[Reportbug-maint] Bug#741930: Re: Bug#741930: reportbug: add current init system information

Steve Langasek vorlon at debian.org
Sat Nov 8 22:55:50 UTC 2014

On Sat, Nov 08, 2014 at 10:15:46AM +0000, Jonathan de Boyne Pollard wrote:
> There isn't really a reliable way to identify any of these as the current
> running system, and upstart is not checking the running processes either.


>  *  To check for upstart as the running system manager, one checks that
> there's an initctl command and that the output of "initctl version" contains
> the name "upstart" somewhere.  There do exist other initctl commands, aside
> from the one that comes with Upstart. But they don't emit the word
> "upstart".
>          root ~ #initctl version
>          nosh version 1.10
>          root ~ #
>     Again, the downside is that this is not checking what's running.  In
> particular, it fails when one has installed Upstart but not yet rebooted in
> order to run it.

This is false. 'initctl version' queries the running upstart over dbus.

>  *  To check for the nosh system-manager, one can do the same "initctl
> version" test as with upstart, and look for "nosh".  Or one can look for the
> /run/system-manager directory.  Both share the weaknesses of the equivalent
> upstart and systemd checks.  initctl isn't present as a command unless one
> has installed the nosh upstart compatibility shims package, and there's no
> guarantee that another initctl won't emit that string any more that there's
> a guarantee that a non-upstart initctl won't emit the string "upstart".

I have never heard of nosh before and it appears to not be in Debian, but
having it implement upstart interfaces (such as the 'initctl' program)
without understanding the semantics of those commands sounds like a pretty
bad idea.

The 'initctl' command, in Debian, is owned by the upstart package.
Implementing something that conflicts with this ownership, and then
asserting that upstart's interfaces are therefore unreliable, is not

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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