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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday February 26 2014, @12:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the Boot-him?-I-just-met-him! dept.

jbernardo writes:

"Having had several issues with systemd, and really not liking the philosophy behind it, I am looking into alternatives. I really prefer something that follows the Unix philosophy of using small, focused, and independent tools, with a clear interface. Unfortunately, my favourite distro, Arch Linux, is very much pro-systemd, and a discussion of alternatives is liable to get you banned for a month from their forums. There is an effort to support openrc, but it is still in its infancy and without much support.

So, what are the alternatives, besides Gentoo? Preferably binary... I'd rather have something like arch, with quick updates, cutting edge, but I've already used a lot in the past Mandrake, RedHat, SourceMage, Debian, Kubuntu, and so on, so the package format or the package management differences don't scare me."

[ED Note: I'm imagining FreeBSD sitting in the room with the all the Linux distros he mentioned being utterly ignored like Canada in Hetalia.]

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by jdccdevel on Wednesday February 26 2014, @04:33PM

    by jdccdevel (1329) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @04:33PM (#7390) Journal
    Honestly, the problem for me isn't systemd per-se. I've been working with it for a year now, and It's not too bad, once you get used to it's quirks (the learning curve is quite steep). It also makes certain behaviours, like starting daemons when a new device appears, very easy when it used to be quite hard. The improvement in startup time is also really nice.

    That being said, the problem for me is that systemd is tied, inexorably, to the abomination that is the journal. What's wrong with the journal? Off the top of my head:
    • Binary log format. Throw all those log-file analysis tools away. journalctl is your new best friend! (or not)
    • One Massive Log. Want to keep your dhcp logs for an hour, and your login records for a year? Too bad. You Can't.
    • The only control you have for retention is how large the whole thing gets.
    • Bizarre, non-unix style querying tools. Now I have to learn a query language to find the log entry I want, and spend 15 minutes waiting while journalctl searches the entire 2GB Journal for one entry? Only to discover the information I needed was collapsed away because journalctl's built-in pager (WTF?) decided the line was too long! GRRRR.....


    Why did they make the journal anyway? AFAICT, the journal's entire reason for existence is to provide tamper-evident logging. (i.e. if your system gets hacked, and the attacker changes the logs, there's guaranteed to be evidence of the changes.) That's it. There is no other reason that I know of. Note that it doesn't make them tamper-proof, just tamper-evident. It's a admirable goal, but the implementation is SO HORRIBLE, the cure is literally worse than the disease.

    If the journal was optional, systemd would be a non-issue for me and many others. Sure the learning curve is steep, but the end results are actually quite nice. But by tightly coupling it with the journal abomination, they're making it much, much harder to swallow.

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    Total Score:   5