Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Removal of upstart and cgmanager from Artful Aardvark

Upstart and CGManager have been in maintenance mode for a few releases
now. The primary users of upstart & CGManager were Mobile (Unity
Touch) and Unity8 desktop sessions. Upstart is used in those session
to provide user session supervisor and implement application

Currently, ubuntu-app-launch has been ported to provide application
lifecycle using systemd. However, neither of the two session packages
were ported to kick off touch/unity8 sessions exclusively under
systemd. Currently, these still rely on user session upstart.

Whilst many apps and user session services have been ported to
systemd, I do not believe this effort is complete. Many of the
unported apps and services are touch/unity8 specific and are listed at

In zesty, touch/unity8 sessions are the only two remaining sessions
that use upstart user init supervision. Everything else use systemd
(including unity7 session), and/or more typical session supervisors
(e.g. gnome-session, and forks of thereof).

upstart ongoing maintenance in the archive is not cost free, as their
sources and testsuites must be continuously maintained and updated for
the toolchain and kernel updates. Whilst both will be supported for
the full length of LTS and ESM timelines, I do not wish to ship either
in Artful.

Removal bug at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/upstart/+bug/1649310

Shows the extent of packages which will need to be removed:

* upstart
* unity8-desktop-session
* ubuntu-touch-session
* lxc-android-config
* upstart-watchdog
* ubuntu-touch-meta
* cgmanager

Without upstart unity8-desktop-session and ubuntu-touch-session
packages will be broken, as they rely on executing upstart to start a
session. Similarly, lxc-android-config provides many touch specific
and upstart specific overrides to make phone images integrate
correctly with the hardware specific device container.
upstart-watchdog is a package which ships upstart jobs only. Above
packages are all dependencies of the ubuntu-touch metapackage which is
used to determine the packages that should be installed in the touch

I'm proposing to remove all of the above packages from Artful.

Certainly, it is possible to keep some of the above packages, by
simply removing metadata dependencies on upstart. But the packages in
question will be rendered useless, as they cannot function as intended
without upstart in their current state and need further porting to

Please advise how to proceed, and if the stakeholders are ok with
removing above mentioned packages.



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