No Systemd, No Pulseaudio

Last time I wrote about systemd-free Debian, but not Devuan, for reasons which appear in the comments of that post, “Why Not Devuan?” Mostly it has to do with trust of their repositories.

But I messed up my first installation of antiX by installing my beloved Xfce desktop from Synaptic instead of using antiX’s own package installer. I don’t know how that makes any difference, but it matters!

In my zeal to rid my OS of any unneeded and unwanted antiX stuff (for the sake of my need to purge socialist-communist-statist-leftist elements as much as possible), I removed some essential elements that disabled control over sound, printing, scanning, and other features I really need. It was plain stupid to proceed in a hurry like that.

Doing it right this time, I have exactly what I need, with a few extra things I don’t want and will never use but cannot safely purge without breaking my system again. No big deal. I had thought, for about 0.68 seconds (nearly a lifetime for an android, according to Commander Data), to just return to MX-Linux because it’s Xfce anyway. But then, there’s that hideous systemd “there but unused” factor. I think I’d rather have a few antiX things there but unused than to have any systemd or PulseAudio crap contaminating my hard drive. The latter is just a matter of political preference, but the former is a dangerous back door to my OS, in my opinion.

So a word of advice to any other creatures of conscience looking to avoid systemd and pulseaudio and untrustworthy Devuan repositories, but eager to purge socialist-communist-statist-leftist antiX stuff, do it right. Read the manual, proceed carefully and deliberately, and slowly.

PulseAudio and Systemd

PulseAudio was still Beta when Ubuntu began shoving it out the door and inflicting it on users – even newbies to Linux. It was among the first things I scrapped in a new installation, in favor of ALSA. Nowadays you can’t really do that very easily because so many other softwares depend on Pulseaudio! So now you’re kinda stuck with it. Fortunately, it’s not Beta anymore, and it’s fairly trouble-free. Users who are having trouble with it and who have to use it as a dependency for other applications like Skype, should install PAVC (PulseAudio Volume Controller) to provide some measure of control over it’s many options.

Systemd was also Beta (or beta quality at least) when it was first shoved down our throats. Now for the last few days, my customized Update filter has refused two systemd updates – and I’m finding in some forums that systemd updates are causing people problems. I’m having none – but it isn’t because I don’t have systemd, it’s because I don’t accept anything but security updates and safe updates.

The cool part is, I don’t have to try and figure out which updates are safe and which ones aren’t. My friend Ralphy’s updater, adapted for Linux Lite from Linux Mint’s awesome updater (please visit for info), does that for me!

When is the last time you had this much confidence in your operating system?

I will insist on selectively updating Linux no matter what distro I’m using.
I now know enough to decide on my own, pretty much, which updates are high-risk (like most kernel updates) and which ones are not. Even on my copy of the awesome rolling-release PCLinuxOS, I don’t accept every update in spite of the “official” way you’re supposed to update it, using Synaptic Package Manager, reloading it, marking all upgrades, and applying. I’ll mark them, then examine them and unmark the high-risk ones.

I wonder if systemd is the next PulseAudio, kinda sorta. The debate was never settled, it just got so old and tiresome, and the debate fell silent. And PulseAudio took over the world while no one was looking. Systemd, same thing, perhaps? It is manageable by people who really know their stuff, but for me, right now at least, my “management” is to avoid updates to systemd unless they are security updates.

It will take a long time for debate on systemd to settle down. The PulseAudio debate has basically just died of old age. No side won the argument, the debate just went on and on until people got sick of repeating themselves. In the meantime Pulseaudio took over Linux userland. I think it will be the same with systemd. It does violate the “sacred” UNIX principle of “do one thing and do it well.” It does waaaay too much, so that if systemd breaks, all the stuff it controls breaks down with it. That’s my issue with systemd, and that’s why I don’t update it as soon as new updates become available for it. It’s like a kernel panic in a way.

Stupid Beta crap. It belongs on a geek tester’s laboratory machine, not on a casual user’s desktop.