Non-systemd beta - Devuan 3.0.0 (Beowulf)

While here in “self isolation” I’ve been messing with the new Beta of Devuan 3 (Beowulf). I think this is I think (finally) based on the current Debian Buster (Stable) rather than Devuan 2/2.1 (ASCII) which is/was based on Debian Stretch. (Devuan codenames are based on asteroids or something (Minor Planet Center Names List), so there’s an ASCII asteroid out there - cool).

The thing about Devuan is the don’t use systemd but offer SysVinit or OpenRC alternative (so really it’s for those allergic to systemd).

I had Devuan 2/2.1 on one of my laptops (the HP Elitebook 8470p I think) for quite a white and it worked as well as most other Linux distros for me. I had Xfce as my DE (of course) and really only got rid of it because

  1. I wanted the space to try something else
  2. It was getting a bit too far behind being based on Debian Stretch in a Buster world

Anyway, Beowulf has been looking good, I’ve not installed it on hardware (yet), just been using the Live CD and it’s hanging in there. True I haven’t install all my usual default applications, but as those work fine on Debian Buster, MX-19, and SolydXK I don’t see why they won’t on Beowulf.

Personally I’m not considering changing to Devuan, MX-19 is doing me just fine but I probably will stick on some hardware (maybe that HP Elitebook again replacing the Xubuntu 20.04 that’s on it). I just thought I’d mention the new Devuan beta release in case anyone was looking for a non systemd distro.

Download from

Now, where is that old Elitebook… it’s in this pile somewhere

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OK, so trying to install Devuan 3 on my HP Elitebook 8470p has resulted in… trashing of both SSDs installed and long lost memories of old-style installers.

What is more, after 4 hours I hereby give up at 2am trying to install anything else (MX-19, Manjaro or Debian 10). While gparted is happy to see the /dev/sda SSD to recreate partitions, the other installers are happy to install the software, at the end of the process, on rebooting, the stupid computer tells me I need to install an operating system on the boot device.

A problem for tomorrow (or the day after - depending on when my brain feels like having a go. Thank goodness it isn’t one of the laptps I use much so it can wait.

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The machine in question is now back in service (without Devuan 3 - I was not liking the default coloue/theme anyway). It now has my MX-19 as the default boot option, and Manjaro on one of the 3 partitions on the 2nd SSD, with 2 as spares for messing about with other distros when I feel adventurous again.

Interesting… Was Devaun using GRUB2 or ELILO to boot?

Grub 2 (I think Grub 2.2 - I’ve re-used the USB since)