Deuan 1.0 is an excellent alternative if you want to stick to the original Unix philosophy, and (like me) have gotten fed up with systemd's sloppiness towards more complex use cases.
But it isn't the easiest to access. Stuck with the Linux 3.16 kernel, it often struggles with new hardware, and you may not want to spend a partition or two to have it as a test/alternative system. Turns out that you don't have to. Using a poor man's install of Knopix, you can easily accomodate Devuan, set up almost exactly like Debian live Jessie/Stretch. And running under kvm, you have the infrastructure necessary to do all the installation and downloading you need using the connection through Knoppix.

I have described the procedure for Debian 8.3/9.1 elsewhere, and basically the same will work for Devuan. You drop the squashfs live system file in an easily accessible place, set up a volume for persistent store where it is convenient, and define the correct boot parameters. Nest, you can turn to Devuan ASCII, their version of Debian stretch, which is under development right now, starting to become useful. And using a much more updated kernel.