Having managed several Unix teams, I have always been enamored of their culture… and “community” as it were. And there’s been an interesting uproar in the Linux community these past few months over “systemd” technology. Systemd is system initialization framework that promises to speed up boot times and better handle race conditions. The existing System V and BSD Init process is a myriad of text files and stems for the Unix world which contribute to a longer bootup time. While longer startup aren’t too much of an issues for servers, it is inconvenient for desktops and embedded Linux installations. RedHat has developed systemd binary code to improve boot times but is now also taking over other features much like svchost.exe does in Windows.
Unix stalwarts are calling it “your new God“.
systemd is the all knowing, all controlling meta-deity
that sees all and supervises all. It’s the new One Master Process that
aspires to control everything it can – and it’s already doing a lot.
It’s what init would look like if it were a transformer on steroids.
It’s complicated, multi-faceted, opaque, and supremely powerful.
The Unix crowd feels systemd is an anathema to some of the major tenets of Unix namely that *Nix has many small tools that do one job perfectly rather than single large tools that perform many jobs in a mediocre fashion. The newer Linux crowd, led by Red Hat, is less beholden to the Unix tradition.
Much of the conflict is playing out online in the Linux Kernel Mailing List (https://lkml.org/) where big egos trade brutal barbs. The fight has been personified by the bloody war of words between Linux creator Linus Torvalds and the primary systemd developer, Kay Seviers. InfoWorld’s Paul Venezia refers to systemd as “Harbinger of the Linux apocalypse“.
My goto source for everything Unix/Linux says he perfers the SysV Init over systemd because its basically a bunch of text files that are easy to tweak and see how it is working. He said systemd is more robust for people who don’t know how to script. LKML contributors characterize those folks a little more descriptively (“Those who think Linux should cater to idiots and droolers should go back to their Macs and Windoze boxes”). Regardless, my source says that in reality,”I don’t think it will affect anything an average end-user and/or normal SA would notice”.