Devuan & Debian Trademark Authorization

In February 2014, Bdale Garbee used his casting vote in the Debian Technical Committee to endorse the systemd init system for future releases of Debian.

The Devuan developers began forking the Debian operating system on 3 May 2016 to maintain ongoing support for Init-style init systems. Devuan is not exactly a fork though: the Devuan developers are simply modifying certain packages to ensure that traditional init systems continue to work.

In 2022, Lennart Poettering, the leader of the systemd development, migrated from employment with Red Hat to Microsoft.

Personally, I try to make sure my applications work with and without systemd. I don't wish to make any comment for or against systemd, Poettering or Microsoft in this context. Nonetheless, I suspect that Debian's original founders would struggle to get their heads around this situation.

Having recently acquired the Debian trademark, I want to make a very strong statement in support of the work that Devuan developers are doing.

Using the authority of the trademark, I am granting the Devuan developers authority to use the name Debian in domain names and for any other purpose they see fit and to use the title Debian Developer under one condition: when they use the trademark, they must take reasonable steps to avoid any confusion about which init system they are supplying.

Debian, Devuan, systemd