Here’s the Deal
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There's been a lot of effort put in this project through the years, there is no question about it. It's 100% free and it's very user-friendly, but it being based on Ubuntu 16.04 isn't the best thing, as you are working with software that still is actual but the versions are not the newest. See More
Init Freedom and being closer to the Unix Philosophy are making changes easier. More specifically, Devuan is more modular then Debian because it is (at least at the low level of an init system) split into multiple programs which can be changed and replaced separately without having to worry about breaking something else. See More
Devuan confirms more with the Unix philosophy then Debian does because it offers alernatives to systemd which, in contrast to systemd, are doing one (or a least less) thing(s) with the focus on doing it (or them) right, not adding more and more features to one and the same program. See More
Debian basically doesn't give you any choices, even dpkg supports this feature with virtual packages: for example, it is very hard to use a different sound system than ALSA, like OSS4 or to use ALSA with pulse audio emulation, and the same goes for different init systems. See More
The self proclaimed "init freedom campaign" claims that it protects user freedom, but in reality it doesn't, and it's heavily misleading. The campaign's goal is to "free the users" by trying their utmost hardest to force their hatred of systemd down every developer's throats and removing the user's freedom to fully appreciate systemd for the amazing collection of programs it is. This campaign also seems to be linked to the anti-GNU movement, which actively tries to remove all the credit that Richard Stallman should've gotten for making the (arguably) best operating system, and directing that credit to Linus Torvalds for making a bloated and messy kernel that does way more than a kernel should do (systemd isn't just an init system, it's made to be more than just that, unlike Linux), and his devteam, especially Steve McConnell who shametags every single line of code that happens to hardly fall within one guideline of the GNU coding standards. See More