Runit integration for additional services

Martin Steigerwald martin at
Sat May 30 08:36:27 BST 2020

Dear Init alternatives community,

I finally tested how easy it is to switch to runit as init (via package 
runit-init). I first tested on a Devuan VM, then on a Devuan Beowulf 
(same as Sid in Debian) laptop then on my main laptop which runs Debian 

I had to do the "Yes, do what I say" thing… but other than that I am 
astonished at how easily this went. There had been *no* issues 
whatsoever. This *just worked*. I certainly did not expect that.

So first off: Thank you very much for making this happen! Dmitry did a lot 
of work on that before he left… and before that Gerrit still was the 
maintainer and it seems it was capable of replacing init at that time 

I see, why: There is a mechanism in place to load all the init scripts. 
Which makes total sense if you like to have a running system. I only see 
the TTYs and ssh as service started in the runit way.

I like that as it makes it easy for me now to switch over some other 
services. I do have one candidate to start with and that is thinkfan. 
Cause with Sysvinit it did not properly come up after boot. And it 
disappeared sometimes as well. Runit would just start it over again. I 
did not notice that with Systemd as Systemd apparently just restarted 
it. Of course would be nice to find out why thinkfan does that… but I bet 
it may take some time to find out. And then… let's see. I'd start with 
services that where I think supervision is important.

I wonder: If I develop runit integration for some service, how to go 
about it? My current idea is:

1) Copy the "ssh" one and adapt it. Taking the documentation into 
account and test it. Preferably on more than one machine. I have two 
laptops running thinkfan.

2) Adapt the package of the service in question in a new git branch and 
test it.

3) Make a merge request for the packages in question at least when it is 
on Salsa and hope that the maintainer will accept it. Tell the 
maintainer I tested it.

4) Hope for the best.

Any other approach?

I would like to do this work in Debian, so Devuan maintainer don't have 
to fork further packages for this or think of another thing to do. If 
maintainers don't accept the test runit integration, then it may be good 
to think what alternatives I have to proceed.

Not promising anything so far, but at least with thinkfan I'd tackle an 
issue I am annoyed with so there is some motivation.


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