GNU Shepherd 0.5 Init System Released

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 26 September 2018 at 10:51 AM EDT. 24 Comments
Shepherd, the init/service manager of the GNU system with GNU Hurd and can be used as an alternative to systemd on Linux systems as well, is up to version 0.5.

With GNU Shepherd 0.5, the init system now gracefully halts with Ctrl+Alt+Del when running as PID 1 on Linux systems and restarting a service now also restarts any dependent services... Plus services now have a "replacement" slot as well and there are various other fixes.
** Services now have a ‘replacement’ slot
** Restarting a service now restarts its dependent services as well
** Gracefully halt upon ctrl-alt-del when running as PID 1 on GNU/Linux
** Actions can now be invoked on services not currently running
** Guile >= 2.0.13 is now required; Guile 3.0 is supported
** Unused runlevel code has been removed
** Updated translations: es, fr, pt_BR, sv
There isn't too much out of GNU Shepherd 0.5, but that should please those unhappy with the systemd "feature creep" and just wanting a basic init system.

Those unfamiliar with this service/init manager can learn more at One of the easiest ways to try out a Linux-based system with Shepherd is via GuixSD.

More details on Shepherd 0.5 are available from today's release announcement.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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