Wednesday, 13 May 2015

systemd - is it evil?

coming from a solaris background I've experience with smf - when it worked it was fine - when it didn't it was a pia to debug and fix. I have a horrible feeling systemd may turn out like that.

initial exposure to systemd was via earlier releases of fedora - I believe I came accross it in fc 15 - when you're coming from sysvinit, systemd is a bit of a shock to say the least. The simplicity of sysvinit was such that adding a new service, enabling/disabling/restarting etc was or at least after a short time of using it trivial thing to do - thus making a sysadmins job a lot easier.

now - does systemd do more - well yes - but my concern is is this more worth the added complexity - my initial gut feeling was that it does the job, however it betrays the simplicity of linux and adds too much complexity.

after working with it for a short while though I've come to actually like it:-

  • its faster than sysvinit  - essentially a side effect of doing things correctly
  • its got a smaller footprint - so certainly not bloated
  • dependencies can be defined for each service - instead of implied by order
  • service not running based as before on a runlevel  - can be based on a hardware activation,timer,path
  • manages more than services - devices,mounts,snapshots...
  • services identified by cgroups
  • extensive logging.
sample commands:-

above is a pretty good explanation!

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