Debian Linux has had a long-standing reputation of being staid and pragmatic in their decision-making. Even their software release management policy is on the long side when compared with other Distros. A typical 2-year software cycle just doesn't cut it in today's Internet World operating at the 'speed of light'.
So, it would appear, the time has come for Debian's maintainers to make a decision as to which init system to adopt going forward.
While Debian 7 Squeeze includes systemd as an installable option, the default init system is sysvinit.
The debate currently being conducted at Debian is whether they should move to Upstart (used by Canonical Ltd.'s Ubuntu Linux), or, to systemd instead, going forward and as such a position statement has just been drafted on the Debian wiki site.
The Debian Team has had many years of good results using sysvinit, but recognize it's limits are now beginning to show strain. And with a feature freeze for Debian 8 nearing, they must determine which init system will become the new default replacement for the aged sysvinit.
Here is their list of disadvantages for using sysvinit going forward:
Upstart vs. SystemD
"In terms of overall feature uplift of the init system itself, there is really rather little to distinguish upstart from systemd. Both would represent a huge step forward for Debian over sysvinit. If Debian did not adopt upstart, systemd would certainly be my second choice."Looking further for some substantive information in the position statement, the author(s) go on to make some subjective comparisons:
But despite the init systems being comparable at the feature level, there are reasons that I think upstart is a better fit for Debian than systemd.So, it is apparent the author(s) are in favor of Upstart but would 'consider' systemd, yet, go on to reinforce with additional reasons why Upstart should be considered over systemd.
As though that were not enough, Google Plus user and Intel employee/Gnome community member +Sriram Ramkrishna threw his opinion into the mix characterizing the whole subject as having morphed from its original purpose. Ramkrishna writes:
However valid the reasons set forth in the Upstart vs. systemd position statement may be, the level of emotion rises whenever a discussion is had concerning moving to +Lennart Poettering's systemd. Personally, I believe in the long-term systemd will become the best option receiving full support from the Linux Foundation's kernel.org developers insofar as plans to merge udev and systemd into the kernel are concerned.
"...the whole debian systemd discussion has turned into a referendum on GNOME being the default DE for Debian with those who want to switch advocating switching to XFCE as I would imagine that it works closest to what GNOME 2. Why they didn't pick Mate, I don't understand if they want the GNOME 2 experience.
The discussion seems to miss the fact that they would miss out on Wayland and moving to a new display server? They can of course do what they want as that is their prerogative. But it seems that long simmering resentment against GNOME and the change in UI has risen to the fore with the small dependency that GNOME has on systemd. They are using that as an excuse to drive a change in DE.
There are a lot of good reason to use systemd, all that has been rehashed. But the biggest nonsense I've read (as an IT guy) is the fact that we should have a choice in init systems. What the fuck? Essentially people just want to make every part of the OS to be hot swappable. Who would want to support such a system? Who will QA all these combinations? It's madness!..."
The concern is that Debian's pragmatism may work against them and cause a backlog queue of software development issues. So, acting in a timely fashion in today's world is vital to remaining competitive for any Linux Distribution.
Hopefully, the Debian Team have recognized this and will respond by making adjustments to how their organizational structure and decision making process works to result in overall efficiency improvements.
As for the Debian init system issue, my money is on Debian going with Upstart, since that was the system chosen by Canonical Ltd. for Ubuntu and Mark Shuttleworth has no intention in making a change any time soon. This would put both Distros and their derivatives in alignment with each other going forward and efficiencies would obtain.
Here's hoping Debian reaches a decision which best serves their future needs.