[Exherbo-dev] Initsystem features

Bryan Østergaard bryan.ostergaard at gmail.com
Fri Feb 29 23:46:37 GMT 2008

Hi all.

I've done a bit of brainstorming on our future initsystem and I think
I've come up with some ideas that should give us a fairly decent
initsystem without making it too complex. I'll get a repository set up
this weekend and start commiting at least this basic documentation and
perhaps even some code. I'll clean up the language a bit before
checking it in but wanted to let you all comment on it now.


- Event based initsystem receiving events from kernel, udev, ..
        Events should include:
        * Insertion and removal of devices
        * Changes in network configuration
        * Events for startup and shutdown / reboot
        * Events for crashes? (crashed services, we'd need to define
what we mean by crashed)
        * Time/date events? (I don't see any utility of this but it
would be fairly easy to add if deemed useful)

- Bash based initscripts
- /etc/conf.d/* support (would work just like in Gentoo)
- Automatic restart of crashed services
- Flexible dependency system (how flexible should it be? do we need
anything beyond runtime deps, and, or, blocking and some kind of
- Parallel startup of initscripts
- Initscripts 'providing' services making it possible to have
different initscripts providing 'network' for example (maybe an
exheres virtuals like concept?)
- Native support for starting services as users other than root
- Native support for chroot()ed services?
- User owned initscripts aka $HOME/.events.d/*? There's some obvious
security issues here but also some very cool possibilities like
syncing your homedirectory from laptop to server when connecting to
your homenetworks ESSID for example.
- Initscript groups (like 'world' and 'system' in arbor but for
initscripts, primarily meant for use when booting)
- Possibility to specify initscripts or groups to be started when booting
- More advanced events, for example based on ESSID (wireless network
name) - we should probably just treat ESSID changes as normal events..
do we need any kind of special support for that?
- Killing runaway services? Needs user defined configuration to make
any sense imo
- Do we want timebased events or is that better left for cron? (I
think cron wins here)
- Only allow scripts with proper permissions (no o+w for example, for
user scripts owner needs to match $HOME, ..)

Filesystem layout:
/sbin/ contains init and other programs necessary to control initscripts
/etc/events.d/ contains initscripts
/etc/conf.d/ contains initscript configuration
/etc/initium/ contains initsystem configuration (groups, configuration
on when to restart or kill services and so on)
$HOME/.events.d/ contains user-specific initscripts - should always be
spawned as the users uid + gid etc.

Bryan Østergaard

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