Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:05 UTC
Debian and its clones FreeSoftwareMagazine takes a look at Debian as a desktop system, and they conclude: "I feel that Debian Etch is as good on the desktop as it is on the server. It has a long rich history, a strong community, is amazingly stable and is a great fit for both my servers and my laptop. I urge everyone to give it a go on the desktop."
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no multimedia though:-)
by djangoxl on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:25 UTC
djangoxl
Member since:
2006-03-10

Debian rocks, but I didn't manage to get the multimedia part working on it on my amd64 system. So skype, java, playing mp3, wmv and other files are not possible for me.

Reply Score: 1

RE: no multimedia though:-)
by Crono on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:36 UTC in reply to "no multimedia though:-)"
Crono Member since:
2006-11-08

Can't you just install the 32-bit packages of the programs to watch videos and listen to music?

Also, doesn't ffmpeg work on 64-bit systems? (I really don't know)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: no multimedia though:-)
by fsckit on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:51 UTC in reply to "RE: no multimedia though:-)"
fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

Technically yes, realistically probably not. Last I checked dpkg/apt was not capable of handling 32bit and 64bit packages on the same system like rpm systems do.

Reply Score: 5

RE: no multimedia though:-)
by Boldie on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:04 UTC in reply to "no multimedia though:-)"
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

No problems! oh well:
Add
http://ftp.debian-unofficial.org/debian/ and http://www.debian-multimedia.org to the sources list. If you would like Opera, Flash or Acrobat you have to (?) chroot it. Don't get scared! I manage to do it and I only got a year as a Linux noob.

I must say I like Debian. I've tried, and liked, Kanotix, Suse and Kubuntu but Debian Sid is the most stable dist so far!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: no multimedia though:-)
by Punktyras on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:08 UTC in reply to "no multimedia though:-)"
Punktyras Member since:
2006-01-07

Strange though...
Same position here - Debian 4 x86_64.
Most problems where solved with
dpkg -i --force-architecture some32bitprog.deb
Shame on Skype and Opera for not makeing 64 bit versions of their othervise wonderfull programs (esp. Opera).
I was astonished when I've tried to play wmv, or mov, or mpg or mp3 or DVD files - no problems at all. And no sound problems, which annoyed me.
Debian rocks. I love this game... i.e. distro ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: no multimedia though:-)
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:12 UTC in reply to "no multimedia though:-)"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

It is not just a Debian problem: it is an issue with most operating systems (except maybe for OS X, but we must wait for Leopard before we can really be sure. Also SUSE has one of the most mature 64 bit versions).
So I solve the problem the easy way: I install the 32 bit version.

Reply Score: 2

RE: no multimedia though:-)
by leech on Wed 6th Jun 2007 14:25 UTC in reply to "no multimedia though:-)"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I had been running AMD64 Debian Sid for quite awhile (I'm currently giving Fedora 7 a run for it's money, for some things I like it better (seems to have more games, etc packaged, especially xu4 (love Ultima 4)) and I had no problems getting all multimedia stuff working within a short period of time.

nspluginwrapper is what you need for flash, works flawlessly. Java web plugin works with the gcj version (though it's now quite as full-featured as Sun's so your mileage may vary). Skype you just need to --force-architecture. Also, I just snagged the ffmpeg from www.debian-multimedia.org and it supports wmv, wma, etc. I still don't have support for those under Fedora either (for some reason the one package of win32codecs I tried to install in it, wouldn't compile the package, and kept giving me an error. Not too familiar with rpms though, except the fact that usually they're slow and the db would get corrupted, but Fedora 7 so far has fixed the first issue.)

I really love Debian though. I think really the only thing so far that is keeping me playing with Fedora for more than a day or two is it seems to have some more packages made for it (as previously stated) Though I think I'll start working around getting some rpms converted to .debs ;)

Reply Score: 2

Switched
by kop316 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:34 UTC
kop316
Member since:
2006-07-01

I first used Debian on my laptop because it provided encryption for my hard drives by default, but for some reason I like the look and feel of Debian much more the Ubuntu.
I now only use Debian for my computers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Switched
by xfranky on Wed 6th Jun 2007 07:01 UTC in reply to "Switched"
xfranky Member since:
2006-09-19

Been using Debian as my desktop OS for the last 2 1/2 years and not looking back! ;)
Unstable does have its glitches sometimes, but using a mixed environment with the base system from testing and the 'bling' from unstable has been keeping me really happy for a long time!

Reply Score: 2

Lots of "bling"
by Crono on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:34 UTC
Crono
Member since:
2006-11-08

Or why would you use Synaptic on a Debian-system when aptitude is the recommended frontend? Even the Debian-developers say so.

The only reasons I can see are:
- "apt-get install" is faster than "aptitude install"
- Synaptic (which uses apt-get) is more "bling" ;-)
- You don't care if you have lots of orphaned packages on your system (or don't mind to remove them manually)
- You don't want to learn how to use aptitude's ncurses-frontend.

Seriously, it's not like there isn't any update-notifier which can run aptitude instead of Synaptic...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lots of "bling"
by BluenoseJake on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:49 UTC in reply to "Lots of "bling""
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I've never ran into lots of orphaned packages on my system, and have always used apt-get, both in Debian and Ubuntu. Synaptic is also a much sharper and more user-friendly app than Aptitude, and I am no CLI newbie.

Reply Score: 5

Debian is original, other are thieves
by rakamaka on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:35 UTC
rakamaka
Member since:
2005-08-12

Debian has contributed to linux world as a novel distro system, novel file management, novel configuration files, first distro which was easy-to-use, and have thousands of volunteers to make apt-get system functional on desktop as well as server.

Similar novel contributions are from Redhat, Slackware, SuSE, FreeBSD and I appreciate them as well

What is contribution of OSN darling Ubuntu (on novelty factor), knoppix etc? Can you list 10 vs debian or slack.
they just pack old wine in new bottle....

Edited 2007-06-05 19:37

Reply Score: 3

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

they just pack old wine in new bottle....


I thought that was CodeWeavers job!

Reply Score: 5

bradley Member since:
2007-03-02

HA.... Well said.

Reply Score: 1

helduel Member since:
2006-07-17

How can you steal Debian?

Reply Score: 1

more desktop shots
by linuxbeta on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:41 UTC
linuxbeta
Member since:
2007-04-23
Desktop
by Lengsel on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:43 UTC
Lengsel
Member since:
2006-04-19

I tried Debian 4 as a desktop/workstation, I did an FTP install of it, and found it smooth, consistent, and a lot more stable than any version of (K)Ubuntu I've ever tried. I also like how there is no branding in any of the software in Debian, they seem to just convert untouched source tarballs into .deb files and that's what you get. But I erased Debian awhile ago, I focus my energy on only BSD now, so I can't speak in regards to playing DVD's, P2P, in Debian, that kind of stuff.

Reply Score: 2

Debian stable/unstable
by IkeKrull on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:51 UTC
IkeKrull
Member since:
2006-01-24

With debian youre kind of caught between a rock and a hard place - either adopt the 'same packages for 5 years' debian stable, or risk breaking your machine on upgrade with unstable or testing.

When someone makes a mistake and your Debian unstable is rendered unbootable by a libreadline, glibc or some other problem, the response is 'what do you expect - don't run unstable if you want stability', but then until recently debian stable was so ancient in terms of package versions that it simply wasn't suitable for modern desktop use.

Things arent so bad right now because a new Debian stable has just been released, but in 2 years or so, the glacial pace of unstable -> stable migration will yet again make Debian useless as a desktop OS.

Ubuntu's 6 month 'stable' release schedule is addressing of a major problem with Debian on the desktop, and a big reason why people are abandoning it in droves for desktop use.

I can't think of a single reason that would make me go to Debian for my desktop PCs over Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by Crono on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:03 UTC in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
Crono Member since:
2006-11-08

...because Debian testing is just as "stable" as Ubuntu?
BTW, I just laughed some time ago, when an update for Ubuntu's Xorg was broken.

I didn't laugh because I am spiteful or something, but because I updated Debian unstable the same day and I got exactly the same error.

And that's why I think that someone who wants a stable and updated system is better off running Debian testing insted of Ubuntu. At least, if you don't mind putting a bit of time into it to get multimedia and such working.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by deanlinkous on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:05 UTC in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

uh....what is totally false, alec?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by anda_skoa on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:06 UTC in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

...or risk breaking your machine on upgrade with unstable or testing.


With apt-listbugs and apt-listchanges IMHO no more risk than updating other distributions.

I can't think of a single reason that would make me go to Debian for my desktop PCs over Ubuntu.


What about: release cycle based on your own schedule. Daily, weekly, monthly, you name it!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:52 UTC in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
When someone makes a mistake and your Debian unstable is rendered unbootable by a libreadline, glibc or some other problem, the response is 'what do you expect - don't run unstable if you want stability', but then until recently debian stable was so ancient in terms of package versions that it simply wasn't suitable for modern desktop use.
"""

You've kind of hit on what I used to call "The Debian Shell Game".

It goes like this:

---
New Debian User: I'm running Debian Stable, but everything is so *old*. Seems like the other distros always have stuff that isn't so ancient.

Debian Community: Just run Testing. We all use it. And it's more stable than the "supposedly" stable releases of other distros!

New Debian User: I'm running Testing and I've found all this stuff that is just broken. It's really causing me problems.

Debian Community: Well, Duh! If you run "Testing" you should expect that. That's why it's called "Testing" you goofus.

User of non-Debian Linux: Debian's packages are so old.

Debian Community: No they're not. We have stuff that even Fedora doesn't! (Speaking of Sid.)

Debian Community: Debian is the most rock solid Linux distribution on Earth! (Speaking of Stable.)
---

There was really no way, effectively, to make a criticism of Debian. Because Debian fans could just keep moving the shells around and you were mired in an eternal cycle of trying to describe which shell your criticism was about.

That worked before Debian had strong competition in its own back yard.

Now that they do, I can't help but notice that they are actually competing again, rather playing the shell game and hiding behind the "It's ready when it's ready" defense, year in and year out.

Ain't competition grand?

Being Free/Open Source does not protect an organization from complacence.

When competition (finally) knocks at the door, even the most revered of the Free Software players have to jump just like the rest of us.

I like that. :-)

Edited 2007-06-05 21:02

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by deanlinkous on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

All of that is true and accurate - and is perfectly understandable once you learn Debian. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Debian stable/unstable
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
All of that is true and accurate - and is perfectly understandable once you learn Debian. ;)
"""

It's perfectly understandable once you've been around the block a few times in the Linux community regardless of learning Debian or not. :-)

I'm from the RedHat/Fedora side of the fence. But I'll tell you what. Ubuntu has been a Godsend to the Debian world... including Debian itself.

I had tried Debian from time to time, but it never lasted more than a day on my desktop. I always went back to Redhat, and later, to Fedora.

But then, one day, I evaluated Ubuntu. And the evaluation went on for months and months, because there was no real hurry to switch back. And when I did go back to Fedora... it lasted about a day. I returned to Ubuntu.

I must say that apt-get and synaptic are nice. Not for the reasons that I usually see presented. After all, there really is no such thing as "RPM Hell" and there hasn't beeen for years.

But the package avalailability is really nice. And the speed of apt-get/synaptics is quite pleasant, even compared to the new, faster, yum based package management in FC7.

I still don't like some things, like network config, in the Debian world. But I have really gotten to like *some* Debianisms.

And that would never have happened if Debian had remained the sole "strong" player in its space.

Edited 2007-06-05 21:30

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by cato_minor on Wed 6th Jun 2007 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
cato_minor Member since:
2006-02-13

You do know the difference between Testing and Unstable? You'll find broken or temporarily unavailable packages only in Unstable. Testing consists of the well-tried packages of Unstable.

So people running Testing will have, after some delay, the desired updates they don't find in Stable. And if they complain that Testing is broken, they are perfectly right about that :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by da_Chicken on Thu 7th Jun 2007 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

"The Debian Shell Game" sounds like a cool game. It's almost identical with "The Ubuntu Upgrade Game" (or "Is It Yet Safe To Upgrade?") that we get to enjoy twice a year whenever a new Ubuntu release draws near. It goes like this:

New Ubuntu User: I'm running the latest stable Ubuntu release, but everything is so *old*. Seems like the other distros always have stuff that isn't so ancient.

Advanced Ubuntu User: Just install the latest alpha release and fire up Synaptic to get the latest and greatest Oo-BOON-too. I've tracked the development branch since day one with no problems whatsoever. It's rock solid!

New Ubuntu User: I've installed the latest alpha release and I've found all this stuff that is just broken. It's really causing me problems.

Advanced Ubuntu User: Well, Duh! If you install "alpha" you should expect that. That's why it's called "alpha" you goofus.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by melkor on Tue 5th Jun 2007 22:13 UTC in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Whilst some of what you're saying has a basis in truth, most of it is really bordering on FUD. I ran a Debian based mixed system (mostly stable, somet testing, some unstable and even some experimental!) and it ran fine for years. I was up to date with packages that counted to me, and it ran pretty stable, no more unstable than Microsoft Windows XP, no more unstable than other distributions from my experience.

Unstable isn't necessarily unstable in the sense, in fact, most unstable packages are the same packages that go into these "up to date" distros. If Debian unstable is unstable, then ergo, these other distros also are unstable.

Sure, you'll get some breakages in running a mixed system, sometimes you'll have to downgrade, or wait a few days/week until a new package hits unstable, but mostly, it works, and it works well.

I suggest you learn how to effectively use dpkg, apt-get, aptitude etc before piling blame on Debian. Oh, and Ubuntu would be NOTHING without Debian. NOTHING. It's amazing how many of your ungrateful Ubuntu users don't realise that, or even care. Typical ex-Windows refugees, you care more about yourself than the community.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by Terracotta on Wed 6th Jun 2007 07:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
Terracotta Member since:
2005-08-15

Claiming that Ubuntu has revived the debian community doesn't mean that people are ungratefull to debian. Ubuntu would indeed be nothing without the debian community, but it's also noteworthy that a lot of things changed positively for debian after ubuntu appeared in the distro-war.

There is nothing disrespectfull in what canonical is doing. Perhaps they only ice the cake, but the icing is quite good and simpel.

Besides the ubuntu community is known to be nice and helpfull towards newbies. Most of the time a lot of (k)ubuntu users turn to debian, and might stick to "the real thing", so a new ubuntu user might be a new debian user in the future.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Debian stable/unstable
by da_Chicken on Wed 6th Jun 2007 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Ubuntu would indeed be nothing without the debian community, but it's also noteworthy that a lot of things changed positively for debian after ubuntu appeared in the distro-war.

Things would have changed in Debian even without Ubuntu's appearance. The very first Ubuntu releases came out in October 2004 and April 2005. At that time Debian was struggling to get out their 3.0 release, which was originally planned for December 2003.

So Ubuntu appeared when Debian was in a very bad condition: packages in Stable were outdated and even the packages in Unstable were getting old. And I assume that Mark Shuttleworth hiring a bunch of top Debian developers and distracting their attention to another project didn't actually help things on the Debian side.

Ubuntu took packages from Unstable and the new installer that had been developed for Debian 3.0 and then they updated Gnome, X11, and a lot of the core system. The first Ubuntu releases were quite rough, actually, but the community greeted them with great enthusiasm because Ubuntu could offer an easy-to-install version of Debian with newer software.

Debian 3.0 was finally released in June 2005 and it had the same installer that clueless people had celebrated as an Ubuntu invention. But, due to the 18-months long release delay, Debian Sarge had ancient versions of software and it was no real competitor to Ubuntu that sported the latest Gnome and Xorg.

And that was the image that was propagated in numerous articles and reviews: Debian is outdated and difficult while Ubuntu is up-to-date and easy. After the 3.0 release was out the door, Debian started to make a very good and steady progress but this was only seen by the people who actually used the Unstable or Testing branches of Debian. And these Debian users had to deal with all forums full of newly-converted Ubuntu zealots who couldn't admit any weakness in Ubuntu and who loved to ridicule Debian for being so outdated and difficult.

Well, the Etch release shows people that Debian has advanced quite a lot since the Sarge release. And the next stable release will again lift Debian to a new higher level in ease-of-use. In the meanwhile, you can dist-upgrade your Etch installation to Lenny (the current Testing branch). Then you can update your packages every day if you so wish -- or you can update the packages only once every 6 months if you prefer the slow Ubuntu-style update cycle.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Debian stable/unstable
by Barnabyh on Wed 6th Jun 2007 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Debian stable/unstable"
Barnabyh Member since:
2006-02-06

Are you sure you're not talking about the 3.1 release? Otherwise spot on!
And, BTW, some people appreciate stable on the desktop, stable in the sense they don't have to upgrade all the time and know they only need to apply security updates for the next two years.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Debian stable/unstable
by da_Chicken on Wed 6th Jun 2007 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Debian stable/unstable"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Yes, I meant 3.1.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by ashigabou on Wed 6th Jun 2007 01:18 UTC in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
ashigabou Member since:
2005-11-11

Ubuntu's 6 month 'stable' release schedule is addressing of a major problem with Debian on the desktop, and a big reason why people are abandoning it in droves for desktop use.


Exactly. This is the one and only reason why I install ubuntu at work instead of debian, which have been my distribution of choice ever since I've used linux.

They also provide some good polishing for desktop not easily available on debian (which I don't care that much because I know linux well enough to make the changes by myself). Saying that you can get the same is totally missing the point: by default, ubuntu is more usable than debian for average people. I have never seen so many people who would have never tried linux otherwise trying ubuntu now, which is a really good thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by sbergman27 on Wed 6th Jun 2007 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Saying that you can get the same is totally missing the point: by default, ubuntu is more usable than debian for average people.
"""

Right on, ashigabou!

Ubuntu's success is Debian's success. And a huge compliment (and complement) to Debian and the Debian world.

Those who insist upon seeing Ubuntu as as threat, and viewing the interaction as a zero sum game, are holding back the revolution.

I'm 44 years old, and getting a bit set in my ways. But even *I* can see that.

One would think that the 20-something whippersnappers that are the driving force in this community would be a bit more flexible and see the *buntus as an opportunity to drive the Debian family forward and not as a threat.

Those who want a challenge can still get it by installing Debian and customizing to their heart's delight.

Or... if they *really* want to have some down and dirty fun, they can do what I've been doing lately and pick up a Linksys WRT54GL from Amazon or Newegg and have a blast playing with OpenWRT. A bit off-topic, I know. But those little boxes are the most exciting pieces of hardware that I've played with in a long time.

Reply Score: 2

re
by Oliver on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:55 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

Why toying with some wanna-be "Debians" if I can get the original? But hey it's freedom ;)

If you want real quality in Linux you have to go with Debian or Slack.

Reply Score: 4

RE: re
by spikeb on Tue 5th Jun 2007 23:13 UTC in reply to "re"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

bah, slackware is not real quality, it's crap.

Reply Score: 2

uh
by deanlinkous on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:13 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Debian is what you make it - if it is crap then you only have yourself to blame. Debian also has good "canned" default installs if you dont want to "roll your own"!

OVERALL I would say that Debian is the best distro out there. IMO overall it offers more choice, more flavors, and more options to be as bleeding as any, as stable as any(probably more), as cool as any, as slick as any - it is universal!

It is like a good spouse, sure you flirt with others, sure some have a better ass, sure some just flick-your-bic for a while but the one you want to come home to is Debian. (was that weird) ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: uh
by anda_skoa on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:16 UTC in reply to "uh"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

It is like a good spouse, sure you flirt with others, sure some have a better ass, sure some just flick-your-bic for a while but the one you want to come home to is Debian. (was that weird) ;)


Are spouse analogies the new car analogies? Are they slashdot-approved? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: uh
by Wemgadge on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:27 UTC in reply to "uh"
Wemgadge Member since:
2005-07-02

Better hope your wife doesn't read OSNEWS. lol

Reply Score: 4

RE: uh
by deanlinkous on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:05 UTC in reply to "uh"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

I guess I should of said "It is a like a good woman..."
The kind of woman you want for a spouse.

(hope that covers me and keeps me out of the doghouse) ;)

Edited 2007-06-05 21:06

Reply Score: 2

Etch rocks:-)
by hitest on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:45 UTC
hitest
Member since:
2006-10-28

I'm a huge fan of Debian; it is a rock-solid, bullet proof OS. I'm also a Slackware/FreeBSD user so stability, security is important to me.
I love the Internet install, it is fast, painless. You can also add the non-free repos if you want java and other codecs.
Debian has a winner in Etch:)

Reply Score: 5

Debian is where you end up
by alcibiades on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:52 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

Debian is where you resist going, and then at some point you realize its time to just do it, and when you have, you see no reason to change.

Yes, stable is very static. Wait a year and then switch to testing, is the way around that. Testing is pretty good, and after a year or so, I find critical problems are rare. On servers you might want to stay with stable but there are few showstoppers for desktops on testing.

Reply Score: 5

Debian as a Desktop
by SilentStorm on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:13 UTC
SilentStorm
Member since:
2006-09-22

You can use debian as a desktop (even the Testing/Unstable) without any risks of rendering it unbootable if you know what are you doing (I'm using it for a year I think. I installed it as a Etch Beta1 and it's lenny now. I've just upgraded it regularly).

It's noteworthy that debian unstable is stable enough for desktop systems or multimedia enabled workstations. I've seen some 80 days on my office desktop without any glitches. I've powered it down because we had a UPS maintenance which cut all the power in the office.

Also debian can be "multimedia enabled" without any external repositories but, it needs some work...

One must remember this: "debian is a kit-car. it's default installation is just a standard distro which is well built and may be a bit ugly. it is up to users' talent and curiosity to tune, adjust and shape it to the best distro on the world for their taste." so, don't play with debian if you are:

a- Expecting it to be like ubuntu OOB
b- Expecting it to be like windows OOB
c- Expecting it to be easy to start.

If you are curious about inner workings, console, tuning a system and patient enough to install/remove packages and work with technical aspects of an OS, try debian. But beware, it may be highly addictive.

But I beg you don't bash debian or linux just beacuse it's hard, ugly on default installation or you just can't use it. debian is just a distro and we have hundreds of them for who don't like hard ones like debian or slack so, try them and we have debian because others are not for some of the debian or slack users who love to play hard.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Article
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:20 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Very good article. I couldn't agree more. I share my loyalty between Debian, openSUSE and Mac OS X, although I am becoming increasingly aware that I prefer the Linux/KDE way of doing things.

Reply Score: 2

finally
by Zedicus on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:28 UTC
Zedicus
Member since:
2005-12-05

sumone giving some credit back to debian. instead of oh ubuntu, how you are our savior BS. ive tried tons of distros, including ubuntu's and it takes less work for me to start with a base debian install and end up with what i want then to start off with sumone elses idea of what they think peeple will want.

though Elive is a good start to a debian install it also remains completly debian compliant.

are you listening UBUNTU?!?

Reply Score: 2

RE: finally
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:37 UTC in reply to "finally"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
sumone giving some credit back to debian. instead of oh ubuntu, how you are our savior BS.
"""

Hey. If you bake a cake and then just throw it down in from of your guests, how much applause can you expect?

If your neigbor bakes a cake and gives it to you, and you ice and decorate it nicely, and then present it to your guests, how much applause can you expect?

Debian needs to think about icing its own cake.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: finally
by Zedicus on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: finally"
Zedicus Member since:
2005-12-05

the peeple who like debian would rather be handed the ingrediants and make their own cake.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: finally
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: finally"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
the peeple who like debian would rather be handed the ingrediants and make their own cake.
"""

Then I hope they enjoy it. I imagine that some of the cakes turn out quite beautifully.

But you can't really expect accolades for handing out flour, water, and baking powder.

And accolades were what you were asking for Debian in the post I was responding to.

I would be more inclined to compare desktop Debian to an unfinished cake than to the raw ingredients, though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: finally
by melkor on Tue 5th Jun 2007 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE: finally"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Tell you what, let's see Ubuntu NOT use ANY Debian packages for the next 3 years. See how far they get...

Dave

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: finally
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: finally"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Tell you what, let's see Ubuntu NOT use ANY Debian packages for the next 3 years. See how far they get...
"""

Why should they? Perhaps Debian should keep a few bits that they own proprietary to themselves to prevent other distros from competing effectively?

Debian is dedicated to Free Software, right?

I don't understand all the bitching from Debian fans when other distros compete effectively.

It's not like Canonical and Ubuntu advocates do not freely acknowledge that they are standing on the shoulders of giants.

Sometimes is seems like the further one journeys into Free Software land, the more jealous and petty are the people one meets.

Edited 2007-06-05 22:29

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: finally
by melkor on Tue 5th Jun 2007 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: finally"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

You miss the gist of my argument. If Ubuntu is that good, and that much better than Debian, and doesn't need Debian as you suggest, then let Ubuntu stand on its own 2 feet and make its own packages from scratch, rather than using Debian made packages. See how far they get then.

I'm not talking about Debian stopping others from using their packages btw. I'm talking about Ubuntu putting its money where its mouth is, and voluntarily ceasing to use Debian packages. They'll never do it, because Mark @ Ubuntu knows he'd have a really tough time and would lose ground really quickly.

Dave

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: finally
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: finally"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
If Ubuntu is that good, and that much better than Debian,

...

I'm not talking about Debian stopping others from using their packages btw. I'm talking about Ubuntu putting its money where its mouth is, and voluntarily ceasing to use Debian packages.
"""

Either what Ubuntu does is trivial or it's not.

If it's trivial, then Debian could easily match, and considering the size of the Debian developer base, exceed it.

If it is not trivial... then considering the size of the Debian developer base, one would think that they could exceed it even more quickly.

Ubuntu appeared out of nowhere, and gained a reputation for polish and attention to detail. No one denies that they did it by building upon the work of the Debian devs.

Still, some Debian fanatics seem very resentful of Ubuntu's success.

I don't respect that attitude. Not at all.

It is petty. And very much in conflict with the cooperative spirit of FOSS.

I imagine that most Debian users are cool with the idea of successful Debian-based distros. And that it is a vocal minority within that community which wails about anything Debian-based which turns out to be successful.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: finally
by Zedicus on Wed 6th Jun 2007 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: finally"
Zedicus Member since:
2005-12-05

i dont mind that ubuntu is popular. i do mind that they pee in the stream though. they break debian compatibility and the patches they push up stream more often hurt the debian base becuz of different versions. NO other debian based distro pulls crap like.

AND every other debian based distro takes pride in acknowledging its based on debian. ubuntu barely admits this and gives no credit back to the mother distro, ubuntu would not and could not exhist with out the YEARS of work thouse peeple have spent.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: finally
by sbergman27 on Wed 6th Jun 2007 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: finally"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
i dont mind that ubuntu is popular. i do mind that they pee in the stream though. they break debian compatibility
"""

Earth to Zedicus... Earth to Zedicus...

Debian is not the only strong .deb based distro in the world now.

Who is to say that Debian does not break Ubuntu compatibility? After all, there are more Ubuntu users than Debian users, now.

I really think that it is time to stop worrying about maintaining supremacy, and start worrying more about working together effectively.

Isn't that what we all want, after all?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: finally
by Morin on Wed 6th Jun 2007 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: finally"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Sometimes is seems like the further one journeys
> into Free Software land, the more jealous and petty
> are the people one meets.

Let me tell you... no. Everybody knows that Ubuntu is based on Debian, and would be nothing without it. The Ubuntu guys are enjoying their rights they have been granted (by Debian being free software) to build a product (which many would call better), as an act to benefit the community. That's exactly how it should be.

If people who don't like this course continue bitching around how ungrateful the Ubuntu devs and community are, then this has nothing to do with free software.

Reply Score: 1

I switched...
by BluenoseJake on Tue 5th Jun 2007 21:46 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

from Kubuntu Edgy to Etch, and I have to say it seriously kicks, everything is easier to configure, and a lot of things just worked, where I always had to fight with Kubuntu for things like my video card.

Reply Score: 4

Good stuff
by moleskine on Tue 5th Jun 2007 22:35 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

There aren't many articles on desktop Debian so I was pleased to see this one. It struck me as very fair though perhaps a little optimistic.

In my experience, Debian Stable dates too quickly to be ideal for the desktop except for, perhaps, 3-6 months after first release. Testing is really better for a desktop and usually has very few issues. Once you know your way around Debian then Unstable is pretty OK too and is very up to the minute. Unstable does go through dodgy periods in my experience, but that's when apt-listbugs and apt-changelog come in. Running those two will give you the option of aborting an install or update of software with critical or grave bugs still outstanding.

Debian issues everything as "plain vanilla" so it does require a bit more work to get a nice desktop with decent eyecandy and everything "just the way you like it". However, I've never found it that much work and it's quite instructive anyway. Where ready-made distros score, though, is on things like ACPI, hibernation/sleep, wifi and more complicated stuff. This requires a lot more sorting out than eyecandy and distros like OpenSuSE (and I expect Ubuntu) do all or most of it for you.

On the other hand, you can argue that the work done or inspired by distros like Ubuntu and OpenSuSE is now filtering through to Debian. In fact this article shows that, when it talks of the Gnome Network Manager and of stuff like Automatix adapted for Debian. In this sense, Ubuntu has been good for Debian despite all the rancour. I suspect that Debian would not have added these user-friendly options to the desktop had not the work already been done by others, and had not the success of Ubuntu (and of OpenSuSE) put general pressure on all distros to raise their desktop game.

I've been running Debian as my daily desktop for about three years now and really don't see any point in changing. I've found the "Debian Way" distinctly superior to rpm. It's not only apt and dpkg, but Debian's modular approach to packaging and where config files go in /etc/. It's the many, many neat little touches and helper scripts that have grown up over the years, even if that just means an easy way to enable or disable Apache modules for your webserver or auto-generate an ssl certificate for Exim. It's also Debian's strict packaging guidelines which mean quality stuff and overall creamy smoothness to the whole OS. Debian is no slouch. And it's the fact that becoming a Debian Developer means training over time: yup, real hard work and you have to want it.

Finally, there is the ideal behind the whole Debian Project: a universal operating system free in every sense to anyone anywhere who wants it. This is a noble ideal that's worth sticking up for, imho. No disrespect to Ubuntu, but the efforts of a single philanthropist will never compare with that, no matter how well his efforts are intended (and they are impeccably well intended, I'm sure). Debian is the high point of Linux for me, and is one of the high points of computing generally - but you can like Debian while also liking and respecting Ubuntu, I think. There should be space for both.

For all that, if you want a fairly easy "click and go" desktop then Debian probably isn't right and maybe something like Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS would be far better. But if you want a bit more and are prepared to invest a bit of time in learning, then Debian can't be beat.

Reply Score: 5

diamond
by netpython on Wed 6th Jun 2007 09:37 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

debian is a diamond.Ubuntu just cut the rough edges away.

Reply Score: 2

RE: diamond
by sbergman27 on Wed 6th Jun 2007 16:49 UTC in reply to "diamond"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
debian is a diamond.Ubuntu just cut the rough edges away.
"""

I like that analogy.

Just because some of us like Ubuntu, don't think that we don't realize how important the Debian core is.

Sometimes, some of the Debian advocates come off as a bit thin-skinned. Like the person or persons who systematically modded my comments about Debian down. (I'm not complaining. Just noting the phenomenon.)

There is really no need to be so defensive. Most of us have a deep appreciation for the work that went into creating the solid core that Ubuntu is built upon.

Seems like the Debian and Ubuntu devs have pretty well made up and found a way to work well together. Perhaps it's time that the respective fans did the same.

As I've said in previous posts, I come from a non-debian background, and my Ubuntu use has greatly *increased* my respect and awareness of Debian.

I hesitate to say that Ubuntu put Debian on the map, because that would likely offend some people. But in a very real way, for many of us, it did.

And I think that is a good thing for everyone.

And by that, I do mean everyone. Debian users, Ubuntu users, users of other distros, MacOS users, BeOS users, and Windows users, all to different degrees.

A strong desktop Linux distro that makes some waves helps all of these people, with varying degrees of directness or indirectness.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: diamond
by da_Chicken on Wed 6th Jun 2007 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE: diamond"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

I hesitate to say that Ubuntu put Debian on the map, because that would likely offend some people. But in a very real way, for many of us, it did.

Saying that "Ubuntu put Debian on the map" would be a false statement, which is good enough reason to not say it. A long time before Ubuntu was started Debian was already well-known for its high quality and also for its commitment to free software. Debian's good reputation in the free software community gives any new Debian-based distro a head start.

BTW, I've noticed that Ubuntu has recently removed the information about their continuing Debian dependency from the ubuntu.com web site. And Shuttleworth has recently given several interviews where he states that Ubuntu has now become Debian's upstream distro. Maybe these changes in attitude reflect the fact that Canonical/Ubuntu has noticed Debian's progress and they now consider Debian as a worthy competitor?

Anyway, despite all that lame "UbuntuLinux is for humans" (and other distros are for animals?) propaganda, there are some noteworthy differences between the main goals of Debian and Ubuntu. Ubuntu is primarily an instrument for Canonical to make some more money but Debian is primarily a non-profit effort by volunteer programmers to provide a free (as in freedom) high quality operating system for all kinds of users and all kinds of hardware platforms -- the Universal Operating System. Debian has a "social contract" and "free software guidelines" (which are the basis of OSI's "open source" definition) that Ubuntu lacks.
http://www.debian.org/social_contract
http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: diamond
by chris_dk on Thu 7th Jun 2007 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: diamond"
chris_dk Member since:
2005-07-12

And Shuttleworth has recently given several interviews where he states that Ubuntu has now become Debian's upstream distro.

Can we see a link or are you just making it up?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: diamond
by sbergman27 on Thu 7th Jun 2007 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: diamond"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Saying that "Ubuntu put Debian on the map" would be a false statement, which is good enough reason to not say it. A long time before Ubuntu was started Debian was already well-known for its high quality and also for its commitment to free software. Debian's good reputation in the free software community gives any new Debian-based distro a head start.
"""

I don't think that Debian *wants* to be Ubuntu. As much as I like Ubuntu, it does, in a way, aim to be the AOL of distros. (It occurs to me that what I just said might seem disrespectful to the many extemely helpful and knowloedgable people on the Unbutu forums, and for that I appologize. But it is Ubuntu's aim to be a Linux for regular folks.)

Anyway, in pondering the issue of Ubuntu's effect on the Debian family of distros, I cobbled together this chart of distrowatch page hits per day from 2002 to the present for the distros which are the top eight today.

Sure, distrowatch statistics and sodium chloride go together like fish 'n chips.

But I thought someone might be interested.

http://68.229.195.96:8080/distrowatch_chart.png

Reply Score: 2

uh
by deanlinkous on Wed 6th Jun 2007 11:42 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

I dont feel that ubuntu *competition* caused Debian to *improve* and become better. Some of the work from ubuntu has went back into debian and improved some aspects of Debian but Debian was and is always improving.

Debian had some growing pains, and didnt have the needed infrastructure to manage the accelerated pace that has occured in free-software land. That slowed things down a while and caused problems but the etch release shows that Debian has improved where it needed to improve and is rocking and rolling.

Sure a new project can hit the ground running and look great doing it - but Debian has staying power and is ready to roll.

Debian won't be doing deals, Debian won't close the doors, Debian won't have any motives beyond making a OS! Isn't that a good feeling....

Reply Score: 4

Power user desktop
by situation on Wed 6th Jun 2007 15:39 UTC
situation
Member since:
2006-01-10

As with Slackware, Debian just takes a bit more initial investment to get up and running as a desktop system, but pays off by having less hassle in the long run. So it makes a great system for a power user who wants to work their own way, on their own schedule, with their own tools.

Browser: Links (1.00pre19; Linux 2.4.33.3 i686; 84x42)

Reply Score: 3