Bug#992025: release-notes: Add section on switching init system

Matthew Vernon matthew at debian.org
Mon Aug 9 11:44:40 BST 2021

Package: release-notes
Severity: normal
Tags: patch


Support for alternative init systems in bullseye is better than in
buster, but the process for switching is still a bit involved; I've
drafted a new subsection on the switching process. Could it be
included in the release notes, please?



-- System Information:
Debian Release: 9.13
  APT prefers oldstable
  APT policy: (500, 'oldstable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 4.9.0-16-amd64 (SMP w/8 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=en_GB.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_GB.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8), LANGUAGE=en_GB:en (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
Init: sysvinit (via /sbin/init)
-------------- next part --------------
>From 8b723915627d2546d4266d360cc41fbf3f7c6ebf Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Matthew Vernon <matthew at debian.org>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 11:37:12 +0100
Subject: [PATCH] Add a subsection on changing init system

It's slightly fiddly to switch init system away from systemd, so
include a short note on doing so; and a pointer to the init-diversity
list for help.
 en/issues.dbk | 44 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 44 insertions(+)

diff --git a/en/issues.dbk b/en/issues.dbk
index 1fbba7a3..555daed4 100644
--- a/en/issues.dbk
+++ b/en/issues.dbk
@@ -719,6 +719,50 @@ Environment=SYSTEMD_SULOGIN_FORCE=1
 	<ulink url="&url-bts;/802211">#802211</ulink>.
+    <section>
+      <title>
+	Switching Init System
+      </title>
+      <para>
+	The default init system in Debian is systemd. In bullseye, a
+	number of alternative init systems are supported (such as
+	System-V-style init and OpenRC). Generally, to switch between
+	init systems, you install the new init system and reboot. The
+	exception is switching away from systemd - systemd's packages
+	will refuse to be removed if systemd is running; so the
+	process is a little more involved.
+      </para>
+      <para>
+	In outline, you need to download the new packages you need,
+	switch to single-user mode, install these new packages, and
+	then reboot. The recommended approach is as follows. First,
+	clear out <filename>/var/cache/apt/archives</filename> by
+	running <literal>apt-get clean</literal> (this makes
+	identifying the packages to install later easier). Next, get
+	<literal>apt</literal> to download the new packages you need,
+	e.g.: <literal>apt-get --download-only install sysvinit-core
+	libpam-elogind</literal>; libpam-elogind (and elogind which it
+	Depends upon) provide session management facilities, which you
+	will likely need on any system running a desktop
+	environment. At this point, review apt's proposed actions, and
+	if happy, let it carry on.
+      </para>
+      <para>
+	Now switch to single-user mode (<literal>systemctl
+	rescue</literal>) and install the packages you downloaded
+	using <literal>dpkg -i</literal>; the packages will be in
+	<filename>/var/cache/apt/archives</filename>. Once dpkg has
+	completed, reboot your system.
+      </para>
+      <para>
+	If you encounter any issues specifically associated with using
+	an alternative init system, there is a Debian init system
+	diversity list (<ulink
+	url="debian-init-diversity at chiark.greenend.org.uk">debian-init-diversity at chiark.greenend.org.uk</ulink>)
+	who may be able to help.
+      </para>
+    </section>
   <section id="obsolescense-and-deprecation">

More information about the Debian-init-diversity mailing list