systemd is no longer interested in the grubby details of reality

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


Unfortunately, since then systemd developers have shown an unfortunate and increasing streak of idealism. More and more, systemd seems not to be interested in dealing with the world as it actually is, with all of its grubby inconvenient mess; instead it simply assumes some pure and ideal version of things. If the world does not measure up to how it is supposed to be, well, that is not systemd’s problem. Systemd will do the nominally right thing no matter how that works out in practice, or doesn’t.

Exhibit one for this is how systemd interprets LSB dependencies in System V init scripts. These dependencies are predictably wrong in any number of cases, because they’ve never been really used before. Ignoring them and just running init scripts in order (with some pauses in the middle) would be the pragmatic choice, but instead systemd chose the idealistic one of ‘we will assume that declared dependencies are correct, gain a minor speed boost, and it things blow up it’s not our fault’.

I do think this is common once a technology becomes a standard, and I don’t think it is an especially bad thing. Once a technology has become a standard, it should use some of its power to try to clean up the chaos that existed before its arrival. After all, the people who adopted systemd did so in part to escape that chaos.

Post external references

  1. 1