Devuan revisited and its repository maze

What distrowatch calls Debuan 2.1 in its weekly is also listed as a “fixed” release.  Since when is anything based on Debian perceived as fixed unless it intentionally had its package management software released. Alternatively any live “image” is fixed unless you update its software.  Should someone clarify what such terms mean to Distrowatch?

See, we can even defend the honor of those we openly have disliked in the past.

Devuan’s, not debuan’s, repositories for its 2.xx series based on Debian Stretch, is Ascii.

Next edition which is called Beowulf is still under testing, pkgs for which can be found on


As follows, current stable Debian is Buster, which would align with a future edition of Devuan as 3, while Debian’s testing would align with Devuan’s Chimaera, which doesn’t exist yet.  But debian-sid/devuan-ceres exists.  So before you manually set your repositories and pick and borrow software out of devuan make sure you understand all this because mixing debian’s software from a different edition with devuan’s from another may not work (probably will not).

Devuan 2 and 2.1 are still Ascii (stretch based), it is not Devuan 3 that has been long awaited.   All this is not clear in Devuan’s instructions so make sure you are clear on it.  On the 4 identical above mirrors if you were to substitute org/devuan/ with you get a blend of the above plus screened debian repositories, which is what is prescribed.

What is important with 2.1 is that during installation you can officially pick between sysvinit and OpenRC as init and service management, after 2 years of being in the repositories OpenRC is getting official recognition by Devuan.  Thanks to Refracta software developer and its patience with Debian like time-lag.

But s6 is available now on Debian, it is intentionally broken, but still exists in its past 2 versions in sid/unstable, testing, and stable.   If this is not odd for Debian’s legacy of triple testing the functionality and stability of software before it is even placed in “unstable/sid”, what is?  This way if Devuan, Antix (hence its MX derivative) wanted to place s6 in their repositories they would have to use alternative package naming causing all kinds of confusion for those wanting to try it.  This is Debian’s attempt to open up to freedom and alternatives.  It is if I write software calling /usr/bin/bash in the scripts but Debian places bash in /usr/share/lib/bash so it breaks.  Then you can blame my script for not working, that intentional!

You know what open/free software really needs?  A self organized governing body regulating what each can and can not do.  Because the “oops, I am sorry excuses” seem to have totally run out.  I thought I’d be the last to call for a regulating body, since GNU seems to have failed in their mission, Posix has remained a popular joke, there is no criminal offense by defamation of good software while serving “alterior motives and interests”.


Open and free now means I can vandalize your work and pretend I respect it.  5 large corporations have purchased linux and are running away with it, beware!


5 thoughts on “Devuan revisited and its repository maze

  1. Sad but true!!! 😦

    I also agree, that GNU failed tragically, to protect the “Open” world.
    With no offense to Mr. Stallman, he carries responsibility at personal level and (unfortunately) the same applies to Mr. Linux (Torvalds) and the various “Linux” foundations (which are actually, commercial entities).

    While everything is falling apart, they speak about weather, the universe and…everything.
    Not to mention the late Mr. Stallman’s comedian attempts.


  2. It is all a reflection of what is going on in general in the world. People fail to see corporations, especially large ones, as social organizations. They are structures with specific goals and not a hint of any of them being to protect the environment, to advance the life of humans, or to benefit anyone else other than their stock holders financially. By doing so they will justify the means and create as much destruction as they can get away with. The ultimate goal in this poker table is for everyone else to lose and themselves to win. The products and services are just means for the ultimate goal.

    Instead, people just perceive them as innocent and benefiting humanity. “GE, we bring good things to life” the slogan says. They bring perceived good things in exchange for your sweat and tears, and by going all out to sabotage anything competing with what they offer as an exchange. Whether it is pharmaceuticals or biological weapons, it can be potting soil or an excavator, a plastic jesus or a scarecrow, they couldn’t care less, as long as it is profitable and dominates a market. If someone can hire 80 kids in Laos and have them code 70hours a week, or two free-lancers in Bolivia doing it for fun, the “consumer” cares about the final product. The gui from Laos is fancier and pleasing to the eye, it can compress your archive in 14′, the other from Bolivia works with a single command with 3-4 parameters and does the same in 4′. Guess what prevails? Then “gnome” can pay the media on free and open software to never mention the software from Bolivia and if they do to criticize it in a negative way “I tried that command and it failed, so off I went to this Gnome gui and it worked”. When IBM consulting is paid dearly by some local government to create computer labs for all the schools in the district, that gui (although open and free) is paid indirectly, kids and instructors are happy. So off they go to the next district.

    We are so f.. doomed, due to prevailing stupidity, it is pathetic, but if there is anything worth living for is struggling against all odds. Because it is this very struggle that has ever mattered in human development and history. Passively praising the wealthy and the powerful was rarely noticed.


  3. “if Devuan, Antix (hence its MX derivative) wanted to place s6 in their repositories they would have to use alternative package naming”

    Hold on, I wouldn’t expect a problem from using same named packages. Just bump the version number to ensure the downstream’s packages take priority and are installed, not upstream debian’s.


  4. Openrc has always been a choice in the ascii installer isos, but it was in a place that was easy to miss and only available in expert install modes. All I did was mention that people couldn’t find it. Ralph was the one who made the choice more prominent. You can’t miss it now; it’s in regular installs as well as expert.

    Tim is right about versioning. We just add +devuan to the version on the packages we modify from debian, which makes it a higher version.



  5. 1 Good to hear from you.

    2 “Always” … I remember it (OpenRC) being in experimental for quite a while. About the installer, you mean the official devuan installer. I don’t think I ever used it, I only used refracta-installer 🙂 😛
    Even my miyo trial installations, were all refracta. So I never called it devuan, on grub.cfg it was always refracta.

    3 Version numbers, .. I know, when I started using antiX being disillusioned with devuan, I was worried there might be devuan pkgs in my cache (common cache) that would foul up something. Then looking through the cache it was easy to see what was debian, what was devuan, and what antix.

    4 What I meant with the confusion is that <one can understand why devuan/antix/mx would repackage something due to its systemd dependency, one doesn’t expect an alternative init to systemd to have to be repackaged>. I assume I didn’t explain it in detail. Take the example of antiX now experimenting with the use of runit. Wouldn’t you scratch your head if runit existed in debian and antix repackaged it to use it on their system? To repackage synaptic to work with consolekit2 is understandable, more or less. If you run apt search and see the same version of s6 by debian and devuan/antix I think you would question the later rather than poor little innocent debian providing you with an alternative.

    In the meantime, if you see the latest article I put up, I made antix boot and work great with s6 and 66. I tried to use debian’s s6 and had to fix execline manually. THEN I had to install the rest of the s6 bundle of software they casually left out. Then 66 made it boot almost out of the box, (just two characters added to init).


If your comment is considered off-topic a new topic will be created with your comment to continue a different discussion. This community is based on open and free communication, meaning we must all respect all in minimizing the exercise of freedom to disrupt such communication. Feel free to post what you think but keep in mind the subject matter discussed. It is just as easy to start a new topic as it is to dilute the content of an existing discussion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.