Using basic systemd commands

Systemd vs. Tradition

Learning systemd's commands reminds me of working with Debian's dpkg-reconfigure [3]. Both provide a consistent framework for configuring a Linux system. Of course, dpkg-reconfigure centers on packages, whereas systemd has more of a systems administrative perspective. With both, however, the consistency simplifies configuration and makes gathering information simpler.

In fact, exploring systemd's commands has at least partly reversed my reaction to it. When I first heard about systemd, it sounded like a massive complication that added an unneeded administrative layer to Linux. I suspected that, like the boot manager GRUB2 [4], it would scare novices away from hands-on administration – something that has always been one of the appeals of Linux.

However, now that I have actually looked into systemd, I think its consistency could actually encourage do-it-yourself discovery. Its common structure makes commands easier to learn, and users have a greater chance of guessing correctly if they cannot remember an option or command.

I am glad that most distributions have used aliases and symlinks to integrate systemd with existing tools for those who prefer not to learn it or want something to fall back on while they are learning. However, at least in some ways, systemd could actually be an improvement over the traditional tools.

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