Switching the default startup method

Andreas Barth aba at not.so.argh.org
Sun Aug 23 08:40:54 UTC 2009

Hi Petter,

I appreciate that you're working on improving the experience of our
users during startup, e.g. by adding dependency information to the
init scripts. I think that will in the long run be good for Debians

However you recently added the dependency on insserv to
sysvinit-utils. By this change any computer with Debian on it will
pull in insserv on the system. The local admin doesn't have any
choice.  I need to admit that I disagree with this change at this
time. Even your own debconf templates still tell that insserv is
experimental and one should be carefull.

Please let me point out a few issues:

#475478 insserv: uninstallation fails horribly if an init script has
been removed.

I really think that this is not an acceptable behaviour for any
package that is essential (or pulled in by an essential package).
Debian has a strong record for totally rock solid packages and
upgrades, and I think we want to keep that.

#538959 needs actually to be worked on. The current state is not how
it should be.

#538959 is really quite serious. We have cluebatted maintainers for
quite some time to use update-rc.d instead of other methods. Breaking
this by insserv doesn't get you support. So please fix this ASAP, but
without breaking the traditional methods even more.

Also I do admit that I'm a great fan of enabling our users to make a
choice. For lots of server based systems having the oldstyle sysvinit
scripts works very well. It's easy to understand, it's obvious, it's
standard since quite many years. I don't see any reason to enforce
dependencies on these people, and as you can see in #538959 quite many
people don't want it.

Of course, for people who reboot often having something different is
also quite useful. So having the possibility for a dependency based
init system is a great addition to Debian, and getting the dependency
information right in the packages is something I support.

However, adding new packages to the minimum package space installed on
any system should be done only very careful, and after discussion with
and buy-in of enough people.

For this reason I propose that you undo the dependency, and keep on
maintaining and improving insserv, and convincing people by the good
quality of the package and its usefulness to install it (instead of
forcing it on the people by a hard depends).

Thanks for your work.


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