InitWare as a Systemd fork on OpenBSD

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A point of criticism that is often raised about systemd is that it only runs under a Linux kernel and glibc and nowhere else. For some time with now, InitWare a fork has been in progress in order to be able to use a systemd-like init system on BSD as well. The fork also dispenses with the typical Linux system calls. InitWare is not the first systemd fork, in 2014 there was already uselessd reducing with the aim of systemd to a pure init system. However, this attempt was discontinued a year later.

Not all components used

Even the modularly structured InitWare does not use the entire functionality of Systemd, but dispenses with , among other things components such as Udev and Journald . The general principle of units was adopted, but InitWare focuses more on the init process itself. Units can be managed via a uniform interface, can specify dependencies and other relationships to other units and are automatically planned by the InitWare manager, a service management system. There is also a login and user session manager that makes it easier to manage users and their sessions. Each user is provided with their own user service manager with which they can manage their own services.

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Striving for compatibility

InitWare strives for a high degree of compatibility with the core interfaces of Systemd. Unit files that contain systemctl– and loginctlCommands here iwctland iwloginctlthat is, the D-Bus APIs, the sd_notify API, and several other interfaces are all subject of this goal. But there are also points in which the two systems differ. InitWare is very portable and wants to be much more modular. In addition, InitWare is much smaller in scope and is limited to the administration of systems, services, sessions and logins.

Now also bootable on OpenBSD

So far, computers under DragonFly BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD and GNU / Linux could be started with InitWare. Recently, OpenBSD was added. A roadmap outlines the next steps in the project. The developers point out that InitWare is not yet ready for use and that the installation currently requires an understanding of the intricacies of the platform’s boot process, but it is quite easy to put the system in a no longer bootable state.


  1. LinuxLover Reply

    Meanwhile, Alpine Linux and the developer of s6-init cooperate to create an alternative to systemd. Systemd done right.

    Should we rely on software form a huge US corporation (owned by IBM -> Hollerith machines) that works together with the NSA (SELinux), has to obey the Cloud and Patriot Act and which fights against the FSF, Stallmann and the GPL?

  2. Should we rely on software… which fights against the FSF, Stallmann and the GPL?


    software form a huge US corporation

    ***he types from his machine manufactured by big bad scary corporations***

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