[File-rc-users] Bug#688140: file-rc: File-rc doesn't restore rcX.d dirs at remove, breaks sysv-rc installation.

Roger Leigh rleigh at codelibre.net
Wed Mar 20 16:29:29 UTC 2013

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 05:04:57PM +0100, Michael Stapelberg wrote:
> Hi,
> at this point I cannot spend any more time on this bug report.
> Given that the bug report is without maintainer reply since more than
> half a year, and there are merely 160 people voting for it via popcon, I
> wonder if we should just drop file-rc from Debian in order to reduce
> init system complexity.
> release-team: what do you think?

I don't want to speak for the file-rc maintainers, but just from the
POV of sysvinit and jessie:

- in wheezy, we switched to requiring insserv for dependency-based
  boot; previously it was the default (but optional) and prior to
  that it was opt-in.  So we've got to the point of dependency-based
  boot being required over several stable releases.
- we have retained static runlevel ordering in maintainer scripts and
  update-rc.d for backward compatibility.  These are going to be
  removed in jessie, since we now no longer use them at all (file-rc
  was the last user).
- file-rc was converted (by me) to use insserv in its update-rc.d
  implementation, primarily to allow the removal of static ordering
  since it's now bitrotting badly--no one is using or testing the
  static ordering.  I'll be adding lintian checks and updating
  update-rc.d and dh_installinit etc. to initially ignore and
  ultimately (jessie+1/2) error out if static ordering is used.

Given the low number of users, and that fact that it's pretty much
tied to static runlevel ordering, even with the insserv usage, file-rc
will not work gracefully with dependency-based boot (if you do manual
edits, but if you don't why not just use sysv-rc?), I'm unsure if it
can remain viable.  That is to say it will only work reliably if you
don't edit the runlevel ordering, which is pretty much equivalent to
sysv-rc but without any parallelisation.

I'm very sure that for jessie we will have a large discussion about
which init system (or systems) we will be supporting for the future.
Of all the major contenders, all of them support dynamic boot ordering
and none support static ordering, and for good reason.  As far as I'm
aware, file-rc is the only system using static ordering (even when the
ordering is now generated from insserv).  The other problem is Hurd,
which doesn't use an init system at all (which is a major issue in its
own right).

WRT this bug, I think your patch is better included even if there are
corner cases it doesn't currently handle--we can always fix those
later.  It's more important that migration back to sysv-rc is
working, even if it's imperfect.  The admin can always fix up any
problems after, whereas the alternative is an unbootable system.  It
would be good if the file-rc maintainers could take the time to make
sure if this is working properly; I'll be happy to make any changes
to the sysv-rc maintainer scripts if required to assist in this.


  .''`.  Roger Leigh
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