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[LUG] Devuan Lunux


I mentioned this a while back and have now (re) built my desktop PC with Devuan Linux rather than Debian which I've used for over 20 years now.


Devuan is essentially Debian without systemd.

I'm all for choice and it's nice to see distributions exercise choice. There are several other Linux distributions that exercise that choice too - Slackware being one, and is actually the oldest still-maintained Linux distribution. I'd have tried that, if it were not for my investment in Debian and my use of Raspberry Pi's which are more or less stuck on Debian Wheezy & Jessie aka Raspbian.

So... Devuan - it's basically Debian Jessie with systemd removed. You can achieve almost exactly the same result by following this:


and it's what I've done on all my Raspberry Pi's running Jessie.

However - for the purists out there, it's not totally without systemd - the thing is... systemd has been creeping in for many years now. libsystemd is quite deeply entrenched into the system - to control e.g. the login process and a few others - like udevd.. So Devuan is more or less the same as Debian Jessie after you follow the link above.

That's fine for now.

Anyway, it's working well - I did a 'netinst' install from an old USB thumb drive onto an older 4-core AMD server motherboard I had. Other than the usual issues concerning already partitioned disks setup for Linux RAID, it all went fine.

I copied my /home stuff over to the new machine and everything more or less just works. I decided to delete my xfce settings though and let the updated xfce create its own defaults, which I've now changed to the way I had it before. Obviously I'd forgotten how to do stuff I did 4-5 years ago, so that took a bit of re-learning )-:

And sound - the trouble with skipping Debian generations is that you miss out on stuff happening gradually, so it's taken a while to get that all going - including incorrectly configured software like Oracle Java....

If anyone wants to fix-up Oracle Java to work on a pulsaudio system, then


has the runes you need.

(And FYI - the only reason I have Oracle Java thre is to play Minecraft - which it does OK, but no better than only my old PC - this isn't exactly a 'gaming' PC anyway)

Other issues - well the same issues you get anyway - PC motherboard hardware not being recognised, or requiring closed-source drivers (AMD Radeon display) but this is not really much different over other Linux distributions.

Devuan Jessie is the first and last version of Devuan that will match Debian 1 for 1 - the next planned release of Devuan is called Ascii and I suspect it'll start to diverge in the same way Ubuntu, etc. have diverged from Debian over time. Time will tell, as they say.

Still - for now, it's nice to be able to exercise choice and when Linux distributions stop offering me a choice, I'll move back to BSD or retire.


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