Version 8.6 of the popular Debian-derived Linux distribution Knoppix was released on Sunday, rebasing the distribution on Debian 10 (Buster)—released on July 9—with select packages from Debian’s testing and unstable branches to enable support for newer graphics hardware. Knoppix is among the first Linux distributions that can be run live from a DVD, and continues to enjoy a great deal of popularity among Linux enthusiasts.
Knoppix 8.6 is notable for being the first publicly-released version of the distribution to abandon systemd, an init system built by Red Hat’s Lennart Poettering intended to replace sysvinit. While adoption of systemd was the subject of considerable controversy and criticism, it is the mainstream default, used by Knoppix’s upstream Debian, as well as other Debian forks such as Ubuntu and Mint; RHEL, CentOS, and Fedora; openSUSE and SLES, as well as Mageia, and by default in Arch.
I stay far away from the systemd debate – mostly because I honestly have no clue – but I was actually kind of surprised Knoppix was still around. It’s one of the oldest Linux live CDs around, and somehow I find it comforting that it’s still seeing development.
Nostalgia… Knoppix was my 1st Linux experiment in 2003. There was many more since 😉 (I remember downloading the live-cd on my dial-up internet, it took days!!!)
Really the security implications of systemd are basically the only legit complaint. If they did it for that, well thats kind fair, depending on the init system they chose to replace it. I think the lesson these days is that everything is insecure, so make sure you have ways of catching bad behaving components and restricting them to least privileged. With the last round of systemd security issues, there were a number of distros that were not exploitable because they had other measures in place to prevent that kind of vulnerability. I think that’s the right approach rather than using a different init system which doesn’t solve the problems that systemd does. I really like the power it provides