We already have among us Devuan 4.0 Chimaera , the latest version of the Debian Stable fork and reimplementation that stands out for not using systemd and offering the possibility to choose between various inits more akin to the Unix philosophy in the installation process.
As you might expect, Devuan 4.0 Chimaera is based on the Debian 11 Bullseye software suite , more specifically from the 11.1 release . This means that the major novelties include, above all, what differentiates it from the operating system that forks, so, for example, the “engine” of the system is still Linux 5.10 LTS .
Compared to previous releases of the same system, Devuan 4.0 has improved desktop support . Those responsible have explained that “practically all the desktop environments available in Debian are now part of Devuan, without systemd” . On the other hand, support for GDM and SDDM and new themes for the startup, the graphical session manager and the desktop have been incorporated .
Another novelty highlighted by those in charge of the distribution is the improvement in accessibility , making that “the installation through GUI or console can now be done through software or hardware speech synthesis, or using an upgradeable braille display. Devuan Chimaera has the ability to install desktop environments without PulseAudio, allowing speech synthesis in both the console and GUI sessions at the same time . “
Devuan was born as a fork of Debian by those who did not agree with systemd becoming the default init , denouncing, according to their position, that the system framework powered by Red Hat is an imposition that violates freedom of choice. of the user and, according to some, the principles of free software.
As an alternative, Devuan proposes from its installer that the user can choose the init that he wants to use, of course, as long as it is not systemd, with OpenRC, sysvinit and Runit being the available options . This approach also affects desktops, because those offered by default are Xfce, Cinnamon, KDE, LXQt, MATE, and GNOME Flashback.
All the details about Devuan 4.0 Chimaera are available through the official announcement and the release notes , while the system can be downloaded from the corresponding section on the official website of the project with images that offer different installation routes for the i386 architectures, amd64, arm64, armel, armhf, and ppc64el (not all installation paths span all architectures).