Again we got a fun thread about having to do some extensive change on perfectly working systems because somebody has a *plan* and you must abide to it.
If before the plan was to have systemd as the true and only init system (on why systemd seems to me a bad idea by itself I’ll discuss on a later post, possibly after throughly study its latest iteration and comparing it), now the plan is to force people not to have a separate /usr or use an initramfs with an early boot system because… “because doing otherwise is broken and already had been in ages”.
That doesn’t tell you much and if you have lots of systems running perfectly on a separate /usr setup and you went that way because it was documented as a best practice, you might feel enraged.
Now, let’s make clear that there are operating systems that keep everything in /usr and have next to nothing in / (and system that do not have /usr at all and everything is in /), you can argue a lot about what’s the best and why. FreeBSD or Hurd approaches have both interesting perks.
The fact is that *now* you have lots of people with perfectly working system in a configuration somebody decided that is wrong and *unsupportable*.
If you try to dig down a bit more you’ll discover that the “brokeness” is mainly due:
- Somebody keen in using a library that traditionally is in /usr for some fringe feature
- Somebody hell bent to use glib everywhere
- Somebody wanting to have d-bus running in the early boot phase
- Some udev rules using some data that currently resides in /usr
All considered forcing people to spend lots of time because somebody might want to use a bluetooth keyboard on early boot (thus requiring bluez, thus requiring d-bus basically because you can’t use bluez without it) or other non widespread use case is not exactly nice.
Surely trying to get a cleaner layout so we have a bare mountpoint directory, a early boot system in initramfs and the rest of the system cleanly split isn’t bad by itself and probably it is something I would consider neat.
But you still need to have a good separation between what is early boot and what is not and you need to make sure the boot process doesn’t get too complex or too tightly coupled with systems that can and will break easily.
I’m quite happy that alternatives are already almost available for simple systems not needing the additional features requiring those extensive changes.
Hopefully somebody will have time to try to add rules marking in udev so complex rules won’t be triggered when the system isn’t ready for them and deploys using special layouts could stay supported in a way or another.
In the other news Gentoo had been accepted to participate to the Google Summer of Code and there are two projects proposed by me, one is about documenting and if needed extending openrc to be a complete viable alternative to systemd, the other about using containers and qemu-user to have better tools to do cross developement.