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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: 5, Insightful) by zocalo on Sunday December 21 2014, @06:14PM

    by zocalo (302) on Sunday December 21 2014, @06:14PM (#128065)

    Yes, but... thing about a fatal bug in init is that you have a dead system, which is one reason people are wary of new init systems and systemd in particular.

    I think that's the difference and crux of the problem right there. The systemd team have demonstrated more than once that they regard fixing bugs in their code as either someone else's problem or not as important as adding the next great feature. That's not a problem unique to systemd (far from it), but with systemd it is in one of the few places where you simply can't afford to have that kind of attitude - another being the kernel itself. It's an approach leads to code that has more than a passing resemblance to a house of cards, and when that particular house of cards is also the foundation upon which other projects sit things you are risking the whole lot coming crashing down.

    --
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
    Starting Score:    1  point
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 21 2014, @06:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 21 2014, @06:30PM (#128072)

    I don't get your signature. What does UNIX have to do with circumcision?

    • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Sunday December 21 2014, @08:04PM

      by DECbot (832) on Sunday December 21 2014, @08:04PM (#128106) Journal

      Unix sounds like eunuchs.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 21 2014, @11:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 21 2014, @11:56PM (#128156)

        OK... But eunuchs are usually circumcised, not just at the foreskin, but the scrotum and testes, too. So it still doesn't make any sense.

        • (Score: 2) by khedoros on Monday December 22 2014, @12:42AM

          by khedoros (2921) on Monday December 22 2014, @12:42AM (#128178)
          Do you argue the correctness of every pun that you read? Most of them don't stand up to any kind of scrutiny.
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @01:00AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @01:00AM (#128187)

            Most puns that I've ever seen have not been as dumb and contradictory as that particular one.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @02:02AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @02:02AM (#128196)

          "UNIX?"
          "Eunuchs? No, they are not even circumsised. They are savages!"

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:04AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:04AM (#128214)

            Thank you! That one finally makes sense. He should replace his signature with what you just wrote.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23 2014, @07:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23 2014, @07:04AM (#128611)

      Circumcision is a biblical metaphor. Colossians 2:11 "...in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ..." The GP speaks of UNIX as a religion.

  • (Score: 2) by lajos on Monday December 22 2014, @02:14PM

    by lajos (528) on Monday December 22 2014, @02:14PM (#128317)

    I think that's the difference and crux of the problem right there. The systemd team have demonstrated more than once that they regard fixing bugs in their code as either someone else's problem or not as important as adding the next great feature.

    No, that's not the crux of the problem.

    Nobody is stooping you from checking out the repo, firing up your fav text editor, fixing bugs and submitting patches.

    The real problem is people bitching about open source bugs without putting their actions where their mouth is.