New init and insserv betas

Jesse Smith jessefrgsmith at
Fri Nov 16 17:31:02 GMT 2018

I am pleased to report new beta releases of SysV init and insserv are
now vailable for testing. This beta is coming out a little sooner than
originally planned, in order to try to get the new versions into Debian
10 Buster before the project's freeze date in January.

The insserv beta (1.18.0-beta) has just two small changes. The command
line previously used the flags "--dryrun" and "--showall". These still
work, but to help admins accustomed to the long-style command flags used
in other programs insserv also recognizes "--dry-run" and "--show-all".

All remaining compiler warnings were cleaned up in this release of
insserv. This was done with minor cosmetic code changes and should not
result in any change in functionality.

The SysV init beta (2.92-beta) has a longer list of changes, almost all
of them targeting bugs reported to Debian's issue tracker. They are as

* The shutdown and init commands were using different default delays
between sending processes SIGTERM and SIGKILL - they were 3 and 5
seconds, respectively. Unified these on 3 seconds, using a new defined
value in init.h.

Updated shutdown manual page to reflect the change and better explain
how -t and -n flags work. Updated the init manual page with the new
default value.
The updated documentation resolves Debian bug #375274.

* Removed PC speaker beep from shutdown process in dowall.c.
Closes Debian bug #614893.
Patch provided by Andreas Fackler.

* Removed unused Version variable from wall.c.

* Updated halt/reboot manual page to acknowledge the -i flag may not
properly shut down network interfaces if the interface does not have an
IP address.
Addresses Debian bug #361935.

* Applied patch from Daniel Povey which should allow killall5/pidof to
avoid locking up if it encounters stopped or zombie processes due to
broken NFS mount points.
This should allow Debian bug #719273 to be closed.

* Applied patch from Regid Ichira to clarify shutdown command line
options. Updated manual page for shutdown.
Closes Debian bug #630661.

* shutdown command was setting environment variable INIT_HALT to 
"POWERDOWN", this should have been "POWEROFF" as specified in the manual
page. Fixed code to match manual page and init scripts.
Closes Debian bugs #717531 and #590895

* Added -l flag to "last" command. When used it allows "last" to
display usernames longer than 8 characters long.

* Added -q and -Q flags to shutdown command to make the "system is going
down" message appear less often. The -q flag causes messages to only
appear at the
10 minute, 5 minute and x-hour intervals. After the initial warning, the
-Q flag maintains complete silence up until the final "now" warning.

* Mention GRUB as a potential boot loader in init page since LILO is
rarely used anymore, outside of Slackware.

* Swapped out ECHOPRT for ECHOE in stty settings when init brings up
emergency console. Should make backspace-erasing characters work more
Closes Debian bug #402847.

* Updated src/Makefile to make sure we build all the software before
attempting to install.

* Removed typos from pidof manual page and killall5 page.
Closes Debian bugs #815839, #905245 and #890478

* Added -f <format> option to pidof program to allow printf style formating.
Closes Debian bug #571590
Thanks to Philipp Marek for the patch.

* Added new tool (readbootlog) which will read the /var/log/boot file
produced by bootlogd. The output is displayed cleaned up so there are no
control characters. This avoids the need to use sed or related tools to
try to clean up the contents of the log.

* Added manual page for readbootlog program. Updated bootlogd page to
reference it. Closes Debian bug #725123.

* Updated the shutdown manual page to try to make it more clear where we
are talking about an initscript called halt or the halt program.
Likewise whether we are talking about the shutdown process or the
specific shutdown program.
Should address Debian bug #374039.

Both source packages for the betas are available in this download

There is no update for startpar in this release cycle, but I believe
there will be one in the next cycle in early 2019.

Please report any new or showstopping issues to the SysV init mailing
list. ( If all goes
well, new stable versions of init and insserv will be published by the
end of November.

- Jesse

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