Last edited: May Day 1st 2020
Our main list of all systems we know that don’t use systemd as init will be maintained and current (to our best efforts and continuous feedback by users and distro members) from now on. In a way it is redundant to have a list of non-linux systems as part of the list as systemd is not used outside linux as far as we know. The reason is that systemd, being very poorly developed, is not portable to other unix like systems. So the lists without systemd should be one of linux without systemd and one of all non-linux unix based systems (BSDs, Solaris forks, etc.).
This list below is made of linux based systems only, includes their introductory description summary and a link to their site.
- Absolute Linux is a light-weight modification of Slackware Linux. It includes several utilities that make configuration and maintenance easier and it has many common desktop and Internet applications installed and configured with tight integration of menus, applications and MIME types. Absolute Linux uses IceWM and ROX for its window and file managers.
- Adélie Linux is a Free, Libre operating environment based on the Linux kernel. We aim for POSIX® compliance, compatibility with a wide variety of computers, and ease of use without sacrificing features, setting us apart from other Linux distributions. We love our community and we rely on your contributions, both code and financial, to bring the best possible experience to everyone.
- Alpine Linux is a community developed operating system designed for routers, firewalls, VPNs, VoIP boxes and servers. It was designed with security in mind; it has proactive security features like PaX and SSP that prevent security holes in the software to be exploited. The C library used is musl and the base tools are all in BusyBox. Those are normally found in embedded systems and are smaller than the tools found in GNU/Linux systems.
- antiX antiX is a fast, lightweight and easy-to-install Linux live CD distribution based on Debian’s “Stable” branch (also offers testing and sid branches like debian does) for x86 compatible systems. antiX offers users the “antiX Magic” in an environment suitable for old and new computers. At least 256 MB RAM, 2.7 GB hard disk space is adequate for a full installation.
- Artix Linux is a continuation of the Arch-OpenRC and Manjaro-OpenRC projects. Artix Linux offers a lightweight, rolling-release operating system featuring the OpenRC or Runit init software. Three editions of Artix are available, a minimal Base system, an edition featuring the i3 window manager and an edition which runs the LXQt desktop.
- Asianux is a Linux server operating system which is co-developed by Chinese Leading Linux vendor Red Flag Software Co., Ltd. and Japanese Linux vendor Miracle Linux Cooperation, aiming at the common-standard enterprise Linux platform for Enterprise systems in Asia. It provides enterprise customers with high reliability, scalability, manageability and better hardware and software compatibility. Asianux certification partner program will invite more hardware and software products to be certified on Asianux, and it will definitely help to reduce developing and certificating resources and provide Linux with high quality and low cost. Red Flag Software and Miracle will distribute and market Asianux without any modifications in each Linux distribution package in China and Japan. New products will be based on Asianux and each will be bundled with localised features in each country.
- AUSTRUMI (Austrum Latvijas Linukss) is a bootable live Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. It requires limited system resources and can run on any Intel-compatible system with a CD-ROM installed. The entire operating system and all of the applications run from RAM, making AUSTRUMI a fast system and allowing the boot medium to be removed after the operating system starts.
- batocera.linux is a minimal distribution dedicated to running retrogaming software. The distribution is able to run on most desktop computers, laptops and several single-board computers, including the Raspberry Pi. batocera.linux can be run from a USB thumb drive or SD card, allowing it to be transferred between computers. batocera.linux is based on RecalboxOS.
- Bedrock Linux is a meta Linux distribution which allows users to utilize features from other, typically mutually exclusive distributions. Essentially, users can mix-and-match components and packages as desired from multiple Linux distributions and have them work seamlessly side-by-side.
- Bicom Systems‘ PBXware is a Gentoo-based single-purpose distribution that serves as a telephony platform. It supports a wide range of PSTN and VoIP technologies. Creation of enhanced voicemail, ACD queues, IVR auto attendants, conference bridges, music on hold, least-cost routing, national and global voice networks are all deployable as a single unit or redundant network.
- Calculate Linux is a Gentoo-based family of three distinguished distributions. Calculate Directory Server (CDS) is a solution that supports Windows and Linux clients via LDAP + SAMBA, providing proxy, mail and Jabbers servers with streamlined user management. Calculate Linux Desktop (CLD) is a workstation and client distribution with KDE, MATE or Xfce desktop that includes a wizard to configure a connection to Calculate Directory Server. Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS) is live CD with a build framework for creating a custom distribution.
- CRUX is a lightweight, Linux distribution for computers running on 64-bit x86 and ARM processors. The distribution is targeted at experienced Linux users. The primary focus of this distribution is “keep it simple”, which is reflected in a simple tar.gz-based package system, BSD-style initscripts, and a relatively small collection of trimmed packages. The secondary focus is utilization of new Linux features and recent tools and libraries.
- Cucumber Linux aims to provide a Linux distribution that is usable as an every day, general purpose operating system. It aims to this in as minimalistic a way as possible and in a way that follows the Unix Philosophy. Cucumber Linux favors simplicity and modularity of design over simplicity of use. While developed independently, Cucumber’s design is heavily influenced by Slackware Linux.
- Daphile is a minimal operating system for running a digital audio player on a headless computer. The operating system and media manager can be controlled remotely using a web-based interface.
- Devuan GNU+Linux is a Linux distribution forked from Debian in 2015. The project’s primary goal is to provide a variant of Debian without the complexities and dependencies of systemd, an init system and services manager originally developed by Red Hat and later adopted by most other Linux distributions. Devuan’s initial beta release was made available in April 2016, together with an upgrade path from Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” and a possibility to switch to Devuan from Debian 8.0 “Jessie”. The distribution adopted Xfce as its default desktop.
- Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre is a distribution created from scratch with the intention of providing a stable, multi-platform and multi-purpose operating system. It is built upon 100% free software. It has a very simple packaging system that allows installing, removing, upgrading and creating packages. Dragora can be an ideal distribution for those who wish to learn how a distribution works on the inside.
- EasyOS is an experimental Linux distribution which uses many of the technologies and package formats pioneered by Puppy Linux. The distribution features custom container technology called Easy Containers which can run applications or the entire desktop environment in a container. Packages, desktop settings, networking and sharing resources over the network can all be controlled through graphical utilities.
- Endian Firewall is a Unified Threat Management (UTM) Appliance that protects networks and improves connectivity. Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Endian Firewall is 100% open source and includes a wide variety of features, such as stateful inspection firewall, HTTP/FTP anti-virus, content filter, POP3/SMTP anti-virus, anti-phishing and anti-spam tools, true SSL/TLS VPN, IDS, and other features.
- Exe GNU/Linux is a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution. Its primary goal is to provide a Debian variant that ships with a slightly re-themed Trinity desktop environment (a fork of KDE 3), as well as several useful scripts and utilities. It offers LXDE as an alternative desktop. It uses the official Debian repositories, as well as the Trinity mirror for updating the desktop environment. In late 2017, the distribution re-based itself on Devuan, using the official Devuan repositories.
Exherbo is a source-based Linux distribution inspired by the flexibility found in Gentoo Linux (among others). Designed primarily for developers and advanced users who are expected to take an active role in the development of the distribution, Exherbo offers a decentralised development model, original code, and a fast and flexible package manager called Paludis
— I think this uses systemd, even though it is a Gentoo based distro.
- Fatdog64 Linux is a small, desktop, 64-bit Linux distribution. Originally created as a derivative of Puppy Linux with additional applications, Fatdog64 has grown to become a distinct, separate project while maintaining much of the style of Puppy Linux.
- Funtoo Linux is a Gentoo-based distribution developed by Daniel Robbins (the founder and former project leader of Gentoo Linux) and a core team of developers, built around a basic vision of improving the core technologies in Gentoo Linux. Funtoo Linux features native UTF-8 support enabled by default, a git-based, distributed Portage tree and Funtoo overlay, an enhanced Portage with more compact mini-manifest tree, automated imports of new Gentoo changes every 12 hours, GPT/GUID boot support and streamlined boot configuration, enhanced network configuration, up-to-date stable and current Funtoo stages – all built using Funtoo’s Metro build tool.
- Gentoo Linux is a versatile and fast, completely free Linux distribution geared towards developers and network professionals. Unlike other distros, Gentoo Linux has an advanced package management system called Portage. Portage is a true ports system in the tradition of BSD ports, but is Python-based and sports a number of advanced features including dependencies, fine-grained package management, “fake” (OpenBSD-style) installs, safe unmerging, system profiles, virtual packages, config file management, and more.
- Guix System Distribution (formerly Guix System Distribution, or GuixSD) is a Linux-based, stateless operating system that is built around the GNU Guix package manager. The operating system provides advanced package management features such as transactional upgrades and roll-backs, reproducible build environments, unprivileged package management, and per-user profiles. It uses low-level mechanisms from the Nix package manager, but packages are defined as native Guile modules, using extensions to the Scheme language.
Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre is a community driven effort to provide a fully free (as in freedom) operating system that is stable, secure, simple, lightweight that tries to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) with Long Term Support (LTS). Derived from Arch snapshots, plus stability and security from Debian, Hyperbola provides packages that meet the GNU Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG) and offers replacements for the packages that do not meet this requirement. Packages are provided for the i686 and x86_64 architecturesHyperbola is abandoning Linux for an
OpenBSD base, hence not a linux distro in the near future.
- IPFire is a Linux distribution that focusses on easy setup, good handling and high level of security. It is operated via an intuitive web-based interface which offers many configuration options for beginning and experienced system administrators. IPFire is maintained by developers who are concerned about security and who update the product regularly to keep it secure. IPFire ships with a custom package manager called Pakfire and the system can be expanded with various add-ons.
- KNOPPIX is a bootable disc with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational disc, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the disc can have up to 10 GB of executable software installed on it.
- Kwort Linux is a CRUX-based Linux distribution that uses the GTK+ toolkit and the Openbox window manager. Its most prominent feature is a package manager, called kpkg, for retrieving packages from download mirrors.
- Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with the steps necessary to build your own custom Linux system. There are a lot of reasons why somebody would want to install an LFS system. The question most people raise is “why go through all the hassle of manually installing a Linux system from scratch when you can just download an existing distribution like Debian or Redhat”. That is a valid question which I hope to answer for you. The most important reason for LFS’s existence is teaching people how a Linux system works internally. Building an LFS system teaches you about all that makes Linux tick, how things work together, and depend on each other. And most importantly, how to customize it to your own taste and needs.
- LinuxConsole is an independently developed Linux live CD with different editions designed for desktops, servers, gaming consoles, and old computers. Its primary characteristics are easy installation, extensive choice of software in the form of modules, and excellent hardware detection.
Lunar Linuxis a source based Linux distribution with a unique package management system which builds each software package, or module, for the machine it is being installed on. Though it can take a while to do a complete Lunar installation it’s worth it as it tends to be quite fast, once installed! In the beginning Lunar was a fork of Sorcerer GNU Linux (SGL). The fork occurred in late January to early February of 2002 and was originally made up of a small group of people who wanted to collaboratively develop and extend the Sorcerer technology. The original name for the project was Lunar-Penguin but the group decided to re-christen it Lunar Linux while the Lunar-Penguin name has become a sort of umbrella which the team could use if they decide to collaboratively develop something besides Lunar Linux.Converted to systemd
- MX Linux a desktop-oriented Linux distribution based on Debian and antiX, is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. Contains systemd and libraries so debian desktop dependencies are satisfied but relies on antiX’s sysvinit for init and service management.
- NuTyX is a French Linux distribution (with multi-language support) built from Linux From Scratch and Beyond Linux From Scratch, with a custom package manager called “cards”. The package manager can install individual binary packages, a group of related binary packages (e.g. desktop packages, such as KDE or Xfce), and compile source packages from “ports”. The distribution is designed for intermediate and advanced Linux users.
- Obarun (*****) is an Arch Linux based distribution featuring the S6 init software and its own 66 service management system in place of systemd. Obarun provides a live disc featuring the JWM graphical interface. Utilities, such as pacopts, are included for working with Arch’s repositories, including the Arch User Repository (AUR). The installer allows quick installation of JWM, Openbox, Xfce4, or KDE-Plasma graphical environments or a base non-X system.
- Openwall GNU-Linux (or Owl for short) is a small security-enhanced Linux distribution for servers, appliances, and virtual appliances. Owl live CDs with remote SSH access are also good for recovering or installing systems (whether with Owl or not). Another secondary use is for operating systems and/or computer security courses, which benefit from the simple structure of Owl and from the inclusion of the complete build environment.
- OviOS Linux is an independent, storage OS which combines open source technologies to provide a dedicated, performance-oriented storage system. The goal is to keep OviOS Linux a pure storage, appliance-like OS. It targets users and admins who need a stable out-of-the-box iSCSI, NFS, SMB and FTP server. The distribution features a special command line shell called “ovios shell” which strives to simplify system management.
- Parabola GNU/Linux-libre is an unofficial “libre” variant of Arch Linux. It aims to provide a fully free (as in freedom) distribution based on the packages of the Arch Linux project, with packages optimised for i686 and x86_64 processors. The goal is to give the users complete control over their systems with 100% “libre” software. Parabola GNU/Linux-libre is listed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as a fully free software distribution. Besides a standard installation CD image, the project also provides a live/rescue DVD image with MATE as the default desktop environment.
- PCLinuxOS is a user-friendly Linux distribution with out-of-the-box support for many popular graphics and sound cards, as well as other peripheral devices. The bootable live DVD provides an easy-to-use graphical installer and the distribution sports a wide range of popular applications for the typical desktop user, including browser plugins and full multimedia playback. The intuitive system configuration tools include Synaptic for package management, Addlocale to add support to many languages and Mylivecd to create a customised live CD.
- Pentoo is a Gentoo-based Linux live CD with a selection of applications and tools designed to perform penetration testing.
- Pisi Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution based on the old Pardus Linux with its famous PiSi package management system. It’s an operating system for desktop computer with software for listening to music, browsing the Internet and creating documents. Pisi Linux is built from scratch on a stable base, but many core user applications, such as the Firefox web browser or the VLC media player, are kept constantly up to date. To increase the distribution’s user friendliness, Flash player and many multimedia codecs are installed and pre-configured for immediate use.
- Plamo Linux is a Japanese Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. The installer, and many text-based and graphical tools have been updated to include Japanese language support.
- PLD Linux Distribution is a free, RPM-based Linux distribution, aimed at the more advanced users and administrators, who accept the trade-offs of using a system that might require manual tweaking in exchange for flexibility. Simultaneous support for a wide variety of architectures and non-conservative approach to RPM usage provide the users with a consistent environment on almost all available architectures. ??systemd??
- Plop Linux is a small distribution that can boot from CD, DVD, USB flash drive (UFD), USB hard disk or from network with PXE. It is designed to rescue data from a damaged system, backup and restore operating systems, automate tasks and more.
- Porteus is a fast, portable and modular live CD/USB medium based on Slackware Linux. The distribution started as a community remix of Slax, another Slackware-based live CD, with KDE 3 as the default desktop for the i486 edition and a stripped-down KDE 4 as the desktop environment for the x86_64 flavour. The lightweight LXDE is available as an alternative desktop environment.
- Porteus Kiosk is a lightweight Gentoo-based Linux operating system which has been downscaled and confined to allow the use of one application only – the Firefox web browser. The browser has been locked down to prevent users from tampering with settings or downloading and installing software. When the kiosk boots, it automatically opens Firefox to the user’s preferred home page. The browsing history is not kept, no passwords are saved, and many menu items have been disabled for increased security. When Firefox is restarted all caches are cleared and the browser reopens with a clean session.
- Project Trident is a desktop-focused operating system based on Void (previously Trident was based on TrueOS). Project Trident uses the Lumina desktop as well as a number of self-developed system administration utilities. The Void-based distribution is installed on the ZFS filesystem to provide snapshots and rollback features.
- Puppy Linux is yet another Linux distribution. What’s different here is that Puppy is extraordinarily small, yet quite full-featured. Puppy boots into a ramdisk and, unlike live CD distributions that have to keep pulling stuff off the CD, it loads into RAM. This means that all applications start in the blink of an eye and respond to user input instantly. Puppy Linux has the ability to boot off a flash card or any USB memory device, CDROM, Zip disk or LS/120/240 Superdisk, floppy disks, internal hard drive. It can even use a multisession formatted CD-RW/DVD-RW to save everything back to the CD/DVD with no hard drive required at all.
- RancherOS is a tiny Linux distribution that runs the entire operating system as Docker containers. This includes system services, such as udev and rsyslog. RancherOS includes only the bare minimum amount of software needed to run Docker. This keeps the binary download of RancherOS very small. Everything else can be pulled in dynamically through Docker.
- Redcore Linux explores the idea of bringing the power of Gentoo Linux to the masses. It aims to be a very quick way to install a pure Gentoo Linux system without spending hours or days compiling from source code, and reading documentation. To achieve this goal, Redcore provides a repository with pre-built binary packages which receives continuous updates, following a rolling release model.
- Refracta is a Linux distribution based on Devuan GNU+Linux (a systemd-free fork of Debian), designed primarily for home computer users and also for use as a system rescue and recovery disk. It provides a simple and familiar layout using the Xfce desktop. Other desktop environments and additional software packages are available from the Devuan package repository. Besides providing a Linux distribution on a live CD, the project also develops useful tools, such as refractainstaller, refractasnapshot and refracta2usb which allow users to customize the installation and create custom live CD or live USB images.
- Securepoint Security Suite offers a full-featured suite of firewall tools designed for enterprisewide deployment. Not only can it protect an internal network from outside attacks, it also helps segregate parts of your internal network and define custom protection rules for each. Securepoint lets you create and manage VPN tunnels for remote users and define traffic filters, reports, and alerts for your entire network. Securepoint Freeware is a very secure and free firewall solution for protecting your Internet gateway. Securepoint can as well be used with existing firewalls and to protect interconnected locations or divisions.
- Slackel is a Linux distribution and live CD based on Slackware Linux and Salix OS. It is fully compatible with both. It uses the current version of Slackware and the latest version of the KDE desktop. The Slackel disc images are offered in two different forms – installation and live.
- Slackware Linux is an advanced Linux operating system, designed with the twin goals of ease of use and stability as top priorities. Including the latest popular software while retaining a sense of tradition, providing simplicity and ease of use alongside flexibility and power, Slackware brings the best of all worlds to the table. Originally developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991, the UNIX-like Linux operating system now benefits from the contributions of millions of users and developers around the world. Slackware Linux provides new and experienced users alike with a fully-featured system, equipped to serve in any capacity from desktop workstation to machine-room server. Web, ftp, and email servers are ready to go out of the box, as are a wide selection of popular desktop environments. A full range of development tools, editors, and current libraries is included for users who wish to develop or compile additional software.
- SliTaz GNU/Linux is a mini distribution and live CD designed to run speedily on hardware with 256 MB of RAM. SliTaz uses BusyBox, a recent Linux kernel and GNU software. It boots with Syslinux and provides more than 200 Linux commands, the lighttpd web server, SQLite database, rescue tools, IRC client, SSH client and server powered by Dropbear, X window system, JWM (Joe’s Window Manager), gFTP, Geany IDE, Mozilla Firefox, AlsaPlayer, GParted, a sound file editor and more. The SliTaz ISO image fits on a less than 30 MB media and takes just 80 MB of hard disk space.
- Smoothwall Express is a family of Internet security products, designed to defend your users and your network from external attacks. Smoothwall Express is based on the Linux operating system. Linux is the ideal choice for security systems; it is well proven, secure, highly configurable and freely available as open source code. Smoothwall includes a hardened subset of the GNU/Linux operating system, so there is no separate OS to install. Designed for ease of use, Smoothwall is configured via a web-based GUI, and requires absolutely no knowledge of Linux to install or use.
- Source Mage GNU/Linux is a source-based GNU/Linux distribution based on a Sorcery metaphor of ‘casting’ and ‘dispelling’ programs, which we refer to as ‘spells’.
- 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.
- Thinstation is a modern thin client that does work on its own for basic operations like web browsing, managing removable media and printers, but rely on servers for major applications as well as administration of the clients. The clients may be diskless or boot from local media. Thinstation works as a client using X, ICA, RDP, SSH, NX, telnet, tn5250 and other protocols and works on standard PC hardware.
- Tiny Core Linux is a 12 MB graphical Linux desktop. It is based on a recent Linux kernel, BusyBox, Tiny X, Fltk, and Flwm. The core runs entirely in memory and boots very quickly. The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported, be it for a desktop, a nettop, an appliance or server; selectable from the project’s online repository.
- ToOpPy Linux is a French distribution based on Puppy Linux. The project provides a lightweight distribution which includes many small utilities and can be run either from a live disc or installed on the hard drive
- T2 SDE is an open source system development environment (or distribution build kit if you are more familiar with that term). T2 allows the creation of custom distributions with bleeding edge technology. Currently, the Linux kernel is normally used – but we are expanding to Hurd, OpenDarwin and OpenBSD; more to come. T2 started as a community driven fork from the ROCK Linux Project with the aim to create a decentralised development and a clean framework for spin-off projects and customised distributions.
- Void is an independently-developed, general-purpose operating system based on the monolithic Linux kernel. It features a hybrid binary/source package management system which allows users to quickly install, update and remove software, or to build software directly from sources with the help of the XBPS source packages collection. Other features of the distribution include support for Raspberry Pi single-board computers (both armv6 and armv7), rolling-release development model with daily updates, integration of OpenBSD’s LibreSSL software, and native init system called “runit”.
- Wifislax is a Slackware-based live CD containing a variety of security and forensics tools. The distribution’s main claim to fame is the integration of various unofficial network drivers into the Linux kernel, thus providing out-of-the-box support for a large number of wired and wireless network cards.
- Zenwalk Linux (formerly Minislack) is a Slackware-based GNU/Linux operating system with a goal of being slim and fast by using only one application per task and with focus on graphical desktop and multimedia usage. Zenwalk features the latest Linux technology along with a complete programming environment and libraries to provide an ideal platform for application programmers. Zenwalk’s modular approach also provides a simple way to convert Zenwalk Linux into a finely-tuned modern server (e.g. LAMP, messaging, file sharing).
- Zeroshell is a small Linux distribution for servers and embedded devices with the aim to provide network services. It is available in the form of live CD or compact Flash image and it can be configured using a web browser. The main features of Zeroshell include: load balancing and failover of multiple Internet connections, UMTS/HSDPA connections by using 3G modems, RADIUS server for providing secure authentication and automatic management of encryption keys to wireless networks, captive portal to support web login, and many others.
- 4MLinux is a miniature, 32-bit Linux distribution focusing on four capabilities: maintenance (as a system rescue live CD), multimedia (for playing video DVDs and other multimedia files), miniserver (using the inetd daemon), and mystery (providing several small Linux games). The distribution includes support for booting on UEFI-enabled machines.