Systemd --- Linux's Vista? Gnome 3 --- Windows 8?

I don’t want to hear back from anyone that doesn’t want to discuss these
issues in an open and friendly manner. I don’t want to start a war a la
Linus and Lennart. I just want the powers that be and make the
decisions, to hear my pain points as a user and administrator. I am not
a developer and will not fork a distro to keep sysvinit around, in fact
I have no love to be lost.

Thank you all for putting up with me.

Then you need to visit the developer mailing list… (who, by the way
are rather sick of the systemd rhetoric and trolling, so if you post
they will probably moderate it). - Discussion about development versions
of openSUSE.

Cheers Malcolm °¿° LFCS, SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 13.1 (Bottle) (x86_64) GNOME 3.10.1 Kernel 3.11.10-21-desktop
If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
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On 2014-10-09 20:06, 70tas wrote:
> Ok, here are some things I do not like about systemd:
> 1. Check service:
> systemctl status sshd.service, responds with:

Yes, the response is more verbose. Different.

> 2. tail messages
> <<
> 2014-10-09T13:35:19.605295-04:00 dctvtasoss kernel: [690571.934502]
> IPv4: martian source from, on dev e0a
> 2014-10-09T13:35:19.605310-04:00 dctvtasoss kernel: [690571.934508] ll
> header: 00000000: ff ff ff ff ff ff 00 0c 29 27 93 fb 08 00

That’s not related to systemd at all.

> My messages file is full of these… ‘martian source’? I would prefer
> Jupiter…

Google the explanation. Or ask in the networking forum. No, search it: it has been asked before.
It is nothing whatsoever to do with systemd, and is in fact decades older.

> 3. Tried to read binary message files… Good luck grepping them;
> haven’t figured that out yet.

And why are you using them? I don’t.

> 4. systemctl list-unit-files
> What are unit files?

well, similar to tree /etc/initd./.

> 5. cat /etc/fstab?
> Where are my mounts? Oh, systemd now handles mounts; I haven’t
> figured out the commands to list them yet.

And previous to systemd, some mounts were handled outside of fstab. Nothing new there.

> system. I wouldn’t have as much of an issue if:
> i. systemd remapped the original UX commands so I could still use
> what I knew

And it does.

> c. Why not keep the old crond and syslog? The binary log files and all
> the additional messages, which I don’t think matter, are painfull

Both are kept. What distribution are you using? Not openSUSE.

> d. Why can’t I continue using my trusty tools, like grep, etc. with
> systemd? Why do I need to use systemctl?

I use grep.

> e. Why isn’t there clear, concise documentation in the man pages for
> such a major change?

There is documentation. A lot of it. Probably more than with systemv. Maybe confusing.

> BTW, I like Vixie-Cron and Syslogng, why can’t I keep using them?

I don’t see why not.

cer@Telcontar:~> rpm -qi cron
Name        : cron
Version     : 4.2
Release     : 50.1.2
Architecture: x86_64
Install Date: 2014-02-25T21:40:49 CET
Group       : System/Daemons
Size        : 181
License     : BSD-3-Clause and GPL-2.0 and MIT
Signature   : RSA/SHA256, 2013-09-28T02:59:52 CEST, Key ID b88b2fd43dbdc284
Source RPM  : cronie-1.4.8-50.1.2.src.rpm


Telcontar:~ # rcsyslog status
Usage: /sbin/rcsyslog {start|stop|status|try-restart|restart|force-reload|reload}
rsyslog.service - System Logging Service
Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/rsyslog.service; enabled)
Active: active (running) since Sat 2014-10-04 23:40:54 CEST; 4 days ago
Process: 17167 ExecReload=/bin/kill -HUP $MAINPID (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Process: 20982 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/rsyslog-service-prepare (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Main PID: 20986 (rsyslogd)
CGroup: /system.slice/rsyslog.service
└─20986 /usr/sbin/rsyslogd -n

Telcontar:~ # rccron status
Checking for Cron:                                                                                                                                 running
cron.service - Command Scheduler
Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/cron.service; enabled)
Active: active (running) since Wed 2014-10-01 22:23:18 CEST; 1 weeks 0 days ago
Main PID: 3971 (cron)
CGroup: /system.slice/cron.service
└─3971 /usr/sbin/cron -n

Telcontar:~ #

You have several choices; here is a (reduced) list syslog-ng is there :

Telcontar:~ # zypper --no-refresh search --name syslog cron
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...

S | Name                             | Summary                                                  | Type
i | cron                             | Auxiliary package                                        | package
| cronic                           | A cure for Cron's chronic email problem                  | package
i | cronie                           | Cron Daemon                                              | package
| cronie-anacron                   | Utility for running regular jobs                         | package
| etckeeper-cron                   | The etckeeper cron function                              | package
| incron                           | Inotify Cron System                                      | package
i | kcron                            | Cron job configuration tool                              | package
i | perl-Config-Crontab              | Read/Write Vixie compatible crontab(5) files             | package
i | perl-Unix-Syslog                 | Perl interface to the UNIX syslog(3) calls               | package
i | rsyslog                          | The enhanced syslogd for Linux and Unix                  | package
| syslog-ng                        | The new-generation syslog-daemon                         | package
i | syslog-service                   | Syslog service files & scripts                           | package
| syslogd                          | The Syslog daemon                                        | package
| vcron                            | TK-Interface for cron and at                             | package
Telcontar:~ #

> These are just some of my thoughts trying to make sense of systemd.
> I think if systemd did the following, it would be much more palatable to
> all:
> 1. Use text log files

They are used.

> 2. Use text configurations in /etc, like fstab, etc.

They are used.

> 3. Forget about trying to take over cron and syslog, or emulate them

They are used.

> 4. Either use the traditional command names for systemd commands, or at
> least provide a quick translation from old to new

They are provided.

> 5. Don’t preface all commands with systemctl…
> And now, the $64M question: Why have all the distro’s jumped to it?
> Why has SuSE thought fit to make such a drastic change so abruptly?

Because systemv could not be maintained/expanded, and the alternative was there, maintained, and growing.
Without creating a big SUSE team to create an alternative. Expensive.

> I just want the powers that be and make the
> decisions, to hear my pain points as a user and administrator.

They will not. As simple and clear as that.

For two reasons:

  • They do not read these forums.
  • They are tired of explaining all that, it is pointless to explain all that again, so probably many of them just filter out any post on that issue. The decision has been done, and will not be reverted, no matter how many ramblings. :slight_smile: (smile)

Only if some group develops a viable alternative, then they may reconsider.
Yes, there are people trying. I read about someone trying on the OBS.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

I think that you have reasonable questions and concerns; Here is a part of an email thread from Marc Espie of OpenBSD, in 2012:

“…I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of good intention behind the “progress” in recent desktops. But this is turning the field of OS distributions into a wasteland. Either you’re a modern linux with pulseaudio and pam and systemd, or you’re dying. So much for the pioneer spirit of opensource, where you were free to innovate and do cool things, and more or less have interesting software able to run on your machine…”

Systemd is choking off other unix-like operation systems like OpenBSD - it is basically being shoved down their throats.

I am not here to promote other OS’s outside of Linux, but if you want a good alternative to the systemd world of Linux, try PC-BSD; it is still systemd free. But as I have already stated, the *BSD branches will eventually have to decide the systemd question, because it is unavoidable, given that the most salient open source development is driven by Redhat. Even Debian, and hence Ubuntu is accepting the systemd inevitability.

Yup, seconded.

I am not currently in a position to form an informed opinion about systemd. However, I do not like the idea (if it’s truly like this) that a single developer¹ could have so much say in the second most critical part of a Linux system.

¹ Other than Torvalds himself. Not because the kernel is named after him, but because over the years he has proven himself to be a good leader who has kept Linux as sane a product as you can get with something of this complexity.

Well, not quite. :expressionless:

And I haven’t seen it mentioned in this discussion yet, but could uselessd, or something like it, be a viable alternative to both sysinitv and especially, systemd?

long time ( > 8 yrs ) lurker here - hello to all!
I am in need of f a s t getting a basic understanding of systemd, because I need sar.
I could not see any hints in man sar or man cron, but user root has no crontab anymore in crontab -l.
Please point me to the right forum or hint me into a good intro for systemd, which brings me on track f a s t, because I am forced to use openSUSE 12.3 at a customer side.
For me this was exactly a repetition of a disrupting my work ‘the hard way’ much like KDE4, Gnome3, NTFS, W8 et al, or glare displays in the HW world and that’s the reason why I made an account here and posted into this thread.

So to add at least something not totally off topic: As an old timer who started with SunOS4, I used to use SuSE Linux from V3 to 10.1 (or 2?) on and off and never was forced to switch into learning mode to be able to continue working - as I am now.
Nevertheless I have no opinion if systemd is better than the old stuff but I do know, that I am not used to use systemd and the quality of documentation what I was able to find searching the net was definitely not good enough to give me a successful start :frowning:

Thx to the links in post #14 in this thread, I starting to get an idea, though.

Shvenky, posting from Shvenk’s Lair

@shenky: You are best advised to start a new thread for this to attract the attention of those that can help. I’m not familiar with sar, but in any case it should not be hard to configure using cron, or systemd timers if preferred.

I’m sure we’ll be able to assist you further if required.

Thx to the links in post #14 in this thread, I starting to get an idea, though.

Shvenky, posting from Shvenk’s Lair

Glad this was of value to you. :slight_smile:

@ Yesterday, 19:43 deano_ferrari

Thx again, an yes, I already started a thread in the German section ‘Administration’. Pointing me to arch was a big boost for me. I now have a solution I can use sysstat components with

But back to topic after ~ 20 hrs of looking into details and reading-testing 8 important things:

Systemd has inherently the very same problems of caching a cached cache means: too many layers of the onion alreday try to do the very same things ‘better’ and in fact make the whole thing not more useable or faster. Much like the games with Linux’s I/O scheduler - always best is noop, but it is not the default]. Times are changing and I think we will have to cope way too long time in betweeen much like the over 4 yrs it took MS to go from W7 to W10.

The shop stoppers in systemd is what I politically incorrect shorten to ‘Welcome to Boboville’.

Systemd is NOT capable to be used on mid to large size clusters. Therefore in my book systemd is not cloud ready and this also is the reason, why I did not miss it so far. What they have for now will not be the solution for replacing things like cron, which are much more suited to support SDI (Software Defined Infrastructures) for a long time now e.g. crontab -c -n – which is fully capable to act as an agent for tools like UC4, but not limited to ]

Rebooting VMs with systemd creates a workload w/o having a mechanism to limit all or some components creating this workload. Creation of load Peaks is the worst thing one can do. Every Hypervisor in a mid size cluster, booting 30+ virtual machines needs QOS by reducing prios to avoid exponential uprise of latencies in many places. Test it and you will see what I try to describe - the total time to boot a cluster of 40 VMs using systemd is 175+% slower that using sysVinit, matching what was expected. Reducing the friendly yields is NOT what a timesharing systems needs when it comes to thruput.

Systemd is no progress on embedded systems as it needs more memory.

Systemd is not prepared well to support rolling updates of systemd, it is too monolithic. This means downtimes.

I expect many details in systemd to change in the next releases, which is not a good thing in a component as important as PID 1. Hopefully everyone there is an expert in regression testing else we will see instabilities of a new quality.

I am out of this thread and say a big THANK YOU all. I was able to read a lot of very useful information in the last 3 days here.

Shveny, posting from Shvenk’s Lair

You had me at, “I don’t think I like systemd; I like to tinker and hack and systemd will not allow me to do that.”

I’m on a systemd journey also.

A search at distro watch for sysvinit might find a distribution not implementing systemd. Could try Free BSD. They always have terrific documentation. I searched for systemd and found 1 reference where they say Debian is going systemd, but they are looking at OpenRC. Do a google search on systemd vs openrc. I always end up at Gentoo and Archlinux when searching… Gentoo had an article on Comparing Init System.

The wiki for systemd is interesting (I’m bad, this is where I started my systemd official education after man reading and playing with it). I would have never gotten into Linux if it weren’t for Slackware and Patrick Volkerding (“maximize the end user’s freedom to modify their own system”), so my ears perked up. Eric Raymond is also a thoughful, in-the-code, Linux voice.

I was at and found boycott systemd - “Disclaimer: We are not sysvinit purists by any means. We do recognize the need for a new init system in the 21st century, but systemd is not it.” Then they list why and how you can help.

Paul Venezia, at InfoWorld, has had a series of good articles on systemd, starting with: “Systemd: Harbinger of the Linux apocalypse” and “It’s time to split linux distributions into two”.](

Linda Walsh is always interesting. I read her entries on the bash list and always learn something. She has some really good points on the SuSE list,
“Why is systemd[1] is mounting noauto partitions?](”. “… I noticed a fork of udev that doesn’t require systemd. Seems more people are complaining as time goes on. Also saw some stepped on toes over in samba land. … Does anyone else think some of the systemd folks might be on MS’s payroll under the table?”

The old saying, ““Those who don’t understand Unix are doomed to re-invent it – poorly,” has been used many times when discussing Windows. It’s disturbing to see it now used to describe Linux.” Link

With the exception of the ardent supporters, many folks in this thread appear to be troubled by the vastness and abstraction of systemd.

To the gentle-person who responded to my issue about syslog-ng and dixie-cron, YES, I am running the latest stable OpenSuSE distro. I didn’t configure it so that systemd would take over cron, syslog, etc. It came configured that way.

So, I’m still struggling to learn it. There is so much new stuff out there, it is just an additonal burden. And no, I still have not figured out how to read those pesky binary log files.

As to speaking to the developers, many people in this thread have already said they don’t listen. So why should I try?
I would have assumed someone from SuSE would have been following these threads. Maybe not.

Do I have a solution to the issue at hand? No, all I know is:

  1. I do not need binary logs
  2. I do not need a replacement for syslog or cron, they’ve been working just fine
  3. I do not need to speed up my boots; Goodness I only boot my systems once a month maybe, to patch them
  4. I do not need to learn new commands or config files (I like my wine! )
  5. And I don’t need those ghastly device names.
  6. I don’t need Gnome 3x with its impersonation of Windows 8? Has anyone been following Windows 8?

But I do want things to progress. I want SAMBA 4, and I want to setup an AD server with it. I think it is about time Linux went totally to an AD environment. Which means I will have to hunt for the answers on how to do it, just like I will have to hunt for the answers to systemd.

Now can someone pass the cheese please?

From my perspective I dont give one flying feather about systemd, as long as my system boots and works I dont care right now.
Dont like systend, use slackware.

I like the above post within this thread.

When the topic of systemD comes up, the first response I usually see is, SysVinit needed to be replaced. Maybe we agree, maybe everything works great asis, but lets put that aside for one minute — What about everything else systemD is doing, and that it will only run on linux. And lets face it, many of us are waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m reminded of a youtube video, “My advice to young people - Donald Knuth”, where he says:

“Don’t believe if something is trendy that it is good.”

I think many feel:

@freebsd](… could we, to a certain extent, agree what systemd is doing wrong, and how the need for a “services manager” could be fulfilled in a better way?

NOTE: At the above link, there’s a discussion of a tech presentation and there’s a link to a pdf, "A Perspective for systemd, What has been achieved, and What lies Ahead, 5/2014.

Distrowatch had a recent article, “The adoption of systemd”. Scroll down a bit and the author lists distros that are using systemD and distros that have not, and alternatives. It may seem like a lot of distro’s have started using systemD, but in reality many of those distros are simply based on a few Top Dogs that are using systemD, so there’s a domino effect. For example, Bruce Byfield’s blog, “Off the Beat”, stated that:

“Out of 285 active distributions on Distrowatch, 132 are based on Debian and 67 on Ubuntu.”

When I saw the snippet below from the Distrowatch article, I thought how interesting and creative, and wouldn’t that be cool if that created a challenge for the Linux distributions and its’ communities, rather than just going along.

“Instead, many other open source operating systems are creating systemd compatibility layers that will allow software depending on systemd to run without actually having systemd running as init.”

On 09/06/2014 12:16 PM, Miuku wrote:
> There isn’t going to be a “closed binary system”. It is not happening.
> You have access to the full source code of the entire system.

However, systemd will make it much easier for closed source proprietary
“user/abusers” of Linux to create closed systems. And indeed, this was one of
the many goals of systemd (not necessarily a Red Hat goal, maybe better said, it
was an unintentional goal that was known and fostered intentionally by
influencers of Red Hat). Just saying…

For some, that’s not going to make a lot sense. Let me just say that a number
of big pocketed supporters (user+abuser) of Linux are waiting for systemd
because it gets around some licensing issues for them.

With systemd, some of these vendors will no longer have to depend upon a
“distro” of Linux, but will be able to it alone (so to speak) and merely point
to the raw unmodified kernel source as their only FOSS without fear of
“infection” due to other elements.

But, I’m patient, and I’d love to see this not happen… but I think it’s
already a done deal.

On Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:03:55 +0000, Chris Cox wrote:

> For some, that’s not going to make a lot sense. Let me just say that a
> number of big pocketed supporters (user+abuser) of Linux are waiting for
> systemd because it gets around some licensing issues for them.

How so? The GPL is still the GPL…


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at

Here, here!!!
Unfortunately, I went to FreeBSD and tried that and pcBSD. pcBSD will absolutely not run correctly under VMware Workstation, which I use.
If you thought this community was, a bit stiffling, about difference of opinion, they became quite nasty over at FreeBSD.
So, I’m in a quandary; I agree with you, but I just don’t know what to do. I think I will have to learn systemd, and get rid of what-ever systemd features I can and put back the original packages. (i.e. syslog-ng, vixie-cron, etc.).

Perhaps, OpenSuSE would be kind enough to create a Community forum for us, so we can document how we, M I G H T be able to use OSS with a minimized systemd function set?


On Mon, 18 May 2015 15:46:02 +0000, 70tas wrote:

> Perhaps, OpenSuSE would be kind enough to create a Community forum for
> us,
> so we can document how we, M I G H T be able to use OSS with a
> minimized systemd function set?

There isn’t a need to create a forum for this. Just start a thread in
general-chit-chat if you like.


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at

I’ve been rather oblivious to the systemd debate, more or less just noticed something going on.
Having caught up a bit lately, skimmed through a long and rather hostile thread on the mailing list on the topic, I got more interested. Further reading on the topic, though, has just made me sceptical. I believe the ‘mantras’ ‘if it isn’t broken don’t fix it’ and ‘have it do one thing, and do it properly (or something along those lines)’, seems plausible enough; I’m not technically knowledgeable enough to claim that these are relevant to pay attention to in this context, but arguments seems to suggest so; further, they seem to suggest a rather flawed and destructive (more than pure technical) development:

Non-POSIX, binary codes, reboots after upgrades (servers?), doubling the attack surface, less transparency, fundamental changes to the system - encapsulating ‘everything’ into systemd (more frequent system crashes?), forcing out competition - impossible to do without - BSDs fading out, and much more.

One might get a notion of ‘neo-liberalism’ lurking in the background somewhere from reading around, with reference to talk of this being marketing pushed and being more suited for proprietary software; all though, it may not seem to be all that consistent whit such claimed motives. The puerility of business/PR models are, however, not something worth duplicating, whether or not this is applicable here. The next thing will be that Hollywood teaches history; and that Tom Cruise sat on the right side of a cartoonesian creature ‘painting’ our image of God becomes part of the curriculum, forced, as part of an IMF programme, upon Liberian children.

(I stretched it a bit far and should have desisted my urge to vomit over ‘corporate US’’ driven global policies. The power of association just drags me along sometimes; I’m a bit prejudice and tend to often view some issues fitted into a broader perspective.)

Getting to know that Poettering is also one of the main devs of PulseAudio, and with the rather pointless integration of it in mind, I’m increasingly sceptical to the whole systemd development; what Red Hat and Poettering actually may gain from promoting/pushing this seems unclear to me though.
I saw the word megalomania being used to describe Poettering; looking at how he portrait himself it might not seem too unreasonable. But then again, aren’t we all to some extent these days; ignorance coupled with a very high self-esteem seems to be a merit these days - ‘it gets things done!’, I wonder how the history will consider us.

Well, enough of me being negative!
My systems still run fine, which they also did with sysVinit for that matter.

I do feel a bit sorry for Mr Poettering, though, the hate mails/posts and threats towards him should certainly be below us.


On 2015-05-18 17:46, 70tas wrote:

> So, I’m in a quandary; I agree with you, but I just don’t know what to
> do. I think I will have to learn systemd, and get rid of what-ever
> systemd features I can and put back the original packages. (i.e.
> syslog-ng, vixie-cron, etc.).

If you want plain text logs, and syslog, just use it. I do. It has not
been removed at all.

And same goes for cron, cron is there for you to use.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))