Subject: Re: run levels (was Re: The new rc.d stuff...)
To: Perry E. Metzger <>
From: Andrew Brown <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/24/2000 13:23:58
>> Some production systems, particularly larger and truly general-purpose
>> central servers, have several operating states.  They may change states
>> several times per day, or only once per week or whatever.
>My largest current client is the biggest securities clearing firm in
>the world. They have truly astoundingly big farms of Suns. They do
>batch processing and other "stateful" stuff regularly. They don't use
>run levels for anything. They just have batch scripts that quiesce
>their databases and then do their runs and what have you. I don't
>think they've ever even considered using runlevels for this -- it
>didn't occur to them, its so out of common practice.

truthfully, i wouldn't think of using runlevels for this either.
unless, of course, i was beaten with a stick and told that it *had to
be done using runlevels*.

>This is hardly the only client of this size I've dealt with. None of
>the rest of them have ever used run levels for anything --
>ever. Machines are either up, or single user for maintenance, or
>down. Period.

sure.  or halting or rebooting or powering off (akin to down, except
you can't ask the machine).  :)

>I've never seen run levels used the way you mention it. Never. Period.
>Zippo. I've never even heard of it anecdotally from anyone
>else. Unless you can give me a concrete example of a place that
>actually uses them, I am disinclined to belive in them.

given sufficient time, i'm sure we could all come up with something
that sounded (to more than two people) like something good that used
runlevels.  and i'm also sure we could find more than two people to
think it was a silly idea.

>You can claim, of course, that I'm just imposing my tastes on the
>world and that I'm not omniscient. That's true. However, NetBSD is
>very much a meritocracy of taste. We don't add everything -- we add
>things very much based on our sense of aesthetics and
>quality. Therefore, subjective judgments are sometimes needed, and
>I'd say in this case, the general consensus is that runlevels are lame.

yes.  runlevels (as we've seen them before) are quite lame.  i wasn't
trying to start a holy war...just trying to point out the technical
differences between where we are now, and where we would need to go to
have something that could be called runlevels.  or runcolors.  or

heck, i might even try to add it to my machine at home.  just so that
i could see how big the diffs were.

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