I need to use Jessie without systemd and with initramfs.

But there seems to be some incompatibilities. During boot, I get:

Begin: Loading essential drivers ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/init-premount ... /scripts/init-premount/devpts: line 21: mountpoint: not found

It seems that the /usr/share/initramfs-tools/scripts/init-top/udev uses systemd (which I uninstalled from my system and replaced with sysvinit):

#Content of udev
/lib/systemd/systemd-udevd --daemon --resolve-names=never
#Content of udev (to be continued)

So it does not correctly mounts and prepare the system for the devpts and next scripts. Hence the errors at boot.

Would re-using initramfs (from init-top to init-bottom) scripts from previous Debian version (wheezy) work ?

Or is there another (and simpler way) to make my current initramfs work (modifying only some of the files) ?

EDIT: I use a flavour of Debian named Armbian. I do not have any desktop environment and only use it as a headless server

  • 1
    I assume you remove --purge systemd, if so, did you manually force creating a new initrd.img? Also, the /etc/udev/udev.conf file might not set any logging output, in which case you might want to set it to udev_log="err" to get any output during boot (which before that might look like it's hanging for up to a minute). – madeddie Aug 11 '16 at 12:08

First you need to install Sysvinit package :

apt-get install sysvinit-core sysvinit-utils
cp /usr/share/sysvinit/inittab /etc/inittab

Configure grub:

Edit /etc/default/grub file and change the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="init=/lib/sysvinit/init console=hvc0 console=ttyS0"

update grub:


Reboot then remove all of the systemd packages:

apt-get remove --purge --auto-remove systemd

To prevent apt from installing systemd packages in the future, run:

echo -e 'Package: systemd\nPin: release *\nPin-Priority: -1' > /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd
echo -e '\n\nPackage: *systemd*\nPin: release *\nPin-Priority: -1' >> /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd

Pin essential packages to wheezy:

echo deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free >/etc/apt/sources.list.d/wheezy.list
echo -e '\n\nPackage: policykit-1\nPin: origin "wheezy"\nPin-Priority: -1' >> /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd
echo -e '\n\nPackage: libpolkit-*\nPin: origin "wheezy"\nPin-Priority: -1' >> /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd
echo -e '\n\nPackage: upower\nPin: origin "wheezy"\nPin-Priority: -1' >> /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd

Install polkit:

apt-get install polkit-1 libpolkit-agent-1-0 libpolkit-backend-1-0 libpolkit-gobject-1-0 upower udisks



  • First part is already done. Why using wheezy to pin essential packages ? Will it automatically configure initramfs to used theses packages ? – lauhub Aug 11 '16 at 12:16

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