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Alternatives to systemd

November 14, 2014 — BarryK
For my Quirky Linux project, I am thinking of dropping support for building from Ubuntu DEB packages, and any other distro that has adopted systemd.

However, the tentacles of systemd are spreading, and it may eventually become impossible to use Linux without also using systemd. I will face that when I come to it. In the meantime, I will put my support behind those distros that are "holding out".

Foremost of course, is Puppy and all of the Puppy-derivatives, including Quirky. Puppy and Quirky use Busybox init, which is very simple. There are no runlevels, there is a simplified /etc/inittab, and we have simple scripts in /etc/rc.d.
It works extremely well, and we have bootup and shutdown speeds that are faster than most other distros.

There are some other simple init systems that will work well with Busybox, for example 'minit':

Puppy does rate as one of the "major" Linux distributions, in terms of popularity, so should always be listed as one of the holdouts.

What others are there? These I know of:
Alpine: (x86, x86_64)
CRUX: (x86_64)
Gentoo: (multiple architectures!)
PCLinuxOS: (x86, x86_64)
Slackware: (x86, x86_64, ARMv5te)

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Correction, CRUX is available for multiple architectures:

Including arm:

CRUX is interesting, it is the only distro I know of, apart from Quirky, that uses eudev.
Well, Gentoo can do, but it requires compiling everything from source, and I was reading that there are some difficulties.

Tags: linux