30-11-2014, 15:55 #1
[EN] Systemd fallout: Debian fork Devuan set up
The so called "Veteran Unix Admin" collective has announced that the fork of Debian will proceed as a result of the recent systemd controversy. The reasons put forward are not just technical; included is a letter of endorsement by Debian Developer Roger Leigh mentioning that "people rely on Debian for their jobs and businesses, their research and their hobbies. It's not a playground for such radical experimentation." The fork is called "Devuan," pronounced "DevOne." The official website has more information
A group styling itself as veteran UNIX administrators has announced that it has set up a fork of the Debian GNU/Linux project.
Named Devuan, the fork comes as a reaction to the Debian decision to adopt systemd as the default init system for its next release, Jessie.
"We believe this situation is also the result of a longer process leading to the take-over of Debian by the GNOME project agenda," the new project leaders said in a statement.
"Considering how far this has propagated today and the importance of Debian as a universal OS and base system in the distribution panorama, what is at stake is the future of GNU/Linux in a scenario of complete homogenisation and lock-in of all base distributions."
The new project says its priorities are to "enable diversity, interoperability and backward compatibility for the existing Debian downstream willing to preserve Init Freedom and avoid the opaque and homogenising systemd avalanche".
Debian has three streams of development – the current stable distribution Wheezy, the testing stream and the unstable stream. Systemd is operative in both the testing and unstable streams. The testing stream is the one that will be finally released as the next stable release, in the space of a few months if all goes well.
The ruckus over systemd has had quite an impact on the Debian project with three developers quitting the project's technical panel and another developer, Joey Hess, leaving the project altogether.
The Debian technical committee had decided, via the casting vote of panel chief Bdale Garbee, to adopt systemd, the init system developed by a team headed by Red Hat's Lennart Poettering, as the default for Jessie.
As the date for the freeze of the next release, 5 November, drew near, there was a push for reconsideration led by technical committee member Ian Jackson. This led to a general resolution which failed, meaning that the decision on systemd would remain in place.
30-11-2014, 16:05 #2
What Devuan should be then? is it really a fork?
Our objective for the spring of 2015 is that users will be able to switch from Debian 7 to Devuan 1 smoothly, as if they would dist-upgrade to Jessie, and start using our package repositories.
This is just the start of a process, as bold as it sounds to call it a fork of Debian. This exodus is ultimately being a relief for some of us and should lead to the creation a peaceful space for work we are well able to do. To help with this adventure and its growth, we ask you to get involved, but also to donate money so that we can cover the costs of setting the new infrastructure in place.
Devuan aims to be a base distribution whose mission is protect the freedom of its community of users and developers. Its priority is to enable diversity, interoperability and backward compatibility for existing Debian users and downstream distributions willing to preserve Init freedom.
Devuan will derive its own installer and package repositories from Debian, modifying them where necessary, with the first goal of removing systemd, still inheriting the Debian development workflow while continuing it on a different path: free from bloat as a minimalist base distro should be. Our objective for the spring of 2015 is that users will be able to switch from Debian 7 to Devuan 1 smoothly, as if they would dist-upgrade to Jessie, and start using our package repositories.
Devuan will make an effort to rebuild an infrastructure similar to Debian, but will also take the opportunity to innovate some of its practices. Devuan developers look at this project as a fresh new start for a community of interested people and do not intend to enforce the vexation hierarchy and bureaucracy beyond real cases of emergency. We are well conscious this is possible for us mostly because of starting small again; we will do our best to not repeat the same mistakes and we welcome all Debian Developers willing to join us on this route.
The Devuan distribution will make an effort to improve the relationship with both upstream and downstream and, particularly in its gestational phase, will do its best to accomodate needs of those downstream distributions willing to adopt it as base. We look forward to statements of interest from such distributions, as well involvement in this planning phase.
Devuan will do its best to stay minimal and abide to the UNIX philosophy of "doing one thing and doing it well". Devuan perceives itself not as an end product, but a starting point for developers, a viable base for sysadmins and a stable tool for people who have experience of Debian. Devuan will never compromise for more efficiency at the cost of the the freedom of its users, rather than leave such concerns to the independent choices made by downstream developers.