[Exherbo-dev] baselayout and/or alternatives

Bryan Østergaard kloeri at exherbo.org
Wed Oct 3 13:10:43 BST 2007

On 10/2/07, David Leverton <levertond at googlemail.com> wrote:
> On 02/10/2007, Mike Kelly <pioto at pioto.org> wrote:
> > I think someone (kloeri?) also brought up the option of using
> > upstart[1] on IRC a week or so ago.
> >
> > [1] http://upstart.ubuntu.com/
> upstart with the networking scripts from baselayout might be nice
> (when I looked at upstart it didn't have its own networking system
> that I could see).  It would probably allow fixing the hotplugging
> issue (which I've noticed too, in a slightly different form), since
> the dependency handling is different and apparently a lot more
> flexible.
(This got a bit long but it's an important subject so please take the
time to read it and tell me your thoughts on it)

Before we decide on any initsystem we should ask ourselves what
features we want from it. I haven't really seen any discussion on that
subject so far. Personally I'd like to move from the (mostly at least)
runlevel based system to a more flexible event based system. This
would make it much easier to support new fancy things based on various
system events like plugging in USB sticks, connecting to networks and
so on. Baselayout have some support for this but I'd love being able
to write a script that automatically NFS mounts a share and syncs my
laptop to a desktop computer when I connect it to my home LAN for
example. And I'm not personally a big fan of the somewhat arcane
concept of runlevels - who really needs a single user mode? As a
system administrator I need a way of blocking user logins but not
restrict myself and trying to solve that through runlevels is a bit
weird imo.

What features do you all hate, love, miss? I think that's the most
important question right now.

And now a bit about Upstart as I know it so far..
Upstart is more or less just a flexible framework for running scripts
based on events. These events can be anything from the system booting
or shutting down to services changing states or udev events like
hotplugging devices.

Upstream have example initscripts that's used by Ubuntu and also works
for Debian (I don't think Debian have changed to upstart yet but it's
supported at least).

As far as I can tell Upstart provides all the features of
baselayout-1.x and Ubuntu have used it for several releases now. That
said there's a few pros and cons like every other option available.

- Tested on a large scale
- Looks like a very flexible framework
- One of upstreams goals is to have wide distribution support which
means they'll likely be amenable to our wishes
- Less work than forking baselayout-1.x

- We don't know upstart nearly as intimately as baselayout
- Initscripts have to be rewritten but we can likely use many of the
example scripts

Personally I like what I've seen from upstart so far but I'm not fully
decided on that yet. If we decide to fork baselayout-1.x I do however
have a couple of requirements. First of all I need somebody to be
totally in charge of all that work (and I'm a bit worried about us
taking on too much work tbh) and secondly I think we should consider
renaming it to avoid confusion with the gentoo branch.


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