What is with systemd consuming UPower?!

So… Another flurry of confusion and heat as the systemd team annex more code… This time it is UPower as used by the desktop environments for their system hibernate/sleep (Gentoo – upower USE flag).

Why all the heat and wasted time?… For just myself, this is another systemd occasion for where I’ve been briefly knocked off the leading edge due to ‘collateral disturbances’… Even though I am not using systemd! (Earlier fun noted in: What is with the systemd name?!…)

Of greater concern and even annoyance, I’m sure there are multiple maintainers outside of the systemd group that have lost time again to having to put in fixes for this latest of the ‘systemd ripple effect’…

Note that this has quickly already been worked around (solved/fixed) by the kind and patient package managers at Gentoo so that an automatic update now does the expected thing. That has been done by specially creating the new compatibility package sys-power/upower-pm-utils to give the UPower sys-power/pm-utils support but without the need to install systemd:

sys-power/upower-pm-utils/ChangeLog Revision 1.1

*upower-pm-utils-0.9.23 (26 May 2014)
Initial commit of upower 0.9 git branch for use with sys-power/pm-utils because upower master git branch removed support for it.
Right now this is a copy of =sys-power/upower-0.9.23-r2 without USE=”systemd” because sys-apps/systemd users will be moving to >=sys-power/upower-0.99.

Subsequently, an enews entry was published:

# eselect news read

Title UPower loses hibernate / suspend to systemd
Author Samuli Suominen [email]
Posted 2014-06-03
Revision 1

UPower discontinued hibernate and suspend support in favor of systemd. Because of this, we have created a compability package at sys-power/upower-pm-utils which will give you the old UPower with sys-power/pm-utils support back.

Some desktops have integrated the sys-power/pm-utils support directly to their code, like Xfce, and as a result, they work also with the new UPower as expected.

All non-systemd users are recommended to choose between:

# emerge –oneshot –noreplace ‘sys-power/upower-pm-utils’


# emerge –oneshot –noreplace ‘>=sys-power/upower-0.99.0’

However, all systemd users are recommended to stay with sys-power/upower.

Note that “enews” items are kept to a minimum so as to not make too much distracting noise for users. They are normally only used for significant changes… Full credit there to the authors that the enews items remain meaningful and useful.

However, note the few days window of surprise and confusion…


A brief summary is given in the thread:

UPower 0.99.0 was released to ~arch as of 2014-06-01

There are a few other neighboring threads of various levels of ‘surprise’ at the unannounced hiccup from the UPower ripple:

  • Power management (udev USE) in XFce requires systemd???

    I don’t want to use systemd. For a time ago I’ve successfully migrated to sys-fs/eudev and very please with it.

    But. During today’s system update I’ve find a block, portage wanted to install systemd…

  • systemd and udev (again)

    I hate to look or sound like a broken record, but i did try searching and found the upower pulling in systemd issue.
    My issue is backwards though, i have gnome system, and i run systemd, however i’m getting udev pulled in somehow…

  • Am I being forced to use systemd now?

    I have been following the systemd threads with some interest. I don’t have any particular position on it either way BUT, it was my understanding that if I took it out of the USES it would be a non issue and I could continue using my system as it is. That no longer seems to be the case?

    I attempted a world update and encountered the following error. Does this mean that systemd is a hard requirement now for Gentoo?…

    Total: 18 packages (8 upgrades, 9 new, 1 in new slot), Size of downloads: 143,131 kB
    Conflict: 3 blocks (3 unsatisfied)

    * Error: The above package list contains packages which cannot be
    * installed at the same time on the same system. …

  • The Politics of systemd

    … All of this would be moot if systemd was just a simple init replacement. But it isn’t…

That last one is a bit of a biggie…


My own workarounds were firstly a hasty masking-out of the offending new package and then a second look later to see if a bug report was needed. Others beat me to that! The fix/work-around came soon after, but not before some disturbance for some.

So on Gentoo for an “emerge -pvDu world”… I hit all the red “B” blockers… The problem centred on upower and some confusion with systemd even though I’ve not selected systemd anywhere for my system.

Hence, I added into my “/etc/portage/package.mask” file:

# Avoid pulling in systemd!

With the Gentoo packages as of 2014-06-01, there is no need for that. A normal update works as expected.

Further fixes are to add “-upower -systemd” to your “USE=” in “/etc/portage/make.conf” so as to exclude those two. Checking that on various Gentoo systems by running “emerge -pvDu –newuse world” gave the expected results for my “systemd”-less systems (no or few rebuilds and no uninstalls).


As for systemd itself… I’m just wondering if the ‘bad press’ being generated is as much due to rushed arrogance on the part of the implementation as due to the grand ripples of change…

There has been the recent kernel DoS debacle due to systemd ‘reusing’ the long used kernel-line debug option. Now there is this example for UPower although this case is also an effect of how Gentoo arranged the package dependencies.

Part of the push behind systemd appears to be to greatly speed bootup times for small embedded systems and especially so for ‘lightweight’ Linux Containers, both of which likely have a strong financial push…


Is there a certain ‘cavalier’ attitude to taking over functionality without a wider concern or caution to keep projects outside of systemd undisturbed?… Or at least to conscientiously minimise disturbance?…

What was it that Linus said about not breaking userspace?…

All good enthusiastic development!


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