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Any users of systemd-less distros? Experiences?

Submitted by surreal in freeAsInFreedom

i'm using Manjaro (Archlinux based) for desktop and Debian for server and 5 out of 10 problems i have are related to SystemD doing something it's not supposed to and usually implicitly. systemd-networkd was the latest adventure, cause who doesn't want network stuff on pid1.

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3

tamarack wrote (edited )

Devuan 2 just came out. It works great right out of the box.

I have also been trying to get the hang of Slackware, but the learning curve is pretty brutal.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Devuan is pretty awsome, the one problem i had for a while was it wouldn't automount removable media, but that was fixed in an update.

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tamarack wrote

It still does that. You have to manually set the option, which was not even presented to you pre-update.

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edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I had a good experience with Void Linux a few years ago, and they use the 'runit' init system. I switched off because I was having driver problems, only later it turned out that the problems were hardware problems (I encountered the same issues in Ubuntu and Windows 10). But I was too lazy to reinstall Void.

That said, I'm sorry you have had headaches with systemd. I have it running on four computers at home and CentOS 7 is on hundreds of servers at work all without problems.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

systemd works, and has some features that are desirable especially if you're running servers, the problems people usually lay out is that it's too bloated, and has grown to some monstrocity beyond what a simple init system requires. In my experience non-systemd OS boots a hell of alot faster and uses slightly less ram, which is nice if you have an old system with low resources.

I also hear a lot of political reasons that people oppose systemd , namely the hegemony of Gnome and Red Hat on linux world and the homogenizing effect this has had.

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edmund_the_destroyer wrote

Hegemony implies authoritarian control. People troll the systemd project and its supporters by using that label. Nobody in GNOME or Red Hat is forcing projects to adopt systemd, or outlawing forks of systemd, or similar.

Homogenizing is different. That's a legitimate problem for systemd. But since there is no hegemony, people can contribute to alternatives.

I think the perception systemd is bloated and slow is pushed by detractors without evidence. Replacing massive shell scripts used by sysv init with C code and text config files that support starting more services in parallel should reduce memory use and improve speed, and not the opposite. My systems boot faster with systemd than Upstart and SysV init systems booted on the same hardware (my two desktops are old).

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NEOalquimista wrote (edited )

Devuan 2.0 ASCII uses SysVinit and is pretty much a Debian Stretch install without systemd, using Xfce with a purple theme by default. I'm currently a translator of the Devuan wiki. They're very nice people. I used Devuan for a while, but couldn't get used to it. Nothing was wrong with it, it's just that I chose an Ubuntu variant because it's faster to setup.

By the way, I even ran my Tor relay on Devuan without problems. It's just one or two things that are done differently because of the absence of systemd.

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anarchyinwaitawhile wrote (edited )

Hi,

I mean not to hijack, and I understand the context of a looking for a GNU/Linux distribution without systemd, however, I thought I would carefully drop a +1 for FreeBSD, or any BSD Unix for that matter. All the BSDs are using modern, as in modular RC init scripts, which are just /bin/sh scripts. Granted, they lack socket activation and decent rigid dependencies between services/scripts, though there are interesting alternatives in FreeBSD land: OpenRC; runit.

In FreeBSD (RC from NetBSD) it is easy to keep stock system and user changes to RC separate, you can also automate addition and removal of services.

I have been using FreeBSD for 18 years now, I switched to it from Microsoft Windows 9x. The system is solid and feature full, there may be concerns over a usable Desktop Environment—to each their own—my X environment is very minimal and has been for years. I use or have used FreeBSD for gaming, work, study and the usual expectations for a desktop system today.

From memory, Crux Linux was a distribution that aimed to keep BSD and System V roots, so I suspect they still have RC type init system.

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jadedctrl wrote

From memory, Crux Linux was a distribution that aimed to keep BSD and System V roots, so I suspect they still have RC type init system.

That distro looks so excellent, thanks for sharing!

If I ever have to switch to a LiGNUx for some reason, I'll definitely use Crux.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

I've used AntiX off and on for a while, it boots fast, if you do the 'full' install it comes with a lot of lightweight software installed by default. It also is a nice introduction to a bunch of lightweight window managers. The community makes it pretty clear on their website that they are, if not anarchist, socialist minded (the names their last two distros after asasinated activists, Berta Carceres and Heather Heyer) .

But that being said , while it's an ideal setup for older hardware, i've found their default desktop really fuckin ugly. Another problem comes in because they use Debian repositories for the most part, i tried the 'core' install and when i did a 'apt-get install lxde' it installed systemd!

After that i discovered Devuan which maintains complete debian repositories that have been stripped of any systemd dependancies. I would recommend Devuan hands down and i wish AntiX would switch to their repositories.

if you are a GNU/Linux master you can use Gentoo, Void or Slackware, but i prefer Devuan as most linux programs put out deb binaries and it's easier to install.

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noordinaryspider wrote

I'm using Hyperbola and I love it. It's a bit more difficult to install than anything Debian or Ubuntu-based, but well worth the time and much easier than any other Arch-based distro I've tried to install.

It uses OpenRC and is very stable and everything I used to love about Debian. The community is small, but very welcoming to "Average Joe" autodidacts so far.

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Copenhagen_Bram wrote

I use GuixSD, which uses shepherd as an init system. I kinda like shepherd, its interface is simple: start, stop, restart.

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ntm wrote

I've been wanting to give GuixSD a go, but I've got an NVidia Card on my desktop and an Intel wireless card on my laptop, so NixOS will have to do for now.

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Copenhagen_Bram wrote

I installed nix on GuixSD. The first thing I noticed was that info nix didn't do anything. Where's the documentation? ;-; and there's more subcommands than guix.