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

Kok, Auke-jan H auke-jan.h.kok at intel.com
Fri Aug 15 10:48:23 PDT 2014

On Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:16 AM, Lennart Poettering <lennart at poettering.net
> wrote:

> Heya,
> 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
> happening...
> (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.
heh, ouch  X_X

I can understand your sentiment, though. I've identified plenty of cases
where readahead just isn't working out well at all, and the constant
tweaking has left it ... quite a bit messy.

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