Best alternative init for Debian?

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Best alternative init for Debian?

Postby Bulkley » 2020-10-31 22:59

There has been occasional talk on this forum about alternate init systems and some good tips. Antix has been using Sysvinit but lately has been releasing with Runit which has me wondering which is best. So, I've been cruising around with Startpage and up comes this. While I am a bit suspicious how Slant makes its conclusions I did notice this comment about Runit,
Development stalled
Last patch was back in 2014.
Is that a problem?

Looking to see who Slant rated #1 I went to The Best 1 of 9 to find OpenRC takes the prize.

What I was unable to discover is which alternate init is best for Debian. An ordinary user can't go wrong using Systemd but for those who want an alternative, what's best? Any thoughts?
Last edited by Bulkley on 2020-11-01 18:55, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best init ?

Postby LE_746F6D617A7A69 » 2020-10-31 23:51

Bulkley wrote:There has been occasional talk on this forum about alternate init systems and some good tips. Antix has been using Sysvinit but lately has been releasing with Runit which has me wondering which is best. So, I've been cruising around with Startpage and up comes this. While I am a bit suspicious how Slant makes its conclusions I did notice this comment about Runit,
Development stalled
Last patch was back in 2014.
Is that a problem?

I didn't reviewed the Runit code, but I've checked thoroughly the OpenRC and sysvinit sources against systemd - both those projects are almost 100% complete (having few TODO's in the changelogs/comments), while systemd is buggy as hell (thousands of possible crash/abort conditions).

Bulkley wrote:Looking to see who Slant rated #1 I went to The Best 1 of 9 to find OpenRC takes the prize.

What I was unable to discover is which alternate init is best for Debian. An ordinary user can't go wrong using Systemd but for those who want an alternative, what's best? Any thoughts?

Debian is an universal OS, which allows to use any of the init systems - the only problem is that You have to learn how to configure them -> or just switch to Devuan ... ;)
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Re: Best init ?

Postby Bulkley » 2020-11-01 01:46

LE_746F6D617A7A69 wrote:I didn't reviewed the Runit code, but I've checked thoroughly the OpenRC and sysvinit sources against systemd - both those projects are almost 100% complete (having few TODO's in the changelogs/comments) . . .


Runit may be stalled or it might be that it doesn't need patches. I don't think that Antix would use it if it was suspect.
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby sunrat » 2020-11-01 01:54

Systemd works fine here and has some excellent features I use which other inits don't. So best init for my Debian is systemd.
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-11-01 12:36

OpenRC gives the best balance between minimalism and user-friendliness and it can do almost anything systemd can.
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-11-01 14:06

^ Interesting thanks for sharing some insight. Never got around to trying it, long had an interest, though as things stand, doubt I'll ever muster the energy to dork with OpenRC now.

Honestly by this point think it's mostly a dead issue, upstream went with systemd and those of us downstream are unlikely to experience happiness trying to swim against the current. When it comes to distro's who are opting for something else, think it's a buyer-user beware type of thing. ANYONE can put out a gnu/Nix distro, doesn't take any substantial technical knowledge, competence nor skill. While some distro's the people involved are clearly very compentent regardless. Those distro maintainers who are choosing to swim against the current(and the userbase who are going along for the exercise read: They don't know any better) I think are demonstrating really bad judgement, lack of common sense. Though it's their choice and xyz-users choice which distribution(s) they use.

Systemd's size is a bit disturbing, last time I looked Linux kernel was 28+ million lines of code and systemd was already at like 1.8 mil itself. That has to mean much increased chances for bugs to creep in. At the same time can see a very real and beneficial basis for it, in terms of improved consistency, stability and security. I really like systemd anyway, lots of useful features in it, so my vote is also for systemd being the best init choice for Debian. Never got anywhere close to being an init guru either, shrugs.
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby golinux » 2020-11-01 14:40

An init which is only an init.
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-11-01 15:29

I'll take my que from the people involved with the Debian project, if there were a real outcry from those type of nixers and they start freaking out, I'll start freaking out too. Until then am going with all is well. Rather than bothering to listen to that faction of nix users who are constantly ranting about space aliens or big foot trying to take over our beloved operating system.

Besides, everybody knows Big foot uses BSD's, duhhhhh. :)

PS, shakes fist @ Head_on, dammit now I'm pretty much going to have to spend some time dorking with OpenRc!! Would of course like to see more than one option available and being well + professionally maintained but it's easy for users to sit on the sidelines making requests for endless stuff. I-we don't have to do any of the work involved.
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-11-01 16:40

@all: please try to pay attention to the question in the OP (emphasis added):
An ordinary user can't go wrong using Systemd but for those who want an alternative, what's best?

So Bulkley wants to know which alternative init system we prefer — ie, not systemd.

If this thread devolves into pro- & anti- systemd arguments I will lock it. Thank you for understanding.

@OP: perhaps add "alternative" to the thread title to prevent confusion?
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby Hallvor » 2020-11-01 17:26

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:OpenRC gives the best balance between minimalism and user-friendliness and it can do almost anything systemd can.


Sounds great. Would you like to write a tutorial? :wink:
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Re: Best init for Debian?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-11-01 17:31

Hallvor wrote:Would you like to write a tutorial?

See viewtopic.php?p=720000#p720000
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Re: Best alternative init for Debian?

Postby anticapitalista » 2020-11-01 21:38

Thanks to the work done by the Debian init-diversity team, it is much easier to install an alternative init to systemd on Debian in buster (unlike stretch). Long may this continue and get even better.

Since antiX was mentioned, sysvinit is our default init system mainly because it works well with our live system.
runit on Debian (and thus on antiX) works ok, but still requires sysvinit init.d implementation, so for those that have used runit on non-Debian distros such as void or artix, the Debian/antiX set-up does not work the same. Both void and artix have it configured to work without sysvinit.
Another interesting init is S6. Again, Arch based distros are way ahead of Debian in implementing it as stand-alone.

So which is best? As always it depends.
I prefer runit on my old workhorse laptop (on antiX) though old and reliable sysvinit runs on my desktop.
antiX with runit - lean and mean.
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Re: Best alternative init for Debian?

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-11-01 23:22

As a diverse init user I'll give my views.

On my main old Dragora2 system I use runit. Love it simple to use and rock solid.

On My D3 it uses sysvinit to just start and stop the inint then uses perp as a supervisor, but I 'm not really up on it's features though I've been told it's more complete and robust than pure runit (The reason why it was changed).

I use GNU-shepard on my guix system and although I think it's ultimately the system that's gaining ground. Guix it's self is to heavy a setup for my liking. I rarely boot it because of the weight.

On parabola/hyperbola/gentoo I use openrc.

On my Debian machine (freedombox) I use systemd (hobsons choice).

I'd really like the flexibility Gentoo offers with it's USE flags you can choose your init just as easily as you can choose the licence type or toolkit. Because their users can have a choice there is much less bickering. openrc is the default but they support systemd.

If Debian would implement init freedom I think it would be the same. People would use the systems that best suited their needs and no one would care just as no one
cares if someone else uses KDE or Gnome. You may struggle to understand why they would do such a thing but it would have no impact on other individuals.

If I could choose I'd use runit but will probably end up with sysvinit and perp
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