systemd Init System Is Getting Some New Competition, Meet ‘System XVI’

System XVI is a new, modular, init system (a system that handles all processes and services) that aims to be modern while maintaining design principles as determined by the UNIX tradition.  If you thought that now that systemd has been adopted by almost every major Linux distribution out there will make it an undisputed part

Updated Sep 19, 2016News
System XVI (S16)

If you thought that now that systemd has been adopted by almost every major Linux distribution out there will make it an undisputed part of the Linux ecosystem, you may want to reconsider.

As we’ve already gotten used to, here in the open source realm, whenever a project has a large enough crowd that opposes it, then there’s a pretty good chance that in a short while an alternative project will rise. (take for example GNOME 3 & Cinnamon)

Apparently, systemd is no exception to that rule and other than the already existing init alternatives (which were there even before systemd) there’s now a new init being developed called System XVI, or S16 for short.

Meet System XVI

The new system stresses out features such as modularity, self-healing, pluggability and interface-oriented service manager as part of its key traits.

When asked “What are your problems with systemd?” the developer of S16 answers:

“In a word: architectural. systemd is tightly integrated in a way that makes pluggable replacements difficult. It also tends toward a monolithic design. Whilst systemd’s PID 1 may not be as big as some claim – systemd is, after all, split into 69 binaries – it still includes complex logic for parsing configuration files, handling D-Bus calls, a transactional dependency resolution system, et al.”

To make it easier to grasp how S16 works, here’s a flowchart that depicts it:

S16 designed for modularity

In case by now you are not yet under the impression that S16 could, in time, be a viable replacement for systemd, wait till you read its testimonials:)

This is probably the best example I’ve seen on how NOT to program in C. Unneeded typedefs, random macros for simple logic. Do not use.

/u/nwmcsween, reddit.

It wont work, trust me.

/u/Risar, reddit, on the future functionality of System XVI.

[…] the world doesn’t like goto. First of all, it can cause all kinds of memory leaks.

Your program is simply an attacker’s target.

As soon as a distro maintainer sees that goto, it’ll be rejected.

vitimiti, 4chan’s technology IRC channel.

And there’s more…

As you can see, it is indeed confusing at this point in time, whether S16 can become a “systemd killer” someday. However, we must remember that it’s still under development and not yet in a usable shape.

Finally, developers and testers who’d like to contribute to the project can start by downloading the source code from its Github page:

System-XVI Source Code