A list of non-systemd distributions (revisited)

last revised on Dec. 8th 2020

Inspired by, but not fully agreeing with without-systemd and their list of distributions,  we began editing our own.  Hopefully we can keep up the pace and discover new additions but we honor suggestions and contributions from others.  We also have a new (10/07/2020) linux only list of distributions without systemd as init with a summary description and link to their site.

If you have direct recent experience with any of the following on the list of distributions please add your comments, correct the list, add more, it would be nice to be able to track all of them, but we can’t.  Whether positive or negative reviews and criticism we would gladly host it, as long as it appears honest and not vindictive in nature.  So please write a review of the distribution you are using and we will gladly post it.

Free and Open-Source (FOSS) linux operating systems without systemd in the default installation

GNU/Linux distributions

Arch Linux derivatives

  • Alfheim Linux OpenRC init, Openbox; beta status as of Jan 2018
  • Artix Linux (2) (replaced Manjaro OpenRC and Arch OpenRC gradually becoming independent of Arch) Utilizes OpenRC, Runit, and S6 as init systems; amd64
  • Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre OpenRC (2) “LTS Arch snapshot versions + security/stability patches ported from Devuan”; amd64, i686 is deprecating this linux base and moving to OpenBSD.
  • Obarun (2)(3) uses s6 s6-rc and its own 66 service management; (x86_64) on top of Arch.
  • Parabola GNU/Linux-libre OpenRC Edition (2)(3) A part of the GNU project; x86_64, armv7h, i686; FSF-approved
  • Spark Linux (sinit init ssm service manager) Arch Linux without systemd, with a few lines of script for an init and another few lines of script for service management.

Crux (and derivatives)

  • Crux (2)(3) mailinglist BSD-style initscripts, tar.gz-based package system  + ports; supported architectures: arm, x86_64
    • CruxEX (2) x86_64 available only as a zip file, no iso; LXDE desktop
    • Kwort Linux (2) (3) Uses BSD-style initscripts; x86_64

Debian derivatives

  • antiX Linux (2) sysV init; flexible remastering and persistence tools. Multiple WMs: JWM+iceWM+fluxbox; amd64, i486  (note: Openbox works great in antiX)
  • Devuan (2)(3) sysV or OpenRC init; XFCE desktop; supported architectures: amd64, i686, arm (see: /embedded, and notes)
      • CROWZ Fluxbox, Openbox, JWM
      • Dynebolic an FSF-approved distribution geared toward users engaged in multimedia production
      • EterTICs EterTICs GNU/Linux-Libre is a 100% libre distribution designed for Latin American community radio environments.  Possibly the first libre distribution to do so.  amd64, i386
      • Exe GNU/Linux features Trinity Desktop Environment; amd64, i686
      • fluXuan using fluxbox, based on MiyoLinux/Devuan/Refracta amd64
      • Good Life Linux
      • GNUinos (2) a Libre distribution; openbox wm; amd64, i686
      • Maemo Leste (2) (3) openrc init ; Hildon desktop; architectures: armel, armhf and amd64
      • MiyoLinux Openbox or i3 window manager
      • Nelum-Dev1 Openbox, XFCE, or MATE desktop
      • Refracta (2) (3)  also: (Refracta Devuan 2) Openbox, eudev, OpenRC ; amd64, i386;
      • Star Linux ships XFCE, Fluxbox, Openbox, Jwm, i3
      • VenenuX ships LXDE (i386)
      • Vuu-Do Linux Openbox or MATE desktop
  • Free of Boxes (1) a live-ony image distribution XFCE desktop;
  • KNOPPIX(2)(3) (video: “Defying systemd” & article) employs systemd-shim; sysV init
    Since 8.6 Knoppix ships without systemd, it has elogind on, and a conflict package called no-systemd – welcome to systemd-liberation club Knoppix-community.
  • MX Linux(2)(3) (Mepis+antiX) XFCE desktop; includes antiX remastering n persistence tools; supported architectures: amd64, i386
  • PostX OpenRC; openbox wm

Gentoo (and derivatives)

  • Gentoo Linux (2)(3)default init is OpenRC. If Portage is pulling in systemd, please read this. Further suggested reading
    • Calculate Linux (2) OpenRC init; Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, or Xfce (wiki spamfilter block to project site: calculate-linux.org)
    • Chromium OS (2) upstart init (boot-design doc)
    • CloverOS OpenRC; FVWM or, at boot, install and load any DE/WM via ~/.bash_profile
    • Funtoo Linux (2) FAQ (source-based; uses git-housed, distributed Portage tree and Funtoo overlay) OpenRC init; i486, i686, x86_64, sparc64
      • Bentōō a user-friendly version of Funtoo linux to new users; x86 platforms (64-bit and 32-bit) with optional pre-configured GNOME and Plasma desktop editions.
    • GaryOS (2) Based on Funtoo/Gentoo; x86 platforms (64-bit and 32-bit)
    • Pentoo (2) security-focused live CD; i686, x86_64
    • Porteus Kiosk (2) BusyBox init; lightweight kiosk
    • PrRescue rescue cd supporting nilfs2 and btrfs; architectures: i686, amd64
    • Redcore Linux (2) OpenRC or SysV init; serves pre-built binary packages from repository; openbox window manager
    • Slontoo (based on Funtoo) OpenRC; XFCE 4.12, MATE 1.12
    • NOTE: additional Gentoo/*BSD subprojects exist, providing ports to various BSD-derived operating systems. See: Gentoo/Alt

Linux From Scratch (LFS) and derivatives

  • Linux from Scratch (2)(3) i386, x86_64; (also CLFS, aka Cross LFS supports additional architectures: mips, powerpc, ppc64, alpha, sparc, hppa, arm)
    • IPFire (2)(3) (forked from IPCop, based on LFS) firewall distribution for x86 and ARM-based systems; armv5tel, i586, x86_64
    • Mazon OS. Mazon OS is a KISS-style operating system built from the Linux From Scratch project. Mazon OS features a custom package manager, called bananapkg, which is implemented as a shell script.
    • Milis Linux Milis Isletim Sistemi (Turkish only website
      ex: http://www.milis.gungre.ch/ (dead link).
    • NuTyX (2) its “cards” pkg mgr can install individual or grouped binary packages, and can compile source pkgs from “ports”
    • Olean Linux. Olean Linux is a Linux distribution from scratch, based on LFS and BLFS concepts. It uses a rolling release update system.  (Russian only site must allow yandex scripts to run in order to function well if you speak Russian, not that yandex scripts are any worse than google scripts used everywhere else)
    • Venom Linux. Venom Linux is source based Linux distribution based on Linux From Scratch (LFS) with a BSD-style init system.

Puppy Linux (and derivatives)

Slackware Linux (and derivatives)


  • 4MLinux (2)(3) (BusyBox init) JWM window manager; supported architecture: i386, i686
  • Adélie Linux evolved away from Gentoo, utilized the abilities of Alpine’s APK package manager, and based on musl-libc, strives for full Posix conformity, while porting to x86 (32/64), PowerPC (32/64), MIPS (32/64), ARM (32-bit)
  • aldOS (2) upstart init, eudev, ConsoleKit2; MATE desktop
  • Alpine Linux (2)(3) (musl libc, BusyBox + OpenRC) supported architectures: i386, x86_64, armhf
  • Bedrock Linux (2) (BusyBox / any) Bedrock Linux can utilize any of a large number of init systems as provided by other distributions
  • Cucumber Linux (2)(3) sysV init; Linux Kernel version 4.9 LTS, GNU Userspace utilities, XFCE desktop; i686, x86_64
  • Dragora GNU/Linux Libre (2)(3) Runit init; desktops: IceWM, spectrwm, XFCE desktop; i585, x86_64
  • Easy Linux (2)
  • GoboLinux (2)(3) sysv init + BootScripts a source-based distribution which employs a unique file structure (not FHS); supported architecture: x86_64
  • Guix System Distribution (2(3)(GuixSD) provides advanced package mgmt features such as transactional upgrades and roll-backs; i686, x86_64; FSF-approved
  • KaNaPi(2)(3)(4) educational+game apps; desktops: XFCE and Sugar; supported architectures: i686, x86_64, armhf
  • Kiss-Linux  A  Linux distribution with a focus on simplicity and privacy.  Entirely built from source (Gentoo style) kiss pkg manager, musl, busybox.
  • LinuxConsole 2018 (2) offers 32 and 64bit editions; MATE or LXDE desktop, tailored to gaming / educational use
  • Lombix (still alpha) sysV init; source compiled; eack pkg in its own directory (not FHS); no initramfs, no PAM; fluxbox wm
  • Minimal Linux Live (2) Linux kernel, GNU C library, and BusyBox init; i386, x86_64
  • MisiProject sysV init, using pisi package manager; armv7h, x86_64
  • Moebius Linux armhf changelog minimal (no X) distro currently focused on RaspberryPi v3
  • NanoLinux (2)(3) BusyBox init; SLWM window manager. Requires only 14 MB disk space
  • OviOS Linux (2) previously used systemd; was rebuilt around sysV init because systemd proved unsuitable for a stable storage system
  • OS108. OS108 is a desktop-oriented operating system that is based on NetBSD and features the MATE desktop.
  • Parted Magic liveboot distribution providing disk partitioning and data recovery tools. Openbox WM; i486, i686, x86_64 FOSS? (licensed GPL)
  • PCLinuxOS (2) (3) (4) APT+RPM package mgmt; provides 2 desktop versions: MATE and KDE; supported architecture: amd64 & i386
    • Uplos32 (2) (based on PCLinuxOS) targets i386 machines; uses APT+RPM package mgmt
  • PicarOS “suitable for kids from 3 to 12 and teachers” ?; XFWM + LXDE desktop; i486, i686
  • Pisi Linux (2) (sysvinit + python init scripts) x86_64
  • Plop Linux (2)(PXE/liveboot) designed to rescue data from a damaged system, or to backup and repair operating systems; supports: armv6l, i486, x86_64
  • Quirky (2)(3) supports armhf, i386, x86_64
  • RancherOS (2) a minimalist Linux distribution designed to host Docker containers. Supported architecture: x86_64
  • Sabotage Linux (musl libc + BusyBox init) i386, x86_64, MIPS, PowerPC32, ARM(v4t+)
  • Sanity Linux (2) (formerly, “Pür Linux”) source-based, ports
  • Sculpt OS. Sculpt OS is small distribution of the Genode Operating System Framework. Sculpt uses Genode as a base userland with the NOVA microhypervisor as its kernel. Sculpt supports running legacy OSes as virtual machines using VirtualBox and hardware assisted virtualization. Sculpt features a package manager with packages for virtual machines, a port of the Arora web browser, and games.
  • SliTaz GNU/Linux (2) (Lightweight live CD/USB using BusyBox + SysVinit) supported architectures: armel, i386, x86_64
  • Source Mage GNU/Linux (2) (a source-based distribution) i386, i486, i586, i686, x86_64
  • sta.li (musl libc) x86_64, armhf
  • Sulinox (glibc) x86_64 expert distro with 4 desktops beta version (Turkish git, English documentation) base system inary pkg/mngmt for building from source.
  • TAZ(2) (SliTaz fork) (also: a gentoo-based version ) runs entirely from RAM; openbox desktop
  • Tiny Core Linux(2)(3) FLTK/FLWM desktop; i486, x86_64 (also: “CorePlus”) (also “piCore” edition, for Raspberry Pi)
    • TinyPaw-Linux (based on CorePlus) a self-described “passive & aggressive WiFi attack distro”
  • TLD Linux for server environments (no desktop support except for running VNC/RDP sessions foradel virtual machine management GUI) ; i686, x86_64
  • Void Linux (2)(3) (runit, xbps) supported architectures: armv6, armv7, i686, x86_64. supported libcs: glibc, musl (last on the list of independents deserves a first place otherwise)
    • Project-Trident.org (runit, xbps, zfs) supported architectures: armv6, armv7, i686, x86_64. supported libcs: glibc, musl (last on the list of independents deserves a first place otherwise)
    • Split Linux (all void architectures) images built with musl, privacy, security, encryption, and unbeatable network setup.  (this you have to try)

Android derivatives

the Android operating system uses a Linux kernel. wikipedia.org :: Android

  • Android-x86 (2) Android O/S, ported to x86 platform (bootable on x86 hardware). Supported architectures: i386, x86_64
    • AndEX Oreo 8.1 runs apps from Aptoide App Manager and Google Play Store on touchscreen x86 laptop
  • AOSP
  • LineageOS (2) successor of CyanogenMod
  • Replicant (2) is the free (libre) version of Android. FSF-approved

Linux distributions tailored for embedded devices

50 thoughts on “A list of non-systemd distributions (revisited)

  1. you know i thought about adding fig os to the w/osd wiki, perhaps you could add it here: fig os / formerly refractahrpup https://archive.org/details/Puppy_Linux_Refractapup

    the internet archive was and is the only place i know where you can download an .iso for it. the isos are done by allytonx, an archivist from the puppy linux community. fig os was a hybrid of refracta and puppy tahr, it still includes some files from librepup (tahr based.) it is mostly a modified refracta.

    the most unique feature of fig os (inspired by puppys self-described “reckless” everything-as-root philosophy, with some added sanity) is that it is a proper user-level-account-based debian (devuan) with a “root desktop.” icewm is running as user, like it should. programs run from icewm run as user– like they should. the instance of pcmanfm (which provides the desktop icons) allows you to click on desktop icons that run as root.

    if that sounds horrible, kill the script that spawns the root desktop (/root/desktops) and then kill pcmanfm– no more root desktop. delete, rename or move /root/desktops and it wont come back, even on reboot. im spoiled by it, ive got the convenience of puppy and its just as easy to run user-privileged apps from the menu, or super-t opens a user-privileged xterm.

    what else has fig os got? an educational programming language and 44 (or 88) page tutorial, a minimalist remaster script written it in that language, so if you dont want to modify and/or redistribute a cd-sized iso you can modify and/or redistribute a 60k script instead. im looking for a future where distros are superseded by free software apps– mkfigos takes about 20 minutes (not including download time) to modify refracta and produce a new bootable .iso, unsupervised. most of that time goes to the squashfs– with lower compression, you can produce the .iso in closer to 5 minutes (a good setting for modification/debugging.)


  2. It seems as most of the list was compiled from Distrowatch research and anything not on distrowatch is up for grubs from whatever comes up first on glueglue. I corrected the record, check and see if it is OK.


  3. I made a note on the wiki of nosystemd.org as well with the edit, I hope they notice soon.

    Do you have anything against distrowatch, why not make a listing submission there as well? I think they take a year to submit unless they can tell it has been an ongoing project for longer than a year.

    On the indication of architecture, since I am not familiar with slackware other than briefly trying vector, is i486 correct for 32bit, I see i686 and other notations about it. Is this about the PAE difference?


  4. Well, liveslak is not a distro in itself. It’s just a series of scripts to make a Live Edition out of Slackware proper.
    I think that too many entries in the Distrowatch database are unfit to call themselves a “distro”. Anything which won’t survive on its own without the “mother distro” is just a side project as far as I am concerned.
    I did get recognition from Distrowatch in the form of a donation, for which I was grateful.


  5. This list is helpful because it is exhaustive.

    But the real list of usable distro that can be a real replacement for a flagship distro like Ubuntu is as below, especially with KDE Plasma & disk encryption:

    Arch Linux derivatives
    Artix Linux (hard to install)

    Debian derivatives
    MX Linux

    Gentoo (and derivatives)
    Gentoo Linux
    Calculate Linux (partial encryption, no LUKS)
    Redcore Linux


  6. The real arch without systemd is Obarun, not Artix. Artix is Arch based but has a growing repository of its own for many more things than just the init system. Both are among the easiest installations I have ever encountered. What was the obstacle in installing Artix? Can I help?

    For a Debian alternative I can only recommend Antix and this on its stable form.

    Ubuntu in all its variations is at best an easy fancy distro for a newcomer to linux, nothing more. Even Debian people make fun of ubuntu. I find it curious though how someone can label ubuntu kde plasma a flagship and talk of Gentoo as well. I find the two as extremes where there is no common ground.

    And this talk of the three branches (arch, debian, gentoo) left Void out that seems a very robust and supportive distro that is independent and does not chase behind another distro.

    Sorry for being suspicious on the motives of this comment, but some of the things mentioned seem very contradictory. Like saying Artix is hard to install and mention Gentoo and its derivatives. Very strange.


  7. I have no affective link to any of the mentioned distros. This just my experience in trying to use a non systemd OS. I am currently using Artix, and as a daily user I know that it is not accessible to a basic user.

    if you have any doubt about it just google “artix ranting day” you will see me ranting about the installer.

    I was looking for a real & comfy LUKS FDE + KDE plasma system. Antix is not good looking, or said differently it looks dated. even if I personally think it is brilliant. MX Linux on the other hand looks modern out of the box, & their wizard & installer are awesome.


  8. btw, this is real install on real laptop experience, rather than virtualbox tests.

    Obarun? the installer is a nightmare, they have to improve. Just compare with the Antergos installer.


  9. Pingback: A list of non-systemd distributions (revisited) – My personal knowledge!! ;)

  10. FYI, I’ve just tested MX Linux (Oct, 18 2018) and it uses systemd. :((

    I’m using Devuan at the moment, but I’m not satisfied with it, so I’m still looking for a distribution I could both use for myself and recommend my friends with the assurance they’ll remain my friends.

    I’ve tested many of the general purpose distributions in your list and haven’t found a decent one yet – ‘decent’ meaning for me ‘designed for the 21st century non-geek, non-nerd user with a 21st century computer’.

    I really can’t understand why, in 2018, the distributions that boot with a GUI and are really systemd-free (e.g. Artix, Parabola) require a lot of post-installation work to become ‘decent’ as defined above.

    I’ve even tested several OS of the BSD an Illumos families (e.g. GhostBSD, OpenIndiana) but most unfortunately, there’s no hope to expect from them.

    I must admit that, having spread the love of Linux around me since 1995, I’m feeling very much like an orphan since systemd massively ‘windowsified’ my beloved OS, leaving me with nothing to enjoy using – and above all, nothing to enjoy sharing.

    Should you have any reasonable suggestion, feel free to share it here, it will be much appreciated! 🙂


  11. Hi Vincent
    Almost always you will have to do some post installation work, no matter what. Nobody can pick and choose software and configurations for you and your exact hw-setup and use. But, yes, there is an extent to where someone using the pc for other reasons than development and distro-architecture, will not want to spend days in feedling with it. So then it boils down to which desktop you like.
    If you like and can tolerate LXQT, Artix is like such a turnkey distro. You install and you are ready to do work on it. On the other hand I have yet to hear that any desktop available through Arch will not work on Artix. Obarun comes with jwm, a very minimal desktop manager. Then you are on your own in terms of desktop choice. If you want plasma it is possible and not that hard.

    Now, MX, which I have avoided because I don’t like the path taken of having systemd and libsystemd present. They are not playing the role of the init system though. They are there, and can be removed, but play the role of fulfilling dependency demands, that come and go with some software on Debian. Remember the aim is to avoid “having” to use systemd as an init system. Different distros have taken a variable degree of avoidance of anything related to systemd. Artix and devuan use libsystemd0/dummy which provides (optionally) the systemd library when it is needed by some desktop stuff. Some use elogind, which is a piece within systemd, where it is needed. Some use consolekit, which was a systemd creation in the past and abandoned. Who doesn’t use dbus? 2 people who have fought to live without it and have a long thread of their project here under a titled article about living without dbus. What about pulseaudio? It is made by the same people that make systemd, and the majority uses it because it almost always produces sound in their browser after installation. Some browsers that are precompiled by the big distros require pulseaudio. It is a never ending battle and one that hasn’t had a definite outcome.

    Small teams like artix, void, obarun, antix don’t have the manpower to produce isos frequently for all popular desktops. If you went to MX and are familiar with debian based systems I would recommend antix. It is much more hardcore anti-systemd than MX is, although the two share many resources and cooperate more than any other two distros. Void if you want to be free of systemd-ism of debian or arch. If you have some familiarity with arch I would really recommend artix, it works flawlessly once installed. If you like a more hardcore hacking version of Arch, I find obarun a treat. It has been my long time personal favorite.

    But don’t undermine MX because of their choice to do things their way. Look at distrowatch, MX has beaten debian, ubuntu, and soon mint in popularity. There must be a good reason to be so popular and not having systemd as an init system. The “almost everyone uses systemd” myth has been deconstructed.

    Then you have a variable you shouldn’t oversee. No matter what system you use, eventually you will run into a problem you can not solve. You will need support and advise from a community. Debian and arch are very harsh anti-social environments that will send you reading for months rather than tell you to try a simple command. One reason I have suggested and keep focusing on the above mentioned distros is that they have a much friendlier community to support a user. The primary reason I wouldn’t touch Devuan with a ten foot pole is that their “community dynamics” is like the same of the pathological narcissistic family. They stink in making up stories rather than admitting a fault, or two. And eventually this reveals a hidden agenda of “choices”. Basically I don’t trust Devuan for anything in the world. If it all came down to choosing between 2 distros, and devuan and debian were those two, I would 100% go with debian …. or maybe windows7. 🙂 Repeatedly if you ask the wrong question “once” in devuan you are banned and ridiculed after you are banned, rather than any of them have to answer responsibly. Have you seen the old Monty-Python sketch with the customer returning the parrot? That should be on Devuan’s first page. (search youtube for monty python and parrot, it is very funny).

    Let me know which desktop you like to use and I’ll help you install it on artix, obarun, void. If you still have MX running, try to see what happens if you remove systemd. I bet you I could run MX with my usual openbox setup and some lxde tools without the trash brought to you by RedΗat-ΝSΑ. Just the RH logo reveals their “origin”.


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi, I use Artix for 1 year now, I uninstalled LxQT & installed Plasma. It works perfect. It may require from time to time (like every 3 months) to hack around regarding packages dependancies. So I have to say it is not for the masses. But it is the perfect distro for me.

    I want to mention Redcore Linux, which is a gentoo based distro that provides Plasma & LUKS too.
    You can switch to plasma like this:

    sisyphus upgrade
    sisyphus install plasma-meta

    This will install a very minimal KDE Plasma session. If you need more KDE related stuff open up Sisyphus GUI and start looking up.

    If you’re happy with Plasma, and you want to get rid of Lxqt :

    sisyphus uninstall lxqt-meta
    sisyphus remove-orphans

    I have to mention Calculate Linux which is a good fit too, but unfortunately does not provide LUKS at install.


  13. Thank you for both of your feedback! I have tried Artix and was trying to find something with a better finish, but this seems impossible for the moment, so I think I’ll go this way.

    My favorite desktop environments are MATE and XFCE and, you’re right, LXQT and LXDE are definitely not my cup of tea…

    There is no problem for me with post-install configuration, every time I switch to a new distribution, I create a post-install script to tailor it to my needs and taste. It’s just that it should not last longer than the install itself. 😉

    For my personal use, I could accept to replace the desktop environment after installation, but I couldn’t recommend such a distribution to someone new to Linux.

    This is the same with systemd: as long as you just browse the Internet and write letters, any distribution is fine. But when you try and use a systemd-based distribution in a corporate environment, even in a small company, the nightmare begins…

    I wish I could find a single distribution able to cover a wide range of usages – home PC, professional desktop and small business server. Ubuntu had this potential until it switched to systemd, and it looks like no other distribution emerged since then to take the vacant place on the podium.

    It is sad to see the incredible number of free-time hours spent to create hosts of ephemeral distributions that fail to properly address even a single usage among those cited.

    It seems arrogance and disregard for end users will kill free software sooner and more surely than all the money and hatred Microsoft invested for decades for this very purpose.

    What I find even sadder is that there was much more in free software than just software at no cost: with its inexorable decline, Mankind loses a beautiful part of its soul, and my guess is that there isn’t much left…


  14. No habla espanol mucho, un poco mas de nada. 🙂
    https://sysdfree.wordpress.com/135 updated

    I understand libre (and libertarias) and communitarias. Very good.
    If you can drop the debian (the plague of systemd) and use devuan or antix instead you would be OK.
    I am not a native English speaker, but it is the language in computer systems that reaches the furthest. I despise systems translating system terms in my own native language. I am not a nationalist, I like communication.
    This blog is in English though, so please make a small description of your system and I will add it to the list.
    I think people in any language can understand what is in the above link and can go from there. I will try it myself and write about it as much as I can understand.

    What about parabola and hyperbola, especially the second one. It is very latinamerican and I am sure your software can be ported to it. Packaging it may take some learning, but if you can handle debs pkgbuilt is easy.

    libertad o muerte, libertad communitaria!
    Nosotros solidarios
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZAgWC9G8WY Warszawianka


  15. You may want to file your distribution with Distrowatch.com
    After initial listing it takes a year of active development for them to show on their active list.


  16. Pingback: Devuan FTW! | Piotr J. Walczak – Techno Blog

  17. Hello,

    I’d like to inform you about my new Linux distribution called KISS.



    Independent (not based on anything else).
    Source based (like gentoo or crux).
    Busybox coreutils.
    Busybox init (busybox includes runit style services, sysvinit style services or plain shell scripts)
    Musl libc.
    No dbus.
    No pam.
    No polkit.
    No systemd.
    No gettext/intltool.
    Packages compile without Telemetry/tracking.

    Thanks! 🙂


  18. Welcome to the family/community of conscious systemd resistance 🙂
    Also welcome to the ever growing small musl community. Have you seen Adelie? Have you considered S6 as init service/management? I am betting personally on musl and s6 horses to win.

    I took a quick look through kiss, I liked what I have seen this far, so I need to dedicate some time on trying the real thing.

    Again, welcome. Feel free to write up a more detailed description of the distribution and I will publish it here as a separate article. This blog may not seem much but it has about 90k visits in its 2 year life, it is currently averaging 150 unique hits a day. I have failed miserably in making it a real community project, with minor exceptional people who have contributed occasionally.


  19. Pingback: A list of non-systemd distributions (revisited) | systemd-free linux community – Science, Technology and Life

  20. MX may not rely on systemd init, but it still ships libsystemd


  21. Last I checked MX was using the whole systemd just not have it active. It would boot with sysvinit but systemd and systemd-libs were installed. I may be wrong. I can’t tolerate much fluff and complex desktops, they appear as a wast of resources to me.

    AntiX is much cleaner and brutal to systemd appearance. I wouldn’t trade antix for MX, even though they seem like 1st cousins.

    But where and how do you draw the line between who is in the list and who is not. There are compromises and workarounds everywhere as upstream developers keep developing for systemd based systems, careless about their own software being dysfunctional on non-systemd systems.

    Lately there seems this “coincidence” of people in various forums and boards offering instructions on how to use systemd functionality instead of chrony. It is not just users, narrow minded devs see those things and say “hey, I can substitute this in my code instead of using chrony”, even though the whole community can use it instead of a subgroup. They run campaigns like this and then more and more software becomes dysfunctional for everyone else.
    Eventually we would be talking of systemd as the core system, with linux, and varieties of software depending on this infrastructure. All those systemd based distros will converge and converge to become one thing. To be fully compatible with systemd all those distros will be very much alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. In the 90’s, I discovered Unix at work and I loved it. I was delighted to discover Linux in 1995 because I could feel a taste of Unix even at home. 🙂 I’m grateful to Linux for all the things I have learnt using it, but when it began its windowsification, I felt deeply betrayed.

    At first, I have tried hard to find a decent non-systemd distribution. I’ve used Devuan for a while, then Void, but as fungalnet noted, building a systemd-free distribution will become impossible in the medium term. There is nowadays too much money to make with Linux and multinationals (at least IBM and Oracle) will make this happen, even if its not their primary goal.

    Aware of this, I have looked for alternatives outside of the Linux world and I’ve been pleased to discover some. Now, I’ve set my choice on FreeBSD and I’m grateful to Linux and systemd to have created the opportunity for me to discover it. The departure has been brutal, the path quite unpleasant, but I’m now back to the roots of my passion for Unix and that’s great. 🙂


  23. Vine Linux is planning to move to systemd in 7.0. No fixed release date but they’ve already put some work towards it.
    “init: upstart維持、eudevへ移行(将来のsystemd移行までの措置)”
    roughly translates to
    “init: upstart in maintenance mode, going with eudev(until transition to systemd in near future)”
    I assume this means working on upstart+eudev, followed by systemd+eudev? I’ve never actually ran it, let alone looked at it’s inner workings.

    I think this may also answer why MX ships systemd without using it – to have less work when they decide to give in. On one hand, I can clearly see that the list of things standing in the way of an systemdless distro is growing exponentially, but at the same time defeatism is the quickest way to a self-fulfilling prohpecy.

    Also, distrowatch claims newest Window Maker Live uses systemd. I don’t have much time to investigate, so someone else please do.


  24. I don’t understand much Japanese and I don’t see any information on other languages. I don’t see where Distrowatch gets its data, the project seems pretty dead since 10/2017. It might be the being based on Jessie back then and offering support for 2 years they just upgraded everything as Jessie (old-old-stable) and pretend they are supporting it still. Linux4.14 is old even for Debian.

    Window Maker Live doesn’t show much action either since two year old last edition. Probably dead and abandoned as well. The question I guess is whether should abandoned/dead projects be listed? I’d say if they are not using systemd as init and haven’t officially changed to it they deserve a chance to be on the list and resurrect themselves.


  25. I had a similar experience, it was work and school around 1990 that I experienced the power of unix, although I remember X windows on some SGI workstations (was it Irix, I can’t remember). Unfortunately those machines cost 2 fortunes or more than a truck load of my favorite motorcycles 🙂 I didn’t get to see linux for PC till later, on some antiquated AT&T workstations that were about equal on power with IBM-AT. Very crude and limited. Then around 99 I got a hold of this thing called RedHat linux for PCs, their CDs seemed to be as common as Domino’s Pizza coupons. What a mess that was, at least in the edition I received. I tried in a whole variety of PCs but there was always some problem that at least “I didn’t know how to solve”. Then later I heard of Debian, managed to burn an image and have a successful installation. I thought Debian was king then. And after Wheezy things begun to crumble down.

    So here we are 🙂

    I have given several open-minded and courageous tries on both OpenBSD and FreeBSD, and clones. I suspect I could live with it if I had to, but I think Linux still deserves a little benefit of a doubt. Especially linux in combination of musl and S6. I think DragonFly was my favorite of those I tried.


  26. There should be a separate “Outdated” category. I agree that deleting would be bad, someone might want them for offline use or they might come back,
    I’d say the criteria should be:
    a) past End Of Life or
    b) past EOL of parent distro if it’s the provider of security updates or
    c) 1.5 years without updates if a) and b) fail

    So I looked some stuff up:

    Debian has an EOL(year after the next one comes out) and an Long Term Support EOL(for x86, x86_64, armel & armhl, usually at end of the month before the next version’s EOL)
    For Wheezy EOL was April 25th, 2016 and LTS EOL was May 31st, 2018. So everything based on it that doesn’t recieve it’s own security updates should go.
    For Jessie EOL was June 17th, 2018 and LTS EOL will be June 30th, 2020. So that’s already time for uncommon architecture distros, and less than 9 months away for common ones.


  27. I share your concerns, it is hard to decide for others without involving them and that would be an enormous amount of work, to keep in touch with 80-120 of them, even if there was a single contact point.
    I am thinking of void, if someone doesn’t follow the hectic pace of void development (7-9 architectures x 2 glibc/musl) and just looks at things like distrowatch, they may think it is abandoned. There were a couple of community edition isos that came out last spring, not official, and the last official release was 11/2018. This doesn’t mean that you can’t install void from such an image and you can get linux 5.3.7 as your kernel. So with rolling releases it is hard to tell of activity till you look at their source repository work. Artegos which appears SO popular, hadn’t edited a single thing for more than a year when they officially called it QUITS. But arch underneath an artegos (or whatever it WAS calles) installation rolled fine, and still does. Themes, icons, and backgrounds don’t loose stability with age 🙂

    I sure can’t keep up with all of them, I can’t even try. I lost half a day trying dragora, and I wish there was material to write a review, but the damn thing was so slow it pissed me off so bad I deleted the huge .iso I had downloaded. There have been quite a few dogs with fleas lately that I have wasted time, and I refrain of writing negative publicity, they don’t even deserve that much. They should iron out bugs then run to make it public that they have created something. Obviously it is not as easy as people think.


  28. Somehow your comment was branded spam by wordpress/akismet and luckily I discovered it in more than 60 pieces of spam. I sometimes scan so fast through pages of spam/comments I could have missed it.

    I crossed vine out on the list and totally remove it once 7 is announced. Not much is published about it in other than Japanese language. I managed to pick up that their grub version is based on a Fedora patch. They say if you sleep with GMO dogs you get GMO fleas 🙂 I like dogs, RH/fedora/systemd crap I don’t like.


  29. SystemRescueCd switched to systemd, since version 6.0 it is based on archlinux with systemd, no longer on gentoo.


  30. Thank you, switched from 32bit gentoo to arch-64bit .. but kept the name, didn’t they 🙂
    Oh well. I use Obarun for a rescue disk, it never lets me down. Except, I have to admit, resetting peoples’ windows admin pw or fixing their MBR issues I use rescatux (which is based on Debian lxqt, no longer lxde).


  31. Hi yee all,

    I’m not in charge of KISS Linux, just interested by this distro –which I have not installed by the way.

    The link to KISS Linux is broken. The former site seems abandoned. Please now follow:


    It seems that the same Dylan has also conceived neofetch & sowm




  32. Hi yee all!

    Although I’ve been following sysdfree since 2017 (if my memory serves me well), this is only my second comment. Hope the question that follows is not off-topic and will be useful somehow.

    => Is there a particular reason ALT Linux is not included on this (revisited) list?

    ALT Linux is a Russian project. Surprisingly, it’s a Mandrake derivative (a common point with PCLinuxOS), maybe completely forked since.

    There seems to have many versions available (as for DEs and targeted architectures too), and also… as for init systems. –Of course, the description of ALT on Distrowatch does NOT insist on the latter point or even mention it. (But you had guessed it, hadn’t you?)

    Besides, the ratings of the users’ reviews are quite good: almost only 9s and 10s out of 10. (These users reviews are the only reason I still consult Distrowatch…)


    The thing is: as for readability, the “offer” of ALT Linux is a bit messy. But it’s rather complete. For instance, a few nights ago, I was able to download an ISO of ALT for i586 (!) with GNUstep (!) and sysv-init (!) –Have not installed it yet. If/when I do, I may write a short feedback.


    I consider ALT worth mentioning because the distros that still support 32-bit versions get fewer and fewer… For instance, PCLinuxOS (the subject of the last topic published on sysdfree when I write this message) has dropped 32-bit in its official versions –it’s still possible, though, to find a community edition for i686 with Trinity desktop.



  33. Out of luck and coincidence I had come to contact with Dylan days before the official announcement of KIss was made. I believe it was due to a comment he had left here about his system. The misunderstanding came as we had no clue this wasn’t publicly announced before, and wrote about Kiss before Kiss existed. This made such a surge of interest that I believe Dylan hasn’t slept long ever since. But he was expected to make a more detailed presentation of Kiss-Linux here and the specific reasons he created it.


  34. Pingback: Operating Systems Without Systemd | annihilator-module

  35. Pingback: Operating Systems Without Systemd - CyberHero.TV

  36. The other list I made recently, the one that lists Linux only systems, I went through a few months ago on a 1 by 1 basis and screened out systems that used to be systemd free but are not anymore, there may be a few who went the other way and have slipped my attention. The reddit r/initfreedom seems like a good place to pick up what is active.


  37. The link of ConnochaetOS leads to a site in a language I acannot identify, but I doubt that it is related to any Linux-related stuff. Rather, it appears to be some gambling site.


  38. You may want to confirm the status of Avouch – It looks like it does in fact use systemd.


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