| DistroWatch Weekly
1 • Debian 7 (by dude on 2013-05-20 09:55:40 GMT from United States) |
I'd really like to try Debian 7, but it won't install on any of my computers. It gets error messages because it isn't compatible with my network adapter or it hangs because it isn't compatible with my CPU.
2 • debian 7 (by greg on 2013-05-20 10:23:23 GMT from Slovenia)
Seems they need to simplify things or at least have simple and avdanced option to get wider adoption.
I am curious how difficult it would be to add a few backports to get newer version of browsers. as it was written having a bit older office is not an issue. i have it on Kubutnu LTS. However twice this year and once previous updates messed up my system. this never happeend before on Kubuntu. so i am seriously thinking if i should move to Debian KDE. thoguh i would need browsers up to date and also a few other progammes.
hmmm maybe i should go Mint Debian and change repositories to stable.
3 • Debian 7 (by Milan on 2013-05-20 10:48:01 GMT from Serbia)
For iceweasel versions: aurora, beta, release, esr, etc:
Libreoffice 4 is in backports
For problematic installs (hardware needs firmwares during install, etc.) there are unofficial images
4 • Debian 7 (by gefshep on 2013-05-20 10:50:06 GMT from Australia)
I find it curious the problems people have with the Debian system:
The Debian installer is the most reliable I have found for installing to hardware
mozilla.debian.org has the latest iceweasel (firefox) .. I'm running iceweasel 21 on my Wheezy right now.
LibreOffice (from what I can remember) had debian packages I've installed before.
However, each to his own.
5 • Debian 7 (by rop75 on 2013-05-20 11:06:52 GMT from Spain)
I was looking forward to reading your review and I must say I agree with most of your statements.
Having said that, Debian stable is not for people who want the latest versions of the software. If you want the latest firefox you have several options (ie enable the Debian Mozilla repo, enable backports -in a few weeks you will have more recent versions of your favourite software in the backports- move to Testing or sid). Debian stable is for people who want a stable and secure OS, and there is not doubt that Debian is really stable and secure.
I agree that one of the biggest problems, is the default software source (DVD), I do think they sould change that in Debian 8 as many newbies don't know how to edit sources.list
Finally your remark about LMDE is not right. First because LMDE is based on Testing (and so it will be based on Debian Jessie as soon as the next UP is released). And second because Debian stable gets security updates every other day,and LMDE gets security (or other kind of updates) every three months.
6 • mageia 3 (by phobos on 2013-05-20 12:08:52 GMT from Slovakia)
I hope with the 3rd release the Mageia project will start it's jurney to the top where it belongs. Cheers.
7 • Debian (by Jon Wright on 2013-05-20 12:21:31 GMT from Vietnam)
Nice review - it seems like anybody that wants to give Wheezy a more recent Kernel and theme it a bit is onto a winner.
By the way the live editions appeared for download a couple of days ago.
8 • Debian 7 and iceweasel (by david on 2013-05-20 12:34:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Why not replace iceweasel with iceape. I did as I found that the plugins for firefox would not install in iceweasel. Work fine in iceape and can be installed via apt.
I'm sure that libreoffice can be updated by getting a more recent debian version from the libreoffice site.
I'm running it on my laptop using fvwm-crystal as the desktop. Gnome 3 was a bit heavy and counter intuitive to me.
9 • Debian (by Maik on 2013-05-20 12:58:36 GMT from Belgium)
I don't understand that people still complain about Debian and outdated packages. Debian is all about stability and reliability, providing users a rocksolid systeem. Even older packages work and do their job so why always get the latest and greatest? Most of the newer versions don't even bring new features at all.
I'm using Debian 7 with Gnome 3 since 2 days now as my os for other duties next to my Ubuntu Studio and LMDE installation. So far i have no complaints at all. For a os that's just released it feels very stable and is really rocksolid.
Are you trying to install Debian 7 64bit on a machine that has a 32bit processor? If so, that's not going to work. Second, it could be that your network adapter has no open source driver that supports it so you might need closed source firmware.
Sounds more like a pebcak to me because i find it impossible that Debian won't install at all on any of the machines you have.
10 • Let down with Hybride (by Ghostwheel on 2013-05-20 13:12:34 GMT from United States)
I eagerly downloaded and ran the new Hybride live, having loved the previous version and was terribly disappointed. The last version was fast, gorgeous and functional.
This one is not.
11 • Linux Mint 14 (by 4ensicPenguin2 on 2013-05-20 13:40:50 GMT from United States)
Still loving me some Linux Mint 14 w/ Cinnamon. Works great, looking forward to 15
12 • Debian 7 (by JohnnyCanuck on 2013-05-20 14:22:09 GMT from Canada)
I installed Debian 7 last week and I did have a problem with my network card. However, the installer helpfully pointed out the name of the firmware (non-free) I needed and I downloaded and extracted it to a USB drive. When I tried the install again the installer prompted me to insert the USB drive with the firmware and then it proceeded with the install. One other curious thing happened. When I started up Iceweasel, addblockplus was already installed. Is this normal?
13 • Loving Hybride (by Lee on 2013-05-20 15:04:41 GMT from United States)
Running Hybride off live USB stick. Great Fun!
All environments work and switching is seamless.
Would love to know how it works
14 • xdotools (by Jay on 2013-05-20 15:07:50 GMT from Canada)
xdotools... where have you been all my life?
I've been wishing for something like this for a couple of years now! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesse Smith!
15 • @3: Iceweasel 10 (by cba on 2013-05-20 15:32:28 GMT from Germany)
Why should someone use Debian Stable for its well-known "stability" as a desktop OS in the first place, if the first thing which has to be done for security reasons is to substitute one of its most important packages - Iceweasel 10.0.12 - from the very beginning of the existence of Wheezy with third-party software?
Moreover, your procedure works only for i386 and x86_64, not for the other architectures with regard to Iceweasel 21.0.
16 • Debian Stable (by LuvsDebian on 2013-05-20 15:51:17 GMT from United States)
Admittedly, "purism" about non-free firmware makes Debian more difficult to install than many other distros.
But there are many reasons to like Debian Stable for desktop use. Foremost among these is that it doesn't get in the way of actual productive work by puking all over itself with little or no warning.
But perhaps the foremost reason to like Debian Stable is that it eschews the abomination that is systemd.
17 • Hybryde Linux 13.04 (by ismail arslangiray on 2013-05-20 17:04:06 GMT from United States)
Very nice package but it is french and it is very difficult to navigate around.
18 • Debian Ver XX (by Rob on 2013-05-20 17:29:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just want to say what a nice, balanced review. I've run many distros over the years (yes some derivative of course), but end up back at Debian.
Debian is plain (vanilla?) awesome, end of. I have been running my Sid/Experimental mix for the last 2.5 or more years now. Love it's customisability (Xfce in particular), Exclusive JACK demon for everything sound (inc. ALSA based vol applet), Refracta for custom HDD/SSD installation based ISO's. Just great, really, the best. Prize Debian out of my cold bare hands if you must.
19 • Debian 7 - 64Bit w/XFCE 4.10 Desktop (by Larry on 2013-05-20 17:51:08 GMT from United States)
I've been running Debian 6 (Squeeze) and I installed Debian 7 this week. I too had problems with my Wifi card. I didn't have a Ethernet connection readily available. The installer kept leading me through a loop of trying to enable WPA2. I finally selected WEP and the installer gave me an option to skip the networking setup. After this slight problem the install went fine, and my Wifi was quickly enabled, to finish the updated install.
I installed XFCE Version 4.10 from the Experimental Repo's, and I am well pleased with Debian 7. Enough that I'll put Linux Mint 14 XFCE on the back burner while I enjoy Wheezy.
The Developers did a GREAT JOB! THANKS!
20 • @17 Hybride (by Ghostwheel on 2013-05-20 18:08:34 GMT from United States)
Hit the f2 key when it first starts booting, a menu will come up with "Hybride en" at the top.
21 • Hybride (by Rev_Don on 2013-05-20 18:17:51 GMT from United States)
Anyone know how to stop the license agreement to stop popping up everytime you start Hybride on an actual installed version? I can understand it being there each time you boot up to a Live DVD/CD/USB environment, but not when it's actually installed on bare metal or in a vm.
22 • Hybride (Re: 21) (by Rev_Don on 2013-05-20 18:19:41 GMT from United States)
Sorry, that first line should have read: "Anyone know how to stop the license agreement from popping up everytime you start Hybride on an actual installed version?"
23 • Debian (by Slappy on 2013-05-20 18:49:56 GMT from United States)
I agree with your comments on Debian. Its always been one of the most stable Linuxes, and I understand that's its target, but I usually end up not using it because of the age of the packages. I've settled on LTS releases mostly, as a good compromise between stability and newer/fixed software.
I agree with your comment on the docs, and would like to add the website as well. Both seem somewhat confused, and not as user friendly as they should be. But its always been that way. Debian tends to move a bit too slowly.
24 • Interesting Fedora controversies (by eco2geek on 2013-05-20 19:42:01 GMT from United States)
Your mention of the LWN article about anaconda's "unmasked" passwords and the ensuing discussion brings to mind the following discussion on Red Hat's Bugzilla about their decision not to allow GRUB2 to install itself to the root of partitions, only to the MBR, from November, 2012:
It was amusing because one of the participants opined that leaving out the feature would make Fedora seem less friendly of an OS, and that it might be seen as missing functionality -- and was promptly accused of "slander" by a Red Hat employee. Really? Slander?
More importantly, it was altogether unclear whether actual Anaconda developers were involved in the Bugzilla discussion, or how the Red Hat employees involved in the Bugzilla discussion were related to the issue.
25 • @15 (by Milan on 2013-05-20 21:36:43 GMT from Serbia)
Those are working solutions for somebody to pick up few packages, Stable is not old and that is it - forget about it :). There are those adjustments with backports which is now part of the official repo and could make Debian Stable also perfect for Desktop usage. why not... Icewesel i Libreoffice are most used one, just picked it up from there if you want. Of course for average people which only wants not all newer packages, but just some of them right on their new and stable system.
And why just amd64 and i386 for newer Iceweasel from mozilla.debian.net? Why not, those are most popular arhitectures :).
26 • Stability vs. the bleeding edge (by kernelkurtz on 2013-05-20 21:42:10 GMT from United States)
Dual/multi booting is the best way to resolve this dilemma in my opinion.
I've got Deb 7 XFCE on one drive. Stability.
Manjaro on the other. Gorgeous, always new, rolling release, updating (and usually breaking) every few weeks.
The best (and yes the worst) of both worlds. Go to the dance alone, and tango with whoever will have you!
27 • @26 (by Milan on 2013-05-20 22:16:48 GMT from Serbia)
Yeah, dual booting Debian Stable and Debian Sid (which is always stable than Arch) is also cool :).
28 • Stability vs. the bleeding edge (by netblue on 2013-05-21 00:49:31 GMT from United States)
I don't always need bleeding edge, most of the time I go for stability. Stability has also a nice side effect: the packages being a little bit older, the memory footprint of the programs is smaller and the programs will seem faster. I did some memory measurements on Debian 7, the numbers are excellent compared with any other major distro out there.
For example, a LXDE desktop in Debian 7 starts up in 95MB of memory, while Lubuntu 13.04 starts in 184MB.
The same with Gnome3: Debian 7 215MB, Ubuntu Gnome 13.04 304MB.
KDE: Debian 7 329MB, Kubuntu 13.04 435MB.
I have the articles here if anybody is interested:
29 • Saluki (by jymm on 2013-05-21 01:09:58 GMT from United States)
I noticed Linux Saluki was discontinued. That is to bad. I thought it the best Puppy Distro I had ever used. East to install, connect and use. Always the choice to save your session or not to save it. It has been my goto when traveling and using a WIFI hot spot. I doubt many have noticed, and am guessing there was just not the support. Still my kudos to the developer, it was just a great light distro. Hopefully someone will pick up the work. I know there are a lot of distos, yet I hate to see such a good one discontinued.
30 • @15 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-21 01:13:22 GMT from United States)
Debian releases security updates daily (including Iceweasel), backports are for all architectures, and stability _does_ matter on the desktop too.
31 • Debian + Nonfree (by paulcs on 2013-05-21 01:26:25 GMT from Canada)
Here are Live Debian Wheezy cds with nonfree included. No fuss, no muss.
32 • 28 • Stability vs. the bleeding edge (by netblue) (by Chanath on 2013-05-21 01:27:10 GMT from Sri Lanka)
If you need stability and .deb files, then better stay with Ubuntu 12.04 until 2017.
With today's massive memory chips, the memory footprint is not a big deal. If you have 4 GB memory, why keep so much of it unused? In the early 286 days, the whole hard disk was just 20 MB.
33 • Debian + Nonfree (by paulcs on 2013-05-21 01:29:20 GMT from Canada)
Also for i386.
34 • some responses (by Pierre on 2013-05-21 01:41:25 GMT from Germany)
Can't unterstand the complaints either. Debian in fact is about stability, reliability and security. But I can understand that most people want more up-to-date versions. And I think, too, that it would be possible to deliver more up-to-date software and still preserve a stable system. And I can understand that Jesse is not very happy with such an very old version of Firefox. 10esr got replaced by 17esr for quite some time already. So I find it reasonable to question if it weren't better to at least deliver 17esr instead of the outdated 10esr version.
Nevertheless, everyone who is using Debian knows what he/she got himself/herself into. And at least for the amd64 and x86 architectures there is a semi official repo for other Firefox versions.
Debian does not eschew systemd. Debian is very conservative (as is slackware) and both therefore have not included it completely yet like others. Nevertheless it's included - in version 44 if I'm not wrong here - on the install media and ready for experimental use if one likes to do so.
I know opinions differ on the systemd-question. I can accept if one has reasons to dislike but it would be nice to specify what's wrong about it instead of hurl abuse at it without reasoning.
35 • Nice review of Debian 7.0 (by Robert Schiele on 2013-05-21 02:37:39 GMT from United States)
I thought Jesse's review of Debian 7.0 was nicely written, and on the whole, accurate. As a convinced Debian user of several years standing, I would, however, reiterate that it really isn't a distro for everyone. No, that isn't an "elitist" statement. It's a simple statement of fact. Unlike many distros, during the installation of which essentially a set, stored image gets copied to the user's hard drive, a Debian installation amounts to building a Debian Gnu/Linux system on the fly, whether from files stored on CD/DVD or via a network connection. I suspect that that, in large part, is why Debian's installer isn't any flashier than it is, also why the user is asked for more input and to make more decisions than many distro installations require. People, particularly newbies, might be better advised to look elsewhere, at least at first, until they learn some Linux basics. It's the same with those to whom having the "latest, greatest" version of their chosen software packages is important. One can find plenty of distros which are simpler to install, and many which ship newer software versions, but if one has hardware capable of running it properly, one can't find a distro anywhere which is more rock solid stable than Debian is. That's no doubt the reason that NASA, other government agencies, and numerous businesses and corporations choose Debian, but that stability can be a boon for home desktop users too, if that's what's most important.
36 • response to few posts (by greg on 2013-05-21 07:06:42 GMT from Slovenia)
@ 32 Chanath - i am on Ubutnu 12.04. when i installed it everythign worked great out of the box. 1 month later an update messed up the sound. 3 months after install another update and i can't go into hibernation/suspend anymore. approximately 1 year later an update messed up logitech mouse (USB mouse was connected to PS/2 to save space on USB plugs). 2 weeks later an messed up time. so much for stability in 12.04.
why save on ram? becuase the less ram the system uses the more of it is left for the programmes. and not everyone has a new computer. new computers come windows 8 preinstalled anyway...
i have another old mashcine with 256 MB ram running #! XFCE. Conky says 65-70MB ram is used on idle. everything works quite well for that age and low ram.
@15 cba - my guess is (but review hasn't came to the bottom of this) that Iceweasel 12 is patched for security but no new features/improvements. it could be their version numbering doesn't match Firefox numbering.
37 • @36 (by Chanath on 2013-05-21 07:55:17 GMT from Sri Lanka)
My laptop is nearly 4 years old. It has 2.8 GB memory. It runs Ubuntu 12.04 since it was released and no breakups. It is being updated/upgraded all the time. I also have Saucy installed, and that too works very well. I have Sabayon 13.04 too. The laptop is a standard Lenovo with Intel graphics. Right now, its on Saucy and with few programs working, the memory usage is 754 MB, so I still have more than 2 GB in hand. Its a core 2 duo and both CPUs are working between 5-8%.
Well, if my laptop is not an old one, my P4 desktop is even older by 2 years, but still can run Saucy and Sabayon 13.04.
38 • quick thoughts (by Pierre on 2013-05-21 07:56:10 GMT from Germany)
Funny to see even more responses in this week's DWW after only one day than in the last week's DWW after the whole week. ^^
Anyway, just forgot to say in my last post that I am pleased to see that the FreeBSD project finally managed to get their binary package services restored. I was waiting for this to give FreeBSD a test spin on an old machine that currently is still running openSUSE 12.2 as a testing machine.
And not mentioned in my last week's comments: Nice to see CrunchBang alive and vital with the final stable release of version 11. Although it was - just like it's Debian 7 base - already very stable, it is good to see such an small but nice project to succeed. In my opinion it's even the best Debian (stable) based distro out there at the moment.
It's worth to think about it as a replacement of my current openSUSE 12.3 install on my laptop if it weren't for my beloved i3 window manager and the KDE apps and further configuration on it, that already makes it my unbeatable preferred OS which therefore does not need replacement. :)
Maybe on the old machine if I am not satisfied with my FreeBSD trial on it. ;)
Greetings from Germany
39 • Debian Installer (by Serge on 2013-05-21 08:35:00 GMT from United States)
For those who agree with Jesse about the Debian Installer having an unusually complex boot menu should stay away from the dual 32-bit/64-bit versions of the installer (labelled as "multi-arch" on the download page). Its just like the regular installer, except every option has both a 32-bit and 64-bit version, resulting in twice as many options in the menu! I personally like the Debian Installer, but I had to scratch my head when I saw the multi-arch installer's boot menu.
Debian lacks gloss and finesse, but there's a class of user that considers that a virtue. So many Linux users complain about Debian being too conservative or lacking in polish. It's nice to read a good, balanced review like this one that is able to explain just what Debian's appeal is.
40 • @39 (by Milan on 2013-05-21 09:12:23 GMT from Serbia)
Yeah multiarch installer is complex, but in the same time it is the best one. For all option it have, one must tried 15 other targeted images because those are "ease to use images" and that is *not* ease to use for me.
So i actualy prefer that multiarch image (+non-free firmwares), because i don't need to download all images to give me some targeted options. I just need that download that single one and very robust one, it have 4 kernels in it (amd64 and 3 32bit variants). For jessie multiarch image i woulld like to see even more complexity, kfreebsd variants and maybe even hurd kernel.
Yeah i would like to see one image which supports all archs, just one to rule them all :).
41 • RE 35 (by dbrion on 2013-05-21 09:27:22 GMT from France)
"Unlike many distros, during the installation of which essentially a set, stored image gets copied to the user's hard drive, a Debian installation amounts to building a Debian Gnu/Linux system on the fly, whether from files stored on CD/DVD or via a network connection."
Well, Mandriva /Mageia "selection of pakages" did it years ago (since the very beginning).
I bet Fedora does it, too (never choose -nor had to remember, thus- this mode, as it faster -at least on USB sticks, with slow writing-copying an image and adding a limited number of packages than havin a package manager working for every package).
Oh, BTW, does Debian support installing on USB sticks/external disks? (Fedora , perhaps Mint and Mageia do)
42 • Debian (by kc1di on 2013-05-21 09:50:35 GMT from United States)
Another nice Review Jesse, All I can say is Debian is a great Distro and stable as can be expected. It's good on older less cutting edge equipment and runs on two boxes here that hardly ever need attention once the install is finished and systems set to preferences.
Use what ever browser you want. I use Chromium most of the time just because I'm used to it now. But I don't see any real advantage in the latest and greatest, debian is constantly doing security updates and it just works for me after the install is complete. Not everyone is looking for stable though and that's fine there are plenty of distros out there to choose from , Mint is my second choice.
Oh by the way Ubuntu 13.04 and Mint 15 will not work with my Dell Laptop out of the box get kernel panics everytime. in fact no distro with the 3.8 kernel has worked on that machine. don't know what the problem is but debian works flawlessly on it Cheers to Jesse for the review and debian Dev's for thier hard work :)
43 • @21+22 (by nybronx on 2013-05-21 10:23:54 GMT from United States)
You have to scroll all the way down to the end of the license and click the last item. I'm trying it Hybride out on a test unit and do enjoy jumping around desktops..Even works well on the P4 with Old Nvidia Card....not great Like Mint....but well enough to keep around for a few weeks.
44 • Debian (by Gustavo on 2013-05-21 11:59:10 GMT from Brazil)
Bugs and security flaws are fixed upstream on newer versions of software. Running Debian stable means *more* bugs, *more* incompatibilites, *less* features and *less" security. See KDE 4.8 vs 4.10, also don't think that Icewasel is more secure than newer versions of Firefox, even considering backported bugfixes.
45 • @ #44 (by Pierre on 2013-05-21 13:23:35 GMT from Germany)
You are making generalizations here without giving prove to any of them.
And if it were like you say you could bet that Debian would not be used commercially. But believe me, there are many security oriented persons and organisations (some I even know), who/which are using Debian with clean conscience and out of wise consideration.
100% security is impossible anyway. If you want more security than regular distros offer you should consider some of the specialized distros or you should think about building your own from scratch. Or use one of the BSDs and build your own desktop on top of them.
Additionally older versions do not mean more bugs in general or more incompatibilities. In contrary using older versions means using more mature software and therefore delivering a more stable system.
Sure there are downsides in regards of features. But most often you nearly don't recognize the differences between versions.
With KDE you took one single example that is true because espacially 4.10 received a lot of performance and bug fixes. But KDE in general evolves more than most other software. It's an example like Firefox that improves a lot from one to the next release.
But most parts of the systems still feel like Squeeze and not much different to other Linux distros, maybe only a little more stable than others - in my opinion. Although experiences always may differ.
Greetings from Germany
46 • @45 (by Gustavo on 2013-05-21 15:57:36 GMT from Brazil)
My impression is that developers usually just abandon older versions and they stay buggy forever.
47 • Bugfix or workaround? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-05-21 16:08:43 GMT from United States)
Newer isn't always better.
You may get a few fixes for old bugs, but you'll also get new openings for new bugs you haven't been warned about. And then there's lost functionality ...
48 • Dang.. so many distros don't (fully) work on my computer (by Jordan on 2013-05-21 20:23:53 GMT from United States)
Time for a new computer? It's just an HP Pavillion M7.
The stuff that won't work is most often icedtea and/or flashplayer. But also just installing new software. Just tried Neptune. Firefox is not there by default but Chromium is, which is ok except that it's Google bound and I'm not a Google freak anymore than I'm a Microsoft freak (why are Linux devs putting Google stuff in their distros?).
VectorLinux used to work well. Netrunner does.. what's weird is that it'll stall for a long time sometimes and then work fine for a while with no intervention other than going to another website.
Just tried Mageia, both Gnome (YUCK!) and KDE (lower case yuck).. it's the same ole same ole.. even the old Mandrake problems with fonts.
I want a Linux machine.. no downloading and burning and installing of the Linux operating system.
My command line skills are anemic to say the least and I can't get better because I don't have time.
49 • @48 (by Ista on 2013-05-21 20:38:42 GMT from United States)
Linux devs are putting Chromium in their distributions because it's open source and it works well. What's not to like?
50 • @49 (by Sam Graf on 2013-05-21 21:28:22 GMT from United States)
He already said--Chromium is (unnecessarily) oozing Google. Not everyone agrees that that's a problem but the point of view isn't at all obscure.
51 • @46 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-21 22:55:32 GMT from United States)
Subscribe to debian-security-announce and you'll see you're mistaken. Also, does it hurt that much to add the mozilla.debian.net repository by hand to have the latest version of Iceweasel (not for security, but for web compatibility)? In most other distros you'll probably have to mess with the repositories anyway. Newer versions also introduce new security flaws, besides new bugs, and that is what Debian stable addresses in the first place.
52 • @50 Chromium doesn't "ooze" anything. (by Ghostwheel on 2013-05-22 00:58:01 GMT from United States)
It is what Google Chrome is built from. There is nothing Google about it.
53 • @48 Jordan (by Chanath on 2013-05-22 03:42:44 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Mageia is quite nice, so don't talk nonsense. I am always with Ubuntu, but I know when a distro is good. Sabayon is very good too.
"I want a Linux machine.. no downloading and burning and installing of the Linux operating system. " You write. I don't think you are a Linux guy--the whole beauty of it is installing the distro, and then making it your own.
I am writing from an installed Mageia3 Gnome, which works without a hitch!
54 • Debian installed in old computer (by linuxuser on 2013-05-22 05:32:54 GMT from Greece)
I installed Debian 7 in an old PII 400Mhz machine and to my surprise it worked without a problem. Just a little slow as expected.
55 • @54 (by linuxuser on 2013-05-22 05:38:09 GMT from Greece)
I forgot to say that I used the installation cd with xfce.
56 • Summary about Debian (by Peter Besenbruch on 2013-05-22 07:35:16 GMT from United States)
A number of people have made suggestions about Debian, and how to keep it up to date. The best way to bring those suggestions together is to show my /etc/apt/sources.list:
# The main repository with contrib and non-free added
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
# Security fixes come from here
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
# Formerly Debian Volatile, for things that change quickly like AV updates
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates contrib non-free main
# Tweaked programs and bug fixes before they hit the main repository.
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-proposed-updates contrib non-free main
# Where to go for extra CODECs, Flash, Acrobat, and a more recent versions of Mplayer and VLC
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org wheezy main non-free
# Select software brought in from Testing (hint: LibreOffice, etc.)
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main contrib non-free
# Mainly for a more up-to-date Iceweasel. New versions arrive within 24 hours of release
deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ wheezy-backports iceweasel-release
# Cartes du Ciel (stable) A really good planetarium software package, for stars, planets, and to drive your computerized telescope.
deb http://www.ap-i.net/apt stable main
57 • pre-installed Linux (by Dave Postles on 2013-05-22 07:45:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
@48 Did you consider buying from one of the vendors which pre-install Linux, for example ZaReason (there are others - I mention ZaReason without prejudice or recommendation)? Personally, I agree with 53: I buy PCs without an OS and install my distro of choice - it works for me and adds value to the realm of small PC assemblers in my country (UK).
58 • @56 up to date Debian (by Chanath on 2013-05-22 07:52:41 GMT from Sri Lanka)
If you can add Ubuntu ppas to Debian, it would be even better. You can try http://blog.anantshri.info/howto-add-ppa-in-debian/
His script works in Wheezy too.
59 • Debian 7 (by Chanath on 2013-05-22 10:55:15 GMT from Sri Lanka)
In Debian 7 you can have Linux kernel 3.9, Libre Office 126.96.36.199 and Gnome 3.8. It is still quite fast.
60 • @ #58 (by Pierre on 2013-05-22 11:38:46 GMT from Germany)
Ubuntu is not (fully) compatible with Debian although they ship their packages in deb-Format.
So in my opinion it's no good idea to include Ubuntu PPAs no matter in which way.
There are many Debian repositories that offer you what PPAs have in store for you but these packages are build for Debian. Including these repositories in the sources.list or an additional file is quite easy. Plus this has the advantage that you can define quite fine rules for them via the preferences file.
You can set priorities to sources and even to exact packages out of these sources. This is much more preferable than the PPA method used by Ubuntu - in my opinion at least.
61 • @52 (by Sam Graf on 2013-05-22 12:23:16 GMT from United States)
"It is what Google Chrome is built from." Of course.
I'm sitting here looking at the defualt home page Chromium, Debian 7, Xfce. At the top right is the Google sign-in ("Not signed in to Chromium (You're missing out--sign in)." The only other item is a link to the Chrome Web Store. At the bottom right of the browser window is a fixed link to the store. Etc.
So yes, at least in the case of the Debian packages (which tend to be default configurations, as i understand it), Chromium is Google-branded unnecessarily.
62 • siduction gnome (by Chris on 2013-05-22 20:31:25 GMT from United States)
I downloaded and installed the new siduction gnome, 32 bit version, from the Stuttgart mirror. No problems. Installed smxi, and Google Chrome, did a dist upgrade. Oh, I also changed the debian mirror to http://ftp.pl.debian.org/debian.
The desktop is attractive. In the past, I've had to upgrade the xfce versions of aptosid and siduction to gnome. It's nice to see siduction offering the gnome 3 desktop.
63 • puppy 5.6 (by forlin on 2013-05-22 20:48:04 GMT from Portugal)
Still one more release without Network Manager, mean that all those on mobile broadband will need to wait some more months before trying this distro.
64 • @ #58 (by piper on 2013-05-22 21:02:28 GMT from United States)
Why would anyone want to ruin a debian install by using anything ubuntu with it.
Ubuntu is not binary compatible with debian including ".debs"
I agree with Pierre 100% on this
65 • @48 Jordan o'US (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-05-22 21:50:38 GMT from United States)
"My command line skills are anemic to say the least and I can't get better because I don't have time."
Sounds like you're a candidate for paid support (like OS4). After all, time is the most valuable commodity we mortals have.
66 • siduction /etc/adjtime (by Chris on 2013-05-22 23:12:29 GMT from United States)
I remembered the UTC/LOCAL issue in siduction a while ago.
My timezone is USA/Pacific but siduction will set /etc/adjtime to UTC and screw up the computer's clock. You must check the time in the computer's Setup and you must edit /etc/adjtime to show LOCAL not UTC if you live in the United States.
I've complained to siduction about this in the past, but their ways are set; they ain't gonna change their format.
67 • @64 PPAs in Debian Piper (by Chanath on 2013-05-23 01:47:29 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Debian 7 install is already sort of old, so trying out the Ubuntu ppas is not a dangerous thing. You have an idea what you want, for example Gnome 3.8 and you try it. If it doesn't work, you can reinstall the Debian. Have a look at the repository sources in synaptic, where updating is concerned. You'd see Ubuntu name there, whether to upgrade to the next Ubuntu.
68 • @64 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-23 03:48:41 GMT from United States)
I am using about 10 PPAs on my Debian machine right now. Been using PPAs on Debian for more than 3 years and never got into the binary incompatibility problem. What may happen more easily is some dependency not satisfied, but APT will refuse to install it anyway, so you just remove the line from sources.list.
Also, binary incompatibility is due to the GCC version, so both the problems mentioned can be generally solved by adding the PPA with the Ubuntu release from the same period of the Debian testing freeze, eg. Precise packages for Wheezy, and Raring for Jessie.
69 • re #63 -- 3G and Puppy Precise (by gnomic on 2013-05-23 06:48:44 GMT from New Zealand)
I believe that Puppy does include a rudimentary gui module for using 3G, albeit not NetworkManager (which by the by does not invariably manage to connect via 3G in my experience). However some assembly is likely to be required, as it doesn't have the auto broadband procedure used by NM, so the user must know the details of the access point used for mobile broadband access for example.
I find that distros using Wicd usually don't support mobile broadband. As far as I can tell wicd knows nothing about 3G access.
70 • @68 Ubuntu ppas in Debian (by Chanath on 2013-05-23 07:07:13 GMT from Sri Lanka)
That's the spirit!
What the use, if there is no risk. Like you said, Apt would refuse to install, if the dependencies won't work. Sometimes, you can use apt-get -f install. Hope one day the conservative Debian would talk with experimenting Ubuntu. Its shame, they don't match.
I installed some ppas in SolusOS2 RC and what a nice distro it was. Awaiting SolusOs2 to come finally to play again.
71 • @67 & 68 (by piper on 2013-05-23 17:31:23 GMT from United States)
I don't run debian 7, which to me is stable, not old, opinions vary
I run sid, siduction, aptosid, those 2 distro's are 100% binary compatible with debian sid, and are rolling releases.
Remember, any ubuntu (excluding mint based on debian) you use is not debian
binary compatible and is a frozen snapshot of debian sid every 6 months (why would anyone in todays day and age want to reinstall or upgrade production, server, desktop, etc every 6 months)
I just wouldn't ruin my installs with ubuntu apps (my opinion), if I wanted ubuntu apps, I would run ubuntu.
Choice is good, :) I just choose real debian, not a bastardized version of it.
72 • @71 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-23 22:27:02 GMT from United States)
My system is not a mixture of distributions. It is Debian with a few apps that are more up-to-date on a PPA, like CherryTree and qpdfview, or apps that are not available compiled for Debian, like Plank and Gnome Modem Manager.
I think you miss the point of a PPA. When you add one, let us say, for CherryTree (which is not even a binary, but a python script), you don't pull python, python-gtk, and python-gtksourceview from Ubuntu, but only the package "cherrytree", which depends on those libs available on Debian.
I have 1226 packages installed now: about 15 I compiled myself, about 10 from PPAs that I had not the time to compile, and the other 1200 from Debian.
There's no such thing as "real" or "bastardized" Debian, just because I have a few packages compiled with some other version of gcc. It is like saying that a system is not a "real" Debian system just because the user went to snapshot.debian.org and grabbed a package he was missing on the current system, or if the user pinned some package from stable on sid. Both were compiled with an older version of gcc, and so are binary incompatible too.
73 • @71 Piper (by Chanath on 2013-05-24 01:53:49 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Well, if you take Zorin 7 for example, you'd find Raring repos and Precise ppas. It still says it is a groundbreaking distro.
Likewise, you just don't run Debian, but run your own "changed" distro--you add or delete apps, change the look etc. So, if I take Debian and make it look like Zorin 7, am I "bastardizing" Debian?
Making SolusOS2 for example, look like the Elementary Luna was not that hard. The SolusOS creator was not unhappy at all. This is Linux and its freedom.
74 • re #69 • re #63 -- 3G and Puppy Precise (by Forlin on 2013-05-25 01:10:50 GMT from Portugal)
After previous Puppy release, I browsed the forums searching for instructions about how to configure a 3G Mobile Broadband. Most threads found were quite old and none come with a working solution.
Then I found one thread which seemed to be the most recent one. The last reply just mentioned: Puppy do not support 3G M.B. I stopped there.
Regarding Networm Manager it has always worked for in all environments, excluding one: KDE. I don't mean its impossible to have it working there, but its a nightmare due to security restrictions, mainly.
75 • i love vanilla! (by this guy on 2013-05-25 04:00:15 GMT from United States)
jessie, i'm not always a fan of your reviews, but i think you've given debian a fair shake and summed up the project (at least as a desktop project, which is probably how dw treats most distros in review) in a way that anyone new to free software can understand.
debian is many things, and i admire the project for its constant contribution to... nearly 100% of the distros i love and use. when i use or setup a distro i'm not as familiar with, i often use debian branding to make it look nice. i do have a laptop with debian wheezy installed, and the window manager i'm currently using (icewm) has the logo in the theme.
i'm not as accustomed to using debian as other distros, because even as someone who loves a textmode computing, i like the "toppings" other distros have included in their livecd's. we're not just talking about eyecandy, but about the ultimate wonder of floss distros: customization. sometimes it's great to find a like-minded group that have included some of your more basic customizations "out of the box."
debian is a fantastic end in and to itself, but even more of us love it as a beginning of something greater still. what makes a derivative "greater" than vanilla debian is totally subjective, but i wouldn't think much of a sundae that didn't include the ice cream. debian is directly responsible for many of the best times i've had computing, despite the fact that in many years i've yet to scratch the surface of everything it does as a distro and a community project.
76 • Distro-look-alike is not work-alike !! @73 (by gregzeng on 2013-05-25 07:36:41 GMT from Australia)
@73: Zorin has AWN so deeply integrated that it cannot be removed, so look-alikes are not the same. I'd prefer Cairo or Docky, but all three add-ons are better than Ubuntu's Unity IMO.
Debian or 'buntu-based distros are so different from look-alikes that outsiders cannot re-create them - luckily. The Hybride distro tries to run all Desktop Environments as the choice of the user, as wished. But it cannot be compared well to any of the specialized distros that are stuck only on the one Desktop Environment. http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/hybryde-linux-1304-review-use-ubuntu.html
77 • @ 76 • Distro-look-alike is not work-alike !! (by Chanath on 2013-05-25 08:24:49 GMT from Sri Lanka)
AWN is not "deeply" integrated with Zorin. It can be removed, changed. Oh, Zorin had changed some words, lines in some "properties" of AWN dock and Gnomenu, but all that can be changed. Linux is all about files, so change the file. By the way, Zorin 7's 'special" stuff is still from Precise, which had come earlier from Natty. Nothing "groundbreaking" in this Zorin 7.
You can't add ppas to Zorin 7, I mean you can add the repos, but you won't get them to work. So, as an Ubuntu clone it is not that good. If you copy from Launchpad, you'd get them to work. Zorin 7 is still RC, so they can still change something, but nothing spectacular. There is something Zorin is not willing to change, because it cannot be changed. It'd stay in the Precise time.
If you want Cairo dock in Zorin 7RC or Zorin 7, when it comes, just sudo apt-get install Cairo-dock, and it'd pull in Gnome 3 too, so you are in for a treat. If it won't install, let me know.
78 • Debian 7 Features (by Centurian on 2013-05-25 17:51:34 GMT from United States)
The best reason to run Debian 7 is there is no systemd being pushed on the user. Hopefully the Debian community will never adopt such a brain damaged init system. Other than that, Debian 7 is the logical progression from the last version while maintaining simplicity and stability, the two most important factors.
79 • Debian 7 install iso (by forlin on 2013-05-25 18:22:47 GMT from Portugal)
If you are on a 3g Mobile, never try to install Debian 7 using the single first CD iso.
You will end up without Xserver. The installer cannot configure the 3G, so you will not be able to download the missing pieces during the install process. The alternative is the DVD iso, who is quite up 3 gibabytes.
80 • @48 (by Paul J. on 2013-05-26 02:28:52 GMT from United States)
Go with Linux Mint if you want something safe and easy to install. I doubt you'll have major issues. Furthermore, go with Mint 13 since it is a 5 year LTS release.
81 • @24 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-05-26 06:49:37 GMT from Canada)
This is rumour control, here are the facts.
The comment you refer to is https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=872826#c92 , written by Chris Murphy. He is not a Red Hat employee, and never has been.
On the password issue, Jens Petersen - who filed the bug - is an RH employee, but not on the anaconda team. Ditto Matthias Runge, Stef Walter, Paul Wouters and myself, who commented on the bug. We were 'related to the issue' simply by having seen it and having an opinion on it; RH staff are like anyone else in the Fedora community, they use the product and they have opinions on it, frequently not the same opinions as each other (though the media likes to portray RH as being a sort of Borg-like monolith where dissent is not tolerated). Chris Lumens is an anaconda developer and was responsible for the change; he was also the one who reverted it, in response to the discussion in the bug report and elsewhere. AFAIK no-one else who made a public comment on the bug is an RH employee.
82 • Fedora password masking story (by Adam Williamson on 2013-05-26 06:50:40 GMT from Canada)
Ladislav, it would have been nice if you had structured your excerpt to tell the whole story, instead of leaving the misleading impression that the change remained in place. For the information of DWW readers, it does not. After the point where Ladislav left off the story, the change was reverted.
83 • Junk inside operating systems - go away please (by gregzeng on 2013-05-26 09:03:05 GMT from Australia)
In Linux, we have 'pure' distros, from which the specialist distros are derived; Pure distros: Debian Redhat, & Arch, mainly. Specialist distros than select which parts to add to the purist distro. Commonly fantasied is that a specialist distro (Zorin, Ubuntu, Fedora, Puppy) can be easily made pure, then easily become specialized into a new distro.
Some distros (specialist or not) are bloated with junk. They may include so many desktops, editors, and other apps that end-users will never explore.
@73, @77: Chanath from Sri Lanka has a easy-added/ easy-removed theory to his operating systems, since modifying the many configuration files are claimed to be so easy (?). The Hybride distro did try this in the Desktop Environment parts, trying to be-all things approach. Chanath claims that Docky, Cairo, AWN, ... fit his favored add-on approach.
Perhaps the advocates of simplicity (Arch, etc) are motivated by mess created by ad-hoc system builders. Political conservatives easily add junk-fat to quieten the grumblers in every computer operating system. In most pre-packaged distros, I need to remove minority ethnic languages, braille, and remnants of the coders' work (PPA to sources). Microsoft still does this, thinking that large SSDs are cheap, on every computer, netbook or tablet.
It should concern end users that this coder's junk enforced onto us needs to stop. In my ignorance, I wonder if Google's & Apple's operating systems are bogged down in this junk as well.
84 • Useful options vs bloat (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-05-26 09:12:37 GMT from United States)
One person's junk is another's treasure. Customization utilities abound.
85 • @83 gregzeng (by Chanath on 2013-05-26 13:12:05 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I didn't say anything about Hybryde, did I? I said something about Zorin 7 RC. I have it and I have changed the AWN dock, added Cairo dock too. It is simple! It has Raring repos, and those repos have Cairo dock. When you install Cairo dock, Gnome-shell is also installed. If you want, you can install Docky too. Why don't you try it, and then write about it?
Zorin is simply Ubuntu Raring with some additions. Check the sources.list and you'd see for yourself.
You are getting a free distro, pal and it is NOT only for you. It is for the blind and also for the people, who work in other languages. If you don't like those languages, you delete them--it is your computer. Minority ethnic languages, eh? What is minority for you is majority for some others. This is a free world!
In Poland the majority language is Polish, and in Russia it is Russian. In Sri Lanka, only few speak those, and I am one of them, and I speak English too, but English is still a 2nd language heer. So, please don't go ethnic? Everyone is equal!
86 • @83 Minority ethnic languages...gregzeng (by Chanath on 2013-05-26 14:02:11 GMT from Sri Lanka)
When you install a Ubuntu based distro, watch the end of the installation process. You'd notice how the "minority ethnic languages" are removed, and only the language you decided on is kept back. Actually, don't write such words as "minority ethnic." The Linux distros are made by contributions of all kind of ethnic people.
87 • @83 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-05-27 00:25:03 GMT from Canada)
Right. "Minority" from whose perspective? And just because they're a 'minority' from your perspective, they should be screwed in order to save you some hard disk space? That seems a very selfish opinion.
88 • @ gregzeng (by Pierre on 2013-05-27 00:47:40 GMT from Germany)
I remember we had such a discussion once before already. Useless to say that I am still of the opinion that distro developers are including such option mostly for very good reason. But I will not start to explain every single detail once again. I would end up explaining it over and over again, I guess. Some seem to be not able to learn. Anyway, just read my response a few weeks or months ago.
89 • Linux is swamped with politicians? (by gregzeng on 2013-05-27 01:58:44 GMT from Australia)
Luckily I'm not a politician, otherwise I'd insist that every Linux distro is forcibly loaded with every language used in the United Nations, plus others such as Latin & Esperanto.
Distrowatch commentators @85, @86 @87, @88 - reply so quickly,for people who use Braille in English. :-) As successful politicians, they are insisting now that Braille learning be forced onto every person on the planet, since they are not selfish at all.
They are also employed IMO by hardware, software and service companies who benefit by junkware being loaded onto every computer on this planet. Luckily I'll be dead by the time of the green-house destruction of this planet has properly started. Yes - I'm selfish.
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|• Issue 657 (2016-04-18): Redox, Linux Mint improves update manager, planned Fedora 24 features, Ubuntu 16.04 getting Snappy packages|
|• Issue 656 (2016-04-11): Qubes OS 3.1, Whonix offers bug bounties, Puppy's family tree, setting up disk partitions and running bash on Windows|
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|• Issue 613 (2015-06-08): Fedora 22, Cinnamon 2.6 released, FreeBSD's history, working around Secure Boot|
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|• Issue 609 (2015-05-11): OpenIndiana 2015.03, LXLE 14.04, PC-BSD Current, creating ISO images, Ask A Leader with Peter Ganten|
|• Issue 608 (2015-05-04): Debian 8.0, Bodhi forks Enlightenment, new Debian GNU/Hurd release, distribution release frequency|
|• Full list of all issues|