Make virtual facility $all more intuitive?

Petter Reinholdtsen pere at
Mon Aug 3 16:20:43 UTC 2009

[Werner Fink]
> Hmmm ... the facility $all is well documented in the manual page
> of inserv:
>   Beside the defined System Facilities in the configuration file
>   /etc/insserv.conf, insserv also knows the special facility $all.
>   This facility indicates that a service should be inserted at the
>   end of all services.  Clearly all services using this facility
>   will be grouped into one starting order.

The problem is that its behaviour is contra-intuitive.

> changing this behaviour would break a lot of here in openSUSE.  If I
> change this and break the hard functional specification from the
> development team I would run into trouble here.

Are you sure a lot of scripts depend on stuff depending on $all?  It
could be said to be a depdendency loop. :)

> Maybe I should add a warning or an error for things like
> done in the script `c' above.

That would be a good start, to at least be able to warn us that are
surprised by the current behaviour.  I would argue that unless $all is
defined as a set separator, there is a loop in the dependency
specified in my initial email, ie

   a <- $all <- b <- c <- $all <- b (and so on)

> Any comments and/or opinions from your side?

A warning when a dependency loop involving $all is seen would be nice
as a start, but I really believe the current behaviour is
non-intuitive and confusing and should be changed to become more
intuitive and less confusing.

> PS: There is no need to cite my PhD as prefere in the most case my
>     first name (beside this my PhD was done in theoretical physics
>     not in computer since:) ...

Ack.  I assumed it was to be used as it is in your email address.  Was
not sure if it was important for you, so I tried to make sure I
included it.  Will adjust accordingly. :)

Happy hacking,
Petter Reinholdtsen

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