Quoting zlin...@virginbroadband.com.au (zlin...@virginbroadband.com.au):

> Now it actually works OK, the ramdisk image was installed correctly.
> What it has done though it prevents the kernel from being upgraded.
> I have sort of got around this by compiling my own kernel (I do this
> as a matter of course anyway), this of course required me to dump
> systemd as it WILL NOT work with a standard kernel from kernel.org.

If you wish to retain the freedom to compile a kernel _your_ way 
without special bespoke requirements being imposed on you by systemd,
you can do so on Debian systems -- through the simple expedient of
apt-get installing one of the other packaged init systems.  In Debian 9
'Stretch', those are:  openrc, runit, upstart, sysvinit.

I installed Debian 8 'Jessie' and documented easy conversion to use
the 'Jessie' openrc package, here:  

Please note carefully the caveats about certain DEs (the kitchen-sink
metapackages for GNOME, MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, and Razor-qt) and a couple
of other packages with overly large dependency trees (e.g., hplip) and
what to do about that.

I strongly recommend testing using a VM before taking any such steps on
a real system.  That is what I did to write the referenced Web page.
FYI, I switched that Debian 8 'Jessie' test system to track
debian-unstable ('sid'), and it continues to work beautifully, so I
expect you would have very good results on Debian 9 'Stretch', the
current debian-stable branch.

When I have time, I'll probably repeat the VM experiment using a fresh
ISO image of Official Debian 9 'stretch', to reconfirm the data on that

P.S.:  If you're compiling your own kernel anyway, and would consider
putting systemd in the dustbin, then you can further simplify by
compiling monolithically into the kernel binary all drivers essential to
early boot and root FS mounting on your hardware.  That having been
done, you can dispense with the initrd (initial RAMdisk), further
simplifying your system.

Cheers,                 "The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw."
Rick Moen                                     -- Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey 
McQ! (4x80)        
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