[svlug] Desktop software and systems management

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Thu Nov 20 10:49:46 PST 2014

> Rick Moen <rick at svlug.org> wrote:
> > I encounter a lot of anti-systemd ranters (see, for example, the Web
> > archive of a new-ish mailing list called modular-debian), 

Steve Litt writes:
> As a first class anti-systemd ranter and one of the first and most
> verbal members of modular-debian, allow me to offer an alternative
> characterization in describing modular-debian. I wouldn't call it in
> any way ranty. What we're doing on modular-debian is constructive, not
> destructive. We're helping each other achieve our individual and varying
> goals. The only commonality of those goals is we don't want systemd on
> our boxes. We've got desktop people, server people, big iron people,
> little contractor people, everyone.
> If any of you want a box sans systemd, you might want to join
> modular-debian.

Reading Rick's article, and especially his conclusions, I found
myself thinking: I do that (run a system without most of the code
hairball he describes) -- but it means accepting that if I hit
problems, there will be no documentation, no support, no sympathy,
and maybe no fix unless I reverse-engineer what's happening and
write a fix myself.  I wish there was a community for people who
wanted to avoid that whole code hairball and discuss how Linux'
underpinnings work.

So of course I googled "modular debian" to find out what this group
is ... but it looks like it's concerned only with the init system.
And honestly, although I'm suspicious of systemd, I haven't hit any
actual problems I can attribute to systemd. I thought I had one once
-- a consistent mouse failure after resuming from suspend that I
initially blamed on systemd, but it turned out to be laptop-mode-tools.
I still don't know why -- because the desktop code hairball Rick
talks about makes it so difficult to debug the whole suspend/resume/PM
process, so I just uninstalled laptop-mode-tools.

I wish there was a general mailing list or IRC channel for people
who want to avoid the whole hairball, not just systemd ... where
people discuss issues like "What really happens when you suspend and
resume, and how can you debug that process?" or "What are the
low-level steps you actually need in order to establish a wi-fi
connection?" Such a community would include init system issues,
but that's really a tiny portion of the whole problem.


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