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captaintrav
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is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 12:22 pm

I have a (x)Ubuntu machine I primarily use as a server, that I've been upgrading from LTS release to LTS release ever since Hardy Heron 8.04.

It's gone all to **** now it seems since upgrading to Xenial which coincides with the transition to systemd.

The first problem is the system doesn't come up properly after a reboot about half of the time. I've seen it refuse to start X, where it seems hardly any services started properly. When it does start into X, about half of the time the network didn't come up, I'm assuming because network manager didn't start. When it does come up mostly normal, it seems that some services need to be restarted still because they started before the network was up, which shouldn't happen.

None of this was happening before Xenial, and I blame systemd. System is stable once it's up.

Thoughts? It's a pretty kludged system since some of my distro updates didn't go smoothly, and it's been upgraded several times, starting as a plain Ubuntu system, then moving to XFCE once the Gnome2 wasn't an option, I've also upgraded different things at time by compiling packages from source and making a mess of things, but I feel this is more Ubuntu's fault than mine.

I recall reading that systemd was supposed to start more things in parallel or something to speed boot times (system doesn't seem to boot any faster that before), so I'm highly suspect of systemd, but maybe I need to do some purging of upstart to do? Upstart seems like it is still installed among lots of other cruft no doubt.
 
Vhalidictes
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 12:32 pm

I'm not a Ubuntu guru, but I'd test a fresh install and see if that works properly - it sounds like the upgrade process didn't work right.

Perhaps you could install in a VirtualBox guest and see what's different between the Guest and Host configuration and files.
 
Glorious
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 12:42 pm

Yeah, to echo what Vhalidictes said, if you've been doing in-place LTS upgrades for nearly a decade now, that would seem to be something that they might not have a very good test-case for. I'd start under the assumption that your problem lies there, and Vhalidictes advice on how to proceed (outside of doing it fresh) is probably your only avenue because I don't know how they'd even respond to a bug request regarding your specific situation.

Not that they're so great in general: the past two 16.04 LTS kernels badly break CIFS. They've been so kind to mark it "Fix -< Released" but 4.4.0-77-generic (affected) is still the most recent available in the repo as of today (over a week later).

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... ug/1686099

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roncat
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 12:44 pm

Doubt it is systemd. I run 16.04 Server without any of the issues you mention. I did have to do some manual editing to convert some upstart services after the 15->16 upgrade (sorry, I can't remember which ones).
 
captaintrav
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 12:59 pm

I guess I'll have to start rebuilding the beast. Pity, because it runs so much stuff it's not going to be a trivial affair. I guess I can back up some of my config files like my Samba config, and I *think* most of the data is on separate mdraid from the root filesystem.
 
slowriot
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 1:19 pm

Frankly I'm blown away you were able to do in place upgrades for that long. That's actually quite impressive, there's been some significant changes besides just systemd in that time.
 
captaintrav
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 1:48 pm

slowriot wrote:
Frankly I'm blown away you were able to do in place upgrades for that long. That's actually quite impressive, there's been some significant changes besides just systemd in that time.

Oh there was no end of fussing with dpkg and apt-get to get the upgrades to complete the last few times. :lol: The last upgrade was only done because I somehow had the onscreen keyboard and screen reader starting with every xfce session for some reason even though the accessibility stuff was supposed to be off and I had no saved sessions. That behavior was rectified by upgrading.
 
just brew it!
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Wed May 10, 2017 2:03 pm

captaintrav wrote:
Oh there was no end of fussing with dpkg and apt-get to get the upgrades to complete the last few times. :lol:

A clear sign that the cruft from nearly a decade of in-place upgrades was catching up with you. :wink:

I generally do fresh installs when I go from one Ubuntu LTS release to the next. I suppose that's partly a result of having being a Windows user for a decade and a half prior to switching to Linux -- I just don't trust in-place upgrades! :lol:
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captaintrav
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:22 am

I figured out what a part of the problem was. At some point I brilliantly removed the system's hostname from /etc/hosts. How it actually managed to work was the system resolving it's own hostname via Samba/winbind. Thus, if some reason the Ethernet connection was down or Samba, the system would just stall. Apparently the local hostname has to resolve to SOMETHING in order for things, to you know, work.
 
Waco
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:30 am

Ha. At least it was an easy fix. :)
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:42 am

is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Yes.
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TheRazorsEdge
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:50 am

captaintrav wrote:
I recall reading that systemd was supposed to start more things in parallel or something to speed boot times (system doesn't seem to boot any faster that before), so I'm highly suspect of systemd, but maybe I need to do some purging of upstart to do? Upstart seems like it is still installed among lots of other cruft no doubt.


You can have both systemd and upstart installed, and you can switch freely between them by editing the init line in grub. This should pose no problems in and of itself.

For the most part, you must use full path names in systemd. It does not dig through your $path directories looking for things. The default daemons should be configured automatically, but if you have a lot of custom stuff at boot time then I would check that first.

If you don't find anything there, then you'll have to choose between digging into the systemd logs or reinstalling. I've never carried the same OS install forward for that long, so I honestly don't know what gotchas to expect.
 
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:20 am

TheRazorsEdge wrote:
I've never carried the same OS install forward for that long, so I honestly don't know what gotchas to expect.

I've fallen into a pattern of tying full OS reinstalls to new builds. It allows me to run the new system in parallel for a few weeks to shake out any problems in the new hardware and OS, before I start relying on the new system as my daily driver. I seem to be on a 2-3 year cycle for this. Since I almost never buy bleeding edge gear this isn't as expensive as it sounds; current primary desktop is still an FX-8350, running Kubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Guess I'm about due for a new build... will probably pull the trigger on a Ryzen build around the time 18.04 LTS is released. Which means I'll get to start having all the systemd fun I keep hearing about from other people.
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TheRazorsEdge
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Re: is systemd terrible or do I just have a broken system

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:49 am

just brew it! wrote:
Guess I'm about due for a new build... will probably pull the trigger on a Ryzen build around the time 18.04 LTS is released. Which means I'll get to start having all the systemd fun I keep hearing about from other people.


I've seen or heard about all kinds of systemd issues on upgrades. There is practically nothing on clean installs.

At work, we had an unwritten policy that "upgrades" which introduced systemd would be clean installs. I don't touch Linux a whole lot compared to some of the other guys, but I have the impression that most of the systemd complaints are a result of a shoddy upgrade process. It seems to me that most of the bad press is caused by cruft-induced, intractable problems combined with a lack of established systemd gurus to fix them.

I'll grant that there may be legitimate cases where systemd just doesn't play nice with some existing daemon somewhere. That can happen with anything new. But a clean install with good customization seems to have very few problems. There may be issues related to parallelizing the init process, but there is a well-documented method for addressing dependencies, e.g., if you're adding software from outside your distro's repo.

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