/sbin/init not found ‑ Bailing ‑ You're on your Own

I did some cleanup on my desktop machine today, uninstalling packages that weren't serving any purpose anymore.

One of these packages was called systemd-sysvcompat. I should have taken a closer look, because when I rebooted I was greeted with a message very much like the title, and dropped to a busybox prompt.

It turns out that systemd-sysvcompat is an optional requirement for systemd and provides a symlink from /lib/systemd/systemd to /sbin/init (and a few other commands that are more or less aliases to various systemctl commands).

Instead of creating that symlink myself or reinstalling that package, I added init=/lib/systemd/systemd to my bootloader's kernel command line.

All is good now; we will see how it goes.

After re-installing I have not bothered to remove this package again. It's part of the core group and very small. The benefits of removing it are negligable, the dangers are slightly larger.