Enabling sysvinit on Minibian Jessie

Posted by Nate Bargmann on Sun, May 29, 2016

As I was building a very minimal system for running APRX (N0NB-10) I chose to use Minibian as the starting point rather than stripping down the full Raspbian image to run on a Rasberry Pi model B.  Stripping the system to just those things that do their job and then get out of the way, I chose to enable sysvinit.  As I was doing this headless, I found that after installing the sysvinit-core package that I could not log into the system using SSH.  Hooking up a monitor and a keyboard showed that init did not proceed through the system startup.

Looking at /etc/inittab I found it to only have one line! Certainly not enough to properly start the system. As my current APRX digi is running a stripped down Raspbian Wheezy image, I copied the /etc/inittab file from it to the new system. Problem solved and init worked flawlessly as expected. I was then able to proceed to remove the remaining unneeded packages.

The resulting disk image occupies about 525 MB in addition to the boot partition. This is far from the leanest Linux based system, but as I am familiar with Debian tools, this still leaves a useful system that is dedicated to being an APRS digipeater and iGate. It fits easily on a 2 GB SD card. As I have several on hand, I can easily write a new image should a card suffer data corruption.