I was able to enable upstart and disable systemd with commands that follows, but I was not able to prevent its auto re-installation when invoking apt-get install lxde (I am used to a serious server configuration without complex gui or without gui at all).

Please help: how can I prevent systemd auto installation for both 64 and 32 bit version? Thank you in advance.

apt-get install upstart-sysv sysvinit-utils -y
cp /usr/share/sysvinit/inittab /etc/inittab
update-initramfs -u

and then

apt-get remove --purge --auto-remove systemd systemd:i386 -y
  • systemd can be administered with CLI
    – pfeiffep
    May 30, 2016 at 20:55
  • 1
    Just an FYI, this can be done but very painfully. Since most of Ubuntu has been moved into the SystemD world, not as many have SysVInit or Upstart compatible scripts anymore.
    – Thomas Ward
    Jan 20, 2017 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


Found that Debian - style pinning works perfectly. After the command above, this resolve the situation:

apt-get remove --purge --auto-remove systemd systemd:i386 -y
echo -e 'Package: systemd\nPin: release *\nPin-Priority: -1' > /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd
echo -e '\n\nPackage: *systemd*\nPin: release *\nPin-Priority: -1' >> /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd
echo -e '\nPackage: systemd:amd64\nPin: release *\nPin-Priority: -1' >> /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd
echo -e '\nPackage: systemd:i386\nPin: release *\nPin-Priority: -1' >> /etc/apt/preferences.d/systemd
  • 6
    As systemd becomes more and more entwined in Ubuntu and Debian, you might also want to look into the Devuan project: they're a fork of Debian that removes all systemd dependencies (including, I believe, from packages like lxde) devuan.org May 31, 2016 at 0:45
  • 3
    Using a distro for which is designed to exclude or not to be dependent on systemd is a good start. See without-systemd.org for a list.
    – Underverse
    Jan 14, 2017 at 13:47
  • I have uninstalled systemd but after rebooting i am not able to connect to the internet. (ubuntu16.04) how can i troubleshoot fix this?.
    – GNK
    Jan 24, 2018 at 4:17

See also the guide here: http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/How_to_remove_systemd_from_an_Ubuntu_Xenial_installation#Related_pages

The inittab copy is not necessary and in that guide I address common problems of XFCE desktop environment (other DEs might have different issues with the removal of systemd)

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