Pantheon Runs More Than 500,000 systemd Units

One of the core technologies we're leveraging in building the Pantheon platform is systemd, the latest and greatest system management daemon for Linux. Spearheaded by controversial but prolific Lennart Poettering, systemd brings a new level of precision and clarity to managing processes, and has seen widespread adoption among the more hardcore distros (e.g. Arch, Gentoo), as well as in the Tizen mobile/embedded linux project, and automotive-grade Linux.

It's also central to our containerization architecture. If you run a site on Pantheon, it's powered by the same technology that drives the in-dash tool for new BMWs. The more you know!

With David at LinuxCon in New Orleans this week, I thought I'd take a minute and count the number of actual systemd unit files (services managed) across the platform. We know from talks with Lennart that we're one of the larger systemd implementations in the world, and that we're discovering edge cases that only emerge at really high scale, but I realized we don't actually know the number.

A quick python scripting session later, it turns out the count is over half a million: 544,252as of this writing. That's spread out across more than 150,000 containers (many containers run multiple services), and by the time you read this (heck, by the time I spellcheck this and hit "submit"), a few more sites will have been spun up on Pantheon and that number will be on its way towards a million.

Topics Education