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The road forward for systemd

Jun 05, 2010, 11:05 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"At the end of April, Lennart Poettering announced the initial availability of systemd, a new system initialization and session management daemon. This announcement caused a bit of surprise and concern for those who didn't know it was coming. Lennart's work with PulseAudio remains a bit of a difficult memory for some users (though it seems to be working well for most people now), and some people had thought that the initialization problem was solved with the growing adoption of upstart. Systemd is a different approach, though, which may yet prove sufficiently compelling to motivate another big change.

"There are many new features in systemd, but the core change is a concept stolen from the MacOS launchd daemon - and from others that came before launchd. There are (at least) two ways to ensure that a service is available when it is needed: (1) try to keep track of all other services which may need it and be sure to start things in the right order, or (2) just wait until somebody tries to connect to the service and start it on demand. Traditional Linux init systems - and upstart too - use the first approach. Systemd, instead, goes for the second. Rather than concern itself with dependencies, it simply creates the sockets that system daemons will use to communicate with their clients. When a connection request arrives on a specific socket, the associated daemon will be started."

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