How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby PAP » 2015-04-29 13:25

I hate to say this, but the best way to avoid stealth installation of systemd is to switch to another distro that doesn't use it. It is sad, but true.
I really hate to say this, because after trying several distros for years, I ended up using Debian for more than 10 years now (the "testing" version). Since then, I never thought to switch to another distro... until the systemd plague hit the Debian community (some even like it).
There is no need to start another flame war about systemd and poettering-crapware in general; no need to mention his haughty messiah style either. The internet is full of it. The fact is, I decided not to use systemd - and Debian doesn't really give me the option not to use it.

For more than one year, I keep my Debian installation systemd-free, but as more and more packages rely on it, it is obvious I will not be able to do that forever. I am about to buy a new desktop computer and, under these circumstances, I will not pick Debian as my OS for that new computer. No time to cope with avoiding systemd in a distribution that defaults to it. Yes, I can still avoid it, but for how long? Latest addition in my blacklist was hplip, which depends on systemd. Now I have to find another way to be able to configure/use my printer (cups, apparently, but it doesn't support all my printer's features).
What about tomorrow? Another package will start to depend on systemd, so i will need to find an alternative, then another one, and so on. Sadly, migrating to another distro (quite probably Slackware) seems to me the best way to avoid stealth installation of systemd.

I understand Miroslav's motivation to keep using Debian while still boycotting systemd; I want the same too. But it seems futile to me. Since April 25, systemd is the default even for the officially stable Debian distro. We knew it was coming, now it's here. And, as systemd fanatics love to say blatantly, it came to stay. That would be ok for me, as long I could still have the option not to use it. But Debian does not really give me that option.
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby golinux » 2015-04-29 13:32

@PAP . . . Devuan will provide a systemd-free Debian-based option. Check out Devuan on gitlab
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby PAP » 2015-04-29 13:43

golinux wrote:@PAP . . . Devuan will provide a systemd-free Debian-based option. Check out Devuan on gitlab

I am aware of Debuan, but it seems it will take a long time till released and being comparable to Debian. There is a lot of work to be done, and I can only see it coming in the distant future. In the meantime, I have a few computers here, and they all need a working GNU/Linux distro, systemd-free. Sadly, that distro can't be Debian anymore; believe me, this is the most sad statement I ever made about Linux.
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby mor » 2015-04-29 17:50

PAP wrote:… and Debian doesn't really give me the option not to use it.

You mean that it is impossible not to have any trace of systemd on your system, or that, on Debian, systemd must be installed and run as PID 1 in any case?

Because although I have never tried to, I'm told that as long as one is not religious about having a few libraries installed (that do not require systemd to be in charge!), running a systemd-free system is still quite possible.

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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby golinux » 2015-04-29 18:17

That depends on your definition of systemd-free, of course. I wouldn't trust even one lib not to act as a gateway to a future lockin.
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby edbarx » 2015-04-29 18:23

golinux, don't waste your time. You are talking to someone who intently differentiates between running the systemd daemon as PID1 and running auxiliary code, also referred as libraries, from systemd. systemd as PID1 would be running code, while code from systemd libraries, oddly enough, would be something else. :?
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2015-04-29 19:24

PAP wrote:The fact is, I decided not to use systemd - and Debian doesn't really give me the option not to use it.

Code: Select all
# apt-get install sysvinit
# update-grub

You will then find an option to boot with SysVinit as PID1 in the GRUB menu under "Advanced Options" -- you can make this the default entry by editing /etc/default/grub & running `update-grub` again.

More information here:
https://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser#systemd

@edbarx -- may I ask what the problem with the libraries is?

From the Debian-user mailing list FAQ I have linked above:
Please note the library is only used by other packages when they need to interact with systemd (or one of its components) and is otherwise inert.

I am pretty n00b so I would appreciate your opinion on this.
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby oswaldkelso » 2015-04-29 23:03

I would suggest you try and upgrade from a systemd-free debian without installing any systemd en route. To my mind that seems to be the problem. I don't care if you use systemd. I do care if I have to use systemd to not use systemd. That seems to be the main issue.
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby PAP » 2015-04-30 02:28

Maybe I was not so clear.... I do not have systemd installed, and I still use Debian. I already have sysvinit as my default init. I am also aware of systemd-shim, which at least avoids the systemd init service.
But all that are not what I want. I want complete, total absence of any systemd trace, and still being able to use the packages I used before. Sadly, this is NOT the case anymore, even though I upgraded from previous systemd-free distros (I actually didn't install a fresh Debian for years now - just upgraded regularly).
I don't mind about Gnome being dependent on systemd - I don't use Gnome anyway. I am talking about systemd dependencies that make little or no sense at all - including "essential" packages. I already had to accept the fact i cannot avoid libsystemd0 because of that. But there is more: almost every time I upgrade, I have to blacklist packages I previously used because they are now systemd-dependent, like network-manager, hplip, K3b, and many others. The way it goes, we will have even Xterm being dependent on poettering-crapware one day, without the option to still use the package while not using systemd.

edbarx wrote:You are talking to someone who intently differentiates between running the systemd daemon as PID1 and running auxiliary code, also referred as libraries, from systemd. systemd as PID1 would be running code, while code from systemd libraries, oddly enough, would be something else. :?

This is not nice. You assume I "intently differentiate between running the systemd daemon as PID1 and running auxiliary code". I will answer you the way you behave (which, by the way, is only a little less rude than Poettering's reaction when someone says he dislikes his monolithic crapware): What part of "more and more packages are systemd-dependent and I have to blacklist them" don't you understand?
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby golinux » 2015-04-30 03:20

Have you looked at these from dzz? This was posted to the Devuan list a few weeks ago. I would send a link but currently the mail archives are down:

I posted two new live iso's with no *systemd* (yes that means also no
libsystemd0) with installers and remaster tools:

xfce4 (Refracta-based):
http://www.exegnulinux.net/refracta/iso/

Trinity Desktop Environment (the fork of KDE3):
http://www.exegnulinux.net/downloads/jessie/

Some debs here (including consolekit2) maybe not yet available elsewhere:
http://www.exegnulinux.net/refracta/exp ... nosystemd/

Thanks to all others who have compiled systemd-free debs.

http://packages.devuan.org/devuan/
http://angband.pl/debian/

Please note none of my work is "official" Devuan (nor Refracta).
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby mor » 2015-04-30 08:23

Ed you're wrong (if you were referring to me as I think, but I see PAP thinks you were referring to him), I don't have a clue about what that means, I'm only referring to the opinion of a few people with strong feelings against systemd I read along the way, who argue that there should be a little more sanity about how invasive systemd really is.
Judging by some comments here and elsewhere it seems that we are just minutes away from having to purchase systemd merchandise in order to be able to operate Debian or any other distro for that matter.

golinux wrote:That depends on your definition of systemd-free, of course. I wouldn't trust even one lib not to act as a gateway to a future lockin.

Indeed, the point I was trying to make is that some users, like you, don't trust the mere presence of a few libraries that do not really do much beside providing an interface for those packages that need it when one runs systemd.

Case in point, my question to PAP was just to verify if he was meaning that, in fact he answered:
PAP wrote:But all that are not what I want. I want complete, total absence of any systemd trace, and still being able to use the packages I used before.

There are many examples of dependencies that one doesn't need or want but that have to be there for much other stuff to work, how is systemd different?
Ah yes, because Poettering is evil and Redhat wants to take over the world.

This is not true, you know it and the only thing that is true is that there are a few interfacing dependencies that do not require a system to be run under systemd and that certainly do not infect anything beside the irrational minds of the ones who live their anti-systemd-ism like a religion.

Take you for instance, you don't "trust even one lib" but do you really know what they do?
Or are you just assuming they do harm, let alone that they will "act as a gateway to a future lockin"?
This is irrational behavior, paranoid and everything said starting from there can only be utter and complete FUD.

Well, sorry if I disturbed you. :(
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby PAP » 2015-04-30 11:25

golinux wrote:Have you looked at these from dzz? This was posted to the Devuan list a few weeks ago. I would send a link but currently the mail archives are down:
I posted two new live iso's with no *systemd* (yes that means also no
libsystemd0) with installers and remaster tools:
...
Looks quite promising. What about other graphical desktops? I prefer lightweight window managers. I guess I could switch to xfce since it is in that list, but what about really lightweight stuff, like WindowMaker or LXDE? Can I install them from Debian repos (they are both systemd-free at the moment) or I need to compile them from source?

mor wrote:There are many examples of dependencies that one doesn't need or want but that have to be there for much other stuff to work, how is systemd different?
Ah yes, because Poettering is evil and Redhat wants to take over the world.
I wonder if systemd would have been adopted by Debian and many other "major" distros, if its core developers didn't work for RedHat. Guess what, in that case either nobody would know about systemd, or nobody would even think to set that monolithic, binary-loving thing as pid 1. Not to mention how extremely invasive it is, for no apparent reason other than making everything dependent in poettering-crapware. Am I the only one thinking that this invasive behavior is quite similar to Micro$oft's way, "use our crapware, you want it or not"?

Anyway, I am not here to start a pointless flame war, but to find a solution, if any, as an old Debian user who loved Debian and would prefer not to switch to another distro. Correct me if I am wrong, but if I still want to use Debian together with the packages I used before (like hplip, for example), my options are:

(1) Accept systemd as pid 1, [No way; rejected without any further discussion.]

(2) Prevent systemd to run as an init service, but still using some components of it via systemd-shim, in order to have packages that need libpam-systemd working as before. [Far from willing to do that.]

(3) Accept libsystemd0 being on my system (as even essential packages depend on it), but blacklist everything that depends on systemd itself (directly or indirectly); wait for Debuan to be ready. [That's what I do right now; far from being convenient in any way, as very often packages I used for years become all of a sudden systemd-infected after an update, so I have to blacklist them and find a systemd-free alternative.]

(4) Stick with a systemd-free Debian. [I can't do that forever, not to mention I use gcc compilers on a daily basis and having them up-to-date is essential for my work.]

None of the above is a real solution, especially for a new desktop computer I am about to buy. Did I forget any other way?
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby edbarx » 2015-04-30 13:49

PAP wrote:You assume I "intently differentiate between running the systemd daemon as PID1 and running auxiliary code".

My post was not referring to you but to the many who distinguish between the systemd central daemon running on a system and its auxiliary libraries like say libsystemd. Both of them are code written by the same people, who like anyone of us, have their dreams and, I dare say, priorities. I understand anyone wanting to avoid any kind of code that has to do with systemd, as the latter, represent a paradigm shift from what GNU/Linux used to be to the likes of Microsoft Windows. I am with you here, I am not a systemd supporter, nor someone who thinks of software freedom as some set of irrational beliefs that are almost as rigid as religious beliefs. In fact, I am in the long wait to install Devuan as that is only my present hope. When I succeed to install Devuan on my system, partition /dev/sda8 is patiently waiting for it to be filled, if the need arises, I intend to port the software I use assuming its complexity is not beyond my capabilities.

@mor
Well done for the exemplary way you presented your arguments. All I can say, is I commend your educated way of replying.
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby NkfzGx3ok » 2015-04-30 17:18

edbarx wrote:Both of them are code written by the same people, who like anyone of us, have their dreams and, I dare say, priorities.


Yet amusingly most of the dependencies for desktop software will be because of systemd-udevd; udev was and has been developed since 2003 by GregKH and Ksievers and they are still the main guys behind it and all these years nobody complained about it like this, suddenly systemd gets it in 2012 (because nobody else stepped up even though there was 6 month time frame given iirc) and people start losing their sh** :D
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Re: How to avoid stealth installation of systemd?

Postby mor » 2015-04-30 19:54

PAP wrote:I wonder if systemd would have been adopted by Debian and many other "major" distros, if its core developers didn't work for RedHat. Guess what, in that case either nobody would know about systemd, or nobody would even think to set that monolithic, binary-loving thing as pid 1.

This is completely irrelevant to the matter of you and others being "far from willing" (as you put it) to go with option 2.

Systemd is here, how it came to be has nothing to do with what you choose to do now.

PAP wrote:Anyway, I am not here to start a pointless flame war, but to find a solution

No, you are not here to find a solution.

The solution is already there (option 2), if you feel that having a few inoffensive libs sitting on your system is not kosher enough, then you are simply looking for a place to rant, which I don't oppose, but certainly call out.

PAP wrote:, if any, as an old Debian user who loved Debian and would prefer not to switch to another distro.

Debian is what it is, if you don't love it anymore, just move on. And remember that Debian is a DISTRIBUTION!

Debian doesn't make code, apps, programs.
They get what's there and package it.

The choice was made not to invest precious resources in fighting the "systemd doom" and whether you like it or not, the status quo is this, either systemd or whatever else with a few systemd dependencies, as a price to get all the software you want, which is systemd dependent because their upstream developers decided so, not Debian.

I think that the essence of a system without systemd is pretty much still intact and any whining about the "purity" of a system that absolutely can't have a few dependencies that do nothing, well, speaks for itself in telling what is really important for the anti-systemd fanatics. (hint: making a fuss.)

Just so you know, because maybe you didn't read my posts in several past discussion on the matter, I am not a systemd fan, even if I have been using it ever since it entered Testing a long time ago, being a Gnome user (another "sin" I suppose).
I am neutral, mostly because I don't know better and the only reason I chime in in threads like this is because I am fed up with people of the anti-systemd brigade spreading FUD and playing name-calling games in every thread and showing, for the most part, paranoia and a clear lack of understanding of the situation, pushing on in their blind faith driven crusade.

Systemd is here and is here to stay. Hopefully projects like Devuan will offer an alternative for users seeking "purity", or maybe in the end you guys will realize that option 2 is fair enough so do yourself a favor: just run the freaking system with sysvinit and a few systemd libs and get over it.

Bye ;)
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