to mission creep and bloat and likely to turn into a
> nasty hairball over the longer term.
> We like controlling the startup of the system with shell scripts
> that are readable, because readability grants a certain level of
> power and consciousness for those among us who are literate, and we
> believe that centralizing control services, sockets, devices,
> mounts, etc., all within one daemon is a slap in the face of the
> UNIX philosophy.
> How long are your beards?
> This is not a beard contest, rest assured the furry ones among us
> are not sheeps.
> To sum it up?
> If systemd will be substituting sysvinit in Debian, we will fork
> the project and create a new distro. We hope this won't be
> necessary, but we are well prepared for it.
> We need to talk.
> Sure, write an email to  VUA at debianfork dot org.
> Are you guys alone in this?
> Not at all, there are more protests against the imposition of
> systemd on users.
> This article is a good introduction to the issue at hand:
> [2]Systemd: Harbinger of the Linux apocalypse.
> There is the [3]boycott systemd website providing several
> references.
> Then there is the "systemd fork" called [4]uselessd with some good
> points and lots of lulz.
> The wikipedia page lists also some critiques in its [5]systemd
> reception section.
> With our protest we intend to represent the discontent of Debian
> users, because that's who we are. We intend to keep using Debian on
> our servers, or a fork if necessary. Others might have other goals,
> but we all share a common problem: systemd being imposed on us.
> Thanks for doing this. How can I help?
> Cheers.
> You can help by talking to fellow Debian developers and convince
> them of how wrong is to betray a very big and relevant userbase by
> listening to desktop needs.
> Also it can be helpful to monitor and update the [6]Wikipedia page
> about systemd.
> How are people reacting to your protest?
> Here below some of the messages we are receiving. If you write us
> please specify if you allow us to quote your nick, else we may
> quote you anonymously, or not quote you at all if you specify so.
> I'm with you guys in the way that systemd is not the way forward.
> But I do not think that sysvinit is the way forward either. Maybe
> another init system? Like GNU DMD? I know its still pretty
> immature, but I think it's a good init system. I don't think
> sysvinit is ever going to make a comeback.
> And forking Debian? That's a very hard feat. Debian is the biggest
> Linux distro to date with hundreds of developers and at least 10
> times as much users. And you'll have to change a lot of things from
> upstream. Even Ubuntu decided to use systemd instead of having to
> change the base init to upstart. Perhaps going to Slackware
> instead? That's what I use. Its very UNIX like. If that's what you
> strive for.
> Thank you so much for this. I've been using Debian since Hamm and
> this systemd nonsense has me ready to jump ship.
> I don't know who is behind that email, but sincerely, thank you
> for doing this.  I'm an UNIX/Linux sysadmin for nearly 20 years, I
> am nowadays dealing with a 5k servers which consists of nearny 90% 
> debian systems. I've been a long time opponent to systemd, first 
> because I read the code (thing that too few of that crap's zealots 
> do), and ultimately because I tried it. That thing is a desktop 
> toy, and even then, it has failed me on 50% of the cases. Its very 
> nature is an abomination to UNIX principles and me and my team, 
> colleagues, friends on the sysadmin field are *VERY* worried (to 
> say the least) on what's coming.  Please keep that movement going, 
> make it strong, and if you want a hand, count me in.
> Again, thank you.
> I've been using runit as my init system on debian wheezy/jessie for
> a while now and it works pretty well. glad to see the effort though
> on debianfork.org . cool.
> Do you realize that there's already more than 150 Debian 
> derivative?  Instead of doing one more, you're better off helping 
> one of the already existing derivatives. Writing "fork" is the
> joke part, since that would only be a derivative, unless every
> Debian Developer follows you, which will *not* happen.
> Also, instead of just writing words on the internet, wouldn't you 
> think that helping some of the systemd alternative be a lot more 
> productive?
> FYI, I don't like systemd either. And I've been maintaining OpenRC 
> in Debian, and trying to push for it to work on as many arch as 
> possible.  Though I currently don't have the time for it (for 
> professional and personal reasons), and some others are a bit 
> taking over the work, but it's not going as fast as it should.
> Some help would be awesome, and would help a way better than
> writing funny text on the net.
> I will support you guys with code if the fork goes ahead. But
> kindly think of another name.
> Why don't you guys help out with Debian LTS? No systemd there, and 
> they need help at the moment.
> I'm in, at least in general.  "because readability grants a
> certain level of power and consciousness for those among us who are
> literate"
> I'd edit that to add that systemd is for software devs, but
> sysvinit is for sysadmins.  Sysadmins can debug shell scripts, but
> not necessarily debug and recompile systemd, which will of course
> be necessary in the course of admin duties.  Excessive product
> tying and complication for the sake of complication takes away the
> ability of admins to administer, which is highly counter
> productive.  The response from the systemd astroturfers is
> invariably along the lines of software, especially our software,
> will never have bugs (LOL)
> "Pure Debian by Veteran Unix Admins." any other name has to be
> better than that.  At least try not to violate trademarks by
> putting in (tm).
> You missed an excellent lack of freedom argument.  There will be
> only one way to do it and it will be mandatory and all else will
> be forbidden and only one guy gets to decide.  Intentional 
> incompatibility is a pretty screwed up way to go thru life.  It
> does not help that most of the new features and abilities of
> systemd appear totally useless.  If one mp3 player was useless and
> awful, that would be OK, unless the inquisition extinguished all
> other mp3 players... that would suck.  Although this is whats being
> done with systemd.
> And the embrace extend extinguish issue.  If submarine software 
> patents sink apache (unlikely, but possible) then I don't really
> care although the emergency conversion to nginx might be a PITA for
> a day. When the one and only init system to bind them all is
> subverted either by submarine patent or security holes then the
> temporary work around will be to install the xyz package to switch
> to ... well I guess it'll be impossible and I'd have to switch to
> freebsd.
> There is a cost - benefit ratio issue.  Most of what systemd is 
> capable of doing is unfortunately completely useless and irrelevant
> in comparison to what is being lost WRT to ease of debugging and 
> reliability and security and freedom.  If the costs were low/zero,
> the useless features it provides would likely still not be worth
> it, but at least the ratio would make it less awful.  To some
> extent the whole situation is a farce.  You've got software devs
> deciding what desktop users that don't exist want, while ignoring
> actual current desktop users, and they're re-applying that
> "successful" (LOL) development model to screw over sysadmins, and
> we're not subject to being told what we want by non-admins.  Its a
> very arrogant business model.
> If/when you start publishing work for your fork
> Can you see if it can be documented in a way those of us in the
> redhat world could take advantage of it? We have the same problem
> and concerns, well at least the could *nix admin in our shop.
> Myself included.
> We are also considering looking at alternatives and we all have
> used debian in the past and most use ubuntu for desktop (there is
> always that one mandrake guy) so I will be keeping an eye on this
> project as well.
> Whatever the outcome you have my support !
> Using various Unices since System V on an ICL Clan 4, and as
> long-time BSD, Slackware and Debian user, I just donât want systemd
> imposed on me, whatever the purpose. Whether itâs total crap, a
> good idea or a mix of both, this has to be *optional* and surely
> not a default. I want to keep my servers and embedded systems
> bloat-free with only their intended software sets installed.  Why
> donât *they* fork Debian and do whatever they want ? I like Debian
> the way it is (was) like a good grilled steak with nothing
> superfluous added, no fancy sauce. Thank you for your efforts !
> I've been on Linux for over 15 years, I'm also a contributor in 
> Fedora and author of NetworkManager-ssh (SSH plugin for Network 
> manager). I'm a sort of a cross between a sysadmin and developer, 
> currently doing both.
> I'm predominantly a Fedora user (and contributor) and am thinking 
> recently about forsaking Fedora in favour of something without 
> systemd (was thinking PCBSD). I've been around Linux for a while 
> and understand the core philosophy behind it and how systemd just 
> betrays all of that. I actually had an argument with Mr. Pottering 
> on the Fedora-dev list about having /var/log/messages having a 
> binary format. When log files in linux will not be plain text - 
> it'll be the end in my opinion. needless to say Pottering didn't 
> agree with me and tried to shut me up.
> Pottering somehow managed to push systemd quite far in Fedora and 
> at the moment I'm in absorption mode trying to digest WTF happened 
> to my Fedora with systemd. Horrow show.
> If this fork goes forward, I promise to try and do my best to 
> contriube as much as possible. I'm good with packaging and shell,
> I believe I will be able to help. I think you guys hit the nail on 
> the head with your web page and you have my full support.
> Lets not let our voice be silenced
> As a veteran (20+ years; Solaris, HP-UX, RHEL, Debian) sysadmin
> who prefers Debian over everything for use on about 40 GUIless
> servers, it's either this (a fork away from systemd) or I move away
> from Debian altogether.
> Many thanks for the effort here, while it's not a big thing to 
> replace systemd on jessie/sid installation with sysvinit, it's not 
> easy to create an installer image which installs the OS without 
> systemd. I made an image which you can find on 
> http://without-systemd.org/debian-jessie/ The big problem is 
> tasksel, tasksell will install all Packages with the priorities 
> required, important and standard. Unfortunately systemd has the 
> priority importand and will be installed again, if you select 
> "standard system utilities" in tasksel, to fix that, i would have 
> to create my own Debian repository :-(
> I hope for a solution without a fork. But if you need help with 
> forking, please contact me.
> I support your idea of forking Debian to exclude systemd and its 
> multitude of tentacles. Please follow through. Also, please make 
> available means by which us mere users (though I've got
> kernel-hacking and systems-architecture ambitions myself) may
> participate in an effective way.
> As I see it, the simplest way to fork Debian as of october 2014
> would entail taking a full-system snapshot (per package versions),
> available from snapshot.d.o, from a time before systemd
> dependencies were introduced, and then adding on top any updates
> that didn't add such. This would re-use nearly all mainline Debian
> effort and require only porting of e.g. eudev from other
> systemd-less distributions. Of course GNOME would have to go;
> fortunately there is MATE.
> Thanks for doing this. I run four Debian servers in production, 
> three of which are connected to an IRC network. Gnome remains the 
> default DE on Debian for accessibility reasons, so it's obvious 
> they have the monopoly of votes in favor of systemd. Large 
> companies like Red Hat are also backing destroying the 
> UNIX-philosophies.
> Once I heard Debian would be making the switch to systemd, I've 
> been slowly migrating all Debian servers over to OpenBSD over the 
> impending death of Debian. There's still much that leaves me 
> missing Debian, most importantly the large amount of different 
> packages that are not available in OpenBSD and would take lots of 
> effort to port over.
> I have been worried about systemd colonizing all the linux distros
> for a long time and it's really happening. I want users to retain
> freedom to use the init system they choose rather than being locked
> in.
> The debian mailing list vote about whether to switch to systemd
> was atrocious, in no way did it come to a consensus but they still
> forced this upon us? This was the reason I quit using debian. If
> you look around there are very few remaining distros that aren't
> getting taken over by systemd!
> Your project is a good idea and I wish you the best.
> * All information on this page is free to copy. This webpage is an 
> independent communication promoted and managed by a group of
> Debian users, developers and admins and is not affiliated with the
> Debian project. Debian is a registered trademark of Software in the
> Public Interest, Inc.
> References
> Visible links 1.
> https://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2014/10/msg00001.html 2.
> http://www.infoworld.com/article/2608798/data-center/systemd--harbinger-of-the-linux-apocalypse.html
3. http://boycottsystemd.org/
> 4. http://uselessd.darknedgy.net/ 5.
> http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemd#Reception 6.
> http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemd
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