Prevent systemd installation

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Several distributions such as Debian, [Arch Linux],[1][2] etc. have switched from sysvinit to systemd.

However, some people prefer to keep their initialization system the way it was, or use something they feel is superior to systemd.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

This page shows you some of the ways to prevent systemd being installed on your operating system during upgrades or other package installs.

How to remove systemd, per distro

For Debian based systems

In your /etc/apt/preferences, add:

Package: systemd
Pin: origin ""
Pin-Priority: -1

More ways to prevent systemd on Debian

Some Debian based systems use Wheezy and present no systemd until end of life of wheezy as a feature, such as AntiX MX. [13] This method is perhaps overkill: [14]

There are more suggested ways to be fished out of this thread [15] & this debian wiki page [16].

To see if systemd is installed:

apt --installed list | grep systemd

To prevent systemd packages from being installed:

apt-mark hold systemd
apt-mark hold libsystemd0

To remove systemd:

apt-get remove systemd 

Thanks to KittenGNU for this tip: "The MirOS repo has some virtual packages to prevent lennartware to install" [17]

Some debian based systems remain devoid of systemd and look unlikely to ever switch to systemd given their nature and stated goals. Distros such as: gnewsense, trisquel, kali, pointlinux,

Dyson is also devoid of systemd and looks highly unlikely to change that. mentioned separately given it's unique eccentricities (open solaris kernel!?).

See devuan, a systemdless debian fork, scroll down.

For Gentoo/Funtoo based systems using Portage

Simply include the "-systemd" useflag in your /etc/portage/make.conf, like:


(...along with whatever other useflags you have of course)

another technique seen in some users' make.conf includes use of


which will prevent the package manager for making directories and files here.

For ArchLinux based systems

Add in your /etc/pacman.conf:


(as advised in the pacman page of archwiki)

arch forum has a section dedicated to this topic.

manjaro now comes available with openrc.

For Slackware

Slackware currently has shown no signs of addopting systemd as default init. (So you dont need to do anything)

Systems based on slackware look set to follow this trend.

Even slax and porteus (now more distant relatives of slackware) also look set to continue not having systemd.

For Dragora

Dragora currently has shown no signs of replacing runit with systemd as default init. (So you dont need to do anything)

For Crux

Crux currently has shown no signs of replacing their bsd-style init with systemd as default init. (So you dont need to do anything)

For Exherbo

In /etc/paludis/options.conf, add

*/* -systemd 

Exherbo may promote systemd foremost in the installation guide, but makes no effort to restrict you to it, and you are free to choose your own alternative upon install.


PCLinuxOS releases without systemd still.

Pisi Linux

A new independent distribution without systemd as default init.

LSD linux (Less SystemD linux)

LSD Linux is designed from the ground up to avoid systemd, so no effort on your part required to prevent systemd installation.


Void Linux have dropped systemd as their default init, in favour of runit.


Devuan is a fork of Debian, without systemd.


~rumour on irc "Archbang=VoidBang". ~please fix/update~


Sourcemage uses simpleinit and has no systemd by default, only if you really really want it.


no systemd here either. no action on your part required to avoid systemd.


Retro Linux-libre Software Distribution has 0 chance of becoming incumbered with systemd, given its target hardware couldnt run systemd.


Couldnt fit systemd in it. the whole thing is 8mb. rest assured there's unlikely to be any systemd hiding in there, nor liable to show up any time in the future.


Like TTYLinux above, systemd is unlikely to fit with tinycore, either by sheer bytes used, or philosophically.



Another way to accomplish freedom from systemd and keep the distro you love, is to put that distro into a bedrocklinux (( )) installation as a distro stratum, thus (by default) using bedrock's busybox's init, or (per your choice) an init from another distribution (and if necessary use the techniques above to completely prevent systemd's existence on your system). slide 28 depicts bedrock's means in this regard, in a couple simple basic examples.

further tips and advice

These are extra tips that people have offered relating to issues surrounding the systemd issue.

polkit and consolekit

It may be a good idea also to hard-mask consolekit and polkit on a non-systemd machine unless you know what you're doing. They were questionable to begin with but now they're unmaintained and allow for easy privilege escalation so they perhaps should be avoided unless you know WHY you want them. (Thanks SamanthaD)

Distros to avoid


Solution not yet found ~ please help contribute if you know how ~ The best offering found so far was a thread full of people saying to use another distro. It seems from this that you are not free to pick your own init system in fedora. [18] ~Please share if u have a solution.


this section needs content. please add list of init systems, and alternative components to take care of all that systemd does.

not quite systemd A stripped down fork of systemd 208 that aims to have it go back to pretty much just being an init system.


not limited to just gentoo/funtoo, openrc can be used as a replacement for systemd in presumably any system.,_an_alternative_to_systemd


GNU dmd is a "Daemon managing Daemons" (or "Daemons-managing Daemon"?), i.e. a service manager that provides a replacement for the service-managing capabilities of SysV-init (or any other init) with a both powerful and beautiful dependency-based system with a convenient interface.

External links

A whole site that seems to be dedicated to the same purpose as this page:

Original content started from: