Arguments against systemd

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Please objectively explain issues and link a reliable source (commit, bug report or documentation).

Scope creep

systemd suffers from scope creep.

See Wikipedia:File:Systemd components.svg.

To be added: systemd-cryptsetup, pam_systemd, acpi, cgroups, gnome-session, tcpwrapper, audit


  • fsck cannot be cancelled (used to be possible via C-c or c on the console). 7f110ff9b8, Fedora#719952
  • systemd defaults to Google's DNS nameservers. e16cb2e4ef, Debian#761658
  • systemd defaults to Google's NTP servers, which serve leap-smeared time. GitHub#437
  • systemd by default uses Predictable Network Interface Names, which are actually less predictable when you only have one interface per type.
  • systemd by default kills background processes after the user logs out. 97e5530cf2, Debian#825394
    "In my view it was actually quite strange of UNIX that it by default let arbitrary user code stay around unrestricted after logout." -Poettering[6]
  • As systemd depends on many files on a rootfs, in case of any problems with rootfs, it is not able to control processes and (cleanly) shutdown/reboot when Crtl-Alt-Del is pressed.[7]
  • systemd-resolved breaks the traditional glibc behavior by skipping a DNS server in all following queries, if it does not respond once. GitHub#5755, [8]

Conceptional problems

Poor design

Scope creep leads to vulnerabilities


Debian tracker

Absurd bugs and responses

  • Debian#739593 systemd makes / shared by default, poettering suggest to not patch this, because you'll broke a lot of containers
  • freedesktop#74589 Unchecked null pointer dereferencing in PID 1 not considered a serious issue.
  • openSUSE#918226 systemd segfaults after updating from 208-23.3 to 208-28.1
  • GitHub#2402 Mount efivarfs read-only - Doing rm -rf / bricks your computer
  • Debian#776171 Unable to shutdown
  • freedesktop#61191 systemd-journald eats 100% CPU
  • freedesktop#64116 Corrupted binary logs
  • GitHub#5644 tmpfiles: R! /dir/.* destroys root, also see systemd again (or how to obliterate your system)
  • GitHub#6237 systemd can't handle the process previlege that belongs to user name startswith number, such as 0day
  • GitHub#2039 Default value of RemoveIPC doensn't allow to use third party daemons. -- "This is an issue tracker, not a support forum."
  • GitHub#8596 redhat#1494014 systemd incorrectly unmounts a reused mount point after a device removal / systemd automatically unmounts filesystem mounted using "mount <mountpoint>" command
  • Github#9602 systemd won't allow the system to start if the system is configured correctly (/etc/localtime as a symlink) (you can even use systemd's tool to configure it!)

Missing bug report link:


Linux (kernel) coup attempt:

"kdbus support is no longer compile-time optional ... We encourage all downstream distributions to begin testing kdbus by adding it to the kernel images in the development distributions, and leaving kdbus support in systemd enabled."[9]

LKML comment

"The kdbuswreck"

"kdbus now out-of-tree"

"kdbus dropped in favor of BUS1"

  • systemd promised that their Journal File Format is stable starting with version 26.[10] Version 44 however does not follow, "Entry metadata that is not actually a field is serialized like it was a field, but beginning with two underscores."

Ignorance of fundamental operating system concepts

See also

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