Alternatives to systemd

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This page lists available Init systems as alternative to systemd

Init is the first process started during system boot. It is a a daemon process that continues running until the system is shut down. Init is the direct or indirect ancestor of all other processes, and automatically adopts all orphaned processes. It is started by the kernel using a hard-coded filename; if the kernel is unable to start it, panic will result. Init is typically assigned process identifier 1.

The init scripts (or rc) are launched by the init process to guarantee basic functionality on system start and shutdown. This includes (un)mounting of file systems and launching of daemons. A service manager takes this one step further by providing active control over launched processes, or process supervision. An example is to monitor for crashes and restart processes accordingly.

These components combine to the init system. Some inits include the service manager in the init process, or have init scripts in close relation to them. These inits are below referred to as integrated, though entries in different categories may explicitely depend on each other.


Alternatives to systemd

Init (integrated)

System Description Last release
Epoch Single-threaded init system designed for minimal footprint, compatibility and unified configuration. 2015-06-23
finit Fast and extensible init, originally based on EeePC fastinit. 2015-10-16
initng Dependency-based init system with parallelization and asynchronous start. 2007-11-11
nosh A suite of system-level utilities for initializing and running a BSD or Linux system, for managing daemons, for managing terminals, and for managing logging. 2015-10-31
runit UNIX init scheme with service supervision, a replacement for SysVinit, and other init schemes. 2014-08-10
Upstart Event-based init system which handles starting, stopping and supervising of tasks and services. This project is dead. 2014-09-04
uselessd A fork of systemd v208. This project is dead. 2014-11-16


System Description Last release
busybox init BusyBox init. 2015-10-24
ninit Fork from minit 2010-01-16
sinit Simple init initially based on Rich Felker’s minimal init. 2015-06-16
SysVinit Traditional System V init. 2010-04-14
uinit Smallest init possible. 2015-09-25

Service managers

  • daemontools - Collection of tools for managing UNIX services.[1]
  • Monit - Monit is a process supervision tool for Unix and Linux. With monit, system status can be viewed directly from the command line, or via the native HTTP(S) web server.[2]
  • OpenRC - Dependency-based rc system that works with the system-provided init, normally SysVinit.[3]
  • perp - Persistent process (service) supervisor and managment framework for UNIX.[4]
  • s6 - Small suite of programs for UNIX, designed to allow service supervision in the line of daemontools and runit.[5]
  • watchman - A not-so-simple service manager for Linux. [6]
  • System XVI - Modular, self-healing, and interface-oriented service manager and init system. [7]

This page is based on Init article at ArchLinux Wiki Content is available under GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 or later

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