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Arch will move to systemd boot process...
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Jesse Spangenberger's profile photoBrett Daugherty's profile photoSzymon Gruszczynski's profile photoTroels Mæhl Folke's profile photo
116 comments
 
Uhm changing the init system will be a pain in the ass, won't it?
 
This is the only change of late that I'm against. I had no issue with dropping AIF, the /lib change, etc., but I see no need to ditch the current init system that works amazingly for most people anyway...
 
i already setup my systemd files, server services start unreliably sometimes it seems, moved back for the time being, bit more tweaking and i should be ready.
 
personally I've been using systemd for about three weeks and it's been lovely :)
 
I don't miss AIF. Without it, installation seems much easier. Just saying. ;)

Well, when you do it right, I'm really looking forward to systemd. Good progress is best progress. ;)
 
Considering the announcement to support systemd is just four (!) months old, I find migrating +Arch Linux (official) as a whole to systemd premature.

+Tom Gundersen wrote to arch-dev-public back in april: ' At some point we might want to move to using systemd by default '.

The understanding of the phrase 'at some point' seems to differ greatly.
 
Personally I've been using systemd for a year now, never had any problem. SysV was more of a troublemaker (openntpd, gdm, etc.) and muuuuch slower (which I first noticed with a SSD under the hood).
 
Really?

Already tried using systemd with Arch, but it was just a bad experience. If my machine starts to fail to shut down again, I'll be angry ;)

/me hopes whatever problem there was with system shutdown is long gone.
 
+Jochen Siebert The only reason I didn't propose an immediate move to systemd was that many devs hadn't yet had a chance to try it out. I'll admit that I didn't think we'd reach a consensus in only four months, but I'm happy we did :)
 
+Jochen Siebert It's not switching RIGHT NOW either. As the mailing list post states "once the 'Missing systemd units' is over". This can still takes some months at worst. 

+Mike Herwig Not really. I migrated 3 systems in one day. Only had problems with one, and those were solved in ~30 minutes with help of the Arch wiki. 

And while I don't think systemd is perfect (lots of bloat… reduntant syslog implementation, e.g.; debugging is a bit more difficult than sysvinit, but it's manageable), the benefits are really, really aweseome. 2 seconds boot time (from bootloader to login screen) on a HDD, despite encryption? Yes please. Easy way to automount FUSE-bases network filesystems? Yes please. 

The old sysvinit is really starting to show its age. The speed is abysmal, and you easily run into race conditions (unless everything is booted sequentially, which easily increases boot time by one magnitude). 

Debian's attempts at implementing modern features (dependency-based boot, e.g.) in sysvinit just show how dead it is. Dep-based boot in Debian is even more cumbersome to configure than systemd and *never* properly worked for me. I still had 20+ seconds boot time and a weird, nontransparent command based configuration.

Additionally, classic rc.d initscripts tempt the programmer to move program logic into the init script. This makes debugging nigh impossible and really sucks if you have to port it to a different init system (Debian → Arch e.g.). Systemd's unit files are much cleaner. 

The configuration is a bit less transparent than before, but as noted, even with sysvinit it never was "*everything* is configured over rc.conf". You had 15+ config files anyway. Now it's 20+, meh. Who cares. This is Arch. You set it up once and it works for the next 5 years.
 
Great news.  I know that Arch had been very much of the KISS mentality, but does seem like a unified, cross distro process control (and so much more) is keeping things simple.  Will be nice to sit at any linux distro and without thinking know how to check, start, stop process etc
 
I think it's a great move too. Plus the transition to systemd isn't that painful
 
Already running it for 3 weeks. Enjoying faster booting times and easy to use. It took all of 10 minutes to change.
 
The systemd transition isn't painful at all. All of my new systems use systemd from the first boot.
 
Has anybody done a real analysis and shown the advantages vs. disadvantages?

Last time I tried systemd, my Arch Linux system booted more slowly and Lennart was aware of it and never lifted a finger to help. I have the Google+ exchange if anybody is interested. In the end the problem was an obscure configuration of the kernel: CONFIG_HZ: Arch Linux has a different (saner) setting than Fedora, that's why he never saw it.

I expect there will be tons of issues, as it happened when Fedora switched to it. That's the reason I stopped using Fedora for Arch Linux; my system started to fail booting up reliably.

I wonder if systemd has any real advantage.
 
I like the simplicity of rc.conf.
 
Fuck no. I hate +Lennart Poettering . The whole reason I started using Arch was because I wanted an up-to-date system without Pulseaudio. Now his crapware is being forced on me anyway.
王浩
 
好消息~
 
rc.conf. > SystemD. With SystemD Arch has jumped the shark, it cannot say it has a KISS philosophy anymore, sad day for Arch Linux users.
 
ARCHLINUX uses SYSTEMD against USER... It's super effective! </ducks>
 
+Sebastian Schiefer : systemd is about as far from a BSD kernel as it could get, systemd relying heavily on things only linux has. ;p
 
On the topic of systemd having issues, I've been using Fedora releases from the day they come out, and never has systemd been an issue.
 
AKIHLTWGYPFENCUSMDXVRBO
 
I fully support this decision. Systemd working great here on my arch install.
 
+Felipe Contreras as I said elsewhere: file a bug report without insulting everyone trying to help, and it will be looked into.
 
Great news! We may only hope that it will improve the signal-to-noise ration on [arch-general] too ;)
 
+Tom Gundersen Tone (weather you like it or not) doesn't make bugs disappear. If they are there, they are there. The only question is: are you going to fix or ignore them.

Either way, I don't have the machine right now. However, I bet if you get the bootcharts of 3 machines with SSD running Arch Linux with and without systemd you will likely see the problem.
 
+Aaron Hamilton I did have issues with Fedora. You cannot prove a negative (systemd doesn't have issues), OTOH you only need one data-point to prove a positive (systemd does have issues), and I'm not the only one that has hit them.
 
+Felipe Contreras I'll always try to fix a bug that I can reproduce. However, if I cannot, and have to rely on someone giving me feedback, then whether or not the bug gets fixed relies entirely on how pleasant that person is to communicate with. That's just me, maybe other people are more resilient.
 
Lennart Poettering on Arch Linux's kernel configuration as a possible source of problems with systemd:

The latter might just be some moronic configuration by your distro (hey, it usually helps using a less-exotic distro like fedora, since the kernels and things there are usually built by people who know what they do).

This is the kind of response one should expect when Arch Linux hits tricky issues. Remember the PulseAudio problems? It's a problem with your distro/card/driver/alsa (it's never PulseAudio).
 
+Felipe Contreras we work very well with upstream, and have not had any such problems. I wonder why you are getting such a different reaction...
 
+Tom Gundersen Have you hit any fundamental problems of systemd? Something that perhaps only happens in Arch Linux, perhaps because of the kernel configuration.
 
so- first changing from static dev into udev... than from device names to uuids in fstab... now systemd.. KISS indeed!
but in all seriousness: good move (seriously, non sarcastic)!
 
Rly? What advantage will systemd have over rc.conf?
2 seconds faster booting? And thats enough to change to a much more complex system? 
What about the Archlinux slogan: A simple, lightweight distribution.
I can't see that this is simple OR lightweight.....
 
I find rc.conf very fast to use, but if we go to see rc.conf is not much kiss, put all the configurations in a single place is messy ...
 
+Felipe Contreras  yeah i heared the same from other people who tried systemd on Arch. I never tried it because i already disliked it when i saw the dependencies of systemd.... dbus, really? 
 
Well... those few months with arch after switching from fedora and fighting with systemd, pa &co were fun... Bye and thanks for everything.
 
shrugs not sure what the fuss is about. switched to test it out yesterday -- wasn't hard at all. Faster boot times as well. Though, I haven't noticed anything crazy yet. 

One of the biggest things switching from rc.conf to systemd is the dependencies. In rc.conf, you needed a better understanding of which daemons need to start in which order; which systemd, you don't worry too much about it (though you can switch it in each <daemon>.service file). I think its a bit more upfront as well for the commands to start/stop daemons (thought the other commands like restart/status may have gotten lost -- maybe?). 
 
hm... why is everyone so concerned about the speed of booting? seriously- i do not reboot my computers (even windows one) few times per day- so even 20 sec. longer booting doesn't affect me. s2ram ftw!
 
+Szymon Gruszczynski I do boot quite often, but the reason boot times are mentioned is probably because that was the major selling point of systemd. Without it the other "advantages" are not that great, certainly not enough to warrant the increasing complexity and possible issues.

I'm still waiting for a proper analysis from Arch Linux developers, unfortunately it seems there won't be any summary for the rest of us.
 
I am not seeing how it has more complexity then before. Maybe i'm missing something here. It may change how you interact with services but not much more. Most packages already have the services setup for you. 

I don't see how an answer file < bash script either. Most people without scripting would understand an answer file (which is what the service files are) better then a shell script.
 
Never used systemd, but I support the transition, because it seems that many whining idiots might actually leave arch because of this...so definitely +1 for me :)
 
It makes me sad that Arch Linux slowly becomes something way more complex instead of something simplistic. Sure, have it your way but next time I'm installing a Linux distro I'll grab something else than Arch Linux.
 
I found the absence of AIF refreshingly faster. And I feel like a neckbeard now. By the answers on the mailing list, it seems that SystemD is already the 'main' init system. To Quote the d@falconindy:

`+1 to finishing off what we're obviously sitting in the middle of.`
 
+Jesse Spangenberger Having a single file with configuration was nice. Having a single file split to lots of files with same configuration isn't nice. I understand that Arch is trying to keep up with modern distros though.
 
I feel sorry for Archers having this change forced on them. I hope the people that aren't happy with systemd actually start looking at alternatives instead of just laying down and taking it.
 
+Kamil Frej arch never had a single file configuration (or at least for past 5 years I'm using it). Pacman is an example, conf is done by /etc/pacman.conf, not by /etc/rc.conf
 
+Ellen Taylor lol, nobody is forcing you anything. ppl are ofc free to fork arch...or just to stop updating their system...or move elsewhere. Or start using reason instead of emotions, stereotypes and prejudice when making decisions...
Tim JP
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Changing to systemd only means pacman -S systemd systemd-arch-units and adding init=/bin/systemd and using systemctl start network instead of rc.d network start for services. There is no risk in trying it out right now. Don't like it just omit the Kernel Line and it'll start up like it used to. Some people here are vastly exaggerating. In day to day use you won't feel a thing. It also saves me from fiddleing with /etc/initab since i only have to "enable gdm.service" to boot into Gnome.  It loads up kernel and userspace in under 3 seconds on my PC.

Kamil Freij. cough /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/inittab /etc/resolve.conf /etc/locale.gen....*cough* 
 
I am waiting for  the new installer - Chakra has an excelent one thought - that would allow me to install Arch at a GPT partition scheme with more than 4 partition at one disk.

And with some KISS option to install a "default" KDE, Gnome Shell, XFCE or any other DM as other distros do.

And of course let me add and rest to that "default" KISS selection what i would like to, with LIVE CONFLICTS advice not having to start again all the installation if I choosed some packages in conflict.

As you are choosing / making a new installer, please, please keep it in mind.    
 
+Kamil Frej yeah,
virtual console conf -> /etc/vconsole.conf
locales conf -> /etc/locale.conf
timezone conf -> /etc/timezone
hostname conf -> /etc/hostname

if you consider this "complete clusterfuck", then you are an idiot and you should stop using arch ;)
Tim JP
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I guess a lot of people confuse simplicity with "things being easy". Arch is not about being easy and it's not about being hard either so that you can prove your nerdyness by setting up an Arch desktop. If the goal was to make it easy they'd just make one button which simply formats everything and installs base without asking about configuration or partitions. The new Installation is a lot more simple and elegant than the old AIF. If you want GPT just use gdisk that's it. It all comes down to partitioing with whatever tool you want to use. Make filesystem of your choice. Mount it. Install base onto it with pacstrap. Installing bootloader is just two commands. Edit configs in chroot and done. I can even write my personal install shell script which applies all commands automatically that I want to use.
 
Arch has always been stable as jello and now they're sweeping the rug from under your feet. Fantastic. And you know what? Your amazing rolling release model will prevent the transition from being in any way optional.

I mean, sure, nobody was ever using Arch for a real server environment but where do you draw the line? What other distro do you have to read various websites and be up to date on upcoming updates or else you OS splits open in half next time you update the system?

You can babble about how 'customizable' Arch is and how it's for 'tinkerers' but that's not representative of reality. All the programs you use are just as customizable in any other distros and the tinkering is forced upon you, as the user. Theyre not real bugs, either, because it's nothing to do with the applications. It's the package maintainer shoving these updates with no warning. Yeah, okay. If thats what you guys want, why not just grab everything from the devs themselves?

Seriously, the problem isnt systemd or whatever crap software becomes mandatory. It's the fact that you're forced to deal with it. Hell, Debian Sid, discouraged for use because it's so unstable, is much more stable than the crap that is Arch. But hey, if you like getting your environment changed randomly then suck it up. It's just another day with Arch Linux.
 
+Kevin Raoofi Rolling has nothing to do with it. I run Gentoo and still have the choice of which init system I want to run.
 
I have been using systemd full on for about 8 months now on 2 systems. The most obvious problem I experience is when a daemon requires rc. Rc is no longer around; I haven't learnt systemd.unit creation as yet.

Short of it: systemd is a go!
 
+Martin Švach It's funny because Arch was fine without that change.  I possibly over exaggerated by saying "complete clusterfuck" but I wouldn't split a file into several others. It feels like someone wants to make your life miserable by moving the files around and you have to remember again where those files are. Oh, and just by saying I consider moving these files around a bad idea doesn't mean I'm an idiot. It's funny that your argument is based on calling someone an idiot.
I wish you a good day sir.
Tim JP
 
+Carey Riley You can still use "sudo /etc/rc.d/something start" I do that for my BOINC service.
 
+Tim JP that works. But the error messages mean that logging is in disarray. I also want to have it as an enabled service. Systemd has a long way to go too: .timer, --user and such.
 
I made the change to systemd a few weeks ago. No problems, but not many improvements either. Certainly needs some additional tweaking. The rc.conf has never been The File to configure my system. I always need to modify other files (network...). It's a good move for me.
 
So far  it doubles my boot speed, shutdown usually takes no longer than 5secs and process management is more atomic. A problem I came across recently was a version bump in python broke systemd-analyze. 
 
As far as I understand, sysvinit is still going to be there, just not the supported default.
 
anything that makes it easier to use Arch with a read-only root fs is welcome by me.
 
Faster boot is just one of many advantages systemd offers over SysV. Dependency-based starting of services, for example. Not (easily?) possible with SysV. You had to start the daemons needed by others sequentially, even if they did not depend on each other. Socket activation.Communication via dbus. All the sweet little things SysV was never designed for.
 
Really a great news. Been using systemd for almost two years now, and really love it. Systemd without doubt is far better than sysvinit, also creating a systemd service is much simpler and straightforward compared to sysv init script. For me sysvinit is a part of linux system that I hate most, I am even trying to replace it with launchd back then. The cons of moving to systemd in my opinion is negligible if not nothing.
 
Why are people bringing up sysvinit? Arch has never used sysV init for booting or daemons.
 
+Jeff Holmon The current init is called sysvinit, I think, but it is not configured in sysvinit-style, ie. there are not that many runlevels, and the symlink-hell to init.d isn't there either.
 
I'm not going to move to systemd!

A couple of weeks ago I did move from BSD init to systemd. I was just curious about it. I did a complete migration, all my startup daemons was configured to use 'service's. I even got rid of rc.conf. But, you know? I felt as I was in some another distro. Fedora? Centos? Sorry. I love the simplicity from the BSD init scripts, I love the rc.conf "configure everything" file. So I turned back and restored my system from my backups. I don't care about 2 or 3 seconds more from boot time. I love Arch Linux the way it was aways being: as simple as it can for the knowledgeble user. And I will not switch again to systemd. Even if I need to build my init from aur everytime it needs an upgrade. Even if I need to keep the aur package by myself. Even if I need to create rc.d files for every package that I install.
 
+Aline Freitas systemd is not only about boot time. And the BSD initscripts are not really simple if it's more then just "start this, create that PID file". PID handling in initscripts isn't too funny either. Take sshd, for example. I find the code for sshd.socket and sshd@.service to be much cleaner and easier to read then it's rc.d counterpart. The PID part is duplicated across all initscripts. Dependencies are not supported (I wrote that earlier already), leading to funny things when back in the days, HAL did not start, but KDM did, nonfunctional then of course. Plus not everything was configured via rc.conf. You also had conf.d for your services (and /etc) and these sometimes replaced rc.conf features, e.g. NetworkManager. netcfg doesn't even support rc.conf anymore (see http://www.archlinux.org/news/netcfg-289-drops-initscripts-compatibility/). Configuration was easy, but not standard, so not portable across distributions, and sometimes redundant, like your hostname that had to be set via rc.conf and /etc/hosts. The init system itself also offered little information about the daemons it started, limited to "it is running", "it's not running" and "it failed, check your logs for more details". Initscripts were fine when they were thought of (and they still work today), but systemd offers so much more, at the cost of higher complexity of the code behind it, but as a tradeoff, simpler code on the frontend.
 
Is there a fork coming? It would be fun to have an Arch Linux using #Runit.
 
After hitting a few bumps, I can say that I'm now running pure systemd and it's running quite well. Boot time is pretty much the same as before, BTW.
 
I'm next moved to systemd completely (three workstations and a headless(!) NAS). It is safe to move if to read before ;)
 
I won't say a word, as long as the transition will be as smooth as the other few big changes in the few months.
 
This is great! I'm already using systemd, but it'd be cool not to have to worry about setting it up in the future!
 
Since the wiki article has been rewritten and linked to a forum post in which everything is clearly explained, it became easy to switch :)

My both laptops use systemd and boot (much ?) faster. Anyway, nothing critical such as panic or unable to boot :)

Bravo !
 
Well that was easy then expected. everything works no issues at all and easy to do . Why the big deal about it?
 
Pure systemd here based on the wiki, took me about 15 minutes and three reboots, I don't see any issue. Arch still strong.
 
I like the old bsd style init. It frustrates me that itz being forced. We should be given a choice! Slackware maybe?!
 
I have to say, I've had a change in heart since when I first commented on this. Had to do a reinstall this morning for a few reasons, and of course the latest images install SystemD by default. I gotta say, aside from one small issue I had, this setup is by and large worth the growing pains. Faster (even though I had SysV pretty quick), and not all that much harder to deal with. The only issue for me at the moment is needing to re-learn logging utilities, but that'll come with time...
 
To everyone who worked on the transition to systemd, particularly the documentation in the wiki: thank you! It was relatively painless even to me and I will always consider myself a beginner.
 
Worked really well (so far) and exiting to learn new stuff, even as an old timer linuxer...
 
I know only Ubuntu. What is Arch linux in brief? Please tell me.
 
What the meaning of bleeding edge? I am newbie. I don't know. 
 
Bleeding edge means that the software on Arch repos are so new that is not much tested and you could have your system break. Other distros like ubuntu, debian have their software tested and just when they have sure that it is secure and stable they put on repos.
So if you want a Stable Linux you can choose debian, but you dont heve the latest software when it cames out.
I use Arch for 3 years or so and my system only broke 2 times, not arch fault but mine for not read the websites news  
 
I'd rather the old system remain unchanged. 
 
I like systemd but the systemctl and journalctl implementations are clunky...too much typing, and needs wrapper commands. 
 
+Kjell Thomas Pedersen you are right! it was so much easy write on rc.conf what we want running  instead we use systemctl. The simple things are over
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