Gentoo and systemd

This week I had to make a clean install of Gentoo on my Acer Aspire. I decided to give systemd a try and a new setup would be a good opportunity for it. At least perhaps better than migrating was my idea. Other distros are already using systemd for a while now and it’s known for its extremely fast boot times.

The usual install process stays the same. You have to enable systemd in the kernel and you can forget about /etc/rc.conf and starting services with /etc/init.d. It’s recommended to set the systemd USE flag to /etc/portage/make.conf and choose the right profile during setup (in my case /desktop/KDE/systemd). Set the USE flag for sys-apps/dbus to -systemd to avoid package conflicts because systemd and dbus have circular dependencies.

For the rest just follow the documentation on the Gentoo Wiki Systemd. Installation and rebooting were successful and the boot time is amazingly short. You get used to the way of starting and stopping systemd services quite easily and I believe that after a few days it’s just like before with sysvinit.

But of course there’s nothing that runs really without some glitches. NetworkManager has problems with systemd and using KDE with the Networkmanagement frontend for NetworkManager just sits around doing nothing even though my ethernet connection worked.

The solution is to edit the /etc/dbus-1/system.d/org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.conf file and paste this part into it:
<policy group=”plugdev”>
<allow own=”org.freedesktop.NetworkManagerInfo”/>
<allow send_destination=”org.freedesktop.NetworkManagerInfo”/>
<allow send_interface=”org.freedesktop.NetworkManagerInfo”/>
and set everything under policy context=”default” to “allow”. After that add your user to the plugdev group. I found that solution on the Arch Linux forums. Thanks to the contributors.

A good place to read more detailed about systemd is the Arch Linux Wiki Systemd.