Ubuntu is a pretty and slick Linux distribution. I used Debian some years back, but I’ve never used Ubuntu before 14.04LTS. I have a lot of misgivings about the systemd juggernaut; I think it will probably be a Bad Idea (TM). But, time will tell. I generally think centralized control eventually winds up sowing the seeds of its own destruction. Governments that are too centralized become unstable and prone to revolution. So maybe that applies to software too? I believe it does. Is systemd too centralized? Like I said, time will tell.
In the meantime, I’m just now upgrading from 14.04LTS to 14.10. I’m even using the graphical update tool instead of the command line tool. If the system winds up being unbootable, we’ll see how long it takes to recover it and what I learn from that experience. During my Debian days, I recall having had one serious problem with an upgrade, but nothing that became a true holocaust. I’m hopeful about this upgrade. If I have a serious problem, I’m sure I’ll have to sit down and bitch about it.
It’s possible my college-age daughter was cursing into her joystick while I was downloading the upgrade. But that part seems to be over, and we’re into the software setup now. Not too bad.
The largest challenge for me is that I don’t really understand an Ubuntu system. I’m a Slackware guy. I’m old. I’m conservative. I have grey hair. I don’t run so fast anymore. I’m used to knowing what happens in a system from POST to login. And I don’t really understand how Ubuntu works yet. But I’ll dig into it. The nice thing about Slackware is that everything is a text file, and I can pretty much snoop around anywhere I want and read what happens in the startup scripts. I like that. In 14.04 we had Upstart. I don’t really understand how that works, but it looks like there are still a lot of scripts. Okay, I can read those. That’s good. As I understand it, systemd is a binary. Apparently there are a bunch of other somethingd’s that are binaries too. So unless I get the source code to those and read very carefully on the changelogs, I probably won’t understand those either. Lots of reading….
I’ve read several heated conversations about systemd. Did I mention I don’t like change? That I’m old? Well, I also want to pride myself on having an open mind. Time will tell whether that means I have a hole in my head. I’d like to see what happens. It might be a revolution followed by anarchy and thermoglobal nuclear digital annihilation. Or it might be a gas bubble. If it’s the former, I might switch to FreeBSD! Or I could devote myself to Slackware, which is about as GreyBeard a Linux distro as there is. Meanwhile, the upgrade to Ubuntu 14.10 is still going! No crashes yet!