My list of recommended systemd-free Linux based operating systems | Hund

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My list of recommended systemd-free Linux based operating systems

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Not everyone likes systemd. While it’s a great operating system, it lacks a proper init system. ;) Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list with some of the more popular systemd-free alternatives out there.

The list is in alphabetical order to not favour anything in particular, but it’s perhaps no secret that I personally like (and use) Gentoo and Alpine Linux myself.

Operating system Init
Alpine Linux OpenRC
Artix Linux OpenRC
  runit
  s6
  Suite66
Bedrock Linux Supports any init.
Calculate Linux OpenRC
CRUX BSD-style init
Devuan OpenRC
Funtoo OpenRC
  runit
  s6 + s6-rc
  sysvinit
Gentoo OpenRC
  runit
  s6
  sysvinit
Guix Shepherd
Hyperbola OpenRC
KISS Supports any init.
Linux From Scratch sysvinit
Obarun s6
Parabola OpenRC
PCLinuxOS sysvinit
Pentoo sysvinit
Slackware sysvinit
Void Linux runit

A few notes about the list

I have tried most of them myself, but not all of them. I did not add every alternative that’s available out there. My criteria for this list is that they’re widely known and has been around for a considerable time.

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly and easy to set up and use alternatives, I can personally recommend Devuan, which is a fork of Debian by multiple people from Debian and the community. Another options are PCLinuxOS, which is intended to be easy to use. I have not tried it myself though.

And feel free to send me any recommendation that you think should be on this list as well.

Feedback

MX Linux

A couple of people have recommended me MX Linux. I have chosen to not include MX Linux. Partly because they include systemd by default—even though they default to sysvinit—and partly because I feel like they’re a bit too political for my liking.

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