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GNU/Linux Distros in which systemd can be replaced

(Exherbo has been removed from MainPage) Exherbo Linux "systemd is the default init system, but you can disable systemd usage globally and use alternatives easily." See Without systemd. The fact that systemd can be disabled/replaced is also true for most other GNU/Linux distros with systemd as default init (except those derived from Red Hat, eg Fedora, RHEL, CentOS).

Sabayon Linux (Gentoo based) The default init system is systemd. Switch to runit(?) + OpenRC via "eselect init".

Debian GNU/Linux

  • systemd is the default init system. "sysvinit-core" package alternatively provides /sbin/init
  • Note: alternative software repositories, e.g. from Devuan or antiX or, can be added to improve System V init compatibility.

ALT Linux is derived from Mandrake. Prior releases did use PID1 systemd, but does the "Jan2017 Sisyphus" release have systemd as default init?

Reply -- CrayXMP -- ALT Linux
Their wiki has some English. Sisyphus can be seen as a testing/unstable repo : "Sisyphus is quite dynamic project which makes it hard to schedule and perform releases based on it." They release nightly images and branches every few months however.
We can notice that the following sources suggest that systemd is actively used : ChangeLog; BUGS or the russian wiki page on systemd.
To be fair, experimental downloads using GNUstep, IceWM and WindowMaker flavours use sysvinit. But these are obviously not mainstream Desktop Environments.
I tried the latest branch alt-workstation-8-x86_64.iso (which happens to be a MATE desktop) and then installed sysvinit related packages to remove the systemd process as PID1. Except from the systemd package itself I was not able to remove the systemd related packages because of their deep dependencies. I even shifted the repos to sisyphus under apt (p8/branch --> Sisyphus) to confirm it.
To sum it up: ALT defaults to systemd as PID1 and as such is actively developed.
Even if it was easy to install sysvinit and remove the systemd process only, fully removing the systemd packages leads to unwanted consequences on the desktop. This could explain that sysvinit has been limited to some very light DE (with no forced dependencies to systemd).
It is their choice to use the systemd way, and it is our choice not to entrap ourselves in it.
According to this little experiment I thus recommend to definitely exclude ALT Linux from the list of systemd-free distros.

Linux From Scratch (LFS and BLFS)

LFS status has been (questioned and) fact-checked repeatedly. As of March 2018: Distribution Release: Linux From Scratch 8.2
the project does not have "a (one) default init" ~~ LFS still provides its users a choice

Nonfree OS?

Should we list nonfree operating systems like HP-UX?
I think our listings here should cover only free software (or open source, if you prefer that term).
That spans nearly all GNU/Linux and *BSD systems plus some exotic systems like ReactOS or illumos. What do you think?

I agree. I only added a bunch of non-free OSs (mostly Unix) as someone else had started it but you're right, it's better that we don't include them. -- wicket

Non general purpose OSes?

Should we be listing non general purpose OSs like FreeNAS? We could go on forever listing them all and it detracts from the point we are trying to make. -- wicket

I appreciate seeing the few already listed to the breakout section titled "Embedded", would not wish to see those entries removed. Although I'm not personally motivated to add additional non-general-purpose entries, fine by me if someone from such a project shows up here to add a listing for their project. -- kriv

Should we list old (prior) non-infected operating system releases?

Trisquel is one of the libre distributions recommended by the FSF. Trisquel 6.0 (still supported) doesn't have any trace of systemd on it. It's successor Trisquel 7.0 has a systemd-services and systemd-shim package installed along with a virtual systemd package. It is based on ubuntu though so the next LTS release might have to use systemd. Should either Trisquel 6 or 7 be added to the list of distributions without systemd ?

PS: The kernels in both versions of Trisquel live CDs are dated but you can upgrade them up 3.5.x ( with backports for Trisquel 6.0 ) and 4.2.x for Trisquel 7.0 at the time of this writing.)

reply: -- kriv
How old is OLD? How long is a piece of string?
IMO, no (neither Trisquel 6 nor 7) should be listed. Although a fan of Trisquel, I count that project among those "now infected". Mentioning Trisquel here, off mainpage, is fine. Linking/mentioning "but but older version XYZ is systemd-free" seems pointless (track/list old version how far back?) ref: trisquel T6=2013, T7=2014 w/systemd

Debian derivatives which are now systemd infected

Debian-based derivatives (w/o Ubuntu) which now (subsequent to Debian8 release) have systemd as pid1

AV Linux (2016.8.30)
Clonezilla live (2.4.0-2)
deepin (15.3)
DRBL live (2.4.2-10)
EterTICs (2017)
Finnix (>=112)
GALPon MiniNo (2017 release "Queiles 3.0" is systemd-infected)
gNewSense (ref)
grml (>=2017.05-rc1)
GParted Live (0.22.0-1)
HandyLinux (2.0)
Kali Linux (2.0)
KNOPPIX ( 7.4.0)
KNOPPIX has never used systemd init. It is debian-based, employs systemd-shim, and uses sysV init. (factchecked by kriv)
Metamorphose Linux (7.1.8)
Mint Debian Edition (LMDE 2)
Neptune (4.0)
Netrunner (17.01) (from Ubuntu to Debian testing)
OpenMediaVault (3.0.26)
OSMC (2016.06-2)
Pardus Community Edition 3.0 KDE (based on Debian Jessie)
Parrot Security OS (2.2.1) (hint at Devuan?)
Parsix (6.0r0)
Proxmox (4.1)
Q4OS (1.2.1)
Raspbian (ref: "Raspbian and systemd?") 2
RebeccaBlackOS (2015.10.21)
Rescatux (targeted for 0.40)
RoboLinux (8.1)
SalentOS v1.0.1
SELKS (3.0)
Semplice (6)
siduction (13.2.0)
Slax (based on slackware debian 9) i686, x86_64
SolydXK (201411)
SparkyLinux (3.5)
SteamOS (2.0-preview)
Subgraph OS (2016.12.30-alpha)
Tails (2.0)
Tanglu (3.0)
Univention Corporate Server (4.2)
Untangle NG Firewall (12.0)
Volumio "RaspyFi" (2.0) (based on Debian Jessie)
Webconverger (23.0)

distributions not listed on MainPage due to EOL / dormant status / Other

Amazon Linux AMI ~~ ref: ~~ version 2 now includes systemd service and systems manager
ArchBang (current release uses systemd init) OpenRC; openbox WM, uses JACK instead of PulseAudio
Arch OpenRC ~~ discontinued (see Artix) ~~ (2) (based on Arch Linux) using eudev + OpenRC
CeroWrt (project has been supplanted by LEDE) ref:
Damn Small Linux : no longer developed, but forum is still active DamnSmallLinux forum
Debian GNU/kFreeBSD ~~ limbo/defunct/non-viable ~~ Ref: wikipedia and debian-devel-announce mailinglist
DeLi(cate) Linux (legacy hardware) linux kernel 2.4 is unmaintained, overrun with spam
Devil-Linux (firewall distro) ~~ no longer maintained ~~ (ref: )
IPCop Firewall i486 (no mailinglist activity: )
LiMux abandoned ~~ 404 not found ~~ the Linux distributon used by the city of Munich.
Overclockix dw (architecture: i386, x86_64) based on Debian 7; Project forum: (latest release: 2015)
Manjaro OpenRC ~~ discontinued (per page) ~~ Forum Wiki -----} see Artix
Mepis is several years defunct. Its 2 descendants ("MX Linux" and "antiX Linux") are listed on mainPage here
Musix GNU/Linux ~~ EOL ~~ (based on Debian 7) Latest release: 2014
OpenELEC now using systemd. Ref: GitHub (wikipedia "OpenELEC 4.0 also switched its init system to systemd")
Openwall GNU/Linux (Owl) ~~ defunct? (no mailinglist activiy since 2016) ~~ i586, i686, x86_64 (files last uploaded to ibiblio in Feb 2017)
RLSD ~~ unavailable ~~ ( Across repeated attempts, "repo" is unavilable) x86, x86_64

July2017: noticed Alien-OS MNML 2 (based on Devuan) Live CD; openbox WM ~~ no docs, nosupport contact, no activity since the initial announcement

Aug2017: noticed GNUinos (based on Devuan) openbox WM (project page disclaims: "current state of Gnuinos is ALPHA2 meaning not ready for production")

      • Dec2017: guinos project page remains unchanged, still states ALPHA, yet someone has cared to list 'em on MainPage here

SERIOUSLY folks... every devuan respin with a forum thread, dev+2users, no freestanding website, no self-maintained repository
cannot be considered as a serious project, let alone a "distro"

Jan 2018:
noticed 2018/01/01 release of Vine Linux (a longstanding Japanese-centric distro, currently listed on MainPage) linux 4.14.10, gcc 5.4.0, Gnome shell 3.20.2; i686, powerpc, x86_64
init: upstart (ref: "Maintain upstart, move to eudev (Measures until future systemd transition")

removed from MainPage LinuxBBQ (2) many variations, highlighting various lesser-known WMs
LinuxBBQ is a PROJECT (multiple niche releases, not a definitive OPERATING SYSTEM). If someone cares to break out and describe details of a specific LinuxBBQ release... great.

"Endian Firewall (EFW) Community" (link) based on RHEL. Is the new EFWCommunity release systemd-free?

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