Dear developers, At UDS-O in Budapest a year ago, there was much discussion about the future of the plumbing stack in Ubuntu; with buzz about systemd and about GNOME changing to depend on it, many asked if Ubuntu would stick with upstart or switch to systemd. The decision at the time was to stick with upstart through 12.04, and revisit the question after that.
With 12.04 more or less in the bag, the gears have started to turn for planning 12.10 and beyond. This has included a thorough review of our choice of init system by the Foundations Team, in consultation with members of the Desktop and Server Teams. Although there were some very good reasons to consider a switch to systemd, such as improved alignment with others in the Linux ecosystem around the plumbing layer, we've concluded that on balance it would not be in Ubuntu's best interest to move. Just as we had a rocky transition to move Ubuntu to native upstart jobs, with some of the feistier bugs just now squashed in 12.04 - five releases after the initial switch to upstart - a move to systemd would also be a bumpy ride. Where upstart has now undergone a trial by fire by being included in two successive Ubuntu LTSes, systemd has not yet been included in any released enterprise distribution. Network Manager is supported, but support for complex server networking is not in evidence. A switch to systemd would mean a whole new round of distribution integration bugs to keep us occupied between now and 14.04. Sticking with upstart presents its own set of challenges; if other distributions adopt native systemd units for starting services, we will be less able to share work with those distributions. That would be unfortunate, but compared with destabilizing the core of Ubuntu for several cycles while we shake out a new set of bugs, this certainly seems the lesser evil. Of course, those who have been following the development of systemd know that it's much more than an init system. Between the upstream merge of udev and systemd sources, and the various dbus interfaces the systemd suite now provides for the desktop, you can count on there being a systemd source package in Ubuntu 12.10... it just won't be the init daemon, which will remain upstart. The Ubuntu Foundations team has committed to supporting upstart going forward beyond 12.04, and working to ensure it meets the needs of Ubuntu and flavors on desktops, servers and beyond. I look forward to talking with folks at UDS next month about this topic. See you in Oakland, -- Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world. Ubuntu Developer http://www.debian.org/ slanga...@ubuntu.com vor...@debian.org
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