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Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).
Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.
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When you build software like Poettering build software, it is. Large, monolithic, kitchen-sink systems are going to be bug-ridden. It’s much easier to verify small, independent, focused, Unix-philosophy software. This is the singular reason why people object to systemd.
I like systemd. It made things easy for me… until it didn’t, and until parts started breaking. I migrated to dinit (and back to all of the independent components systemd has absorbed over time), and there are gaps. Some things are harder; the init part of systemd was nice, if only it could be isolated… but it can’t, and this is why Poettering thinks bug-free systems are hard. Because he builds giant monolithic edifaces and (for all his talent) doesn’t know how to isolate.
He’s a good programmer, but a lousy architect.
Which other “parts” of systemd are needed if you only needed the systemd init “part”?
journald. cron. systemd core does these, whether or not you succeed in hacking around them and run one of the standard daemons independently.
The systemd ecosystem is increasingly fragile unless you use all of the parts. resolved is becoming increasingly necessary for DNS lookup stability on systemd distros on things like laptops. homed is being pushed pretty hard; arch boot logs complain about not having homed if it isn’t being used, although it still works.
Leonard has argued that, just because systemd isn’t one giant binary, it isn’t monolithic. However, the parts of the systemd ecosystem that take over logging, cron, daemon control, logind, and so on are tightly coupled. The elogind effort spends most of its effort decoupling elogind from systemd (c.f. seatd). I’ve read (but haven’t tried) that you can’t replace logind with something else on systemd installs. You can run it alongside, but removing systemd-logind breaks login. I suspect thats less systemd and more a distribution thing, but the tendancy to tightly couple these packages is concerning. It’s something which doesn’t tend to happen in Arch for other systems… there are usually alternatives providing a capability to choose from, but the systemd components are so tightly coupled that, if you want to use, say, syslog-ng, you basically have to switch distributions.
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