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Systemd 245 Enables Secure Management of Home Directories

systemd 245


The systemd 245 init system for Linux-based operating systems is now available for download and it’s a major release that adds new features and enhancements.

As you probably already heard, systemd 245 is the first version of the controversial init system to ship with systemd-homed.service, a new feature that enables secure management of /home directories with built-in encryption.

Not only this feature addresses some old issues with the traditional ways of managing home directories, but it also unifies the entire user record data with the home directory. This means that /home directories can now be easily migrated. systemd-homed supports both LUKS and fscrypt disk encryption standards.

“This solves a couple of problems we saw with traditional ways to manage home directories, in particular when it comes to encryption,” explained the developers in the mailing list announcement.

Other improvements implemented in the systemd 245 release include a new userdb component that in combination with a userdbctl client tool and systemd-userdb.service daemon allows for defining of rich user and group records in the JSON format.

Furthermore, systemd 245 introduces a new tool called systemd-repart, which acts as a repartitioner for GPT partition tables to create missing partitions or extend existing ones. However, it doesn’t shrink, move or delete partitions.

Among the improvements, systemd-journald has been updated to be multi-instantiable, a new --namespace= option in journalctl lets you view logs from a specific log namespace, and systemd-networkd received support for configuring multi-path IP routes, Token Bucket Filter (TBF) parameters, and Intermediate Functional Block (IFB) network devices.

systemd-networkd-wait-online now lets you specify the maximum operational state to wait for, networkctl can now display per-interface logs in its status output, a new --with-dependencies option is supported by systemctl to show all specified units and their dependencies.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that systemd-udevd now supports managing of “alternative” network interface names, which is supported by new Linux kernels. Many other components have been updated, so check out the announcement for more details.

Meanwhile, you can download systemd 245 right now if you fancy compiling it yourself. If not, I strongly suggest you wait until it arrives in the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution before upgrading to this version.

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