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 …

  1. onefang Silver badge

    "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.

  2. jake Silver badge

    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).

  3. bombastic bob Silver badge
    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.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      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.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      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.

  4. chuckufarley
    Linux

    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!

    1. onefang Silver badge
      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.

      1. OhThatGuy
        Boffin

        Re: Is it Upgrade Season or...

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

    2. jake Silver badge

      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.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        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.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          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?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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?)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    3. sloanrb

      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/

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      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.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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)

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Accessibility

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  6. wolfetone Silver badge

    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

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      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

  7. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

    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.

  8. KarelE

    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).

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      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.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Storm in a teacup

          systemd gobbled up the udev project.

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

    2. Sam Liddicott

      Re: Storm in a teacup

      Devuan is here, get over it.

    3. John Sanders
      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.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge
        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.

        1. John Hughes

          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).

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      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.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        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.

    6. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      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.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        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.

        1. onefang Silver badge

          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.

      2. John Hughes

        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

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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.

  9. Philip Hands

    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.

    1. stephanh Silver badge

      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."

      1. John Hughes

        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).

        1. thierrybo

          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

    2. rmacd

      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

      1. Philip Hands

        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 )

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

          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.

        3. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

          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.

          1. Philip Hands

            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.

            1. Doctor Syntax 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.

              1. KatolaZ

                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 :-)

              2. John Hughes

                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. John Hughes

            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.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            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).

        4. phuzz 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.

          1. stephanh 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,.

            1. John Hughes

              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. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: systemd-free?

            "the vi vs emacs holy war was getting old"

            You could always try nvi vs vim

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: systemd-free?

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

          3. bobajob12
            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. georgezilla

              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. onefang Silver badge

                Re: systemd-free?

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

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

    3. jake Silver badge

      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.

      1. Philip Hands

        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).

        1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

          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.

          1. Philip Hands

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

              1. onefang Silver badge

                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.

          2. John Hughes

            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.

            1. KatolaZ

              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?

              1. Doctor Syntax 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.

    4. nauved

      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.

      1. SImon Hobson 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.

  10. rmacd

    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.

    1. Symon 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...

  11. Doctor Syntax 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.

    1. Doctor Syntax 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.

    2. I ain't Spartacus 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.

  12. Steve Graham

    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.

  13. Lomax
    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!

  14. Steve Graham

    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.)

    1. DCFusor 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".

  15. 2+2=5 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.

    1. John Hughes

      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).

      1. 2+2=5 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!

  16. steelpillow 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

    1. John Hughes

      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?

      1. steelpillow 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

        1. John Hughes

          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").

          1. onefang Silver badge

            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.

          2. Michael Wojcik 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.)

  17. jason.bourne
    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.

  18. Chronos 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.

    1. chuckufarley

      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.

      1. AJ MacLeod

        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.

  19. MacroRodent 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?

    1. chuckufarley
      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.

  20. teknopaul 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

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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 ?

  22. nautica
    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...

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A BIG favor please, El Reg...

      http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/Linux_distributions_without_systemd

    2. nauved

      Re: A BIG favor please, El Reg...

      Thanks for the donation. :D

      Something to think about regarding this statement:

      "I predict MX-17.1 will be a first-place contender before much longer...and systemd-free, by the way."

      Please read this page https://mxlinux.org/wiki/system/systemd. MX Linux ships with systemd disabled just as it would be done in Debian. I have had discussions with some folks involved with MX Linux and understand from that that the hard systemd dependencies appearing in an ever-increasing number of packages are not removed. So if you want to run one of those applications, you would have to switch to systemd to use it. There will likely come a time when so many packages will require a systemd hook that it won't be worth switching back and forth. This tipping point is the fallacy of init freedom that Debian has in place. It is a Trojan horse leading the way to a systemd OS.

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