Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

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.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Sunday December 21 2014, @09:58PM

    by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 21 2014, @09:58PM (#128136)

    > Of course you wouldn't understand these problems. You're obviously not a system administrator.

    If you want to get into a pissing contest about number of systems managed then I seriously doubt you are going to win against the RedHat cloud admins, unless you admin for Google or Amazon, and for some reason they want systemd and binary logs. No, I don't _know_ why, I don't manage thousands of servers either, but i can take some good guesses.

    Furthermore, binary logs can also be trivially turned into text (oh look, systemd even provides a configuration to do that) - the converse is not true.

    > No, the home user dicking around with Linux in a VM on his MacBook Pro won't notice these problems. But that person isn't really using Linux seriously, either.

    I guess the sysadmin managing a few tens of on-premise or colo-ed servers won't notice the kind of problems that the RedHat guys managing multiple data centres either, maybe that's because they aren't using Linux seriously ?

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Sunday December 21 2014, @11:11PM

    by Arik (4543) on Sunday December 21 2014, @11:11PM (#128150) Journal
    "Furthermore, binary logs can also be trivially turned into text (oh look, systemd even provides a configuration to do that)"

    Oh, look, that assumes that you booted correctly.

    This is a system designed to fail just when it is needed most. When the system is working fine, you can export the logs that show it working fine, but when it fails and you really need to see those logs, you cannot.

    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?