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23 April 2012, 12:32

Development of systemd continues apace

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Lennart Poettering, lead developer of the systemd init daemon, has posted a status update about the development progress of the project on his blog. Among the changes, the project has switched its licence from GPLv2 to LGPLv2.1 and the /run directory is now a hard dependency of systemd. Systemd is a replacement for the traditional System V init service and has recently become very popular among Linux distributions. The program controls the startup and shutdown of a Linux system and manages all running applications and services.

The developers have now also turned the Journal logging system on by default. The Journal was originally introduced to systemd in January. Fedora, which has been using systemd as a default since Fedora 15, has recently decided not to switch to the Journal for the next version of Fedora. This means that all system output will be logged via systemd, including messages written to stdout and stderr. To show resource usage of the services, a new tool called systemd-cgtop has been introduced.

Poettering explains that systemd now has an API to schedule system shutdowns. The daemon has also gained the ability to watchdog processes by having them ping PID 1. If these pings fail to come in, systemd can then restart the service or reboot the system, depending on how it is configured. Hardware watchdogs are also supported so that systemd will in turn report the status of all services to a hardware system. This functionality should be very interesting for high availability server setups.

Poettering's status update includes many more new features in systemd, but also several things that were added over the last year. He explains that it is the first such update in a while and that he has included older features in the list for the sake of completeness. Additionally, the developers have now documented many of the interfaces in the daemon, including new ones.


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