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Wednesday, 19 November 2014 23:29

Debian vote: systemd to stay as default for next release

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The vote on a general resolution on the status of systemd in the next release of Debian GNU/Linux has gone in favour of one of the options - that there is no general resolution needed in this situation. Hence the decision of the technical committee, made in February, will stand.

The resolution, proposed by technical committee member Ian Jackson, on the coupling of initialisation systems, was that packages in the Debian distribution may not, in general, require a specific init system.

Variations proposed by various developers included one that support for other init systems be recommended, but not be mandatory. A second said that packages may require specific init systems if maintainers decided this way. And a final one said a general resolution was not needed in this situation.

The vote appears to have gone the way of the last option.

Debian has experienced some stormy weather within its portals since its technical committee decided in February, via the casting vote of panel chief Bdale Garbee, to adopt systemd, the init system developed by a team headed by Red Hat's Lennart Poettering, as the default for the next release, Jessie. This decision came after months of discussion.

As the date for the freeze of the next release, Jessie drew near, there was a push for reconsideration led by Jackson. This led to the general resolution and the options mentioned above.

The affair has taken its toll. One senior developer, Joey Hess, quit the project recently, and two members of the technical committee, Colin Watson and Russ Allberry, have stepped down from the panel.

The results of the vote have not yet been officially announced. Along with the results, the Debian Vote Engine, known as Devotee, also spat out a pithy quote at the end of the results which seems appropriate: "The voters have spoken, the bastards.."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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