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Re: Stretch & Safely Replacing systemd?




On 2017-03-03 at 12:42, Patrick Bartek wrote:

> On Fri, 03 Mar 2017 07:25:13 -0500 The Wanderer
> <wanderer@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 
>> On 2017-03-02 at 13:01, Patrick Bartek wrote:
>> 
>>> I've been considering Stretch as a clean install or dist-upgrade
>>> of my aging Wheezy desktop setup as well as to install on a new 
>>> notebook I've yet to decide on.  I don't like systemd (why is 
>>> unimportant to this query). I plan to use some other init
>>> system, probably runit. So ...
>>> 
>>> Just how dependent has Stretch's system become on systemd?  I
>>> don't mean applications or GNOME, etc. with systemd dependency
>>> that I can choose not to install, but the system itself, the
>>> guts, the basics, the things and tools it needs to work
>>> properly.
>> 
>> There are two packages which are in some sense "part of" systemd
>> which you will not be able to avoid: libsystemd0 and udev.
> 
> udev I knew about.  (Also, udisks2.)  But there are udev
> alternatives that don't have any systemd dependency.  One is eudev
> from the Gentoo people, IIRC. It's suppose to be platform
> independent..

Yeah, but last I checked, those weren't available in Debian. (Although
"last I checked" was months ago at minimum, so it's possible I could
have missed an ITP message for such a package.)

>> libsystemd0 is the "detect at runtime whether systemd is present" 
>> library; it's what makes it possible for programs to use systemd
>> when it's there, but still work when it isn't. It might
>> _technically_ be possible to avoid this, but one of the packages
>> which depends on this is xserver-xorg-core, so for most systemd
>> that will not be a practical option.
> 
> Had heard about that dependency.  I'm sure there are others that have
> yet to be discovered.  That's one of the reasons I dislike systemd.

Frankly, I have basically zero problems with this. There are definitely
advantages to building against systemd for those who _do_ have it, and
the alternatives to a dependency library like this would be "one set of
X packages built against systemd, one not" or "X packages built only
against systemd; if you want ones that aren't, compile it yourself".
Multiplied by all the _other_ packages that depend on libsystemd0.

I think a wrapper/stub library like this is probably the best solution.

>> udev wasn't originally a systemd thing, but is now maintained by
>> the systemd people, and apparently shipped from the same source
>> package (or at least I can't see any other reason why changes to
>> udev would appear in apt-listchanges under the name of "systemd").
>> 
>> Those are the only systemd-related packages on my current primary 
>> machine (unless you count systemd-shim, which exists specifically
>> to make avoiding systemd itself possible), and I've been running it
>> with no apparent related issues for pretty much the entire time
>> since the systemd transition.
> 
> Know about systemd-shim from my tests with Jessie..  Read some time 
> ago, it was to be dropped from Stretch.

It's orphaned and unmaintained (even upstream, AFAIK), but it's still
present in stretch as of this morning; I don't recall hearing word that
it was going to be dropped entirely.

-- 
   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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