Motivation: Failure highlights (Why I don't like SystemD)

Recently almost every distribution started switching to systemd as init replacement, including the upcoming Debian release, jessie.

Also, Gnome3 and other tools depend on systemd via logind or the like.

While I agree that the process management of systemd is wonderful and clearly beats sysvinit, systemd has some issues that are not yet been really dealt with:

Yes, PID 1 code and PID 1 reloading are being tested a lot, but considering the damage a single once-in-a-milllion incident can do, that's ...

Too much for my own taste, especially for servers running 24x7 services, particularily for Virtual Root hosting like OpenVZ on which we rely for almost everything.

Long-term solution: Maturation, hopefully

I assume the issues mentioned above will be dealt with in the mid to far future, because over time "enough" incidents will occur ...

Mid-term solutions: Devuan and/or uselessd, ...

Several projects try to solve this painful situation:

Short-term solution: Jessie without SystemD

Upgrading from wheezy to jessie without pulling in systemd

Not sure yet. Perhaps blocking systemd with a pin priority of -1 (see below) before the dist-upgrade is all that's needed. Input welcome.

Getting rid of installed systemd components

# Approach:
# 1. install replacements for things to remove
# 2. remove any package depending on systemd or containing "systemd"
#    Exception: libsystemd0. This only seems to contain functions for software that optionally can use systemd.

apt-get install sysvinit-core
# recommend to reboot, because removing systemd while it's the active init system usually fails

# remove the "evil"
# on some of my systems this removed xfce4, vlc, ..., not sure why, I was able re-install most of those
apt-get remove systemd libsystemd-journal0 systemd-shim
# check for other systemd packages
dpkg -l |grep systemd |grep -v libsystemd0
# evtl. get rid of things that are not required any more
apt-get autoremove

Preventing unintentional systemd re-installation through dependencies

To prevent "Recommendations" from beeing treated as dependencies, edit an existing /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99synaptic, or create some /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/999_suppress_install-recommends to contain this:

APT::Install-Recommends "false";
# or simple
echo 'APT::Install-Recommends "false";' >>/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/999_suppress_install-recommends

To block systemd 100%, specify a negativ pin priority in /etc/apt/preferences.d/pin:

Package: systemd
Pin: release *
Pin-Priority: -1

If you have are make multiple entries, don't forget to separate each paragraphs with an empty line.

Display managers not depending on systemd

To get a full list call   apt-cache showpkg x-display-manager   and look below "Reverse Provides:".

Window managers not depending on systemd

A long list of window managers can be found at

Network managers not depending on systemd

Other app alternatives

Further remarks

To be continued ...

Further links