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debianfork

http://debianfork.org/

Who are you?!

We are Veteran Unix Admins and we are concerned about what is happening to Debian GNU/Linux to the point of considering a fork of the project.

And why would you do that?

Some of us are upstream developers, some professional sysadmins: we are all concerned peers interacting with Debian and derivatives on a daily basis.

We don’t want to be forced to use systemd in substitution to the traditional UNIX sysvinit init, because systemd betrays the UNIX philosophy.

We contemplate adopting more recent alternatives to sysvinit, but not those undermining the basic design principles of “do one thing and do it well” with a complex collection of dozens of tightly coupled binaries and opaque logs.

Are there better solutions than forking?

Yes: vote Ian Jackson’s proposal to preserve freedom of choice of init systems.

Then make sure sysvinit stays the default for now, systemd can be optional.

Debian leaders can go on evaluating more init systems, just not impose one that ignores the needs of most of its users.

Why don’t you do that yourselves?

We are excluded from voting on the issue: only few of us have the possibility to interact with Debian on a voluntary basis.

Now we do what we can, hoping our concerns will be heard by those who can cast a vote about it.


[edit/clarification]

Since this seems to be one of the most prominent critiques, we'd like
to clarify this point.  With lack of possibility we refer to our
capacity to be involved in a complex bureaucratic system like the one
governing Debian. While we respect this way of working, we think that
our time may be better invested in new directions, also according to
our expertise.

Is really all this fuss necessary?

To quote Ian Jackson:

This resolution is not only important within Debian, and not only for jessie (its next release). It is also important feedback for upstreams, and our peer distros and downstreams“.

Why is this happening in your opinion?

The current leadership of the project is heavily influenced by GNOME developers and too much inclined to consider desktop needs as crucial to the project, despite the fact that the majority of Debian users are tech-savvy system administrators.

Moreover Debian today is haunted by the tendency to betray its own mandate, a base principle of the Free Software movement: put the user’s rights first. What is happening now instead is that through a so called “do-ocracy” developers and package maintainers are imposing their choices on users.

Can you articulate your critique to systemd?

To paraphrase Eric S. Raymond on the issue, we see systemd being very prone to mission creep and bloat and likely to turn into a nasty hairball over the longer term.

We like controlling the startup of the system with shell scripts that are readable, because readability grants a certain level of power and consciousness for those among us who are literate, and we believe that centralizing control services, sockets, devices, mounts, etc., all within one daemon is a slap in the face of the UNIX philosophy.

How long are your beards?

This is not a beard contest, rest assured the furry ones among us are not sheeps.

To sum it up?

If systemd will be substituting sysvinit in Debian, we will fork the project and create a new distro. We hope this won’t be necessary, but we are well prepared for it.

We need to talk.

Sure, write an email toVUA at debianfork dot org.

Are you guys alone in this?

Not at all, there are more protests against the imposition of systemd on users.

This article is a good introduction to the issue at hand: Systemd: Harbinger of the Linux apocalypse.

There is the boycott systemd website providing several references.

Then there is the “systemd fork” called uselessd with some good points and lots of lulz.

An exit strategy is being elaborated at The World After Systemd

The wikipedia page lists also some critiques in its systemd reception section.

With our protest we intend to represent the discontent of Debian users, because that’s who we are. We intend to keep using Debian on our servers, or a fork if necessary. Others might have other goals, but we all share a common problem: systemd being imposed on us.

Thanks for doing this. How can I help?

Cheers.

You can help by talking to fellow Debian developers and convince them of how wrong is to betray a very big and relevant userbase by listening to desktop needs.

Also it can be helpful to monitor and update the Wikipedia page about systemd (to keep it objective, not to vandalize it! we love Wikipedia <3)

If you like to support this effort financially: good to let us know, but hold your horses for now as it may not be needed.
To tip the hat please spare some change for Dyne.org the non-profit organization hosting this website.

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