| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 393, 21 February 2011
Welcome to this year's 8th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The recently released Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 is by far the largest Linux-based operating system ever created. In this week's feature story Jesse Smith takes a look at the new version and wonders, while marvelling at the achievement, whether the distribution can successfully compete for desktop market share with more user-friendly Debian-based projects, such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Read on for the full review of "Squeeze". In the news section, Fedora announces the upcoming graphics test day for Nouveau, Radeon and Intel graphics cards, openSUSE and Fedora put asides plans for packaging Ubuntu's Unity desktop, and OpenBSD developer and Undeadly.org editor writes about innovative ways of raising funds for developer conferences. Also in this issue, a brief introduction to Mageia, a new distribution created by ex-Mandriva employees and contributors, a Questions and Answers section that brings attention to "noexec" as a way of preventing some social engineering attacks, and five new distro submissions, including FrameOS, a distro built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 sources. Happy reading!
- Reviews: Introducing Debian GNU/Linux 6.0
- News: Fedora announces graphics test day, openSUSE drops Unity from 11.4, OpenBSD developer's fund raising story
- Questions and answers: Using noexec to prevent social engineering attacks
- Released last week: Ubuntu 10.04.2, Tiny Core Linux 3.5, Pardus Linux 2 "Corporate"
- Upcoming releases: FreeBSD 8.2, PC-BSD 8.2, openSUSE 11.4 RC2
- New additions: Mageia
- New distributions: Dax OS, Express Linux, FrameOS, Hanthana Linux, Progress Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (38MB) and MP3 (31MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Introducing Debian GNU/Linux 6.0|
Debian and I have an unusual relationship -- I respect the work the Debian team does, I admire the huge amount of packages, infrastructure, coordination and testing which goes into the project. Quite often I find myself using the children or grandchildren of Debian for work and on my home machines. I've worked with a handful of the Debian developers fixing or updating packages and have found them to be great, helpful people. (Yes, I'm leading up to a "but".) But, up to this point, I've never managed to get a stable release of Debian GNU/Linux to install and run on my hardware. When each new stable release ships, I grab a copy and give it a whirl and, each time, I run into an installer cash, failure to boot or some key component isn't recognized. It's a condition I've found puzzling as several other distros have worked successfully on the same equipment, including Debian-based projects, such as KNOPPIX and Ubuntu. With the release of Debian 6.0 I went into my trial hoping this would be the release to break my streak of bad luck.
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze" contains approximately 29,000 software packages and fills several CDs/DVDs. To install Debian we don't need all of the discs; typically we just need the first disc of the set. Users with fast and reliable Internet connections have the option of grabbing smaller net-install CDs. Additionally the project maintains a list of disc vendors for people who have slow connections or who wish to contribute funds to the Debian project. I opted to download Debian on a DVD, a heavy ISO of 4.4 GB. While waiting for my download to complete I took the opportunity to look over the project's new website. Debian has, in the past, taken some flak for having a website which looks like it was developed with the Lynx web browser in mind. While the new design does still largely favour columns of black text on a plain white background, the layout has been greatly improved. I found navigation much more intuitive and the site map at the bottom of the screen makes accessing information faster. The site is still geared toward developers and Linux enthusiasts and the documentation assumes we already have a level of comfort with Linux.
Looking through the release notes we find that, aside from including a lot of new packages, there have been some important changes behind the scenes since the project's last stable release. For instance, support has been dropped for the HP PA-RISC, Alpha and ARM architectures. The sub-project of porting GNU's tools onto the FreeBSD kernel is now officially a part of the release. As we read a few weeks back the Debian team has removed firmware blobs from their Linux kernel and moved those pieces of firmware to their non-free repository. This means once Debian is installed we can later install the firmware, but it won't be available out of the box. "Squeeze" also includes support for LDAP authentication.
Installation and first boot
Enough background information, let's see how Debian "Squeeze", "the universal operating system," works. The install DVD begins by presenting us with a boot menu which allows us to launch either a text installer or graphical installer, perform an expert install, run an automated install or enter into rescue mode. Given that I was reviewing Debian from desktop perspective I opted for the graphical installer. The Debian GUI installer uses a simple layout where we are typically asked for one small piece of information per page. The appearance is a bit crude, similar to the Red Hat installer of a decade ago. We're walked through selecting our preferred language, choosing our global location and a keyboard layout. We provide a hostname for the machine and enter a network name. We're prompted for a root password and then we're walked through screens to create a regular user account.
The installer asks us to provide our time zone, which is helpfully narrowed down for us based on the location we picked earlier. Next up is disk partitioning and here the Debian installer stands out with its own style. We're given the chance to manually partition the disk or have the installer guide us through plain partitions, a LVM layout or an encrypted LVM layout. I tried both guided and manual options and found both to be functional, but quite awkward. Where installers for Fedora and Ubuntu use one main partition layout screen and a pop-up to configure a specific partition, Debian uses multiple screens to walk the user through options for each partition. This especially makes manual partitioning a longer process than it would usually be. However, as I mentioned, it does work and there are a wide variety of Linux partition types from which to choose.
After we're done partitioning the disk, the installer copies over the base system from the DVD. We're then asked if we'd like to make use of additional discs, which I did not. We're asked if we'd like to use the online repositories during the install to make sure we're up to date. I chose "no", yet still had to wait while the installer tried to connect to various Debian repositories and, finally, displayed an error message saying the Volatile repository wasn't available. Next up the installer asks if we'd be willing to submit package popularity information to Debian. Here, again, I selected "no" and had to wait while the installer told me it was installing the popularity software. (I checked post-install and found the popularity software had not really been installed.) The last two steps are selecting which package groups we would like to install, most of which are for servers. I stuck with the graphical desktop environment package and, on my laptop, a package group plainly called "Laptop". The last step is to confirm we want to install GRUB. To install the desktop software took about half an hour on my test machines and then I was asked to remove the DVD and reboot.
Firing up "Squeeze" for the first time I was briefly presented with a GRUB 2 boot menu and then Debian loads. The boot process was fairly short and concluded by leaving me at a graphical login screen. GNOME (version 2.30) was the only desktop environment installed and I logged in to find a screen populated with a few navigation icons and a menu bar across the top of the screen. The GNOME task switcher sat at the bottom of the display and the wallpaper was a dark sky populated with stars. The theme for menus and icons is plain and make the desktop look older than the software really is. Upon logging in one of the first things I did was to open the Synaptic package manager (more on package management later) and tried to refresh the package list. Synaptic popped up an error message telling me it couldn't update my package list and requested I provide it with DVD 1. Apparently the installer leaves the installation disc as a package source and APT won't work around it when the disc is removed. After I manually removed my disc drive from the source list, Synaptic was able to connect to Debian's mirrors and update my list of available software.
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 - fetching updates post-install
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Software and package management
Debian has a huge selection of software in its repositories, but the default install is fairly standard. Epiphany is the distro's default web browser and Iceweasel 3.5.16 (Debian's de-branded Firefox) is also available. We're given the Evolution e-mail client, the Empathy instant messaging client and the Ekiga phone software. OpenOffice 3.2 is installed for us, as is the GIMP and the Transmission BitTorrent client. The Shotwell photo manager is included in the application menu, as is Tomboy Notes and a standard grouping of GNOME games. There is a CD ripper, the Rhythmbox music player, a video player and the Cheese webcam application. Debian includes some accessibility tools, including an on-screen keyboard and screen reader. To go along with the GNOME environment, Debian includes the GConf configuration editor and makes it easy to find. There's the usual set of GNOME configuration tools to adjust the look & feel of the desktop, a user manager, a utility for handling system services and a printer manager. In the background Debian provides codecs for playing popular media formats, including MP3 audio files.
Debian tries to provide users with strictly free software solutions and that choice shows up in some of the available software. For instance, "Squeeze" comes with Gnash in place of Flash. I've found that it works on some sites, but the version included in Debian 6.0 won't play YouTube videos. GNU's Java is included in place of Sun's/Oracle's Java. For users who prefer non-libre Flash and Sun's flavour of Java, those packages are available in Debian's repositories. Considering Debian's strong focus on developers I was a bit surprised not to find the GNU Compiler Collection pre-installed on the system. All of this software sits on top of the 2.6.32 version of the Linux kernel. Or, more specifically, a libre variant of the Linux kernel as some firmware has been moved to Debian's non-free repository. These pieces of firmware can be added to the system via the project's firmware-linux package. One of the few items I felt was missing from the default install was a graphical firewall application. Debian runs a mail transfer agent service out of the box which I suspect most desktop users will not require.
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 - web browsing and reporting bugs
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In addition to the APT family of command-line tools, Debian has two graphical package managers, Synaptic and Software Centre. Synaptic will probably be familiar to anyone who uses the Debian family of distributions. It's a powerful, responsive program and works very well. Synaptic's appearance and options may put off novice users and, for them, there's the Software Centre. This second GUI package manager takes a simplified approach, presenting software in easy-to-understand categories and boiling down the options to essentially "Install" and "Remove". I found Software Centre also works quite well and had no serious problems with it. I did run into an odd quirk where if I closed Software Centre it would leave an icon in the system tray letting me know the application was continuing to work. When I clicked on the icon to restore the Software Centre window, the Synaptic application was launched instead. It's an approach I think likely to confuse people. Aside from the main package managers there is also a small update tool. At the time of writing no updated packages have appeared in Debian's repositories and I've been unable to test the update tool.
I began my experiment with "Squeeze" on my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). The operating system performed well on my laptop, setting my screen to a suitable resolution, audio worked without any trouble and my touchpad was properly picked up. My Intel wireless card was not handled out of the box. Moving to my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) I felt the desktop was slightly more responsive. Again, my desktop was set to the appropriate resolution, though I did have to fiddle with the audio controls a bit to get sound from my speakers. On both machines boot up times were short and the desktop was snappy. When run in a virtual environment I found Debian could login and perform basic functions with 128 MB of RAM, though with those limited resources the desktop lagged a lot. For common tasks, such as web browsing, listening to music and document writing I found 512 MB was typically enough memory. A fresh install of Debian from the DVD used about 3 GB of disk space, making Debian unusual in that the default install actually required less space than the ISO I downloaded.
When talking about Debian and what the project brings to the table I think it's important to separate the Debian infrastructure from the released distribution. With "Squeeze" now out in the wild a lot of talk has been going on debating whether Debian is relevant, whether it's still useful in the face of more recent distributions, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Of course projects like Ubuntu, Knoppix, MEPIS and many others are based on Debian packages. Debian is the parent (and grandparent) of dozens of active distros and without the Debian infrastructure those projects wouldn't exist or would, at least, be a lot poorer. I'm of the opinion Debian has one of the best bug trackers in the open source ecosystem, their repositories are treasure troves of software and they have good documentation to back up the whole thing. Debian has an open approach and their team is committed to free and open source software.
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 - enabling system services and searching for software
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But how does their 6.0 release measure up? My first reaction to Debian's latest was one of disappointment. The graphical installer feels like it's about ten years behind the other big-name distributions, the issue with the package manager giving up when it couldn't find the installation DVD struck me as something which shouldn't have made it through testing. Most of my first day was a series of these sorts of little issues which I'd expect from beta software, not from a distro that had been in feature freeze for months. And that's why this review is appearing two weeks after the official release, because after such a poor start I wanted to give the distro a chance to win me over. After a few days Debian's virtues did shine through. For instance, the project's implementation of GNOME is very light, putting the usually heavy desktop environment about on par with the mid-weight Xfce. The system is fast and responsive, boot times are quick and the presented software is stable without being terribly out of date. Apart from the early quirks with the package managers, adding and removing software went smoothly.
Of course there's a wealth of software available and, with the non-free repository added, I found everything I wanted. I did come to appreciate Debian "Squeeze", but not to the point where I'd recommend it to people. This may sound a bit odd, but I'm of the opinion Debian isn't one of the better Debian-based distributions. People looking for a libre distribution with Debian's strengths can find what they're looking for in Trisquel, users who want a polished Debian where everything works out of the box might try Mint (which comes in a Debian flavour). People who want to benefit from Debian's low-resource nature can get up and running easier and faster with Saline. Administrators looking for a server distro can get up and running quickly with Ubuntu's server edition, enjoy five years of updates, have better ISV support and have the option of buying commercial support from the vendor. Each of these projects stand on the shoulders of the Debian giant, but in doing so they are able to give a more specialized, more polished experience to the user. I found that, once it was up and running, Debian was all very satisfactory -- stable, useful, fast, accessible -- but by being so general, so universal, I felt Squeeze didn't excel at anything.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora announces graphics test day, openSUSE drops Unity from 11.4, OpenBSD developer's fund raising story
The public alpha release of Fedora 15 is scheduled for 1 March and the Fedora developers are working hard to ensure a smooth experience for all users. As always, hardware compatibility is high on the priority list. Adam Williamson calls on testers (irrespective if you are a Fedora user or not) to participate in a graphics test day later this week: "This week is Fedora graphics test week, when the Fedora project runs test days for each of the major graphics drivers. Tuesday is Nouveau test day, Wednesday is Radeon test day, and, Thursday is Intel (graphics) test day. Although this is a Fedora event, since Fedora has a strong emphasis on working upstream, any fixes resulting from the event will go upstream straight away, and benefit all distributions - so even if you don't run Fedora, it's a good idea to come along and help contribute to testing. Testing is very easy and can be done entirely from a live image - there's no need to install Fedora pre-release onto your system. You can help with testing in only a few minutes, plus the time it takes to download a live image. All the information you need to test is present on each test day Wiki page, and there will also be QA group members and Fedora graphics developers in the IRC channel - #fedora-test-day on Freenode - all day long to help you out. If you don't know how to use IRC, you can use WebIRC. Please come along and help out!"
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The next release of Ubuntu, version 11.04 and code-name "Natty Narwhal", is also currently in heavy development. But when the final version is released in April, chances are that many users will adopt the new default user interface called Unity. This radical change has already received a fair amount of coverage, both positive and negative, and there were even reports that other major distros might also make Unity available as an option. These hopes now appear to be squashed, writes Katherine Noyes in "Fedora and openSUSE Linux Drop Unity Efforts": "Not long after Canonical's announcement, developers of both the Fedora and openSUSE projects indicated that they'd start implementing Unity on their own distributions as well. This week, however, both efforts apparently stalled. Fedora's Williamson, for example, wrote on Monday that he has 'had little time or inclination for doing much with Unity / Poulsbo. Unity is still stuck on this bug that the upstream maintainer promised to look at after Christmas (I last submitted a requested change on Jan 25 and it's been crickets since),' he explained, noting that his work on the effort has been entirely voluntary. Nelson Marques of the openSUSE project, meanwhile, has encountered similar obstacles. 'Packaging Unity wasn't much of a problem, but implementing is being translated into frustration,' Marques wrote in a blog post on Tuesday."
* * * * *
With the imminent releases of both FreeBSD 8.2, a highly popular operating system used in many mission-critical deployments, and PC-BSD 8.2, a user-friendly desktop BSD system, it's obvious that these excellent free alternatives to Linux continue to thrive. One way to ensure that they keep on doing so is to raise funds and donate them to these projects. Janne Johansson, the editor of Undeadly.org and an OpenBSD developer, writes about some innovative and creative ideas to generate money for conferences, developers' meetings and other useful purposes: "A long time ago, I read a post on Undeadly about some person claiming he would donate a small sum but the currency conversion and money transfer would eat most of it. I wrote a reply about how he should get a bunch of friends to donate at the same time to reduce the losses and then it just hit me: I can do that too, even if my conversion rates weren't that evil. This ended up becoming a yearly fund-raiser event called Slackathon which ran from 2006 to 2009 and even if I think many of the visitors would have donated to OpenBSD anyhow, it collected large amounts of money, while also allowing people to attend a free conference with BSD and development-related talks and meet up with other Swedish and international OpenBSD people. This was not a single-person effort from me, I had very good help from friends, colleagues and my workplace in order to make it work."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Using noexec to prevent social engineering attacks
Trying-to-block-social-engineering asks: I've heard that security on a Linux system can be overcome by social engineering, i.e. getting a user to download a trojan and run chmod u+x screensaver.bin and ./screensaver.bin. Is there a way to prevent this type of attack?
DistroWatch answers: I'm sorry to say that no system is entirely safe from its users, particularly not when they are sitting next to the machine. For instance, I once discovered a user using the red voltage switch on his power supply as a reset button. Some people will find ways to damage their computers you just wouldn't imagine and it's difficult to protect a system from its users while still making it useful.
Working with the example given above, there are ways to make running such a program more difficult. For instance, you could configure the user's directory to be mounted with the noexec flag (see "man mount" for details). This would allow the user to run chmod on a file and they would appear to gain execute permissions on the file, but it won't run. The noexec flag blocks program execution. Now this will work if screensaver.bin is an application, but it's only a speed bump if screensaver.bin is a shell script. Shell scripts can still be run without execute permission using the source command, as in "source screensaver.bin". The same goes for other scripts, such as the Perl and awk variety.
In short, mount's noexec parameter will block the attacks of users who are trying to run compiled programs and unknowing users who don't understand what a script is and are just parroting commands to the terminal. It won't stop a determined attacker, just drive-by social engineering attacks.
If you do decide to implement this on your system, keep in mind that users may have the ability to save and execute programs in other directories. The /tmp directory is an area which is almost always open for users to save and run whatever they want. In addition, if you plan to use noexec, do not apply it to the root (/) directory. Blocking execution on / will likely prevent your system from booting. Make sure the areas you mark as noexec zones are separate partitions.
|Released Last Week
Tiny Core Linux 3.5
Robert Shingledecker has announced the release of Tiny Core Linux 3.5, a minimalist, but extensible distribution: "Team Tiny Core is pleased to announce the release of Tiny Core Linux 3.5. Change log: updated BusyBox to 1.18.3 plus patches; updated zsync to 0.6.2; updated Fluff file manager to 0.8.9; new autoscan-devices compiled to improve boot speed; updated tc-functions for call to autoscan-devices; new rotdash compiled to improve boot speed; updated tce-audit builddb to not force fetch of all .dep files when no tce.db exists; updated appsaudit to support removing on-demand uninstalled extensions without rebooting; clean up of tce-audit 'delete' spurious messages; new tce-remove support for appsaudit; update wbar_rm_icon to support tce-remove; updated appsaudit, added highlight on failed MD5 checking...." Here is the complete changelog.
François Dupoux has released an updated version of SystemRescueCd, a Gentoo-based live CD with a collection of utilities for data rescue and disk management tasks. As always, the new version comes with updated Linux kernels as well as the brand new GParted 0.8.0 and X.Org Server 1.9.4. From the changelog: "Updated standard kernels to 126.96.36.199 (rescuecd + rescue64); updated alternative kernels to 188.8.131.52 (altker32 + altker64); updated Memtest86+ floppy disk image to 4.20 (supports Sandy-Bridge + fusion); updated X.Org Server to 1.9.4 (graphical server and drivers); updated initramfs software (programs involved in the boot process); upgraded atl1c driver in standard kernel for Atheros AR8151 Gigabit devices; fixed name resolution in the initramfs environment (used for PXE booting); updated GParted to version 0.8.0."
Comfusion is a Spanish Ubuntu-based distribution formerly known as Uberyl. The latest release, version 3, is the project's first stable build in over two years and it comes with a number of major changes. Firstly, there is a choice of desktop environments which includes GNOME, the full-featured desktop for modern computers, LXDE, a lightweight desktop similar to GNOME but with less resource-hungry components, and Openbox, a very light, but highly configurable window manager. Secondly, the release also comes with the XBMC media centre, the Cairo-Dock application launchbar, and a large variety of usability improvements and modifications of all aspects of the desktop. Please head for the detailed release notes (in Spanish, PDF format) if you'd like to learn more about Comfusion 3.
Comfusion 3 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with XMBC media player and Cairo-Dock
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Parted Magic 5.10
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 5.10, a Linux-based live CD containing a variety of disk partitioning and data rescue utilities: "Parted Magic 5.10. It seems like it has been longer than a month, but it's time for a new release. The most notable changes are the Linux 2.6.37 kernel, GParted 0.8.0, and the move back to Firefox as the default web browser. We updated some programs and here is the list: FSArchiver 0.6.12, gzip 1.4, hdparm 9.37, xz 5.0.1, Conky 1.8.1, NTFS-3G 2011.1.15, Linux kernel 2.6.37, gDisk 0.6.14, HDT 0.4.1, Squashfs 4.1 and GParted 0.8.0. These programs have been added: Firefox 3.6.13, and NTP 4.2.6p3 (ntpd starts automatically at boot). Some of the lesser changes were fixing the 'shred' bug in the 'Erase Disk' menu and the boot/isolinux directory has been removed (instead we use the boot/syslinux directory and the syslinux.cfg). Some other bugs were fixed, as always." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
Pardus Linux 2 "Corporate"
Ozan Çağlayan has announced the release of Pardus Linux 2 "Corporate" edition, a desktop distribution featuring the legacy KDE 3 desktop: "The final release of the Pardus Corporate 2 is now available. Pardus Corporate 2 is shipped with KDE 3.5.10 which has a good reputation for its stability and performance. All other components of the system are updated to offer a fast, comfortable and problem-free desktop experience. Here are the basic components and their versions shipped within Pardus Corporate 2: KDE Desktop Environment 3.5.10, Linux kernel 184.108.40.206, LibreOffice office suite 3.3.1, Mozilla Firefox web browser 3.6.13, X.Org 1.7.7, GIMP 2.6.11, Python 2.6.5. The installation image includes support for all officially supported languages." Here is the brief release announcement.
Pardus Linux 2 "Corporate" - remember KDE 3?
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.9
Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4.9, the final maintenance release of the company's legacy 4.x product series. According to Red Hat's life cycle policy, this release brings "production stage 2" to an end, with only selected security advisories of critical impact and urgent bug fixes getting released from now on. From the release announcement: "Red Hat is pleased to announce the availability of the latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, release 4.9 (with kernel 2.6.9-100.EL) for a family of products. This is the final minor release for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. With this release Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 will be entering production 3 phase during which qualified security errata advisories of critical impact, as well as, selected urgent priority bug-fix errata may be released." See also the detailed release notes.
Kate Stewart has announced the release of Ubuntu 10.04.2, an updated set of CD and DVD images with all the security errata and bug-fix updates since the release of Ubuntu 10.04 in April 2010: "The Ubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS, the second maintenance update to Ubuntu's 10.04 LTS release. This release includes updated images for the desktop, alternate installation CDs and DVDs for the i386 and amd64 architectures. Numerous updates have been integrated, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation." Here is the release announcement.
Superb Mini Server 1.5.6
Superb Mini Server (SMS) 1.5.6, a Slackware-based server distribution, has been released: "Superb Mini Server version 1.5.6 released (Linux kernel 220.127.116.11). SMS 1.5.6 comes with a long-term version of the Linux kernel. This release upgrades packages to Slackware 'Current' and brings the latest stable versions of several packages. New packages in this release are Berkeley DB 4.6 (this is the default DB for SMS from now on) LXC, libcgroup, nss-mdns, util-linux (replaces util-linux-ng) and Yasm. New packages in extra are the Avahi directory which includes Avahi, libdaemon, nss-mdns with Avahi support and imlib2 which is mostly for sharing photo libraries through Avahi to iPhoto or FronRow on a Mac OS X or to an Apple TV. Important changes for those who are upgrading are Netatalk and OpenLDAP compiled against Berkeley DB 4.6." Here is the release announcement with a brief changelog.
Puppy Linux 5.1 "Wary"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.1 "Wary" edition, a small, fast and light distribution designed for older hardware: "Wary Puppy 5.1 has been released. Wary Puppy is our Puppy Linux variant that targets support for older hardware, especially in the areas of video and analog modem dial-up. Wary Puppy 5.1 is a bug-fix and minor upgrade of Wary 5.0. The default kernel is now the long-term supported 18.104.22.168. The PET package repository is still small but is growing, with many major applications added to it. For a 'minor upgrade', rather a lot of applications have been upgraded, as well as one new one, the 'Wcpufreq' CPU frequency scaling tool, added. There have been numerous tweaks in the underlying infrastructure." Read the release announcement and check out the more detailed release notes for more information.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Dax OS. Dax OS is a lightweight, but configurable distribution based on Ubuntu. The project's website is in Spanish.
- Express Linux. Express Linux is an Ubuntu-based lightweight distribution (with Openbox) designed for older or less powerful computers. The project's website is in Italian.
- FrameOS. FrameOS is a distribution built by recompiling source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It includes an up-to-date Ruby stack as well as the latest Xen virtualisation stack.
- Hanthana Linux. Hanthana Linux is a Fedora remix suitable for desktop and laptop users. It has all the features of Fedora and loads of additional software, including multimedia players and out-of-the-box codecs support.
- Progress Linux. Progress Linux is a Debian-based distribution. At this time the project's website provides no details about the distribution's objectives.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 28 February 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • ref: Zenwalk Linux 7.0-rc1 (Openbox) (by prfaasse on 2011-02-21 09:20:47 GMT from Netherlands) |
W.r.t. the 'item': Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
With respect, Zenwalk's 7.0-rc1 is using -as usual- xfce (version 4.8 this time), not Openbox.
2 • Your Debian Review is bit biased (by manmath sahu on 2011-02-21 09:26:20 GMT from United States)
I found your review to be a bit biased for no reason... I try every release of debian and compare the same with the contemporary RHEL and its clones such as Centos and Scientific. And every time I found Debian to be a bit more modern than RHEL and the rebuilds, in all respects.
Please don't compare Debian with Ubuntu, Mint or Fedora!
3 • Debian (by mandog on 2011-02-21 09:51:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
@2. What are talking about Linux Mint does a True Debian version code named LMDE
its based on testing and its a rolling release and does a better job + its got only about 1 years total dev take a look true Debian as it should be. Not some tatty unpolished Distro like most. And I'm not a Mint fanboy by any means. They do a professional job on both Debian and Ubuntu that can't be matched by there peers.
4 • Debian (by pera on 2011-02-21 09:52:45 GMT from Serbia)
Yes,I also tried out Debian several times,and I am always broke into various problems. It is very strange for distro which is claiming to be extremely stable.
5 • Debian (by Pumpino on 2011-02-21 10:01:06 GMT from Australia)
I've always found Debian stable to be underwhelming as well. It takes forever to push out a stable release and the final product is no more stable than other distros, yet seems a lot less polished. In terms of a server distro, RHEL/CentOS at least backports some kernel updates for hardware compatability, as well as providing updates to Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice. Debian is completely stagnant for years. As Jesse pointed out, Debian's graphical installer is pretty ordinary compared to Anaconda.
6 • Debian 6 (by Micah on 2011-02-21 10:14:15 GMT from United States)
Comparing Debian 6 to openSUSE 11.3, the distro Debian replaced on all my machines, the difference is like night and day. oS is quite stable and fast, but there were all sorts of little problems: gnome-screensaver hanging after switching back to my GUI after using a virtual console, randomly being logged out of my netbook, and some programs just not working even though they were part of the default install.
With Debian Squeeze stable, so far I've had not the slightest problem. What's more, the software I get from the repos "just works." That's more than I can say about the stuff from the opensuse build service, which gave me some software that felt severely broken, and even some of the stuff in the base install.
At any rate, though, I can understand why people might not be too impressed by Debian. Desktop users who can stomach Canonical's shenanigans and don't mind some of the fringe elements of the Ubuntu community, an Ubuntu LTS might work well for you. Still, Squeeze is using the same kernel as Ubuntu 10.04 but has come out 10 months later; in my mind, that counts for something when it comes to stability! (And, as Jesse Smith writes, Debian's pretty darn snappy.)
7 • Debian 6 (by Ariya on 2011-02-21 10:22:12 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I think Jesse is right. Debian 6 is not for normal people, but for those, who has lot of time to waste downloading, installing, etc, or for the people, who has nostalgia.
LMDE is not that responsive as Saline OS, or Aptosid or Crunchbang Statler and cannot come anywhere near Ubuntu. Bodhi Linux is marvelous with its ideas. Sometimes I think, why did they waste 24 months to come up with a kiddy looking GUI. Anyway, its good that Jesse gives a real picture. I won't download 4 GBs, while I can download 5 distros or more for that time. Not worth the time and nerves.
Glad that there are other developers, who knows how to produce a distro, using Debian repository. At least we can have a feeling what Debian is without having it installed in our machines.
Of course, I wish Debian all success, and to be able to produce a light weight good distro. Calling it a Universal OS is no use, without actually giving one!
8 • Hanthana Linux (by Ariya on 2011-02-21 10:54:49 GMT from Sri Lanka)
It is nice to see a Sri Lankan Linux distro had been added to the DDW waiting list. Hope it'll get through all the way. Will download it and have look. Hanthana is a very beautiful mountain range in Sri Lanka! You can google it and see.
9 • Debian and Arm (by Bob on 2011-02-21 10:55:18 GMT from Ireland)
Debian has dumped Arm ? When the Arm platform is coming on leaps and bounds, the tablet market is exploding, and people are even installing Debian derivatives on smartphones ? If this is for real alI I have to say is that this decision just makes my jaw drop - I am literally dumbfounded at the stupidity and shortsightedness.
10 • Bodhi: a huge "minor" bug fix release? (by meanpt on 2011-02-21 11:05:12 GMT from Portugal)
I'm not sure how the final release will turn but the 0.1.6 RC made available this weekend is already good enough. The efforts of Jeff hoogland and team to provide an enlightenment desktop is showing an unexpected and maturing quality that speaks for the commitment of all the involved. Damned it, I'm being spoiled with beauty, a huge choice of environments, themes and, above all, simplicity and fastness.
11 • @9 Debian and Arm (by pera on 2011-02-21 11:08:11 GMT from Serbia)
And all this to do when even MS announced that windows 8 will support the arm.
12 • Express-Linux (by Kuno on 2011-02-21 11:08:51 GMT from Germany)
To me Express-Linux just looks like a rebranded one-to-one clone of Adcomp's Madbox with just some Office-progs added. I do not find this very funny - the author not even mentiones Madbox as base of his clone...
13 • Debian 6 (by ronnylov on 2011-02-21 11:11:22 GMT from Sweden)
I think Debian netinstall normally is a better option if you have a good internet connection. Why download a 4 GB iso if you can install only what you need directly from the repositories?
14 • @9 • Debian and Arm (by meanpt on 2011-02-21 11:14:41 GMT from Portugal)
I second your opinion but have to think if Debian's team isn't really doing the best thing for the main project, leaving to others the opportunity to port it to the still to be known standard architectures among the ARM and Tegra devices, as these things are really moving too fast.
15 • @9 - Debian supported architectures (by Tervel on 2011-02-21 11:21:57 GMT from Austria)
From the Debian release notes:
"This release drops official support for the HP PA-RISC ('hppa'), Alpha ('alpha') and ARM ('arm') architectures.
The following are the officially supported architectures for Debian GNU/Linux squeeze:
32-bit PC ('i386'), ..., ..., ARM EABI ('armel')..."
16 • Debian (by rec9140 on 2011-02-21 11:23:42 GMT from United States)
Seems odd that ". For instance, support has been dropped for the ..... and ARM architectures."
Hmmmm.. ARM is one of the hot embedded arch's right now from phones to BeagleBoards to Sheeva Plugs.. which means that downstream flavors based on Debian are not going to support this arch either which means getting Linux on these is going to be a lot harder.
Dropping the other arch's I get as they are EOL... but ARM is not EOL!
As for Debian as a whole.... I prefer Debian based distro's.... for those that don't understand the way Debian works and what the official releases have and lack there will be disappointment... Better to stick with KMint or something further down the chain. I don't agree with the DFSG and the blob policy, its time to get over this BS to get Linux on the desktop where it belongs, and both of these policies and action hurt Linux, period. Look at the review, with the comments about intel wireless not working,which means my laptop is DEAD in the water to start with, and "libre" sprinkled here and there. Nope openjava won't cut it... my Java needs all require the real deal, as much as I despise larry the tyrannt to get my image uploader to work cross platform requires Java, as does my ebay watching program. They don't work on anything other than the real deal.
I always try the KDE based version of Debian when it comes out, but I don't have that kind of time to fill in all that KMint provides.. a ready to go distro to install/update and get back to work.
I know what Debian is and how it works and it has it place, a huge place in the Linux world, but I think some of the devs are stating to drink the wrong stuff and need to step away from the Flavorade.
17 • @9 Debian and Arm (by sml on 2011-02-21 11:24:10 GMT from Germany)
Actually, Debian has dropped only big-endian ARM, little-endian ARM or 'armel' is still in Debian and this is the architecture that is used on tablets, smartphones etc.
18 • Your Debian review is shallow (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-21 11:24:34 GMT from Belgium)
Essentially, you have two distros categories: 1) Operating systems for actual working: Debian,RHEL, CentOS, SL, etc; and 2) Operating systems for distro-hoppers and distro developers (most of the rest). Those who care about a solid foundation choose systems of type 1, those who care about aesthetics and who let themselves being fooled by false promises, choose type 2.
I have Debian installed in all my computers. Why? Am I a fan-boy? No, I am not. It is just because it is more stable and efficient than any of its derivatives. It may take a little bit more time to configure it, but once it is done, it is done. If you use your computer for actual working and not just for playing, tweaking, distro-hopping, facebooking or porning, Debian is just a perfect distribution.
Of course, different projects have different objectives and priorities. You cannot do everything. As I see it, Debian is about providing a solid foundation that can run in as many architectures as possible. Others took that foundation and tried to make something more attractive out of it (Ubuntu, Mint),which is good, but without Debian those derivatives would not have been born. Not only that, if Debian disappeared tomorrow, sooner or later, Ubuntu would disappear as well or, at least, the quality of the product would degrade considerably (Ubuntu quality standards are already rather poor, namely for the AMD64 edition).
Then you say it is old and so on. You have three versions: stable, testing and unstable. Stable may not be very current, but unstable is bleeding edge. It is up to you to choose how reliable you want your system to be. Ubuntu (stable) destroyed my filesystem once, Debian never did such a thing (neither, stable, nor testing, nor sidux/aptosid). The problem with Ubuntu destroying the file system had been reported by numerous people in alpha stage, then in beta stage, then for the release candidates. The "stable" version was released anyway, because its ridiculous schedule is more important for Ubuntu than quality control. You have to understand that for many people this is not acceptable.
Then you mentioned several DVDs and so on. I always use the netinstall image (well below 200 MB). The aesthetics of the installer may be 10-years old or more, but who cares?. It does the job and it is quite easy to use and extremely versatile. You can choose among four desktops (Gnome, KDE, Xfce and LXDE) or no desktop. You can choose expert mode or basic mode. You can choose graphics mode or text mode. You can create logical volumes and encrypt them if you wish. You can load proprietary drivers if required (namely, network drivers)...
Yes, you end up with a pretty raw and minimalistic system installed. But you can configure it as you like. It is pretty easy and you choose what you need and how you like it. Is it not for everybody? Well, maybe not, but Debian is more relevant than any of its derivatives. Period.
19 • Debian ARM (by rec9140 on 2011-02-21 11:25:40 GMT from United States)
For those interested in ARM:
The review reads that all ARM ports are dead, but this is incorrect, see:
The OLD ARM port is dead, but the new ARM port for certain ARM types is alive. Again reference above.
20 • Debian and Dead Distros (by uz64 on 2011-02-21 11:29:14 GMT from United States)
First, on Debian... the only problems I ever run into on it are:
- Drivers. Especially wireless traditionally, but with Squeeze, nVidia as well; I just can't get the damn things installed without royally f***ing up the installation. I've got them installed plenty of times in Lenny though, but I always end up rebooting Squeeze (after following Debian's directions, no matter which path I take) only to find myself at a completely non-responsive, flashing cursor. No command line, login, nothing.
-Missing Packages. Yes, ironically--as massive as it is, several packages that I want and use in other distros are not available in Debian because, either it's somehow non-free (DVD-Styler and AVIDemux) or something else. Some examples: PySol was removed due to abandonment from its developer although one of its active successors such as PySolIFC was not brought into Debian to replace it; Dillo was removed from Lenny for understandable security reasons but I don't know if Dillo 2 was ever even considered for re-entry; NetSurf is not in Squeeze and I never did find out why; and there's at least one other program I liked but cannot find in Squeeze, but I can't remember what it is). Basically, it turns out that I have less trouble finding the packages I want in Debian derivatives that don't make it a PITA to do so (similar to the driver situation). To be completely honest though, this "problem" is (to me) not near as bad as the driver one (if only because I wanna use Stellarium at more than 2FPS and not at 100% CPU use...)
-After a while, Debian just *feels* horribly out of date. Not the desktop environment or the OS itself in most cases but all the programs that I use daily. There was actually a slight exception with Squeeze though due to the typical long Debian freeze and KDE's rapid state of development lately: KDE was locked at 4.4 even though 4.5 has been out, with plenty of useful features and bug fixes. Now it's already at 4.6 an improving ridiculously fast. Usually it's the programs that not tied to the DE that matter though... Firefox, Chromium, Stellarium, OpenOffice.org (now LibreOffice), etc... especially Internet programs (which tend to get very frequent updates). It's not too bad yet, but give it a little bit... it'll start feeling a bit rusty. Stable as hell, but rusty. Again though, this is not near as bad as the driver problem IMO, but it can get annoying.
But enough criticism on Debian, because in the end it really is a great distro, highly influential and very important, and every distro has its flaws (Debian's just tend to be more political than technical, while most other distros including *buntu are the reverse...).
I figured I would mention that Slamd64, after a while back having their forums spammed to hell and back before being taken offline and being silent for what seems like forever, its developer finally officially laid the distro to rest. It's dead. Gone. Don't know why it took so long to finally just admit it. Somewhat related, BlueWhite64's site has been inactive for quite some time, there was never a 13.1 release, and their forums seem to have been pretty much inactive for a long time... although they haven't publicly admitted giving up, the signs don't look good... I'm not so sure "active" is the proper word for the state of the distro... dormant, maybe? Maybe it's time for an update on its DistroWatch page.
21 • 20 - forgot to mention: (by uz64 on 2011-02-21 11:33:19 GMT from United States)
When I was listing programs that were mysteriously removed from Debian, I forgot to mention emelfm2. Don't know what ever happened to it... the original emelfm was already removed as the older GTK was depreciated and all dependent programs were removed, including it, but unfortunately emelfm2 is missing from Squeeze as well.
22 • debian 6 (by matteo on 2011-02-21 11:40:04 GMT from Italy)
debian is _NOT_ for "people [...] who has lot of time to waste downloading, installing, etc" I'm using it as my primary desktop at work and as base for my small computation machine (a virtual server doing a lot of numerical simulations).
I'm a former slackware and ubuntu (LTS only) user and I've to say that debian is so far the most setup-n-forget distro I've ever see in 6 years of linux usage. also the installation is quite fast and simple.
in my experience (I've also tried opensuse and centos, but for a really short timeframe) it is the most balanced solution I've ever tried - the only boring being the need to provide binary blob firmware to the installer...
another issue to mind about is support: when you are in troubles debian devels are incredibly kind and fast in reply to your bugfills or questions (the same holds for slackware, but try it with ubuntu...) and this is a must if you are using an OS as base for your daily work.
all in all, debian is the most effective solution to work with when you _can't_ waste time for either setting up a system from the roots or face with the latest weird bug introduced by a kernel update.
23 • Debian (by Bobby on 2011-02-21 11:40:52 GMT from United States)
It's funny how you recommend some bleeding-edge distros for everyday use but not Debian.
24 • Debian and ARM (by megadriver on 2011-02-21 11:45:25 GMT from Spain)
About the ARM thing, Debian hasn't really dropped support for ARM (that would be incredibly shortsighted, indeed!). Read this:
On a completely unrelated note, the news item about Ubuntu has the Meego icon...
I'd love it if more sites were developed "with the Lynx web browser in mind", actually :)
25 • Re: 20 - forgot to mention: (by Julian Andres Klode on 2011-02-21 11:54:55 GMT from Germany)
emelfm2 was never in Debian, it was uploaded in January and is currently waiting for being accepted http://ftp-master.debian.org/new/emelfm2_0.7.4-1.html.
26 • Linux in Sinhala-Hanthana Linux included (by Dr.Asoka Dissanayake (Medical) on 2011-02-21 12:09:10 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I have waited over a decade to see a Linux version in Sinhala and finally it has arrived,
Our own Anurahdha who was an expert in Linux and especially Debian initialed it well over a decade ago and he produced an experimental version named Sinhala Linux(I still have a copy).
Then after 1994 tsunami he was drawn into presidential task force (had nothing going on at that time) to steer all web applications and e-commerce and the Sinhala project was push to a back burner.
I have been testing Live CDs (over 150 now, except Ubuntu) for the last 18 months and when I tested Debian 6 I accidentally discovered Sinhala Installation Capability which was a pleasant surprise. I downloaded all the Debian CDs and some DVDs for testing and they we pretty good.
Immediately blogged this fact at parafox and asokaplus (using them for promoting Linux 100) my rambling spaces in the web.
I am trying to distribute these Debian CDs / DVDs after thorough testing
But I personally prefer to install them in English which is second nature to me and activate the Sinhala capability afterward since the Sinhala terminology is somewhat GREEK to me.
Mind you Debian is not for the weak minded and certainly not for a newbie or a novice.
And today I find Hanthana (I live down the Hanthana Range- on the other side of the University) Linux 3.6 GiB DVD released which is Fedora 14.
It takes 3 to 10 days to download a DVD in Sri-Lanka and very few will bother to download it.
Now I have tested all Fedora 14 releases and Fubuntu (installed only Fubuntu for further testing) and all Fedora CDs freeze in installation (tried on several of my computers) but did not bother to see Sinhala capability,
In fact because of this nuance in Fedore 14 I decided to download all the 6 (5 CDs and one netboot) Fedora CDs for posterity.
It has some problem with the Grub file too.
I cut my teeth with Redhat 8 and 9.
Debian I learned many moons later.
Then again Fedora 3 was the first Linux to allow Sinhala font in Open Office and later Mnadrake.
I wonder whether the introduction of Sinhala font into a an experimental Linux distribution is a wise decision (hope my reservation prove wrong).
Anyway we have two robust distributions having Sinhala capability.
I hope Ubuntu will pick the trend and run faster than both of them.
I won't pass my judgment just for a little while!
27 • Re: 5 • Debian (by Julian Andres Klode on 2011-02-21 12:11:22 GMT from Germany)
> RHEL/CentOS at least backports some kernel updates for hardware compatability,
> as well as providing updates to Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice. Debian is
> completely stagnant for years
Yes, it's stable. Red Hat takes the risk and does those updates, but that doesn't mean that it's a good idea, as it can break things.
28 • Raising money (by Toolz on 2011-02-21 12:20:49 GMT from Vietnam)
Talking of raising money, what happened to the money that sidux raised that was a bone of contention with the developers who started aptosid? Did the money get transferred to aptosid? Does sidux still exist?
29 • Debian and ARM (by Jesse on 2011-02-21 12:32:12 GMT from Canada)
A few people have commented on Debian dropping ARM. Just to clear something up, Debian isn't dropping support for all ARM architectures, they still support armel. In the review I linked to the Debian What's New page which clarifies this.
30 • @18 (by Bert on 2011-02-21 12:34:58 GMT from Germany)
My thoughts exactly. I really couldn't have put it better myself.
31 • Debian iso images (by Doran on 2011-02-21 12:35:58 GMT from Greece)
Let's be clear about this, you DON'T have to download 4.4GB iso to install debian. There are cd iso images less than 650 MB.
32 • Enlightenment on the Maverick Swedish style (by gnomic on 2011-02-21 12:44:01 GMT from New Zealand)
A couple of years back, (perhaps a decade or so in internet time), there was a Puppy version called Exton originating in Sweden. This faded away, but the memory lingered on. Of late I came upon a few Linux remasters done in English from the Exton guy. And thus it is this message comes from the ExLight live CD, Xubuntu 10.10 made over with Enlightenment. See these pages:-
Some may find it of interest. Haven't come on any major glitches so far except that the networking gui utility is NetworkManager, but nm-applet can't be seen until the user manages to get its icon to show up in the shelf, aka notification area. The dreaded invisible nm-applet syndrome.
Also in English from the same source is a Slackware-based 13.1 live DVD about 1G in size running Gnome 2.30.2. Haven't looked at this, but it sounds like a collector's item.
33 • Debian Netinstall... (by Smartjak on 2011-02-21 12:44:11 GMT from United States)
Can't figure why folks still download CD/DVDs to install Debian. I've been using the Netinstall CD for years. Works like a champ!
If you can down load CD/DVDs surely you can bring your freshly netinstalled system up to date.
34 • Debian (by eric on 2011-02-21 13:40:40 GMT from United States)
The goal of Debian is not to provide a pre-configured OS. It provides every major desktop environment in a generic setup, allowing the user to pick and choose their software to suit their own individual needs.
It's a shame that people have been brainwashed by Windows and Ubuntu into thinking that they can't control their operating system.
35 • Debian 6 review (by Barnabyh on 2011-02-21 13:44:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the review Jesse. It seems odd that you had such a streak of bad luck with Debian, I have installed and run 3.1, 4 and 5 all without any hardware issues (ecept xorg being too old for my new gfx card when Sarge was already nearing 3 years in the wild) on desktops and an IBM laptop and from that perspective it is somewhat hard to believe Debian would not work for others, but of course I do!
Re. the issue with the CD, it's not a bug it's a feature! It may stump new users, but if you know Debian you just disable the source after install without even thinking about it.
The netinstall is the better way to get all updates and just the packages needed.
Similarly, I have never given the gui installer much time when the much more intuitive curses installer is still around. The Debian tui installer has got to be the easiest and most efficient way of putting an OS on your drive.
All that said I agree with your conclusion, the last paragraph in particular, as there are fresher systems around for your desktop that are generally stable enough for that use. For the server I think I might still prefer it to Ubuntu LTS, but it depends.
36 • @5, Debian Backports (by Stan on 2011-02-21 13:53:12 GMT from United States)
Debian has backports too; they used to be unofficial, but now are officially part of Debian. Now, you still won't get the absolute latest from them, but you will get the Testing version after a bit of a time. See http://backports.debian.org/ for details (and note that Wheezy has just gotten started, so squeeze-backports is still a bit scarce).
37 • Netinstall (by Jesse on 2011-02-21 14:12:22 GMT from Canada)
Some people have made variations on this observation:
"The netinstall is the better way to get all updates and just the packages needed."
Unfortunately netinstall is not appropriate in my case when compared next to a full sized CD. Two reasons for this: One, this time of year where I live the power and net connection can come and go rather unpredictably. Two, I knew I'd be performing multiple installs, at least three. When you look at the size of the netinstall disc, plus three installs (or more) worth of packages it gets quite large.
So while netinstall is probably a good idea if you have one machine and a fast, stable connection, it isn't a good option for me, not this time of year.
38 • Debian is not so hard. (by Anonimuos Coward on 2011-02-21 14:13:06 GMT from Spain)
I was about to write a long, long post defending Debian, but I think the most important points of it are dealed in comment number 18.
I have installed my Debian Squeeze from scratch and set it up in two evenings, using the whole set of 8 DVDs. And know what? I AM NOT GOING TO HAVE TO (RE)CONFIGURE NOTHING ELSE IN MONTHS. So please, don´t say that Debian is for freaks or for people with lots of spare time, because it is not the thruth, plain and simple.
The review says that the package managers do not enable on-line repositories by default. I think that feature it is all right. If you plan to use only a local or a DVD based repository, as I do, you don´t need internet at all. If you decide to use on-line repositories, you can enable them easily.
39 • Missed Chance (by HFO on 2011-02-21 14:20:12 GMT from Ireland)
I was waiting for ages for Debian, to come up with the "universal OS".
When there, I installed it. I was only disappointed.
To me, it looked old fashioned, with a poor graphical quality.
There were a lot of applications missing, that are normally standard in a good Linux distro.
The whole story with Linux, was represented by this Debian, missing out of the box quality, not impressing the user.
No wonder, that Mint is such a popular distro. It comes near to what people except Linux to be, a real alternative to Windows.
Taking so much time to come up with 6, I'm really not impressed. Missed chance, Debian.
40 • Debian 6 (by Ariya on 2011-02-21 14:28:58 GMT from Sri Lanka)
@ 26. Asoka, I wouldn't want to argue with another Sinhalese, but three things;
1) It doesn't take too long to download 4 GB iso in Sri Lanka. I had directly downloaded PC-BSD in less than 4 hours. Maybe in the hill country you have bad connections. Firefox allows you to break the download any time and resume.
2) Everyone is happy at Ubuntu-bashing, but when I look in a certain Linux torrent site, I find 98 seeders for Ubnutu 10.04, Bodhi Linux 44 seeders, and Debian Live CD-Gnome only 33 seeders.
3)I think Ubuntu too have Sinhala fonts, try.
@22 Matteo, I standby what I said; Debian 6 is for people, who have lot of time to waste downloading it and getting it to work normally for everyday use! I think the distros, which use Debian and come up with good just work distros are better than Debian Distro. Maybe Debian OS might be tiny, but Debian distro is pretty ugly. I am waiting for Express-Linux-2011 iso to download. It'll be there is 8 minutes, meaning I have been downloading it for last 100 minutes. The distro that downloads it is Bodhi Linux, which is based on Ubuntu 10.04.
Bodhi is faster than Ubuntu 10.04 and much, much prettier!
Express-Linux is based on Ubuntu maverick.
Now, don't go and accuse people of distro hopping. We just love to see what others do, and appreciate them. i for example have a special laptop with more than 11 partitions to play with distros. Some are permanent, no need to name them.
I keep all the distros I download. Debian 6? No, I don't want it. Its too ugly and time consuming..
41 • @40, "Everyday Use" (by Stan on 2011-02-21 14:40:24 GMT from United States)
If you are the type to require a lot of non-free software (I get by just fine without it), then perhaps it takes a bit more time to set up than Mint or the like. For most people who use at most one or two non-free items though (say, wireless drivers and Flash), it is as fast to set up as any other distro out there. And if you use Stable, then you don't have to upgrade again for a couple years, so you need to factor that in too.
As for the torrenting statistics, I highly suspect that most people that install Debian download the CD/DVD from one of the hundreds of mirrors, or use net-install from one of the same. There is really no doubt that Debian is much more popular than, say, Bodhi. There is also no doubt that Ubuntu is much more popular than Debian, but that is neither here nor there.
I'm more of a Fedora person myself, so when I use Debian, I use the more up-to-date Sid. Now, if you wanted to complain about the amount of downloads required on a regular basis, you would have a point with Sid. Thankfully, some of us have decent broadband. You really can't complain about it with Squeeze (or any stable release) though.
42 • SystemRescueCD 2.0.1 out (by LAZA on 2011-02-21 14:49:23 GMT from Germany)
I miss this minor release on your list.
43 • Debian 6 (Squeeze) (by Shasvatthh on 2011-02-21 14:51:12 GMT from India)
* Over thousand people working for the cause .. Software in Public Interest!
* Over 29000 software packages!
* Support for about 9 different computer architecture!
* Choice of Linux and FreeBSD kernels and more in progress!
* Totally transparent and democratic model of development!
* The only self sustained project by the people, for the people! (read freedom from corporate & stake holders annoyance).
* The only project which has its own social contract!
* About 129 active projects/distributions of various kinds that uses Debian as their base! (not looking anywhere else but using Distrowatch's search)
* More and better info: http://www.debian.org/intro/about
Jesse, don't you think that you covered just bells and whistles or just icing on the cake and missed/misrepresented the core? Don't you think that you lacked the responsible side of writing (journalism)?
When you are enjoying the varied philosophies and freedom given by various distributions, you be narrow minded when you compare-contrast any of them with single frame. You are working for the cause too, Linux (& FLOSS) awareness. Present responsible, clear, broad and freedom-filled writing to the people who may not be aware about the broad picture of everything around Linux, who may not be aware about their rights, who may not be aware about their choices and who knows may be just taking their first steps in computing.
Looking forward to writings that are more responsible, insightful, broad, guiding and liberating in real sense. :-)
44 • @ 41 (by Ariya on 2011-02-21 14:52:21 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Stan, who is complaining? I only said what I felt. I think Jesse did the same too, i.e, he said what he felt. You say what you feel, so its OK. Bye!
45 • @44 (by Stan on 2011-02-21 14:58:34 GMT from United States)
You are free to state your opinion, and me mine. ;-) Sorry if _complain_ was a bad word to use, but you keep saying how much time Debian wastes, so it sounds to me that you, at the very least, have a strong dislike of it.
46 • Debian (by me on 2011-02-21 15:12:03 GMT from Thailand)
Debian 6 to me was interesting because of the inclusion of freebsd kernels.
THATS what would be interesting to see reviewed.
As for Mint Debian.. PLease..It's way way too buggy. You can't even get telnet
working on it.
And what is more is that the initial speed is not important. Check the responsiveness of your system after a week up and running many programs. Ubuntu and even mint were not so good at that and slowed down(thrashed) after a while. Same setup on Fuduntu/Kororaa(another fedora spin) and all is smooth...
47 • Server distro (by Toolz on 2011-02-21 15:17:17 GMT from Vietnam)
> "Administrators looking for a server distro can get up and running quickly with Ubuntu's server edition, enjoy five years of updates, have better ISV support and have the option of buying commercial support from the vendor."
This sounds rather awkward. Distrowatch being more desktop-oriented (certainly judging by the comments) I guess jesse thought he could slip this last part in just to have all the bases covered re his "wouldn't recommend Debian" assertion. A case of biting off more than one can chew - I think many of us are happy with our Debian servers and are very interested in upgrading to Squeeze - jesse offers no reasons why we shouldn't upgrade ... implicitly suggesting we give up and install Ubuntu is ridiculous.
Regarding the Sri Lankan distro: if the comments here are anything to go by, I hope we don't get any more for a while :)
48 • debian 6.0 squeeze (by petitbob on 2011-02-21 15:35:50 GMT from France)
nothing beats a good netinstall for debian. for two years under debian squeeze, no problem. several installations on different PCs, no problem! it's true, debian is for connoisseurs like a good old bourbon ! it must be tame...but a newbie can tame it as easy as ubuntu !
49 • Debian (by Jesse on 2011-02-21 15:39:35 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse, don't you think that you covered just bells and whistles or just icing on the cake and missed/misrepresented the core? Don't you think that you lacked the responsible side of writing (journalism)?"
How did I skip over the points you listed in your post? Almost everything you mention, from the pile of packages, the many derivative distros, the multiple kernels, the many supported CPUs are all mentioned in my review. I spent three paragraphs at the beginning outlining the same points you complained I failed to report on.
>> "I think many of us are happy with our Debian servers and are very interested in upgrading to Squeeze - jesse offers no reasons why we shouldn't upgrade"
I don't offer any reasons why you shouldn't upgrade because you probably should. If you're already using Debian and you're happy with it, then that's great. Pick the tool you feel is right for the job. What I was saying in my review is that I think people looking around for a distro should consider making use of a project that specializes in the task they wish to perform, where Debian is more general purpose.
50 • Hi! Squeeze (by zykoda on 2011-02-21 15:47:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
Etch retired! after 5 years. Can't rely on aptosid in MBR can I? to boot other partitions? So I choose something stable that does not lose me a (SATA/SCSI) partition. Very similar performance on "squeeze" and "aptosid". Seems nothing to gain except lifetime perhaps.
Cheaper than a MS Windows "upgrade" with a similar result.
51 • Express-Linux-2011 (by Ariya on 2011-02-21 16:16:42 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Writing from Express-Linux-2011, based on Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 and it’s repositories. Unetbootin put it on a flash stick and Express-Linux-2011 booted up within a minute. Lovely distro, and by the way the key board works, it should be British. Chromium came up bang on. Openbox, and should this be a Maverick'bang! Snippy! Must install and see.
Less than one minute booting from a USB stick is quite alright for me! Good work! Hope they'd come up faster like Bodhi Linux!
52 • Bug Nut (by Flip on 2011-02-21 16:23:19 GMT from United States)
I am a bug nut so I love working with buggy distros. I don't run them in VM I run full HD installs now I dont fix the bugs I just find them! I am having a great time with the new Mageia Alpha 1 of course they tell you it is a Dev only release but you know they just may have something here I like it so well it may be the distro that brings me back to Mandrake.
It would be hard for me to review a distro but I think the slightly bad review is the most important as it gives the Devs a reason to work harder. I do agree though that Debian needs to work out a smaller install cd other than the net install 200 megs for netinstall were a few hundred more would give you a full working install.also I think they are going over board with this LIbre stuff way way overboard makes their disto very unappealing for a desktop user.
One bug I found in Unbuntu is if you update and let it install their flashplugin installer your done using flash on a 64 bit machine the simple approach of installing the .so file to usr/lib/mozilla/plugins will not bring it back nor any other fix that I know of only thing that worked for me was a full reinstall of the system! Of course I reported this numerous times but so far no advice offered.
53 • LMDE (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-21 16:27:53 GMT from Belgium)
Why Debian is more relevant that its derivatives is demonstrated by Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) and several other distros. Take Debian and two or three motivated developers, add the Debian Multimedia repositories and a few tweaks here and there and you will have a faster, nicer and better Ubuntu (at a insignificant fraction of the cost). ;-)
Of course, I understand that DistroWatch has to protect the interests of the guys who pay the bills... Now, let's be serious, that Debian review and the comments supporting it are very similar to the arguments provided by the most anti-Linux Windows users.
54 • Why Debian (by Georgios on 2011-02-21 16:28:27 GMT from Greece)
I generally agree with comment #18. All my machines run debian testing since forever and in all of them I have been dist-upgrading and never re-installing (the oldest one a 15 year old AMD 5x86 @133 and the newest one a 6 month old Sony Vaio i5 @2400). The Sony needed a newer kernel (2.6.37) for the internal microphone to work so I just installed the kernel from sid. Everything works great and all computers are stable as hell (too boring, I admit...). Of course, my servers always run debian stable, and sometimes I forget that they are up and running (300-400 days uptime).
On a couple of machines I dual boot to Arch or Arch64 (also, a great rolling but unbelievably stable distro with the best wiki I've ever seen).
The bottom line is that for people who need to get the job done, a distro like Debian, Arch, Fedora, Centos, Slackware is the way to go. For people that do not know that a solid distro is a lot more than a polished and fine-tuned DE, there are plenty of flashy distros to play around with and have fun.
55 • Debian Live (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-21 16:31:27 GMT from Belgium)
56 • debian (by a debian user on 2011-02-21 16:37:27 GMT from Germany)
@ 18 and @ 31: from my point of view as a daily debian user i´d like to underline what´s been pointed out in these two comments
57 • Some Notes about Your Review of Debian 6 (by emariz on 2011-02-21 16:39:25 GMT from Argentina)
The installer "looks" old. How is that an issue? It provides all the tools that a system administrator may need to deploy a system (or a set of them). Installing a system is such a critical task that the installer must be versatile, not fancy.
Saying that it looks than a 10-year old Red Hat installer only shows that you did not ever install Red Hat back then.
The desktop "looks" old. Well, it uses the latest official GTK (Clearlooks) and icon (Tango, basically) themes from the Gnome Project. Had you ever tried an unbranded Gnome installation, you would knew them.
The applications "feels" old. Compared to what? Have you reviewed the set of applications offered by Red Hat 6? Have you worked in an enterprise that uses Windows? Who uses the millions of installation of Windows XP and Office 2003, then? Debian 6 offers software which is a couple of months old, is supported for about three years and the desktop applications are constantly updated if one enables the Backports repository.
Synaptic didn't use online repositories? Well, you told the installer not to do it! How is that an issue of Debian!
If one reviews Fedora, Ubuntu or Mint, she states her opinion about a final product. Debian is a set of tools; what matters is what one can do with it and not how a particular selection of packages compares to its implementation by other projects.
58 • Server distro (by Toolz on 2011-02-21 16:39:27 GMT from Vietnam)
> "What I was saying in my review is that I think people looking around for a distro should consider making use of a project that specializes in the task they wish to perform, where Debian is more general purpose."
Why so negative? I've run Ubuntu for years, Crunchbang (Ubu+Deb) for ages, Mint (Ubu+Deb) for a while - yes, Debian desktop might seem rough in comparison but still ... has Debian suddenly bombed? The review seems incongruous - if Debian has suddenly bombed, state so and state why. If on the contrary you feel that Debian is till chugging along nicely (you seem to knock them for their feature freeze) then just give them a little hug even if you'd rather not install Debian on your desktop/laptop and rather wait for a derivative.
You don't expand re preference for Ubuntu over Debian on servers. I wouldn't have commented if it wasn't for this. It seems like a lame attempt to fill in the missing piece of a 360 degree panning. If Debian is actually general purpose then why make it sound like a negative rather than a positive? Many readers here would like to use it as a base - for tweaking or remastering - rather than just using as is. That's a strong point. Even if we just install a few programs and mess around with the config we're still "standing on the shoulders of the Debian giant". For a server, squeeze seems like a top choice but I guess the people doing the deploying aren't writing reviews.
I just wish they could backport a more recent kernel - then I'd be happy (continuing) running squeeze on my laptop.
59 • Why Debian? (by Ariya on 2011-02-21 16:42:24 GMT from Sri Lanka)
The Sony Vaio netbook met with an accident and a new screen had to be fixed. So, we opened it, and we found a LG screen from Korea and the insides from Samsung! Now, why did I spend more than 1-3 to buy that Vaio? I should have opted for a LG or a Samsung!
The same goes with disrtros. Its not only the °insides° that give the works, but also how the insides are mounted or connected to each other. Ubuntu is based on Debian and it is a very good distro! I believe the Linux geeks don't like it, as I see from some comments. They like to tinker and waste time trying to fit everything together. The devs, who made Express'Linux'2011 had done a very good, pleasing to the eye job, based on Ubuntu Maverick.
Why do you say, they'd die in the future, as the future has not come yet?
60 • Debian and the desktop market. (by Eddie on 2011-02-21 16:46:06 GMT from United States)
Checked out the cd install for Debian 6 and all I can say about it that it's very stable and that's about as far as it goes. Jessie was correct is his review of Debian and it was not a shallow review. Regardless of what the Debian fanboys say it does take more effort and time to get a good Debian install. Debian will always be a leader in the Linux world and will always offer the best core for distros to be built off of. One thing they will never be is a leader in the desktop market. That is not the direction they are heading in and if it was they would fail. #43 stated, "The only self sustained project by the people, for the people! (read freedom from corporate & stake holders annoyance)." That statement is true and is one of the many reasons Debian will never lead the desktop market. Another reason is that they are not trying to. Servers are a different story and trying to compare the two is just stupid. I'm speaking from the view of the general public of course and most people here don't really care about the general public or the way they use their computers. A few organizations that promote Linux distros are trying to appeal to the general public but they get shafted by a lot of Linux users and it's not because of poor quality as some has wined about but it's about being afraid of anything new. The KDE move from 3.x to 4.x is a good example of the shortsightedness of people in the Linux community. They were afraid to evolve and saw no need for a change. I even felt that way to an extent. A lot abandoned their KDE distos when that happened. It will be the same for Gnome3 and Unity. I will learn them before I use either on my main system. Nothing can be stable until you learn the way it works and nothing starts out stable and if evolution does not take place then extinction becomes the most likely outcome.
61 • Ubuntu @ #52 (by Flip on 2011-02-21 16:46:34 GMT from United States)
Sorry to have misspelled it I always put that extra "n" in there and don't know why.
62 • Debian again (by Jesse on 2011-02-21 17:10:02 GMT from Canada)
>> "Saying that it looks than a 10-year old Red Hat installer only shows that you did not ever install Red Hat back then."
I did install Red Hat back then, which is why I compared installing Debian's current installer to RH's at that time.
>> "Synaptic didn't use online repositories? Well, you told the installer not to do it! How is that an issue of Debian!"
Synaptic *does* set up the on-line repos. That wasn't the issue. Nor is the issue that the install leaves the DVD as a source. The bug is that if both the on-line repos are configured as sources and the DVD is included as a source (which it is by default) then Synaptic doesn't work. Whether the user chooses to utilize on-line repos or not during the install, once the DVD is removed from the machine, the user needs to manually remove it as a source for the package manager to work.
>> "You don't expand re preference for Ubuntu over Debian on servers. I wouldn't have commented if it wasn't for this."
Yes, I did, in the review. Ubuntu is easier to get up and running, has better ISV support, is supported for longer (given Debian's new schedule) and commercial support can be purchased directly from the vendor.
63 • Debian 6 (by matteo on 2011-02-21 17:26:29 GMT from Italy)
"@22 Matteo, I standby what I said; Debian 6 is for people, who have lot of time to waste downloading it and getting it to work normally for everyday use!"
well, in my experience I fell exactly the opposite! as instance i've found debian download/net-installation just a bit slower than the ubuntu one (I've to admit that ubuntu download+install is a bit faster).
on the stability/set up/configuration/etc... the out-of-the-box shape of debian is closer to my needs than the ubuntu/slackware/arch/centos/opensuse one.
I've installed it plugged in flash nonfree, my wifi firmware and everything was in place. (yes I've to download komodo edit but I really don't know if it is packaged by any distro...)
therefore I suspect our different opinions comes from different needs, also, because you say -among others- that "debian is ugly". I don't mind very much about the appearence (unless we are talking about a 256 color mapped distro :-D) and hoesty I found cute distros really stressing for a 10 hour job in front of the screen (half of which sshd on another machine coding in gedit/vim and half writing docs on OOO)
64 • Matteo (by Ariya on 2011-02-21 17:41:30 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Sure, Matteo, it would be tough sitting in front of a monitor 10 hours. Well, I was telling about ordinary guys like me, who won't stay that long in front of a monitor. Anyway, I still like Ubuntu and its kids. Even Linux Mint started from the base of Ubuntu, and their Ubuntu based distros work faster than LMDE. Anyway, Matteo, everyone has their like and dislikes. You are very welcome to your opinion and your likes, but I have to agree with Jesse on this review.
I collect distros and I am happy for the devs, who work hard to come out with lovely stuff. It so happens, a youth works for few days and come up with even nicer and faster distro from the base one the dev started. I think , that's why Linux community go forward so fast. Have you tried a distro called Kevux?
65 • @60: Choice (by cba on 2011-02-21 18:07:58 GMT from Germany)
"The KDE move from 3.x to 4.x is a good example of the shortsightedness of people in the Linux community. They were afraid to evolve and saw no need for a change. I even felt that way to an extent. A lot abandoned their KDE distos when that happened."
Stability and absence of severe bugs is often more important than bleeding-edge software.
But it is free software and users have a choice.
And if you find a few users and developers who feel the same way, then you have a chance to succeed in using your old distro a little bit longer.
One current example is the community-driven openSUSE Evergreen project which tries to prolong the support for the EOL-openSUSE 11.1 distro. One reason is that after two years of good openSUSE/Novell support this distro is rock-solid and almost bug-free.
66 • Jess - Laptop's Intel wireless card in Debian (by forlin on 2011-02-21 18:39:51 GMT from Portugal)
"I began my experiment with "Squeeze" on my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). ...... My Intel wireless card was not handled out of the box."
Jess: from other reviews I've noticed that my network card use to work with the distros where your laptop card does also work.
In the case of Debian you said your's didn't work out of the box. Did you find a way to have it working and could you tell how?
The reason I ask is because mine didn't work too. I still have Debian in my box, and if there's a quick solution that worked for you, I would also like to try it myself.
67 • Debian (by Dan on 2011-02-21 19:11:02 GMT from United States)
Debian is a great base for distros, and is a great server distro. It will never be a good desktop alternative as long as they insist on the silly "free" stance.
What good is "free" to the average user if his graphics card or wireless card doesn't work? Sure, there's some convoluted explanation you can find on the internet to fix this, but why bother, when Mint or Ubuntu will do it for you?
68 • @67 Debian (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-21 19:30:53 GMT from United States)
Actually, its outdated packages are far more of a problem for Debian on the desktop than its stance on freedom. Fedora is another 100% Free distro, but it makes a much better desktop distribution. It also has the latest Intel, ATI, and Nouveau drivers (which give perfectly acceptable 3D performance on my NVIDIA card). Wireless is not a problem if you research ahead of time and buy something supported by free drivers (such as Atheros or some Ralinks I believe).
69 • RE: 68 (by Landor on 2011-02-21 19:44:52 GMT from Canada)
I agree about hardware. With even the 2.6.32 series of the kernel hardware is a non-issue basically.
What we have are the overtly zealous Windows converts and fanbois of that style of applications stamping their feet and denouncing anything that doesn't fit their their "I don't care about freedom, so you better give me what I want" beliefs.
Fact is the majority attack, or talk about anyone who wants FLOSS only as a fanatic and "compromising" their needs. Yet, that is hilarious since by their very existence they stymie the growth of FLOSS. While doing so they cry out in numbers that their rights are trampled upon by those that quietly sit back happy in their minority, myself included as one.
It's also amusing to see any number of distributions demeaned for being FLOSS as if it's a major affront to this selfish little group, when in all truth, such distributions that claim any kind of association with being truly free are almost non-existent in comparison to the overwhelming options to those that thrive on non-free distibutions/software.
Are a handful of free distributions really that much of a threat to their delicate sensibilities?
Keep your stick on the ice...
70 • RE: 69 (by Landor on 2011-02-21 19:49:31 GMT from Canada)
I need to make one correction. They're not Windows converts in all truth, the majority still have, or use Windows regularly. That should be enough of a valid indicator for the "rest of us"...
Keep your stick on the ice...
71 • Debain, Jesse and things... (by davemc on 2011-02-21 20:07:02 GMT from United States)
If you read, then reread the review, I think it should become apparent just how shallow the review is. Personally, and I could be wrong here but I dont think so, I think Jesse has no clear understanding of what ~exactly~ Debian is, what its goals are, its history, nor even what it stands for. I challenge anyone to read the Debian guidelines and social contract and let us know what other projects even have such a thing. I bet Jesse did not even know about these things, nor even tried to delve beyond the "I feel that...", or "I just think that..". Take it slow folks, and reread the review. Its all 100% subjective and opinionated garbage. If you can make it through the first few contradictions, he actually does make a ~guess~ about the installer "feeling" like its beta software which is actually 10% (or less) correct. Again, he knows nothing at all about Debian and Squeezes release cycle (and its obvious that he never tried) one need only look back less than a month right here on DWW and you will see that major changes were taking place on the installer right before Squeeze release and loud calls were being issued for testing. Squeeze released (IMO) before the installer could have possibly been properly tested by Debian standards, but again, Jesse does not seem to know about this either.
Jesse also seems to be clueless about the Debian Distrobutions - Stable, Testing, and Unstable. He makes no mention about these and does not seem to know about how these are setup, or why they exist at all. Stable = Squeeze. The purpose of Stable is to provide an OS that is STABLE, Production use ready, free of show stopping bugs. Stable = boring though, because everything works as it did on Jesse's machines. Stable = ready for work, as Jesse experienced with a light, fast, efficient desktop. Stable software has been through its paces and has been thoroughly tested, retested, then retested yet again and all bugs worked out, and that process takes alot of time and effort. By its very nature, stable software will always be versions behind the bleeding edge, because bleeding edge is untested, and unstable. This is a concept (by Jesse's own comments) that I also think he does not understand. Thats OK though, because I (and other commenters above, like #18) are trying to teach you, so that you do not write this type of uneducated and opinionated review again doing injustice to other Distro's that deserve better, like ArchLinux or Slackware. In short, do your homework first, then write. There is so much more to Debian than I fear you could ever articulate with your type of shallow review. Perhaps Chris Smart or Caitlynn Martin would have been the more appropriate people to write a review on a project such as Debian.
72 • Merging to ISO files together? (by Anonymous Joe on 2011-02-21 20:09:58 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (troll).
73 • stability means things don't change all the time (by pinecone on 2011-02-21 20:10:29 GMT from Finland)
I think Debian stable is a very good OS choice for people who dislike updating software all the time. New versions of applications can introduce nice additional features, but they also disrupt the users' routines by altering familiar graphical user interfaces (GUI) and by forcing users to reconfigure applications and learn how the new features work.
Geeky users appreciate these changes because geeks enjoy tweaking obscure configuration options, plus it's very important for geeks to get to try the absolutely latest versions of applications. But for normal computer users, frequent updates are a nuisance and any changes in the familiar working environment is annoying. So long release cycles and security updates that don't introduce changes in the GUI environment should be ideal for normal computer users, for whom a computer (or OS) is just a tool to get the job done.
Then again, most Linux users appear to be computer geeks. But if Linux ever becomes popular enough to reach those normal users (who still prefer to use the version of MS Windows that came with their old computer, because they don't like to invest their valuable time to learn how the latest version of Windows works), then Debian is there waiting for them. So if you, a Linux geek, decide to install Linux on some non-geek friend's or a relative's computer, do them a favour and give them Debian stable -- the Linux OS that doesn't change all the time and needs minimum maintenance. ;)
74 • More on Debian (by Jesse on 2011-02-21 20:33:16 GMT from Canada)
>> "Personally, and I could be wrong here but I dont think so, I think Jesse has no clear understanding of what ~exactly~ Debian is, what its goals are, its history, nor even what it stands for. "
Yes, I am well aware of all the points you brought up in your post. I know about (and often use) the various repos, I've read Debian's documents and (as I pointed out in the review) I've enjoyed working with various Debian devs. However, my review was not about those things. My review was not about the politics or the history of the project, it was not about the various repositories. It was about Debian Squeeze as an end-user distribution. The review includes my observations and opinions (good and bad) on Debian Squeeze, just like all my other distro reviews.
That's what all my reviews are, simple observations and opinions on what I have before me, generally written from the point of view of an end-user.
You obviously have different (and strong) opinions about Debian and that's fine. But please don't make the mistake of assuming the difference comes from a lack of education/knowledge. I'm familiar with what Debian is, where it comes from and the reasons the developers do things the way they do and I respect them for their choices.
I didn't spend much time trying to get wireless up and running on my laptop, so I'm sorry I don't have a solution for you. I think the issue is firmware related, but I didn't dive into further into it.
75 • Debian (by Saleem Khan on 2011-02-21 20:55:17 GMT from Pakistan)
I am a debian user for many years now. I have never been into into its versions ( but started using sarge if we talk about versions ) . I simply keep my sources list on testing and things are acceptably stable and packages are not old as everybody complains about debian.
I never felt any excitements with any of the debian releases except that after a release testing repos start getting more new packages than before .
I dont know what squeeze means for everyone here but I installed antiX base, built my system on top of it have everything working ever since. Sometimes I like doing distro-hopping ( more now that im ill and need something to keep my mind off my health matters ) but debian is my only OS that keeps all my jobs done.
So in simple and plain words if you want a stable system for regular use keep debian stable and if you want little daring life move to testing or ustable . Debian will not disappoint you in any case depending upon your needs and expertise. I can complain about many distros but not debian.
76 • Debian,- my hope, my love... (by gezegen on 2011-02-21 21:10:51 GMT from Switzerland)
I do take my hat off to your words! Well said!
Debian is not only the giant, on whose shoulders some or many of us stand, like mentioned above by some, but it is also the insurance and guarantee that there will be and remain at least one linux distro on the earth that is free (as in both free beer and free speech) thanks to its "freedom stance". Debian is my only hope in linux world. It is my love!
77 • My Deb6 Adventures (by MrNewb as in old Newbie on 2011-02-21 21:16:46 GMT from United States)
I used Ubuntu, then Mint 10, then lastly LMDE for my main machine. It's been running very well for a while. Seems pretty fast to me. Went through the Sqeeze transition from testing to stable and got a bunch of updates to LMDE. Still running very well. No complaints so far.
Decided to load Debian Squeeze on one of my test drives for a spin. I'm not really in to fancy so the install process and eventual desktop was fine by me, and it was quite snappy.
Decided to go further and load a minimal install on another drive. I unchecked the desktop and just left the core debian to install. Mind you, I found a lot about this on various web postings. Anyway, by the time I finished installing xorg, gnome-core, synaptic, update manager, Chrome, LibreOffice (to test it out), etc, I had a pretty slick system running. Very slim. The network was up and running and the correct monitor resolution was selected.
I tried the same minimal install on my old laptop and it went without a hitch. Well, not quite. The laptop has the Broadcom 4306/3 chipset. Again, the web was the answer again. There are some very bright people out there with unbelievable advice. Thanks to all of you. A little bit later, the wireless light came on and I was connected to my wireless network. I will say, the laptop is significantly faster than the original Windows XP which was blown away many distros ago.
If my Golf GPS didn't require Windows for updates, I would be strictly Linux. Even my wife, who is a techno phobe, has been running Ubuntu and then Linux Mint for the past 3 years.
78 • @66 & @74 - Jesse, intel wireless in Debian (by forlin on 2011-02-21 21:26:34 GMT from Portugal)
Thanks for your answer Jesse @ 74.
By the way, I tend to agree with your point there. Most readers who visit DW, are desktop users looking for info about distros to decide if they meet their needs and are worth an install. Then, the reviews must be consistent an in line with the expectations of those users.
79 • Ugliness (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-21 21:50:50 GMT from Belgium)
This is Debian Squeeze with Enlightenment:
This is Debian Squeeze with Gnome:
This is Debian Squeeze with KDE:
This is Debian Squeeze with Xfce:
Is is ugly? Probably, but which of them? They are all different. How long does it take to transform the default installation in whatever you want? 20 minutes? Personally I don't care about desktop aesthetics. I prefer a stable product with a desktop that is as unobtrusive and light as possible. I use Debian with LXDE and it looks completely different to the default installation. It took me half an hour. My wireless card was not working out of the box because it requires a proprietary driver so I had to go to Synaptic and install it. Oh! That's terrible! Rather than doing that, I prefer a system such as Ubuntu which may break my system after next update...
Ignorance is ugly.
80 • Use Linux (by RobertD on 2011-02-21 22:03:09 GMT from United States)
I use Linux not because it's free. We all know you can download Windows 7 or any Windows application for free from any number of nefarious sites out there. So it has to be more than about price.
I use Linux not because my distro of choice is trying to make a political statement but if yours does that's OK too.
I use Linux not because it refuses to include non-free binary blobs but if yours does that's cool with me.
I use Linux not because my distro only supports KDE 4 and hates Gnome but if yours does then why the hell not.
Get my point??? I USE LINUX!
81 • @80, Use Linux (by Stan on 2011-02-21 22:05:59 GMT from United States)
The point being that people use Linux for all sorts of different reasons? I can agree with that.
82 • @68 - Fedora is not 100% free (by Ralph on 2011-02-21 22:10:30 GMT from Canada)
Fedora is not a 100% free distro, it still has blobs in the default kernel. Debian finally got rid of these.
83 • XBMC (Media Player) (by Neff Markus on 2011-02-21 22:17:56 GMT from Switzerland)
"Released Last Week"/Comfusion 3
Please write XBMC (not XMBC). Danke.
84 • CRUX PPC 2.7 64bit works really well on my dear old dual G5. (by Nell on 2011-02-21 22:18:59 GMT from Italy)
CRUX PPC 2.7 64bit works really well on my dear old dual G5.
85 • Crux (by RobertD on 2011-02-21 22:24:14 GMT from United States)
I'm a Slackware user through and through but have been kicking around the idea of trying out Crux. Would you be up for assisting a chap if I run into a few kinks on the way?
86 • Re. 25, 33: emelfm2, Debian netinst (by uz64 on 2011-02-21 22:35:49 GMT from United States)
25: Hmm... my memory must be screwed up then from all the distro hopping I've done in the past. It's good to know I was wrong on that one and that emelfms is pending for future inclusion. I really like that file manager.
33: Debian net installs are nice and work great, you're right... but in my case, although I have a reliable and semi-fast Internet connection (~230KB/sec download rate, up from an even more pathetic 90KB/sec), I've always preferred the two CDs or (lately) the DVDs. Why? Simple... it's much faster, and much less downloading is required post-install. And with jigdo, the ISO images can be updated with ease, meaning occasional refreshes of the install medium to keep the initial install time (and number of packages to update after install) short. I think Debian, for the most part, nails flexibility the disc formats and installation types... you can use netinst and it works flawlessly for your needs and preferences, I can use more complete CD/DVD images and get my desired results. Everyone wins. Those people who expect to do plenty of installs or more than one install at a time... I'm sure they swear by the full images.
87 • Debian again (by eric again on 2011-02-21 22:52:31 GMT from United States)
I just read last week's DW Weekly, and I'm a little confused. You gave SalineOS, yet another featureless Debian-based distro, a fairly postiive review, but Debian itself didn't look so good. If you had a basic understanding of Linux, you could do a Debian netinstall and have a distro that looks and feels like SalineOS in under an hour, guaranteed.
I have found Debian to be easier than Ubuntu. The forums are friendly, the bug reporting system is top-notch, and the underlying operating system is easy to access and configure.
Compare this with Ubuntu, where the noise to signal ratio in the forums are unbelievable (not to mention full of idiots), the bug reporting system is neglected to say the least, and Ubuntu prevents you from configuring the underlying OS with any degree of ease.
It takes me under an hour to get a Debian install up and running. I can use any desktop environment I want, or any number of lightweight window managers. And once the configuring is done, it never ever breaks, ever, at all. Ubuntu routinely ships with bugs, or sends out updates that break your system.
88 • @82 - Neither is Debian (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-21 23:09:38 GMT from United States)
Neither Debian nor Fedora are 100% Free by FSF standards. Now that the kernel firmware has been removed, there is still the issue that the installer itself asks if you want to add the non-free and contrib repositories, and that its official mirrors host lots of non-free software. On the Fedora side, that doesn't generally happen (you have to use unsupported repositories to get non-free applications, and the only way you can find about them on the official fedoraproject.org website is in the wiki, which mentions them only grudgingly and advertises possible free replacements). Still though, its default kernel has the blobs as you note.
What I'm getting at is that it, without going to the lengths of Stallman himself and getting free-as-in-freedom hardware, you're not going get it 100% no matter what. It's only a matter of which compromises you're willing to make. Now, if Debian were willing to discontinue its non-free repository and leave it to third parties like Fedora, or Fedora to remove the kernel blobs, then you could at least say one was unambiguously more free, but for now, they're just different.
89 • RE: 82/88 (by Landor on 2011-02-21 23:32:56 GMT from Canada)
Ideals are ideals, and as with anything, you adjust those ideals to fit with your life.
For Fedora and Debian both there's also the documentation you mentioned for Fedora. They outline how, or where to obtain non-free software. As far as the FSF and its guidelines are concerned that excludes it.
In my opinion this is where it comes in to making a choice. Is a person a follower of all things FSF or do they make the very best of the situation and still only support free software as best they can? This is what I do. I don't believe that documentation will make something free or non-free. I don't believe repositories will make something free or non-free. I believe the inclusion of non-free items makes something non-free. I believe (in regard to the documentation and repositories) that only people can make something free or non-free. A book about making Fedora non-free won't do a thing to make it physically non-free, text doesn't have the ability to alter anything.
Keep your stick on the ice...
90 • FSF and Debian "Freedom" and things.. (by davemc on 2011-02-21 23:47:10 GMT from United States)
Stefano Zacchiroli - "Needlessly to say, I still disagree with the overall FSF assessment of Debian non-freeness. Apparently, it still stands on the basis that Debian also provides a repository of nonfree software […] [which] is “not part of the Debian system.” […] but users would be hard-pressed to make a distinction and that people can readily learn about software available through it by browsing Debian's online package database. I respect the principle of non advertising non-free software and I even agree that it is a good principle. But unfortunately it's also a very blurry principle on which, in my opinion, Debian actually scores very well. No non-free software is offered to users by Debian; it's just for users that really want to have non-free software (or need to, in order to run a Free OS on their computers), that Debian tries to stay out of their way. For the "aware" public discussed above, I think it's much better to draw the line where software freedom ends and use that line to explain what does crossing it entails, than locking them up pretending non-free software do not exist. But fair enough: for the time being, I guess, we will need to agree to disagree on this one.
Getting a little bit closer in the occasion of the Squeeze release is still an important step forward. It's up to each of us now to seek out initiatives which attract the interest of both projects and that can benefit from synergies."
So there you go on the whole "free" vs. "non-free" bit.
Jesse, I dont dissagree with your assessment of Debian from the standpoint of someone reading it who has never ever used Linux who is questing for a distro that will hold your hand and everything be preconfigured magically to his/her needs (no Linux Distro in the world today can do that, btw). However, how many people read DWW reviews that have zero experience with Linux?.. 1?.. 10?..
Probably zero is the actual number. 99.999% of DWW readers are Linux/Computer enthusiasts. Easily 75%+ of these know darn well what Debian is. They know Debian is the real reason behind Distros like Ubuntu, Salix, etc. etc.. and that without Debian these Distro's just would not even be. They stand on the shoulders of the real giant and the source of all of the most widely popular Distros today -- Debian. It is one of the oldest surviving Distros today and for darn good reason. It is one of three grand dadddy Distros surviving that are not Corporate owned/controlled, and it is one one of two that are not controlled by a single controlling entity and is arguably, the single most democratic in nature, and will never submit to just one (or even a single groups) dominating voice. One could go on and on for ~why~ Debian is a Distro for the ages even if your not a fanboy, as I am definitely not.
Sure, some of that is political, but lets face facts here. GNU/Linux is so much more than a simple OS on a friggin computer. GNU by its nature ~is~ political and the FOSS movement is what keeps us doing what we do and drives us to keep innovating, contributing, using it, and encouraging others to break the closed source mentality. I think what makes Debian so special was from the beginning, this is what they chose to embody and exemplify, and they have done so successfully for longer than almost all others culminating (for now) in a fantastic release. Nobody ever said that Debian was for beginners, but hey, I started out in Gentoo and Sabayon so what do I know?
91 • RE: 90 (by Landor on 2011-02-22 00:06:33 GMT from Canada)
"Probably zero is the actual number. 99.999% of DWW readers are Linux/Computer enthusiasts. Easily 75%+ of these know darn well what Debian is. They know Debian is the real reason behind Distros like Ubuntu, Salix, etc. etc.. and that without Debian these Distro's just would not even be."
You admonish Jesse for not knowing what he was talking about, but yet again another week and another thing you're wrong about yourself. Salix? People have Debian to thank for Salix? I was quite positive that it was based on Slackware.
You really should consider that disclaimer, and I wouldn't use Gentoo/Sabayon as an example of anything, last week's comments showed me you didn't really know much about either of them.
Keep your stick on the ice...
92 • debian issues (by bugman on 2011-02-22 00:08:11 GMT from United States)
i have 5.0.3 and stuff like the dying package installer is, well, a carryover feature
this is my third or fourth go round with debian and i'm finally getting the thing working for me
as i'm on dialup i like having the repository on discs!
93 • Debian (by fernbap on 2011-02-22 00:13:28 GMT from Portugal)
"I did come to appreciate Debian "Squeeze", but not to the point where I'd recommend it to people"
You've come to far, Jesse!
People? Who? Cannonical? New users? Experienced users? Developers? Windows users? Companies?
Let me be perfectly clear: everyone has the right to his opinion, but everyone also has to understand the responsibility of what they say.
The way you put it, you are lying. You should know better.
94 • Debian 6 (by Ron on 2011-02-22 00:27:49 GMT from United States)
I started out with Red Hat 11 years ago and have used just about every major distro out there. I am by no means a computer geek and have used Debian derivatives mostly starting with Mepis and ending up with Mint. After a while I figured out how to make things work by googling and hitting the forums. Finally a year ago I decided to give Debian a try using the netinstall and I was surprised that I had learned quite a bit and stayed with Debian and fixed it up the way that pleased me. I just finished installing Squeeze on an old laptop using a netinstall cd I downloaded today and it has a nice modern interface totally unlike the old Red Hat looking one that was used for years. I kind of liked the old one because it reminded me of my Red Hat days as a newbie. I am impressed with Debian 6 and have no problem with the wait inbetween releases. Debian is just damn good and the best distro out there and will still be around as distros come and go. It is just a fact. It is good. It seems lately that a lot of reviews of new releases or distros have a lot to do with eye candy or out of the box capabilities. To me Linux is about choice. I can by taking a little bit of time make it mine. I think the review of Debian today was a bit shallow or a bit biased towards the Ubuntu/Mint model. Too bad because Debian just might be the best damn distro out there.
95 • Debian Review & The Users Desktop Experience (by Woodstock69 on 2011-02-22 00:41:24 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
Thanks for the review Jesse, but..... (prep those hackles, slip on the thick skin, recoil in horror with defensive offense at criticism and personal attack)
As a general comment about review styles here at DWW I'd like to see more written about the bundled apps and the desktop experience as a whole. What can I do with this distro (better or worse) than its predecessor. What improvements (or regressions) have been made since the last release. How does it compare to its contemporaries?
I have a very slow corporate connection (too expensive to have a home connection) and I'm more likely to download / buy a distro that includes all my productivity / leisure apps than one that doesn't, but I need to know in advance if it's worth my effort.
I use the KDE DE, GIMP, MMEX, GnuCash, Libreoffice, a calculator, a notepad, Firefox, Thunderbird, Flash, Java, Amarok, mp3c, mc, Scribus, Digikam, Wine, Vice, Kino, etc. What versions are they shipping? Are they crippled? Missing libs? OK, Debian is a little different because I can buy the whole stable repo snapshot, but generally for a distro you cannot. Does the distro play multimedia OOTB? What sort of general desktop experience can I expect? Can I easily connect to my friends Windows box to offer remote assistance (like formatting their hard drive....No, I jest)?
I'm not so much interested in what the installer looks like, as much as which one they include (Synaptic is my favorite). Can I do my word processing, graphics/photo/movie/music production OOTB? The answer is yes, but how was the experience? Was it complete or was it fragmented? Will my graphics card / wifi / router / monitor work (what types are likely to work). Maybe the last question is too difficult to answer given the plethora of configurations.....
I thought it was interesting to note that Debian 6.0 is going FLOSS, yet from what you've said, it plays MP3 OOTB. I recall that MP3 playback is not encumbered but that some distros don't include a decoder due to infringement worries or something?
Many reviews seem to focus on the initial installation and less on the actual desktop user experience. You've answered many of my questions above but I'm not getting a feel for the users potential desktop experience. A little more meat in DWW reviews would be very helpful in making better informed decisions. After all that's what reviews are all about.
96 • RE91 (by davemc on 2011-02-22 00:42:40 GMT from United States)
Quite right Landor. Salix is Slackware based. Sub in one of the many Debian based Distro's in its place.
Which comment are you referring to last week? I have more experience than a sane person should on both but that was a few years ago. I believe you misinterpret my post @90 on that point very badly though, so I have no clue what your point is. My point was simply that I started out as a complete Linux noob on Gentoo and learned enough to install a system and get a KDE desktop up and running just fine. Gentoo docs are outstanding so it was no big deal. If I can deal with that as a noob than I am sure any common noob can handle installing Debian. :P
97 • @89 (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 00:44:09 GMT from United States)
While I was bringing up the FSF's view to make a point, I totally agree with you in this case, Landor, and that's why I'm also fine using distributions like Gentoo, which have only one large repository including both free and non-free packages. As long as they are not installed by default, the choice ultimately resides in you whether to install them or not.
Similarly, for non-free firmware, as long as you don't have hardware that requires it, a few inert binary blobs that are never used don't hurt anything, though I still respect Debian for making a clean separation of them from the kernel proper whilst still making them available for those that need them in a separate package or alternate net-install ISO.
98 • Alternative Debian 6 install DVD's from a developer (by Barnabyh on 2011-02-22 01:10:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
HI guys, here you can order your Debian 6 fix, and the best is they're all seperate, so no need to buy and shell out for all 8 DVD's if you don't want them, and the first is also available as multiarch, which should actually be enough for most people.
Or is it the best that all firmware files are included o DVD 1 and the default space fun theme, which some like but more don't, has been replaced with Lenny's MoreBlueOrbit or something theme. Apparently it is as easy as running a command to restore space fun if you want that, but by then you've probably dropped in your own art.
Unofficial product but from a Debian developer.
99 • Shallow Review (by Holer on 2011-02-22 01:12:26 GMT from Austria)
Comment No. 18 is completely correct - this *is* a shallow review.
The looks of the installer are mentioned twice, the second time prominently. Who cares about how the installer looks?
The only important thing is if and how does its job.
I guess next time Jesse will talk about the haircut of the developers to help DW-readers decide which distro is to be recommended for whom. Who does he think he's writing for - Paris Hilton?
100 • DVD again (by Barnabyh on 2011-02-22 01:15:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
Or this link for the proper entrance to the DVD shop.
101 • MP3 playback (by Barnabyh on 2011-02-22 01:30:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
>I recall that MP3 playback is not encumbered but that some distros don't include a decoder due to infringement worries or something?
That's right, about the time openSUSE 11.3 came out we had a discussion about that here. It seems companies and the community projects they are backing are/were still shying away from it, but non-commercial entities like Debian and Slackware have no problem including it (lame). I believe most distros are now playing mp3 ootb.
102 • Debian and comments (by TobiSGD on 2011-02-22 01:56:40 GMT from Germany)
Regarding the review of Debian, and the comments that some of you have made here, I would think that this site should be renamed. DistroWatch doesn't fit to its visitors anymore, you should rename it either to DesktopDistroWatch or to WindowsLikeDistroWatch.
Sorry I have to say that, but those people that don't care about software-freedom don't care about Linux at all, and comparing a free distribution with a stolen copy from Windows just makes me want to puke. Go to Windows or MacOSX if you don't care about software-freedom. May be you should inform yourself about the origin and the goal of Linux. It never intended to be a cheap Windows-replacement, so don't expect it to be one.
103 • Squeeze review (by imnotrich on 2011-02-22 02:47:47 GMT from Mexico)
I had issues with the squeeze installer also, though it should be noted that I was installing within virtual box because I wanted to take Squeeze for a test drive without spending up to a week getting everything to work like I wanted to which was typically my experience with Debian (and I didn't want to lose the work I had done on my current Lenny install).
Totally agree, Debian is a distro for people who have a lot of free time on their hands and in fact I still have some frustrations with Lenny...for example, why did Debian Lenny's multimedia repo disappear when Squeeze was released? Are they trying to force us to "downgrade" Lenny to Squeze?
Not very bright if you ask me. Will the Squeeze mutimedia repo work with Lenny? If not, I may have to abandon Debian altogether.
104 • @102, The Many Facets of Linux (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 03:12:53 GMT from United States)
As somebody in it for the open-sourceness myself, I think you're a bit wrong too, Tobi. While Linux certainly wasn't made as a cheap Windows knockoff, neither was it made to be open-source paradise. The thing is, a lot of people have worked on it for many years, for very different reasons. The GNU project and the FSF is all about the Freedom, of course. Linus Torvalds first made the kernel as a free replacement to proprietary UNIX that he could use on his 386. KDE was founded to make a better desktop than the much less user-friendly CDE, and then GNOME was founded as a competing open-source desktop that didn't depend on what was then a non-libre toolkit.
Nowadays, too, people work on Linux with very different motivations. Hobbyists contribute to meet their own needs, some who care about software freedom and others who don't. Large corporations contribute either as a neutral ground to gain independence from pricey vendors, or to help sell companion hardware or services. Governments chip in either for independence from foreign companies or in a push for transparent government. To say that Linux has one "goal" is to significantly simplify the real story behind it.
The fact that Linux is so versatile and go in so many directions at once (as opposed to a proprietary product with a single vendor behind it) is indeed one of its greatest strengths. If you want an ultra-stable server (or just stable desktop) distro, Red Hat and clones as well as Debian have you covered; for a Windows/OS-X competitor aimed squarely at those who don't care about software freedom, there are Mint, Sabayon and the like; for highly technical users who want total control of their systems, you have distributions like Arch and Slackware; and last but certainly not least, there are distributions like Fedora and Debian again for those that value software freedom. The tent of Linux is big enough for us all.
105 • Linux today: a mix of experiences (by forlin on 2011-02-22 03:13:26 GMT from Portugal)
@ 90 - "how many people read DWW reviews that have zero experience with Linux?.. 1?.. 10?.."
Users who started in Linux as from 2006/07 are now using friendly distros. Future Linux users will prefer the same kind of distros. The experience of a user who started Linux 4 years ago cannot be compared with the experience of a user in 2005, that started Linux 4 years before.
Would Jesse tell everybody to use Debian, many people know what the fiasco would be in the Debian Forums. Those who were laughed at in those forums, asked to RTFM, and the like, do agree that Jesse conclusion is 100% accurate.
106 • @105 (by fernbap on 2011-02-22 03:26:42 GMT from Portugal)
"Would Jesse tell everybody to use Debian..."
No, he didn't. In fact he told everybody NOT to use it.
107 • @106, ref. 105 (by forlin on 2011-02-22 04:15:17 GMT from Portugal)
You're right fernbap.
I retained the part of the conclusion who mentioned Mint. Now I did read the conclusion again, with more attention, and I'm sorry.
I can only apply my comment to the part of the conclusion related to Mint.
About Trisquel, Saline or Ubunto Server, I cannot say anything, as I don't know them in detail.
108 • @ 107 ref 105/106 (by forlin on 2011-02-22 04:32:40 GMT from Portugal)
I did hit too fast the submit button.
I admit that all this part in the comment could have been avoided: "not to the point where I'd recommend it to people. This may sound a bit odd, but I'm of the opinion Debian isn't one of the better Debian-based distributions."
109 • Review and RE: 97 (by Landor on 2011-02-22 04:32:53 GMT from Canada)
I haven't read the review. I don't see any reason to either. It's rare for me to read them here now, unless of course the distribution is something I'm interested in, which are a rare few, or I catch an intriguing comment here, or wherever about the review.
Fact of the matter is that reviews basically mean nothing to most people. At least to me they don't, as well as others that I know. If I, or they, intend to try something, we do, that's it. A review isn't going to change our minds at all, or really have any bearing. Although I do understand the unwashed masses are fairly mindless in their herd mentality, but surely they check things out for themselves as well? I'd hope?
For the majority that read the DistroWatch Weekly, I'm sure it's the same. This one review hasn't changed their minds at all about Debian. If it has, then what little mind they have of their own is of little consequence to the community.
I understood the point you were making. I hope I didn't come off sounding like I was jumping on your points. I just saw an opportunity to express some of my views and should have said so. :)
I actually like the way Gentoo's been going towards helping people have a Libre system, in the way of excluding non-free/open licenses and blobs from the kernel. It makes it a fair bit easier for those of us that prefer taking that route.
I'm glad Debian made the effort to follow their guidelines. Even when using Fedora I installed the Libre kernel. I know it didn't make a difference since my hardware didn't need the blobs, but it also did make a difference in knowing it was clean.
Keep your stick on the ice...
110 • Ubuntu, not Debian..@106 (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 05:22:52 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Exactly! Jesse said not to use Debian. I second that! Use Ubuntu and any or all of its "kids".
Ubuntu uses Debian base. Good, because we have to start somewhere. Canonical could use Arch, or Gentoo or whatever, and then what are we going to say? What if Canonical drops Debian? Will Debian hold its forts? I don't think so!
Mint came because of Ubuntu, and now they are trying Debian, but the LMDE has lot of bugs. Mint is not dropping Ubuntu base anyway. Does that ring a bell?
All Ubuntu "kids" use Ubuntu base, and in turn indirectly use Debian, meaning more polished version of Debian, right? These kids of Ubuntu make really good distros, like Bodhi, Mint, Express-Linux (I am writing from that) and Crunchbang had gone to a Debian base and now losing some of its users to Arch. There is already a Ubuntu based Crunchee coming from Prashanth.
Ubuntu is stable as stable can be explained. Many Ubuntu kids are stable. A real world massive organization and a massive community is behind Ubuntu, and it will keep on succeeding.
Now, Gnome is moving to Gnome 3 and Ubuntu to Unity. MeeGo is there. Jolicloud is there, so what are we going to do with old Gnome? We have to move forward, don't we?
I wrote before about a small accident with a Sony Vaio netbook. Inside was actually Samsung and LG. What moral does it say?
111 • Slackware? @ Landor (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 05:29:45 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Its Debian, Debian and Debian.
What about Slackware? Shouldn't we give this amount of exposure to Slackware? Why only Debian, Debian, Debian? Is it because of the massive amount of packages, or apt-get or aptitude?
Is slapt-get is bad?
112 • Not really correct and things.. (by davemc on 2011-02-22 05:40:52 GMT from United States)
#110 - Ubuntu is far from stable. Its based on Debian unstable snapshots every 6 months except for its LTS releases, which are based off Debian Testing. They take directly from Debian and do what they do with it. Not sure what you mean about holding forts and all, but Debian will go right on chugging along as it was before Ubuntu was even a diaper stain in anyones thoughts. Ubuntu can rebase, sure, with tons of time, work and money spent to do so.
Mint is basically an overlay on top (or inside?) Ubuntu and Debain base. There was talk of a Fedora/Red Hat spin, and it would be nice to see them do that. Its LMDE spin might have a bug or two, but thats probably because they went with Debian Testing branch, which inherently will have bugs, unlike the Stable branch = Squeeze, which has comparatively few or none.
I don't understand Landor why you don't even bother reading the weekly articles yet post in a thread mostly about them. Makes no sense to me, but whatever floats your bubble.
113 • @111, Slackware (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 05:46:14 GMT from United States)
I would indeed say that lack of packages is a major problem of Slackware. IMHO, even Arch is a bit light, but the AUR partially makes up for it. Slackware's equivelent, SlackBuilds is nice, but has nowhere near that amount of packages as the AUR. Ditto with Eric Hamleer's repository, excellent work as he does. Other than that, you're left with dodgy third-party repositories I wouldn't trust, and even then a very thin selection of them. Put all of them together, and it still doesn't come close to the bredth of Arch's normal repositories even without the AUR. And that's not even in the same league as the large distributions such as Fedora and Debian (and derivatives).
In my experience, slapt-get works well enough with the few packages that actually exist in Slackware. Similarly, apt-rpm works great for the distributions that use it (like PCLinuxOS). Then again, so do yum, zypper, portage, pacman, and entropy. In general, the package managers all work well enough these days, and it's what packages are available that are far more important.
BTW, there are other distributions that use Debian itself as a base, and not Ubuntu, that are relatively popular. MEPIS for one. As for LMDE, keep in mind that it's new; I'm sure it will get less buggy as time goes on and the Mint layer gets more integrated into Debian proper.
114 • Debian derivatives (by davemc on 2011-02-22 06:03:31 GMT from United States)
#113 - Yea thats true. Kinda like CrunchBang, which was originally based on Ubuntu but rebased to Debian. Oh wait, MEPIS did the same thing when they rebased back to Debian from Ubuntu not so long ago. Gotta be something to that. Probably because Ubuntu is so friggin unstable. Heck, just ask Caitlyn Martin about Ubuntu's instability and general problems or refer to one of her blogs on the subject as she makes no secrets on the fact.
Not saying anything about Ubuntu in general, but #110 seems to think that Ubuntu is the cure to all ills, and nothing could be further from the truth just yet, especially given their switch to experimental Unity and all the pain that will inevitably bring their users until they get all the bugs worked out.
115 • to DaveMc and Fred Nelson (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 06:06:20 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Dave & Fred,
Are we saying the same thing?
As you say, Slackware and Arch does not have enough packages, and Debian has a lot, maybe even Gentoo has not much?
Are you saying that we should have interchangeable repos from Arch, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware, etc?
Are you saying that we should have interchangeable kernels from Arch, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware, etc?
Won't that stop this "my distro is better than yours" attitude of the Linux community?
116 • Wrong pages.. (by davemc on 2011-02-22 06:44:31 GMT from United States)
#115 - No, were definitely not on the same sheet of music, far as I can tell. I think Fred was just comparing Arch and Slackware Repo's.
I think you may be misinterpreting some peoples posts if you think that the general tone of this thread is a "my distro is better than yours", kinda thing. Its more of a, "this review is very shallow" kinda thing. I think you should look back at comment #18 as that really set the tone for most of the posts that followed, or at the least, I thought it hit the nail on the head better than most posters did for the general opinion of things this week. I think Jesse would have gotten the exact same reaction had he written this kind of review on just about any Distro. It simply fell short of the mark in terms of doing the project justice in many peoples opinions, and that is bound to strike a negative chord.
Btw, you can compile source programs and kernels on any distro, so in that sense, they are all interchangeable. If your talking about Packaging, well, thats a different story, but compiling from source is always an option.
117 • At Dave (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 07:09:11 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Ok, Dave, no problem there. If you read the comments through, you might find that "my distro is better than yours" attitude. Mostly lot of Debian lovers are angry that their distro came...like for kindergarten kids. Rockets shooting from Earth to some flying saucers and rockets making Debian logo, etc.
No, this review is not shallow. I went through the whole rigmarole of installing Debian 6. It is a waste of lot of time in front of the computer. Jesse is right, it is not for the normal, ordinary computer user!
For example, I read about the Express-Linux-2011 and downloaded it. Something like 108 minutes or so. I had time for other work. Unetbootin put it in the USB stick. It booted up in less than a minute. And then I installed it. The installation just flew. Its a lovely distro, just like Bodhi Linux. Actually, Bodhi Linux is a beaut!
Well, if you have got few free evenings to put Debian 6 in, you are lucky! Not everyone has time to spend the whole day in front of the computer, without doing anything else. We have to earn a living too, don't you think?
So, we need distros to work just out of the box. Of course there should be distros like Debian, Arch, Gentoo, Slackware for geeks to tinker with. We can't say no to the happiness of the geeks, can we?
118 • At Dave (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 07:11:53 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Btw, until there are different packages for different mother distros, there will be this "my distro is better than yours" attitude.
So, there should be interchangeable packages and kernels!
119 • on debian, etc (by Anony Moss on 2011-02-22 07:33:52 GMT from India)
It does not matter if it is ugly or dated or buggy. The most important thing is Debian is there. Libre software is a long term goal and strategy, its importance is not readily apparent.
120 • 120 (by Anony Moss on 2011-02-22 07:39:17 GMT from India)
Or imagine, TCP/IP was patented technology. Internet (and freedom) has (and will) changed the world forever. Ask those in Africa and Middle-East who have a whiff of freedom from fear.
Next step in democracy is online voting :-) Anyone developing a secure system for that yet?!
121 • What a palaver ... and "social engineering". (by jake on 2011-02-22 08:05:35 GMT from United States)
I, personally, question the utility of distro reviews in this forum ... Especially seeing as the reviewers (commentators included) base their reviews on their existing hardware, instead of hardware that the OS they are reviewing actually runs on.
Those of us who have been in the business for a few decades know that first you determine the code you need/want to run. Second, you determine which OS that code runs under. Thirdly, you determine what hardware that OS + code is capable of running on. And finally, you purchase the hardware and draw all the parts together to build the system that you need/want. Trying to throw random code+OS at equally random hardware is an exercise in frustration ... As we read, week after week. It's getting kinda old, at least from this old fart's perspective.
As a continuation of the above thought, who the hell cares what distro anyone else uses? Does it work for you? Use the silly thing! No skin off my teeth ... But please shut up about it. None of the rest of us have the same code+hardware needs. Really. I don't care. It's unimportant to me how you use a PC. The "P" in "PC" has a meaning, after all.
Re: Social Engineering ... I'm really surprised that none of all y'all have touched on this. Basic bottom line is that people are as locked into genetically determined patterns as any other mammal. As a species, we seem to have serious issues with allowing ourselves to question anything resembling authority. We want to be told what to do, we don't want to have to figure it out for ourselves. Other herd & pack animals show the same behavior. Those of us who grok this become horse and/or dog trainers ... and upper management at Fortune 500s. Top animal trainers aren't rich because they train animals (trust me, it's a money sink), but rather because they understand animal behavior ... and humans are, when you boil it down to basics, genetically similar to the rest of the mammals. Basically, the "well off" amongst us make their dosh from telling other humans what to do.
122 • @ jake 121 (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 09:10:20 GMT from Sri Lanka)
"As a continuation of the above thought, who the hell cares what distro anyone else uses? Does it work for you? Use the silly thing! No skin off my teeth ... But please shut up about it. None of the rest of us have the same code+hardware needs. Really. I don't care. It's unimportant to me how you use a PC. The "P" in "PC" has a meaning, after all."
Do you mean to say that DWW is not needed as "who the hell cares what anyone else uses?" I think DWW cares!
123 • Debian (by Christian on 2011-02-22 09:16:18 GMT from Sweden)
I've had Debian GNU/Linux for work and home use for 12 years, just because I don't have much time for fiddling about. I've used it on a large number of hardware configurations during this period, and for very different purposes. I find it speedier and more reliable and content rich than any other OS.
I agree with post no 18 in this thread.
124 • @122 (regarding what any given user uses) (by jake on 2011-02-22 09:41:56 GMT from United States)
"I think DWW cares!"
I don't. If DW cared about any given distro, it wouldn't be DW.
And please note it's "distrowatch" ... The associated red-top is DWW+comments.
125 • #121 (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-22 09:43:17 GMT from Belgium)
If any one has a big rock and a chisel at hand, please engrave this:
"Those of us who have been in the business for a few decades know that first you determine the code you need/want to run. Second, you determine which OS that code runs under. Thirdly, you determine what hardware that OS + code is capable of running on. And finally, you purchase the hardware and draw all the parts together to build the system that you need/want. Trying to throw random code+OS at equally random hardware is an exercise in frustration ... As we read, week after week."
126 • @121 and @126 (by meanpt on 2011-02-22 10:18:44 GMT from Portugal)
What a bad joke in todays's desktop world, where there are still people trying to control chaos and complexity in the 60's way. Jesse testing machines aren't so old and neither the os'es he tested were compiled for some sort of tablet. It's pretty comfortable to developers blaming the messenger of the bad news, instead of trying to cope with them. In fact, what he tests provides good clues on what to adopt or not. Is there something missing in the testing? Yes, there are, procedures. Like going to the public forum, requesting help and testing the solutions proposed. That's how things work around here, right?
127 • @121, 125 Debian (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 12:45:03 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I know, it is a heartache for guys, who waited for a Debian release for the last 24 months, who had been telling themselves that once it arrives, it would be super stuff, the moon will rise from the West, etc, but to their own surprise it appeared to be a non-release. So, the guys are now jumping on Jesse for telling the truth!
If I am using Ubuntu or a kid of Ubuntu, or any of the distros, which had used Debian base and its repos, then I am using Debian indirectly. Only, I can be quite sure that the developers of these distros had looked carefully into Debian base and repos to make stable distros. I've used Ubuntu and its few kids and Debian based few distros. They all work well. Some Ubuntu kids work absolutely well. Linux Mint did itself a lot of good by going with Ubuntu, but LMDE is buggy.
So, the developers of Debian should have waited a little longer to release Debian 6. Few more weeks would not have troubled anyone, when they'd waited already 24 months, would it?
What Debian is not saying is that they don't have a decided concept of how to release a distro (or the Universal OS). Can't help it, the die-hard lovers of Debian must understand that the Debian team had flopped this time.
So, jumping at Jesse is not going to heal Debian 6!
128 • Priorities (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-22 13:34:28 GMT from Belgium)
It has been made abundantly clear that different people have different needs and priorities. For me the priorities as stability, versatility and performance. Being able to use the system in different hardware architectures and having an excellent package manager and a huge database of pre-compiled packages are also quite important pluses. There are essentially two systems who offer me that at the moment Debian and RHEL (and derivatives such as CenOS and SL). Others are less stable, more bloated or have a less efficient package manager or few packages in their repositories.
Other people have other priorities such as having everything working out of the box, or having the latest versions of the programs, or having 100% free software. Of course, these questions are also important for me, but of secondary importance with respect to the aforementioned features.
The good thing about Linux is that there is a product almost for each one's needs and if it does not exist yet it can me created.
The Debian review in this issue of DistroWatch is clearly biased towards one specific kind of product while despising other products which are tailored to a different public, maybe not so mainstream, but that satisfy the requirements of those users. In my opinion it is also shallow because focus on aesthetics more than in technology. The Debian developers, the RetHat developers, the Slackware developers, the FreeBSD, the driver developers, or the kernel developers focus on the technology and that is what make their products more essential and fundamental than they are their respective derivatives. They are the ones who work in order to make GNU and Linux cope with the new challenges and the new hardware.
So it is not a matter of liking this or that distribution or being a Debian fanboy, it is a matter of respecting the people who are doing the most relevant, difficult and mostly anonymous work. The review suggest several times that the real work is mostly irrelevant and that the secondary work is what matters, that is why it is shallow.
Honestly, I would like the free software community to focus more on real innovation, such a a more efficient kernel, and less on desktop environment, distributions and the like. That is why I respect a lot the RetHat developers even if I have not used their distributions in several years. Because there is where innovation happens.
Saying that Debian should not exist because most people are unable to configure it is like saying that books should not exist because a lot of people, in certain countries most people, cannot read... Of course, it is important to take into account that may people cannot read and therefore expand knowledge through, for instance, audiovisual materials. But the final goal should be convince people that reading is worth learning and teach them how to do it. Then, of course, you will always find people who do not want to waste their precious time reading or learning how to do it.
129 • Is it really so difficult to understand? (by Holer on 2011-02-22 13:36:04 GMT from Austria)
If your time is precious to you and want to get some work done, you use debian.
If, before arriving at that point, you first need or want to try out a lot of distros, so what - de gustibus ......
And if you never arrive at that point, because you never need to get some work done ... congratulations!
130 • @127 (by TobiSGD on 2011-02-22 13:44:53 GMT from Germany)
I think you just didn't get the point. Of course LMDE is buggy, it is based on the rolling release TESTING version.
By the way I changed from Ubuntu to Debian (yes, formerly Ubuntu user) at first because of the massive bugs in Ubuntu (in me´y eyes the last usable version was 9.10). How can you call something like that stable? They have 6 month to collect software, integrate it, test it and release it. And that every 6 months. Go to the net and search for bugs of older versions that never got fixed, because the developers had to concentrate on the next release.
By the way, there is more than one Debian version, and most Desktop users simply don't use Stable for their normal use, as long as they aren't on production machines.
@ your comment in 117: I have a question, how often do you install a new system on your computer? I don't know what you do wrong, but Debian users have to setup their systems once, and then don't have to fiddle with it anymore. No need to tinker with it the whole day, and know what: "Not everyone has time to spend the whole day in front of the computer, without doing anything else. We have to earn a living too, don't you think?" Exactly that is the reason why Debian is well spread in corporate environments.
131 • what fiddling? (by Guy on 2011-02-22 14:07:00 GMT from United States)
I don't have to fiddle with Ubuntu or it's spinoffs. My system is stable for months also. What gives?
132 • Debian review (by sudonym on 2011-02-22 14:09:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Quite a few knickers in a twist.
Now, there must be many Debian users out there who are not upset enough to feel the need to take issue with Jesse's review. Why is that?
Most likely, the defensive urge does not exist for those who are familiar and content with their choice of distro, because the review is irrelevant from their perspective. The review will have absolutely no impact on how those particular people regard or use Debian.
A bit like someone who is truly secure in their religion/belief has no urge to defend it or seek converts.
Much as I have a bit of a hard time with some of jake's comments, I'm sure (using him as an example for the above) that he would not feel the need to start hopping up and down at the slightest opportunity to defend slackware.
If you accept that a review is from a certain perspective then why start having a fit? If you are happy with your thing why feel threatened/insulted?
Don't worry about a potential user being put off either. If that is the case then fine, the time is not right anyway, and if someone is curious enough and confident - then they'll probably try it at some point anyway.
""Would Jesse tell everybody to use Debian..."
No, he didn't. In fact he told everybody NOT to use it.""
Hang on, that's not right. He said:
"I did come to appreciate Debian "Squeeze", but not to the point where I'd recommend it to people."
Not the same thing at all. If someone is using it would he dream of telling them to stop? If someone was keen to try it would he tell them not to? I don't think so. He simply says what he would recommend in place for certain specialized needs.
133 • OMG (by Holer on 2011-02-22 14:19:57 GMT from Austria)
I apologize - looks like it IS that difficult to understand.
If people need to talk about religion and beliefs in connection with what they're using on their desktops, they clearly have completely different issues than just to determine if a review adequately describes a distro.
134 • @115, 117 (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 14:21:06 GMT from United States)
No, we are definitely not saying the same thing. I don't want all distributions to have fully compatible repositories, as that would be one quick way to stifle competition amongst the distributions and thus the innovation that goes along with it. On the other hand, it need not be so fractured that there's no overlap and all. Thankfully, Linux has not gone to either extreme: there are several major mother distros as you like to call them, a lot of variants of them, and then a few independents. Some diversity, but not as much as some people like to think.
What I was saying was that Slackware's repositories, both official and unofficial, are pitiful. And I say that sadly, as it is an otherwise top-notch distribution, weird ideas aside IMHO (such as the idea that package management is somehow a bad thing). I was just using Arch to compare as it's the major distro with the next-least amount of packages, but as I said the comparison will be even more stark if you instead compare against Fedora, Debian, Gentoo or the like. (And yes, Gentoo's official repository I find to be much larger than Arch's; it's probably the closest to Fedora in my experience.)
You saying over and over that Debian is so hard to set up and takes a whole day, etc. Keep in mind that your experience does not generalize to everybody. Just because you take so long to configure it to your tastes does not mean that we all have to. For me, it's just a matter of downloading the CD or DVD while doing other stuff on the computer, or even net-installing while doing things away from the computer, using their very easy to use installer (it may not have the bling, but is extremely solid and works very well), and then installing a few extra packages and adjusting a few preferences. That's it. No harder than any other distro, period. I am not a Debian fanboy by any means (I much prefer Fedora), but when you say keep repeating the lie that Debian is hard to configure for everybody (or the totally mythical "average user") yet you hate distro fanboys but gush about Express-Linux, I am reminded of the old proverb: "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
135 • @132 (by fernbap on 2011-02-22 14:55:19 GMT from Portugal)
"people" is a collective term. Unless you show me Linux users that are not people, then people means everyone.
If you read the review, debian is not being recommended because the reviewer thinks it's "ugly". And that said by those that think many ubuntu spins are not real distros because they are nothing more than ubuntu with a new theme and a different set of packages.
Another thing is saying that synaptic is "broken" because it tells you to use the DVD to get packages that it know are there. What is the point of downloading 4.4 GB and then not using them and thinking that is better to download them again from the internet? Is that logical?
There is a reason why Ubuntu picked Debian as its base.
I installed squeeze the day it came out. Then i did what any reviewer should do: i threw everything i could at it in order to see how it behaved. Everything worked fine, and the desktop kept being faster and more responsive than Ubuntu or Mint, which is the reason i'm using it at the moment, after being a very happy Mint user for long (that doesn't mean i won't change again in the future) So far, Squeeze is by far the fastest, more responsible and most stable gnome desktop with everything i need installed i ever tried.
As to recomending a distro, it is obvious it depends on who you are recomending it to.
However, knowing how to add or remove applications using a package manager is a requirement to anyone that wants to install Linux on his computer.
Why did i switch to Debian, being a Mint user? The answer is simple. Because i don't want to spend time with my OS.
136 • Versions and comparisons (by Jesse on 2011-02-22 14:59:43 GMT from Canada)
The poster in 95 asked about how the current version of Debian compared to previous versions and how the version numbers look compared to other distros. As I mentioned in the review, previous releases of Debian Stable have not worked on my test hardware, so I can't really say how it would compare. Well, aside from the obvious, "This one worked for me".
What I can say is that Squeeze has a lot more packages (I forget the exact number, but around 6,000 more, I think, than the last release). It supports three less architectures. You can get exact details if you check out Debian's What's New page, which I linked to in the review.
Regarding version numbers, I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking at versions, but I did notice most apps seemed to be on par with where Ubuntu was with their last LTS release, 10.04. So the packages in Squeeze are generally around nine months to a year old. There is some variance, but Debian Squeeze seems to be close to RHEL 6 and Ubuntu LTS right now. Probably up to date enough for most people, unless you want to ride the bleeding edge.
Debian does include mp3s and Gnash and some video codecs. I think they tried to get in as many as they could without license conflicts.
As for how it works, once Debian 6 was up and running, the desktop was pretty much the same as any other Gnome 2.30 desktop. Though I think Debian has found ways to make their Gnome lighter and faster.
137 • @134 (by Holer on 2011-02-22 15:02:13 GMT from Austria)
Thanks for writing this - you put it better than I could say it.
My experience is that I'm using debian exactly because I *don't* want to tinker around, I just want something which I can install and then forget.
And debian is just the distro for that.
138 • Sorry - (by Holer on 2011-02-22 15:04:27 GMT from Austria)
- the last sentence should be:
And for me debian is just the distro for that.
139 • Debian Jesse (by pfb on 2011-02-22 15:08:51 GMT from United States)
I downloaded and installed a live KDE version of Debian 6. Everything seemed to work just fine except I had no package manager. But, I have been using Linux long enough that I figured I could get what I needed by apt-get.
Then I read Jesse's review and was embarrased to find that Debian indeed had package managers. So I apt-got both of them. OMG, it is like a real operating system! Thanks, Jesse. Some of us are slow.
140 • @137 (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 15:13:13 GMT from United States)
You're welcome. Though to be fair, you could say that about most major distributions these days, except Arch and Slackware which are specifically made to not do any configuration for you, or Gentoo where if you don't take the time to set USE flags and such you're kind of missing the point.
141 • @127 & others on Debian 6 (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 15:17:08 GMT from Sri Lanka)
What you guys don't understand is that this world is not populated with CLI guys, but by simple, ordinary guys, who don't want to, or can't play around with old MSDOS times.
What a headache that was! How e waited for Bill Gates to come out with Windows!
We wanted to just click and play or go ahead.
Linux at that time wanted us to keep on writing. How much can you remember in words, combination of words, etc? Isn't it proved that our eyes don't read, but take snapshots, that it reads in pictures of some sort. So, doesn't it hit you guys that we, the simple ordinary people need simple ordinary things?
You may have the luxury to wait half a day or two evenings as one said here to install Debian 6 and go ahead. OK, good luck to you in that endeavour!
We will always be happy to see new and nice distros, and not olden day MSDOS like life!
142 • @ 141 Fred (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 15:20:58 GMT from Sri Lanka)
OK, Fred, good luck to you. Install Debian 6 and forget it. No need to wait for Debian 7, I suppose. may I ask, why then you visit Distrowatch?
You have your baby, right? You are happy, right?
Then why look for other distros, Fred?
143 • @142 (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 15:26:53 GMT from United States)
If you truly think that Debian is like that, I wonder if you have actually ever installed Debian since when the new Debian-Installer was introduced. Seriously, it's no harder than any other distribution now. And then once it's installed, you manage it just like Ubuntu or any other Debian derivative with Synaptic. Heck, you can even install the Software Center and manage it exactly like Ubuntu if you wish. You never, ever have to touch the command-line unless you are doing things like managing servers, in which case you'll have to on any distribution.
Can you tell me exactly what you're doing with Debian that makes it take so long to set up? Inquiring minds want to know.
144 • @143 Fred (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 15:30:12 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Fred, I asked you a valid question;
If you have a distro that you can install and forget, why are you here in Distrowatch? Why are you looking for other distros?
145 • @142 (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 15:31:42 GMT from United States)
As I've said in multiple posts, Debian is not "my baby". I prefer Fedora. I just rebut misinformation. As for why I visit Distrowatch even when I know my own distro preferences? I like trying out lots of different distributions, and it's fun to keep up with the latest news from the Linux world. Presumably the same reason that you visit Distrowatch, right?
If you'd been reading my posts, you would also know that despite the fact that I prefer Fedora, I respect all (or at least most) of the distributions out there for what makes them special, even if not right for me.
146 • @140 ... fair ... (by Holer on 2011-02-22 15:33:10 GMT from Austria)
"you could say that about most major distributions these days"
That's ok, only in the review of debian we're talking about here this aspect isn't considered adequately.
147 • @144 (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 15:33:26 GMT from United States)
Oh, and I'm not the person that wants specifically to have a distro to "install and forget". I think you're thinking of Holer (post 137 at the time of this writing).
148 • Fred @145 (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 15:50:17 GMT from Sri Lanka)
So we are quits, Fred?
Isn't it strange that those die-hard lovers of Debian still visiting distrowatch?! They have their baby, and why are they looking for other distros? Maybe they are not really sure that their 'baby' is not that good?
I visit distrowatch because I love new distros, and I am more or less on time with new distro news. I know that some person is doing something and he/she would come out with it. I also visit lot of forums, because I like to see what they think. Most are youth, and the world is for them!
Even though, I like new distros, I am not that mad to download 4.4GB, just to get 'another' distro. I can download Debian-based, done by brainy guys, smaller distros around 400-600MB. Some Debian based distros are less than 500MB. Why worry about the bloated one?
149 • @148 (by fernbap on 2011-02-22 16:21:18 GMT from Portugal)
"Even though, I like new distros, I am not that mad to download 4.4GB, just to get 'another' distro. I can download Debian-based, done by brainy guys, smaller distros around 400-600MB. Some Debian based distros are less than 500MB. Why worry about the bloated one?"
And some disinformation again.
Do you know the difference between a bloated distro and a large DVD?
Try installing both, Debian and your favorite "not bloated" debian based distro. Then, check how much space they use on your hard disk.
And, btw, since you're at it, check how both perform.
150 • @148, Debian on CD (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 16:26:15 GMT from United States)
Last comment on this subject, but I want to point you to here: http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/6.0.0/i386/iso-cd/ (or replace i386 with amd64 or whatever architecture you want.)
Or you can replace the i386 with amd64. Note specifically that you get either the standard CD-1 with GNOME, or the version with KDE, or XFCE+LXDE, and install from that without even a network connection, though if you have one and let the installer use it, it will download additional packages during the install. You don't have to let it, though, and then it's not any different than those Debian-based distributions you're talking about, unless you want to quibble over a mere 50-150 MB. The Debian CDs are all around 650 MB CD's. Again, despite the popular misconception, you only have to download *one* CD. The rest are all optional.
151 • @ fernbap (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 16:36:04 GMT from Sri Lanka)
OK, OK, Fernbap and Fred, I have no time to discuss (argue?) with you all night about this. All I can notice is that both of you had not downloaded the CD1 and tried to install it. I can notice that you both are reading the Debian website and pulling notes from that. I have the Debian website open too. OK, go on, download the CD1 and install it, and then come back.
Jesse had downloaded the 4.4GB, for he had to give us a review. And he had trouble with that DVD installation too. Anyway, go on, download the CD1 and install it and come back tomorrow.
There is NO such thing as "Universal" Operating System!
And if you want to know about humbleness and politeness, read an interview done by Jesse with a developer in the beginning of last year, OK?
152 • @151 (by fernbap on 2011-02-22 16:40:51 GMT from Portugal)
"I can notice that you both are reading the Debian website and pulling notes from that."
Humble? Polite? LOL
153 • @151, Single-CD Debian Install (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 16:47:46 GMT from United States)
I'll take you up on your challenge, Ariya. I've started downloading both the GNOME and KDE CD-1 of Debian, and will get back to you once I've burned them to CD-RWs and installed them in a couple of spare partitions I keep handy for distro experimentation.
154 • Fred & Fernbap (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 16:54:21 GMT from Sri Lanka)
See, I knew that both of you had not downloaded the Debian CD1 and tried to install it!
Fernbap, I won't tell you who Jesse interviewed sometime last year. I can only tell you that he (or she) is from a small country in Europe. You talk about Debian 6, but you haven't downloaded it, so why waste time of others?
155 • @154 (by fernbap on 2011-02-22 16:56:49 GMT from Portugal)
"You talk about Debian 6, but you haven't downloaded it"
Really? I'm using it! Can you read? Have you read my post #135?
156 • @154 (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 16:57:47 GMT from United States)
Yes, I have tried Squeeze, but I did it the recommended way: a net-install. You were asking specifically about a CD install. Ditto with my Sid install. I used the business-card net-install CD to get Sid directly. Please do not make assumptions about what people have and have not done.
157 • @151, About your interpretation of the review... (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-22 17:05:48 GMT from United States)
One more correction:
"Jesse had downloaded the 4.4GB, for he had to give us a review."
No, he didn't, and he knows that. Look at this section of the review above:
"Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze" contains approximately 29,000 software packages and fills several CDs/DVDs. To install Debian we don't need all of the discs; typically we just need the first disc of the set. Users with fast and reliable Internet connections have the option of grabbing smaller net-install CDs. Additionally the project maintains a list of disc vendors for people who have slow connections or who wish to contribute funds to the Debian project. I opted to download Debian on a DVD, a heavy ISO of 4.4 GB."
Note that Jesse says specifically that he *opted* to. Not that he had to. He says specifically that the typical method is to download one CD. So don't put things in his mouth.
158 • A bit too harsh (by AnkurSrivastava on 2011-02-22 17:09:38 GMT from Germany)
When I think of Debian, I think of it as a pretty modern system because I don't use the stable edition. The testing edition in itself is rock solid and it is a great rolling release. Now that squeeze is out, maybe it's time to move on to wheezy. Whatever I wanted to say, comment no. 18 has said already and I see Debian as the big solid foundation upon which many other distributions are built on.
I think that your review was a bit too harsh on Debian. Ubuntu Mint etc. won't exist without Debian. This is how I think reviews should be written
159 • Ariya (by Barnabyh on 2011-02-22 17:13:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
You are very forcefully making your point here, continuing to spread misinformation and misconceptions.
It is indeed quite possible to install from just one CD, and in that way the resulting install is not different from Kubuntu or Xubuntu, only lighter and more stable.
Fernbap and Fred are right. I have in the past installed from KDE and Xfce only CDs and it gave me a working lenny installation. I have also tried a KDE4 Squeeze beta live CD a few months back and it worked prefectly. I have no idea what you think you have to do to get Debian up and running and to your taste, it tzpically takes me under two hours to install, set up and tweak. Then just add some apps as you go along when you need them, same as you would do with other distributions I suppose.
160 • Debian again. (by Chris H on 2011-02-22 17:17:18 GMT from United States)
I agree with Jesse Smith that Debian is a bit blah.
I prefer aptosid, which has character;
I like to set it up and install updates.
I've been using Linux for five or six years now
and know my way around. I bought a Fry's GQ computer
with Linspire and an AMD Geode processor on my birthday;
I'm now using a Fry's GQ computer with aptosid
and an old Athlon cpu.
I use Linux for browser work
-- I've installed Firefox/Iceweasel so many times
recently that I remember my 26 character sync key --
-- I install nautilus and all of it's required support packages
on all my Linux installs --
and screensaver/slide show
-- both kde and xfce have distinctive slide show apps,
which I use to display my large LastNightsParty picture collection --
161 • Disrespect and stuff.. (by davemc on 2011-02-22 17:51:50 GMT from United States)
You know, its not that Jesse's conclusions are wrong, per se, but its in the flippant and disrespectful way the article is written that triggers a hostile reaction, IMO. Take this example -
"The site is still geared toward developers and Linux enthusiasts and the documentation assumes we already have a level of comfort with Linux."
Really? What makes you say such a thing or even leap to such a conclusion? Here is the website -
Wow! The first page is a one stop shop! Would that every website were designed in such a way how much time could be saved trying to find what I need? On it we have links to docs, wiki's, books, support sites, install media, guides, news.. Everything one could ever need or want from that project, all right there with one or two mouse clicks. Heck, even someone with zero Linux experience should have no trouble finding what they want. So what ~exactly~ makes that site geared towards Developers? To say that is a huge assumption that, IMO, is just flat out wrong. If you scan through the Conclusion paragraphs, much more flippant assumptions are made and questionable conclusions drawn from them.
Then, there is the statement about the ARM being dropped, which I think is also wrong. Scanning through the release notes here -
We find that EABI ARM is in fact supported.
"The "ARM EABI" is an informal name for the ABI for the ARM Architecture."
Sounds to me like it is, in fact, supported. Not a huge deal there but give credit where its due. Thats what we do in the FOSS world. Debian is the father of all the most widely popular Distro's of todays world. Its not a project that should be treated with flippant disrespect. That is the impression that review left for me.
162 • Debian's good, but.... (by Old Timer on 2011-02-22 17:55:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Agreed with many of the comments.
I thought it was just me, after playing with Debian's Woody years back I felt they were, er, behind the times.
Using the more recent ones last year and building my own install media/distro etc, I liked bits of it, but overall it, felt like it was from a bygone era.
I've used most of them, I prefer Mint as a polished debian that works, and it is less hassle.
MEPIS is great, AntiX one of my favs. but standard Debian, well, from my point of view it ain't worth it, when I can find other distro which do the same job with less hassle, and work out of the box.
Still, good luck to Debian I hope it keeps going!
163 • Well said.. (by davemc on 2011-02-22 18:13:26 GMT from United States)
#162 - I agree with some of what you say, and in how you say it. I agree that Squeeze presents a user with a plain desktop that leaves many configuration options unconfigured and up to the user to fix them, unlike many popular Distros that make many asumptions about these . That is a spot on assessment. Debian install is dead easy and they hold your hand through the whole process. Post install they get out of your way completely and leave everything to the user to do as they see fit, including adding nonfree bits/blobs. They provide one with a rock stable production ready system but post configuration may need some CLI and in some cases, you will need that CLI alot.
164 • Debian on ARM (armel) (by Luke on 2011-02-22 18:14:10 GMT from United States)
The confusion about Debian ARM has been lifted already, but as further proof I offer my experience installing Debian Squeeze on the PogoPlug, with an ARMv5TE-compliant Marvell Sheeva CPU:
I installed it using these steps and it runs really well! Of course it's a server, so I rather prefer the stable environment Debian provides. On my main laptop I prefer Arch Linux to keep on the bleeding edge.
165 • @151, There is NO such thing as "Universal" Operating System! (by TobiSGD on 2011-02-22 18:24:14 GMT from Germany)
Of course there is. It's name is Debian. It supports currently 10 processor-architectures, only NetBSD supports more. It supports Linux and FreeBSD-kernels.
I have installed it on my server (Squeeze, CLI only), on a friends server that is also used as work-station (Squeeze, Gnome), on my workstation and laptop (Sid/Experimental, XFCE), on an old laptop used as jukebox (Squeeze, LXDE) and on some systems from friends that don't want to use Windows anymore (Wheezy, Gnome and KDE). And for all that I used one CD that is 45,9MB in size and a Internet-connection.
How can it be more universal?
I don't think that you know what you are talking about.
By the way, I am visiting DW at first because of the gain of knowledge I get here (I simply like computers, and Debian is simply not my only OS, but my main OS), and second, I am a member of LinuxQuestions.org, and DW is a great ressource to help people, just because I can get here and have a look at different distros, which package-manager they are using, and which essential software was released in which version (to answer me questions like "Which kernel-version was used in Ubuntu 9.10?").
166 • @ TobiSGD (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 18:31:40 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Oh, yes, TobiSGD, sure, sure!
You had installed, so good for you!
Why are you here? Looking for better distros?
167 • @ TobiSGD (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 18:39:33 GMT from Sri Lanka)
You know, TobiSGD, there is a saying that you just can't take all the apples in your hands! That maybe the case that the standard Debian is practically useless! Too many cooks spoil the soup, eh? We don't even have a universal religion, let alone a distro!
168 • ARM and such (by Jesse on 2011-02-22 18:41:08 GMT from Canada)
I've already explained the ARM misunderstanding further up, but here it is again. Debian had two architectures commonly called arm. ARM and armel, the latter is still supported. The statement I made in my review about arm support being dropped comes from Debian's What's New document: "This release drops official support for the HP PA-RISC ('hppa'), Alpha ('alpha') and ARM ('arm') architectures." I linked to this document in my review.
>> "Heck, even someone with zero Linux experience should have no trouble finding what they want. So what ~exactly~ makes that site geared towards Developers?"
Go ahead, please take someone who has zero Linux experience and sit them down with Debian's website and let me know how that goes. For that matter, take someone who has little computer/Linux knowledge and ask them to read the intro page to the install guide (http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/installmanual) and see what their reaction is. I'm honestly curious how they fair without any prompting or assistance. Please let them know they are welcome to e-mail me their impressions.
Also, I didn't write anything in my review to be flippant. Nor sarcastic, nor angry. If you read it as such I'm sorry, but I am afraid I can't help that. I often get messages from people commenting on how positive or negative a review is (often both comments on the same review). I think a lot of what people take away from an article is in how they read it.
169 • @161 Dave (by Ariya on 2011-02-22 18:48:08 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Hey, Dave, have you just started reading the Debian website? How do you like the kid's rocket making the Debian LOGO? Is it Mars around the edge?
Have you tried their jigdo? Does it work? Did you read the Debian Installer Errata? Universal
170 • @79 (koroshiya.itchy) Enlightenment Desktop Theme (by LinuxFreak on 2011-02-22 19:00:27 GMT from Germany)
Do you happen to know if this theme http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lfwnepJOrA1qess6i.png is one of the default themes in an enlightenment distro? It's available in Iluminante Linux (http://monolitux.tumblr.com/post/3035951301/iluminante-linux-para-reintegrantes) which you mentioned in your post of 2011-02-14, but unfortunately I cannot download the iso. The server does not support resuming and keeps resetting the connection after a few bytes. I used wget to try and get it from here: http://www.filefactory.com/file/b53fd01/n/iluminante_I_64.iso. So far, I could not find this theme on http://e17-stuff.org/, either.
Any hints to where this theme is available would be appreciated...
171 • Bozone Layer (by LinX4ever! on 2011-02-22 19:37:04 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
172 • Easy website and things.. (by davemc on 2011-02-22 19:52:34 GMT from United States)
Jesse - How about this, first page -
"Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. Debian uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux.
Debian GNU/Linux provides more than a pure OS: it comes with over 29000 packages, precompiled software bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine. Read more..."
So whats so difficult about that which a total noob would have trouble comprehending? There are a few links in that statement which a total noob could click to obtain more information about Debian, Linux, and etc. This is ~exactly~ what a total noob needs to know. 1) what is this thing?, 2) why should I be using it instead of my beloved Windows?, and 3) Where can I get it? (Who, What, When, Where, How - the 5 pinnacles of teaching). Debian does not claim anywhere to be the end-all be-all OS for total noobs. Instead it shows a visitor where to find any and all answers that a total noob should reasonably have, and it does that extremely well. Its not a good website for a 10 year old perhaps, but for an average adult with High School equivalency or better, it should be more than sufficient to meet all needs. I have no issues showing that website to a total noob and leaving them alone with it and assuming they have a desire to learn about Debian and Linux, I have every confidence that they will be reasonably able to find all the information they require.
173 • Time to tear down some Myths about Debian (by Anonimous Coward on 2011-02-22 19:57:44 GMT from Spain)
I have been following this thread for a while and I think somebody has a deep misunderstanding of what Debian is, what are their goals, its weakness and strengths. Time to take a few weird ideas out.
DEBIAN IS NOT AS HARD AS THEY SAY. Maybe once upon a time you needed to know your hardware better than its vendor to install a Debian system on it, but that is not the case any more. Anyone who says Debian is hard has not used in many years or is not speaking seriously.
DEBIAN DOES NOT NEED SO MUCH TIME. When I say that I employed two evenings in order to set my system up, I am saying that "I needed two evenings to make a backup of my previous system, wipe the drives (1000 Gb) securely, install the new system, create a strongly compresed local repository, get every piece of software I will ever need working, update my clamav antivirus, configure the firewall, placing a beautyful wallpaper and making another backup of my new system". I don't think I could have done it much faster with another distro. I know most Debian users wont need to do as much work as I did. And I can asure that nº18's "type 2 distros" have cost me much more time of repairing, tweaking and reconfiguring because of lots of uncontrolled bugs. In Debian, you spend 8 hours of work and forget about your OS for years.
DEBIAN IS NOT FORCING YOU TO USE IT. Some guys here think that Debian is a tool of Satan or something, and react at Debian users as if we were trying them to use it. Calm down! If you don't like Debian, go and use other distro, but don't shout at us as if we were the enemy.
There is a real enemy out there. It has a name. Why the hell are we fighting as idiots?
And a last word: visiting Distrowatch does not mean being looking for a new distro. It means trying to be more informed about how the current GNU/Linux universe is doing.
174 • Ariya (by fernbap on 2011-02-22 20:06:12 GMT from Portugal)
"You had installed, so good for you!
Why are you here? Looking for better distros?"
"That maybe the case that the standard Debian is practically useless! Too many cooks spoil the soup, eh?"
Oh, i get it: you're just another troll!
I will now stick to the first rule of internet: don't feed them!
175 • @174 (by Holer on 2011-02-22 20:11:19 GMT from Austria)
Took you quite long to discover that ...
not much experience with that type yet ;) ?
Lucky you ...
176 • Now that the shooting's over.. (by Don Sanderson on 2011-02-22 20:29:33 GMT from United States)
My 2 cents:
1.) Jesse's final line: "but by being so general, so universal, I felt Squeeze didn't excel at anything." is the truth, Debian wasn't specifically designed for any one use, it takes a 'vanilla' approach to stay out of the users way.
This does assume a bit of work will be done by the user, the distro is not meant to hold your hand and do as >IT< thinks best.
2.) As far as the Debian installation manual is concerned I found it to be not only an install guide but a fairly well rounded education in GNU/Linux and OSS in general.
The chapter here: http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch02s03.html.en gives some idea of WHY a completely free kernel makes sense. We should be asking that hardware manufacturers support the open source model, not compromising by using non-free software just for the 'honor' of filling their wallets.
3.) I am not an OSS radical, I use what I need to to get computers my customers and I already own running properly. (ie: Mint on my laptop.) BUT I no longer purchase equipment not fully supported by free (as in freedom) software and drivers.
4.) While Debian isn't perfect if I were told I could only use one distro for everything I do it would be my choice. Cent would be a close runner up but Debian blows it away in the sheer number of packages available.
Both are as stable as a big old rock and get the job done.
177 • Debian (by jmirles on 2011-02-22 20:55:08 GMT from United States)
Boy Jesse, did you stir up the hornet's nest! Good for you!! it has been way too quiet here as of late.
I use Debian on my home file server. It is rock solid and very stable. I wouldn't use Debian for my desktop as I like more current apps. Mepis is based on Stable but with a lot of current apps. I prefer AntiX as it is based on Testing. I used to use kanotix back when it was based on unstable.
Debian stable is great for servers but really sucks for desktop use. Because of the old kernel, it may not have the support for webcams, digital cameras, etc.
I never had any problems installing or configuring Debian. It is pretty easy to do. I am not some Linux Pro, but really Debian is easy to set up. Arch could have been a real bitch to set up, but I read and re-read the wiki before installing.
I use PCLinuxOS now because it is designed for desktop use. It has the current apps i want and most importantly, it has a great community.
Now if Jesse had reviewed Debian Stable as a server distro, well, that is what it is designed for.
Jesse, do not, I repeated, do NOT review CENTOS or any other distro that is designed for stability rather than it looks or current apps! It is too easy to start a war.
Of course if it gets boring in here, please by all means fire them up again!
P,S. Isn't it amazing that with all of the bickering in here, Landor is the calm voice of reason?!
178 • @LinuxFreak #170 Enlightenment Theme (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-22 21:39:50 GMT from Belgium)
I think that the theme has been used in Elive and apparently also in Unity:
But in Iluminante the theme appears to be a mixture of the A-Siglo XIX e17 theme plus the antique GTK theme plus the Balanzan icons plus some MacOSX icon theme.
By the way, I think you cannot use wget to download files from FileFactory. You need to use the web browser (and they will make you wait).
179 • @166,167 (by TobiSGD on 2011-02-22 22:22:24 GMT from Germany)
I have explained why I am here. If you would read the posts that are directed to you, you would know why I am here.
And please, can you explain to me, what an OS has to do with a religion? I don't get that point.
Your post just make me more assume that you never have tried to install Squeeze, not to mention trying the standard install. Be happy with your distro, but don't talk about things you don't know.
By the way, "Too many cooks spoil the soup, eh?": Express-Linux is based on Madbox Linux, which is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian. Which distro has more cooks? Maybe Debian has more cooks, but your was at least three times warmed up.
180 • @179 (koroshiya.itchy) (by LinuxFreak on 2011-02-22 22:37:55 GMT from Germany)
Thanks a lot for providing the names of the themes, it helps a lot! So Iluminante is quite a mixture, eh? Thank you for mentioning that FileFactory is making you wait before the download - my mistake was that I used the first button to skip directly to the download link in plain text, and missed entering the captcha above to get the "real" download link. I fed that link to my download manager, and so far the 1,38 GB download has not been interrupted yet. Once I've figured out all the different components that make up the E17 desktop, I might be able to clone what the Iluminante team did to Bodhi, which I'm also downloading right now. I'm more the cli type and only fire up a lightweight WM if i absolutely have to, but this E17 desktop looks just too enticing to resist...
181 • Linux in Sinhala-Hanthana Linux included-Debain Update (by Dr.Asoka Dissanayake (Medical) on 2011-02-22 22:52:30 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I have to confess now I support light weight distributions and PCLinux is my my favourite,
But I love its Gorilla (dearly) Edition PClinuxfullmonty too.
I use it (PCLinux) as a Gold standard (not bench mark) for 32 bit hardware and Texstar is about to release the 64 bit version but he is keeping it close to his heart.
Coming back to Sinhala Linux Debian is the winner by neck and half length (horse racing terminology). I downloaded all of the CD and DVD and had a trial run of them and they are pretty good and elegant especially the KDE.
Again I confess I am a KDE fan especially because of its looks and the K3B burner which does not harm the hardware. Before I started using it I used to lose a CD/DVD writers almost every two to three months.
Both PClinucx and SuSe are KDE based. Suse is damn slow like windows but PCLinux is pretty fast.
Unlike you guts I have about 8 distributions in my laptop and I use them in rotation to get best out of them.
I have Debian also and I will tell you now why I use Debian.
It is the only distribution which can cohabit with all the others distributions and arrange the partition table so nicely in the GRUB and boot all the others.
Unlike Windows and Ubuntu, Debian does not fear other distributions.
SuSe cannot read more than 15 partitions and in the beginning they used to have over 60 (I stand to correction) partitions. PClinux some time cannot read FAT partitions and its partition formats are limited.
So I install Debian one before the last distribution and to get a nice boot flash I use PCLinux the last.
Debian make it easy for the PCLinusx to read the partition table.
There are many other strong points about the Debian that is why we use it in the Server Level in the University.
Regarding the downloading of Hanthana Linux I just checked it a few minutes ago with only two seeders it takes 3 days plus.
Fedora 13 (the 6 CDs) version with many seeders it takes little over one day. I will download Hanthana Linux after the Cricket World Cup which is my preoccupation currently.
Following is a summary of download times for your perusal.
Last there (3 days
1. Bodhi 3 hours
2. Kubuntu 7 hours
3. EB4 9 hours
4. Pinguy 4 and a half days
5. Monty 2 days
and fastest was ArtistX one day and probably Fedora 13 too (also little over one day (according to estimate).
These are facts and not gut feelings,
I am struggling with pixie which has taken one day but still not finished.
182 • Re #143...what are you doing with Debian that makes it so long to set up? (by imnotrich on 2011-02-23 00:50:28 GMT from Mexico)
Well let's see...some of us want to be able use our printers, scanners, wifi, multi-media, browse the internet (which means java, flash at minimum), maybe (gasp!) even use our video card with the proper driver at some resolution other than 800x600.
You know, the things that make our computers useful for actual work and play. Things that other distros do well (including Debian respins).
Debian is a great OS, it can take days or weeks but once you figure out how to make everything work you don't have to mess with again for years. Its just works. But Debian does not "just work out of the box" on any hardware I've ever tried it on. Sorry, it just does not.
And I recently learned Debian has abandoned/shut down multimedia repos for Lenny. A universal operating system wouldn't do that. If I wanted to install Debian today my choices would be Etch or Squeeze. Makes no sense.
No, clearly it would seem Debian has finally blown it with Squeeze. By focusing on a small group of geeks who can spend years locked in their man cave ordering pizza by delivery and tinkering with an OS and who don't care about doing anything productive with their computer, well...everybody knows what happens next.
By ignoring the needs of the bulk of it's users a distro is doomed to fade into obscurity, if not fail outright.
I do hope Debian survives, but they won't do it by abandoning and alienating users. No, Debian must evolve and quickly.
183 • This week's comments (by Jon Thomsen on 2011-02-23 00:54:56 GMT from United States)
This week's comments are the reason why Linux will never be used by the mainstream and/or average desktop computer user.
The misinformation, sniping, moaning, whining, kvetching, and other all around nonsense posted is just plain mind-boggling.
This week's comments resemble a carnival freakshow.
184 • kvetch this #183 (by imnotrich on 2011-02-23 01:04:05 GMT from Mexico)
Debian Squeeze gives us a reason to moan, whine and kvetch.
But misinformation? What misinformation? Please cite examples.
I agree with you though that Linux will never be used by the average mainstream desktop computer user because (for most) the expectation is that an OS and hardware will mostly just WORK without having to scrounge forums and search google for 3 days for each solution.
Operating systems that don't understand this will never achieve widespread adoption and only appeal to fringe users.
185 • Enough about Debian, what about Arch.. (by brad on 2011-02-23 01:34:58 GMT from United States)
I've cut my teeth on various "respun,slipstreamed" versions of windows, then tried suse ,red hat, mandrake.. back when it was a PAIN to set up things (from a windows users perspective, if i must clarify).. then I found pclinuxos.. and fell in love, it just worked.. the forum was friendly, so was the distro.. then as time went on, I learned about different distros, mint, ubuntu ultimate, (based on debian it said) then i checked out Mepis.loved that distro.. then I got a 64bit computer with 4gigs ram.. and had to check out 64bit distros, mint first, then ubuntu ultimate, even installed slackware (installed 4.4gig dvd) "everything option" I loved it, but it was a pain to upgrade, and install your favorite 'nix versions of windows apps, even installed Gentoo ONCE.. after taking over an hour to compile pidgin to use yahoo IM at the time, that was off my system forever.. what intrigued me the most was the arrogance, egotism, fanboism, and downright rudeness on gentoo,slackware forums, IRC rooms, etc.. nothing like finally installing the distro after reading wiki, the net, forums, etc.. and asking what you feel are questions you couldnt find the answers for while searching the forums..etc and getting "RTFM" "go back to ubuntu" "go back to windoze" and my personal fav "you ain't ready for the big time yet" as if these people were shot out of the womb knowing linux or something.. so one day I was bored at work and printed out the entire 81 page installation/beginners manual for Arch.. after over 2 months of cursing, trial and screw up, and almost getting kicked off of the forums for asking legit questions due to the fact, while the wiki is amazing, some places could use a small dose of simplicity.. i got it installed and NEVER looked back in the past 2 years.. I do figure I'd go LMDE if arch ever dies off.. but all this being said.. Linux's number one strength is "CHOICE" if people choose to install the kitchen sink and not care about their hands being held in doing everything, who REALLY cares what distro they are using, be it, mint, ubuntu, ubuntu ultimate, the other 'buntus, pclinuxos, etc.. linux IS LINUX right? Linux is the KERNEL, Linux is a philosophy.. who cares what package manager people use, how many packages or how refined they want their system... with 4+ gigs of ram.. and 1+ tb hds, there's NO SUCH THING anymore as BLOAT.. i installed the ENTIRE KDE SC on this system, 2.1 triplecore, w/6gigs ram, 500gig hd and a 320gig (w/windows 7 64bit ultimate, don't GASP, it's for office 2010 and photoshop cs5 and my nice printer that wont work with linux, well not with arch anyway) bloat is relative.. if you have an older computer, there's lots of distros that are streamlined and minimalistic to choose from.. but it's still a persons "CHOICE", When it comes to the YEAR of the LINUX desktop, this will NEVER EVER EVER HAPPEN..it may be the day of linux desktop, the week, the month, but never the year... until people respect peoples choices of what distro, philosophy,package manager, kernel or choices of apps surrounding said kernel .. CHOICE being one of Linux's BiGGEST STRENGTHS.. and judging by many of the attitudes on forums, IRC, and comments on this forum , Choice is MOST definately Linux's even BIGGER WEAKNESS... that's my .02, now I'm broke..
186 • Ref#185 - Arch your back (by Verndog on 2011-02-23 03:20:06 GMT from United States)
I found Arch a bit harder to set up in the beginning. Actually it was just learning the ropes and how things are laid out. I haven't used Arch in some time now.
I tried that Chakra thingy and I never got it installed. It kept crashing.
At any rate your post 185 was a good read. Different from most, my daddy can beat your daddy up nonsense, that I see here. Linux[distro] is Linux after all.
187 • RE: 185 (by Landor on 2011-02-23 04:37:16 GMT from Canada)
"even installed Gentoo ONCE.. after taking over an hour to compile pidgin to use yahoo IM at the time, that was off my system forever"
I personally can't believe this, unless you were running a PII or the like.
I had a first generation P4 with 512mb of ram, 5400 rpm drive, etc, etc, and compiled/installed the brute that Firefox is in under an hour. I also used Kopete instead of Pidgin, but I'd imagine they were along the same lines and know for a fact Kopete didn't take that long by any stretch of the imagination. To go one further though, my ASUS 1005HA Netbook (1.6 ghz) I installed Gentoo on and compiled Firefox in under an hour as well, far less time than you're saying something as small as Pidgin took
Misinformation doesn't help anybody. You may not think it matters but someone who's never tried Gentoo before and knows little about FLOSS and owns an actual modern system might decide to never try based on your one little quip that is either not true, or based on really, really old hardware.
(Side note here: I really can't believe the misinformation that's sprung forth in the last couple weeks about Gentoo. Well, given the adeptness and dramatics of the majority, yes I can.)
Keep your stick on the ice...
188 • @181 Asoka, Imnotrich, Brad (by Ariya on 2011-02-23 04:57:01 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Your comment is quite interesting. It also tells me that in Kandy area, your internet connection is quite slow., not like in CMB. Quite sorry to hear that. If any distro shows it takes more than 3 hours and 15 mins, I won't even try to download it, I'd wait until there are seeders, or the their direct website to have some strength. Debian CD1 downloaded inside 3 hours, even though it is smaller than some. PC-BSD, which is nearly 4GB downloaded in less than 5 hours. Bodhi downloaded just about 2 hours. Pinguy was pretty fast too, but took bit more than Bodhi. AntiX also just above 2 hours. Much larger Saline OS too, downloaded just few minutes above 3 hours. Actually, you must check what's the problem with your internet connection!
Nothing exciting in the Cricket World Cup yet, except the Dutch gave a scare for the English team. Won't boast about us belittling Canada.
I think Brad had said everything!
> So I install Debian one before the last distribution and to get a nice boot flash I use PCLinux the last. Debian make it easy for the PCLinusx to read the partition table.<
I like that, and it says a lot about Debian. Just wondering, if you have such terrible times in downloading smaller distros, how would you download 4.4GB and/or go through the netinstall rigmarole?!
Imnotrich, I also hope that Debian survives, but it should organize itself and come to Earth and 2011, and stop producing OS, which is only for geeks. Bodhi Linux is much more universal, in that case. Btw, a vehicle has a brand name, just like laptops, etc, but the innards are from another
189 • Opinions (by tdockery97 on 2011-02-23 05:29:56 GMT from United States)
I truly enjoy reading the Comments section at DistroWatch throughout the week. The variety of opinions about Linux and the various distros is both informative and entertaining, even when it gets a tad heated as it has this week. To be honest, it's this kind of discussion which helps push Linux forward, encouraging readers to try various distros in search of the "perfect" desktop. One of the OP above remarked on the "Year of the Linux Desktop". Personally I hope that never comes. When it comes down to it, with the exception of server use, Linux IS for hobbyists. Usage numbers are small compared to the two "big guys", and it is that fact that protects us from "the bad guys". In the year I have been using Linux I have surfed the internet without ever using a firewall, freely downloading whatever catches my eye, and have never once been attacked. Sometimes I think there is safety in SMALL numbers.
190 • @188, Debian - Once More Unto the Breach (by Fred Nelson on 2011-02-23 05:33:05 GMT from United States)
Let us put to rest your "can't install from a CD" myth once and for all. I did, once for KDE and once for GNOME, and it worked just fine for both of them. For reference, I used these official 650MB CD images:
(Oh, and if a Debian CD is downloading too slow for you, try a torrent or jigdo, or a different mirror. A list of mirrors that contain Debian CD images is on this page: http://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp/#mirrors)
Here are screenshots of the resultant installs:
I am typing from the KDE install right now in fact. So you can lay to rest your (hopefully honest) misconceptions once and for all.
BTW, Bodhi is probably a very fine distribution, and I mean no disrespect for it or its developers, but it is not universal in the way that Debian means it. Bodhi Linux has but a single ISO that is only x86. It also has only one DE by default (though, like most distros, you can install others after installation). Debian, on the other hand, supports 11 different architectures, and has install methods for four separate desktops (GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE) on all architectures. It also has options for net-install, CD, DVD, or PXE installations. *That* is what universal means, not some vague notions of geek vs non-geek (which isn't nearly as clear-cut as you present it to be).
191 • Response to "Debian has killed Multimedia Repositories for Lenny" (by Anonimous Coward on 2011-02-23 08:04:40 GMT from Spain)
Someone has said:
"And I recently learned Debian has abandoned/shut down multimedia repos for Lenny. A universal operating system wouldn't do that. If I wanted to install Debian today my choices would be Etch or Squeeze. Makes no sense."
I must point out that multimedia repositories are unofficial ones as far as I concerned. If Its maintainers have broken it and have told the users that they are not fixing it again, blaim them, not Debian.
192 • Opensuse Factory-tested (by Diimaan on 2011-02-23 08:09:45 GMT from India)
has anyone give some more light to this project?
can I just replace factory with factory-tested like mentioned here?
193 • debian (by Bert on 2011-02-23 12:51:07 GMT from Germany)
Wow, i've never come across so much ignorance here before.
You can all have your buggy, six month release playthings. I'll stick to debian and actually get some serious work done thank you.
194 • @182 (by TobiSGD on 2011-02-23 13:22:39 GMT from Germany)
Currently working with a GTX260 with 1680x1050 with the free drivers, that come out of the box. A little bit more than 800x600.
AND NO, DEBIAN HAS NOT SHUT DOWN THE MULTIMEDIA REPOS FOR LENNY. THE MULTIMEDIA REPOS ARE NOT EVEN MAINTAINED BY DEBIAN, FOR ANY VERSION. IT IS A PRIVATE PERSON THAT RUNS THEM.
Sorry I had to shout, but so much people posting so much nonsense about Debian, and it is obvious that they haven't even tried Squeeze and are basing their opinions on what they have heard from other people or read on the Internet, are just setting me up.
195 • jolicloud 1.1.1 (by capri.cornus on 2011-02-23 14:58:24 GMT from Belgium)
Don't try it on AMD cpu's less than 5 years old: you'll get a BSV (black screen of void).
196 • multiple machines, Debian, etc. (by Shankar on 2011-02-23 17:35:39 GMT from India)
I don't want to join this war (not to mention that almost nobody is likely to read comment # 211) over the review, though I am a very happy Debian user. Just wanted to add some information that may be of use to users who are interested.
* I am an Indian social activist and I switched to Linux years ago because I could not afford a computer and I wanted a system that I could run off a pen drive (actually I started on Puppy with its still (to me) amazing ability to work off and save changes to a CD-R - not a CD-RW, a CD-R, the read only ones you get for Rs. 10). Incidentally, it's probably just me, but I think we should advertise the ability to run a pen drive based OS more - it's something Windows users can't even imagine, and it's an incredible advertisement for why Linux is amazing in a way Windows will never be.
* Anyway, I switched to Debian a year ago for various reasons. I use a persistent pen drive and plug it into a lot of old systems. I have never had a debian boot fail on me, or found a system whose vital hardware did not work on it. The only exception was one Broadcom network card. I say this after using this pen drive on literally at least 50 different machines - everything from an ancient cybercafe system in Haridwar to random friends' and colleagues' laptops and netbooks. I used to have a lot more problems some years ago with Puppy boots, but they've vanished with Debian. I'm surprised by the comments that it doesn't work on some systems - undoubtedly it doesn't, but my experience indicates otherwise.
* I can lay to rest the 1 CD issue - the Debian Live CDs work great and are a very stable base for persistent systems. Mint and Ubuntu, I found, are hit and miss in this area. Puppy of course is excellent. Incidentally, the live CDs come with Synaptic. You can also use the Debian Live CD website to cook your own CD with your required packages, which is what I do. Ariya, if you want to compare Kubuntu's live CD, compare it to the live CDs, not to the install CDs.
* After Squeeze was released, I decided to use a bit more time. Normally I just download the live CD image, copy it over, boot up and start running (takes about ten minutes excluding download of one CD). This time I started with a minimal live CD image of 200 MB with ndiswrapper and X11, and installed everything else. Took me about three hours, sure, but I now have an incredibly responsive system (faster than Puppy, incidentally), with a full XFCE desktop install and everything I need. I can also upgrade regularly by dist-upgrading through testing.
People have many different needs, and Jesse, I think one should be cautious about assuming who an "end user" is. Not all end users have the same end use. My work has nothing to do with computers, I'm not a geek, but for now I'm definitely in the Debian camp.
197 • End users (by Jesse on 2011-02-24 00:06:33 GMT from Canada)
>> "People have many different needs, and Jesse, I think one should be cautious about assuming who an "end user" is."
No argument there, people come in all different types and with a wide variety of abilities. Of course when I talk about end-users I'm making a generalized statement. A few people, like yourself, can pick their way through downloading, installing and setting up Debian. Perhaps compile some software. Quite a lot of people don't know what an operating system is or the difference between a web browser and the Internet. I try to write for those somewhere in the middle.
198 • This weeks review (by Boozerman on 2011-02-24 00:23:38 GMT from United States)
Decent review Jesse and I agree with some of it and question some other parts, but hey, we all have our own opinions right? Mine could very well be wrong, so I will leave it at that.
199 • The Review Again (by Landor on 2011-02-24 02:39:18 GMT from Canada)
I felt with such a stir among everyone I should read the review. I'm actually using Debian 6.0 as my main system, on my main system, and I'm quite pleased with it.
I'm not going to discuss your opinions about the release, everyone here has shot them to pieces, or lauded them. I will point out that pretty well for the whole review it's opinion based, the meat of it. There's very little technical to this review. Which is part of what I'm going to comment on.
I have a story I want to tell. There was this math professor that was pure genius. Every class he greeted his students, told them were to open their texts to, and started to teach. He turned to the blackboard, text in hand, and recited every word from the textbook, word for word, with his back to the class in monotone, until the end of the class. That happened day in and day out.
When I read your review, I was instantly reminded of that. I came away with the feeling that it wasn't a review, it was more of an example of something you were just trying to get through somehow, and it showed. You were discussing what is considered a milestone release among our community and it felt no more than if you had yawned and scribbled down some thoughts. In my personal opinion this is a release that should have had more information dedicated to it, in so many areas. I even considered it short, very brisk, compared to other reviews you've done. This truly is a poor showing Jesse, I'm honestly sorry to have to say that too. I'm also sorry to say that I honestly don't believe you should have been the one to do this review, just from the whole tone of it, the feel alone.
I'm actually dismayed over being able to state the above since Ladislav himself stated that a proper review for such a distribution as Debian took time. I have to ask a question Ladislav, can you honestly say that was a proper and full review of a distribution that we haven't seen a release from for two years? If you tell me yes, I'm not going to believe you. I'm not talking about the findings either, I'm talking about it being a good review all the way around. A review that does justice to not only the lengthy release cycle, but the massive project on a whole that Debian is, regardless of the findings. This review, and the small space it was given, definitely doesn't fit that, but what do you say Ladislav?
Aside form that, I found a typo early on in the review: "When each new stable release ships, I grab a copy and give it a whirl and, each time, I run into an installer cash"
"cash" should be "crash"
Keep your stick on the ice...
200 • reviews deep and shallow (by gnomic on 2011-02-24 07:07:23 GMT from New Zealand)
Lately I read a review of PCLinuxOS KDE version and found the remark below to the point with respect to the debate over this week's Debian review and the ensuing debate.
"I have been working on this review on-and-off since last April [circa 8 months]. I don’t like posting a full distro review after using it for only a few weeks – to me, the real measure of a distro is how it performs after months of regular use, updates, and assorted troubleshooting."
Obviously this approach is probably impractical for Distrowatch reviews since it's desirable they deal with current releases, but perhaps there could be a shift in that direction? Or at any rate working to some kind of template so that reviews cover the same ground with each distro under discussion? At present there sometimes seems a danger of finding out more about the reviewer's prejudices than the Linux variant under discussion.
On a slightly different note, more signal and less noise round here please. What's up with these people who sign off saying we'll be hearing no more from them, and then immediately proceed to produce yet more inane babble?
Finally, come in Jesse. Just what is that mystery Intel wifi card that this week Debian failed to 'handle'? The most likely explanation would be no firmware, not hard to determine and useful for readers to know.
201 • review criticism and a bit ubuntu (by Dopher on 2011-02-24 11:53:56 GMT from Belgium)
I see a lot of criticism on the review this week. Some people really stepped aside and looked at this review with the wrong point of view. Some people even sat at the sideline and didn't even wanted to read the review plus they made some comparison with some brilliant professor to make some kind of point.etc etc
I think that distrowatch weekly is not the place for a full review. I mean you need several pages to actually make a full review of debian or any other distro. Jesse gave a quick overview of the system, shared his installation experience, gave some references, and it wasn't bad at all. (except for some of the conclusion though, but that was his opinion) ;)
We will probably see full reviews the next weeks.
Allthough i am tempted to try debian, I will not install it, since I am satisfied with ubuntu 10.04. I think that moving to debian wouldn't make a lot of difference ( in my situation, with ubuntu 10.04) because software versions are practically the same, and i won't get a leaner, faster system after i installed all the apps plus dependencies I need.
Also, ubuntu 10.04 has been extremely stable for me. I never had any lockup or what so ever. It always works, lots of apps and support from third party, and it's fast. But when i read some of the comments here in distrowatch weekly, I must be that one lucky guy. I only care about the LTS releases anyway. If ubuntu really changes the system radically in the next LTS release (and i cannot live with it) i will look for something else. In the meanwhile i,m safe till 2013 with this 10.04 LTS.
202 • Debian Review (by Jesse on 2011-02-24 13:26:49 GMT from Canada)
>> "When I read your review, I was instantly reminded of that. I came away with the feeling that it wasn't a review, it was more of an example of something you were just trying to get through somehow, and it showed."
You may feel that way, but it's entirely not the case. I had been looking forward to this release for months and I was eager to see how it would go. I think what most people are complaining about is that I didn't treat Debian differently. I know a lot of people here see Debian as something special that carries high ideals. For that matter, I do too in regards to their infrastructure. But the distro itself, the stable release they ship, I treated as I would any other project release. That obviously bothers some people. I think you showed your feelings quite clearly with your comment "This review, and the small space it was given". Why should Debian get more or less space than any other review? Because of their views on FOSS? Because they have a slow release cycle? I'm not going to give them extra points for those aspects.
>> "I honestly don't believe you should have been the one to do this review"
Fair enough. Dave, you and I actually all agree on this point. Given that I don't see Squeeze as being more or less special than any other distro, perhaps I shouldn't have been the one to write this review. I think we all agree Caitlyn Martin would have put together an outstanding article, I quite admire her work. But I was, so far as I know, the only person to submit a review of Squeeze to DW. I'm sure if someone else had sent in something better Ladislav would have run with it instead.
203 • #201 & #202 (by Mark Pace on 2011-02-24 15:25:17 GMT from United States)
#201: ..I only care about the LTS releases anyway. If ubuntu really changes the system radically in the next LTS release (and i cannot live with it) i will look for something else. In the meanwhile i,m safe till 2013 with this 10.04 LTS.
I agree with your assessment of LTS releases Dopher. For the exact same reasons I use Mint 9 LTS on all my machines except for my test box, which sees a new distro of two every couple of weeks.
#202: Personally I enjoyed your Debian 6 review Jesse. Those who wanted to see special deference paid to the project were of course a bit miffed. But from the perspective of a real world every day average user overview of the project - the good, the bad, and the ugly - I felt you did as good a job on it as you do on all your reviews.
Going into it though you knew that you can't please all the people all the time, so don't let the nay sayers get you down! There will be a boat load of other Debian 6 reviews, so your critics will be able to latch onto something that better suits their particular take on the project.
204 • #202 Debian Squeeze Review (by tdockery97 on 2011-02-24 17:03:09 GMT from United States)
I too enjoyed your review Jesse. I don't expect a 7 page review of any distro on DistroWatch. That's best left to Desktoplinux and others. I'm not a Debian fanboy, but I do have a lot of respect for the distro, because I am a fan of apt-get & Synaptic Package Manager. I even decided to have my first go at a netinstall of Debian 6.0 as they now support wireless, and it went great. As usual, the resulting installation is rock-solid.
Back to the topic: I am very happy that you spend the time and energy it takes to run various distros through their paces and then write reviews of them. Keep up the good work.
205 • Debian and time (by Andy on 2011-02-24 22:32:57 GMT from United States)
As a Linux user short on time, I am for once compelled to comment. Certainly, I am not alone in wanting to express gratitude to the Debian developers for their continual work to create a comprehensive, flexible, and stable distribution.
The main reason I comment is to echo prior comments that Debian can be a time saver. My main workstation serves as an example. This workstation is my desktop, server-lab, computation workhorse, editing base, etc. Our competition is fierce; the desktop is mission-critical 24x7. On Jan 24 2005, I installed Debian Sarge on the workstation. It has been in continuous service ever since. Meanwhile, I focus on work.
Impressive is the in-place upgrade path Debian has allowed: Sarge -> Etch -> Lenny -> Squeeze. The recent upgrade to Squeeze proceeded smoothly, while I continued my desktop tasks of the day. My system is snappier than ever.
Of course, needs differ. My current distro paradigm:
-- Kids & Spouse: Mint Debian Edition
-- Workstations for colleagues: Ubuntu (Long Term Support editions)
-- Myself: Debian!
My deepest thanks to Debian developers (!), as well as Linux, all of FOSS, and DWW and its reviewers.
Andy (an otherwise quiet Linux user)
206 • REF#-201 Ubuntu LTS (by Verndog on 2011-02-25 03:40:21 GMT from United States)
I agree. I test the next testing Ubuntu, which now is natty, but 10.04 LTS is my main stay. I have just installed Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS "Lucid Lynx". I usually do this once the point release is out. Just a habit of mine to clean out any old leftovers. Lucid is rock solid.
207 • #202 (by koroshiya.itchy on 2011-02-25 12:15:12 GMT from Belgium)
You say that all the criticism that your review received is either 1) ideologically-biased or 2) comes from fanboys who would expect their different distro being privileged.
If that way of looking at things brings you some consolation, it is great for you. However, going through the comments again (and although many have been censored) I honestly think you are mistaken.
Most of the critics to your review come from the fact that you entirely forget about the technical quality of the distribution. You focus almost exclusively on the bling-bling and almost entirely ignore the tremendous work that is put into the core of the distro.
Your review is oriented towards the average Windows user and your arguments are those of the average Windows user. You forget the people who use the computer for doing actual work and even if we are a minority, we also exist. As I made clear in my first commentary, there are distros for working and distros for fun. You can not evaluate a distro for working only with fun-focus criteria.
This has nothing to do with FOSS or any other ideology. They are purely technical considerations. It is not either because it is Debian. My critics would be identical if it were RHEL or any other serious distro out there. But, of course, DistroWatch cannot afford speaking of RHEL as they have done of Debian. First, they would loose any credibility and, second, money-wise, it would not be very clever.
208 • Review (by Jesse on 2011-02-25 13:22:32 GMT from Canada)
>> "You say that all the criticism that your review received is either 1) ideologically-biased or 2) comes from fanboys who would expect their different distro being privileged."
I didn't say all, I said most. I'm sure there are critics here who have other reasons for not enjoying the review.
>> "Most of the critics to your review come from the fact that you entirely forget about the technical quality of the distribution."
Most of the review focuses on the technical aspects of the distro. I mention the appearance a few times in passing, but almost all of my criticisms were leveled at technical issues.
>> "Your review is oriented towards the average Windows user and your arguments are those of the average Windows user. You forget the people who use the computer for doing actual work and even if we are a minority, we also exist.
My review wasn't targeting Windows users, it was aimed at computer users in general and Linux users in particular. My arguments are those of a Linux user who expects their computer to work and don't want to spend a lot of time tweaking and trouble shooting. The same concerns you say you value.
>> "But, of course, DistroWatch cannot afford speaking of RHEL as they have done of Debian. First, they would loose any credibility and, second, money-wise, it would not be very clever."
Why do you think that? RHEL and Debian Stable have different target audiences and different strengths. I don't think it is really an apples to apples comparison. Though I did a review of RHEL late last year and I wrote it from the same perspective. You can find it here is you are interested: http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20101206#feature
209 • Why would Trisquel come with Compiz Config installed? (by Ralph on 2011-02-25 20:19:32 GMT from Canada)
Trisquel, a distro with the linux-libre kernel, is entirely geared to free software. It appears to come with the the 2D Nouveau driver. Yet it has installed by default the CompizConfig Settings program, which as far as I know is only useful with either the proprietary Nvidia driver, or the open-source (but allegedly unstable) 3D Gallium Nouveau driver which is not in the repos that Trisquel uses. None of the effects that Compiz supports appear to be working in Trisquel. Is it the case that *some* of these effects are supposed to work with the 2D driver?
210 • Trisquel (by Jesse on 2011-02-26 00:39:23 GMT from Canada)
I think it's less a case a whether effects will work with a 2D NVIDIA driver and more relevant that the effects will work with free drivers on other (non-NVIDIA) cards. Trisquel is covering the bases for Intel and ATI cards too, which may not require closed-source drivers to enable effects.
211 • Debian and binary blobs in the open-source ATI video drivers (by Ralph on 2011-02-26 03:51:10 GMT from Canada)
@210--yes of course, I'm certain your right about this. Bringing up the ATI video cards does raise an interesting issue that was raised by Phoronix though. Michael Larabel claimed that the open-source ATI drivers actually contain a small chunk of microcode that was technically not free, and so was thinking that people might not be able to get their ATI video cards working without help from Debian's nonfree repos (somewhat ironic if true). You can read about it here if you are interested:
The open-source "radeon" driver is in Debian's free repo but one of the "suggested" packages for it is "firmware-linux" which is in the nonfree repo. So I would be curious to know whether anyone installing the radeon driver under Squeeze has had to install anything from nonfree to get their video working properly.
212 • @211Debian and binary blobs in the open-source ATI video drivers (by tdockery97 on 2011-02-26 10:48:13 GMT from United States)
I have the ATI-Radeon-HD4200 card which works very well with only the open-source radeon driver. With the radeon driver and libgl1-mesa-dri I get most of the effects available. I am able to use compiz/emerald without using a proprietary driver, and applications like googleearth work just fine as long as all the necessary dependencies are installed.
213 • openSUSE (by Verndog on 2011-02-26 15:52:16 GMT from United States)
Being a Ubuntu user, I have always enjoyed opensuse KDE. I see that 11.4 almost complete.
My problem with suse has been issues with openoffice.
I have an old laptop that no current distro will support the old ATI video chip. I have to nomodeset the kernel option for it to insall. Surprisingly, opensuse 11.4 build0845 works without any intervention!
214 • Re:196 about Debian usb live (by Caraibes on 2011-02-26 21:52:16 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I enjoyed your post... I plan to install a "Debian Live Xfce" in my pendrive...
Shall I download this one ?
Now I also would be curious about reading the steps of your homemade one... You should blog it...
215 • OpenSUSE (by Dan on 2011-02-26 22:56:47 GMT from United States)
OpenSUSE is looking like it will be very nice. They might make a big comeback, especially once Gnome 3 hits.
216 • re #214 live debian installable? (by gnomic on 2011-02-27 03:46:04 GMT from New Zealand)
In past versions the Debian live CDs were not installable, or at any rate did not include an installer if I recall correctly. You should check on this if you are hoping to install from a live CD, I am not certain what the position is with Debian 6. I suppose you may be able to try and get something going by copying the CD contents to a hard drive, but an actual install CD would be easier. There was an install CD at one stage which offered both Xfce and LXDE., you could install one or the other.
217 • Warning (by pera on 2011-02-27 08:06:25 GMT from Serbia)
Don't install Debian if you have laptop HP Compaq 6715b.I did it and I almost broke down laptop.During the work the laptop suddenly shuts down to prevent damage, because the CPU overheated.The fan is not rotates at all.
218 • Debian netinstall (by Fredn on 2011-02-27 08:59:44 GMT from United States)
The netinstall is the better way to get all updates and just the packages needed.
Similarly, the gui installer much time when the much more intuitive curses installer is still around. The Debian tui installer has got to be the easiest and most efficient way of putting an OS on your drive.
All that said I agree with your conclusion, the last paragraph in particular, as there are fresher systems around for your desktop that are generally stable enough for that use. For the server I think I might still prefer it to Ubuntu LTS, but it depends.
219 • somewhat in defense of Jesse (by Don Alfredo on 2011-02-27 15:12:42 GMT from Belgium)
thanks for the review;
Though i completely agree with post #18, i have no meaning at all adding oil on the fire...
as you stated in your review debian is all about stability and reliability,
so just in case you forgot where your webserver is hosted, here is its banner :
"HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2011 15:04:29 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.9 (Debian) mod_ldap_userdir/1.1.14 PHP/5.2.6-1+lenny9 with Suhosin-Patch mod_perl/2.0.4 Perl/v5.10.0
the above should say enough
i read DWW weekly , enjoy knowing what goes around ,keep my opinions to myself (most of the time), and stick to my own choices.
Can't wait to read a next review
220 • Debian\'s bugs (by Fredn on 2011-02-27 15:51:15 GMT from Netherlands)
Debian is buggy. The bottom panel will autohide, but won't come up except at the left bottom corner. A presentation opened in Open office would go partly below the bottom of the screen and won't come up. It cannot reboot. It cannot correctly see other distros in the grub flash screen. It heats the laptop fan. There are some more, but this is enough for now.
221 • re#220 bugs or PEBCAK? (by gnomic on 2011-02-28 04:05:07 GMT from New Zealand)
Can't comment on all points as I don't have Debian 6 to hand, presumably these remarks relate to a Gnome install. An app opening partly off screen. Er, perhaps ALT+SPACEBAR and move the window? Can't reboot? Open a terminal as root and #reboot or #shutdown -r? I think Debian tends to restrict a user's ability to reboot from the gui. Don't know about the GRUB thing, but is this actually a bug? It may be annoying, but an actual bug? As for overheating some unspecified laptop, report it to the devs? Of course you've checked on the web to see if anyone else has seen the problem, and whether there are some parameters that can be tuned for this hardware?
222 • Distress (by Jakecdr on 2011-02-28 06:20:20 GMT from United States)
Every mainstream developer appears to be quite jittery these days, as the date of release of Ubuntu is coming closer. Debian was worried and released too early, OpenSuse has too many bugs to be able to release by 9th March. LinuxMint released the KDE version too early too, as it has bugs. It appears that only the Arch, Gentoo and Slackware developers and their community is not at all disturbed by this situation.
Debian with its jealousy to Ubuntu is having jitters. OpenSuse, even though has its own dedicated users, still would like to take the market, and the biggest worrier is LinuxMint, who tried to move away from Ubuntu after making a name for itself by using Ubuntu!
There's be fireworks in April!
Number of Comments: 222
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
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|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 22.214.171.124, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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iMagic OS was a commercial desktop Linux distribution based on Kubuntu. Its major features are ease of use, bleeding-edge desktop, easy installation, and compatibility with Microsoft software.