created_at2021-10-06 13:00:19.134928
updated_at2022-01-01 01:04:22.888762
descriptionSimple, serviced-compatible PID 1 implementation




Simple, serviced-compatible PID 1 implementation. CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT


initd is a simple OS userspace init implementation. Its job is to perform the crucial userspace setup that is required to be done by the first process (referred to as PID 1 in the *nix world), and delegate any further tasks to serviced or a serviced-compatible replacement.

initd is based on sinit (MIT), which itself is based on Rich Felker's minimal init (MIT) in this EWONTFIX post. A copy of their license files are available in LICENSE.sinit and LICENSE.ewontfix respectively in initd's GitHub repository.

initd itself is licensed under the MITNFA license. See LICENSE on initd's GitHub repository for more details.


So far initd only supports Linux systems, although if any *BSD or Unix-like OS developer is interested in integrating initd and serviced (or another serviced-compatible replacement) with their operating system, feel free to contact me.

If any Linux distribution maintainer/developer is exploring the use of initd as their init implementation (or is already doing so), please contact me to be included in this README. I am also able to give recommendations on proper integration in a distribution if you contact me.


At the time of this writing, systemd is the dominant init implementation used by most popular Linux distributions (except Android). Unfortunately, systemd suffers from noticeable feature-creep, following the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach for PID 1 and system/service management. initd was created for a lack of a proper, yet simple, Linux init process focused on only performing the absolutely essential tasks that PID 1 should do.

initd strives to follow the Unix philosophy of "write programs that do one thing and do it well", in part by only doing the bare minimum, yet crucial, userspace setup, and delegating further functions to serviced. This can be evidenced in initd's lack of complex service dependency management, networking, device hotplug management, etc. Some of those features can be found in other companion projects (like serviced, which initd delegates execution to).

initd is written in Rust in order to reduce common bugs found in projects made in non-memory-safe languages. Careful attention is made to add as few dependencies as possible, with the only direct dependencies being (at the time of this writing): cfg-if, const_format, cstr, nix, and precisej-printable-errno. The low dependency count helps keep third-party bugs out and compile-time low (at least compared to larger Rust projects).


Every platform has different essential tasks that must be performed by the first userspace process. This is explained in more detail in [platforms], which also explains how initd is executed by the OS.


serviced is a simple, yet flexible, service management system that should serve as a replacement for runit/runsvdir, systemd's service management, sysvinit, openrc, etc. It is so flexible that, with proper generators, it could work as a drop-in replacement for any of the aforementioned service managers!

Unfortunately, serviced is being worked on in private for the time being. Once it's sufficiently ready, it will be published and linked in this README.

Note: with serviced's publication will come a stable specification for all communication between initd and serviced, in order to allow alternative implementations of serviced-compatible programs to emerge and work with stock initd, as well as initd-compatible programs able to spawn and communicate properly with stock serviced. Until then, anyone attempting to work on any of the two aforementioned compatible programs will need to read the proper documentation as well as associated source code in order to achieve compatibility. I make no guarantees as to stability until the specification is published.

License: MITNFA

Commit count: 17

cargo fmt