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posted by janrinok on Sunday December 21 2014, @04:54PM   Printer-friendly
from the show-stopper-or-rare-event? dept.

Noted Linux expert Chris Siebenmann has described two catastrophic failures involving systemd.

One of the problems he encountered with systemd became apparent during a disastrous upgrade of a system from Fedora 20 to Fedora 21. It involved PID 1 segfaulting during the upgrade process. He isn't the only victim to suffer from this type of bad experience, either. The bug report for this problem is still showing a status of NEW, nearly a month after it was opened.

The second problem with systemd that he describes involves the journalctl utility. It displays log messages with long lines in a way that requires sideways scrolling, as well as displaying all messages since the beginning of time, in forward chronological order. Both of these behaviors contribute to making the tool much less usable, especially in critical situations where time and efficiency are of the essence.

Problems like these raise some serious questions about systemd, and its suitability for use by major Linux distros like Fedora and Debian. How can systemd be used if it can segfault in such a way, or if the tools that are provided to assist with the recovery exhibit such counter-intuitive, if not outright useless, behavior?

Editor's Comment: I am not a supporter of systemd, but if there are only 2 such reported occurrences of this fault, as noted in one of the links, then perhaps it is not a widespread fault but actually a very rare one. This would certainly explain - although not justify - why there has been so little apparent interest being shown by the maintainers. Nevertheless, the fault should still be fixed.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Sunday December 21 2014, @05:40PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 21 2014, @05:40PM (#128054)

    So these bugs are just symptoms of the greater bug, which is that systemd is fundamentally broken

    Yes AC you are basically correct although a little vague. The fundamental brokenness is in the design. If they scrap this batch of code and start over, they'll end up with another steaming pile equivalent to this one, because (follow the money) their core philosophy is wrong. Nobody wants to turn linux into a gnome desktop bootloader except people paid to do exactly that. Nobody wants to bring windows software development architecture (weakly interacting massive programs, inner platform effect taken to an extreme, who cares about security or debugging all that matters is feature-lists, etc) into linux except people paid to do it. The recent success is due to product tying, so the only hope of linux survival is simply to drop gnome, or whatever else gets product-tied in.

    I escaped and get to laugh from the freebsd equipped sidelines so I don't have a dog in the fight anymore, although the savage destruction is sad to behold.

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  • (Score: 1) by Nuke on Monday December 22 2014, @12:10AM

    by Nuke (3162) on Monday December 22 2014, @12:10AM (#128162)
    " to turn linux into a gnome desktop bootloader "

    LoL, you've ruined my keyboard! That puts it in a nutshell.