[systemd-devel] [HEADS-UP] Intent to remove readahead from systemd

Lennart Poettering lennart at poettering.net
Thu Aug 14 10:16:27 PDT 2014


Since its early days systemd contained the systemd-readahead tool, whose
job was to improve boot times by reading files in their order on disk,
before they would actually be needed by applications. In times of SSD
the benefit of systemd-readahead is much less convincing, in many case
it actually slows things down.

The fact is now that nobody really cares about systemd-readahead much
anymore. Nobody in the systemd team still works on a laptop with
rotating media, hence nobody tries to optimize it in any way. And it
probably needs a lot of looking after and love to still be useful as
general purpose systems, instead of just slowing them down...

So, I think with the release after the upcoming one we should just
remove it from the systemd package and just throw it on the pile of
historic cruft. So, yeah, here's the advance warning that this will be

(Well, unless somebody from the community who cares and wants to invest
the necessary time in it steps up and gives it the love it really
needs. If nobody does until that release, I will delete the component
from systemd).

I fully understand that not everybody uses SSDs yet, and also that
theoretically doign systemd-readahead on SSD could be beneficial still
(since RAM is still orders of magnitude faster than SSDs), but it's
really not about that, it's about maintainership and giving the tool the
love it needs.


Lennart Poettering, Red Hat

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