Monday, September 5, 2016

Switching Back to Upstart on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has adopted systemd as its default system and service manager, i.e., the init manager. Although systemd offers many benefits, such as, aggressively starting services concurrently, you may sometimes want to switch back to upstart, the older system and service manager for Ubuntu because some services that you still have to run depend on it. Below are the steps that you can play with to switch to back upstart. However, since Ubuntu 16.04 is now designed with systemd as default system and service manager, many other services and applications are not designed to work without systemd. As a result, the following steps, as a few readers have noticed, may render your Ubuntu installation unusable. To run a Linux system without using systemd, the best approach is, to select and set up a Linux distribution that does not rely on systemd. See the Without-Systemd Wiki for more information and a list of Linux distributions.

  1. Install upstart-sysv and remove systemd-sysv.
    sudo apt-get install upstart-sysv

  2. Update Ubuntu to reflect the change that you just made.
    sudo update-initramfs -u

  3. Now you need to remove a few remaining systemd package in the system. This step removes package including libpam-systemd.
    sudo apt-get purge systemd

    If you do not perform this step, you will see an error message as follows after you reboot the system and log back in.
    [   26.664057] systemd-logind[4445]: Failed to start user service, ignoring: Unknown unit: user@1000.service

  4. Now reboot and log back in. You should see your system with a clean bill of health with upstartd back at the helm.


  1. 3. should be "sudo apt-get purge systemd"

    1. DANGEROUS! I have broken my LinuxLiteOS 3.2 (based on Ubuntu 16.04 and XFCE). Fortunately, I had made a disk-image with Clonezilla. Phew!

  2. That did not work for me! I had to reinstall Ubuntu!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. 1. sudo apt-get install upstart-sysv
    2. sudo update-initramfs -u
    3. sudo reboot 0
    4. sudo apt-get purge systemd
    5. Hard reboot
    6. Success

  5. DANGEROUS! Desktop environment (Ubuntu 16.04) was gone.

  6. Lost my desktop environment. I had to reinstall.

  7. I get a issue with
    sudo apt-get install upstart-sysv
    Errors were encountered while processing:

    1. I found this which solved it.
      sudo apt-get purge runit
      sudo apt-get purge git-all
      sudo apt-get purge git
      sudo apt-get autoremove
      sudo apt update
      sudo apt install git