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Trying the Devuan way

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Good day. There are still months for me to wait unti I receive the pro1x I have ordered. No problem - I can wait.

I have ordered it with Ubuntu. A big step forward from Android for me. But Ubuntu is stained by systemd. I do not want to start any sort of war here. I only want to state that I will not feel comfortable as long as systemd is running on my telephone. Everyone can choose the best ways to render his or her life more difficult.

In my day-to-day (I've been writing code for more than thirty years, and I use Linux for all my computer needs, both at home and at work, since 1993) Devuan is my distribution of choice. I also happen to dabble with as-barebone-as-it-gets, but that's not very appropriate for a telephone.

Devuan is everything that Debian is, except for systemd. Works wonderfully.

I do not care too much for games and social networking of any flavor, and my current phone is almost never online. I need a phone for:

  • making and receiving voice calls
  • sending and receiving SMS's
  • keeping an addressbook and an agenda
  • (rarely) sending and receiving e-mails

Then,  the phone has to be a full-bodied Linux-running PC, eventually able to become a terminal, with SSH, to where I need to connect. Even the browser is not such a great need. I have to be able to turn off internet access (and even the cellphone radio, if needed) at will.

Not much, eh? The basics, that I expect the Ubuntu release included in the pro1x, and even Mobian, will be equipped with. I do not know how much of this has systemd as a prerequisite.

Knowing myself, I will probably end up using the Pro as little as I use my 7-years-old Note3. I have a full-time programming job that leaves me with little or no time and energy for brain-intensive hobbies. But I purchased the pro1x with the more-or-less utopian goal of merging organizer, phone, and a little laptop in a small package. I had that goal at the time I carried around a palm pilot, I hoped I could fulfill with an openmoko (that i did not buy), then with a N900 (that I did buy). No frills.

Systemd is a frill.  A big one.

This thread is just to find out if there are others who share the same utopia.

And to find out from those who are already playing around with other linuxes if the low-level hardware building bricks (a kernel tree to compile, drivers and binary blobs for the specific hardware components, as well as the infrastructure for connecting the telephony layer to user-level) are available and decently documented.

I have another wish - to get rid of pulseaudio. Same reasons. Another big frill.

Are there already ongoing efforts in this or a similar direction? Paranoids of the world, unite!

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22 hours ago, fluido said:

I have ordered it with Ubuntu. A big step forward from Android for me. But Ubuntu is stained by systemd.

You have ordered your phone preloaded with UbuntuTouch, which is not identical to the Ubuntu distribution for the PC. UbuntuTouch is based on Android in large parts. It does not use systemd as process 1, and probably won't anytime soon.

The choice of (native) Apps is more limited in UbuntuTouch compared to Android. But as you describe your (quite basic) requirements, UbuntuTouch will probably provide everythig you need.

If you insist on Devuan for philosophical reasons: it runs nicely in one of the various chroot/proot solutions for Android/LineageOS. I have it in a (rooted) Chroot on my Pro1, and found it to be quite well-suited for the purpose of providing a "real" computing environment on the phone (yes, especially as it does not rely on systemd). The advantage of the Chroot approach is that you have access to the entire Android App ecosystem in addition to your full GNU/Linux environment.

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