Debian Tech Committee Votes for systemd

Feb 11, 2014

Debian project puts init out to pasture and says no to Ubuntu's Upstart.

The technical committee of the venerable and influential Debian uber-distro has voted to adopt systemd as its official system management daemon. Linux and other operating systems use a system management daemon to start and stop services on a running system. The system management daemon is typically the first service to start at boot time and the last to stop at shutdown, and it is therefore an important part of the overall integration and operation of the system. Until recently, most Linux distros used the System V init daemon, which has been around for many years and is showing its age. A new crop of alernatives have appeared recently. The other alternatives in contention are open source projects, but each has the backing of a major Linux vendor. The systemd daemon was originally developed by Red Hat and is used on Red Hat systems, Upstart was developed by Ubuntu, and the openrc daemon is used with Gentoo.
Debian developers voted on whether to keep System V init, or to adopt systemd, Upstart, or openrc. Other options include simultaneous support for multiple daemons, or supporting one system for Linux and another for non-Linux Debian collections (meaning FreeBSD or the GNU Herd system).
The technical committee's decision is seen as a set back for Ubuntu, which was hoping to standardize the Linux world around its Upstart option. Interestingly, Ubuntu is more closely tied to Debian, since the Ubuntu distribution is based on Debian, wheras Red Hat and Gentoo operate from wholly separate development streams. Still, Ubuntu developers will be free to continue to integrate Upstart into future versions as they have done in the past.
The decision by the Debian technical committee could be superceded by a general resolution of the full Debian development community.

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