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GSoC 2014: Systemd replacement utilities (systembsd)
Contributed by jj on Fri Sep 12 07:06:45 2014 (GMT)
from the all your system is belong to us dept.

Ian Kremlin wrote in with this report on the GSoC he was involved in:

This summer I, along with my mentors Landry Breuil and Antoine Jacoutot, worked on systemd shim-like replacements for four D-Bus daemons systemd provides, namely hostnamed, localed, timedated, and logind.

Now let's clear some things up:

The purpose of this GSoC was (is) not to port systemd to *BSD in way, shape or form. Nor is it to replace the existing init(8), boot(8) or rc(8) programs. Systemd and *BSD differ fundamentally in terms of philosophy and development practices and special care was taken to only wrap the functionality of the aforementioned daemons and not create any new systemd-like functionality.

You can find the repository here
Upon completion and review, my code will most likely end up as a port to be installed along with the GNOME suite, or any other ports that depend on systemd (upstream) and need a compatibility layer to work properly on non-systemd operating systems. It goes without saying that none of my code will end up (or belongs) in the base system.

Hostnamed (formally systemd-hostnamed) is a D-Bus daemon that handles setting system hostnames (in our case, that's through the sethostname(3) call and the /etc/myname file) as well as provides system information mostly found through uname(1). Hostnamed also handles determining the system's chassis type, whether it be a server, desktop, laptop, handheld, VM, etc. and providing a proper icon from that information.

Localed and timedated are more straightforward daemons that allow setting system/xorg locales/keymaps and times/dates/timezones/NTP settings respectively.

Logind (currently unfinished) is a rather large daemon that encompasses many aspects of a user's login session. This includes everything from getting current users and any PIDs under them, as well as system suspension and shutdown/reboot preparation. We are still researching a proper way to implement this as native systemd uses PAM for authentication, something we do not want to do on OpenBSD.

Overall, it was an excellent summer. I took this project because I was fed up with what systemd was doing to my then-main computer running Arch Linux. I figured this would be a great way to make the move to OpenBSD and I couldn't be happier. I dearly hope you'll be seeing more of me in the future ;)

As a fun aside, me and some friends all turned 21 around the beginning of August (the tail end of GSoC) and decided to pool our pennies together to take a road trip together to Colorado. This led to some interesting circumstances. All I can say is that there is stable LTE service between Texas and Colorado that work at speed in excess of eighty-eight miles per hour and that one can do a lot with a macbook charger, a working alternator, a bit of cabling and entry-level electrical engineering knowledge.

Thanks for the report, and hope you didn't get too tainted with systemd.

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  Re: GSoC 2014: Systemd replacement utilities (systembsd) (mod 7/29)
by Noryungi (noryungi) ( on Mon Sep 15 08:23:07 2014 (GMT)
  First of all, many many thanks for your work and for this short introduction!

One obvious question, but which is very important for me, is to know whether or not a portable version of these utilities is planned?

There are still some (sane) Linux distributions that do not plan on shipping with systemd -- porting systembsd under these distros would be a great way to maintain their independence.

How BSD-specific are these utilities? Do you think porting them to Linux would mean significant rewrites?

Second question: apart from logind, how would you rate the difficulty of writing these utilities?

Again, thanks for all the hard work!
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: GSoC 2014: Systemd replacement utilities (systembsd) (mod -6/20)
by Ypnose ( on Mon Sep 15 14:46:15 2014 (GMT)
  Good work. I look forward to see it in base. I'm excited!
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: GSoC 2014: Systemd replacement utilities (systembsd) (mod -2/14)
by Marc Paul Rubin ( on Tue Sep 16 00:20:08 2014 (GMT)
  Thanks for your work, and for clarifying its limited role in OpenBSD. Any idea how portable this would be to other BSD OSs?
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: GSoC 2014: Systemd replacement utilities (systembsd) (mod -4/14)
by Lars Schotte ( ( on Thu Sep 18 12:34:47 2014 (GMT)
  This replacement utilities to get some software running again may be a good idea. However, I would go further and make the first step towards launchd on BSDs. I already discussed this on a FreeBSD IRC channel and they told me that Apple launchd would be the only choice, because it is Apache licensed and thus license compatible to BSD, unlike other alternatives.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: GSoC 2014: Systemd replacement utilities (systembsd) (mod -3/11)
by Ilyas Bakirov ( on Tue Oct 21 10:35:27 2014 (GMT)
  systemd is not warm welcomed by many Linux distors, why almost *UNIX derived OpenBSD switch to systemd? just for Gnome desktop? huh :(
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: GSoC 2014: Systemd replacement utilities (systembsd) (mod 0/2)
by mxffiles ( on Tue Feb 7 08:21:09 2017 (GMT)
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