Devuan will replace Ubuntu?

By on April 8, 2015
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A new Debian linux distro fork risks to be as important as Ubuntu was, a few years ago.

As linux-addicted users know very well, from the last year many distribution, especially dedicated to general purpose users, moved to using “systemd” init daemon.

“Systemd” is a suite of system management daemons, libraries and utilities aiming at loading and managing the system on which there is installed a Linux operating system. It can be seen as the OS building block, the first code to be run at startup.

Historically, Unix and Linux were using “Init” startup code, that is completely open. For a bunch of reasons, the recent distro moved to “systemd” that on one side grants more compatibility and ease-of-use to less skilled Linux users but, on the other side, is released under LGPL license (GNU Lesser GPL) so it can lead to not-open and commercial distribution.

Purists of Open Source software didn’t appreciate that and, at the end of 2014, launched a highly impacting Debian Fork, named Devuan.

Here is their Manifesto:

“What Devuan should be then? is it really a fork?

This is just the start of a process, as bold as it sounds to call it a fork of Debian. This exodus is ultimately being a relief for some of us and should lead to the creation a peaceful space for work we are well able to do. To help with this adventure and its growth, we ask you to get involved, but also to donate money so that we can cover the costs of setting the new infrastructure in place, but also support independent projects that can help us to achieve Init Freedom.

Devuan aims to be a base distribution whose mission is protect the freedom of its community of users and developers. Its priority is to enable diversity, interoperability and backward compatibility for existing Debian users and downstream distributions willing to preserve Init freedom.

Devuan will derive its own installer and package repositories from Debian, modifying them where necessary, with the main goals of achieving minimalism and Init Freedom. Our objective for the spring of 2015 is that users will be able to switch from Debian 7 to Devuan 1 smoothly, as if they would dist-upgrade to Jessie, and start using our package repositories.

Devuan will make an effort to rebuild an infrastructure similar to Debian, but will also take the opportunity to innovate some of its practices. Devuan developers look at this project as a fresh new start for a community of interested people and do not intend to vexate any participant with hierarchy and bureaucracy beyond real cases of emergency. We are well conscious this is possible for us mostly because of starting small again; we will do our best to not repeat the same mistakes and we welcome all Debian Developers willing to join us on this route.

The Devuan distribution will make an effort to improve the relationship with both upstream and downstream and, particularly in its gestational phase, will do its best to accomodate needs of those downstream distributions willing to adopt it as base. We look forward to statements of interest from such distributions, as well involvement in this planning phase.

Devuan will do its best to stay minimal and abide to the UNIX philosophy of “doing one thing and doing it well”. Devuan perceives itself not as an end product, but a starting point for developers, a viable base for sysadmins and a stable tool for people who have experience of Debian. Devuan will never compromise for more efficiency at the cost of the the freedom of its users, rather than leave such concerns to the independent choices made by downstream developers.”

Follow them on Devuan GNU/Linux – Debian without systemd..

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