I dislike systemd for numerous reasons. Unfortunately, it has been adopted by most popular Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and others. It is also becoming increasingly difficult, or even impossible, to replace within these distributions (e.g. I've failed to drop systemd on Debian Jessie).

Anyway, I want to try other Linux distributions which do not use systemd by default. What are some prominent examples of such distributions, and their strengths and weaknesses?

Note: If someone we're at a point where there are many of these, feel free to describe their categories or significant representatives.

  • I think this question might be too broad if your only requirement is that it not uses systemd by default. Do you have any other requirements? – unor Sep 14 '16 at 14:17
  • @unor: Oh, I have lots of requirements, but they don't matter, since there are actually few non-systemd distributions, and very very few ones which one could describe as "prominent". – einpoklum Sep 14 '16 at 16:04
  • Okay, then what means prominent for you? – unor Sep 14 '16 at 16:06
  • @unor: Dictionary definition of the word. If someone finds a distribution to be prominent enough to merit an answer here, I'll take their word for it. – einpoklum Sep 14 '16 at 16:12

Gentoo uses OpenRC by default.


  • highly customizable
  • no bloatware
  • very up-to-date packages


  • compiling takes time
  • may be hard to install for linux starters
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One such distribution is Devuan, a fork of the Debian project. Initially, they've focused on creating a systemd-free variant of Debian Jessie, which they have done.

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