The systemd law

systemd is somewhat of a controversial topic in the Linux ecosystem. This init system for Linux distributions is loved and hated by many people, and people never seem to stop complaining about it. Meanwhile, Linux distros are slowly adopting systemd to the point of scaring the hard-line systemd detractors into creating their own spin-off of their favourite distro with systemd violently ripped apart from it.

I love how a discourse always breaks out on any tech-related group chat I’m in as soon as someone mentions systemd. I agree that systemd might be the best thing to come out of the Linux ecosystem since sliced bread. I also agree that systemd includes numerous oddities, quirks, and stupidities in its codebase. However, I’d argue that as stupid as systemd does its job, some of its quirks serve some purpose, and the people who maintain the distros adopting systemd felt it was an advantage to use it.

There are many people who bemoan and bitch about systemd simply because it’s the Hip Thing™ to do. Simply complaining because of its existence, and wishing that it would vanish off the face of the earth. Yet still, they never funneled all that wasted energy into making the init ecosystem great again1 and either improve systemd, give constructive feedback to its development, or, if they have the time, develop an init system that takes the good ideas of systemd as well as throwing out its bad bits.

This kind of negativity is always bad, especially for open-source software maintainers. First of all, it’s funny, and also sad, seeing how many people complain about free stuff (this software is provided “as-is”, no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, etc etc.), and secondly, as long as people keep on complaining on systemd without offering a viable alternative, it’s here to stay.

systemd is the Linux equivalent of Godwin’s Law.

In which case, I propose the systemd law:

As a Linux-related internet discussion grows longer, the probability of a discourse involving systemd approaches 1.

  1. I had to do it, sorry.