It has been all over the place. The Debian CTTE has chosen systemd over upstart as default init system by chairman call. This decision was overdue, as it was pretty clear that the tie will not change, and thus it will be up to chairman. There were no new positions presented, and nobody was being convinced of a different preference. The whole discussion had been escalating, and had started to harm Debian.

Some people may not want to hear this, but another 10 ballots and options would not have changed this outcome. Repating essentially the same decision (systemd, upstart, or “other things nobody prefers”) will do no good, but turn out the same result, a tie. Every vote counting I saw happen would turn out this tie. Half of the CTTE members prefer systemd, the other half upstart.

The main problems, however, are these:

  • People are not realizing this is about the default init for jessie, not about the only init to support. Debian was and is about choice, but even then you need to make something default… If you prefer SysV init or openRC, you will still be able to use it (it will be just fewer people debugging these startup scripts).
  • Some people (not part of the CTTE) are just social inept trolls, and have rightfully been banned from the list.
  • The discussion has been so heated up, a number of imporant secondary decisions have not yet been discussed in a civil manner. For example, we will have some packages (for example, Gnome Logs), which are specific to a particular init system, but not part of the init system. A policy needs to be written with these cases in mind that states when and how a package may depend on a particular init system. IMHO, a package that cannot support other init systems without major changes should be allowed to depend on that system, but then meta-packages such as the Gnome meta packages must not require this application.

So please, everybody get back to work now. If there ever is enough reason to overturn this decision, there are formal ways to do this, and there are people in the CTTE (half of the CTTE, actually) that will take care of this.

Until then, live with the result of a 0.1 votes lead for systemd. Instead of pursuing a destructive hate campaign, why not improve your favorite init system instead.

Oh, and don’t forget about the need to spell out a policy for init system support requirements of packages.