Devuan GNU+Linux is a free software operating system for your computer. Free software means you are free to use, copy and distribute, study, change the software, and share your modifications with the community.


This message was sent to the DNG mailing list on December, 22, 2014 to follow up on the previous announcement of the Debian fork. It is kept here for historical interest.

## Debian Fork Update

Dear Init Freedom lovers,

Once again the Veteran Unix Admin collective salutes you!

This is an update on the progress of the project, born out of
the declaration to defend our growing community from the
systemd avalanche.

This update is quite packed so we will break it down in sections.

### Infrastructure

Mostly thanks to the hard work made by our fellow VUA Franco Lanza we
have made a lot of progress setting up Devuan's infrastructure, from
code repository to building facility to packaging.

#### Code repository

On popular request, Devuan has now its own Git repository and does not
depends anymore on GitHub, which can be optionally used as a mirror on a
per-project basis.

Devuan uses GitLab on as the origin for the
official Devuan sources, as well as a wiki for documentation, planning
and collective drafting of documents.

We welcome any Init Freedom lover developing solutions to resist the
systemd avalanche to push code also into our repository, applying for
our review and evaluation and, if reasonably in need, request our
financial support.  Those willing to get involved are welcome to create
an account on and signal it on `#devuan-dev`
(freenode IRC).

#### Build facility

This is the most recent achievement on infrastructure development: last
night the first devuan-baseconf package was built correctly through our
continuous integration infrastructure, pulling directly from our source

The pipeline `code -> build -> package` for Devuan is realized using
`git -> jenkins -> dak` and lays down a smooth road to automate the
integration of mature codebases into the Devuan package repository.

#### Package repository

This was the first part of our infrastructure to be set up & running, it
currently contains the devuan-baseconf package and is being tested in
various situations, including the very servers on which Devuan is

By the next update we can expect a range of packages ready for
beta-testing, providing a devuan package that automatically does pinning
on a Debian 8 "Jessie" and installs components and shims to keep systemd
away and stay with sysvinit as default for PID1.

### Research

Besides consolidating our own infrastructure, we are also following and
supporting any cutting-edge research on strategies and expedients to
support Init Freedom.

#### ConsoleKit2

A prolific researcher known by the nickname of max2344 has made well
informed contributions and has already published a number of
repositories patched to avoid systemd: ConsoleKit2, udisks2, policykit-1
and pcsc-lite

In the coming time we wish to support max2344 on these efforts, test
and, if useful for the 1.0 release, integrate this code into the Devuan
build pipeline. Meanwhile max2344 has set up an independent repository
to test his packages at

#### Loginkitd (working name)

The research conducted by Dimkr went into the implementation of a
compatible, yet standalone alternative to logind and libsystemd which
does not depend on a specific init system.  Loginkitd aims to act as a
glue layer that exposes logind's interface, but uses ConsoleKit2 as a
backend. This work made good progress and debunked several undocumented
aspects of how logind, DBus and GDM
interact. Dimkr is also the author of
"nosystem" a tiny library to replace libsystemd with stubs

The VUA collective has decided to use part of the donations received on to support Dimkr's research with hardware he needed.

#### libudev1

A fellow VUA and developer Matteo Panella is exploring the horizon of
libudev1 and is planning to present some of his findings any time
soon. He has been actively contributing to open technical discussions on
our first dng mailinglist.

### What to keep your eyes peeled for?

Around are more projects that are not directly linked to Devuan and are
worthed to support and keep an eye on. We recommend following:

 - eudev
 - vdev
 - uselessd

We consider these projects also eligible for our financial support: if
you are involved in one of them and you are in need of it please contact
us! write an email to

### Worth reading

The good folks at Troubleshooters.Com®, Linux Library and Init System
Ideas are presenting The Manjaro Experiments

The documentation on the generic Without systemd wiki is growing and
seems to be the most comprehensive collection of links and informations
on initiatives trying to resist the systemd avalanche.

### Finances

The finances of the Devuan project are administered by the
foundation, an international organization based in Amsterdam. commits to financial transparency and will publish financial
reports for this project, keeping them updated every year.

The current financial report for 2014 is already made available:

Our gratitude goes to donors that supported us so far, despite the early
stage of the project, and to all those who will decide to do so in the
future. Through the year 2015 We intend to use donations to advance
towards a Devuan 1.0 release that can seamlessly substitute Debian
Jessie while keeping its users safe from the systemd avalanche.  At this
stage, sponsors to support us in this quest are also welcome.

Donations to the Devuan project can be made in several ways:

 - To Paypal account `` with reason "VUA"
 - Via Stripe (creditcard) from website
 - To Bitcoin address *1QFbx3bKA8LABAGEaSe7EiP9JCxe2j4fN7*
 - Via bank wiretransfer, with description 'VUA donation', to:,
   bank ABN-AMRO (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), IBAN: NL87ABNA0406496021,

### Community

The Devuan community is growing at a steady pace! Here some numbers:

#### IRC (on

 - `#debianfork` counts an average of 300 people present
   (general talk, not strictly devuan related)
 - `#devuan` counts an average of 200 people present
   (devuan related talk)
 - `#devuan-dev` is just born with a small group there
   (devuan development talk, strictly technical issues)

#### Mailinglist (dng at

Counting 343 subscribers as of today, our mailinglist contains
discussions about a wide range of topic, maybe too wide :^) and
represents the first campfire for this project.

Subscription and archives are on:

BTW dng is now also archived on GMane and accessible via NNTP

#### Human language translations

Initiatives to translate the information around the Devuan project have
quickly and independently started and we are grateful to anyone taking
such initiatives. The French page on has already a
translation of our frontpage! Donc:

  Ne paniquez pas, on va fork Debian™! :^) 

Also the domain is getting ready to translate and mirror
contents. Anyone willing to contribute to the project in this phase is
welcome to start such initiatives in his/her mother-language.

#### Logo

Quite some threads went on the mailinglist about the Devuan logo and way
to present the project. While this is a minor priority for us now, we
appreciate the enthusiasm and quality of contributions.

Have a look at the gallery on the Without-systemd wiki

As well to Alban Crommer's design study for Devuan

Thanks! when the time will come for a 1.0 release we will certainly have
choosen the best. So far most people seem to be enthusiastic about the
galaxy designs in Alban's and Petrek's contributions.

#### What to do about trolls

We must not become acquainted to the fact that systemd discussions are
swarmed by trolls fostering aggressive behaviour and personalized
attacks of sorts. With the Devuan project and its early Debianfork
declaration we did our best to avoid such dynamics, to bring forward a
constructive discussion and action plan to respond to the systemd
avalanche with technical analyses and solutions.

We kindly ask the community gathering around Devuan to take us seriously
on this and avoid aggressive behaviour. Everyone should use extra
attention when engaging criticism and in any case avoid any
personalization, but stick to facts.

Recently on our mailinglist we have seen at least two threads calling
the Devuan project a fraud. To such insults and defamations we believe
we can respond with attention to details and educated responses to what
can be a legitimate criticism, but should never become a prejudicial
attack beyond reasoning.

As an aftermath to certain aggressions we understand that some members
of the community have taken action against trolls to the point that they
went exposing their identity and threatening some sort of revenge. The
VUA collective, the foundation and its representative Denis
Roio who has been also targeted by trolls aggressions do not take part
in such retaliations, do not approve them nor desire to be associated
with them in any way. We will keep doing everything possible to keep
Devuan a pleasant project to get involved in without any personal risk
and we invite any member of the community engaging such dynamics to
desist, leave trolls alone and ignore them.  We will keep actively
moderating the mailinglist and IRC channels with a growing number of
volunteers to avoid such situations.

At last, we applaud and deride the @shitdevuansays twitter account for
playing such an early parody on our project. We understand this is the
attitude of systemd supporters and we are not offended by it, rather
than thankful for contributing to the notoriety of Devuan.

### That's all folks!

And thanks for all the support and participation so far, we leave you
with a funny comic strip by titled Systemd World: the
Park is open

featuring our project Devuan: we are honored to sit besides Slackware,
an ancient and respectable GNU/Linux distribution that seems to have
still a lot to teach, even to Veteran Unix Admins.

To contact the Veteran Unix Admins, write to

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