However, the tentacles of systemd are spreading, and it may eventually become impossible to use Linux without also using systemd. I will face that when I come to it. In the meantime, I will put my support behind those distros that are "holding out".
Foremost of course, is Puppy and all of the Puppy-derivatives, including Quirky. Puppy and Quirky use Busybox init, which is very simple. There are no runlevels, there is a simplified /etc/inittab, and we have simple scripts in /etc/rc.d.
It works extremely well, and we have bootup and shutdown speeds that are faster than most other distros.
There are some other simple init systems that will work well with Busybox, for example 'minit':
Puppy does rate as one of the "major" Linux distributions, in terms of popularity, so should always be listed as one of the holdouts.
What others are there? These I know of:
Alpine: http://alpinelinux.org/ (x86, x86_64)
CRUX: http://crux.nu/Main/HomePage (x86_64)
Gentoo: https://www.gentoo.org/ (multiple architectures!)
PCLinuxOS: http://www.pclinuxos.com/ (x86, x86_64)
Slackware: http://www.slackware.com/ (x86, x86_64, ARMv5te)
If anyone wants to comment about this post, or any other post on my blog, you can either click the Contact Me link above (which requires registration and email verification), or post to this Puppy Forum thread that I am currently monitoring (even if your post is a bit off-topic, never mind, but do understand that it is moderated):
Comments:CRUX arm Posted on 14 Nov 2014, 1:11 by admin
Correction, CRUX is available for multiple architectures:
CRUX is interesting, it is the only distro I know of, apart from Quirky, that uses eudev.
Well, Gentoo can do, but it requires compiling everything from source, and I was reading that there are some difficulties.