OpenRC on FreeBSD

Warner Losh imp at
Wed Dec 19 14:51:44 UTC 2018

On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 7:39 AM Martin Wilke <miwi at> wrote:

> Hi
> I'd like to reopen the discussion for OpenRC on FreeBSD. Basically this is
> the second attempt to get it into FreeBSD.
> I've opened a review here with a working patch for CURRENT,
> To recap the discussion
>     * First attempt of RFC in March of 2018:
>     * Working group at BSDCan:
> Here some key points:
> OpenRC provides additional features for service management without
> requiring kernel changes or replacing pid 1, unlike launchd and other
> solutions.  All rc.d scripts have been converted with a few changes,
> typically changing the shebang and making sure the start function is named
> start(). Most service scripts are simplified, usually needing only name,
> command, and, if required, depends statements.
> History:
> OpenRC started out as an init system by Roy Marples, developed for the
> Gentoo Alt (FreeBSD) kernel branch. It was more widely adopted into Gentoo
> as baselayout v2, and was then split off as a separate BSD-licensed
> project. It is under active development, portable, and remains BSD licensed
> today.
> OpenRC and RC:
> Both can coexist and be chosen with a setting in /boot/loader.conf.
> OpenRC Features:
> Service supervision and service monitoring: any service can be supervised.
> Supervised services that crash are automatically restarted. The rc-status
> command shows how many times a service has restarted.
> Device hotplug support and event-driven service management: the hotplug
> feature allows devd to take actions when devices are connected. For
> example, a USB wifi adapter can create additional network services when
> attached. The net-online service can, for example, detect when a network
> connection is restored, and restart ntp.
> Network profiles: using stacked runlevels, different profiles can be
> established for different networking settings. For instance, different
> profiles can be used for wired or wireless networking, or for differing
> wireless networks, as well as dependency caching and parallel startup speed
> up booting.
> Interactive mode:
> The boot process can be run interactively for more effective debugging.
> OpenRC uses the term “runlevels” to refer to the context in which a script
> is running. There are only three at present:
> sysinit (the OpenRC system is starting), boot (start base services when
> the computer is booting), and default (normal execution).
> OpenRC, by default, provides a “colorized” text boot, using ANSI color
> sequences. This can be disabled.
> Ports:
> As of July 2017, iXsystems has created OpenRC versions of port service
> scripts for the entire ports tree. These scripts coexist with the rc.d
> versions.
> License:
> OpenRC is a BSD licensed RC init system written in C. From a user
> perspective, it is very similar to the FreeBSD rc.d init system, making it
> easy to use and learn.
> Tested: OpenRC has been used as the init system for TrueOS since October
> 2016.
> Ken Moore has an OpenRC vs RC.d comparison which can be found here:
> <
> I look forward to discuss the features and capabilities of OpenRC.

This is cool technology.

However, what was missing last time was a written plan that could be
critiqued for fit with the project's needs. The result of the working group
was that this was to be produced, and we'd iterate through it to ease the
landing of openrc in the tree. I think there's wide agreement this is cool,
and that we'd like tot have both it and rc.d in the tree for a transition
period. Absent a plan, though, it's not really possible to say 'go do it'
or 'that's insane'.

So maybe start there?


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