back to article Devuan ships second stable cut of its systemd-free Linux

Systemd-free Linux distro Devuan has released its stable Version 2.0. The project's last release candidate was released in May, and as you'd hope, not much has changed between then and full release. Because it's written by purists, we should include the full name of the release: it's Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0 ASCII Stable. The …

"Devuan 2.0 ASCII comes in ISOs for Intel and AMD architectures, and a surprising number of ARM systems"

A PowerPC version is being worked on.

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Well worth looking over, kids.

I'm a slacker from 'way back, but if for whatever reason Slackware goes away, Devuan is on my short list of replacements for desktop use (along with Arch and Gentoo, if you're wondering).

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Linux

awesome - RPi image!

I'll have to download the Devuan RPi image and see how it compares to Raspbian. Well, it would be WITHOUT systemd, so that's +100 right there.

I'm happily running the previous Devuan on one development box, and one VM at the moment. But I wonder if I can just use 'apt-get dist-upgrade' or not (after modifying sources.list). Probably can.

And I would be stoked if the Raspberry Pi Foundation gave Devuan some recognition.

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Re: awesome - RPi image!

"But I wonder if I can just use 'apt-get dist-upgrade' or not (after modifying sources.list). Probably can."

In theory you should be able to, a lot of work was done to make sure upgrade paths from Debian Jessie and Debian Stretch work. In practice, I didn't try that personally, not having a RPi. I can't recall off the top of my head if any other Devuan devs tried that.

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Re: awesome - RPi image!

I would run "apt-get upgrade" first. I have had occasional issues doing it all in a single leap (with Debian). I did do "apt-get upgrade; apt-get dist-upgrade" to Devuan ASCII a few months back without any issue that I remember.

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Is it Upgrade Season or...

...is it Update Season? I can never keep the two straight. If only we had two anthropomorphized cartoon animals here to set me straight.

Either way, it's kind of bitter sweet. We can new packages and lot's and lot's of new features. Then again, the uptime clock gets reset on the reboot.

Good job, Veteran Unix Admins! Keep up the good work!

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Linux

Re: Is it Upgrade Season or...

So you want two straight anthropomorphized cartoon animals to go on a date, so you can grade their performance? I'm up with that. Though maybe wait until February 14th, it's the season for those sorts of shenanigans.

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Re: Is it Upgrade Season or...

Who gives a flying fuck about uptime on any single given machine? Keeping it up forever pales in comparison to overall system stability and security. If a box needs a reboot, then reboot the fucking thing already! It's not like it sentences your firstborn to death or anything.

Honestly, I thought THAT particular DSW was over a couple decades ago.

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Re: Who gives a flying fuck about uptime on any single given machine?

All the linux zealots who use Windows update reboots as a stick to beat MS with.

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Re: Is it Upgrade Season or...

The BOFH explained Upgrade vs Update

"Think of it this way. An upDATE is when your Missus gets you to buy a new suit and and upGRADE would be when she gets Brad Pitt in whatever clothes he's wearing. She may upDATE his clothes at some stage in the future or she might just be too pleased with the upGRADE to bother."

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/21/bofh_2014_episode_2/

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Re: Is it Upgrade Season or...

The uptime clock is reset quite often due to corrected security bugs in kernel, isn't it?

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Re: Who gives a flying fuck about uptime on any single given machine?

All the linux zealots who use Windows update reboots as a stick to beat MS with.

I thought Windows reboots were a clever if authoritarian method of a concentration break.

How generous, a three hour 'smoke break' in the middle of the day as Windows tells me I've put off the update far too long already...

What, that's not an intentional design?

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Re: Is it Upgrade Season or...

"I can never keep the two straight."

If you can't remember, try one, then the other, then the first one again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is it Upgrade Season or...

Good luck with that in industrial production environments where rebooting costs time and money. That’s why deployments like snail mail sorters use anticient versions of FreeBSD.. no internet and no need for upgrades if everything works. TBH FreeBSD runs more of the world that Linux (but likely less than Windows), but it’s use isn’t apparent to the public.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who gives a flying fuck about uptime on any single given machine?

Religious OS trolling is so 1999 and also Trump/Hillary crowds of rabies-frothing, sexually-frustrated cult followers tilting at windmills at the “other” team.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who gives a flying fuck about uptime on any single given machine?

It’s job security for Windows SysAdmins, because without unexpected firefighting and planned downtime because, to users, they would seem like BS employees whom don’t do anything because systems “never go down” (gee, I wonder how that supposed miracle happens? Proactive, business-conscientious and change-conservative SA’s perhaps?)

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Anonymous Coward

Accessibility

- minimal-live/

a console-only minimal live iso with tons of cli and curses

utilities and a special focus on accessibility. Good for minimalist

environments, rescue purposes and also blind users.

I would love to escape SystemD but I prefer to run "minimal" distros specifically to avoid unneeded dependencies/packages etc.

I have nothing against "accessibility" options for those that want or need them but this is a deal breaker for me.

(I have my reasons)

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Re: Accessibility

You could do like I'm doing right now, a debootstrap install. Or just uninstall the accessibility stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Accessibility

The only way to JEOS these days is LFS, Gentoo or Arch. I like the idea of using runit instead of systemd, but systemd has acquired monopolistic, de facto authority over much of the Linux ecosystem by making nearly everything depend on one of it’s formerly-separate components (udev). It’s nice to have a well-unified system a-la FreeBSD development, it’s just not nice to throw together a bunch of projects tightly-coupled and throwing away UNIX Philosophy in order to solve minor issues of init performance, boot optimization, logging, dependency management, service management, and then keep mission-creeping to take even more responsibilities away.

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Very proud of the guys behind this project, and I'm glad it's continuing to grow in releases and in popularity.

#ShoveYourSystemDUpYerArse

#YesIAmAwareHashtagsDontWorkInTheComments

#NoImNotSorry

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Trollface

wolfetone,

Don't sit on the fence. What do you really think about SystemD?

You love it really don't you?

#CheckYourBloodPressure

#SorryCouldn'tResist

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Can only be good

I installed it while still in testing a few months back when I needed a disposable (so old, and lying around) laptop to take abroad. I found it was just as configurable and stripped-down-able as one would have expected expect from a Debian-derived OS, and made the old machine quite acceptably usable. I gave that machine away at the end of the trip and have been told it is still running well, one would hope updated to release code.

Also tested on a laptop and a VM. I was unimpressed by the graphical installer of the live ISO, which it seems only allows the root disk to be ext4, ext3,or ext2, so a network ISO was needed. It took a bit of fettling to get it as I preferred, but all things considered it took perhaps a little less faffing to get it to my tastes. That perhaps says something more about my taste in desktops than Devuan devs' output. The included firefox is the ESR version, but Mozilla's downloaded binaries are much more acceptable these days than a while back.

I'm looking forward to getting this onto a Pi or two. WIth the second release, Devuan have shown that they are not a flash in the pan, and may well be here for the longer term, something that cannot always be said of "grievance" initiatives, but they have a real job to fulfill with their valid alternative. Richard joked about "Purists" and the name Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0 ASCII Stable, but these days we aren't far from having to add the word systemd into other distros who have been embraced by its tendrils.

Having gone through the systemd removal process of some Pis running Raspbian as servers, having been burnt once too often by the bizarre and unpredictable operation of systemd on otherwise solid systems, it does feel that there is at least an alternative.

I wish Devuan well.

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Storm in a teacup

An almighty fuss and effort that's entirely pointless. Systemd is here: get over it. Really, all this effort around posturing could be better expended working on Debian itself (or Arch or similar).

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Re: Storm in a teacup

Well no, it's not entirely pointless.

SystemD is a cancer, and the Linux community has a right to making its own choices about what they want on their systems. Forcing something down our necks that's pure poison should never be acceptable. And, thankfully, because of the guys at Devuan we have that choice to refuse the poison Kool-Aid and use something that won't shaft us at any opportunity.

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Re: Storm in a teacup

Devuan is here, get over it.

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Coat

Re: Storm in a teacup

I swear to god that at this point I think all the "anti-systemd" crusade is like the flat earth society an internet trolling of epic proportions.

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Coat

Re: Storm in a teacup

"I swear to god that at this point I think all the "anti-systemd" crusade is like the flat earth society an internet trolling of epic proportions."

There is a direct correlation between the adoption in SystemD and those who believe the Earth is flat.

Fact.

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Re: Storm in a teacup

(Not a fact).

There is a correlation between some of the most troll-like anti-systemd people and Brexit, Trump and global warming deniers. The Devuan people are not like that, they are mostly sincere, (although they do tend to swing a bit towards conspiracy theories).

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Re: Storm in a teacup

KarelE,

I don't use Linux, though I've played around with it a little bit. So I'm just a watcher from the outside. You're right that Systemd is here, but I don't think the community shows much sign of getting over it. At least not soon. Maybe it'll win over the doubters, improve and become standard everywhere in a few years time. But on the other hand, maybe those in charge of it will fuck up once too often, or manage to piss off too many distros, so that it loses critical mass and fails. The latter looks as (or more) likely than the first to me - because the arrogance and arseholery on continuous display from Poettering is likely to have consequences every so often.

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Terminator

Re: Storm in a teacup

@KarelE: "An almighty fuss and effort that's entirely pointless. Systemd is here: get over it. Really, all this effort around posturing could be better expended working on Debian itself (or Arch or similar)."

Systemd suffers from a number of strange design decisions such as embedding a HTTP Server directly into the software, that provides remote interactive browsing.

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Re: Storm in a teacup

"Systemd suffers from a number of strange design decisions such as embedding a HTTP Server directly into the software, that provides remote interactive browsing."

So that's two HTTP servers in your typical distro then, the systemd builtin one, and the kernel builtin one.

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Re: Storm in a teacup

Systemd suffers from a number of strange design decisions such as embedding a HTTP Server directly into the software, that provides remote interactive browsing.
That would be a strange design decision, wouldn't it.

Unsurprisingly it's not a decision systemd made.

An optional component, systemd-journal-gatewayd allows access to the logs (and nothing else) using the http protocol. If you don't want it, don't use it.

https://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/systemd-journal-gatewayd.service.html

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Re: Storm in a teacup

If I remember correctly, HP-UX 9 or 10 used a shell script to loop through /sbin/rc{n{}.d running shell scripts with names beginning with a 3 digit number that were links to scripts in /sbin/init.d/. Doing it in order took care of I think it was called SysV. It worked fine.

Deban and other Linux based systems used a compiled program to do much the same thing and later refined it to semiautomate the dependency management, which HP might have done by hand. It, too, worked fine, and they later enhanced it to run some of the steps in parallel, which made it run faster.

Both were pretty transparent, had standard template start/stop scripts, and were relatively easy to work around at need.

Now we have SystemD. I've got used to it, but aside from the fact that it boots a bit faster yet see no advantage, and certainly none to offset the similar transparency of text based log files.

The whole thing struck me from the beginning as a job security and CV building exercise by someone who appears smart enough to be more productive. And the last install I did - Stretch 9.4 from a Netinstall CD - still winds up with 35 scripts in /etc/init.d linked from /etc/rc?.d. It just isn't clear that it has much of a point or that we wouldn't have been at least as well off by drowning it at birth.

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Re: Storm in a teacup

So, I am curious. What does one "lose" from not having systemd around? Who depends on it and can't do anything without it? What's the average end user (whatever that means wrt folk that pick less mainstream distributions) going to miss?

Would that be mostly gnome apps?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Storm in a teacup

Systemd is a do-everything and tightly-coupled snowball of mission-creep features thrown on by cowboy developers without asking users, and it’s a non-UNIX philosophy and non-software-best-practices over-engineered, complex, security nightmare.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Storm in a teacup

systemd gobbled up the udev project.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Udev#Installation

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Re: Storm in a teacup

"So that's two HTTP servers in your typical distro then, the systemd builtin one, and the kernel builtin one."

I have no idea why I only got downvotes for purely stating a fact. No one bothered to point out where it is I went wrong.

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systemd-free?

well, apart from libsystemd0 of course.

I was surprised when someone on slashdot pointed that out, but I grabbed the live ISO, spun it up, and discover that it really does contain libsystemd0, and the package is bit-for-bit the same as that in Debian stretch-updates, so it's not just some pretend empty package installed just to satisfy some dependency, or similar hack.

I thought that the whole point of Devuan was to remove every bit of systemd, including libsystemd0, since if one can live with that, then one can just install Debian, with the init of your choice, and get pretty-much the same thing.

Perhaps some Devuan person could explain what the thinking behind this is. To me it points towards the possibility of Devuan becoming a conventional Debian derivative, but perhaps I'm missing something.

BTW given that the vast majority of the packages in Devuan ASCII are actually bit-for-bit the same as packages from Debian, it might have been polite to mention the reliance on the work of Debian in the release notes, but never mind.

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Re: systemd-free?

This has been discussed so many times, it's a FAQ.

https://devuan.org/os/issues

"Since libsystemd0 is totally innocuous if systemd is not installed and running, existing dependencies on libsystemd0 are not consider a major issue in Devuan Jessie.Hence, please avoid filing a bug report for every package that depends on libsystemd0: we already know the full list, and any such bug report will be closed without further processing. However, we would really appreciate your help in repackaging existing software to remove this silly and useless dependency."

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Re: systemd-free?

There's a HUGE difference between linking to libsystemd and running systemd... so no, it's not "pretty-much the same thing".

Unfortunately Slashdot's long turned into a cesspit of people who are allergic to RTFM: https://devuan.org/os/issues

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Re: systemd-free?

Right, so if we're all relaxed about having libsystemd0 sitting on the disk, and if we're capable of remembering that Debian allows one to choose the init of one's choice, what exactly is the difference between Debian with sysvinit installed, and Devuan?

Note: init-system-helpers -- a package specifically created to allow one to switch between inits in Debian, which of course is also used in Devuan.

Is the answer to that things like udev rather than eudev?

If so, is there anything to stop eudev being uploaded to Debian? (I note that the ITP has been fallow since 2014: https://bugs.debian.org/765971 )

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Re: systemd-free?

libsystemd0 is used by some daemons to verify whether or not systemd is running. Obviously, on Devuan it reports systemd isn't running. It's hardly nefarious.

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Re: systemd-free?

I dont think "relaxed" is the correct term Ian in fact taken overall its somewhat disintegrous to state that to support the argument that one is equivalent to the other. In the reality of here and now, its a small dep and not used so in the interests of expediency its there as a known issue.

The difference then becomes (I believe) that Devuan is commited long term to eliminating this and is already working through the list of packages. I don't believe base Debian has the same commitment?

I have nothing against Debian apart from its decision to go to systemD, I've been dabbling with it since I got given a install cd at a show where I bought my first cd rom drive by Debian volunteers when running Slackware, but I currently have 5 installs of Devuan churning away since the project first released and 0 of Debian.

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Re: systemd-free?

exactly, and if one installs another init on Debian, presumably systemd is also not running (sorry, but I've not actually tried it lately, so I'm not certain, but presumably there are people that use Devuan that have tried that and can explain what the actual difference is, and what might be needed to make Debian run in a way that would make them cheerful about life)

I can imagine that there are rough edges at present -- e.g. presumably one needs something to do whatever systemd-logind does -- personally I use Xmonad, so I have no idea what a default install of e.g. gnome or MATE needs to run, nor how much of it is provided by things within the systemd stable, so this is a genuine question about how far apart we really are.

In the past, people seemed to be so systemd-averse that the suggestion that some things might continue to depend upon libsystemd0 was a deal-breaker, and that seems to be the point where people decided to create Devuan as a fork.

If libsystemd0 is now allowed, then it seems to me that Devuan is in a position to be a more conventional derivative of Debian, which might be good both for Devuan (as some of the maintenance could be pushed upstream into Debian, allowing them to concentrate on any real differences that are required) and good for Debian (by keeping the options for users regarding which inits they can choose more viable).

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Re: systemd-free?

Philip, yes if it leads to Debian doing what they refused to do at the time of systemD's adoption and take onboard the possibility to completely remove it for those who choose not to use it. Diversity in the ecosystem, choice, its all good.

Also

s/allowed/currently\ allowed\ as\ a\ short\ term\ workaround/

Its a tiny but important linguistical difference.

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Re: systemd-free?

> remembering that Debian allows one to choose the init of one's choice

You're absolutely right - for now. But look at the distros which have more fully embraced systemd, such as Fedora or openSUSE. It's practically impossible to change init in those - not absolutely impossible, but practically so, and the fear is that, as Debian has not committed fully to init independence, so as each update goes by, systemd's tendrils have a chance to grasp tighter. Devuan shows that we have choice, for now. Hopefully it will encourage Debian to continue allowing that choice at a fully supported level.

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Re: systemd-free?

s/allowed/currently\ allowed\ as\ a\ short\ term\ workaround/

Ah, well, if you're still intent on the elimination of libsystemd0 then that is the thing that will not happen in Debian itself, for the very dull technical reason that we don't have a good way of dealing with multiple versions of many packages that are linked against differeing sets of libraries.

I was thinking that the fact that a release had been made including libsystemd0, and people were saying things like "Since libsystemd0 is totally innocuous if systemd is not installed ..." there might be some hope of pushing some/all of the delta upstream.

If not, well, never mind -- good luck with your vision of the future.

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