Devuan, the effort to build a
systemd-free version of Debian, has released Devuan Jessie 1.0.0, a release candidate felt to be just about the finished article.
In a mail sent to the project's followers the self-proclaimed “Veteran Unix Admins” behind Devuan say “This Devuan Jessie release candidate is as close as we can get to a 'long term support' universal base distribution free from
systemd, in the original spirit of Debian.”
“The final Devuan Jessie release will follow shortly and then we will turn our attention to 'Ascii', the current testing branch.”
Devuan formed after a row in the Linux community over Debian's decision to make
systemd the default init system for the distribution. “We don't want to be forced to use
systemd in substitution to the traditional UNIX
sysvinit init, because systemd betrays the UNIX philosophy,” protestors wrote in 2014,” arguing that
systemd offers users less control.
The group eventually decided the only way to secure what they called “init freedom” was to create their own Linux distribution. And so they did, forking Debian, promising a release in 2015 but eventually issuing a beta in April 2016.
If you play with the OS you'll have the choice of running it as a live desktop, installing a full .ISO or running an embedded edition.
The project seems to be gathering steam – it cites eight other distributions as having decided to use Devuan as their base OS, namely Gnuinos, Refracta, Exe GNU/Linux, Nelum-dev1, Star, heads, good-life-linux and Crowz.
So let battle be joined! When the greybeards who split from Debian did so, they claimed many would rally to their cry of “init freedom”. With Devuan Jessie alive and kicking, we'll now see if they were right. ®