One of the most crucial pieces of any UNIX-like operating system is the init dæmon process. In Linux, this process is started by the kernel, and it’s the first userspace process to spawn and the last one to die during shutdown. During the history of UNIX and Linux, many init systems have gained popularity and then faded away. In this article, I focus on the history of the init system as it relates to Linux, and I talk about the role of init in a modern Linux system. I also relate some of the history of the System V Init (SysV) scheme, which was the de facto standard for many Linux distributions for a long time. Then I cover a couple more modern approaches to system initialization, such as Upstart and systemd. Finally, I pay some attention to how things work in systemd, as this seems to be the popular choice at the moment for several of the largest distributions.

» Jonas Gorauskas |