Canonical, through Martin Pitt, has announced plans to move away from using the Upstart init system to start the Ubuntu Linux session, replacing it with the more modern yet controversial systemd.
With every new systemd release, we’ve found out that the so-called init system can do a lot more than it was initially designed to, slowly taking over many of the “jobs” of a GNU/Linux operating system’s internal components, and even worse, replacing them completely.
Upstart is a Canonical/Ubuntu project, an event-based replacement for the traditional init daemon that the company used in almost every Ubuntu Linux release. However, starting with the now-deprecated Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) operating system, Canonical replaced the Upstart init system with systemd, making many users angry.
It also looks like Upstart is still being used in Ubuntu as a replacement for the /sbin/init daemon to handle starting of various services and tasks during boot, as well as to stop them during shutdown. For example, Upstart is currently used for the session startup, and Canonical plans, once again, to replace it with systemd.
“As discussed at UDS [Ubuntu Developer Summit] we are moving away from using upstart to start graphical desktop sessions, towards systemd (and D-Bus activations in some cases where it’s appropriate),” says Martin Pitt. “With this, about half of your session will then be driven by systemd units.”
More systemd love in Ubuntu 16.10
Canonical’s engineers are currently designing the next major release of Ubuntu, which was dubbed Yakkety Yak by Mark Shuttleworth. Two Alpha development snapshots of Ubuntu 16.10 have been released until now, and the first Beta is coming along nicely, set to become available for public testing next week on August 25, 2016.
Ubuntu itself won’t participate in the first Beta release, but you’ll still be able to get the daily builds if you want to see what’s new since Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), as well as if you want to discover the extra systemd love Canonical has added in the upcoming operating system. More details can be found in the mailing list announcement.