I got fed up with Windows (again) a few months ago, and migrated my systems over to Manjaro (desktop) and Mint (laptop). And while Mint works great on my laptop, systemd decided it just didn't want to play nice on my desktop. And after watching its resource usage, I'm done with that, too.

And so began my quest to find the right distro. Unfortunately for me, most Linux distros have switched over to only supporting systemd, which really narrows my options down. On top of that, I'm really picky about window managers, and hate dealing with a full desktop environment like KDE or Gnome, or even XFCE. So anything with too much integration there is a no-go.

I've used FreeBSD on my desktop in the past, so I decided to start there, with a desktop-focused variant called TrueOS. And it was great, actually. Well, aside from the fact that it wouldn't recognize my keyboard, due to a rather irritating bug in FreeBSD's version of libUSB. (See here for details.)

I tried Gentoo next. And it worked, for awhile. But I had fight with it to get anything to upgrade, and it didn't have a lot of the software I wanted in its repos. Once Firefox Quantum dropped, I finally decided to try something else.

I poked at DistroWatch's list of distros that don't use systemd and discovered an old favorite, Vector Linux, towards the bottom. But of course nothing can ever just work, and in this case it was the wifi. But not in the "no RT2800pci drivers" way. No, this was the "NetworkManager is buggy AF apparently and refuses to use the right DHCP requests" way.

I've been told to try Artix, which is an Arch fork specifically using OpenRC instead of systemd. The problem is that it's a pretty new distro, and therefore not entirely stable yet. The installer just doesn't want to run for me, and I take that as a bad sign just now. I'll probably revisit this distro in a year or so, though, as it looks very promising.

I've also heard that Devuan, a Debian fork specifically excluding systemd, was worth a try (or one of its variants). And it's next on my list.

But first, I'm trying Void.