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08 January 2013, 10:29

Systemd 197 becomes distribution-agnostic

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Systemd artwork

The latest release of the open source startup daemon systemd now no longer detects specific distributions and has turned fully distribution-agnostic. Another improvement in the new version enables the user to trigger system events at a calendar-based time rather than specifying it in relative or repeating time intervals. A new bootchart option also allows interested users to graph and analyse their boot process. Systemd's read-ahead logic has been improved so that it can detect if a btrfs file system is located on spinning media or an SSD; this allows it to behave accordingly to improve performance. This was previously only possible on ext4 file systems.

The removal of all distribution-specific code, or "#ifdeffery" as the release announcement puts it, takes the next step to make the daemon available to all Linux-based systems that want to use it. However, this does mean that support for some distribution-specific legacy configuration has been removed and the developers recommend that distributions affected by this should move to more standard configurations. If there are options that the distributions still need, the systemd developers say appropriate code can be submitted to the systemd mainline for inclusion.

With support for calendar time events, systemd comes closer to the capabilities of tools like cron and can actually be used to fufill many of its functions. More information on these capabilities is available in the systemd.time documentation. The bootchart tool now works with systemd and can be enabled to produce a graphical representation of its boot process; this can then be analysed for performance bottlenecks.

Systemd 197 comes with several other improvements and changes, all of which are detailed in the release announcement. The source code for it can be downloaded from the web site and publicly accessible Git repositories for the project are also available.



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