systemd in Exherbo – Rules of Engagement

June 9, 2010

As you may have noticed, I’ve recently added systemd to ::philantrop for use in Exherbo. I’m writing this to

  • warn you that I will break systemd (and consequently your boot process) until further notice recklessly, repeatedly and without prior warning to anyone
  • make clear what I intend to do with systemd in Exherbo
  • make a plan for myself.

What I want to do first is get a feeling for systemd and see if it might have the potential to replace baselayout-1 (bl-1) and, at least for myself, be used instead of the init-system-that-is-not-to-be. 😉

As I really want to replace bl-1, I’m not going to go the Gentoo way of simply adding a handful of pseudo-units that essentially just call the openrc init scripts. If you want that, you’re on your own and I won’t accept patches that do that. Instead, I’m aiming for:

  • a full native set of systemd units not tainted by anything else
  • a minimal set of non-native configuration files (what we currently have in /etc/conf.d; I don’t think it will be possible to avoid them completely but I will if I can)
  • staying as near to upstream as possible and I’ll try to submit my patches upstream even though the DISTRO_PORTING instructions don’t exactly make inclusion seem likely
  • the units included in the systemd package will at most get you to some kind of login (either graphical or console)
  • all additional units for services like sshd should eventually be added to their respective packages, possibly using a “systemd” option.

The process to make systemd really usable in Exherbo will be a slow one. One that I expect to take till autumn this year because:

  • I’m really busy at work,
  • this summer seems to become a damn hot one again and I spend quite some time after work in our pool,
  • I’ll be on holidays in France for most of July.

The steps I intend to take:

  • finalise the Exherbo patches for systemd (90% done, ETA: Mid June)
  • create and enhance a basic set of units for booting (5% done)
  • create units for other services

How you can help:

  • Remind me of the stuff I’ve forgotten due to a power outage here. 🙂
  • Make yourself acquainted with systemd units.
  • Once I’ve pushed the Exherbo patches, test systemd and
  • submit patches for the missing units. 🙂
  • Leave comments here or on the dev mailinglist so that I can consider your input, comments and concerns.
I am and have been working on quite a few F/OSS projects:
  • Exherbo (Nick: Philantrop)
  • Gentoo (Nick: Philantrop)
  • Calibre plugin iOS reader applications
  • Calibre plugin Marvin XD
  • chroot-manager
  • stuff on github
  • Lots of other projects
  • If you like my work, feel free to donate. 🙂

    2 Comments

    • Apetrini June 11, 2010 at 01:11

      A very good news.
      I have just one question… what about Genesis ?
      I mean… at this point, is it sensible to keep them both considering that the manpower doesn’t grows on trees?
      Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m one of those who is very hopeful about Genesis, but maybe it’s easier bring some new ideas to systemd and cooperate with its developers.

      • Wulf C. Krueger June 11, 2010 at 16:49

        Personally, I don’t believe Genesis is going anywhere any time soon.

        The subject you brought up was at some point discussed in #exherbo, too. kloeri’s response was that he considered systemd interesting and that he might borrow some features from it but didn’t, at that point, consider abandoning Genesis for it.

        The latter I can understand since systemd itself is very new albeit looking promising.

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