Adding systemd to postmarketOS

You heard it here first folks: systemd is coming to postmarketOS! As a mobile oriented OS, our main goal has always been to work for everyone. From technical folks to casual users. postmarketOS should have all the benefits you expect from a Linux based distribution, such as being free software, respecting your privacy, getting updates until your device physically breaks, respecting your attention and not shoving advertisements in your face. Your phone should be a tool you use, not the other way around.

This is of course not an easy task, one of the main blockers we found as we collaborate more closely with KDE and GNOME developers is that they have a hard time with our OpenRC-based stack. In order to get KDE and GNOME working at all, we use a lot of systemd polyfills on top of OpenRC. So while we are technically “not using systemd”, in practice we already do use a large chunk of its components to get KDE and GNOME running, just different versions of those components. While we are very grateful for everybody who works on these polyfills, we must point out that most aren’t a full replacement, and take additional effort to support and maintain. As much as we might want to romanticise the idea of spending 6, 12, 24 months attempting to come up with an even vaguely competitive alternative to systemd, we would quite simply rather be working on making postmarketOS better.

↫ postmarketOS blog

This is the sensible choice to make, and I’m glad they made it. It makes no sense for a relatively small project that already has to deal with the difficulties of supporting smartphones to also have to deal with shoehorning the smartphone variants of GNOME and KDE into an init system they’re not at all made for.


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