Quick status update on the boot system in debian

Petter Reinholdtsen pere at hungry.com
Sun Oct 18 15:37:27 UTC 2009

Here is a quick status update on the progress of the boot system in

Dependency based boot sequencing is the default in Debian unstable and
testing, and seem to work fairly well.  Some more buggy packages have
been exposed, and BTS reports are reported on most of these.  There
seem to be some race conditions for servers where their init.d scripts
exit before the service is operational (hal is a prime suspect for
this), and the init.d scripts depending on these servers will some
time fail to work.  I've spent quite a lot of time finding and
reporting errors, as well as pushing the fixes into unstable, but do
not have enough spare time to complete this work.  Better
documentation should be written to maintainers to learn how to write
correct dependencies (for example in the reference) and adjustments to
the policy need to be drafted too.

The upstart migration is delayed, and at the moment seem unlikely to
happen for Squeeze.  The upstart-job change is integrated into
insserv, but the upstart-job package and program is still missing from
the upstart package in Debian.  The inittab parsing code is also
missing from upstart in Debian.  I hoped these changes would be
available for testing a good time before the possible freeze of
testing in Desember.  The exact method to use for migration is
currently undetermined.  Michael Biebl made a draft patch which would
split sysvinit into sysvinit-legacy and the transitional package
sysvinit, and make sysvinit pull ian upstart and make upstart an
essential package.  An alternative is to not make upstart essential,
and thus make it easier to avoid /sbin/init in chroots.

I am not aware of anyone working on getting upstart working on hurd
and kfreebsd, so we will have to keep sysvinit working for a while.

Any comments?  So it seem to be we will manage to get the last and
unmaintained packages fixed with dependency based boot sequencing in
Squeeze, and the upstart migration will have to wait until Squeeze+1.

Happy hacking,
Petter Reinholdtsen

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