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Bug#886238: Please introduce official nosystemd build profile

On Wed, 03 Jan 2018 at 15:12:51 +0300, Hleb Valoshka wrote:
> Please introduce official nosystemd build profile so downstream
> distributions can send patches to package maintainers with
> systemd-less build instead of keep them in home.

In general, build profiles are not meant
to result in functional changes to packages
which seems like it isn't a great fit for omission of systemd support:
if a package installs systemd units, links to libsystemd, etc., it's
usually because it causes a functional difference to that package's
behaviour on systems that booted with systemd as pid 1, or on systems
where `systemd --user` is available.

The speculation about a possible nosystemd profile in
<https://wiki.debian.org/BuildProfileSpec#Derivative_specific_profiles> is
not consistent with that design principle. If a package contains systemd
units or uses of libsystemd, then it's safe to assume they were added
for a reason. Whether you value that reason or not, it's nearly always
true to say that cutting out systemd-related bits is a functional change.

If the nosystemd profile is (exceptionally) allowed to cause functional
changes, what would the policy be for this build profile? Would it be
acceptable for a package built with nosystemd to be unusable or have
incompatible behaviour if it is used on a system booted with systemd?

(Clearly, that would be a silly thing to do, because if you care about
avoiding systemd enough to be specially rebuilding packages, then you
certainly shouldn't boot with systemd as your process 1; but there's no
technical restriction that prevents that from happening.)