[HEADS-UP] systemd for F14 - the next steps

Lennart Poettering mzerqung at 0pointer.de
Thu Jul 22 02:11:42 UTC 2010

On Wed, 21.07.10 19:39, Mike McGrath (mmcgrath at redhat.com) wrote:

> > BTW, you are emphasizing that that there was no reason for the stfuf we
> > do. But you are wrong. There actually is. The reason why we came up with
> > systemd-install as a counterpart of chkconfig instead of patching
> > chkconfig is that it actually works very very differently from
> > it. i.e. beyond the fact that both create symlinks, one in
> > /etc/systemd/system, the other in /etc/rcN.d/ they have very little in
> > common. One cares about priorities, the other doesn't. One knows only 6
> > runelvels, the other knows arbitrary numbers of targets. One can hook
> > stuff into runlevels and runlevels only; the other can hook stuff into
> > any unit. One can actually make the changes effetive immediately, the
> > other doesn't do that; one can handle sockets and mounts and other kind
> > of units, the other cannot; and so on and so on.
> >
> I think the bigger question is why are we doing this?  It really does
> sound like some developers got together and said "You know what people
> need?  This thing.  They need this thing!"

Well, for starters, we actually did our homework. And you can do it too!
It's actually easy, for example, with this amazing thing called
"Google". You can use it to find resources on the Internet! For example
opinions on launchd and Solaris SMF. And you'll then notice that for the
most part people love it, for various reasons.

And now, systemd takes the best ideas out of launchd and SMF (and a few
other things) and then adds a bunch on top, using the best of what Linux

You are suggesting that this comes out of thin air, but well it
doesn't. "Some developers" actually looked around, managed to use google
and asked around, discussing this for at least the last 2y with various
people and then thought they could create a compelling result of all of
this. And that's systemd.

But of course, if you say the internet is full of lies, and we, the
developers are morons, and Apple users and Solaris folks idiots anyway,
then you are welcome to say that systemd is a project without a

Also, if you develop exclusively to fullfil exactly what people asked
fro then you produce pretty mediocre software. Of course it is good to
listen, but in the end you as the developer know what's technically
possible and have to give things the final touch that makes it great,
even though the potential users couldn't see that right away. The
developer tends to know his area very well, or at least he should. And
maybe that makes him a good candidate to actually come up with the best
design possible? I mean, if you don't that, can you have any
self-respect as a developer?

Or to put this differently: launchd is in fact one great invention. It
is a design an engineer up with, not a user/admin. And there's a reason
for that. That's not to say the user/admin is dumb or anything, but the
technical possibilities are known to the developer best and that's why
they came up with this great design.

> Who has been requesting this?  What requirements did they give?  The
> problem people seem to be having is the reasons you give in the above
> paragraph are reasons you yourself invented, and that's a backwards way to
> do development :-/

Jeez. Sometimes before complaining that other people didn't do their
homework maybe you should do your own. Google isn't that hard to
use. Reading up on Wikipedia either.

> As mentioned above, it seems like you're trying to find a middle ground
> between where we are today, and this whole other place you guys invented
> for seemingly no reason then you felt like coding something.

Maybe it seems like that to you, but most likely this is because you
never looked beyond sysvinit, and refused to even consider launchd or
SMF in any way. Those systems have issues, absolutely, everything has,
but they also have some really amazing features and parts of their
design are simply awesome. And so far we Linux folks had *nothing* that
came even close to either. And yes, with systemd we now have.

> "Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes
> a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite
> direction."  - Einstein.
> I'm not calling you a fool, you're clearly not but that quote seems
> appropriate.  Just be extra careful when it's others (sysadmins) that have
> to live with the consequences of your (developer) decisions.

Well, if you don't want to call me a fool, then why did you put a quote
here that basically calls me one?

Quite frankly, I find your mail insulting and remarkably


Lennart Poettering - Red Hat, Inc.

More information about the devel mailing list