Devuan 4.0 ‘Chimaera’ Systemd-Free Distro Released

The Devuan community has announced the release of Devuan 4.0, codenamed Chimaera, which strives to make GNU/Linux free of systemd.

Devuan came into existence in 2014 due to Debian shifting to systemd after a long technical and much-publicized debate.

The move led to several Debian developers coming together to create Devuan by removing all traces of systemd from the Linux distro, instead sticking to the well-known init system, sysvinit.

The name Devuan was chosen as a blend word, formed from parts of two others – “Debian” and “VUA.“ And if you’re curious what “VUA” means, it’s the shortened form of Veteran Unix Admins.

Devuan aims to be a base GNU/Linux distribution to protect Init Freedom and grant backward compatibility for existing sysvinit users on Debian.

Now you are probably wondering, what’s wrong with systemd? It’s a long story, and the objections are technical and political – a discussion for another day. So let’s now focus on the new Devuan 4.0 release.

What’s New in Devuan 4.0

The first thing you’ll notice about Devuan is how quickly it booted because usage of sysvinit, which is the init system of choice of Devuan. But, of course, during installation, you may also prefer to use some other init system such as openrc or runit.

Devuan Installer

Devuan continues to be based on Debian, and the latest distro version, Devuan 4.0, is based on Debian 11 “Bullseye.” 

One of the things it inherits from Debian is support for a wide range of hardware architectures. Devuan is one of the few distros that continues to put out installation media for 32-bit x86 systems, in addition to the popular 64-bit platform. Furthermore, Devuan also supports the arm64, armel, armhf, and ppc64el architectures. 

Devuan is an Xfce distro by default. However, it provides MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, and LXQt in its repos. Virtually all desktop environments available in Debian are now part of Devuan 4.0. The latest version of the distro comes with KDE Plasma 5.20, Cinnamon 4.8, MATE 1.24, and Xfce 4.16 desktop environments available in the distro repos.

Devuan 4.0 Chimaera

Installation via GUI or console can now be accomplished via software or hardware speech synthesis or a refreshable braille display. On top of that, Devuan Chimaera can install desktop environments without PulseAudio, simultaneously allowing speech synthesis in both console and GUI sessions.

Furthermore, Devuan 4.0 comes with a new boot, display manager, and desktop theming. And in conclusion, if you are curious, the next Devuan 5.0 release will be codenamed ‘Daedalus.’

For more information about all changes in the new version, refer to the release notes or visit the project’s website.


You can obtain the latest release of Devuan installation ISO from the project’s download page. The Devuan ISO can be written to the drive with the dd tool.

There are two mechanisms for installing Devuan. One, via the Live CD, which uses the Refracta Installer, and the other via the install-only media, which uses a modified Debian installer.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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