While it seems to me that as much as Devuan would be a nice solution its going to be a long time coming. As far as I can make out (and there in lies another issue!) they are after 1:1 binary compatibility, for me that’s just not enough, to do a fork properly they need to be building everything from sources and becoming a separate distro in their own right, in future this lock step could take more work than they can manage.
So all the while I was experimenting with removing systemd from Jessie (its possible but leaves a less than ideal system) I was also experimenting with Gentoo.
I must explain at this point about my previous exposure to Gentoo, it was quite some time ago, when multiple cores where unheard, and on top of that I’m sure that the turn over of package updates was much greater. It’s more than possible (even with a multi core compile) to just continue on with what you’re doing and mostly not notice much slowdown. But you are by no means taking all your time compiling!
This responsiveness is one points where Gentoo really excels I thought that Debian (especially with a SSD) was responsive but Gentoo is really very responsive and fast.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that the dependencies are far more freer, where a Debian package will mandate certain other dependencies its actually quite possible to configure a package with a degree of flexibility that allows you a great deal more freedom.
Now there is a cost to this… (Isn’t there always !) the flexibility is achieved through a little more complexity (there is a learning curve (hill?!)) But for sure its not impossible and once you grok the basics of portage its a powerful piece of kit.
One thing I was sure was going to be a real nightmare was Steam, and I’m fairly sure that I ended up installing a boat load more 32 bit libs than I strictly needed to… that said its working just fine, save for some of the videos in the store being NaN in length, but that an issue I had with Debian too, so I’m not over troubled.
I’ve now gone as far as using Gentoo to install and maintain grub2 which I was previously doing from Debian, so I know which is my “main” distribution now.
While getting to grips with portage may initially seem like a daunting issue when its unfamiliar, but for the system you get, its more than well worth putting in the time to learn….
…and its certainly takes less time that wrestling systemd away from Jessie….