Re: Mass bug filing: use and misuse of dbus-launch (dbus-x11)

From: Steve Litt <>
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2016 12:47:37 -0400

On Sun, 4 Sep 2016 17:30:43 +0100
Jonathan de Boyne Pollard <>

> Simon McVittie:
> > This can already work. If you put XDG_RUNTIME_DIR in user programs'
> > environment, and arrange for your favourite service manager to make
> > a dbus-daemon (or something else that speaks the same protocol)
> > listen on $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/bus before any user process would try to
> > connect to it, then modern versions of at least libdbus, GDBus and
> > sd-bus will connect to it by default with no additional effort on
> > your part. This client-side code path does not depend on systemd,
> > does not depend on libsystemd (except obviously sd-bus which is
> > part of libsystemd), and is compiled in for all supported Unix
> > platforms.
> That's the problem. No the whole unix:runtime=yes mechanism is not.
> As I said, this is something that you and Joe Marcus Clarke and
> whomever else have to sort out with each other. I'm unfortunately
> stuck in the middle, here. Please do whatever it is that you need to
> do with each other to make your program understand address=systemd:
> and address=unix:runtime=yes on FreeBSD/TrueOS/OpenBSD. It does not
> do so.
> Simon McVittie:
> > Meanwhile, if you want the relevant integration files (your
> > favourite service manager's equivalent of systemd units) to be part
> > of dbus (the reference implementation of D-Bus), please propose
> > tested patches; if they follow the "user session" model[1], they
> > could eventually go in dbus-user-session.deb, with its dependencies
> > changed from the current systemd-sysv to "systemd-sysv |
> > your-service-manager".
> Kudos for being the first project to offer integration, ever. (-:

Danger Will Robinson.

"Integration" in cases of systemd and its venus fly trap, dbus, is more
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish than integration. The Rube Goldbergesque
system described in the preceding quoted context exquisitely highlights
that fact.

Do not cooperate with systemd. The systemd proponents don't cooperate
with anyone else.

> Yes, down the road it would be marvellous if people included service
> bundles in their own projects.

What would be marvellous is if people would simply ignore systemd,
opting for a real init system (not a conglomeration of welded krap
trying to supercede what we've had for years).

> Yes, I'd like to see the day when the
> number of service bundles in the nosh-bundles package actually starts
> going down, because people are taking on shipping their own service
> bundles for their own services, instead of going up. So yes,
> eventually you'll be taken up on that offer I hope. But one step at a
> time.

Ooohhhh, "service bundles." My runit run scripts average about 6 lines
long. Any fool can make them. Behold the power of a real init: An init
that knows it's an init, and does only what inits are designed to do. I
highlight runit out of familiarity, but my use of s6 and Epoch indicate
that both are equally as simple, when defining service startup, runit.

> Simon McVittie:
> >> As for what I would like, I'd like you (where that's plural,
> >> including Joe Marcus Clarke or whomever else) to please make
> >> either address=systemd: or address=unix:runtime=yes work in your
> >> program on FreeBSD/PC-BSD/OpenBSD.
> >>
> > To the best of my knowledge, the listenable address
> > "unix:runtime=yes" (as in "dbus-daemon --address=unix:runtime=yes")
> > does work on generic Unix, and should interoperate fine with the
> > XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/bus fallback used by clients with no
> > DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS. It is compiled and tested whenever
> > DBUS_UNIX is defined (i.e. everything except Windows), and I
> > haven't seen bug reports about that test failing.

> There you go, then. New knowledge. (-: It doesn't work with your
> program as ported to FreeBSD/TrueOS/OpenBSD. Joe Marcus Clarke is
> the porter for FreeBSD, according to the port information, and
> Antoine Jacoutot the porter for OpenBSD.

To the *BSD communities: Please do not let the systemd camel get his
nose in your tent. Systemd is a repudiation of everything Unix, created
by a guy who makes no bones of his hate for Posix.

> This is why I am saying
> that it's something that you (plural, remember) need to sort out
> amongst yourselves. We users stuck in the middle cannot use
> address=systemd: and address=unix:runtime=yes with your program on
> these systems. As I said, it's something that I had to fix in
> November 2015, to stop trying to use address=systemd: on
> FreeBSD/TrueOS because it turned out that it didn't actually work. I
> thought that address=unix:runtime=yes might, but that did not either.
> Simon McVittie:
> > To be brutally honest, there is a fairly low limit to how much
> > benefit I can create by giving new things to PC-BSD users, [...]
> >
> That's not the right way to look at it.

This is precisely the right way to look at it, when it pertains to

> You yourself have just said
> several times that this is stuff that is supposed to be on "supported
> Unix platforms". This isn't giving new things to anyone. This is
> making existing things, that you yourself think are existing, work.

If these existing things can't be made to work without systemd
incorporation, they should be torn out and replaced. Encumbering a good
system with systemd is not the answer.

> I shouldn't dismiss PC-BSD so readily, if I were you, either. PC-BSD
> (now rebranded as TrueOS Desktop a few days ago -- I just got through
> changing a whole load of preset file and -run package names.) is the
> BSD that comes in the box with the desktop environments and with all
> of the desktop programs that use Desktop Bus. Yes, people can and do
> run all of this stuff on FreeBSD and OpenBSD from ports. But
> PC-BSD^H^H^H^H^H^H ... Gah! ... TrueOS Desktop is where it comes in
> the box and is run as standard in the default install. TrueOS
> Desktop is where one ends up choosing from running PCDMd, kdm, lxdm,
> or gdm; and where one gets lots of little Desktop Bus brokers all
> over the place in various ways from these different systems. TrueOS
> Desktop is where the people who are behind the operating system will
> be strongly motivated towards improving the desktop subsystems and
> the Desktop Bus.

To those who care about simplicity and user-maintainable software, the
preceding paragraph appears to be one possible strategy to continue
eliminating non-systemd choices. Beware.

> You're pushing your new way of per-user Desktop Bus brokers at the
> world. I can give the TrueOS Desktop people, and the the UbuntuBSD
> people, and the Debian FreeBSD people, a service management system
> that I know can run per-user Desktop Bus brokers on a FreeBSD
> kernel. It already does. I published it last year. If you, the
> Desktop Bus people, can give us these mechanisms in your program
> actually working on these operating systems, then the TrueOS people
> get the opportunity to simplify some of the scaffolding that they
> have had to erect (PCDM-session writing out nonce scripts that invoke
> dbus-launch, for example), and you get less of the world still using
> your old way of doing things.

LOL, per-user desktops.

There must be a zillion different ways to have sterminal hung off a
Linux box each get their own GUI. I'd do it myself, except that's not
my itch. In a world where a COTS desktop is $600 USD, laptop $500 USD,
and used but still perfectly functional computers can be had for
$50-$200, hanging terminals makes little economic sense. I'm sure the
systemd afficianados will find such a use case, and proclaim that use
case must be served, but we all know it's FUD.

The systemd folks shout from the mountaintops that sysvinit is 32 years
old or whatever, and how that alone is enough reason to use systemd,
and yet these same monuments to modern software proclaim their
multiseat, terminal-enabling technology is a reason to switch to
systemd, even though terminals had their heyday in 1984. Talk about

One more thing: They talk about dbus as if it's a good thing. Even
before systemd, I tried to stay away from a bus system that was pretty
much like a traffic circle enabling everything to talk to everything
else, addressing allowing. What could *possibly* go wrong?

The subject of this thread is "Mass bug filing: use and misuse of
dbus-launch (dbus-x11)". If you're a software user, use dbus as little
as possible. If you're a developer, find other communication methods,
and don't incorporate dbus. Because, as evidenced by this thread, dbus
is now just a pretty entry point to systemd.


Steve Litt
Received on Mon Sep 05 2016 - 16:47:37 UTC

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