Meet Heads the alternative to Tails, but without systemd

heads 0.4

Surely have you heard about tails distribution, if not, let me tell you a bit, Tails is a Linux distro that is based on Debian and what makes it special is that it forces all outgoing connections from it to the Tor network so is an excellent option to preserve privacy. If you want to know more about Tails I leave you a link to the next article.

Well, Heads was born in response to Tails, having the same approach as this one, well is aimed at people who like the aspect of controlling their privacy and anonymity on the Internet.

Heads is a distribution based on Devuan, which is a fork of Debian since it uses systemd as the init system, given the controversy that caused the developers to choose to take systemd, it was what caused the birth of Devuan which is to have a Debian distribution but without systemd.

Having explained a bit the revolt that this causes and the roots of Heads, we can understand that it is an alternative to Tails that leaves out the use of systemd to opt for System V.

Meanwhile the philosophy of the Heads developers, it is easy not to use systemd, for the following reason:

The init of choice is not systemd. systemd is a great piece of software that, while free software, has not been audited for security since its inception.

Being as big as it is, it is difficult to do so and as time goes on it becomes more and more difficult to audit systemd. We do not mean to be disrespectful or get into the controversy as to why systemd is a bad choice. We just don't want to use it.

Another important thing is that heads only uses free software, while Tails continues to use non-free software. Non-free software cannot be audited and as such cannot guarantee your security or anonymity

heads 0.4


The distribution a few days ago has been updated to its new version 0.4 with which it implements many changes and above all it solves several errors.

Among the main changes in Heads 0.4 is that hard work has been done on the Devuan SDK as this is used as the basis for compiling the distribution.

With it now the distro changes its base version, moving to Devuan Beowulf Testing, (it would be the equivalent of Debian Buster), with which the distribution has access to the most current packages of the tools it uses.

From the application packages offered by Heads we found the file manager PCManFM, the Htop process monitor, Electrum Bitcoin Wallet

As well various tools geared towards online communications, in navigation we found the Tor browser which comes with the NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere extensions.

The email client Thunderbird is bundled with the Psi + XMPP client and the HexChat IRC client.

For the document side we found Abiword and Gnumeric and the Evince document viewer. In Heads media playback comes with media player mPV and the LXMusic audio player.

The new init system is sysvinit combined with OpenRC. This is a modern approach to init and it works quite stable.

Given the distribution it is based on Heads do not include a graphical package manager, distribution does count with APT command line utilities to find, install, remove, and update packages. By default, APT is configured to pull software from Devuan repositories.

Download Heads 0.4

Without further ado, if you have been interested in this Linux distribution and want to install it to learn more about it or you just want to try it, you can download it from the following link.

Personally, I can say that Heads is an excellent option to try and for those who want to remain anonymous on the web, they can use it thanks to its philosophy of not including any private software.

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  1.   someone said

    "Non-free software cannot be audited and as such cannot guarantee its security or anonymity"

    Free? He must have meant "free", not "free."