* Posts by John Hughes

645 publicly visible posts • joined 8 May 2008


Devuan ships second stable cut of its systemd-free Linux

John Hughes

Re: dependencies

I am saying that Devuan developers feed patches upstream to the original app/package developers

Ah, OK, I'm just in the habit of thinking of Debian as the upstream for Devuan, after all Devuan ASCII (main) contains 75579 packages, and all but 789 of them are identical to the Debian Stretch packages. (In fact the packages that are the same are physically stored on the Debian servers).

Go to the Devuan forum and ask the horse's mouth for yourself: https://dev1galaxy.org
I'm reluctant to do that as Jaromil thinks I'm "agressive".

(He was making wild accusations against the DPL, I showed him his claims were wrong and mildly told him that crying wolf was maybe not a good idea, so he said something on the lines of being proud to be a wolf, so I sent him a link to some music by Sergei Prokofiev and he banned me for being "agressive").

John Hughes

Re: dependencies

The only reason you can still change to another init on Debian and still have a reasonably flawless existence is because Devuan got so many of those dependencies fixed for you
You're saying that Debian accepted patches from Devuan to remove systemd dependencies?

Got an example?

John Hughes

Re: Storm in a teacup

Systemd suffers from a number of strange design decisions such as embedding a HTTP Server directly into the software, that provides remote interactive browsing.
That would be a strange design decision, wouldn't it.

Unsurprisingly it's not a decision systemd made.

An optional component, systemd-journal-gatewayd allows access to the logs (and nothing else) using the http protocol. If you don't want it, don't use it.


John Hughes

Re: Storm in a teacup

(Not a fact).

There is a correlation between some of the most troll-like anti-systemd people and Brexit, Trump and global warming deniers. The Devuan people are not like that, they are mostly sincere, (although they do tend to swing a bit towards conspiracy theories).

John Hughes

Re: Full name of the release

No, UTF-8 is a encoding format, not a character set. For your joke to work you'd have to say you were waiting for the Unicode version. (And there would have to be an asteroid called Unicode).

John Hughes

Re: systemd-free?

For Debian, the answer is currently "no" and for Devuan it is "yes".
Can you point to a Debian bug that has been closed because a package was broken by the removal of systemd?

John Hughes

Re: systemd-free?

My concern would be more along the lines of what happens with Devuan changes pushed upstream. It's not likely that if a package is maintained by systemd fans they will accept any changes based on keeping it independent of whether systemd is running.
How many Devuan proposed patches have been rejected by Debian?

John Hughes

Re: systemd-free?

>> remembering that Debian allows one to choose the init of one's choice

> You're absolutely right - for now.

And Devuan doesn't include systemd -- for now.

This paranoia is ridiculous.

John Hughes

Re: systemd-free?

> if it leads to Debian doing what they refused to do at the time of systemD's adoption and take onboard the possibility to completely remove it for those who choose not to use it.

Debian never refused to do that and it is possible to remove systemd from Debian.

John Hughes

Re: systemd-free?

Yes, we all(*) know that libsystemd0 is innocuous.

But the real question is:

What is the difference between Devuan and Debian running with sysvinit instead of systemd? You do know that you can run Debian without systemd, right?

(* for values of all that don't include LKCL, who proposed that libsystemd0 be replaced by a libsystemd-1 that would dynamically load libsystemd0 if needed).

Don't buy Microsoft Surface gear: 25% will break after 2 years, says Consumer Reports

John Hughes

Only 25%

My experience is that 100% of them are broken within a year.

The screen is amazingly fragile.

systemd'oh! DNS lib underscore bug bites everyone's favorite init tool, blanks Netflix

John Hughes

Re: Am I missing something here?

what do you use for authoritative domains?

I don't actually know. Historically I've use djb's tinydns, but it's a bit creaky these days.

I may be moving to power DNS some day.

John Hughes

Re: Underscore?

Fucked if I know.

Guess that's why Debian doesn't use it by default.

John Hughes

Re: Am I missing something here?

Haven't looked at Debian 9 yet, but am I to understand that systemd is trying to replace bind 9 with some bastardised version?

No. systemd-resolved is an optional part of systemd and not included in Debian 9 by default.

If you are using bind9 then systemd is likely to be the least of your problems. Get a decent DNS package. I'd recommend unbound for a recursive resolver.

John Hughes

Re: Crowdsource hit

It's call stochastic terrorism.

John Hughes

Re: That what happens...

Uh, it's hard to blame the systemd developers for "not reading the RFCs" when:

1. The bug is not in systemd, it's in a third party library used by systemd

2. The RFCs explicitly say that underscore is not allowed in hostnames!

John Hughes

Re: Underscore?

why is an init process doing DNS resolving?
When did you stop beating your wife?

It is not possible to answer your question because it contains an incorrect assumption.

If you'd said "why is a process management system..." or however you want to describe the systemd suite (as opposed to /lib/systemd/systemd, aka pid 1) then you might have a point.

John Hughes

Re: underscore illegal dns character

Oh, by the way, Debian doesn't use systemd-resolved, so this bug won't affect you.

Unless you're using something else that uses the libidn2 library (whis is not part of systemd).

John Hughes

Re: underscore illegal dns character

If you don't want to use systemd just install some other init system.

If you're a debian user this is just a one line command:

apt-get install sysvinit-core

(Two lines if you include the reboot).

Debian patches plenty in new version 9.1

John Hughes

Re: I'm fairly certain there is one patch ...

Here's your patch:

apt-get install sysvinit-core

Those who do not know Debian are doomed to repeat boring "jokes" endlessly.

Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

John Hughes

AIUI, with Debian there was a lot of "discussion", and eventually some committee decided to bring an end to the "discussions" by calling a vote. The vote was cleverly worded with more options than just "yes, go with systemd" and "no, don't go with systemd". In the end, by cleverly including other options, it was made to look like there was overwhelming support for systemd and so it came to pass that Debian put the nails in it's own coffin.

In reality, the votes FOR systemd were a minority - but by including votes for "I've had enough with the discussions" etc, the result was rigged.

I guess you don't know much about Debian.

Here's the vote:


The final vote was:

D = systemd, U = upstart, O = openrc, V = sysvinit, F = further discussion

4x D U O V F (bdale, russ, keith, don)

F U D O V (steve)

U D O F V (colin)

F V O U D (ian)

U F D O V (andi)

It's pretty clear that everyone except Ian Jackson wants to get rid of sysvinit, most people are fed up of the yacking, more people want systemd as first choice than any other system (4xD,2xU,2xF).

John Hughes

The trouble is, so many distros are reformulations of Debian/Ubuntu and once they jumped on the systemd bandwagon it would have involved a huge amount of work to strip systemd out
And, if your system is based on Debian why would you bother to strip systemd out? It's trivial to use some other init system in place of systemd on Debian.

John Hughes

Of course gtk apps work in non-systemd systems. As does gnome. Despite various wild claims nothing in gnome requires systemd as pid 1. Some gnome packaging, for simplicity, requires that systemd is installed but not that it is running.

Init freedom declared as systemd-free Devuan hits stable 1.0.0 status

John Hughes

Re: No - systemd doesn't offend me

You can't believe anyone can have a different opinion than you do?

John Hughes

Init freedom?

Devuan can run with any init system but systemd,

Debian can run with any init system, including systemd.

Which one gives you freedom?


systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

John Hughes

Re: geez, the ignorance about systemd here is astounding (rtfazeberdee)

E.g. https://github.com/systemd/systemd/issues/5644 takes a minute or two to read and doesn't require much technical knowledge at all.
Yes? What's to understand? There was a bug. It's fixed.

That some people came charging along to shout about the bug after it was fixed, forcing the locking of the bug report says more about the people who complain about systemd than the people who write it.

John Hughes

Re: Systemd v sysvinit

Systemd v sysvinit

I'm running Ubuntu under systemd

So why are you writing about systemd vs sysvinit? Ubuntu used to use upstart, not sysvinit.

John Hughes

Re: Honest inquiry

can't remember if Upstart can monitor processes or not
It can, but at the cost of running everything under ptrace, which is insane.

John Hughes

Re: It's not infighting

And after it was shown it was a) bad behaviour and b) a regression, he locked the issue.
No, after the issue was fixed, and hordes of systemd haters came to whine for no reason, he locked the issue.

Bug reporting tools are not discussion forums.

Penguins force-fed root: Cruel security flaw found in systemd v228

John Hughes

Unless, you know, you run a production system,

You run production systems on testing or unstable?

Did you miss this bit: "215 in stable".

Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

John Hughes

Re: Remember *Carnets?

He said "Pre-EU". Learn to read.

John Hughes

Richard North spouts rubbish

The Liechtenstein solution sounds reasonable until you get to this line in Richard North's followup article:

It matters not that Liechtenstein is a micro-state.


It is because Liechtenstein is a micro-state that the "Liechtenstein solution" was possible. There is no way in hell such a "solution" could be put in place for a country the size of the UK.

John Hughes

Re: 2 years?

Of course, if the NHS *did* get the 100 Million a week that we would save if we completely leave and pay zero to (say) a customs union, it would make an improvement to the service.

The annual budget for the NHS in England and Wales is about 116.4 billion quid. Adding an extra 5.2 billion is a drop in the ocean.

"leave the EU and we can spend an extra 4% on the NHS" is a pretty crappy slogan.

And if leaving the EU does cause a 4% fall in GDP it looks like that 5.2 billion "saved" will be just enough to cover the necessary cuts in NHS spending...

Not that that money will go to the NHS. It's already been promised to the farmers, Nissan, the regions...

John Hughes

Re: 2 years?

You do realise the £350M/week figure from Brutus Gove, Boffo the Clown and Ian Deadeyes-Smith was a complete and utter lie don't you? That it has as much resemblance to reality as a Disney cartoon.

Unfair to Disney cartoons -- even the worst of them has a better story than the Brexit campaign.

Debian putting everything on the /usr

John Hughes

So, finaly catching up with SVR4 eh?

It's been what, 20 years?

What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

John Hughes

Biased poll.

The only sensible answer is the alpha jet. (Which is why El Reg readers will vote against it).

Eric Raymond revisits his biggest mistake, updates 'Pilot' language after 20 years

John Hughes

Software luminary?

He "maintained" the Jargon file and wrote an article or two, but "Software luminary" is a bit much.

US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets

John Hughes

Re: They should save time...

US Navy have their own planes and carriers. US Marine Corps doesn't.

They bloody well do. Who do you think bought all the RAF Harriers?

John Hughes

Re: They should save time...


John Hughes

Re: US Marine Corps will be flying F-35Bs

Its really not President "Lets focus on the US at home and not be world police anymore" Trump the rest of the world has to worry about.

Oh? Not Donald "why do we have nukes if we don't use them" Trump?

John Hughes

Re: US Marine Corps will be flying F-35Bs

Don't worry, if it's the USMC they can use Harriers if th F35B's don't work.

An Italian, a Frenchman and a German woman get together on an aircaft carrier to stitch up brexit. What's the punchline? The Garibaldi has AV-8B's and the QE2 doesn't.

Google scraps its Project Ara modular smartphone wheeze

John Hughes

Re: FIgures

You smart phone guys probably have a heat gun on standby to change a cracked screen at a moments notice.
Well, I just undo a couple of clips and slide the broken screen off.

Of course, that's because it's a modular smartphone -- a Fairphone 2 to be exact.

Systemd adds filesystem mount tool

John Hughes

Re: I've forgotten...

Was it just that init scripts were human readable?

Init scripts are readable? What planet are you writing from?

Have you ever seen a systemd unit file? This is unreadable?


Description=OpenBSD Secure Shell server

After=network.target auditd.service




ExecStart=/usr/sbin/sshd -D $SSHD_OPTS

ExecReload=/bin/kill -HUP $MAINPID








I'm not going to include the 174 line shell script this replaces (that sources various other shell scripts).

John Hughes

Re: re: 1970 thinking.

The fact that you think computers can do more than one thing at a time, rather than spend a tiny amount of time doing one thing then swtiching to another one, shows a staggering lack of understanding.


$ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep processor

processor : 0

processor : 1

processor : 2

processor : 3

Death of 747 now 'reasonably possible' says Boeing

John Hughes

Brussels to Kinshasa, in SABENA economy class, sat in the middle of the cabin next to a Belgian couple with a small poodle entirely covered in diamonds. Just in time to arrive for the outbreak of GW1.

(Fight back much better, on a Swissair 737(?) in daylight with a window seat -- fantastic views of Africa from mount Cameroun to the Sahara, then the med and swiss Alps to Geneva).

Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct

John Hughes

Ironbridge Gorge in England is worth a visit. The eponymous bridge over the Severn was built in 1779 from cast iron sections - like Lego.
One of my brothers stuck his head between the railings on the iron bridge and got stuck. We told him that as it was a listed monument the fire brigade would probably chop his head of rather than cut the railings. Luckily he managed to pull his head back out.

Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

John Hughes

Re: "reject the referendum result"

Won't happen -- many EU countries (e.g. France) have said that there will be no renegociation after the referendum -- the UK votes in or out based on what is on the table -- that is it.

Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

John Hughes

Re: You can't make any accurate predictions,

All I need to know that once again, scratch a Brexiter it turns out they're also a climate change denier. Odd, that.

John Hughes

I'm not sure that's accurate, as I understand it MEP's only get to vote on laws that are proposed by the EU Commission/Council/Whatever
MEPs get to amend, accept or reject laws proposed by the Commission.

It is indeed unfortunate that MEPs can't directly propose legislation, but then again, in practical terms neither can back bench MPs.

even opposition MP's can bring a private member's bill to be voted on.
The only private members bills that get passed are the ones that get government support, and include such gems as the Knives Act 1997.

John Hughes

Re: A few observations

Well we don't have a trade deal with the US now and yet it's our biggest single trading partner, so how does that work?
You pay customs duties on every item exported to or imported from the US, that's how it works.

Also some service companies have limited access to the US market, and US law reserves certain government contracts to US countries.

Not having a trade deal doesn't make commerce impossible, it just makes it harder, more expensive and potentially unfair.

Notwithstanding that, TAFTA or whatever it's called at the moment is shit, and with a bit of chance France (among others) will veto it, with the EU parliament as a backstop if no country can quite work up the courage.