What is SystemD and the Controversy Regarding it? [Solved]

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SpongebobFan1994

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I've been occasionally hearing the term SystemD floating around, and now I'm interested in what it is and why it has a love/hate response. I've tried reading up on it, but the way it's described goes over my head, so speaking in layman's terms would be appreciated.

Update: Obviously, I later included "[Solved]" in the title because now I know what the general concept of it is, but unfortunately, this topic eventually morphed into a debate about the pros and cons of Linux itself (which wasn't the point of it in the first place). I've already included 2 comments asking people to stop this debate because it's become nothing but bickering, and I shouldn't have to repeat myself. If you want to read the thread, be my guest, but I politely ask you don't add any 2 cents to it.
 
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MatsuShimizu

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speaking in layman's terms would be appreciated.
I searched for this topic months ago at Google, Quora, Facebook and get various answers. But, it's not easy to explain in layman's terms.
Read the answer #4 from the link below for pros. And, answer #7 for cons.

Why people like it: It fixes a lot of mess and hassle the old system has. Tight integration, easy dependency management and easy service creation.
Why people hate it: Sheer complexity. Some people say that it doesn't follow the Unix philosophy of doing one thing and do it well.

From my side, I have no problem with SystemD.

And, if you read the Wikipedia article, at least you will get an idea of what it is:

It is open-source and the source code is linked from that Wikipedia article.
 
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SpongebobFan1994

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I searched for this topic months ago at Google, Quora, Facebook and get various answers. But, it's not easy to explain in layman's terms.
Read the answer #4 from the link below for pros. And, answer #7 for cons.

Why people like it: It fixes a lot of mess and hassle the old system has. Tight integration, easy dependency management and easy service creation.
Why people hate it: Sheer complexity.

And, if you read the Wikipedia article, at least you will get an idea of what it is:

It is open-source and the source code is linked from that Wikipedia article.
After reading that Wikipedia link, and having a better understanding of this controversy now, what I get out of this is SystemD is trying to be another example of Linux attempting to make itself standard and actually work, but due to the number of distros, software libraries, package managers, and other things, it will always be broken due to how Linux itself is designed. This is why after I get my new computer built and working, I'm switching over to GhostBSD and finally leaving Linux behind.
 

wizardfromoz

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Just a tip, David - you don't need to press the Reply button to answer, when you do it simply quotes back what the person said and they already know what they wrote, they don't need to be reminded :)

Just do down to the empty pane below theirs, type in your text, and click "Post Reply", or even Preview if you want to check how it will look.

@MatsuShimizu - nicely put! :)

RPM-based Fedora was the first of the major players to introduce SystemD several years ago, at least in terms of desktop/home users, although Redhat itself may have spearheaded it. Others followed slowly.

A number resisted, and a classic example is that on the one hand we have Debian (now on SystemD), and an alternative Debian named Devuan sprang up, offering SysVinit.

Technically, SystemD replaced SysVinit and Upstart (references to the latter can be seen from place to place). The V in SysVinit is the Roman 5, and goes back to Unix days.

Cheers

Wiz

BTW if you want to try SysVinit distros, start a Google search on eg

linux non-systemd distros

and go from there.
 

f33dm3bits

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Since 90% of the distributions use systemD you can mostly consider it as a standard, even though it isn't officially a standard freedesktop.org tries to bring standardization when it comes to the desktop and the LSB(Linux Standard Base archive) has been around since 2001.

Explain what more kind of standardization do you want? As well as different distributions have different goals, take for example Debian, RHEL, Fedora and Arch. The first two are aimed at stability, latter two are aimed at bleeding edge. It's impossible to use the same library versions when their goals are different. Package managers are ways of being able to install software so that the binaries, libraries etc are placed in the correct locations and other things like that. The only thing when it comes to package managers being more standardized is them maybe using the same base package setup but I don't know enough about software and software deployment to say something about that.

You talk about GNU/Linux being broken why then is all the development going so fast and why are companies putting so much money into application development for GNU/Linux and how do you handle server vs desktop standardization? It's your free choice to switch to a BSD if you like but you are going to run into frustrations there as well and if you are going to move to a BSD why not just pick FreeBSD?
 
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wizardfromoz

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Go for GhostBSD, David.

I hear good things about it.

Wiz
 

Linuxembourg

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After reading that Wikipedia link, and having a better understanding of this controversy now, what I get out of this is SystemD is trying to be another example of Linux attempting to make itself standard and actually work, but due to the number of distros, software libraries, package managers, and other things, it will always be broken due to how Linux itself is designed. This is why after I get my new computer built and working, I'm switching over to GhostBSD and finally leaving Linux behind.
I don't know how you get that from the Wiki article. It literally contains a list of Linux distros that run without systemD. And the ones that run SystemD aren't "broken" in any sense of the word for the average user. I presume I would actually break my OS if I removed SystemD though.
 

KGIII

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I find that the loudest systemd naysayers are usually those that don't understand it or are parroting what they've heard elsewhere. I do agree that it doesn't adhere to the Unix philosophy of doing one thing and doing it well and that it has enveloped far more than a init manager needs to do, but I quite like the tools it has provided.

I quite like the ease of managing services, understanding the boot process, etc... When systemd made it to the distros I use, I just learned new ways of doing things.

As an aside...

Maybe a week or two ago, there was a user here who was saying something along the lines of how they didn't like an application that did one thing and they compared it to Android having apps that just did one thing. I didn't bother to respond. That's actually not the Android way, that's the Unix way. Do one thing and do it well.

I also think some of the animosity is a holdover from the pulseaudio naysayers and people who just don't like Poettering very much.
 

dos2unix

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I didn't know there were any distro's still using sysVinit. It's been years since I've ran
sysVinit commands. I know there is still some software that wants you to use rcinit.d
But most newer software apps use the systemd service files.
 

Tolkem

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SystemD is trying to be another example of Linux attempting to make itself standard and actually work, but due to the number of distros, software libraries, package managers, and other things, it will always be broken due to how Linux itself is designed
SystemD isn't broken and in fact it works just fine. How long have you been using Linux for? SystemD, has been the default in most distros for some time now, so you've most likely been using it for as long as you've used Linux, and seems you didn't even know. Is your current OS broken? Have you noticed some SystemD issues? "People usually hate what they don't understand". IMHO, the resistance to it comes from people who resist and don't like changes, people who think the only "right way" is theirs, as that's just wrong. I've used both SystemD being the default in most distros and SysV in antiX/MX-Linux. To be honest, and since I use the defaults, I see no significant difference between the two other than commands used and usage, but from a regular-non-expert user point of view, it shouldn't really matter which one they use, as all they do is turn on their machines, login to their OS and use it, they don't use special environment parameters or any of that sort, well I don't, that being said, I like SystemD better; you can run containers using SystemD alone without any other software https://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/systemd-nspawn.html, this may be useful to try new software as explained here http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=129390 you can't just do that with SysV or any other init system.
 
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SpongebobFan1994

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@f33dm3bits

I should clarify that although I do like the idea of SystemD trying to make things standard in Linux, I can also see why people hate the complexity of it and see it as a parasite. Because of that, and because there’s been many alternatives to SystemD (which all operate differently from each other), it goes to show you can never completely satisfy everyone, and that’s why Linux will never be standardized, but will always be broken. Because all of the distros, package managers, software libraries, and other things make Linux feel like Frankenstein’s Monster, I’ve recently decided to nickname it Linuxstein.

If different distros have different goals, then they should’ve been their own operating systems instead of distros, because then the goals wouldn’t affect Linux as a whole. This is why there have been failed attempts to have Debian and Gentoo run on the BSD kernel, and I imagine the goal was to actually make them their own operating systems. I don’t know why they failed, as my guess it was either budgetary reasons, the development team saw it as a less important issue, there weren’t enough staff to work on it, or all 3.

My guess of why companies are putting money and development into Linux is because they’re seeing the success of Android and Chrome OS, and because Google has a lot of influence.

In order to explain how I’d make everything standard in severs and desktops, I’d have to do in technical language, and I don’t have that kind of skill set or knowledge.

The reason why I’ve decided to go with GhostBSD is because it’s a BSD that’s intentionally made to be user-friendly. Yes, I’ll occasionally run into issues with it, but I’m going to make more of a habit to RTFM.
 

Nelson Muntz

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SpongebobFan1994

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**CLARIFICATION**

I've noticed that people responding get confused by what I mean by "broken". I never said SystemD or individual distros were broken, what I did say was Linux itself is broken because it has various distros, package managers, software libraries, and other things that all operate differently because of different goals each development team has. Please keep this in mind from now on.
 

Tolkem

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If "Linux is broken" as you claim, why does it power the most powerful computers? https://itsfoss.com/linux-runs-top-supercomputers/ Why does the NASA use it on its martian robots? http://linuxgizmos.com/nasas-martian-helicopter-runs-linux/ If Linux doesn't work for you, which is just fine, then use something else, but don't keep on saying "it is broken" because it's not. What is broken is the misconception people have on what Linux is and how it works, like wanting Linux to be a Windows replacement while behaving like Windows. Being open source, it is only natural that people want to apply different approaches to address different scenarios, use-case and users' needs, that doesn't make it broken but modular. Linux is about choices and fortunately we have lots of them with more to come. You probably know this but still, Linux is the kernel, distros are built around that kernel, depending on their target audience and concept, they may choose to use different stuff, i.e. QT or GTK, SystemD or SysV. Some distros are built from scratch, i.e. Solus, KaOS, Lunar Linux, Guix, Nix and a few others. They all use different pkg managers due to the fact that they all use different packaging procedures and needed to develop a tool for handling those operations, likewise, snaps, flatpacks and appimages were created to solve this; provide a way of distributing and using software regardless of the distro, so you can run the same app across different distros. You can build from source too, no one's stopping you from doing it. You can build your own Linux distro! https://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ with everything you want and need; nothing more, nothing less. All of this doesn't make "Linux broken" but being as modular as possible and IMHO that's one of the coolest amongst the many cool features of Linux. :)
 

SpongebobFan1994

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Linux is fine if you want to run it in a server, supercomputer, or mainframe, or if you want to tinker with software or an OS and learn how it works, but as far as trying to get it to work as a desktop OS, it won’t because of distro fragmentation, which then leads to problems such as a lack of 3rd party software development, getting game developers to take Linux seriously (then again, I imagine Linux gamers would be resistant to anything that comes out of EA’s crapshoot), and getting HP to develop a printer driver that doesn’t keep crapping out. While there have been steps to overcome all of that (such as snaps, flatpacks, and appimages like you said), it will still have ways to go, and even then, distros like Debian, Gentoo, Mint, Redhat, or Trisquel will still have a minority stake in the desktop market, causing companies, who could help them with the support they need, to not waste their time with them. The fact that some members of the Linux community don’t want to help popularize Linux, because they’re “proud of each distro being a niche”, and because they're resistant to newcomers, is another reason why Linux will never go anywhere or get the support it needs. This is why I’ve concluded that Linux should’ve always been a cooperative business where each distro would’ve been it’s own OS, each OS would’ve been made for the average user, and anyone with a programming background could make improvements and changes to each OS. That way, users still have choices, and if each OS was popularized through advertising or other means (or if the cooperative popularized each of them), they would get support from other companies. While I’ve said before that I’d only run Windows in a virtual machine if I ever wanted to use it again, one thing I can give it credit for is it’s always been standard, because it’s always been one OS with one goal (hence why I mentioned Linux should be a cooperative instead of an OS). That’s why I honestly see it as broken, and why I’m jumping ship for GhostBSD.
 

Tolkem

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Some of your points ar valid, however, it's hardware vendors who decide whether to support Linux, the reason some don't it's because unlike proprietary software, it's free and they see no monetary gain, at least not as much as they do in Windows, for example.
This is why I’ve concluded that Linux should’ve always been a cooperative business where each distro would’ve been it’s own OS, each OS would’ve been made for the average user, and anyone with a programming background could make improvements and changes to each OS. That way, users still have choices, and if each OS was popularized through advertising or other means (or if the cooperative popularized each of them), they would get support from other companies.
Isn't that how Linux distros currently work? Red Hat, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian and most "mainstream" distros have their "enterprise" edition. Then there are "community"(distros based on the mainstream built by a community of developers to distribute for free) editions where people with a "programming background" make their own improvements. Again, I don't agree with what you say about it "being broken", but that's my opinion and it's just fine that you have your own, that doesn't make any of us wrong, if anything it only says that we both have different points of view on the same topic.
 

SpongebobFan1994

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Companies can still charge money for libre and open-source software, but the problem is a significant amount of Linux users are free-tards who throw tantrums about the idea of them doing that (as explained in this video: https://invidious.048596.xyz/watch?v=oTiztqndGco), and as a result, those companies then bend the knee. Surviving on donations, merchandise, and grants is theoretically a good way to obtain money, but it doesn't always keep the lights on. Even though distros do have "enterprise" editions, Linux itself is still a crumb in the pie of the desktop market, so it doesn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things (which, once again, is why each distro should advertise itself to gain more popularity, but most-likely won't).
 

wizardfromoz

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I think that the word "broken" may be confusing, perhaps "fragmented" would be a better description?

But then I regard that as a welcome diversity that allows me freedom of choice, more so than any other OS.

Wiz
 
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