Monthly Archives: April 2011

Why Ubuntu Should Continue with Upstart for 11.10

So I just read Lennart Poettering’s “fair and balanced” review of sysvinit, upstart, and systemd….wow.  Looking at his comparison chart, we in Ubuntu must be idiots to not switch over to systemd immediately…especially since he clearly points out all the major distributions have done so (or plan to) already.   Once again, the evil Mark Shuttleworth must be dictating that Ubuntu must remain on upstart, oppressively pushing down all those who challenge his rule….whatever people.  So here’s the real reason why I think we should remain on upstart in 11.10, it’s because (as Mark mentioned todaywe put users first.  Do I need to remind anyone of the pain we went through in Karmic (Ubuntu 9.10) when we finally made the wholesale jump to upstart?  Sure, we achieved great boot performance gains, but it was painful, especially for Ubuntu Server, as it was largely neglected during that effort (and I’ll take the blame for that).  We spent the next release, Lucid, cleaning up behind ourselves….frantically working to get the next LTS in a respectable shape…and still, Ubuntu Server was neglected (again, blame me).

So here we are again, one release before an LTS…an LTS that is not only going to showcase the quality of the Desktop, but is going to be extremely important for Ubuntu Server, and people are asking us to switch to systemd?  Really??  We just got done improving upstart, making upstart play nicer with Server, rolled out a damn nice user guide, and even added some slick features (like  job and event visualization)…and we’re supposed to throw all that out and switch to systemd now?   The situation reminds me of a quote from one of the funniest (and probably worst) presidents in US history:

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” -George Bush

But seriously (with all joking aside), I don’t want to go through a rushed change again, which is why I support staying on upstart for both 11.10 and 12.04 LTS, and then taking a serious look at the merits and drawbacks of moving to systemd going into the 12.10 cycle.  Basing a decision on what we feel is important to Ubuntu and it’s users, not Lennart.  By then, systemd will have another year to mature, we don’t have an impeding LTS release on our backs, and if Debian is to truly switch to systemd, then a year’s wait while that work goes on should only improve the chances of Ubuntu adopting it.

Lennart, if you by chance read this, can you please stop the campaign and badgering against us…it ultimately does you no good.  We aren’t pushing back because we don’t like you, or Fedora, or because Mark is forcing us to stay with upstart…it’s because we put users first.  While I agree upstart isn’t perfect, and certainly still causes server sysadmins pain in some situations, I’d rather deal with the problems we have with it , than take a leap of faith with systemd this close to an LTS.

Don’t count Eucalyptus out just yet…

Today I happened to run across the Eucalyptus 3.0 roadmap and was happy to see so many features planned, that have been requested by us and others for awhile now.  A lot of the features previously reserved for the commercial (and closed source) Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition are now being opensourced…and this is great! High Availability…User/Group management…LDAP integration…and support for Windows Guest Images are just a few.  With this announcement added to the current momentum and buzz behind OpenStack (Cactus coming this week…Diablo planning in 2 weeks!!)….and now VMWare has rolled out Cloud Foundry!!!  Boy oh boy….it’s looking like we’re in for a very interesting summer. 🙂