Hi Simon, I ran into the same problem… in a chroot. Due to some bug, systemd-sysv just did not want to install under cowbuilder for some time.
I discovered that using the second alternative for *conf worked: put this into /etc/apt/preferences: Package: dconf-gsettings-backend Pin: version * Pin-Priority: -1 This will cause gconf-gsettings-backend to be used during the build instead, which does not depend on systemd-sysv. gl hf, //mirabilos -- This space for rent. https://paypal.me/mirabilos to support my work.