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#1 2022-10-02 17:08:38

Registered: 2022-10-02
Posts: 2  

Best plan of action - Porting Debian based distros to a Devuan base

Hello everyone.

Long time user of the Devuan project (Since its inception), new user of this forum.

First of all, huge thank you to everyone involved with the Devuan project and making sure we have a reliable and sane close-as-it-can-be systemd-free Debian based distro.
Devuan has saved the day many times for me, both for embedded devices and setting up servers.
I hope I'm able to contribute back in some way to further advance the adoption of Devuan.

Apologies for the bit of a vague subject line, but I am trying to develop a more generic/automated way to ease conversion of Debian based distros but also to serve as a boiler plate for individuals and businesses who decide to roll their own custom distro for their product.

To name a few distros I've spent the last 7 months investigating their build systems and how they could be transitioned to Devuan are;

* TrueNAS Scale.
* Proxmox VE.
* Proxmox Backup Server.
* Open Media Vault.

Yes, I know, it is a massive undertaking.

The TrueNAS Scale build system, written in Python seems quite flexible in this regard, as it relies on debootstrap and adding their own packages. However it seems some of the packages would have to be modified to exclude systemd specific stuff.

Proxmox VE and Backup Server are... well.. interesting.
They have done a lot of customization and tightly coupled it with systemd sprinkled with some Rust in between.
Without trying to sound grumpy, there are a lot of their default settings and decisions which, unfortunately, causes a lot of frustration once you start tweaking things, especially around ZFS.
Those of you who are more knowledgeable in the art of forking distros and the legals behind, what would be the best plan of action here?
The end goal here is to have a KVM/LXD turnkey host/server distro which aren't suffering from systemd (I frequently fight with Proxmox systems and systemd).

Open Media Vault has been a goto for some time when building a little NAS appliance, this is again one of those situations where systemd has been defaulted to, without regard to users who are not interested in running systemd.
It would require some effort to get rid of the hard systemd dependencies, but it would be doable.

Lastly - init system
Personally I've grown quite happy with a combination of busybox + OpenRC and runit for embedded, but I see s6 is also quite attractive as it appears to be very well written.
What are your guys inputs when it comes to server focused distros where service supervision and management is important while the bootup and shutdown of a system is still fast.
My plan here is to write some supporting tools to better convert systemd units into a desired service system, be it OpenRC, s6 or something else.

Any input or suggestions are very welcome smile

Thanks in advance

Last edited by b1t5murf (2022-10-02 17:09:30)


#2 2022-10-08 11:01:34

Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 1,107  

Re: Best plan of action - Porting Debian based distros to a Devuan base


Welcome to Dev1.  8^)

b1t5murf wrote:

Devuan has saved the day many times for me ...

I dare say for all of us here.

b1t5murf wrote:

... able to contribute back in some way to further advance the adoption of Devuan.

I'm quite sure there are a great many areas where your expertise could be very useful to the Devuan project.

The most delicate part of the balance the Devuan project has achieved is related the dependency it has on Debian.

As most of us know, Debian's systemd brainchild (pun intended) has left Debian and now works for MS.

Now, if in spite of his having left Debian, Poettering's accolytes decide to continue to push things even further and eventually manage to alter that delicate balance, the Devuan project will undoubtedly be in great danger.

ie: Debian software which now can run on Devuan thanks to the efforts of the Devuan developers/maintainers could directly cease to be available or be too time-expensive for the project's team to adjust them to the systemd-less Devuan. ..

Eventually, Devuan would have no applications to run and cease to exist.

And, as you surely grasp, that is something that would affect all Devuan based distributions.

In my opinion (YMMD) the Devuan project does not need to find a way for Debian based distibutions to be easily converted to Devuan.
The Devuan project, first and foremost, needs to be able to survive.

And that, by itself, is "... a massive undertaking".

If the Devuan project can manage that, everything else will fall in place by itself.

b1t5murf wrote:

... input or suggestions are very welcome




Edit: spelling/syntax

Last edited by Altoid (2022-10-08 16:47:39)


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