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#1 2020-05-15 21:09:54

sgage
Member
Registered: 2016-12-01
Posts: 246  

The point of Devuan?

You know, I've been thinking (ouch!). It seems to me that Devuan, while still a relatively small project, is attracting more and more new people all the time, and many of them are perhaps unclear as to what Devuan is. In fact, some people seem to assume that Devuan is the answer to their personal Hopes and Dreams or something. A Rorschach test, as it were.

When I first encountered Devuan years ago, it seemed pretty clear: it was a project to create and maintain a systemd-free Debian. That's really all I wanted - pretty straightforward. But as the time went on, and I spent time on the forum and IRC, it became clear that different folks were forming rather different ideas as to what was the point of Devuan. There seems to be a contingent that feels that Devuan is/ought to be a super-minimalist system, and those who feel that it should be 'libre' to the max. Etc., etc.

Then come the SJW types. Devuan's association with Dyne I think might have contributed to this...

Dyne seems to be a very 'socially conscious' outfit (for lack of a better term). There is definitely a SJW vibe there, and some of the statements made by Jaromil and others strengthen that impression. Sometimes at the expense of the technology, such as the time Jaromil said that he didn't care if the repos were down for months at a time so long as the workers felt mellow and unstressed and fulfilled (or something - I don't remember the exact words). Now, as admirable as that might be, some folks/shops might not be real comfortable with that sentiment.

But others resonate with that, and next thing you know, you have folks like silver2 coming on trying to remake the IRC channel to his liking, appearing most thoughtful and gentle, and then flouncing off in a bitter cloud of invective when he receives pushback. To me, his proposals sounded like control-freakery, but whatever.

Me, all I ever wanted was a systemd-free Debian. That's really the point of Devuan, right?

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#2 2020-05-17 04:19:51

wdq
Member
Registered: 2018-03-15
Posts: 55  

Re: The point of Devuan?

Yes my opinion is that devuan is a systemd-free debian and much more .
Just looking at other distro's you can see how gnome is getting more and more space, memory and bugs all I wanted was a system that just works when you see the problems you get with the damned systemd you just say thank you devuan.
Even if I am still at my begining of creating and programing I am very happy that devuan has a great community here .
I was not a Irc person but I will start joining the channel and see what is the atmosphere there , all I can say is that on this forums is all perfect

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#3 2020-05-17 06:56:28

Dutch_Master
Member
Registered: 2018-05-31
Posts: 153  

Re: The point of Devuan?

Yes, the point of Devuan was and remains to provide people a systemd-free Debian system. And IMO it's best for the project to stay as close as possible to that mantra. For me, all I care about is having a comprehensive, easy-to-install systemd-free apt-based Linux system for everyday use that's not just easy to install but also use, maintain and update. And as I have ab-so-lute-ly zero interest in playing personal politics I tend to stay away from the 'social' aspect of this by'n large friendly community, although as and where I can I'm more then happy to help out.

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#4 2020-05-17 13:12:35

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,645  

Re: The point of Devuan?

Yeah, our primary goal is to provide systemd-free debian. For those who want minimalist or libre or some other combination of packages, configs or whatever, there are derivative distros that fulfill some of these needs, and there are several ways of making your own, and there's a community of people already making their own who will offer ideas and advice and will help you solve problems you run into.

That brings us to a secondary goal - to accomplish the first goal with the least amount of work. We have a team of around a dozen people to keep up with the hundreds of debian developers. All are volunteers. We like to keep it simple and easy wherever possible.

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#5 2020-06-26 11:08:59

Shadow_I
Member
From: München
Registered: 2020-06-26
Posts: 1  
Website

Re: The point of Devuan?

In my opinion a Linux distro is needed which is easy to maintain, so no systemd, no bloatware. Too many packages tend to grow fat and slow. Programming should be done with speed in mind.  And if there are problems, I want ASCII log files and not DB held errors. Also I want ASCII configuration files and not a registry-like DB.
I hope Devuan will achieve this. In my opinion Debian took the wrong path.
I will try Devuan now on my systems: Servers and desktops.
Just my 5 Ct, Shadow_I

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#6 2020-06-26 11:15:28

larsH
Member
Registered: 2020-05-05
Posts: 143  

Re: The point of Devuan?

Hi

Welcome
I am sure you will find what you want in Devuan

Have a nice day
Lars H

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#7 2020-06-26 13:52:02

Tatwi
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2018-10-24
Posts: 40  
Website

Re: The point of Devuan?

sgage wrote:

Me, all I ever wanted was a systemd-free Debian. That's really the point of Devuan, right?

That's all I want.

Debian is the root of many distros, because it's such a stable base that is easy to add layers of customization onto until one reaches their desired results. Want minimal? Start with a netinstall base system and add only what you want - heck, even remove some stuff after first boot if you'd like. Want a Ubuntu clone? Well, that's possible too with some effort. And anything in between. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy for new people, but Debian has never been easy for new people; If you want "easy" or specific to your personal needs/desires, you should use something else.  That's the entire reason why derivative distros exist.

Debian is pretty cool, but it was cooler without Systemd, hence Devuan. It doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

----

That said, obviously the direction and oversight of Debian has changed, else we wouldn't be here, so I think it would make sense if the spirit and direction of Devuan was the same as Debian's was back in the days of Wheezy and earlier. For instance, if the next version of Debian was entirely based on Snap packages, I think that a Devuan version of that would go over like a lead balloon with most of us. I like the standard library/binary/file management system of Linux, it's kinda what makes GNU/Linux, well GNU/Linux, to me anyway. So if new Debian did away with it and Devuan followed suit, because "Devuan is Debian without Systemd", then that I guess would be the end of my use of either project. Not for some philosophical reasons, just because container madness is not what I want from a GNU/Linux system.

But what I want doesn't matter; Devuan is Debian without Systemd.

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#8 2020-06-29 15:03:53

brocashelm
Member
Registered: 2020-06-29
Posts: 59  

Re: The point of Devuan?

I first got into Devuan two years ago when there was talk of non-Systemd distros in the market. Having used GNU/Linux Mint 18.3 (the last one to allow "some" sort of init choice), I kept waiting for the right moment to jump right in. I tried Devuan when ASCII was out, but I had problems with metapackages (i.e. removing SLiM affects essential system functions, such as UDisks), so I left it alone and went back to my daily driver. Come Beowulf, it FINALLY showed promise, but I still didn't quite feel right with it.

That's when I'd heard that a Devuan spin by the name of Refracta existed, so I honestly gave it a go. I was surprised how lightweight it was, and the necessary drivers were provided to me in the form of binaries (I definitely needed those for my AMD GPU). On top of that, its default sound drivers shipped with ALSA (instead of PulseAudio, which I can't quite wrap my head around for such a non-Systemd distro to use as default). Even better is that you get to create your own live installer with ease.

After spending all of yesterday tweaking my Refracta system to how I see fit, I can safely say that this will tide me by for a really long time. Surprised how stable it is, and it's superior to other non-Systemd champions Artix GNU/Linux, MX GNU/Linux,  and Void GNU/Linux.

So, to sum it up, the "point" of using Devuan is to get away from Red Hat and Poettering bollocks by ways of Systemd, PulseAudio, and other such rubbish. Canonical putting the final nail in the coffin was when they announced Snap. Well, at least GNU/Linux Mint's developers had enough common sense to reject that, but it looks like they will continue to use Systemd, even on GNU/Linux Mint Debian Edition (here's their perfect chance to join forces with Devuan and usher in the best of both worlds).

Last edited by brocashelm (2020-06-29 15:33:19)


"In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" | George Orwell
Cthulhu 2020 | No Lives Matter

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#9 2020-06-29 22:26:00

sgage
Member
Registered: 2016-12-01
Posts: 246  

Re: The point of Devuan?

brocashelm wrote:

I first got into Devuan two years ago when there was talk of non-Systemd distros in the market. Having used GNU/Linux Mint 18.3 (the last one to allow "some" sort of init choice), I kept waiting for the right moment to jump right in. I tried Devuan when ASCII was out, but I had problems with metapackages (i.e. removing SLiM affects essential system functions, such as UDisks), so I left it alone and went back to my daily driver. Come Beowulf, it FINALLY showed promise, but I still didn't quite feel right with it.

That's when I'd heard that a Devuan spin by the name of Refracta existed, so I honestly gave it a go. I was surprised how lightweight it was, and the necessary drivers were provided to me in the form of binaries (I definitely needed those for my AMD GPU). On top of that, its default sound drivers shipped with ALSA (instead of PulseAudio, which I can't quite wrap my head around for such a non-Systemd distro to use as default). Even better is that you get to create your own live installer with ease.

After spending all of yesterday tweaking my Refracta system to how I see fit, I can safely say that this will tide me by for a really long time. Surprised how stable it is, and it's superior to other non-Systemd champions Artix GNU/Linux, MX GNU/Linux,  and Void GNU/Linux.

So, to sum it up, the "point" of using Devuan is to get away from Red Hat and Poettering bollocks by ways of Systemd, PulseAudio, and other such rubbish. Canonical putting the final nail in the coffin was when they announced Snap. Well, at least GNU/Linux Mint's developers had enough common sense to reject that, but it looks like they will continue to use Systemd, even on GNU/Linux Mint Debian Edition (here's their perfect chance to join forces with Devuan and usher in the best of both worlds).

The stated purpose of the Devuan Project from the get-go was to produce a systemd-free Debian. That's all. They mostly use the Debian repos and general system of meta-stuff except for those packages that absolutely needed to be forked to work without systemd. A lot of that is pretty tricky infrastructure/plumbing type stuff. They do not have an army of developers - what they have done so far is incredible, and I fear the job doesn't get easier going forward...

All the other minimalism and such that people project upon it is just that - their projection. Devuan encourages derivatives, so you get things like Refracta and others, which is great. But Devuan has done really tricky stuff just to get a systemd-free Debian, and that's their mission, and their plate is pretty full. That was the point of my original post to start off this thread.

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#10 2020-06-30 15:06:28

brocashelm
Member
Registered: 2020-06-29
Posts: 59  

Re: The point of Devuan?

sgage wrote:
brocashelm wrote:

I first got into Devuan two years ago when there was talk of non-Systemd distros in the market. Having used GNU/Linux Mint 18.3 (the last one to allow "some" sort of init choice), I kept waiting for the right moment to jump right in. I tried Devuan when ASCII was out, but I had problems with metapackages (i.e. removing SLiM affects essential system functions, such as UDisks), so I left it alone and went back to my daily driver. Come Beowulf, it FINALLY showed promise, but I still didn't quite feel right with it.

That's when I'd heard that a Devuan spin by the name of Refracta existed, so I honestly gave it a go. I was surprised how lightweight it was, and the necessary drivers were provided to me in the form of binaries (I definitely needed those for my AMD GPU). On top of that, its default sound drivers shipped with ALSA (instead of PulseAudio, which I can't quite wrap my head around for such a non-Systemd distro to use as default). Even better is that you get to create your own live installer with ease.

After spending all of yesterday tweaking my Refracta system to how I see fit, I can safely say that this will tide me by for a really long time. Surprised how stable it is, and it's superior to other non-Systemd champions Artix GNU/Linux, MX GNU/Linux,  and Void GNU/Linux.

So, to sum it up, the "point" of using Devuan is to get away from Red Hat and Poettering bollocks by ways of Systemd, PulseAudio, and other such rubbish. Canonical putting the final nail in the coffin was when they announced Snap. Well, at least GNU/Linux Mint's developers had enough common sense to reject that, but it looks like they will continue to use Systemd, even on GNU/Linux Mint Debian Edition (here's their perfect chance to join forces with Devuan and usher in the best of both worlds).

The stated purpose of the Devuan Project from the get-go was to produce a systemd-free Debian. That's all. They mostly use the Debian repos and general system of meta-stuff except for those packages that absolutely needed to be forked to work without systemd. A lot of that is pretty tricky infrastructure/plumbing type stuff. They do not have an army of developers - what they have done so far is incredible, and I fear the job doesn't get easier going forward...

All the other minimalism and such that people project upon it is just that - their projection. Devuan encourages derivatives, so you get things like Refracta and others, which is great. But Devuan has done really tricky stuff just to get a systemd-free Debian, and that's their mission, and their plate is pretty full. That was the point of my original post to start off this thread.

...and Devuan does it pretty well. I was surprised how responsive it was without garbage code. I wasn't originally a Debian user, but I could only imagine how much more excited I would've been at the time when Devuan was fairly recent.

I also say that Devuan is the only distro using APT that has a promising future ahead, whereas other Debian bases might fall short on snappiness. So, even that alone is reason enough to back Devuan. They are pretty serious about init choice, which I think is far more amplified than any other distro not using Systemd. The more vocal, the better. That's how you change things (for the better).


"In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" | George Orwell
Cthulhu 2020 | No Lives Matter

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#11 2020-07-08 17:14:30

Digit
Member
Registered: 2017-02-20
Posts: 1  

Re: The point of Devuan?

A systemd free Debian.  Yup. 
A Debian not taking that path of Lennartware.
But how much of the rest of Debian comes along?  Where (as one diasporan pointed as their reason to still prefer Debian) is the social contract?  ... Which I think just goes to satirically highlight how undermined that social contract is, given the direction taken and need of remedy by a fork.  Gave me more confidence in Devuan. 

As for what else others see in it, and consider it should be... to me it seems much simpler when not trying to grasp tight on some narrow definition of purpose of existence, and instead allow it to be many things to many people.  Just like Debian is/was.

Lets not get caught up in what it is to me, as what it should be to everybody else.

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#12 2020-07-08 20:01:50

sgage
Member
Registered: 2016-12-01
Posts: 246  

Re: The point of Devuan?

"Lets not get caught up in what it is to me, as what it should be to everybody else."

Exactly. and let's not get caught up in 'it really needs to implement/include these features and defaults that I think are best'.

Devuan is intended to be used as the base for derivatives, and many are springing up, with different approaches to features and minimalism, etc. This is a very good thing!

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#13 2020-07-09 04:16:01

LambOfNothing
Member
Registered: 2017-10-08
Posts: 7  

Re: The point of Devuan?

sgage wrote:

You know, I've been thinking (ouch!). It seems to me that Devuan, while still a relatively small project, is attracting more and more new people all the time, and many of them are perhaps unclear as to what Devuan is. In fact, some people seem to assume that Devuan is the answer to their personal Hopes and Dreams or something. A Rorschach test, as it were.

When I first encountered Devuan years ago, it seemed pretty clear: it was a project to create and maintain a systemd-free Debian. That's really all I wanted - pretty straightforward. But as the time went on, and I spent time on the forum and IRC, it became clear that different folks were forming rather different ideas as to what was the point of Devuan. There seems to be a contingent that feels that Devuan is/ought to be a super-minimalist system, and those who feel that it should be 'libre' to the max. Etc., etc.

Then come the SJW types. Devuan's association with Dyne I think might have contributed to this...

Dyne seems to be a very 'socially conscious' outfit (for lack of a better term). There is definitely a SJW vibe there, and some of the statements made by Jaromil and others strengthen that impression. Sometimes at the expense of the technology, such as the time Jaromil said that he didn't care if the repos were down for months at a time so long as the workers felt mellow and unstressed and fulfilled (or something - I don't remember the exact words). Now, as admirable as that might be, some folks/shops might not be real comfortable with that sentiment.

But others resonate with that, and next thing you know, you have folks like silver2 coming on trying to remake the IRC channel to his liking, appearing most thoughtful and gentle, and then flouncing off in a bitter cloud of invective when he receives pushback. To me, his proposals sounded like control-freakery, but whatever.

Me, all I ever wanted was a systemd-free Debian. That's really the point of Devuan, right?

I find it best not to contextualize technical endeavors in the language of morality. I've never considered Devuan or Dyne as necessarily SJW-driven, more so that their developers design and act with a socio-political emphasis that is much more unobjectionable than say, the monopolistic endeavors of systemd or the monetary incentives of Windows/Apple. From the perspective of those involved in these projects, they are equally as forward-thinking and ethical as members in this community. Whether or not they're totally delusional, is neither here nor there.

The emphasis of Devuan has always been hammered home as a systemd-free distribution upholding the tenants of Unix philosophy and init freedom, but I find that the value of this project and similar projects, is in its mounted antagonism as an entity that refuses to "bend the knee" in a space that seems to be doing so to a monopolistic design concept with proven flaws and detrimental long term effects. Having a space that acts as a counterbalance keeps the Linux sphere open and from being simply braindead as to the other side of technical arguments.

Last edited by LambOfNothing (2020-07-09 04:18:09)

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#14 2020-07-16 04:42:14

Danielsan
Member
Registered: 2020-07-14
Posts: 42  

Re: The point of Devuan?

I am pretty new here but I'd like to share my point of view since I have been watching this situation from the very first time Poettering made his first fart about systemd...

Init free/freedom is cool but it is really discouraging when is time to speak in terms of technology. Even being an init agnostic distro doesn't make really sense, it generates the paradox that if I would use Devuan with systemd it would be the same as installing Debian.

That brings to my point, Devuan needs to focus on the init alternatives to systemd and therefore must do a shift into his communication; practically speaking is something really close to a marketing or a strategic plan.

The main approach is surpassing sys-v must supporting, for the moment, OpenRC as default init. I see this latter as the key to state Devuan like the most easy, secure and stable Linux distro available. As a matter of fact Gentoo, because its design, is one of the most secure Linux distro enterprise oriented and it relies on OpenRC as default init, and this makes sense, with over a million lines of code would you entrust your critical mission to systemd?

Not for sure, this is the crack where you can throw Devuan as a spear and break the wall, shaking the Linux establishment and also putting a bit of scare upon someone...

However all this question of systemd, in my dumb opinion, it is has been addressing in a perspective that belongs more to the end users rather than the sys-admins. Systemd solves and addresses a lot of issues difficult to handle with just shell scripts, if it wasn't defective by design we would be not here speaking about it.

This is the part of whole situation where I see a contradiction and hence the weakest point of Devuan. Devuan is born by an initiative of Admins annoyed, in my opinion, by the methods around systemd: lack of participation, lack of discussion, lack of inclusion, etc... Rather than for the application itself which is pretty neat on the surface. But Devuan is not resolving the issues that systemd stated to resolve while it resolves aspects that belong mainly to the end users neeed like freedom, security, minimalism. As a matter of fact you can see that Devuan has generated a considerable amount of desktop distros but very few server distros. Therefore something got wrong somewhere in the communication.

It is clear that Devuan should move away from sysv and the freedom init per se, those must be preserved as inner value though. But when you leaves the political and philosophical topics eventually you have the technology topic and sys-v is not a good argument today.

Next move would be embracing the security topic more rigorously. OpenRC goes in the right direction, S6 goes even better. The latter is also seems very suitable for admins and many end users use cases. A fortunate win-win combination.

The main reason to avoid systemd is security, init freedom may been the impulse but it is time to reorganize the communication and the priorities around a clear statement. This would encourage people to join Devuan for a precise scope rather for something too much philosophical or political. There are a lot of people involved in Linux just for work that don't see and don't understand all this fuss around the init debate, they are probably very few interested in the four freedoms and most likely are Mac or Win user and any distro with systemd solve their daily workload. But what would happen if you start to state all the Linux distro are safe but Devuan is safer because don't use systemd? A rational choice made around rational and proven design flaws in the systemd architecture. At this point you can repeat the systemd mantra and the usual stereotypes like: "it's just work" or 'it makes your work done' etc; but once you raise up the concern, even from a remote security stand point, contemporaneously you create the need for an alternative that must be safest and an interest toward Devuan if you fully understand how to fit that spot.

Devuan guys proved to all the world to be able to create an infrastructure and make this project resilient and so versatile to be used as derivatives' base for many distributions that embrace the same philosophy. Following the pivot of the security just reinforces the need to an alternative init to sys-v and systemd, and hardening Devuan should be one the top priority, in comparison Devuan can be for Linux what OpenBSD is for BSD, an OS geared around security.

I think this is the right path for Devuan because defines clearly the next steps to follow, and justify rationally what has been so far.

Just watch as easier and clear is the OpenBSD description:

The OpenBSD project produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. Our efforts emphasize portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography. As an example of the effect OpenBSD has, the popular OpenSSH software comes from OpenBSD.

Against:

Devuan GNU+Linux is a fork of Debian without systemd that allows users to reclaim control over their system by avoiding unnecessary entanglements and ensuring Init Freedom.

And what happens if you mix both:

Devuan GNU+Linux is a fork of Debian with security in mind. Our efforts emphasize portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography. For instance Devuan replaces systemd with OpenRC to achieve that scope.

This is the shift of communication I was speaking at the beginning. I already wrote too much for a second post, hence I conclude my thread here. Thanks for reading!

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#15 2020-07-16 07:28:21

PedroReina
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2019-01-13
Posts: 157  
Website

Re: The point of Devuan?

Danielsan wrote:

Thanks for reading!

I find your opinion very interesting.

Danielsan wrote:

Devuan has generated a considerable amount of desktop distros but very few server distros.

May be because Devuan itself is good enough for servers.

Last edited by PedroReina (2020-07-16 07:28:41)

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#16 2020-07-16 10:17:40

nixer
Member
From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 101  

Re: The point of Devuan?

May be because Devuan itself is good enough for servers.

+1

Start with a minimal build, customize it, rebuild with refracta-tools, and you have your server OS ready to install wherever you want it.  Servers usually don't use that many installed programs, so a few apt commands to install what you need is not much work.  For me, it takes longer to configure what I install than to install what I need.  I do save my configuration files though, naturally.

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#17 2020-07-17 18:16:11

Danielsan
Member
Registered: 2020-07-14
Posts: 42  

Re: The point of Devuan?

PedroReina wrote:
Danielsan wrote:

Thanks for reading!

I find your opinion very interesting.

Danielsan wrote:

Devuan has generated a considerable amount of desktop distros but very few server distros.

May be because Devuan itself is good enough for servers.


Thanks...

Debian and sysvinit has been working well for a long time but moving forward is a good thing when all the parts work together in harmony. Systemd is good for what it achieves, but is really awful for everything else. Systemd is also the biggest error of Debian, but Debian is under pressure by Google, Canonical, probably also IBM Hat.

Check how Canonical predates the Debian work, it is also true that now many Canonical devs are also Debian devs, them were probably recruited from Canonical which would be good if that would not have harmed Debian...

http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php? … 72#p687205

Last edited by Danielsan (2020-07-18 03:27:29)

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#18 2020-07-17 21:20:18

PedroReina
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2019-01-13
Posts: 157  
Website

Re: The point of Devuan?

Danielsan wrote:

it is also true that now many Canonical devs are also Debian devs, them were probably recruited from Canonical which is good if that would not harm Debian...

I've hear that years ago, from the very mouth of a few Debian developers I talked with. IMHO is it again the fight between people that look for the good and people that look for the money. In an ideal world, they should be balanced, but in our world they are not.

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