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 …

Re: systemd-free?

Hopefully it will encourage Debian to continue allowing that choice at a fully supported level.

My concern is that if the people that care about running without systemd all migrate to Devuan, and if Devuan developers put little effort into pushing their changes upstream into Debian, then there will be that much less reason for Debian Developers to maintain the choice.

It takes good bugs, preferably with good patches attached, to keep that sort of functionality viable, especially if the person maintaining the package has no strong views about the init debacle (which is the case for the majority of Debian users and thus developers).

The work that gets done in Debian is that which interests people enough to do it. If those interested in choice of init all go elsewhere then of course that choice will wither on the vine.

If on the other hand Devuan were to act more like a normal Debian Derivative, they'd be making sure that as much of their work as possible was fed back into Debian, they'd be maintaining major components as both Devuan and Debian packages, they'd be reporting bugs where Debian fails to satisfy their preferences, and all that would act to preserve the choice that you worry about losing.

4
1
Silver badge

Re: systemd-free?

"My concern is that if the people that care about running without systemd all migrate to Devuan, and if Devuan developers put little effort into pushing their changes upstream into Debian, then there will be that much less reason for Debian Developers to maintain the choice."

My concern would be more along the lines of what happens with Devuan changes pushed upstream. It's not likely that if a package is maintained by systemd fans they will accept any changes based on keeping it independent of whether systemd is running. My long term concern is that so much stuff becomes so systemd dependent that Devuan becomes unsustainable.

4
1

Re: systemd-free?

Yes, we all(*) know that libsystemd0 is innocuous.

But the real question is:

What is the difference between Devuan and Debian running with sysvinit instead of systemd? You do know that you can run Debian without systemd, right?

(* for values of all that don't include LKCL, who proposed that libsystemd0 be replaced by a libsystemd-1 that would dynamically load libsystemd0 if needed).

3
0

Re: systemd-free?

> 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.

Debian never refused to do that and it is possible to remove systemd from Debian.

0
0

Re: systemd-free?

When the Devuan project started in Nov. 2014 people said that Devuan would have lasted no more than 4 months. When 18 months later the first Devuan Jessie Beta was published, people said that Devuan had no more than 6 months of life. The first Devuan Jessie stable went out in May 2017, and still people said that it was a pointless effort, doomed to fail shortly. Devuan has now released its second stable (ASCII), and is working on the third one (Beowulf). I guess those who are skeptical about Devuan would need a something like Devuan 13.4 to start believeing that Devuan is a sustainable and viable alternative, and still have reservations. Fair enough. I am pretty sure Devuan will get tho that damn 13.4 release anyway :-)

13
0

Re: systemd-free?

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

> You're absolutely right - for now.

And Devuan doesn't include systemd -- for now.

This paranoia is ridiculous.

0
16

Re: systemd-free?

Then just run Debian and live your happy life. I still don't get why people are so disgruntled by Devuan. As you say, there is plenty of choice out there. There have been thousands of distributions out there, and nobody has had nothing to say about them. What's wrong with having one more? What's wrong with having one that actually allows you to install a system without systemd (remember, Debian does not allow that), or that allows you to choose between SysvInit and OpenRC at install time?

If you don't like Devuan, you can just safely ignore it. Or can't you do that?

15
1
Silver badge

Re: systemd-free?

"what exactly is the difference between Debian with sysvinit installed, and Devuan?"

Ideological purity.

Oh, and the vi vs emacs holy war was getting old so a new point of conflict was needed.

6
10
Silver badge

Re: systemd-free?

Yes, it's possible to get Debian to work without systemd. That is not the point. The point is that if you do that, and some package breaks, is that considered a bug in the package? For Debian, the answer is currently "no" and for Devuan it is "yes".

The point of "init freedom" is that Devuan has *multiple* supported init's, and packages are supposed to work with all of them, and if they don't, that is considered a bug and not a WONTFIX,.

27
2

Re: systemd-free?

My concern would be more along the lines of what happens with Devuan changes pushed upstream. It's not likely that if a package is maintained by systemd fans they will accept any changes based on keeping it independent of whether systemd is running.
How many Devuan proposed patches have been rejected by Debian?

2
1

Re: systemd-free?

For Debian, the answer is currently "no" and for Devuan it is "yes".
Can you point to a Debian bug that has been closed because a package was broken by the removal of systemd?

2
1
Silver badge

Re: systemd-free?

"I still don't get why people are so disgruntled by Devuan."

They're True Believers who see any disparagement of the great and good systemd as heresy and Devuan supporters as heretics.

10
0
Silver badge

Re: systemd-free?

"the vi vs emacs holy war was getting old"

You could always try nvi vs vim

3
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: systemd-free?

vi vs. emacs was never fought with such poisonous disdain though.

- vi vs Emacs: Stallman dresses up as Saint INGU-Cius of the Church of Emacs.

- systemd vs the rest: People want to burn Poettering at the stake.

1
0

Re: systemd-free?

Devuan's priority has been to remove the hard systemd dependencies not every file that has "systemd" in its name but does nothing. An explanation about the libsystemd0 can be found here: https://dev1galaxy.org/viewtopic.php?id=1925

Now that we're caught up with the Debian release cycle, removing libsystemd0 is on our to-do list. We will find a way to remove that cosmetic annoyance without having to repackage each instance where it is present.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: systemd-free?

It might help to understand that there is a difference between Debian where it might be possible to remove sysemd and Devuan where it is not present. If you do remove systemd from Debian then you are on your own - the only supported arrangement is with systemd.

So packagers are free to remove SysV init scripts - not insurmountable as you can provide your own, but still more work.

Packagers are free to remove (eg) calls to traditional syslog and only call systemd's ginger haired stepchild of syslog - so if you remove systemd then you will either have no logging or the package won't run at all. If you try raising this as a bug then you'll get a "wont fix" as you are running an unsupported setup.

This problem will only get worse and worse as systems continues to re-invent (often badly) more and more existing tools.

IF systemd had only been an init system as was originally claimed, then there wouldn't be the vitriol thrown it's way - it would be easy to toss it out and re-instate SysV init or put OpenRC in. But it is NOT an init system - it's a giant hairball of cruft that links far too much together in a non-modular way*. And for good measure, because it lumps so much into the hairball, then it vastly increases the attack surface for bugs. It's designed to encompass as much as they can borg into it - and many of the changes are explicitly designed (even if non-intentionally) to break compatibility and force an either/or choice on packagers (such as whether to use the new supported systemd logging or use the (eventually) non-supported syslog).

Had I still been working at my last place then I'd now be in the process of migrating quite a few systems from Debian to Devuan - all had been held at Wheezy as I wasn't prepared to allow systemd onto production servers.

* Don't let the pro-systemd camp confuse you. Just because code is in a number of modules does not mean that it is modular. Modular systems allow you to replace any module with a different one - such as replacing "syslog" with "syslog-ng" or "rsyslog". Systemd doesn't even provide a stable API between modules, so it just isn't possible to swap out a single module without a lot of work in reverse engineering an API and then watching for undocumented changes in it.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: systemd-free?

LFS still has a build process without systemd but it still depends on systemd components like udev (which was previously a stand-alone project).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: systemd-free?

This is a fundamental problem of global dependencies: versions and options package dependency hell. Nix and habitat approach of allowing N side-by-side versions to coexist seems like a far better way to gradually upgrade any component (and so upgrade or change a system incrementally) rather than forcing everything to either say the same, make massive upgrades, recompile many times with different options like gentoo or be like Arch with a rolling-release that can’t stop.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: systemd-free?

I’ll lynch you now because I prefer VimR. Cool?

0
0

Re: systemd-free?

" ... People want to burn Poettering at the stake. ... "

Oh that sounds like fun. I'll bring the marshmallows!

Lots of them.

1
1

Re: systemd-free?

"Oh that sounds like fun. I'll bring the marshmallows!"

That'll leave a bad taste in the mouth though.

0
0

Re: systemd-free?

"a far better way to gradually upgrade any component (and so upgrade or change a system incrementally) rather than forcing everything to either say the same, make massive upgrades, recompile many times with different options"

You left out what seems to be the Windows option, each program comes with it's own copy of "shared" libraries, so there's not much sharing going on.

0
0

Re: systemd-free?

Devuan is not just debian without systemd. This is the half part of the purpose of this distribution. The other half is modifying packages that depends on systemd so that they do not depends on it. An example is policykit

1
0

I oftentimes find myself in awe at the sheer breadth of which systemd has been slathered across everything in sight. Just the other day I was doing some work on CentOS box and came across timedatectl. What's that, I hear you ask? Why, another pointless "utility" you're forced to use to abstract the ln -s that would allow you to set localtime.

I'm waiting for RC 1.0 of etch-a-sketchctl, it can't be far off.

Thankfully I don't deal with systemd on my home PC's.

24
1
Silver badge
Flame

Bloody RedHat and their pointless wrappers around existing functions, e.g. firewalld and NetworkManager. I know they can be removed, but it's better to leave them out in the first place. If some numpty actually wants them, then they can install it.

Well done the Devuan folks, I hope it all works out, but I fear they may be up against it. I'm using FreeBSD more and more...

19
1
Silver badge

"The project's last release candidate was released in May, and as you'd hope, not much has changed between then and full release."

I upgraded an RC1 install and expected that to be a fairly long process. It wasn't. Now I need to find out how to get KDE to see the Wacom tablet and to find a less fashionably fugly set of trimmings for KDE5.

4
0
Silver badge

"I upgraded an RC1 install"

I forgot to mention one small bug.

Entered "view some_file".

???? What's that?

apt-get install nvi

Same thing

It turned out that /etc/alternatives/view was linked to mcview.

1
0
Gold badge

Doctor Syntax,

I salute you for the phrase fashionably fugly.

I think that's one I'll have to steal. How many times have I been on a website that's clearly been taken over by the marketing and is now so covered in widgets, menus, moving pictures and general clutter? Often with some eye gouging catching background colour, like flourescent purple.

4
0

Migration

I changed my repo sources to Devuan from Debian when it looked as though systemd was going to become the default. So when I first install a new version of anything, I get the Devuan one. It's worked perfectly.

6
0
Pint

Hooray!

Already running a few instances, and Devuan has proven to be smooth and reliable. Run it with Xfce on my main laptop and love the simplicity and low overhead of a system free from systemd/pulseaudio/etc. Congratulations to all Devuan devs on reaching this milestone - I'm sure uptake will only increase as more and more people realise how clunky and monolithic systemd is, and how big a threat it poses to the fundamental concepts behind Linux. I for one have opted to put my money where my mouth is, and sent them a small donation - have a beer on me guys!

13
0

How long has systemd got?

systemd is so architecturally wrong, and so complex and badly-designed, that I expect it to collapse under its own weight eventually. Not dramatically. Maintenance and support will slow until it becomes deprecated in most Linux systems.

(If you think systemd is an init system, you don't understand the issues.)

26
4
Silver badge

Re: How long has systemd got?

Sadly, it might be all too long (see Microsoft).

In another field there's a saying - "the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent".

11
1
Silver badge
Joke

Full name of the release

> Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0 ASCII Stable

I think I'll wait for the UTF-8 version.

9
0

Re: Full name of the release

No, UTF-8 is a encoding format, not a character set. For your joke to work you'd have to say you were waiting for the Unicode version. (And there would have to be an asteroid called Unicode).

7
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Full name of the release

> No, UTF-8 is a encoding format, not a character set. For your joke to work you'd have to say you were waiting for the Unicode version. (And there would have to be an asteroid called Unicode).

D'oh. Now I feel a right EBCDIC-head!

8
0
Silver badge
Angel

dependencies

The thing that astonished me during the initial development of Devuan was the sheer number of packages that did have dependencies on SystemD that needed fixing.

The only reason you can still change to another init on Debian and still have a reasonably flawless existence is because Devuan got so many of those dependencies fixed for you - or because they were all pre-installed anyway and cluttering the place up.

In an ideal world Debian would still be maintained in the spirit of true "enjoy the choice" Init freedom. But it isn't, so Devuan stepped in to do that for you

7
2

Re: dependencies

The only reason you can still change to another init on Debian and still have a reasonably flawless existence is because Devuan got so many of those dependencies fixed for you
You're saying that Debian accepted patches from Devuan to remove systemd dependencies?

Got an example?

2
2
Silver badge

Re: dependencies

"You're saying that Debian accepted patches from Devuan to remove systemd dependencies?

"Got an example?"

I am saying that Devuan developers feed patches upstream to the original app/package developers, just like they always did before Devuan grabbed their time, and from there any that get accepted will flow back down to Debian. It's not about removing systemd from the world altogether, just about not mandating it. And no, I haven't got an example off the top of my head, and why should you believe me anyway? Go to the Devuan forum and ask the horse's mouth for yourself: https://dev1galaxy.org

4
0

Re: dependencies

I am saying that Devuan developers feed patches upstream to the original app/package developers

Ah, OK, I'm just in the habit of thinking of Debian as the upstream for Devuan, after all Devuan ASCII (main) contains 75579 packages, and all but 789 of them are identical to the Debian Stretch packages. (In fact the packages that are the same are physically stored on the Debian servers).

Go to the Devuan forum and ask the horse's mouth for yourself: https://dev1galaxy.org
I'm reluctant to do that as Jaromil thinks I'm "agressive".

(He was making wild accusations against the DPL, I showed him his claims were wrong and mildly told him that crying wolf was maybe not a good idea, so he said something on the lines of being proud to be a wolf, so I sent him a link to some music by Sergei Prokofiev and he banned me for being "agressive").

0
2

Re: dependencies

"(In fact the packages that are the same are physically stored on the Debian servers)."

That's only true for some of the package mirrors. If the mirror has enough space for the entire Debian repository, then they are likely to store both, the rest of the mirrors redirect requests to Debian servers. Some of the mirrors where already mirroring Debian anyway, and maybe other distros.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: dependencies

I sent him a link to some music by Sergei Prokofiev and he banned me for being "agressive"

And at that point the exchange petered out.

(The oboe is the sound of me ducking out the door.)

4
0
Linux

+1 for Devuan and one more for the list

+1 for Devuan for taking on such a big task. I tried to remove systemd from CentOS and pulled out hair from here and there then finally threw in the towel.

Another one for the list of systemd-free is Alpine Linux. I have replace most of my VPS CentOS VM's with Alpine Linux and have never been happier. Very light-weight, very secure and very update to date.

4
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Pulseaudio next, please

I finally caved¹ after a particularly nasty deadlock and no sodding logfiles because systemd. I note with distaste that pulse bloody audio is still being used, which I consider to be several orders of magnitude more evil than systemd (I liked systemd's unit files approach to the rcorder problem but not enough to put up with not being able to diagnose why my machine has suddenly crapped itself) and it needs to die in a fire.

Have a look at FreeBSD's audio stack for how to do virtual, multi-consumer access to sound hardware properly without some awful userland daemon pet project sitting in the background.

Icon. I want Pulseaudio at the epicentre, please ->

¹ Migration from Stretch was a doddle. Install sysvinit, reboot, nuke systemd from orbit, change to Devuan's repos, add the repo keys and just treat it as an upgrade. It even worked utterly flawlessly on my Banana Pi NAS box.

8
0

Re: Pulseaudio next, please

Sadly, Firefox depends on PulseAudio. I know that it can be compiled without support for it but I do not know if there another way to get sound in Firefox without PulseAudio.

3
0

Re: Pulseaudio next, please

You can use apulse to use Firefox without PA, or you can take the route that many of us did - tell user-hostile Mozilla to jump and just use Pale Moon instead.

1
0
Silver badge

Fascinating opportunity for comparison

Devuan ASCII is mostly put together from the same code as Debian Stretch, except for the systemd-octomy. So now one could make a scientific comparison of which approach works better. Hint for an El Reg feature?

4
0
Linux

Re: Fascinating opportunity for comparison

Maybe Mr. Larabel over at phoronix.com would be willing to supply the benchmarks. If not the Phoronix Test Suite is a free download licensed under GPLv3 so you could roll your own comparison on your own hardware.

1
0
Bronze badge

systemd free Ubuntu

I'm running a full Ubuntu server OS without systemd.

Install Ubuntu into an lxc container then rm /sbin/init and symlink it to your init system of choice.

So far works fine for all my servers, rsyslog, sshd, nginx, ngircd, xtomp, ii, cron none of which depend on systemd even if they come with systemd boot scripts in ubuntu.

Systemd is installed but not one service is started.

Clearly you have to do your own resolv.conf and boot scripts for your init system. In my case this is oneliners in /etc/rc.local

3
0
Trollface

Isn't it good to see so many happy little munchkins !!

Devuan has released its stable Version 2.0,

No SystemD,

It's efficient and trouble-free.

What more could a munchkin want ?

3
1
Pint

A BIG favor please, El Reg...

As I can't explicitly find this information anywhere else, how about giving us a YOUR listing of the Top Twenty Linux distributions which are systemd-free?

I have never been moved to send a contribution until now, but I am definitely sending one--for a brew, or three--to Devuan for their ground-breaking work; and to MX Linux for their outstanding, dynamite MX-17.1 distribution. I predict MX-17.1 will be a first-place contender before much longer...and systemd-free, by the way.

Now, about that list...

2
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018