[CentOS] Upstream and downstream (was Re: C7, systemd, say what?!)

Wed Jun 7 21:22:38 UTC 2017
Japheth Cleaver <cleaver at terabithia.org>

On 6/7/2017 12:53 PM, Bruce Ferrell wrote:
> On 6/7/17 12:42 PM, Johnny Hughes wrote:
>> On 06/07/2017 02:02 PM, John R Pierce wrote:
>>> On 6/7/2017 11:28 AM, Always Learning wrote:
>>>>> In the case of CentOS-7 .. you don't need to create a whole new
>>>>> distro, you can just petition the CentOS Project Board to create a
>>>>> Special Interest Group to get access to CentOS Project controlled
>>>>> resources to build packages (and get them rolled into our mirrors,
>>>>> etc.) to use something other than systemd.
>>>> Excellent idea. I'll gladly sign any such petition:-)
>>> but will you contribute to building the non-systemd packages, and
>>> working out how to retrofit old sysV init back into everything via
>>> patches, etc ?    every RPM that interacts with systemd will need to be
>>> 'fixed' to do it the old way, with init.d scripts. repositories like
>>> postgres, EPEL, etc won't work, either, as their C7 packaged daemons 
>>> are
>>> all configured to use systemd.
>> Exactly what John said.
>> What I meant by petitioning the board is for a group of people who are
>> willing to actually contribute the time/effort required to make/modify
>> software that would use something other than systemd.
>> If such a group exists, and if that group wanted a way to get such
>> software into CentOS, they could petition (ask) for the starting of a 
>> SIG.
>> If there are not people willing to invest that effort, then we get what
>> we get from the released source code.
>> We don't need people to tell us they don't like it .. just like we don't
>> need people to tell us the want they want the upgrade tool to work.  We
>> need people who will actually DO SOMETHING to volunteer to do said
>> something in order for these (or any other things) to actually happen.
> Actually, a LOT of that work exists in Scientific Linux.  The power of 
> OSS is that odds are our problems aren't new and have already been 
> solved by someone and we share those solutions.
> Previous to systemd, the packages didn't have systemd integrated, so 
> should be good models.
> I, for one, volunteer.

Honestly, systemd-as-a-service-launcher isn't the core issue many have, 
it's systemd-as-init-subsystem. systemd could remain in a fashion 
similar to xinetd, or a daemontools RPM I've been using for the past 10 
years or so: launched via script in standard, deterministic SysV style, 
and starting up child processes as configured (but NOT being responsible 
for things already taken care of, like autofs mounting, etc). In this 
case, many of those RPMs could hopefully work fine right out of the box.

Rather than a call to "replace systemd", it might better to look at it 
as taking CentOS 7 and putting the bulk of EL6's initscripts RPM and 
startup package back into it, and adjusting as needed forward. Doing 
things like replacing previously-existing SysV Init scripts in packages 
can be helpful down the line, but that could plausibly be considered a 
"reach goal"... (No idea how easily desktop integration would be 
separatable -- getting hooks into every aspect of GNOME/login was 
certain one way the creators tried to make it a fait accompli.)

I, for one, would volunteer for this project as well.

A benefit of being downstream from a stable distribution is that once 
it's up and working, the mechanics of *keeping* it up and working with 
package updates are easier. Minority or not, there's a vocal group of EL 
users that are looking for a RedHat-ecosystem server distro that's not 
running systemd-as-init. CentOS 7 can be used as a core and leverage the 
parallel work that Scientific Linux has done with ease.

The drawback of being a stable distro (let alone downstream of one) is 
that unlike on the other side where Debian begets the rapidly-advancing 
Ubuntu, here *Fedora* is at the top. The C in CentOS means "community 
supported", not "Community Designed Enterprise OS", and as interesting 
as it would be to try to invert the ecosystem, that's not the goal. 
There's a need for CentOS as-is. (Arguably any lessons learned from 
creating a systemd-less CentOS-7 (even if usership is low), could end up 
having the most utility in easing the creation of a fork of Fedora down 
the road. Now *that* would be interesting.)

To enact *real* change, Enterprise Linux users of all stripes need to 
make their voices heard in Fedora-land, not just trust that the 
fedora-devel list will eventually DTRT ... While at the same time, 
paying RHEL customers need to talk to their reps.

An alternative CentOS-SIG focused on the initsystem would be the place 
to discuss these matters further -- venting on the CentOS list itself 
isn't helpful.

Just some thoughts.