power and blindness: the tragedy behind systemd

→ comment to The Tragedy of systemd where Benno Rice said that he’s impressed by the way how systemd was spread into most GNU/Linux distributions and that systemd was a source of ideas for BSD.

Looking at the methods used to force distributions to adopt systemd, i.e. by adding hard dependencies in the biggest desktop environment or by bundling udev and continuously tightening the dependency from udev on systemd, that’s a form of power-play against the distributions. A dependency I really don’t want.

Lennart Poettering hetzt taktisch gegen die Freie-Software-Gemeinschaft

Lennart Poettering hetzt gerade gegen die Freie-Software-Gemeinschaft wegen eines Problems das er mit verursacht:

»Much of the Open Source community tries to advertise the community as one happy place […] Well, it is not like that. It's quite a sick place to be in.«Lennart Poettering, 2010-10-06 on G+

Er greift Leute an, die Boykottaufrufe starten - weil systemd nicht dem entspricht, wie sie ihr System haben wollen, dessen Entwickler aber über Abhängigkeiten1 im Gnome Desktop, in pulseaudio, in udev und in dbus Distributionen unter Druck setzten, es zum einzigen Init-System zu machen - und damit gleichzeitig Gnome auf nicht-Linux-Systemen wie *BSD und dem GNU Hurd unbenutzbar zu machen drohen. Dann hetzt er gegen Linus („I'd actually put some blame on a certain circle of folks that play a major role in kernel development, and first and foremost Linus Torvalds himself“) und gegen die verbleibenden Distributionen, die systemd nicht zum Standard machen („communities that attract a certain kind of people (Hey, Gentoo!)“) — die Gentoo-Foren kenne ich persönlich als einen sehr technisch orientierten Ort mit vielen hilfreichen Leuten, aber Gentoo hat OpenRC, das alles kann, was systemd will, ohne dafür Shell-Skripte aufzugeben oder eine riesige Sicherheitslücke in PID1 zu brauchen.

Damit macht Lennart Poettering es sich sehr einfach - und lässt unerwähnt, wie er selbst einen Vortragenden mit rhethorischen Tricks vorgeführt und den gesamten Vortrag zerschossen hat.2

  1. Die Abhängigkeiten sorgen dafür, dass sich Leute entscheiden müssen, entweder aktuelle Versionen von Gnome, udev, pulseaudio und/oder dbus mit systemd zu nutzen, oder aber auf alten Versionen zu bleiben, die irgendwann mit aktuelleren Systemen nicht mehr funktionieren. Mit udev ist das schon passiert. Danach wurde es geforked: Es gibt jetzt eudev

  2. Datenwolf stolpert in dem Video darüber, dass er Lennart regelmäßig fragt, ob er zustimmt. Damit gibt er ihm wieder und wieder die Diskussionshoheit, obwohl Lennart auf Irreführung und miese rhethorischen Tricks zurückgreift. 

Top 5 systemd troubles - a strategic view for distros

systemd is a new way to start a Linux-system with the expressed goal of rethinking all of init. These are my top 5 gripes with it. (»skip the updates«)

Update (2019): I now use GNU Guix with shepherd. That’s one more better option than systemd. In that it joins OpenRC and many others.

Update (2016-09-28): Systemd is an exploit kit just waiting to be activated. And once it is active, only those who wrote it will be able to defuse it — and check whether it is defused. And it is starting: How to crash systemd in one tweet? Alternatives? Use OpenRC for system services. That’s simple and fast and full-featured with minimal fuss. Use runit for process supervision of user-services and system-services alike.

Update (2014-12-11): One more deconstruction of the strategies around systemd: systemd: Assumptions, Bullying, Consent. It shows that the attitude which forms the root of the dangers of systemd is even visible in its very source code.

Update (2014-11-19): The Debian General Resolution resulted in “We do not need a general resolution to decide systemd”. The vote page provides detailed results and statistics. Ian Jackson resigned from the Technical Committee: “And, speaking personally, I am exhausted.”

Update (2014-10-16): There is now a vote on a General Resolution in Debian for preserving the ability to switch init systems. It is linked under “Are there better solutions […]?” on the site Shall we fork Debian™? :^|.

Update (2014-10-07): Lennart hetzt (german) describes the rhetoric tricks used by Lennart Poettering to make people forget that he is a major part of the communication problems we’re facing at times - and to hide valid technical, practical, pragmatical, political und strategical criticism of Systemd.

Update (2014-09-24): boycott systemd calls for action with 12 reasons against systemd: “We do recognize the need for a new init system in the 21st century, but systemd is not it.”

Update (2014-04-03): And now we have Julian Assange warning about NSA control over Debian, Theodore Ts’o, maintainer of ext4, complaining about incomprehensible systemd, and Linus Torvalds (you know him, right?) rant against disrupting behavior from systemd developers, going as far as refusing to merge anything from the developers in question into Linux. Should I say “I said so”? Maybe not. After all, I came pretty late. Others saw this trend 2 years before I even knew about systemd. Can we really assume that there won’t be intentional disruption? Maybe I should look for solutions. It could be a good idea to start having community-paid developers.

Update (2014-02-18): An email to the mailing list of the technical committee of debian summarized the strategic implications of systemd-adoption for Debian and RedHat. It was called conspiracy theory right away, but the gains for RedHat are obvious: RedHat would be dumb not to try this. And only a fool trusts a company. Even the best company has to put money before ethics.

Update (2013-11-20): Further reading shows that people have been giving arguments from my list since 2011, and they got answers in the range of “anything short of systemd is dumb”, “this cannot work” (while OpenRC clearly shows that it works well), requests for implementation details without justification and insults and further insults; but the arguments stayed valid for the last 2 years. That does not look like systemd has a friendly community - or is healthy for distributions adopting it. Also an OpenRC developer wrote the best rebuttal of systemd propaganda I read so far: “Alternativlos”: Systemd propaganda (note, though, that I am biased against systemd due to problems I had in the past with udev kernel-dependencies)

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