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Devuan with its default XFCE desktop running on a virtual machine (2023-08)
DeveloperVeteran Unix Admins
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseMay 3, 2016; 8 years ago (2016-05-03)[1]
Latest release5.0.0[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 15 August 2023; 9 months ago (15 August 2023)
Package managerAPT (dpkg)
Platformsi386, amd64, ARM, ppc64el
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux kernel)
user interface
LicenseVarious open source licenses[note 1]

Devuan is a fork of the Debian Linux distribution that uses sysvinit, runit or OpenRC instead of systemd.[3][4][5][6] Devuan aims to avoid "lock-in" by projects like systemd[7][8] and aims to maintain compatibility with other init systems to avoid detaching Linux from other Unix systems.


With the release of Debian 8, some developers and users felt alienated due to the project's adoption of systemd and subsequent removal of support for other existing init systems.[9] This decision prompted some Debian community members to start a fork of Debian without systemd.[10][7]

Instead of continuing the Debian practice of using Toy Story character names as release codenames,[11] Devuan aliases its releases using planet names. The first stable release shared the Debian 8 codename Jessie. However, the Devuan release was named for minor planet 10464.[12]

The first stable release of Devuan was published on May 25, 2017.[13][14][15]

Devuan 2.0.0 ASCII was released on June 9, 2018, and 2.1 ASCII was released on November 21, 2019. ASCII provides a choice of five different desktop environments at install time (XFCE, Cinnamon, KDE, LXQt, MATE), while many other window managers are available from the repositories. It also provides installation options for choosing between sysvinit and OpenRC for init, and between GRUB and LILO for the boot loader. Devuan maintains a modified version of the Debian expert text installer, which has the ability to install only free software if the user chooses, while the live desktop image also uses a custom graphical installer from Refracta, a derivative of Devuan.[16]

Devuan 3.0 Beowulf was released on June 3, 2020, based on Debian 10.4. Ppc64el has been added to the list of supported architectures. Runit is now available as an alternative init. Eudev and elogind are now used to replace some Systemd functionality.[17]

Devuan 4.0 Chimaera was released on October 14, 2021. It is based on Debian Bullseye (11.1) with Linux kernel 5.10.

Devuan 5.0 Daedalus was released on August 15, 2023. It is based on Debian Bookworm (12.1) with Linux kernel 6.1.

The current testing suite with code name Excalibur is planned for 2025+. It is based on Debian Trixie (13) with Linux kernel 6.4.


Devuan has its own package repository which mirrors upstream Debian,[18] with local modifications made only when needed to allow for init systems other than systemd. Devuan does not provide systemd in its repositories but still retains libsystemd0 until it has removed all dependencies.

Amprolla is the program used to merge Debian packages with Devuan packages. It downloads packages from Debian and merges changes to packages that Devuan overrides.[19]


In August 2022, Peppermint OS announced the release of Devuan-based ISO's, alongside their Debian-based ISO's.[20]

Exe GNU/Linux is a Devuan derivative (since 2017) featuring the Trinity Desktop Environment and another LXDE version.[21]

Star is another Devuan-based Linux distribution featuring several lightweight window managers, such as Openbox, Fluxbox, JWM, and i3.[22]

Version history

See also: Debian version history

Version Codename Codebase Release date End of support
Old version, no longer maintained: 1 Jessie Debian 8 "Jessie" May 25, 2017 June 30, 2020
Old version, no longer maintained: 2 ASCII Debian 9 "Stretch" June 9, 2018 July 1, 2022
Older version, yet still maintained: 3 Beowulf Debian 10 "Buster" June 3, 2020 June 30, 2024
Older version, yet still maintained: 4 Chimaera Debian 11 "Bullseye" October 14, 2021 N/A
Current stable version: 5 Daedalus Debian 12 "Bookworm" August 14, 2023 N/A
Latest preview version of a future release: 6 Excalibur Debian 13 "Trixie" N/A N/A
Future release: 7 Freia Debian 14 "Forky" N/A N/A
unstable Ceres Debian "Sid" Rolling release
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release



  1. ^ Due to Devuan being based on Debian, most (if not all) Open Source software is probably available under DFSG compatible licenses.


  1. ^ Devuan Beta Release
  2. ^ "Devuan Daedalus 5.0 stable release". Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  3. ^ Hoffman, Chris (3 December 2014). "Meet Devuan, the Debian fork born from a bitter systemd revolt". PCWorld. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  4. ^ Larabel, Michael (28 November 2014). "Devuan: Debian Without Systemd". Phoronix. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  5. ^ Devuan Is Still Moving Along As A Debian Fork Without Systemd - Phoronix
  6. ^ Sharwood, Simon (1 December 2014). "systemd row ends with Debian getting forked". The Register. Archived from the original on 1 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Announcement of the Debian Fork". Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  8. ^ "Debian Fork Newsletter Dec. 22, 2014". Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  9. ^ Wise, Paul (25 April 2015). "Debian 8 'Jessie' released". debian-announce. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  10. ^ Stahie, Silviu (28 November 2014). "Fork Debian Project Announces the Systemd-less OS Devuan". Softpedia. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  11. ^ Debian FAQ Authors (1 May 2015). "What are all those names like etch, lenny, etc.?". The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Devuan GNU+Linux Release Codenames". 1 January 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 stable release (LTS)". Archived from the original on 2017-05-25.
  14. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 715, 5 June 2017
  15. ^ Devuan 1.0 Officially Released - Letting Debian Live Without Systemd - Phoronix
  16. ^ "Devuan GNU+Linux Free Operating System".
  17. ^ "Devuan Beowulf 3.0.0 Released: A GNU+Linux Debian Without Systemd". 3 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Devuan build system overview". Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  19. ^ "amprolla3".
  20. ^ "Peppermint OS Releases for 08-02-2022 – Peppermint OS". Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  21. ^ " Exe GNU/Linux". Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  22. ^ " Star". Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  23. ^ "Devuan releases".