[svlug] On the process of picking up systemd

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Fri Jan 2 12:05:10 PST 2015

On 01/02/2015 04:08 PM, Rick Moen wrote:

> Remember back in the '90s and early 2000s, when noisy advocacy squads who
> went around pushing Dan Bernstein's determinedly odd software made a point
> of never comparing qmail against anything other than sendmail, and never
> comparing djbdns against anything other than BIND?  That was a cheeesy
> distraction from actually meaningful discussion, deliberately omitting
> Postfix, Exim4, Courier-MTA, MaraDNS, NSD, PowerDNS, Unbound, and others --
> and a big waste of time.

> The similarity to comparing systemd - or, more meaningfully, the init portion
> of systemd -- against nothing but SysVInit is left as an exercise for the
> reader.

> Please read the 'sysvinit: the eternal red herring' section of
> http://uselessd.darknedgy.net/ProSystemdAntiSystemd/ before wasting
> everyone's time with this sort of screed again.

OK, let me rephrase it.

sysvinit is special in the sense that it was the only one actually
deployed at large. The only exception I'm aware of was upstart by the
same company that built MIR as a contender to wayland.
I've just learn that upstart was/is even used by google in ChromeOS.

The fact that at least one of the contender was actually deployed and
supported by a reasonably large company and not just a toy or research
projects makes it even harder to think that systemd was chosen by such a
large majority of the parties involved not on technical merits and in a

Exim and postfix prosper, Courier seems to feel well, PowerDNS and
Unbound are in good health. But they are pretty different beasts than an
init system.

Did systemd prevail on technical merits? Being ignorant and having been
living under a rock I tend to think it was on technical merit since the
process was reasonably open and I can't think of any interest that could
push for a suboptimal choice given the current knowledge and available

The most interesting part is the "cultural and technical backgrounds of
proponents/opponents" in my opinion. But still I can't read it as: we
forced our solution at the expenses of technical superiority because
that's what we need.

We're back again to deal with complexity and there is no magic recipe to
chose the right compromise at the right time.

>From my point of view it has been a reasonably clean and open process,
that is a good premise, not a guarantee, for a good result.

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo

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