Devuan with its default XFCE desktop running on a virtual machine (2021-02)
DeveloperVeteran Unix Admins
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseMay 3, 2016; 5 years ago (2016-05-03)[1]
Latest release4.0.0 (Chimaera)[2] / October 14, 2021; 15 days ago (2021-10-14)
Package managerAPT
Platformsi386, amd64, ARM
Kernel typemonolithic
user interface
LicenseOpen source

Devuan is a fork of Debian that uses sysvinit, runit or OpenRC instead of systemd.[3][4][5][6] The Devuan development team aim to maintain compatibility with other init systems in the future and not detach Linux from other Unix systems.[7]


The release of Debian 8 alienated some developers and other users due to the project's adoption of systemd and subsequent removal of support for other existing init systems.[8][9] The first stable release of Devuan was published on May 25, 2017.[10][11][12]

Instead of continuing the Debian practice of using Toy Story character names as release codenames,[13] 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. The second stable release is named ASCII for asteroid/minor planet 3568 and is based on Debian 9 Stretch. The third stable release is named Beowulf after minor planet 38086 and is based on Debian 10 Buster. The fourth release is named Chimaera after minor planet 623 and is based on Debian 11 Bullseye. The permanent alias for the Devuan unstable branch is Ceres, so named for the dwarf planet.[14]

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.[2]

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.[15]


Devuan has its own package repository which mirrors upstream Debian,[16] with local modifications made only when needed to allow for init systems other than systemd. Modified packages include policykit and udisks. Devuan is supposed to work like the corresponding Debian release. 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.[17]

Version history

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Old version, no longer maintained: 1 Jessie Debian 8 "Jessie" May 25, 2017 July 1, 2020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



  1. ^ Devuan Beta Release
  2. ^ a b
  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. ^ Devuan - Init Freedom Campaign
  8. ^ Stahie, Silviu (28 November 2014). "Fork Debian Project Announces the Systemd-less OS Devuan". Softpedia. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  9. ^ Wise, Paul (25 April 2015). "Debian 8 'Jessie' released". debian-announce. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^ DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 715, 5 June 2017
  12. ^ Devuan 1.0 Officially Released - Letting Debian Live Without Systemd - Phoronix
  13. ^ Debian FAQ Authors (1 May 2015). "What are all those names like etch, lenny, etc.?". The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Devuan GNU+Linux Release Codenames". 1 January 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Devuan Beowulf 3.0.0 Released: A GNU+Linux Debian Without Systemd".
  16. ^ "Devuan build system overview". Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  17. ^ "amprolla3".
  18. ^ "Devuan releases".