Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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Angry Rant Reviews present
by Vanders on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:32 UTC
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.

My new job has required me to go back to Redhat after a year of Debian. It's so painful it almost brings tears to my eyes. Just configuring the network on a Redhat system is a nightmare compared to Debian, and the least said about RPM, Yum and the woeful amount of software in the RHEL repositories, the better.

Show me an *actual* review of Debian 6 being installed on decent server class hardware, or an actual review with constructive criticism in it, and I might care.

Reply Score: 25

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by project_2501 on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:34 UTC in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

.. well volunteered .. look forward to reading your review.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by WorknMan on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:52 UTC in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.


To be fair though, if I'd have had the same experience as the author, I would've posted the exact same thing, except my rant would've had a lot more profanities in it. This is 2011, not 1995.

As for the network issue, I have learned long ago that the best thing to do is to have a USB wireless NIC handy for times when I run into a machine (mine or somebody else's) who's NIC can't be recognized by the OS. Sure, it cost me about $30, but it has more than paid for itself by saving me a lot of headaches.

I'm not a Linux user, but on Windows, I'll use my wireless USB adapter to hit driveragent.com and download drivers for the NIC in the machine, as well as all other drivers I need. I'm guessing Linux has something similar. (If it doesn't, it should.) Not being able to get online because the network card isn't recognized is not a problem we need to deal with anymore.

Edited 2011-03-17 23:54 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 02:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

To be fair though, if I'd have had the same experience as the author, I would've posted the exact same thing, except my rant would've had a lot more profanities in it. This is 2011, not 1995.


Right you are, and I've had a similar experience with Debian 6. In fact, I'd say Slackware is now easier to install than Debian, and it still has the old school non-X installer. At least Slackware recognized both of my (fully supported in the kernel since 2.6.20-something) wireless cards, whereas Debian 6 choked on both.

As for the network issue, I have learned long ago that the best thing to do is to have a USB wireless NIC handy for times when I run into a machine (mine or somebody else's) who's NIC can't be recognized by the OS. Sure, it cost me about $30, but it has more than paid for itself by saving me a lot of headaches.


I do the same; I have a USB wireless dongle based on an RaLink chipset with full support in the Linux kernel. For Windows and Mac OS, I keep the relevant installer files on a thumb drive I also carry everywhere.

I'm not a Linux user, but on Windows, I'll use my wireless USB adapter to hit driveragent.com and download drivers for the NIC in the machine, as well as all other drivers I need. I'm guessing Linux has something similar. (If it doesn't, it should.) Not being able to get online because the network card isn't recognized is not a problem we need to deal with anymore.


You may be interested to know that current versions of the Linux kernel have built in support for virtually all wired network chipsets out there, as well as many of the most popular wireless cards today. Specifically the Atheros cards used in many laptops today, some of the RaLink cards in laptops and available in USB dongles, and some Intel chipsets. This is why I was so perplexed that Debian didn't recognize and autoconfigure a wireless card that Ubuntu picks up right away, and Slackware only requires me to issue two terminal commands to use.

Reply Score: 5

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

You may be interested to know that current versions of the Linux kernel have built in support for virtually all wired network chipsets out there, as well as many of the most popular wireless cards today.


That's great and all, but what about everything else? Do they have the equivalent of a package manager for hardware, where you can hit a website, have it scan your machine, and give you a list (with download links) for all the drivers you need? That's what driveragent.com does on Windows.

Granted, it costs like $30 a year, but if you're the default tech support for friends/family like I am, it pays for itself the very first time you use it ;)

Reply Score: 2

B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

"You may be interested to know that current versions of the Linux kernel have built in support for virtually all wired network chipsets out there, as well as many of the most popular wireless cards today.


That's great and all, but what about everything else? Do they have the equivalent of a package manager for hardware, where you can hit a website, have it scan your machine, and give you a list (with download links) for all the drivers you need? That's what driveragent.com does on Windows.
"

Yes, that's what the previous poster is trying to tell you: it is called "the Linux kernel".

Make sure your USB NIC is supported by Linux out-of-the-box (same as you make sure that your USB NIC is supported by MS Windows out-of-the-box) and you are good. Configure your USB NIC (if you are on DHCP, no further action is required, same as in MS Windows) and hit your local sources.list, add non-free and apt-get the firmware-<your-NIC> or just apt-get firmware-non-free, which will download and install all non-free binary blobs out there. That's all.

BTW, for MS Windows I prefer devid.info ;)

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The actually do sort of have that:

http://kmuto.jp/debian/hcl/

Paste in the results of "lspci -n" using any handy liveCD distro. It tells you what the hardware really is, if it's supported and what the driver is. Drivers listed are available in the repositories so then you just apt-get/aptitude/synaptic in the applicable package.

Even if it's not a Debian install I'm doing, I'll visit this site for a good list of hardware details.

It's not pretty with the latest flash and java applet but it works well.

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

This is why I was so perplexed that Debian didn't recognize and autoconfigure a wireless card that Ubuntu picks up right away

Most wireless chips require a firmware blob to work. Debian considers these blobs to be non-free and thus against the Debian mandate and ineligible for inclusion with Debian proper, being relegated to the non-free repo. As a result the standard system, which does not include non-free, does not have them.

Do you remember the announcement last year that Debian finally had an entirely Free kernel? That's directly related: They got a Free kernel by packing all of the non-free blobs into a separate repo and making them optional (albeit that some things wont work without them).

Ubunutu doesn't give a damn about freeness of firmware, though it should, and is happy to ship the firmware with its standard install disc. Thus, Ubuntu (and slackware) will Just Work, whereas Debian will take a little more effort (aka "install firmware after the system is up"). And, in fact, Debian only requires one terminal command to begin using the firmware for any given card (if you know which card): apt-get install firmware-$whatever, where $whatever is your driver. This presumes that you opted to include non-free repos at or after install time.

Edited 2011-03-18 12:40 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I keep having to repeat myself; does no one read other comments than the one they single out to reply to? For the third time: My card has open source drivers from the manufacturer, and has been fully supported in the kernel for some time now. No firmware blobs needed.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick!

Reply Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Please identify your wireless chipset and driver.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Okay since you don't want to bother scrolling up (or down, I'm replying from email so I don't know where in the comment stream this is): RaLink RT2870. For the fourth fucking time.

Reply Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

Funny how you complain that people don't read, but you don't take the time to do a little research? I just did a quick search in Google: RaLink RT2870 debian.

The first result links to a page with the explanation. The firmware was removed from kernel version 2.6.30, not because of a mysterious, weird reason, but because (according to Debian's standards) it contains non-free code. You may or may not agree with their politics, but there IS a reason, and that reason is what other people have been telling you since the beginning. It took me about less than 30 seconds to find it.

So, who's the "lazy" one?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by shmerl on Fri 18th Mar 2011 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

> I have a USB wireless dongle based on an RaLink
> chipset with full support in the Linux kernel.
Which one is that? I tried several ones 'fully supported' ralniks, but they have lot's of issues with my router (just wouldn't connect at all).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I actually have two, the one that is the subject of this heated discussion is the RT2870. It seems to have no issues whatsoever with any router I've connected to with it. My other one is built in to my HP Slimline desktop; it's an RT2500. It is also (barring Debian) fully supported by Linux, and the only issue I've had with it is low signal compared to the other. That could be an issue with the external antenna though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by riversj on Fri 18th Mar 2011 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
riversj Member since:
2011-03-18

I have 3 different Ralink based USB NIC's, with a 2500, a 2571, and a 2870 based chipset.
The drivers included in every kernel in every distro I have ever hopped to are pardon my language, total crap.
Anyone who has used one of these NIC's for more than an hour knows what I'm talking about (A quick google search can be enlightening). Low signal levels, and frequent disconnects requiring the module being unloaded and reloaded. Being the cheap ass I am buying a Atheros based NIC isn't in my agenda so my solution has been to obtain the driver source from Ralink themselves (http://www.ralinktech.com), these drivers are rock solid and why they are not included in the kernel I don't know, maybe someone else can enlighten me.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I have 3 different Ralink based USB NIC's, with a 2500, a 2571, and a 2870 based chipset.
The drivers included in every kernel in every distro I have ever hopped to are pardon my language, total crap.


As a fellow owner of a Ralink card I understand completely. It's a total mystery to me Why Linux has such shitty support for Ralink. There are constant calls for companies to publish full hardware specs and sample drivers and then the manufacturers that do are not supported? WTf?
BSD has had great support for Ralink for years (in fact, that's why I got it. Cheap and supported!) and for some reason Linux still doesn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Morgan on Sat 19th Mar 2011 04:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That's interesting, I've noticed infrequent disconnects with the 2870 but the 2500 has been rock-solid in Ubuntu and Slackware using the kernel drivers. In fact, I've noticed that in Windows 7 on the same machine, I have less signal with the 2500 than in Linux, as well as occasional disconnects, while the 2870 is stable and has good signal strength under 7.

I find it quite odd that each chip performs the opposite in Windows as in Linux. Anyway, between the two (the 2500 is built into the computer, the 2870 is USB) I have a good working connection in most operating systems.

Reply Score: 2

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

You may be interested to know that current versions of the Linux kernel have built in support for virtually all wired network chipsets out there, as well as many of the most popular wireless cards today. Specifically the Atheros cards used in many laptops today, some of the RaLink cards in laptops and available in USB dongles, and some Intel chipsets. This is why I was so perplexed that Debian didn't recognize and autoconfigure a wireless card that Ubuntu picks up right away, and Slackware only requires me to issue two terminal commands to use.


Linux contains support for many chipsets, but don't plan on using any usb dongle if you don't know positively it's supported(ID included in kernel driver).

I had to make a kernel module on a LiveCD using GPL source(that doesn't even build as is) from some seedy site(the chipset vendor's) just to be able to install Linux Mint. An that is the open'est mainstream vendor. Another "GPL" dongle I happened to have around would just panic the kernel.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

He chose to do it all the hard way.. I'm surprised he didn't base the review on the text installer interface instead of hte GUI overlay.

I don't even install Windows with the expectation of wireless right off the bat. The wifi manufacturers have insured that it's a mess to deal with. His wired nic should have been detected without a hickup. dhcp would then have had his network config'd without a second hickup. He may have also considered using the isntaller image that actually included the non-free firmware; if there was a firmware for his wifi NIC, it should have been there.

(I do think that Debian should include more driver and firmware support by default but it's never been hard to deal with when drivers/firmware are not included initially by default.)

He's had other reviews recently which where equally as bent on finding fault rather than providing constructive critisism though which casts this one in a poor light from the onset for me.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Lennie on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:01 UTC in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Sounds like the person doing the review wasn't the target audience. ;-)

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by mrstep on Fri 18th Mar 2011 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Angry Rant Reviews present"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

True. I can't wait to have my parents install it instead of some evil 'proprietary' product from Microsoft or Apple. If they were into the idea of replacing the firmware on various devices in their machines with open source replacements, guessing what a WEP key is (and why their current WiFi password isn't working), etc., this would be fantastic.

This is exactly why Linux in general is never going to take over anything - the target audience is the 1% already using it. :/ (And I know there are easier-to-install distros, but even then you get your package managers, questions about KDE & Gnome, and god knows what else... just never going to be a real replacement desktop OS.)

Reply Score: 0

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

True. I can't wait to have my parents install it instead of some evil 'proprietary' product from Microsoft or Apple. If they were into the idea of replacing the firmware on various devices in their machines with open source replacements, guessing what a WEP key is (and why their current WiFi password isn't working), etc., this would be fantastic.

This is exactly why Linux in general is never going to take over anything - the target audience is the 1% already using it. :/ (And I know there are easier-to-install distros, but even then you get your package managers, questions about KDE & Gnome, and god knows what else... just never going to be a real replacement desktop OS.)


And...?

Reply Score: 2

supercompman Member since:
2008-09-14

And may I ask just how many times your parents have installed ANY OS from scratch? At most, people usually just throw in their system restore disks they get from their manufacturer (or press a key on start up to begin restore). Maybe your parents do install Windows from scratch, but honestly, even then they have to worry about drivers, wireless network encryption, etc... Honestly, for most people comfortable enough to install any OS completely from scratch, setting up Linux is usually no more difficult. For people who aren't comfortable setting up an OS from scratch, someone else does it for them. My parents, who would never in a million years install an OS by themselves on their computer, have been running Ubuntu for about six years now. I got tired of fixing problems in Windows for them. And you know what? They're quite happy with Ubuntu and I can go for months on end without a single call saying "hey, this needs to get fixed". The only time they have had issues with their computer was when hardware was failing on it. No viruses, no programs that just magically stopped working, printers with drivers that just wouldn't install, etc. Debian is obviously not the right fit for them, but don't say for a second that Linux as a whole is not ready for mainstream use.

Reply Score: 2

crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

This is exactly why Linux in general is never going to take over anything - the target audience is the 1% already using it. :/ (And I know there are easier-to-install distros, but even then you get your package managers, questions about KDE & Gnome, and god knows what else... just never going to be a real replacement desktop OS.)


I know I shouldn't fall for this one but those easier-to-install distros make decisions like which window manager/package manager to use for you - it's one of the reasons they are easier to install. And do you really expect to be taken seriously if you make a statement dismissing all types of something with an untested criticism aimed at just one? Isn't that like me dismissing Windows because the cut-down version supplied with an OEM PC was up to my expextations?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Lennie on Fri 18th Mar 2011 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I just think Debian is not intended for that audience.

Some Debian derived distribution like Ubuntu is much more suited for that audience.

Actually I know so, my parents don't have a mac or windows, they have a laptop with Ubuntu LTS. And this works just fine and has been for years.

No they did not do the installation, but they can not install Windows either.

If I do the installation or they buy it preinstalled from the shop it would suit them just fine.

Reply Score: 3

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I just think Debian is not intended for that audience.

Some Debian derived distribution like Ubuntu is much more suited for that audience.

Actually I know so, my parents don't have a mac or windows, they have a laptop with Ubuntu LTS. And this works just fine and has been for years.

No they did not do the installation, but they can not install Windows either.

If I do the installation or they buy it preinstalled from the shop it would suit them just fine.


Can somebody explain me something? You are one of a few who said: Debian is not for my parents, but Ubuntu is. But I installed it (and I suppose you maintain it).
So if you installed Debian, where was the difference?
One might think that the problem lies with you, rather than with your parents.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Lennie on Sat 19th Mar 2011 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Ubuntu seems to be more focused on setting up the desktop in such a way that everything is where a user probably expects it to be. And the software is and needs to be more up to date than on the server.

With Debian the desktop users are more of a second-class citizen I think or atleast should be familiar with Debian.

I do run Debian servers and everything is exactly where I would expect it to be. No surprises. A lot less updates other than security fixes and hardware support means very little work for admins. Because things which don't upgrade don't break.

So I think server users are the first-class citizens for Debian.

An example if your Apache is 36 months old you might not even notice. But if your Firefox is 36 months old you might be missing out on a lot of stuff.

It's kind of like RHEL isn't really targeted at the desktop either. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Lennie on Sat 19th Mar 2011 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Maybe I should add:

I prefer using the terminal to change things because it is faster if you know how and more predictable, easier to repeat (on many servers for example) or script (even better if you deal with many servers) and so on.

So as a knowledgable user I know how to use Debian to it's full potential.

A desktop user does not need or want all that. With Ubuntu on the desktop I still have the option to do that because most of what is under the hood is done the Debian anyway.

Reply Score: 3

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

You (and I, and others) keep mentioning Ubuntu as the "friendly Debian" alternative, but probably what should be mentioned instead is Mint Debian Edition. It has all the advantages of stock Debian, in that it pulls from Debian repositories directly, but overcomes that first-install horror. It's Debian plus some packages plus some friendliness; the perfect desktop IMO.

Reply Score: 4

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu seems to be more focused on setting up the desktop in such a way that everything is where a user probably expects it to be. And the software is and needs to be more up to date than on the server.

With Debian the desktop users are more of a second-class citizen I think or atleast should be familiar with Debian.



On average it takes me 2 or 3 hours to install Debian from scratch, including all necessary software, proprietary drivers and plugins and some customization.

Once done it can be used for years by users without too many pretences such as "parents". All that is needed is the security updates.

After all so many people are still using a 10 years old OS, Windows XP.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If you haven't already, you can probably shave much off that install time by using some basic bash scripts.

one to copy a modified source.list, retrieve repository keyrings and any other "repo setup" stuff.

one to install your choice of packages

#!/bin/bash
aptitude install \
vim less \
openssh-server \

and so on. I use rows to group similar categories of packages but the "\" lets me wrap the lines so I can read wtihout panning right and left.

one to generate your certificates and copy them in place since they should exist before heavy config happens.

one to do the heavy config once certificates are in place. This can easily be a combination of pre-modified config files copied into place, sed replacements or whatever other scripting tricks you can use to edit config files and reduce what must be pre-modified and copied over.

after all that

one to run regularily to do package updates and maintenance.

Granted, this isn't how I setup a new user but this is how I build out there system for them along with any of my own systems or servers. Makes dev systems easily repeatable and production systems quick to rebuild. It's actually faster to rerun my build scripts than to fetch the drive image from the backup locker.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Terg on Fri 18th Mar 2011 02:27 UTC in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
Terg Member since:
2010-02-24

What you just saw *is* an actual review. You're dismissing it based on the fact that you don't want people bad-talking your favorite OS. Cuz if there's something bad about what you like, then there must be something wrong with you.

Can't have that now can we?

Reply Score: 5

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

It's a whiny blog post. This has nothing to do with criticism of Debian.

Let me summarize the article.

"They used old code that works and not new code that doesn't. Massive FAIL!"
"They don't include proprietary blobs. Why isn't my poorly chosen hardware not working?"
"You mean I actually have to config stuff?"
"My network didn't work. Waaa... I quit!"

That is all he had to write.

This is an installation article. Props to the author for using actual hardware rather then a VM, but did the world really need this? What did the world gain by someone whining about a bad installation experience and failing to investigate or provide any sort of analysis of the problem? I may be being too harsh, but I expect technical articles to have technical details in them. I can go read clueless drivel countless other places; it's nothing special.

Reply Score: 6

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

...and as soon as people realize that they should not have their computer do as much work for them as possible, but that they need to be in control and master their own machines, the year of Linux on the desktop will finally be upon us. ;P

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by mrstep on Fri 18th Mar 2011 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Exactly. Man was I upset when I turned the key and my car started... no choke, clutchless manual transmission, or starter crank handle.

Reply Score: 3

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I'm not bagging on automation. I like that Fedora works on my stuff out of the box, and I don't have to worry about messing with wpa_supplicant. It saves me time, and it's the reason I use it over FreeBSD on my desktops and laptops.

This Debian. This isn't Ubuntu or Mint which strive for perfect installs; People should expect to do some work when installing Debian. Adding wizards strips the power and obfuscates configurations, Red Hat is really bad about this, so it's nice to have distros that are just barebones.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by ferrix on Fri 18th Mar 2011 22:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
ferrix Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought the whole point of computers was to do as much work for us as possible!

and yes, I run Linux on my systems, I have for years. But having gone through the 'pioneer' days in the 90s and having messed around with Gentoo, Arch etc, nowadays I'm perfectly happy to use Linux Mint - because it just installs and does what I need straight out of the box. I've come to the conclusion life's too short to spend it installing obscure drivers and codecs just to watch that youtube clip.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by mrstep on Fri 18th Mar 2011 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Yeah, he didn't pick his hardware correctly, that's surely the right answer for Debian. I think the complaint was that everything needed to be manually configured starting with the damned firmware - what the hell kind of install is that?

It's a perfectly valid (attempted) review - a reason someone shouldn't even consider reaching for this installer unless they specifically need it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Vanders on Fri 18th Mar 2011 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the complaint was that everything needed to be manually configured starting with the damned firmware - what the hell kind of install is that?


Complaining about the lack of proprietary firmware on the install image, when installing a distribution which is widely known and very vocal about the fact that it does not ship proprietary firmware, is ridiculous.

It's about as interesting as "reviewing" Arch Linux and lambasting it for following a rolling release schedule, or noting that RHEL seems to be particularly well suited to servers.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by mrstep on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

What, his card didn't already have a firmware? It needed another firmware because whoever is building this decided that you can't have an open driver on top of a non-open-source firmware. I get that Stallman and a couple of other people on the planet are purists/zealots to that degree, and if Debian is intended to be for the mullahs issuing anti-anything-proprietary fatwahs and their devout followers, I guess that's fine, just don't expect it to ever have a wider take-up. But don't expect glowing reviews when the installer starts picking out hardware that looks 'impure' to it either.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Vanders on Fri 18th Mar 2011 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Angry Rant Reviews present"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

What, his card didn't already have a firmware?


Most cards require the firmware to be loaded at run time, yes.

just don't expect it to ever have a wider take-up.


I'm fairly sure that Debian are doing just fine and don't particularly need to worry about "wider take-up".

But don't expect glowing reviews when the installer starts picking out hardware that looks 'impure' to it either.


Except that's not what has happened.

Look, it's not like I haven't complained about this myself before. Doing a remote install on a server with chips like the Broadcom NetExtreme II in them can be interesting, for example. It's still churlish to complain about it when Debian are utterly up front about it and their reasons for doing it.

Reply Score: 5

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

It's a whiny blog post. This has nothing to do with criticism of Debian.

Let me summarize the article.

"They used old code that works and not new code that doesn't. Massive FAIL!"
"They don't include proprietary blobs. Why isn't my poorly chosen hardware not working?"
"You mean I actually have to config stuff?"
"My network didn't work. Waaa... I quit!"

That is all he had to write.

This is an installation article. Props to the author for using actual hardware rather then a VM, but did the world really need this? What did the world gain by someone whining about a bad installation experience and failing to investigate or provide any sort of analysis of the problem? I may be being too harsh, but I expect technical articles to have technical details in them. I can go read clueless drivel countless other places; it's nothing special.

I think is one of the most accurate summaries of the "review" - who the hell modded it down?

The review fails right at the beginning - the author is confused by the variety of available images. Than he just takes a shot at one of them! Well, you can't get any more clueless than that.. Debian is explicitly aimed at users who are willing to clue in, get the information they need, read documentation, etc. One can stop reading right there, the rest is as expected... A thorough rant about the installation (after choosing not to read up on it at all!)

I'm saying this as someone who doesn't even use debian (in case you were wondering: I'm on Windows 7 now). Installed it once about 7 years ago, on a low-traffic server. The installation was a breeze after reading the documentation. Used a variety of linuces since then, plus FreeBSD for a few years. FreeBSD had the best installer of all (again, after RTFM of course). Arch was the latest. One thing in common in these is that they DON'T promise a fully automated bells-and-whistles installation process. So criticizing them for not doing what they never claimed to do is stupid.

In the case of Debian, even a somewhat informed linux user would know that the first thing to do (if it's your first time) is to get a clue and prepare before you start the installation. I expect more for someone who regularly writes reviews.. Or NOT, actually, seeing how most reviews nowadays are actually installation reviews - as parent points out.

Reply Score: 7

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Well, it was good review of a bad installer. It is always hard to chose a good version of Debian. Pretty much nothing except a recent netinst seems to work. I am surprised he managed to even complete the install on the CD version. Why these broken ISOs are even offered blows my mind.

I think the problem is: Debian is a lot more than the installer. I've run Debian for 10 years, and only used the installer twice. I don't care what it does during install, because I am setting the machine up after install anyway.

Also noticed the installer has regressed. Somehow the short people have tried to relabel GNOME to the graphical desktop again, instead of providing the choice that is the essence of Debian. This has been reported as a bug before and fixed, but apparently the short people refuse to play by the rules.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Angry Rant Reviews present
by No it isnt on Fri 18th Mar 2011 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Angry Rant Reviews present"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

No, it's not a review. A reviewer is supposed to have done his homework, and gained some knowledge about what he's reviewing. This is like having a kid who's read maybe a couple of Harry Potter books and half the Da Vinci Code to review an anthology of modernist poetry. Some people will of course say it's highly interesting, since they dislike modernist poetry and want the world to see someone "unbiased" sharing their view, but in reality it's just incredibly embarrassing.

OK, so Debian isn't suitable for absolute morons. The solution is, of course, to hire someone else.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by molnarcs on Fri 18th Mar 2011 08:34 UTC in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.

Indeed, and I know your criticism means a host of "do your own review then" answers. I don't agree with that sentiment. If I volunteer a review, valid criticism helps me improve my next one. The major flaw with this review is that it's 90% about the installation. Were it called Debian Installation Review, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it (for I wouldn't even bothered to read it). Debian is explicitely targeted at experienced users, whining about the difficulties of installation is pointless. If you have some experience with Linux, you'd just get it over with. If you don't have much experience (and are not inclined to learn), than Debian is not for you, simple as that.

Unfortunately, 80% of the reviews out there are basically installation reviews posing as distribution reviews. Criticism of the installation process might make some sense with distroes that has easy of use and newbie friendliness as one of their major selling points. Even then, it's still just a one-time endeavour, and most reviews place far too much importance on it. But when you have a review that is 90% about the difficulties of installing a distro primarily intended for administrators - yeah, you end up with criticism like this, and it is a valid point!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by abraxas on Fri 18th Mar 2011 09:23 UTC in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.

My new job has required me to go back to Redhat after a year of Debian. It's so painful it almost brings tears to my eyes. Just configuring the network on a Redhat system is a nightmare compared to Debian, and the least said about RPM, Yum and the woeful amount of software in the RHEL repositories, the better.

Show me an *actual* review of Debian 6 being installed on decent server class hardware, or an actual review with constructive criticism in it, and I might care.


This is just par for the course. This is what passes for an opinion piece here. It makes sense though. All other "normal" OSNews posts are generally opinion filled diatribes anyway. They wouldn't be considered objective by any respected news outlet. Don't worry though we have Thom to remind us that OSNews is not a news site. It's just a blog that resembles a news site in all but journalistic integrity. I guess being objective is just too hard.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by wongbater on Sat 19th Mar 2011 14:05 UTC in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
wongbater Member since:
2011-03-19

I am an RHCE and I perfer Debian over RHEL.

It is a wonderful server OS.

Edited 2011-03-19 14:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

In before the flames!
by Ripples on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:38 UTC
Ripples
Member since:
2005-07-06

There are probably going to be a lot of angry people posting about this article, but I believe that the overall theme is true. No longer should it be acceptable to make an installer that just doesnt crash in the middle or just has the ability to actually do what you want, but actually does what you want and without a lot of work from the user. I know Debian spends a lot of time working on their apps and overall experience, but it seems like they are going to have to spend more time on the installer.

Its also going to be pretty tough getting away not supporting hardware for pure ideological reasons. There are many hardware developers that are opening their specs but also many distros that are including ways to get the proprietary bits easy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: In before the flames!
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 18th Mar 2011 05:03 UTC in reply to "In before the flames!"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I know Debian spends a lot of time working on their apps and overall experience, but it seems like they are going to have to spend more time on the installer.


Right because the installer is all most reviewers see.

I may be in the minority, but all I want an installer to do is get a booting operating system on disk. I can deal with the rest of the stuff later. If it does anything automagically, that just a bonus.

Its also going to be pretty tough getting away not supporting hardware for pure ideological reasons.


Not really. People just except it as it is. It's about setting priorities and understanding what you need. If you need everything to be working on first boot there are other distros designed with that in mind. Of course, those distros load all sorts of crap which may need to be removed if you just want something small, like RHEL/CentOS/Fedora.

Reply Score: 3

RE: In before the flames!
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 12:48 UTC in reply to "In before the flames!"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Who gives a damn about the installer? I've got Debian boxes running Squeeze that were installed from the potato installer. For those of you trying to "Sqeeze Minus Potato" arithmetic, that's 6.0 - 2.2 and accounts for 11 years of life.

Debian's installer is worlds better than it was, highly functional and well suited to its purpose. There are still some oddities and deficiencies but nothing that requires a genius to figure out and nothing that's a showstopper, unless you think that doing a netinst over a wireless link on a card that isn't supported by Debian/main is reasonable. The installer is evolving and improving the way it should: slowly, incrementally, and without breaking anything that used to work.

If you really care about how glitzy your installer is and how convenient it is you can go and get Ubuntu or any true Debian-based user friendly distribution. And be happy! But don't go around saying "Debian sucks" because you couldn't install it, as Ye Olde Reviewer just did. You'll give people the impression that there's something wrong with Debian. There isn't. It's not wrong, it's just right.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by danbuter
by danbuter on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:46 UTC
danbuter
Member since:
2011-03-17

While I agree that Debian really isn't worth installing on anyone's desktop, this reviewer isn't someone I'd trust to say that. He has done other hack job reviews recently, that don't measure up to any reasonable standard of accuracy.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by danbuter
by Anonymous Penguin on Fri 18th Mar 2011 06:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by danbuter"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Debian really isn't worth installing on anyone's desktop


I wonder why. I have used Debian since Woody (and boy, that was difficult to install) and I can't figure out what Debian lacks to be a desktop OS.
Software? How about 30000 packages?
Non free software? Debian non-free, debian-multimedia.org, Debian unofficial...
Eyecandy? Plenty, even the default configuration is rather pretty.
Installer? I don't have any issue whatsoever: it has an installer and it is a good one. Tell that to other distros' devs.
Besides I absolutely hate "installers" which give me little or no choice:

Edited 2011-03-18 06:42 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Comment by danbuter
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by danbuter"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Pfft, woody had the fancy new easy to use installer. Try 2.1 on a PPC, now that was an adventure!

Reply Score: 3

Comment by abstraction
by abstraction on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:47 UTC
abstraction
Member since:
2008-11-27

Considering the state of other modern distributions it is now very clear how far behind Debian is in it's current state.

I'm using Arch where you basically need to configure everything manually. Even though it is more work initially it still seems like a better alternative to using Debian's installer. This is probably because Arch documentation is so damn good I don't need an installer to do things for me.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by abstraction
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 18th Mar 2011 05:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by abstraction"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

It's amazing what problems good documentation will solve.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by abstraction
by cmchittom on Fri 18th Mar 2011 13:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by abstraction"
cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

It's funny that you say that. After having used Red Hat, Mandrake, Debian, CRUX, Slackware, and Arch at various times over about eight or nine years, I switched to BSD precisely because of the documentation—which on the BSDs is actually kept up-to-date and accurate. I just got tired of the man pages being absent, outdated, flat-out inaccurate, or just pointers to the info pages (Dear GNU/FSF: nobody likes info pages, ok srsly?).

And online forums, while helpful, are not and cannot be a real substitute for having proper documentation in the first place.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by abstraction
by phoenix on Fri 18th Mar 2011 17:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by abstraction"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Hrm, so to install and configure Arch, you did a bunch of reading ahead of time and managed to make things work.

Yet, you think doing the exact same thing for Debian is wrong, and shouldn't be needed, thus Debian is a fail?

How the heck does that make sense?

Reply Score: 5

Horrible review.
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:50 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

"The installer has four million steps, it's clunky and too detailed."

"After seven thousand clicks during the partition setup, the system finally started copying files and took a merry one hour to do that, three to four times more than a typical contemporary distro."


I must have a complete inability to count, because I sure as hell didn't notice "four million steps" or having to click "seven thousand" times to install.


"What is the point of having a millennium-long development cycle only to churn out a product that merely has a higher kernel major and little else besides?"

I wasn't aware that Debian Squeeze took a millennium to be released. In fact, I was under the impression that it was only about two years? Really, these "slow release" slams toward Debian stemmed from the days of Debian 3.0 and 3.1--that's f***ing 2002-2005, this is 2011. Big difference, Debian releases have been somewhat steady at 2-3 years between releases, which IMO is not bad at all (though the included software does eventually begin to feel old after a year or more).

And if you read DistroWatch's page for Debian, you would see that far more has been upgraded than the kernel:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=debian


I have been using Squeeze since maybe a month before it's been released, and it's been rock-solid. And I just started the screenshot tool--and it worked. What a shock. No, I didn't bother reading this whole "review" because it sounds like someone just wants to bitch. Go ahead, enjoy your Ubuntu. But you better pray nothing happens to Debian, because your precious distro as well as its countless derivatives would most likely be unable to stand on its own in its absence.

This isn't a review. It's a bitch-fest.

Reply Score: 18

RE: Horrible review.
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:01 UTC in reply to "Horrible review."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

"The installer has four million steps, it's clunky and too detailed."

"After seven thousand clicks during the partition setup, the system finally started copying files and took a merry one hour to do that, three to four times more than a typical contemporary distro."


I must have a complete inability to count, because I sure as hell didn't notice "four million steps" or having to click "seven thousand" times to install.


Hyperbole is a bitch. I was put off by it too. Even though I had a similar experience as the reviewer, I didn't get quite so frustrated. After all, there are hundreds of other distros that may be a better fit for me and my hardware.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Horrible review.
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 18th Mar 2011 05:07 UTC in reply to "Horrible review."
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Debian Squeeze took a millennium to be released


The reviewer probably confused Debian with CentOS 6.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Horrible review.
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 12:53 UTC in reply to "Horrible review."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

The funniest part is that after failing to get the screenshot tool to run by clicking the button the reviewer didn't try another tool and didn't check that the tool he tried was even installed, he didn't seek support, nor did he troubleshoot in any way. Instead he went through the inconvenience of screenshot by camera instead of taking 2 minutes to fix his problem.

This is not a user of any previous version of Debian who is reviewing squeeze to show what's changed. This is someone who doesn't like Debian seems out to make Debian look bad. It's all inflammatory and hostile drivel.

I'm glad he was unable to get Debian to work and ran away crying. If all you want to do is complain about how Debian isn't Ubuntu then you should clearly be using Ubuntu.. Go enjoy your half-finished piece of crap distro! Have fun reinstalling every 6 months because online upgrades are b0rked and old versions become unsupported quickly. Don't bother us happy Debian users with your whining.

Edited 2011-03-18 13:08 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Horrible review.
by Barnabyh on Sun 20th Mar 2011 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Horrible review."
Barnabyh Member since:
2006-02-06

He could've just installed scrot.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

If you really have network devices which need firmware there are always the 'unofficial' installation cdimages:

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-...

Reply Score: 9

Actual Debian 6.0 review
by jsumners on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:09 UTC
jsumners
Member since:
2005-07-06

Debian 6.0, it's what you expect it to be. Debian 6.0 is Debian 5.0 with updated packages, a new boot loader, and a new init script. Does Debian 6.0 try to do your administrative tasks for you? No. Does Debian 6.0 expect you to have a clue? Yes.

Reply Score: 14

RE: Actual Debian 6.0 review
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:19 UTC in reply to "Actual Debian 6.0 review"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

For some reason, I get the idea that if this person tried a KDE install in Debian, he wouldn't be going on and on about the only update being the kernel. ;)

Sure, in GNOME land everything has been pretty slow to change, but there are changes. But Debian went from KDE 3.5.9 to KDE 4.4.5 in the transition from Lenny to Squeeze. That's one hell of a change, as KDE4 is a complete overhaul/rewrite. When I think about that, it really highlights the irony of the review.

Clarification: By 'this person', I am talking about the reviewer, not the creator of the original post this is in response to.

Edited 2011-03-18 00:26 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Actual Debian 6.0 review
by herauthon on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Actual Debian 6.0 review"
herauthon Member since:
2011-03-18

I have installed Deb6, cannot recall any such issues.

But, i dont use the Deb for Desktop service - as you should stick to Windows IMHO - I use windows for the Desktop and for the good server works.. Deb6/64.

I would like to enter an review - but sorry, no time..

must grab coffee

Reply Score: 0

Good Luck with CentOS
by allenbeme on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:09 UTC
allenbeme
Member since:
2011-03-18

Based upon the difficulty you had with Debian 6, I seriously doubt you could handle CentOS or Scientific Linux.

If, based upon your negative comments, all work ceased upon debian forever, where will your easy to use 700mb live CDs come from?

Canonical does not have the stuff to build a distro from the kernel up. Besides, it would ruin their business plan.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by muszek
by muszek on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:18 UTC
muszek
Member since:
2007-04-25

I'm pretty sure Debian devs assumed that members of their target audience own an ethernet cable.

Debian puts a strong emphasis on free software. If your NIC has only proprietary drivers, then its not supported out of the box.

If you can't handle manual partitioning, this distro is not for you. Nobody says its for everybody (and no, it's not for me either).

Last week I wanted to install XP on my old laptop to give it to a friend of mine. XP SP3 asked me for a _floppy_ with SCSI drivers. Guess how many floppy drives that laptop has...

Edited 2011-03-18 00:20 UTC

Reply Score: 12

RE: Comment by muszek
by Drumhellar on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by muszek"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Luckily, using nLite, it's pretty easy to add a SCSI driver to the install CD so it's supported.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by muszek
by Soulbender on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by muszek"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If you can't handle manual partitioning, this distro is not for you. Nobody says its for everybody (and no, it's not for me either).


Dude, it's 2011. Specialization is for suckers, every OS need to cater to only the smallest common denominator. Requiring actual skills? Heresy! Having a target audience that isn't Joe Sixpack and his dog Mullet? Nonsense!

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: Comment by muszek
by Drumhellar on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by muszek"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Dude. I wish I had named my dog Mullet.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by muszek
by Phucked on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by muszek"
Phucked Member since:
2008-09-24

I see what you did there....

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by muszek
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by muszek"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Debian puts a strong emphasis on free software. If your NIC has only proprietary drivers, then its not supported out of the box.


I know I'm repeating myself, but I feel the need to point out that both wireless devices I use have fully open source drivers and are supposed to have native support in the kernel for some time now. Ubuntu recognizes and autoconfigures them, Slackware recognizes them and allows me to manually configure them without issue.

However, Debian Squeeze tells me that I don't even have a wireless device installed with either one plugged in. I can see them enumerated in dmesg, but any attempt to make them do anything is met with null. I could understand if they only worked in Ubuntu and not Slackware, but if Slack picks them up and Debian doesn't there must be something gravely wrong with Debian.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by muszek
by canadianlinuxnerd on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by muszek"
canadianlinuxnerd Member since:
2006-06-14

I believe your issue may stem from Debian's choice to include a fully open source kernel, the Linux project devs have chosen to interpret the GPL as allowing proprietary firmware to be included in the vanilla kernel. Debian has chosen to distribute a default kernel with the proprietary firmware removed, as I recall this had to do with compliance with the Debian Free Software guidelines. If this were the issue it would explain things working in Slackware which as I understand it distributes a pretty much stock Linux project kernel, including the proprietary firmware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by muszek
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by muszek"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

This is correct. Also note that the FSF agrees with Debian on this one, or rather vice versa.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by muszek
by someone on Sat 19th Mar 2011 15:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by muszek"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

Well, XP is also a decade old

Reply Score: 2

...
by Drumhellar on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:18 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

This review should not have been published.

I tire of people thinking every Linux distro should cater to their desires of what a distribution should be.
Of course, it's almost universally "This server/utility oriented distribution makes a sub-par desktop." You never see the opposite.

So, I would ask the reviewer, why do you use Linux?

Ease of use? Windows beats it. Really, it does.

Customization? Why are you complaining about all the install steps, then?

Freedom/Openness? Why do you purchase hardware that isn't open?

Because it's teh r0x0rs? That, I would believe.

What you should have done to start your review, before you even downloaded the image, is just the tiniest bit of research on the goals of the Debian distribution to see if they aligned with your goals or expectations for a distribution.

I've always felt that the primary goals of Debian are customization by default, and openness.

The endless options of the installation procedure facilitates the customization part (I've been annoyed that Squeeze attempts DHCP during install without asking me first).

Eschewing proprietary driver bits facilitates openness. This has been known for a while, and mentioned often. You felt it was acceptable to attempt installation without first checking to see if your hardware was supported? You can't claim openness as a goal if you keep the proprietary bits. They are mutually exclusive.

So, do the goals of Debian align with yours? And if not, are you qualified to review Debian?

Reply Score: 11

Comment by Brynet
by brynet on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:19 UTC
brynet
Member since:
2010-03-02

I don't use Linux, but you sound like an uneducated whiner.

Reply Score: 3

About the screenshot fail
by wannabe geek on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:31 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=19632

What gives?

Edit: Looks like gnome-screenshot is not installed by default.

Edited 2011-03-18 00:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: About the screenshot fail
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 13:15 UTC in reply to "About the screenshot fail"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I expected as much. The option to take a screenshot probably should not be there by default, but then again how hard is it to fire up your package manager and install this or another screenshot utility? Complain about poor integration and poor defaults and you get my full support. Take screenshots with a camera and you get only my derisive laughter.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: About the screenshot fail
by mrstep on Fri 18th Mar 2011 14:58 UTC in reply to "RE: About the screenshot fail"
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

That's funny - why is a link there as part of the install if the utility isn't? It's just a sloppy install, which I think was his point.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: About the screenshot fail
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: About the screenshot fail"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

That's what I said. If the package isn't installed the link shouldn't be there. That's poor integration, nothing to do with installers.

Reply Score: 3

Scientific Linux 6 is already out
by nt_jerkface on Fri 18th Mar 2011 01:03 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

It came out on the 3rd actually.

As for the review...with a laptop you should be plugging it into the router for the install.

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Like boot times, I often wonder why we care about the amount of steps in setup. Debian isn't for normal users. I like that it gives me more settings up front, and while too many details can overwhelm normal users, Debian is not for normal users.

Setup should only be done once in a blue moon, like every few years, why should we care if it has too many steps?

Reply Score: 7

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe Debian users don't care, and that's fine. I still remember when Fedora and Ubuntu (? I think) advised the user to wipe their partition before installing a new upgrade. Since they release often, that's supposed to be done relatively frequently, yes? But maybe not Debian.

Either way, I personally prefer having very few steps on a fairly standard system, really as few as possible, and getting a working installation up and running. Lots of unnecessary setup can be done post facto. Many parts can be done by probing the device itself. Writing an installation program, like all good software engineering, is an art form. I like most of the ones I've seen, and I haven't seen Debian so I'm not taking the guy's side. But distros ought to pay a lot of attention to that.

Reply Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

It's not because they release often it's because their ability to do online upgrades correctly and cleanly is almost nonexistent. Debian does online upgrades very well and doesn't require a reinstall no matter what the release cycle is.

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I really don't see what the big deal is unless it is targeted at a casual demographic.

I never cared about the FreeBSD installer for the same reason. Sure it could be easier but since it is server focused a competent admin should not be upset about it. There is also plenty of documentation online to answer any questions.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

It came out on the 3rd actually.

As for the review...with a laptop you should be plugging it into the router for the install.


Serious question: Why? Why in today's world where even Windows of all things has out-of-the-box support for virtually every wireless chipset in existence, should we have to plug in a computer that isn't meant to be hardwired in the first place?

I'm sorry but I have to side with the reviewer on this one issue, based on my own positive experience with wireless in Ubuntu, Slackware and Windows 7. Step up, Debian.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Serious question: Why? Why in today's world where even Windows of all things has out-of-the-box support for virtually every wireless chipset in existence, should we have to plug in a computer that isn't meant to be hardwired in the first place?


Which laptop isn't meant to be hardwired? They all have network adapters.

I don't see any claims or allusions to widespread hardware support out of the box on their website. Debian isn't a consumer product and doesn't pretend to be one. It is Ubuntu that is trying to get on Grandma's desktop and should be judged against Windows. Debian doesn't make false claims about being ready for human beings.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Which laptop isn't meant to be hardwired? They all have network adapters.


The network adapter in a laptop is a backup in case a wireless signal is nowhere to be found; they are inherently portable devices that are meant to be used wirelessly. Or do you carry a 300ft CAT-6 cable with your laptop so you can be connected while "mobile"?

I don't see any claims or allusions to widespread hardware support out of the box on their website. Debian isn't a consumer product and doesn't pretend to be one.


Neither does Slackware claim such support, but it's there. It's in the kernel, the same kernel that's in Debian, the same kernel that's in any modern distro. By your logic, Debian shouldn't recognize your USB keyboard, your DVI-based LCD monitor, your SATA controller, indeed any hardware that's not on a PC-XT.

Why is it so hard to admit that Debian Squeeze has some bugs to be fixed? My god, it's a mainstay of Linux and all other F/OSS software that there will always be bugs to be squished, and functionality to improve upon, and so on. Don't get so butthurt because you think someone is picking on your baby OS. The original reviewer was too negative in my opinion, but he was right: Debian Squeeze needed more polish before release, and that's in comparison to its own last version, not just the other distros out there.

To put it another way: It's less capable than the last release. How is that kind of regression not a problem?

Reply Score: 1

robgarth Member since:
2006-04-30

Less capable in what way. No one claimed the the hardware was supported in Lenny. Non-free is not included on the install media. This is a choice not a failing.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I was referring to fully open source hardware; see my earlier posts about my wireless card having full kernel support for several years now due to being open source, yet in this new version of Debian the userland support is removed for some strange reason. Said userland support is still present in Slackware, Arch, Ubuntu, and I suspect Fedora and other mainstream distros as well.

Reply Score: 2

cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

What you either don't grasp or are willfully not admitting is that having an open source driver does not equal "free"—to the Debian developers—unless the firmware is "free" also.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

What you are too lazy to look up is that many wireless cards, including the one I'm using (RaLink) don't require a closed firmware. They are fully open source and work out of the box with current kernels. If you go to their website you can download the full source code, not just the wrapper.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The network adapter in a laptop is a backup in case a wireless signal is nowhere to be found

It can also be used when no wireless driver is to be found. Plugging a laptop into a router really isn't a big deal. I've had to do it with XP numerous times.

Neither does Slackware claim such support, but it's there.

Well you would have to make a comparison with multiple cards to make a convincing argument. But even if you concluded that Slackware has better wireless support.....so what? I don't know why the hell anyone would go with Debian if hardware support is a priority. As with FreeBSD I would assume that it would need some extra tweaking for wireless, hence installing with ether.

Why is it so hard to admit that Debian Squeeze has some bugs to be fixed? My god, it's a mainstay of Linux and all other F/OSS software that there will always be bugs to be squished, and functionality to improve upon, and so on. Don't get so butthurt because you think someone is picking on your baby OS.


My baby OS? LOL I don't use Linux on the desktop and on the server Debian would probably be the last distro I would use. But I don't see them trying to bullshit anyone into believing they are some super awesome distro that will detect all your hardware. I thought it was common knowledge that it is the distro of choice for GPL loons and user friendliness is not a priority. Maybe they should put a disclaimer on the website.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sorry I misinterpreted your feelings towards Debian; I assumed from your tone that you were being extra defensive of something you cared about. I often forget that you're the master of Devil's Advocate here. ;)

I do understand what you're getting at, and I agree that Debian has never claimed user friendliness. My issue is that it seems, in my own experience as well as the reviewer's, to have regressed from the last release. It's one thing to be a newbie-unfriendly OS; after all, two of my favorites, Slackware and Arch are kings there. It's quite another thing to regress and drop functionality, especially for a core service such as networking. I would understand completely if my wireless card's manufacturer had suddenly closed the source and the kernel team removed support, but nothing of the sort has happened, and in fact the company is opening up drivers for many more of its chipsets. (RaLink if you're curious)

Maybe I've just become lazy and spoiled by Slackware. (o.O)

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I often forget that you're the master of Devil's Advocate here.

Or just the devil, depending on your POV. ;)

I would understand completely if my wireless card's manufacturer had suddenly closed the source and the kernel team removed support

I have seen that before so I guess I'm not surprised.

Maybe I've just become lazy and spoiled by Slackware. (o.O)

Slackware was actually the first distro I used and when I first tried RHEL I couldn't believe what a mess the install process was in comparison.

This is one of the better distros for home/small business server use and is Slackware based.
http://sms.it-ccs.com/index.html

Reply Score: 2

daschmidty Member since:
2007-03-01

I just felt the need to point this out somewhere, although I haven't used the new Debian, so I can't comment on it in particular. I notice a large number of the rebuttals people have made to complaints about hardware support (particularly wifi) focus on the fact that windows XP is equally bad. That may be true, but it isn't entirely reasonable to make an apples-to-apples comparison between an os released 3 weeks ago and one released 8 years ago. One would hope things have progressed since 2003.

Reply Score: 1

nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

Serious question: Why? Why in today's world where even Windows of all things has out-of-the-box support for virtually every wireless chipset in existence ...


Windows has quite good support for wifi-adpaters but it certainly doesn't support "every wireless chipset in existence". Linux has good support as well, at least if you're using some distro like Ubuntu that bundles non-free firmwares and drivers.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I said "virtually every", and I was referring to Windows 7, the current version ("today's world"). I know even 7 doesn't support ALL hardware but in the past year I've found it to support wireless cards from Atheros, RaLink, Intel, and Broadcom without the need for additional drivers. I think that covers nearly all the major chipset manufacturers.

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Serious answer: Debian supports these wireless chips only via its non-free repository. Since the install discs are linked to the main repository they do not include that support. Debian would be in violation of its foundational documents and principles if it moved the non-free firmware into the main repository. The Deian Developers, and most Debian users, wouldn't stand for it and so it isn't done. Remember that Debian is a democracy controlled by its developers.

Your wireless NIC will work just fine if you configure it post-install and many guides exist on how to do this. Even though it is controversial there are even "unofficial" versions of the install disc which link to non-free and thus support hardware requiring non-free firmware. These are unofficial in that they are not in the official "release" directory and are nominally not supported but are otherwise just like the regular Debain install discs and are, despite being unofficial, distributed by Debian from its servers.

Reply Score: 4

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Ahhhh!! I am now beating my head against a wall. Are we actually on Slashdot or something? I have repeated several times that my RaLink card, like many Atheros cards, is FULLY SUPPORTED IN THE KERNEL. No firmware blobs needed, no post-install fiddling should be necessary, fully open source drivers already in the kernel. GAH!

Sorry for the caps but no one is listening it seems.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

just for cronological accuracy, this question was answered in the thread above where you acknowledged and understood the reasons.

.. for those who don't realize this post came before the post that gave you more complete details for the lacking partially-proprietary driver code.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

if it has a wired NIC port then it's meant to be plugged in to a wired network.

- you'll get faster transfer rates
- you'll get dhcp setup clean
- you'll get better support because wired nic manufacturers didn't make such a mess of the driver/firmware
- you'll get more security during your install since you won't be open to the multitudes of wireless vulnerabilities

(If your wired, I have to get into your home. If your wireless, I have only to get anywhere within range.)

Wireless is fantastic for puttering about the house to any comfy chair you like but it's far from a desirable medium to install over.

(and for the love of Baud people. if your doing support over any form of remote desktop software, have the user plug a wire into the machine cause wifi is dog slow when your spraying screenshots over the network)

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

if it has a wired NIC port then it's meant to be plugged in to a wired network.


No, if it has a wired NIC it can be plugged in but it doesn't have to be. Or do you really suggest people carry around Cat-6 cables with their netbooks and look for a jack at the coffee shop, at the airport, in town square? You do realize what a netbook is for right? It's meant to be wireless, with the NIC as a backup, not the other way around.

Please tell me you are not that utterly stupid, and were just being overly pedantic for argument's sake. Because if you truly are that moronic I'm surprised you can even type.

Reply Score: 2

debuser Member since:
2011-03-22

Do you really need to install a distro in an airport,townsquare or coffeeshop?
and even if you do i'm yet to see any of those places whithout a lan nearby.
as for the rest:college info labs etc you'll be better off using wired connections:in fact some of them evem already have the cables set up as an alternative

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Please read again what I quoted. jabbotts shifted the focus of the thread to "if it has a NIC it should be wired only" and I refuted that. Nowhere did I say one would be installing an OS in those places, nor would I.

Reading comprehension, son.

Edited 2011-03-22 04:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"if it has a wired NIC port then it's meant to be plugged in to a wired network. "

Your right.. I missed the qualifier "during install".. What with your entire complain being about wireless support at install time, I kind of assumed you would realize that I was talking about "at install time".

(hey, you started it by throwing the "moron" accusations around before confirming if you understood what I meant. You could simply have asked "do you mean use wired all the time or during install".. )

Again, install over wired nic.. for several reasons.. use your wireless for mobile connectivity after the initial install is done.. not a hard concept to comprehend.. what's making it so hard for you to understand?

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You're right, I'm the idiot. I blame myself for reading/posting while half asleep. Not an excuse, just an explanation. This entire article discussion has been full of fail, on my part as well as others, and I think maybe I should just quit now while I'm behind.

Just for clarification, my standing opinion is: Debian now sucks for those of us who strive to use GPL-compliant hardware since even the GPL isn't good enough for them anymore, I loathe the idea of using wired access -- even for installing an OS -- if wifi is available and supposedly supported on my hardware, and I need more sleep before getting all bent out of shape over a post and making a fool of myself.

Reply Score: 2

mandog Member since:
2011-03-18

Mr I don't know who you are but reading your comments and insulting people is not that intelligent in fact bullying online so please bear that in mind.use your intelligence and experience to educate others not insult them then maybe you can get that huge great chip off you back.

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The name's Morgan, just as it says on every one of my posts. Yes, that is my real name.

If you haven't noticed, the thread you're replying in contains an apology from me. Please do everyone a favor and read before posting. Also, try to stay on topic; if you have a problem with me you can address me privately. My email address and other contact information is in my profile.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, as your account is less than a week old. My gut tells me you might be trolling, but you could really just be new here. If so, welcome, and if you don't like me and my attitude feel free to ignore me. There are much better people than me to talk to here. ;)

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Who said anything about not ever using the wireless nic? I specifically suggested using the wired nic for the install and I gave several reasons why it's the better recommendation. It wasn't a hard concept to understand.

After you get the install on the machine, configure your wireless and go spray your network traffic around the coffee shop as much as you like.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm the idiot here. See my other post explaining it in detail.

Reply Score: 2

Some thoughts on the above rant
by Gullible Jones on Fri 18th Mar 2011 01:21 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

1. While I agree that avoiding all proprietary firmware is nonsensical, Debian does not claim to support hardware that needs it. So taking Debian and its maintainers to task over it is IMHO equally nonsensical. Debian is good at what it does, but what it does does not include proprietary firmware.

2. The Gnome screenshot issue. I'm afraid that, in free software, you're going to see stuff like that occasionally. The developers have to triage things, and making the desktop nice and polished doesn't get priority... Or rather, SHOULDN'T get priority, or the distro will become a complete mess.

IOW: free software is never, ever going to have the polished look and smooth user experience of a proprietary product that you pay an arm and a leg for. It's probably going to be harder to use, too. That doesn't mean it's bad across the board.

3. Huge amounts of effort obviously went into Debian Squeeze. Writing it off because your wifi card doesn't work (by design) and Gnome is missing its screenshot utility (oh no!) comes across as kind of rude, IMO.

But that is of course Just My Opinion. Feel free to disregard it, I won't hold it aginst you.

Reply Score: 3

Reality
by marcus0263 on Fri 18th Mar 2011 01:22 UTC
marcus0263
Member since:
2007-06-02

If you want a "Wizard" that does everything for you - pay the money for Windows and do it "their way". If you want to 'dabble" with Linux but still go with generic installs, install Ubuntu. If you want a stable, powerful OS run Debian and do it "your way".

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reality
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:22 UTC in reply to "Reality"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

If you want a "Wizard" that does everything for you - pay the money for Windows and do it "their way".

Or a Mac, with the added benefit of a BSD backend.

If you want to 'dabble" with Linux but still go with generic installs, install Ubuntu.

Seconded.

If you want a stable, powerful OS run Debian and do it "your way".

This is where I say Slackware or Arch instead of Debian. Not because Debian isn't stable or powerful; indeed it can be both. However, I think in their dual quest to be both the purest and the most versatile distro they have reached a point where they are blind to that third necessity: Installable by a newbie. Even the comparably archaic Slackware installer is easy and painless enough for newbies provided they pay attention, and it's about as intimate as you're going to get with your hardware when running a Linux based OS. Slack and Arch are the epitome of doing it "your way".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Reality
by nt_jerkface on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

However, I think in their dual quest to be both the purest and the most versatile distro they have reached a point where they are blind to that third necessity: Installable by a newbie.


Why is that a necessity? Is there a Linux desktop movement standards committee?

My opinion of Debian is that it is ran by some of the looniest GPL loons (iceweasel???) but they have never tried pushing a fake image on me. Like Slackware they aren't claiming to be ready for Grandma's desktop so I don't see why anyone would complain about their distro not being user friendly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Reality
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reality"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Maybe I've just done so many Slack installs over the years that I find it to be the easiest installation out there. I feel that Debian should live up to that standard.

I honestly have nothing against Debian in general, and in fact used it for both servers and workstations for many years without issue. It's this current release that I find extremely lacking compared to past releases.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Reality
by phoenix on Fri 18th Mar 2011 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reality"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

My opinion of Debian is that it is ran by some of the looniest GPL loons (iceweasel???)


The Icedove, Iceweasel, Iceape naming scheme has *absolutely* NOTHING to do with the GPL.

Debian devs added patches to the Firefox, Thunderbird, etc code. They sent the patches to Mozilla. Mozilla decided not to add them to the source tree. Debian devs kept the patches to their sources, thus making their Firefox/Thunderbird/etc packages different from the binaries shipped by Mozilla. Since they are different, they are not allowed to use the Firefox/Thunderbird/etc names.

It's a trademark issue, nothing else.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Reality
by Ragpickr on Fri 18th Mar 2011 09:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality"
Ragpickr Member since:
2011-03-18

Nonsense! Even Ubuntu does not support all the wireless drivers by default and asks the user to install windows driver! Ubuntu does not ask you to make your "root" password and after installation creates problem by seeking administrator's/authentication password if you wish to install any software or visit a partition which was not mounted by default. I am not blaming Ubuntu. In fact to use any OS, ONE HAS TO HAVE A LITTLE PATIENCE TO GET FAMILIAR WITH ITS ENVIRONMENT AND TRY TO LEARN THINGS TO DO WHAT YOU WISH TO DO. Thank you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Reality
by Morgan on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reality"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Please show me where in my post I claimed Ubuntu supported all wireless cards without issues. I'll make it easy: I made no such claim, nor would I. Piss off.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Reality
by marcus0263 on Sat 19th Mar 2011 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality"
marcus0263 Member since:
2007-06-02

Slack is a good distro and with all Linux distro's it really comes down to the package manager. On my web servers I use Gentoo, it's best IMO for running on a VPS due to it's ability to really customize. Apt and Portage IMO are the best package managers. I simply loath RPM's and Slacks slapt falls short. Apt and Portage are simply outstanding for resolving/maintaining depdencies

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Reality
by Morgan on Sat 19th Mar 2011 04:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reality"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm a big fan of both Apt and Portage too. However, I find that on Slackware I prefer to roll my own packages either from original source code (./configure; make; make install) or at times using Slackbuilds to make my own reinstallable packages. Either way I can customize the install if necessary, which gives me a level of control far beyond a traditional package manager. Granted, I've rarely done that kind of thing, but the option is there and I like it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Reality
by marcus0263 on Sun 20th Mar 2011 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reality"
marcus0263 Member since:
2007-06-02

Customization is why I love Gentoo, but rolling your own/compiling for any/all updates gets a bit tedious for a Daily desktop, hence why I love Mint.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Reality
by A420X on Mon 21st Mar 2011 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Reality"
A420X Member since:
2011-02-02

I'm just curious - have you ever tried arch? I found that it's a nice balance between the highly customizable gentoo like distros and the more user friendly ones.

I'm currently giving #! another try after a recommendation from here and I'm loving it; it gives me the slim desktop interface I usually configure gentoo or arch to be but with the simplicity of mint.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Reality - mac
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Mar 2011 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

sure, OsX has the BSD back end.. shame about all that Apple front end making swiss cheese of the security potentially offered by BSD.

http://www.h-online.com/security/features/Hackers-versus-Apple-1202...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reality
by tony on Sat 19th Mar 2011 03:00 UTC in reply to "Reality"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

If you want a "Wizard" that does everything for you - pay the money for Windows and do it "their way". If you want to 'dabble" with Linux but still go with generic installs, install Ubuntu. If you want a stable, powerful OS run Debian and do it "your way".


Comments like this are obnoxious. There's an insipid circular argument in Linux and FOSS in general:

Statement: "I'm not an expert, I don't think I can handle Linux"

Counter: "It's just as easy as Windows! And better!"

and then later:

Statement: "It was too difficult, this didn't work"

Counter: "You n00b, you're not l33t enough. Go back to Windows"

So someone didn't like your favorite Distro. He had valid comments, but rather than address them you attack the messenger. Classy. I liked the review, because it let me know what I'd be in store for if I tried it, and I'm going to avoid it. Not because my skills aren't leet enough, but because I don't have time. I'd rather go with a powerful distro that's a lot quicker to get up and running. I don't have anything against someone who prefers Debian, but there are people who like to get stuff up and running, who don't have time to spend hours working with an OS when they could be spending minutes.

Also, don't confuse familiar with superior.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Reality
by Soulbender on Sat 19th Mar 2011 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I don't think anyone who says Linux is as easy as WIndows would set their friend up with Debian and even if they did it's not Debians fault that these people are idiots.

I don't have anything against someone who prefers Debian, but there are people who like to get stuff up and running, who don't have time to spend hours working with an OS when they could be spending minutes.


Then you dont use Dedian. I mean, seriously, is this difficult? Do your homework and pick what is suitable for you and your task. Is this really like rocket science or something?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Reality - here's a better review
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Mar 2011 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If you want a review comparable that lets you know what you may be in for:

http://www.howtoforge.com/the-perfect-desktop-debian-squeeze

You get lots of screenshots of the installer and details about the install.

sarcasm aside, this is actually a fantastic way to preview what you could potentially be in for. I've often checked back to pull some single step from here for another machine I'm tossing together. You'll see places where config by text is still done too so it's not like it's promoting any side's agenda over the other.

Reply Score: 2

My experience Debian is similar
by Geekboula on Fri 18th Mar 2011 01:23 UTC
Geekboula
Member since:
2011-03-18

I did a full test of Debian 6. And I must say that I have encountered the same problems as the author of this article. I also a blog for 2 last years were I test Linux Distro and wrote article about my experience of user.
I agree with the author. Debian 6 is not a good version. A want to be too purist. We forget that the essential is to have a simple system to install, configure and use daily. I so hated my experience I had the impression of having a system of 90 years front me. Really I do not understand the direction of the developers team .

As stated so well the author of this article, it is difficult to criticize Debian. Without incurring the wrath of fans maniac Debian.
Too many CD and DVD. It's confusing for the novice and the same means which would start on Linux.

With less courage than the author of the article, I chose not to do an article on my blog an article on Debian. Because I knew that I would have the maniac fans of Debian on my back.

Freebsd has the same problems as Debian. Lots and lots of attention but in the end who really install and use. Except the fans. Which represents only a small number of people in the world of PC.

I think the expectations were high.

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06



As stated so well the author of this article, it is difficult to criticize Debian. Without incurring the wrath of fans maniac Debian.

----------------------------------------------------

Freebsd has the same problems as Debian. Lots and lots of attention but in the end who really install and use. Except the fans. Which represents only a small number of people in the world of PC.


I suppose you mean "Debian zealots"
I haven't met many of them, I have met by far more other distros' zealots, since I use Linux (8 years).

Debian as FreeBSD? I don't see how. Debian has had, since Sarge, an installer with hardware auto configuration. Besides without Debian how many Linux distros wouldn't exist? More than half.
FreeBSD has only one derivative of some relevance, PC-BSD, which is 23rd at DistroWatch.
Debian itself is 4th at DistroWatch, thus it can't be such crap, nor it can be used only by a few zealots.

Reply Score: 3

Geekboula Member since:
2011-03-18

Your comment gives me reason! Being 4th on Distrowatch Either means nothing. Like being first. This ranking is based on the pages visited.

My experience with Debian is based on three desktop and 1 laptop. The same problem has been recurring on 4 PCs. No sound, wifi setup that works not, and installation step is very long too long. At the end you have basic soft with a look 90s. Sorry but it's reality.
This does not detract from the quality of Debian development. But trying too hard to be a purist, it misses the needs of ordinary PC user.
True that there are several distro based on Debian, they are also more popular. Probably they have understood something that the Debian team has not grasped yet. Even aptosid is more polished in every way and you install in some few clicks.

Reply Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

If you expect your hardware to "just work" then install a distribution that emphasizes making that happen. Yes, Debian will typically not autoconfigure some things that could be autoconfigured and are autoconfigured by some other distributions. For me it is no problem to set those things manually. After it's set, who cares?

Debian doesn't make decisions for you unless it has cause. This is one of the primary reasons I like it: Debian won't do something unless it can be done correctly. If there really is no universally correct way to guess at autoconfiguration then they will leave it to you, the sysadmin, to configure it. That's as it should be. That's not a mistake! It is by design.

Reply Score: 3

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06


Even aptosid is more polished in every way and you install in some few clicks.


When you use Aptosid you are just using Debian Sid with a different installer and a more recent kernel, big deal.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If you can use the parent distribution, do so. If you can't, use an appropriate child fork.

This isn't meant to sound harsh. I started with Red Hat when it still included mp3 codecs. When it became less good as a desktop distro I ended up with a child fork that was more appropriate; Mandrake. It was also one of the first "user friendly" and had fantastic gui config tools. The child fork was better suited to me and was when I really started figuring things out. Now, I've gone the other way having switched from .rpm to .deb based. The fork parent fits my needs so for me, there is no reason to use a child fork like Ubuntu or Mint specialized liveCD tools not withstanding.

For other's, a child fork of Debian may be better suited to there needs. In such cases, use the child fork rather than the parent.

Reply Score: 2

debuser Member since:
2011-03-22

I find your post to be correct but as a Deb desktop end user (yes we exist),i feel obligated to post a question: why is it common place that Deb is for servers mainly, i mean:

1 if people do default install to the entire disk, installation system is just five or such more questions than ubuntu or win 7.If you want a dual boot than its not more difficult than lets say: Partition Magic.

2 how selecting repository and install a plugins package (codecs and such)different from going to adobe site to download a binary to win 7 or a codec pack, and really are forks really that good for saving me 15 minutes work?

3 deb always had kinda outdated software and that is fine.It has lesser bugs.Paraphrasing:Call me anal but i
like my system to work cohesively whatever the software i install into it.Ergo: what is the point of having edge software if the system crashes or becomes unstable or heavy because of the packages with functions mostly cosmetic for example.(whats the point in having thousands of plugins if firefox/iceweasel slows or crashes?
Plus for those who complain about eye candy: download testing and default install it.it's almost ubuntu (hww, i wonder why)

4 Why would i prefer wireless even on notebooks if researches has shown it's around 30% slower (sorry don't remember where i read it, pretty easy to find though).

It all brings me to the another point: assuming there are precompiled binaries for your card how would that be different than let's say downloading a win 7 driver from cards manufacturer?

When i see fork's reviews they are always tailored towards newbies like this: now featuring firefox 4.0 with thousands of plugins and such,not a single word about how updating from the last version is going to crash your system (yes ubuntu i'm talking about you).
Albeit generally when i see red slack or deb reviews its often like this:
"The system shows minor changes and despite being rock stable lacks codecs and plugins and thus is more suited for servers" do people really believe end users are really that stupid?
forks generally achieve more sucess by hiding instabilities and focusing on features,good marketing.
while parents have a much higher stability allowing the media (Pr)community to fucus on the Stable features and updates what we often see is the other way around:this is like adressing a windows gamers compilation and instead of talking about the tweaks on regedit and such going on about how the installation process is slower or how the download it's bigger.
It's not only counter productive but also puts fear into newbies (most often a total newbie asks a friend to help install it anyway)

Point is: anyone who can install a ubuntu or win desktop (Os+driver+games+decent firewall..etc)is more than able to install deb.

P.S: Started as windows user up until xp then deb, never written a single line of code in my life never installed a server, don't know how to configure apache...and apart from using managers and the eventual make command to compile drivers am not very fond of command lines.(Tried ubuntu and hated,never tried mint for that matter)

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Debian is a perfectly valid desktop distribution. I really don't get the "Debian is for servers only" claims either. Why should only one's servers benefit from Debian's focus on stability and security.

Personally, I'm a fork snob by nature too though. I just can't understand using a child fork based on a parent distribution when one can simply use the parent distribution. I used Mandriva only because Red Hat was inadiquate for my needs. I use Debian because there is no justification for me using a child fork based on it's beta and development versions.

Besides.. Dolphin is unstable enough at it's Debian Stable version. I'm going no where near a Beta or development version of it on a production machine I use daily.

Reply Score: 2

jsumners Member since:
2005-07-06

We forget that the essential is to have a simple system to install, configure and use daily...Really I do not understand the direction of the developers team.
...
It's confusing for the novice and the same means which would start on Linux.


Wrong. It is not essential that Debian be easy for novice users. Debian's goal is to provide a free, stable, OS. Nothing more. That is the "direction of the developers team." They have routinely accomplished that goal to the satisfaction of _many_ users.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by marblesbot
by marblesbot on Fri 18th Mar 2011 01:58 UTC
marblesbot
Member since:
2009-12-25

The only problem I've had with Squeeze is that, since I didn't read through the release notes and changes, I didn't know GRUB2 has replaced GRUB. I prefer GRUB. I don't totally agree with the "free only" stance Debian and some other distros take, but that is not a problem. All these distros make it more than easy to use non-free software. I'd say if choosing the right installation method is confusing, maybe you shouldn't be installing. Actually, I do have one other problem with Debian. I don't like that "suggested" packages are treated as dependencies out of the box. Easily fixable, I just think "suggested" packages should be just that.

Thinking about it now, Debian has always had THE easiest installer. I hate those livecd one click installers. I've never gotten one of the "modern" installers to finish right. The Debian installer has always finished with the expected results. In all fairness, though, I quit using the default install method of other distros long ago. They might actually work these days.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by marblesbot
by phoenix on Fri 18th Mar 2011 17:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by marblesbot"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The only problem I've had with Squeeze is that, since I didn't read through the release notes and changes, I didn't know GRUB2 has replaced GRUB. I prefer GRUB.


Ugh, GRUB2 is just nasty. Especially the way its installed on Debian/Ubuntu.

GRUB1 was easy to manage: just edit /boot/grub/menu.lst

GRUB2 is impossible to manage, as there are 4 different directories under /etc where the config is splattered around, with most of it being scripted and so chock full of variables that aren't defined anywhere. Good luck getting a simple listing of what's checked, in what order, during the boot.

I don't know if it's a specific Debian thing, or
a general Linux thing, but this move toward umpteen zillion tiny config files for each service is just assinine! It's making it impossible to manage servers via SSH and a text editor.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marblesbot
by marblesbot on Fri 18th Mar 2011 22:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marblesbot"
marblesbot Member since:
2009-12-25

I totally agree. I tried to edit the GRUB config file after I installed the new FreeBSD next to Debian and COULD NOT find it. I'm normally an ArchLinux user and they've mostly stayed away from all the split config files. Or I haven't noticed a big change. Of course, Debian is the standard for so many other distros so whatever way they go is where all the others go, too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by marblesbot - yup
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Mar 2011 20:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by marblesbot"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I miss the nice clean GRUB config file. I could simply add or correct the entry for my Win7 partition. GRUB2 and it's automagic that wasn't having anything to do with my Win7 boot loader. Maybe it's been fixed now, I need to check. Until now, it's been the BIOS device menu for Win7 and GRUB2 for everything else.

Least one can aptitude install GRUB and let it yank GRUB2 out of the way.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Heck, its not any kind of review. Its a pathetic rant that isn't worth the electrons used to illuminate my screen to display it. Does not belong on OS news.

Reply Score: 3

My FreeBSD 8.2 review
by nt_jerkface on Fri 18th Mar 2011 02:28 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Installer didn't detect my bluetooth mouse or my Xbox which is connected to the network.

F-

Reply Score: 5

Click bait
by danbuter on Fri 18th Mar 2011 02:47 UTC
danbuter
Member since:
2011-03-17

If this had been posted on a blog with ads, I'd think it was just bait for hits. Kinda curious why it's here.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Click bait
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Mar 2011 20:59 UTC in reply to "Click bait"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06
robgarth
Member since:
2006-04-30

Debian didn't include the required firmware? Boohoo it never will.

Other Linuxes work? Use them. Of course without Debian you wouldn't have a base for most of those distros.

I run a large linux infrastructure. We have a policy of being distribution agnostic. I run Fedora on my Laptop, I suggest Ubuntu to most people. But on every server possible, I prefer Debian. It is sane, it is stable. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but why would I want them on my servers?

This should not have been published.

Reply Score: 2

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

It never will?

Stupid. It used to, until the same people who write Hurd (used it lately?) decided the standard Linux kernel wasn't "pure" enough for them.

Now it sounds as if they've made Debian as useless as Hurd.

Reply Score: 4

robgarth Member since:
2006-04-30

You are free to install anything you want from non-free. It just wont be included on the installer.

It is harder in Fedora. You need to use a third-party repo.

I use Free distros. I like that they are free. If I want to taint them, I can but I appreciate the policies. Not suiting you, doesn't make it stupid.

Edited 2011-03-18 03:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

If you want to change Debian policy the matter is simple to do: Become a Debian Developer (this may take 1.5 years) and then convince a majority of Debian Developers that the policy is incorrect, then propose a vote, then win the vote, then work with your fellow developers to do the packaging work necessary to fix the problem.

This will take you at least 2 years, more likely you'll find that the majority of Debian developers don't agree with you and want to keep their kernel free.

You could also choose to build a Debian-based distribution where you provide your own kernel and related packages. This would be a lot simpler, more like the 6 month time frame, but would get you what you want: Debian without the "pure" kernel. Go for it! Debian permits it and I encourage you to do this.

Don't make the mistake of thinking this is some small cabal of loonies who are screwing it up for the rest of us. The majority of DDs support this and quite a few us users do as well.

Reply Score: 3

need some help?
by KClowers on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:48 UTC
KClowers
Member since:
2009-12-18

<clippy>I looks like you are failing badly at Debian. Maybe you would like to try Ubuntu instead?</clippy>

Reply Score: 2

RE: need some help?
by robgarth on Fri 18th Mar 2011 03:55 UTC in reply to "need some help?"
robgarth Member since:
2006-04-30

Debian is the upstream of Ubuntu. It is not failing, it is just not trying to be Ubuntu.

Ubuntu can not exist without Debian.

Reply Score: 3

.
by Icaria on Fri 18th Mar 2011 04:08 UTC
Icaria
Member since:
2010-06-19

Debian hasn't given me any issues but then I don't use Gnome and avoid wireless networking like the plague. The installer has never struck me as being that verbose, either.

Reply Score: 1

RE: . - image stamp versus full installer
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Mar 2011 21:17 UTC in reply to "."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Ubuntu's installer benefits mostly from being a simple image stamp. It just takes the liveCD's image and writes to the hard drive after asking you minimal questions like prefered language and if it should use the whole disk or part of it. All the packages and kernel modules (drivers) are already in the liveCD's image. It does not offer software from the full potential library until after the initial install; your first stage is going to be what's been chosen for you.

To use Word as an example; it's like saving a pre-written letter to your documents directory.

Debian is primarily a full install distribution so it's installer is more like classic Windows. You boot the machine off the install disk, answer questions about location, hardware, hard drive partitioning, software selection and you get your own install from several different potential end results. The installer has to setup the hard drive, detect hardware and pull your choice of software packages from the full potential library.

To use Word again, this is like first transcribing the letter by selecting a page worth of short quotes from the several pages of a book then saving the resulting letter to your hard drive.

One really can't compare and criticize a full install process for not being a liveCD stamped image install process.

Reply Score: 2

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Firstly, I'm not really sure why you replied to me.

Secondly, there's no reason why Debian can't just force you to use a bunch of defaults, regardless of whether the installation media is a compressed full install, or just kernel+toolchain+apt+install scripts. There's a good number of reasons why they shouldn't but that's another discussion. Likewise, there's nothing prohibiting a live CD install from modifying just about any setting during the install, or automatically removing packages post-install.

Thirdly, a live CD still has to partition the local install media and detect your hardware.

And fourthly, the Word analogy is torturous.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

You where talking about installers so it seemed relevant though still directed as more a generic comment.

Debian could imposed a full set of defaults on the user. There is a liveCD debian version which probably does just this. Pretty much ever liveCD does this. That's how they work; a bootable image which can also be written to hard drive.

The difference is "full installer" versus "live installer" still though. One can't compare the two. It's like comparing a Windows install with a Windows drive image; one has an install process with several required questions while the other has a pre-fab OS image that's simply being stamped onto the hard drive.

Look at Mandriva:
Mandriva One - a liveCD version with set defaults and a live installer which stamps the pre-fab image onto hard drive if desired.

Mandriva Free - a "libre" full install version. This provides the traditional bare metal cold install giving the user the most choice in system setup. One can accept the full install defaults provided where possible or change them in addition to answering various required questions.

One can't compare the two isntalls because they are completely different by design and necesity. One is essentially a drive image stamped to the system while the other is an install process dependent on user's choices.

In the case of Mandriva and Debian, one has the option of using a liveCD installer or a full disk installer. If what one wants is a default install with all but the absolute minimum decided for them; use the liveCD.. that's what it's meant to do. If one wants more choice in how the system is installed, use the full install.. that's what it's meant to do.

Reply Score: 2

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

I think we've established that there's no necessity for one install method to be substantially more or less restrictive than the other. You're probably just better off making the general argument that, if you want a hassle free install, use a more curated Debian derivative and don't bemoan the 'toolkit OS' crowd their OSes, which suit their usage scenarios. Trying to tie this reasoning to particular pieces of technology seems more counter-productive, than anything.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I don't think it's even complicated enough to require child forks. If one wants a curated liveCD install then choose the liveCD install disk. Don't complain when a completely different type of install behaves differently from a liveCD image.

I think the real issue that started this whole article and discussion was blindly grabbing an install disk based on a guess then taking issue with the distribution when the reviewer's blind guess was incorrect. It's kind of like buying a VW Bug to take the family on campign trips with then complaining because it doesn't hold six people comfortably or do a good job of pulling the a camper behind it. Well duh.. neither of those are part of it's design in the first place.

Reply Score: 2

Response to review
by fizzled on Fri 18th Mar 2011 04:36 UTC
fizzled
Member since:
2006-01-06

What to do, what to do?

Do a minimal install using the netinst iso. Use aptitude to install whatever applications you need. It's not rocket science.

If you anticipate being in a place with limited or no internet connectivity, download (or order) the CD/DVD set so you can install any application without needing internet access.

Debian installation - Nothing has changed

That means that you don't need to learn anything new to keep using it.

Network configuration - A lesson is SM

It's better to just skip this step unless you have a good reason not to. It's faster to just do the minimal install and then configure network and repos later.

By the way-- I thought 'nothing changed' in the installer. The screenshot looks like something done in GTK.


Long and boring

Is this guy serious? How is the installer supposed to know how I want my machine partitioned? Should it just guess?

Igor Ljubuncic, since you seem to think the installer can just choose without my intervention, I'm asking you personally-- how should the Debian installer partition the two 9 GB hard drives in my SparcStation 20, and what filesystems and mount options should be used?


Using Debian - Boom, headshot!

No screenshot application or application that guesses at how I want to configure my network interfaces? Less pointless crap to installed. Sounds like a feature to me.


Conclusion

There are plenty of distros out there that only run on x86 machines, require a mouse to install, and install a whole bunch of buggy unnecessary crap without even asking you. Thankfully Debian isn't one of them.

Reply Score: 5

That time of the month
by dannoffs on Fri 18th Mar 2011 05:29 UTC
dannoffs
Member since:
2011-03-18

I'm pretty sure Aunt Irma is paying Mr. Ljubuncic a little visit.

Reply Score: 1

Props
by anacrolix on Fri 18th Mar 2011 06:07 UTC
anacrolix
Member since:
2011-03-18

Props for having the balls to slam Debian. Debian is terrible as a desktop distro, or possibly even for servers now. However it's rock solid, and is a fantastic base for other distros. Furthermore, as someone else mentioned, it still craps all over Fedora.

Reply Score: 2

screenshot utility
by vermaden on Fri 18th Mar 2011 07:29 UTC
vermaden
Member since:
2006-11-18

I had to use a digital camera to capture this stellar fail. No network, no screenshot utility, it's a reality not worth living in.


You could use xwd(1):
% xwd -root -out shot.xwd


... and then convert it to PNG for example:
% convert shot.xwd shot.png

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kvarbanov
by kvarbanov on Fri 18th Mar 2011 07:59 UTC
kvarbanov
Member since:
2008-06-16

The reviewer had a bad day, resulting in this rant. I can't tell anything about Debian, because I've never worked with it, but this post seems rather stupid. Installing recent distro on ancient hardware is not a good choice, either. I can write the same article about the issues I've had with OpenSuse, CentOS and Gentoo, but I managed to solve them, and guess what - the problem wasn't the OS or the installer, it was the cryptic hardware I owned. So, give me a decent review on a modern hardware, and delete that rant.

Edited 2011-03-18 08:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kvarbanov
by crimperman on Fri 18th Mar 2011 14:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by kvarbanov"
crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

The reviewer had a bad day, resulting in this rant. I can't tell anything about Debian, because I've never worked with it.


Yes and that's the point really. This "review" doesn't actually help you (a non Debian user) decide whehter to even try it or what issues you might encounter and how to overcome/workaround them. He doesn't tell even the basic spec of machine he's trying this on. *sigh*

Reply Score: 2

TL;DR; version
by r0b0 on Fri 18th Mar 2011 08:15 UTC
r0b0
Member since:
2006-09-21

The summary of the article: The debian installer doesn't work nice with wireless cards which require firmware to be loaded. Also, it doesn't support WPA nor WPA2.

You could have as well read this in the installation guide http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/ch02s01.html.en#nics-wir... and spare yourself this POS blog post altogether.

Reply Score: 3

Sounds good
by 3rdalbum on Fri 18th Mar 2011 08:23 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

The Debian installer tells you exactly what firmware you're missing - as far as I know, no other distro does this.

Reply Score: 3

Ragpickr
Member since:
2011-03-18

I have gone through the review and found it is in bad taste. Or, probably the author never used any GNU/Linux distro at all! Otherwise, he would not have made those comments. None of the Windows OS work till you install the device drivers. My experience with Fedora taught me that if you have multiple distros installed in your hard disk Fedora wo'nt recognize them after installation of Grub. Well, like many desktop users, I am neither a techi nor a geek. But experience has taught me that when every other distro fails, I can get back all my partitions through Debian. Before installing was he not aware that Debian has declared that they have got rid of all proprietary drivers from their kernel and would not offer any proprietary software by default. Those who need such drivers or software should separately download from Non-free repositories maintained by the Debian. I have installed Debian at my office & home PC, an old one and ASUS EEEPC and had no trouble configuring network with Debian. As for taking shot of Desktop, no distro contain more software in their repository than Debian. And I again say I am not a techi and my command over command lines is really rudimentary. But I have no problem in doing whatever I wish to do by using Debian. Thank you!

Reply Score: 2

My Debian *installer* review
by zimbatm on Fri 18th Mar 2011 09:21 UTC
zimbatm
Member since:
2005-08-22

I love Debian but I must agree that the installer is quite clunky :

* The progress bar has a tendency to from 100% to 0% back again and again. This is something we used to make windows fun of.
* The installer needs to be monitored trough all the installation because it might ask a question at any moment. Same, windows solved this ages ago.

That said, I understand the reasons for these issues and am not able to propose a better solution. What happens, is that each install step is represented by an independent .udeb package. This makes the whole process really modulable, as you can create CDs that contain or not raid-detection or whatnot, include proprietary package or not, ... But it also cuts all the steps in independent chunks and gives a combinatorial number of tests to verify that everything works well together.

The questions can be preseeded which might solve the second issue. Unfortunately, the docs are scarce and finding the right preseed options is often a matter of scanning the sources. The debugging of the installer is also a nightmare, the logs aren't including much useful informations and are filled with progress-bar percent update messages.

This is really a part of Debian that could be improved but I am afraid that by fixing these issues we will loose the flexibility that we have currently.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My Debian *installer* review
by HarmHilvers on Fri 18th Mar 2011 12:12 UTC in reply to "My Debian *installer* review"
HarmHilvers Member since:
2010-12-29

I love Debian but I must agree that the installer is quite clunky :

* The progress bar has a tendency to from 100% to 0% back again and again. This is something we used to make windows fun of.
* The installer needs to be monitored trough all the installation because it might ask a question at any moment. Same, windows solved this ages ago.

If what you write is true about the independent udeb packages, then there definitely is a solution: make two progress bars. The first one is for the udeb package that is currently being installed and it works with percentages. The second is more of a generic progress bar: if a Debian installation takes 20 packages, then this progress bar will be upped with 5 percent after the installation of each package. Clean. Simple.

Reply Score: 1

zimbatm Member since:
2005-08-22

That is an idea but it may be more complicated than it looks to implement.

Basically, all packages would need to be re-compiled to import a global progress variable because each screen you see is a new invocation of the curses gui tool from the current package. Support for a dual-progress-bar would also need to be added to the curses gui toolkit and the other frontends.

I am not even sure you can build the full list of steps before starting the process. Some .udeb seem to only be called when a prior option has been selected, especially in the disk-partitioning area, where for example you get an LVM partitioning dialog only if you selected the LVM disk layout.

This is really a design issue. The idea (I guess) was to re-use the dpkg toolkit to build those installer steps, but I don't feel like it is appropriate. But changing everything now is a lot of work.

That said, Ubuntu managed to solve the progress-bar issue with their ubiquity graphical installer. I am not entirely sure how they did it but I think they wrapped the dpkg gtk frontend with their own helpers. Last time I tried, the preseeding mechanism was the same as on the classical debian installer, which much less, different and broken options (that was on 10.04).

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

isn't the Ubuntu installer just stamping out the pre-fab liveCD image? If so, it already has the complete package count and config settings. Really it's just percentage of hard drive copied rather than percentage of packages installed.

Reply Score: 2

Amusing installation review
by stelios on Fri 18th Mar 2011 09:26 UTC
stelios
Member since:
2011-03-03

That was a fun review to read in my opinion. I've been using squeeze for several months now and I am quite happy with it. It is stable with tons of software in the repository, as always with Debian.

However, I do think the review har a point. The installation was a little bit frustrating, and I had patience only because I knew it would pay off (and it did). The installation doesn't need to be this complicated. It is 2011, some more polish in the installation process wouldn't hurt.

That said, I like Debian a lot. Once set up, it is a clean, nice OS that works well.

Reply Score: 1

Debian 6
by TusharG on Fri 18th Mar 2011 09:30 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

It was fun to read your writeup. My suggestion to you move on... We are happy with Debian 6 you are not! Find out a distro that matches your hardware, software and taste, Open source is big and has tones of options to choose from! Remember "one shoe cannot fit everyone" so dont complain... just move on....

Reply Score: 2

Defora
by kunal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 10:47 UTC
kunal
Member since:
2008-09-01

Defora still doesnt detect network drivers on my laptop!!

Reply Score: 1

amazing...
by salahuddin66 on Fri 18th Mar 2011 11:32 UTC
salahuddin66
Member since:
2009-09-12

1. Writing such a big article for criticizing a Linux distro, seems very wired.

If you are a true OSS lover you could report the problems as bug not criticizing them this way. (may be a marketing reason for other distro).


Debian is the Only distro who care about the freedom.
http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/

We use Iceweasel (instead of firefox)
"no inclusion of trademarked Mozilla artwork":
http://wiki.debian.org/Iceweasel

I have been using Debain as primary disto from the last 6 years, and happy with it.

I have dualboot MacOSX and Debian.
Ofcourse Debain is my primary distro.


I never had driver problem with my PC or MacBook. In worst case you may need to recompile kernel done....

If you dont like a distro try others...and encourage others to use that.
Criticizing is not a good option.

If you want to install debian in new hardware you should use testing or unstable (not the stable release).

wiki.debian.org

Wish you good luck your new distro ;)

Reply Score: 2

Bad? Not bad.
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Mar 2011 12:33 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

I noticed the same oddity regarding non-free wireless firmware when I was doing a squeeze install on my laptop. Now I know for a fact that the Debian non-free repo contains the firmware I needed and, if I recall correctly, I was even offered to enable the non-free repo as part of the installation process, but it would not permit me to fetch the non-free firmware over the net. Since I was doing a net install this seemed silly to me.

I asked about it and was informed that there had been a debate and the result was that there are non-free ISOs which will allow you to install the non-free firmware, it's just that they don't put it on the default CD. Since I was doing netinst over a wire I said this was silly and was informed that there are in fact non-free netinst discs. Go figure.

The lack of WPA in the installer is also a known (and complained about) issue. There's likely to be a fix for the next release (7.0, not 6.1).

Apart from this your criticisms are uninteresting and irrelevant. The installer may not be very pretty and may not be as friendly as other distros, but the process is refreshingly stable (both in terms of not failing and in terms of not changing), works the same across arch, and is sufficiently powerful. Despite your insinuations the Squeeze release cycle wasn't particularly long. Debian hasn't had a truly long cycle since woody, except maybe sarge.

Reply Score: 4

Yet another comment.
by ParadoxUncreated on Fri 18th Mar 2011 12:44 UTC
ParadoxUncreated
Member since:
2009-12-05

Seems lazy to not implement the same comforts as other distributions have done for how many years now.
I haven't tried it myself, since I have tried so many distros lately, and really ended back up on ubuntu, which I can completely understand the popularity of.
As for the freedom, I can also understand that some have strong opinions on that, but really, most people just want what is available today. Ofcourse one would prefer opensource variants, but hey, it's not here, so one'd have to use the "blobs". That's what I like about Ubuntu too, they recently now included option at installtime, for some codecs, that you had to do some extra mousclicks or similar, for before. In other words, the more comfort, and less inconvenience, is a step forward, for any distro. ;)

Edited 2011-03-18 12:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yet another comment.
by crimperman on Fri 18th Mar 2011 13:59 UTC in reply to "Yet another comment."
crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

As for the freedom, I can also understand that some have strong opinions on that, but really, most people just want what is available today. Ofcourse one would prefer opensource variants, but hey, it's not here, so one'd have to use the "blobs".


And until this release Debian included many of those blobs. It came under significant flak for doing so (and rightly so) because it claimed to be a free distribution but was distributing non-free software without making the user aware. Debian fixed that by moving the blobs to the non-free repository. It was always going to cause problems like this but a small amount of reading would have notified the author of this.

yes a lot of people want things to just work (usually without specifying what that means) but seriously Debian can win for trying here. I think by putting them in non-free (and thus available if you want them) they've done the right thing.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by neticspace
by neticspace on Fri 18th Mar 2011 13:48 UTC
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

Debian is still ok. You need to wait for the fixes. Keep using the older version of Debian stable a little longer. Problem solved.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by neticspace
by crimperman on Fri 18th Mar 2011 13:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by neticspace"
crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

Debian is still ok. You need to wait for the fixes. Keep using the older version of Debian stable a little longer. Problem solved.


Sorry, fixes for what? Squeeze is stable.

Reply Score: 1

this review: not good
by crimperman on Fri 18th Mar 2011 13:53 UTC
crimperman
Member since:
2006-11-09

As others have said this review is poorly researched, poorly written and amounts to little more than an angry whine. As a review it contains little useful information for the reader and is more about what happened when the author tried to install Debian 6. Where are the tips on how he got around the issues or where he got the firmware for example? This is of no help to the reader at all.

Aside from that I suppose it makes sense that the author of such a poor piece of writing would declare one of the major "faults" as being that the proprietary firmware and drivers for his hardware were not supplied on CD1. Debian has always been about freedom. The project came under immense criticims for the inclusion of binary blobs in the stock kernel and supplying proprietary firmware in it's main repository. It addressed those concerns and moved them to the non-free repo. While it may be "convenient" to the user to supply them, Debian cannot do this while at the same time claiming to be a free distribution. Seriously if you want to have a distribution take all the decisions for you - install Mint.

Reply Score: 3

Install what is so hard
by mandog on Fri 18th Mar 2011 14:35 UTC
mandog
Member since:
2011-03-18

1st i'm not a fanboy I don't use Debian nor do I use Ubuntu. just read this so I downloaded the iso and installed to Vbox as I always test 1st. I personally do not find much wrong with the installer at all its not intimidating like Ubuntu with those strange graphics trying to force you to resize partitions you don't have or if you do you have no desire to as you have some empty.It is also step by step no hit or miss and still in the real world. We dream of thinking I want to try this distro and by magic it automatically installs itself well dream on boys and girls and especially reviewers we aint there yet.Took about 20mins to net-install and about the same to configure the non free items flash/multimedia etc., that's not bad as I did not have to remove the kitchen sink etc. result 1 very fast boot time and a very fast distro under 100mb of ram!
Will I use it no is the answer its not for me. I use Arch Linux and trusty Parsix for my kids.
But at the end of the day Debian is a awesome project that deserves a lot more respect than it gets.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Install what is so hard
by Coxy on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:16 UTC in reply to "Install what is so hard"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

It might get more respect if people who think it is great showed respect to others. Look at the comments in this article to see the lack of respect shown to the reviewer.

Jeez ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Install what is so hard
by molnarcs on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Install what is so hard"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

It might get more respect if people who think it is great showed respect to others. Look at the comments in this article to see the lack of respect shown to the reviewer.

Jeez ;)


Well, he earned that lack of respect. Debian is explicitly aimed at people who are willing to learn and read documentation before installing it. What did the reviewer do? He saw that there are dozens of installation images, than decided not to bother with getting a clue and just took a shot at one. Then he complained. Excuse me?

A somewhat informed linux user knows that Debian is not for noobs or people in general who don't want to bother with RTFM. This guy blogs about linux regularly, so naturally, I expect more from him than Random LinuxUser Joe. 5 minutes on google (or 10 at most) would have yielded an installer image with firmwares included (solving the wireless problem instantly). What kind of respect do you think a reviewer can expect who doesn't even bother to do this?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Install what is so hard
by crimperman on Fri 18th Mar 2011 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Install what is so hard"
crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

It might get more respect if people who think it is great showed respect to others. Look at the comments in this article to see the lack of respect shown to the reviewer.

Jeez ;)


He also earned that lack of respect by not showing respect to the reader of his article. If this is a review - where are the specs of the machine he tried this on? Where are the sites he found the firmware from (you know to save others the bother)? Where is the commentary on using the system and not just the installer? Where doe she describe what level of user he is - how many other systems he's installed and of what types? Where is the constructive critique, suggestions for improvement and other things you might find in a proper review? The absence of these things shows little respect to the reader and really just makes this little more than a rant down the pub.

I struggle to see how any reader could ascertain whether it was even worth them downloading and trying Debian from this review?

Reply Score: 2

Good article
by Coxy on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:14 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

I was thinking about trying Linux now for a while, now I know not to bother trying this Linux.

Maybe I shall try Ubuntu instead as it seems to be more what I'm after.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good article
by molnarcs on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:38 UTC in reply to "Good article"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Maybe I shall try Ubuntu instead as it seems to be more what I'm after.


You already did a better job than the article writer - Debian is for people who want to understand the system, tinkerers and nerds basically. If you want something new, something other than windows, but not too complicated, yeah, try Ubuntu. The new OpenSuse just came out if you're looking for a KDE experience (KDE 4.6.x is really really nice, at least as advanced as windows 7). My personal favourite used to be Mandriva, Kubuntu was a disaster a year ago, they may have improved (worth a try I guess).

If you wanna learn something about linux, try FreeBSD ;) ) Not kidding, there will be some differences between Linux and FreeBSD, but both are built on unix concepts, and FreeBSD documentation beats all. Really well written and kept up to date. But this is only recommended if you are willing to do some reading before installation. Read their Handbook online or offline (I printed it out, for some reason it was easier to grasp most concepts when away from my PC).

Reply Score: 3

business as usual
by Oliver on Fri 18th Mar 2011 15:27 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

Try to mess with Gods own distro and the 'Debian botnet' will go for your guts. Debian is an example for too much democracy: lots of talk, less action.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by osrocks123
by osrocks123 on Fri 18th Mar 2011 16:01 UTC
osrocks123
Member since:
2010-05-09

I have a sun blade 1500 (sparc64) and I installed debian 6 on it ... everything worked great ...
If a sparc based system works okay, I believe that a x86 should work much more smooth ...
People are whinners ... Debian 6 is amazing ...

Reply Score: 1

One thing would have saved all his woes...
by leech on Fri 18th Mar 2011 16:22 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

Sorry if someone has already posted this;

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-...

Boom, no more network issues, and something just got narfed if he has no gnome-screenshot, all the Debian Squeeze installs I've done had no problem with that.

Though as he says, Debian is more server grade, and why the crap would you install gnome (or give a damn about gnome-screenshot) on a server. Use Ubuntu or any other number of 'desktop' OSes if you honestly think Debian has too many steps to install. It really isn't any harder than Ubuntu to install. At least I've never had Debian hose my entire Hard drive like I had Ubuntu do, with telling it to replace the current Linux install (I had Win7 on there too.)

Reply Score: 4

Obvious troll is obvious
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 18th Mar 2011 16:34 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry, SomethingAwful already did that joke 9 years ago:

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/truth-media-reviews/truthmedia-revi...

Reply Score: 2

Not good for who ?
by silviucc on Fri 18th Mar 2011 18:16 UTC
silviucc
Member since:
2009-12-05

If one's looking towards Debian to replace say, Windows as a desktop OS in the way that you install it and everything just works then no, you have not come to the right distro.

There's Ubuntu and derivate distros, there is OpenSUSE for that type of switch.

People have used Debian as a server OS for eons. I never heard them complain. They love it, if something breaks it gets fixed or gets worked around and the community propagates the solutions.

As soon as people learn to treat OSes as tools we'll have less rubbish reviews. I would have liked to see what someone that runs a server for various things and upgraded to the new version has to say about it.

Reply Score: 1

Debian Squeeze Wheezy/sid
by martyfelker on Fri 18th Mar 2011 18:28 UTC
martyfelker
Member since:
2007-03-22

I haved been installing OS for for l15 years so the Debian test install manual mode was not difficult. Because I have a boot maanger in sda partition 1 Debian does not see see my first drive but not a problem it ses the partitoning on drive 2 (3 Linux partitions, extended with Windows image) this is not a plroblem for me. What I like about Debian is that it is truly rock solid and I've not had a problem installing sid plgrade whatsover. Picks up my rather old graphics care which is more than I can say about the latest openSUSE , Fedora and Ubuntu. Kernel on DVD 2.6.32 but installing 2.6.37 is no problem. Don't particularly like GRUB2 - in fact in some ways its more like LILO (rerung pdate-grub after every change). Installed VB and VMware WS 7.1.3 without a problem - as many of youj know WS needs a patch to run with 2.6.37 but that is available on user forums. KDE 4 works well - its at version 4.45 so hardly state of teh art - might be able to install 4.6 from source - but I like Gnome better anyway (except for openSUSE). YOu don't install Debian for state-of-the arts Desktops but GNOME 2.30 is good enough for me - I'll try GNOME 3/Gnome shell when it lhits the Debian rfepos.

All, in all if people want rapid installs and have good video cards go for Ubuntu. However once you've installed an OS - who cares??

Reply Score: 2

Maybe true, but...
by reez on Fri 18th Mar 2011 18:30 UTC
reez
Member since:
2006-06-28

All of this may be true. First of all I dislike Debian and Ubuntu and I also dislike reviews. Mainly because they are like this one.

"Debian 6 Squeeze: Not Good" should possibly be "Debian Installer: Not Good"

Is the installer your reason for choosing an OS over another?

Reply Score: 3

"Debian 6 Squeeze: Not Good"
by l3v1 on Fri 18th Mar 2011 18:45 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Debian 6 Squeeze: Not Good

One man's failure is another man's ... whatever.

Anyway, all I had to add to the article/opinion is that I upgraded my debian/stable servers, also upgraded my debian/testing machines and I'm as happy with them as I was before.

Not happy, go *buntu.

Reply Score: 2

Couldn't squeeze out a problem!
by zykoda on Fri 18th Mar 2011 20:32 UTC
zykoda
Member since:
2011-03-18

Squeeze AMD64 DVD 1 downloaded. burned and installed without a single problem for me. Wired network, no wireless, desktop. Used graphical install onto LVM2 volume. Flash 64 works in IceFox. Me-TV functioning after firmware loaded. LXDE fine. All very stable. So is aptosid on same machine after switching from sidux by "upgrade". This desktop has a laptop MSI mobo with embedded ATI radeon Xpress 1150. Screen resolution was set in xorg.conf to suit my 1280x1024 display. Networked to XP, Vista and 7 as well as other linux. Did not find installer long winded. What were you doing? Fine distro replacing Lenny and Etch. Normally use Fedora.

Reply Score: 1

Congratulations for the article...
by Jason Bourne on Fri 18th Mar 2011 20:56 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

Very very good article. Indeed, Debian is a distro that is too overrated. I can't see the point of it. Self-appointed geeks in techical courses claim to be using it, just for the sake of 'geekness'. Plain crap. I guess that when you have a bunch of purists around, things get retarded and unconventional.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Soulbender
by Soulbender on Fri 18th Mar 2011 21:23 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

No network, no screenshot utility, it's a reality not worth living in.


Oh the drama. Woe is me.

This review is junk. It's like buying a Rolls for off-road racing and then complaining when it doesn't work well.

(Disclaimer. I haven't installed Debian in more than 5 years)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Gregory Isaacs
by Gregory Isaacs on Fri 18th Mar 2011 21:42 UTC
Gregory Isaacs
Member since:
2006-06-30

Sometimes things are not so simple. I've installed Debian somewhere in 2003 (don't know which version) on PPC and later on x86 and can't say that it was a too difficult task. Just recently I wanted to install NetBSD on my netbook and ran into some problems I didn't experience before (had OpenBSD and NetBSD installed on both PPC and x86 in 2003) and then went through a few installs of Dragonfly etc.. My main desktop OS is Gentoo and I'm used to it 7 years now and I like the way it's set up and the way you can configure it as well as the documetation.
I believe I can understand the reviewer in some parts of his rant that the some things shouldn't be an issue in 2011 anymore or at least you should be able to have workarounds. For me it was no problem to install Debian, OpenBSD, NetBSD in 2003 on the hardware I had and get everything to work, but to work on the same level in 2010 made me happy to switch back to Gentoo where at least for me there is a logical way to solve problems.

Reply Score: 2

UncleWarthog
Member since:
2009-03-26

Mr. "reviewer":

It sounds like you don't like operating systems which allow the level of customization that a Linux distribution like Debian offers. You should, in the future, consider sticking with Microsoft Bob.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by stipex
by stipex on Sat 19th Mar 2011 09:10 UTC
stipex
Member since:
2009-07-30

Interesting. Debian 6 works like a charm on my Toshiba laptop and desktop PC, I would give it A+.

Reply Score: 1

Go back to your iPad then
by aliver on Sat 19th Mar 2011 15:47 UTC
aliver
Member since:
2011-03-19

"Unix is user friendly, it's just picky about who it's friends are."

I'm quite pleased the reviewer had a rotten experience with Debian. Stay out, please. It sounds to me like he'd be most happy with an iPad or a lollipop. Whiners who can't handle using an oh-my-god-it's-text installer and freak out when Gnome, KDE, or some desktop toy breaks on them don't seem to understand that Debian wasn't made for them. They are the same types of folks who'd get into an Indy car and complain that it wasn't an automatic and didn't have an iPod dock, then drive off in a cute lime green VW Bug.

Someone earlier said that Linux and BSD will never take over the world because only 1% of the users out there have the skills to "make it work right". I laugh to myself and say "excellent deduction, Sherlock." Did you ever stop to think that maybe BSD or certain Linux distros don't _want_ to take over the world? There are an awful lot of morons in the world and perhaps those folks just don't want to fsck with them. Maybe those bit-twiddling geeks like their little island of solitude free from the chattering Ubuntu zealots screaming about their wireless drivers not "just working" or black turtleneck wearing Mac fans constantly yammering about their GUI integration. Perhaps some folks like technology just for it's own sake, not simply as a tool.

Just because it's not a svelte desktop doesn't mean it sucks. It means it's not what you needed at the time or perhaps it's power was only to be had at a technical level above yours (more likely).

Personally, I'm happy to see these kind of clueless rants about non-GUI'fyed distros and OS's. It means there are a few long haired propeller headed geeks out there keeping the faith and scaring off the tourists. You can keep your Gnome, KDE, and Enlightenment distros. I'll stay on the console or maybe in ION, Fluxbox, or evilwm. The real alpha geeks are trying to avoid the herd and capture the true power of Unix variants which has always been on the command line.

Here's a lollipop, now go home, please.

Reply Score: 2

Debian 6.0
by hitest on Sun 20th Mar 2011 02:59 UTC
hitest
Member since:
2006-10-28

I took Debian 6.0 for a test drive on one of my PCs and the text installer works like a charm. Debian recognized all of my hardware and set-up properly.
I appreciate and understand the philosophical stance regarding non-free software, but, I'm not interested at all in gnu politics. However, I do think that Debian is a solid choice as a distro. I prefer and run Slackware.

Reply Score: 1

This review: Not Good
by da_Chicken on Sun 20th Mar 2011 03:26 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

Installing Debian is actually really, really easy. You just pop in the installer disk and hit the Enter key whenever it stops to ask you something. Well, you may want to select your locale and type something when it asks for the user name and password, but for everything else hitting Enter is the right answer. So if you have enough computer skills to hit the Enter key repeatedly, then you can install Debian. ;)

"If you want to install Debian without a network, you will hit a chain of problems. Without network, you won't be able to configure your repositories, including third-party and proprietary stuff. Without those, there's a good chance some of your hardware won't work, plus you won't have codecs for most of the media out there, including Flash and MP3. Worst of all, if you happen to be using a Wireless card that normally comes with closed-source firmware, you won't be able to get it running without quite a bit of extra effort. On a laptop, this is a showstopper."

You need to have the deb package that includes the non-free firmware on a USB stick, and you can install it either when the Debian installer asks for the firmware, or after you've finished the installation and booted your Debian system. So the missing non-free firmware in the installer is not a problem that can't be solved.

Debian actually plays MP3 files out of the box. And it includes the GNU Gnash flashplayer, which can play some flash videos, but not all. The non-free flashplayer can be installed using the package manager after you've added the non-free package repo.

I've never actually used the GNOME desktop, which is the default in Debian, but I think there's an icon for the networkmanager in the panel. So if you installed the missing non-free firmware during the install, then configuring the wireless connection with networkmanager should not be too difficult. IIRC, also Ubuntu uses the same networkmanager, but apparently using an app in Debian is more difficult for some reviewers than using the exactly same app in Ubuntu.

I think Debian also includes the same GUI package manager frontend as Ubuntu, although I always use the aptitude package manager frontend, myself. So installing any apps you might miss (such as an app for taking screenshots) should be just as easy/difficult in Debian as it is in Ubuntu.

It seems to me that the person who wrote this review must be a clueless idiot, because he had trouble performing such an easy task as installing Debian.

Reply Score: 4

RE: This review: Not Good
by A420X on Sun 20th Mar 2011 06:25 UTC in reply to "This review: Not Good"
A420X Member since:
2011-02-02

This review: Not Good
That comment: Not much better

While I agree with you that installing Debian is a pretty simple (albeit not always the simplest) task, I find it hard to agree with your reaction to the reviewer.

I do agree that the review did feel a bit 'amateurish' but I suspect it would be better received in a more newbie friendly environment (not that we aren't all sunshine and lollipops over here at OSNews ^_^ )

That being said some good points were raised, one of which was the critique of networkless installation.


If you want to install Debian without a network, you will hit a chain of problems.


For starters, no matter how much you try to gloss over the point - the reviewer is right, its not an issue specific to Debian but (again, as the reviewer rightly points out) the situation is worse on Debian - I personally don't see this is as a bad thing, Debian is a great vanguard of free software and by omitting non-free packages from the offline media Debian showcases this great software and encourages its development - the reviewer could have spent more time discussing this philosophical perspective as it would have helped put the situation in context.

Likewise you could have spent a bit more time reading your choice quotes - the reviewer says "if you want to install Debian without a network...

A good point IMO - what if you don't have an Internet connection? You could live in a remote area or simply not be able to afford one...

So the missing non-free firmware in the installer is not a problem that can't be solved.


If like the reviewer you don't want to connect to the net to get a full system or you simply can't it's not really such a simple solution.

As for the screenshot issue, yes it's a simple apt-get install or a few minutes clicking in synaptec but the real question (and I think the one the reviewer was trying to raise) is how was such a commonplace utility so easily missed in the Install (I would like to know this myself actually ;) )
[q]
It seems to me that the person who wrote this review must be a clueless idiot, because he had trouble performing such an easy task as installing Debian.[q]

How you treat reviewers you disagree with is your business, calling them an idiot for taking the time to write a thought provoking (if not more miss than hit) review that you then couldn't even be bothered to respond to thoroughly does seem a tad rich to me ... just my $0.02

Reply Score: 1

some people..
by hussam on Sun 20th Mar 2011 08:50 UTC
hussam
Member since:
2006-08-17

I think some people shouldn't be allowed to use anything that requires electrical power to operate.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Alexander
by Alexander on Sun 20th Mar 2011 14:11 UTC
Alexander
Member since:
2011-03-19

As for the screenshot issue, yes it's a simple apt-get install or a few minutes clicking in synaptec but the real question (and I think the one the reviewer was trying to raise) is how was such a commonplace utility so easily missed in the Install (I would like to know this myself actually ;) )


I would like to know that too because just two days ago I did an install of Debian Squeeze (version 6.0 not 6.0.1 which was just released) and the screenshot utility was there. I did a default install with Desktop Environment selected in tasksel. So perhaps the reviewer did something wrong or his media was damaged or i don't really know what, but i'm fairly certain that there is no problem with gnome-screenshot. In fact i did not encounter any problems whatsoever and everything worked as expected.

As for the review i think it is bad review because it presents a very strong opionion about Debian while at the same time the review clearly has not bothered to look inside Debian. We have 99% of the review dedicated to the installer and virtually nothing dedicated to using Debian. How could anyone manage to get a fair impression of any operating system without using it is beyond me. While in the end the review had a bad opinion of Debian, even if he had a positive one it would not be fair because symple he has not basis for any opinion on the matter.

The second major fail of the reviewer is his failure to graps the concept that there most linux distributions have different goals and target groups. This is major fail because this is the very reason why there are hundreds of linux distributions. If you want a desktop distribution then by all mean try Ubuntu, Open SuSe, Mandriva and if you have formed an opinion in the process then share it. If you want a server ditribution then you should try CentOS or RHEL. There are also distributions that try to do all the work for the users and strive to come up with the best default settings, there are also distributions like Debian which let the user set up his own system. Therefore if you are looking for a server distribution but decide to review Ubuntu and end up not happy with it or if you are looking for a desktop distribution and try CentOS the fault is not with the distribution but with you. My experience with Debian is that it has a very specific goals and the current release works without any problems and as expected in the framework set by these goals.

Here is also my opinion on several topics from the review:
The Installer - in opinion it is very good, in fact it is my second favourite linux installer together with Fedora's anaconda. And i don't see what's so difficult about it - most of the questions it asks you the Ubuntu installer will ask you too - like where you live, what is your keyboard and partitioning. For the other questions you can successfully use the defaults. In the context of Debian's target groupthe installer is very good.
The need for networking - realistically speaking no matter what distribution you are using you need network. It's just how modern computers work. For example if i try to install Ubuntu without network my video card won't have 3d (because i need the proprietary drivers for that) and i won't have multimedia codecs. And it's not like only with Linux. I recently installed Windows 7 and without network i would have been left with a practically useless system - the default install of Windows 7 lacks many essential programs (like a good office suite which thankfully most linux distributions provide by default) and while Windows 7 supports a lot more hardware by default than Windows XP i still needed to install several drivers. So in practice no matter what you install on your computer without Internet you will be severely limeted. And if you insist to do a networkless install you can use the install DVDs (in fact i think that the first dvd will be enough).

The inability to use WPA encryprion during install - it's not like your are installing Debian everyday, i don't think that is such a big issue to set your router to use WEP for about an hour.

"The partition setup was particularly annoying" - this must be the most stupidest thing in the review. The partitioning setup is nearly ideantical for most linux distributions i've tried (except for Gentoo). How is Debian's partion setup different from Ubuntu's or Fedora's - same old, same old. You can delete partitions, create new partitions, select a file system and a mount point. I'm not sayinг which one is the best because to me they are all vирtually identical.

Reply Score: 2

Not a honest review
by fernbap on Mon 21st Mar 2011 00:14 UTC
fernbap
Member since:
2011-03-21

This was not a honest review. If the reviewer was a newbie, it would be possible for him to make such review. But he isn't.
He already knew what to expect from Debian. He already knew that using CD1 only to install Debian wouldn't work if he was dependent on a proprietary wireless firmware.
He already knew that, by using the install DVD 1, it would contain all he would need to make Debian work in his machine.
So, everything was set for a disaster to happen, and then he happily reported the disaster, as HE WAS SET TO DO FROM THE VERY BEGINING.
That can be expected from a linux newbie, but that is inexcusable from any experient linux user.

Reply Score: 1

debian squeeze
by vtired on Mon 21st Mar 2011 18:00 UTC
vtired
Member since:
2011-03-21

I am using this debian squeeze thing on all my three computers desktop, notebook and netbook but I consider myself lucky not to have experienced the said problems in installation. If I had I wouldn't be using it because I wouldn't have known how to solve them. I am a newbie. The only problem I had was not knowing where to install the grub2 thing on the netbook. It was being installed on the same flash drive that I was using to install and later the netbook wouldn't boot. From the forums they told me how to go about it. On the desktop the ethernet card seemed to be having problems. I was told to give it static ip address and seems to be behaving well.
For my needs debian squeeze is better than Lenny because I can get things like rednetbook from the repositories and my usb mobilebroadband modems are readily picked by network manager.
And actually came to debian because I want one conservative easy to use ( apt-get) distro after doing two years of hopping.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

I think Dedoimedo made this install much harder than it had to be.

Sure, the partition manager is pretty basic looking but it works; my preferance remains with Mandriva's partition manager used during the install but I'm not feeling grief over Debian's.

An accurate click count would have added credability also. The "just a thousand more clicks and.." got old really quickly.

And, an hour to copy files from the install media? What packages where chosen.. who am I kidding.. choosing indavidual packages.. let me correct that.. what package groups where selected to install? Did he throw a check in each box available then wonder why isntalling everythign from the original media took an hour? Heck, in an hour and a half, I go from bare metal to fully configured with my prefered selection of packages (give or take speed of the network connection).

He does hit on some good points but I think he's also made the install harder than it had to be just for the sake of poinging fingers. if you want a brainless one click install, stick wtih liveCD; don't pick up a full install cd then wonder why it asks you more than two questions before doing a full bare metal install.

Personally, my only issues with Squeeze so far:
- No Bastille - seems the upstream project has stalled so not so much grief over why Debian pulled it just before 6 Stable.

- No Mondo Rescue - this is really a fantastic backup option and not including it just makes me wonder what happened there. Hopefully this is also an upstream issue and the original Mondo folks will have the Squeeze 64bit repository working soon. Between network timeout errors from the domain/ftp and missing dependencies when I am able to connect, I'm really hoping they figure things out soon.

- Firefox 4 is out, the world is movign to video tags is in use, Squeeze includes Firefox 3 so it's pretty much shipping broken for anyone hitting modern websites. (the repository provided Vimperator is broken to.)

- backports seems to be dormant still. No packages in the search results and no "browse" option to see a list of what is there. The backport delay really relates to teh above as this is where those things should apear when they eventually get resolved. Well, Mondorescue and maybe an Iceweasel 4 backport?


It's still early after launch. There are bugs that will get fixed stilled and there are legitimate things to complain about but "the installer isn't pretty and isn't as short a a liveCD image stamper".. woopty.. if your seeing the isntaller that often, your either a builder who'll haveno issue with the installer or your doing something to break your system frequently to need reinstalls.

(offhand, anyone able to direct me to info on touchscreen support in Debian? I have to get a desktop monitor with touch and Debian driver support.)

Reply Score: 2

hm
by linux-it on Mon 21st Mar 2011 18:27 UTC
linux-it
Member since:
2006-07-13

I have been readiing the slew of comments where the review mostly was burnt down to the ground. now let's see and look for SLES, RHEL, UBUNTU and OpenSUSE. Compare that to debian and the rigid (understandable) way of picking code. And then you start to see that actually there is more truth in this review than you want to see.

I know. If someone attacks your favorite set, ou're doing all things to 'fix', 'debunk' etc it.

But what if it really is not that good?

I tend to test these kind of distributons undre vmware workstation. I haven't even got it to boot.

I'll see what the root cause is of this. Anyways, each on it's own, right?

Reply Score: 2

Some questions and answers
by Dedoimedo on Mon 21st Mar 2011 19:01 UTC
Dedoimedo
Member since:
2010-06-21

Hello fellas,

I've read all of 20 pages of comments. Without any intention to start a new set of flames and arguments, I'd like to answer a few points raised by some of the readers and commenters:

1) A review is an opinion; it does not negate your experience. The two are not mutually exclusive and can coexist well together, despite the ideological or technical differences.

2) I actually like(d) Debian 5, however that distro was released quite a long time ago and my expectations were different back then, hence the seemingly logical discrepancy in my (dis)satisfaction with certain items that are identical in the two releases, yet I favored in the previous release and did not quite like in the latest one.

3) Writing reviews with a justification of the cause with which the software was conceived means embracing and identifying oneself with the ideology/purpose at hand, which defeats objectivity in trying to analyze software as a means to an end.

4) Whether I'm right or wrong is irrelevant, because I'm not trying to delegitimize the purpose and use of Debian. I am giving my perspective as a software user, who perceives operating systems as a commodity. As simple as that. At my workplace, I will happily spend hours and days tweaking, testing, configuring, and fixing systems, but at home, administration is secondary and even detrimental. My facts presented in the review, so to speak, reflect my experience. Nothing more.

I'd like to thank everyone for taking time to read and respond. I understand the heat and passion stem from caring, including some less refined comments. On the same note, I expect you to look beyond your anger or disagreement and see whether negative feedback can be leveraged to improve a product. Criticism does not have to be a bad thing. If I did not care about Debian, I would not have written about it at all. Have you thought about it that way?

Cheers,
Dedoimedo

Reply Score: 1

how about documenting before grmblgrr ?
by humphra on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 13:07 UTC
humphra
Member since:
2011-03-22

it appears to me your revue is not too fair...

first option : read the documentation, this might help...how about 6.01 ? links to manual and installer manual are on the download page...

second option (my choice not so much free time for reading...) : i use a special debian version :
for instance, one of many choices like aptosid (10 minutes install on hd with everything configured, after what i can modify my repos to adapt the distro to my wishes, localisation, packages install, personalisation...(aptosid : stabilized sid debian).
other, like k-x-lx-buntu and the derivated
stuff is also usable...

well well using the debian pure squeeze isos after reading doc will take how long ???

concerning the nonfree packages (firmware and any other
progs) install firmware-nonfree [what is more easy to add the debian-multimedia repos, and edit sources.list.d/debian.list to add contrib nonfree ???]

allright i'm done

Reply Score: 1

Rename the article
by jrtayloriv on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 20:35 UTC
jrtayloriv
Member since:
2011-03-22

I agree with the author regarding many of the problems he mentions with the installer. However it's inappropriate to title an article in a way that implies that the entire distribution is broken, rather than just the installer. Debian is one of the most well-designed Linux distros currently in existence, both for desktops and for servers. Saying that it's "not good" is false. Saying that the installer is "not good" is true (IMO).

I think a lot of the anger that's coming out in the comments is from this poor choice of title (and the unnecessary hyperbole and flaming in the article, instead of calm suggestions for improvement).

The article should be renamed "Debian 6 installer: not good.", and the author should apologize for the mistake. Otherwise, he's got some very good points that I hope the Debian installer maintainers will take to heart.

Edited 2011-03-22 20:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1