test driving systemd on jessie

recently, i saw updates to udev were failing on a jessie vm. the reason was that the vm was running on an older kernel that for other reasons could not be upgraded. as such, /dev did not contain a lot of entries which successfully prevented the vm from booting. manually mounting/chrooting its root file system in the dom0 let me uninstall systemd-* and get back to sysvinit-core. for lack of /dev entries i had to resort to installing makedev which got the box running again.

and yes, i probably could read https://wiki.debian.org/Xen#Error_.22unknown_compression_format.22 und run https://github.com/torvalds/linux/blob/master/scripts/extract-vmlinux but upgrading the dom0 will fix it anyway.

it was time to also dist-upgrade a laptop that had initially been installed with squeeze, back then running on different hardware. now this laptop has multiarch running, with A LOT of installed packages (roughly 5000). Many of the installed services were just installed for testing and disabled to start up by renaming their links in /etc/rc[1-5].d from uppercase S10_foobar to s10_foobar which kept on working when i dist-upgraded the box to wheezy.

after the dist-upgrade to jessie, i found ALL software installed to be running. not too much of a biggie, i set about to disable these services again using systemctl and got most of the stuff disabled. samba still refused to be turned off though. to be fair, some stuff that had been broken since the upgrade to wheezy suddenly started working again, ie plugging usb sticks in and being able to mount usb sticks via gui or slamming the lid of the laptop would actually make it suspend.

having stuff that was not supposed to be running is one thing. booting seemed to a bit quicker, but for not running a display manager i still had to wait until all of the virtual consoles came up. what put me off though was that i was suddenly experiencing shutdown times like i was running windows, shutdown took from anywhere about 30 seconds to several minutes. debugging was a bit difficult as the syslogd got stopped very early.

ok, this is probably very beta and as i am running testing, it probably is normal to encounter a few glitches. maybe it will get better some day.

ok again, how am i going to fix it ? let's revert to the old sysvinit.

oh.

doh.

sigh ok, fuck it, whatever.

deinstalling systemd means some of the gnome apps will have to be deleted. fortunately this box runs xfce. goodbye, aptdaemon brasero colord gconf-editor gnome-sushi gvfs gvfs-backends gvfs-daemons gvfs-fuse hplip nautilus nautilus-sendto packagekit packagekit-tools policykit-1 policykit-1-gnome printer-driver-postscript-hp udisks2, hoping to be able to install you some day again.

ah, the resolution of the 2nd monitor is not kept anymore and i have to manually set it each time X is started. hm. last time i got it fixed by briefly installing a display manager. lets try gdm3 or lightdm or so.

doh. both rely on systemd and i can't have them running with sysvinit-core. WTF ? the universal operating system is denying choices ?

maybe the project maintainers should not so aggressively try to impose their software onto users. now if i need a box that has to run xyz i am forced to having systemd on it ? this is getting ridiculous. The Depends- and Conflicts- fields of some packages seem deliberately fucked to give people no other choice than systemd.

this sucks.

to summarize,

systemd needs a new kernel and the system will not work with an older one. it does a lot and as usual, the development is quicker than the documentation being written. it also acts as a service monitor.

this concept does not look like unix, it looks like redmond. it is not small and beautiful, but a huge chunk of functionality with a lot of different things it is supposed to do.

being so intrusive to make it mandatory if one wants to run ie gnome apps sucks bonkers.

this does not feel like adding an alternative, it feels more like having constraints stuffed down ones throat while deliberately removing alternative choices.

Update:

i now have the following in /etc/apt/preferences.d/no-systemd :

Package: systemd-sysv
Pin: release o=Debian
Pin-Priority: -1