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Debian vs Devuan - the complete guide to choose

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Devuan project aims to made a complete Linux distribution, but the fact its that tracks 90% of the Debian work. This article are up to date to Jan 2020.

Debian its the mother of most famous distros, including Devuan! But must be considering that Devuan are now more faster but more. so lest see some important thing respect the recently "/usr merge" and "systemd home invassion" incoming things in future:

We have two parts, overall differences, and more deep technical differences, recommended for those that will be used more than only to see movies or browse the internet!

Before read the complete article, i currently used Devuan as main system, but please take in consideration that almost all notes seems negative; why? well Devuan are more efficient rather than Debian.. but if we take the overall user vision.. Devuan will fail as complete solution.



Before read the complete article, please take in consideration that almost all notes seems negative i currently used Devuan as main system, why? well are more efficient rather than Debian.. but if we take the overall user vision.. Devuan will fail as complete solution.

1) Overall Information differences

There's no great differences at the user level (in fact none respect usage), due Devuan its just a Debian to removal of systemd, all the rest of packages its a Debian copy/proxy and a different scheme color (vage, horrible, that does not have contrast like the red vs white of debian).
AspectDebianDevuanObservations
Web pagewww.debian.orgwww.devuan.orgDebian have a too heavy landing page, but really improve the web organization, user now have clear vision to do.. main page have all realted main resources.
Devuan main page have vage contrast that will cause eye fatige, all the Devuan pages not have unified styles neither domian unification so user dont see if are devuan valid resource.
Easy of useMediumHardDevuan or Debian are base/universal distros, after install you must know what to do.
Devuan has advantages here due are more faster and have good performance, making ideal for special needs.
Novice RecommendationMint Debian editionExe GNU/LinuxWithout ExeGNU users dont have a easy Devuan derived work
VenenuX relatedVenenuX 0.5 to 0.9VenenuX gaming version onlyVenenux was based on Debian, now on Devuan
Theme colorred, white base, great contrastiris, lila, aluminum base, vague contrastDevuan colors does not make contrast, very vague for readers, uncomfortable.
Main desktopGnomeXFceDebian gnome are very limited in CD/Live, Devuan in one disk inclusivelly without network connection will have a complete desktop solution. But maybe ugly and dificult to use for novice users. Debian choose only work if you have networking.
User documentationGreat and extended, but there's many on the web!very fractured and inconsistentAll Debian non-systemd documentation are valid for Devuan! And almost all recent documentation.
ReleasesDebian releases are toy story based names, and releases are each 3 years in overall, uses stability cicle of: unstable>testing>stableDevuan releases are minor planets based names, and releases are after Debian stables does, using stability cicle of: unstable>testing>stableDevuan Jessie tracks Debian Jessie, Ascii is tracking Stretch, and so on.. in fact Devuan will always be behind Debian that already are behind all other distros (of course but very stable)

Devuan are like Centos does, as those gold days of Debian where performance and stability are the main targets. Does not have experimental branch like Debian does.
Recommended forAlmost all Linux users/servers that need great stability and dont like win-hat rpm related!Servers and/or Linux users, programmers only; Those systemd detractors! seems more faster rather thanDevuan its Recommended for server and programing/development but with tracking of Debian support, but will have problems for third party programs, due the lack of systemd, by example installing ISPConfig panel software.
Overall supportAlways take part of the stable related bugs.
Are huge organized and working
Take more priority on testing to unstable related, that's make sense due support are very weak and have lack of manpowersWell Debian has too much bureau and politic in structure! But take seriously those bug reports agains stable releases, menatime in Devuan there's no target in that, always have target in testing to unstable.

Official Equivalent Resources

It should be noted that it is not an exact copy of, because it is an independent project where only its birth is a fork of the original Debian. So not all the resources must have and exact equivalent of course.
Resource typeDebianDevuanObservations
Main official sitehttps://debian.org/https://devuan.org/Debian site its more simple and easy to navigate, simple colors, with good contrast, devuan use a soft not well separate violet/lila based colors, the Devuan web page does not have all resources listed and advanced users must navigate too much for.
Packages info sitehttps://packages.debian.org/https://pkginfo.devuan.org/Its a pain fault for Devuan not have a package info site
Bug and reportshttps://bugs.debian.orghttps://bugs.devuan.org/Same workflow based on emails: Both uses reportbug package BUT Devuan still have issues (due are a copy cat only), same subsystem, the only differences are style, rest are same workflow. Git system of devuan track some issues from bugtracking system.
Release pageshttps://www.debian.org/releases/ https://devuan.org/releases/Devuan releases does not offer detail info pages like Debian does, only have a overall mayor releases page for each mayor version. That's are obvious due lack of resources and lack of manpowers.
Projects and developinghttps://salsa.debian.org/https://git.devuan.orgComplete different systems, but both based on git workflow, Debian are well organized due git system are only for coding merge, meantime in Devuan there a mixture of groups and issues that some track bugtracking
Package previews
reviews
http://mentors.debian.orghttps://git.devuan.org/devuanDebian have a good mentors based pre-debian inclusion program.. Devuan only have a dictatorship way using directly the gitlab project management system!
All derived workshttps://www.debian.org/misc/children-distroshttps://devuan.org/os/partners/devuan-distrosDebian have a good page for those pure-blends and derived works.. Devuan only have forums with dictatorships rules.

A note all Devuan derived work are hard to manage due need of well knowledge of Linux respect Debian ones. Devuan are a derived work of Debian! Debian are a mother of almost all knowed famous distros..

Release equivalents

Devuan tracks Debian packages like Winbuntu does! Devuan Jessie tracks Debian Jessie, Ascii is tracking stretch, and so on.. in fact Devuan will always be behind Debian that already are behind all other distros (of course but very stable.. hil Debian.. )

Debian releases are toy story based names, Devuan releases are minor planets based names.

In the next table "release cycle" means starting/release and end of support years, with codenames and equivalents of derivates most close to:
Release cycleDebianDevuanwinbuntuwinMint
2013/2015→2020jessiejessietrusty/utopicQiana/Rebecca
2015/2017→2023strechasciixenial/yakketySarah/Sonya
2016/2019→2025busterbeowulfbionic/artfullSilvia/Tarah
rolling releasesidceresdisco/eoanTina/tricia

 Distro repository equivalents:

Due Devuan tracks most of the packages from Debian, the same rules applies when experts users want to mix/use repositories:
Debian linux baseoldstablestablenew stableunstableexperimental
Debianjessiestretchbustersidexperimental
DevuanjeesieasciibeowulfceresN/A
Win-buntuxenialbionicfocaleoanN/A
win-MintsonyasilvatinatriciaN/A
As you can understand, get Debian repositories (except for systemd depends) may will work as same; if you should need some software be packaged please consult the forums at Dev Galaxy forums.
Type of repositoryDebianDevuanObservations
Multimedia focusedhttps://deb-multimedia.orghttps://deb-multimedia.orgAll 99% packs works without problems, must track Debian and must use table equivalent above to configure it.
High Avalibility basedhttps://wiki.debian.org/Debian-HANone yet!Debian has special works for those cases, Devuan does not!
Debian ports/archshttp://ftp.ports.debian.org/debian-ports/None related or not appliedDevuan only have i386 and AMD64...
Google Chrome (amd64)http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/Debian Focused, Devuan must track over Debian table equivalent above
PHP/webservershttps://packages.sury.orghttps://packages.sury.orgAll 80% packs works, php works 100%, webservers have systemd only depends so must need tuning, must use table equivalent above.
Thirth party software (ISPconfig, hestia panel, etc)all compatibledoes not work due systemdDebian Focused, Devuan does not have equivalent

2) Devuan vs Debian: Tecnical differences

There two main technical differences: the init system, that gives to Devuan more performance; and the release cycle modernity, always behind; the rest its just copy/proxy of the Debian packages. Debian has 16 architectures and Devuan only tracks amd64, i386 and arm based only, so Devuan are more a derivative work rather than a universal system like debian are, also has too many imporant banned package due systemd close dependences.

Devuan has the advantages that can change the init system, begin with SysVinit and now can choose beetween Openrc and Sysvinit, and may in future will change to Openrc due tecnically reasons.

Devuan has the disadvantage that must track Debian packages so will also track their issues and apart must resolve own issues; unless winbuntu and winmint projects Devuan does not have a great company behing.
Tech itemDebianDevuanObservations
Init systemsystemdsysvinit/openrcyou know what systemd are! a shit!
Support period5 years5 yearsDevuan support are behind Debian release cycle!
Code names releaseBased on toy story namesBased on minor planets solar systemTheres no experimental branch in
technological modernitymostly over 12 to 18 months12 to 18 months behind DebianDevuan are based on Debian work, so will are always "behin" of!
InstallerDebian-installera mix of refracta and Debian-installerThe refractra seem back to the old days of linux, involution?
Media installCD/DVD/USB/FTP/NETCD/DVD/USB/NETDevuan does not distrribute complete system, always must use network/internet
Architectures163Devuan seems only have IBM-pc and ARM based/compatible

Devuan vs Debian: special and derived works

Debian it's known as the “Mother of all distributions” as we know, like winbuntu Devuan was born from Debian, so that said a lot:
Derived workDebianDevuanObservations
Novice and starter userLMDE,
Winbuntu,
Xandros
noneDevuan does not have a starter recommendation based work.
End userLMDE,
Winbuntu
Exe GNU/Linux,
Gnuinos
Devuan does not have a good end user focused work.
Mid-end UserElive,KANOTIXExe GNU/Linux,
Gnuinos,Nevlum
Almost all the derived in Devuan are miduser oriented
Avanced usersUnivention,KNOPPIX,
DSL,AntiX,
Crunchbang++,
Crunchbang##
All Devuan derivatesDevuan its perfect for avanced Debian users
Derived special workDebianDevuanObservations
Education - generalSkolelinuxnoDevuan does not have any in general normal users for education, only track debian packages
Multimedia - generalVenenuX,AVLinuxnoDevuan does not have any in general normal users for multimedia
Multimedia - audio focusedVenenuX,AVlinuxEterTICs,DynebolicEterTICs and Dynebolic change to Devuan base
Multimedia - video focusedVenunuX,AVLinuxnoEterTICs and Dynebolic are limited in video multimedia
Multimedia - native GAMESVenenuX,SteamOS,
SparkyLinux
noDevuan does not have any for games, only track debian packages
Multimedia - emulators/gamesVenenuX,SteamOS,
SparkyLinux
noDevuan does not have any for games, only track debian packages
Multimedia - emulators/consolesVenenuX,SteamOS,
SparkyLinux
noDevuan does not have any for games, only track debian packages
Networking - penetrationKalinodevuan only tracks debian packages
Networking - securityKalinodevuan only tracks debian packages
Electronic - generalnoneAnyall the work was embebed into debian
Ingeniering - generalnoneAnyall the work was embebed into debian
Programing - generalCrunchbang,
VenenuX,KANOTIX
AnyDevuan its perfect and recomended for programing
Programing - LAMP (php,web)Crunchbang,
VenenuX,KANOTIX
AnyDevuan its perfect and recomended for programing
Programing - JAVACrunchbang,
VenenuX,KANOTIX
AnyDevuan its perfect and recomended for programing
EmbebedMaemono

Devuan vs Debian: Unofficial Minimal images

There's few projects but the most close and similar are two only. In this apart, Debian has a advanced, due in it world, the Kenshi Muto images made a refresh of the current stable and integrate more recent kernels, on Devuan there's still not that feature.
NotesDebian b-i ImagesDevuan Minimal Images
The url sitehttp://kmuto.jp/debian/d-i/http://devuan.kalos.mine.nu/
AuthorKenshi MutoKatolaZ
Resource providedMinimal ISO for installMinimal ISO for live
Set of packagesRecent kernel, backportedsSame of official none especial
Type of ISOMinimal ISO for installMinimal ISO for live
FeaturedRefresh with backportedOnly few more rather than standars

3) Conclusions

Devuan still has to run a long way but are a VERY HIGH PERFORMAN SYSTEM, faster than Debian.

Obviously need more tune rather than Devian, due the systemd will have lack of thirth party support in many programs, but will gain in performance.

Devuan has the advantages that are more faster, light and customizable, it can change the init system, begin with SysVinit and now can choose beetween Openrc and Sysvinit, and may in future will change to Openrc due technically reasons.

Devuan has the disadvantage that must track Debian packages so will also track their issues and apart must resolve own issues; unless winbuntu and winmint projects Devuan does not have a great company behing.

Debian has the advantage that are a universal OS, due are equal (almost 99%) instalable in any hardware that have a CPU and a GPU in the world. Meantime Devuan only support IPM-PC x86/x64 and ARM compatible hardwares. Inclusivelly Debian list Devuan as a derivative work as https://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Census/Devuan.

If you are a hacker:, if you want to develop in common technologies and want stability and performance Devuan are your system, due you always can tune up your programs if there's no systemd support, as example to develop in php, golang, gambas, androit Devuan are the most recommended system due it proximity to Debian.

If you wants to evoluted from normal user: or a better user or advanced user.. can started with Devuan, almost always tracking debian as alternate system.

If you have specific programs and systems to use.. sorry meantime you must use Debian .. due those program are close and only uses systemd of course.

Not for stupids, mongolic, monostatic user.. its' better to use those inneficient windoser like distros or Debian.

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