Linked by David Barker on Tue 11th Nov 2003 06:11 UTC
Debian and its clones I'm always looking at different and new Linux distribution's now and then, trying to finally find one that is good enough to overthrow windows on my PC. But all the distributions seem to have a weakness, Mandrake is rpm based, Debian makes it hard to set some things up and Gentoo requires a lot of work and time compiling. And so I decided to try out Libranet.
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cool
by Cheapskate on Tue 11th Nov 2003 00:42 UTC

i like that wallpaper with the Tux holding a flywatter looking at the M$N butterfly...

sounds like you had a good experience getting Libranet setup, and about the menus i agree with you on that, i hate a menu that has too many submenus like Mandrake's KDE, i want menus totally customizable and the items easily renamed...

HappyTrails ;)

heya
by Eu on Tue 11th Nov 2003 00:48 UTC

Libranet is ok, but I prefer either straight debian or Mandrake. Libranet feels like a strange step in between. The other thing is how does Red Hat or Mandrake prevent you from learning?

It's all there, just a console away.

Libranet and OSNews
by nnooiissee on Tue 11th Nov 2003 01:00 UTC

There sure are a lot of Libranet reviews on OS News. I just clicked on the Debian topic icon and Libranet makes up most of the recent news.

I have been meaning to buy a CD for a while now. Not for myself (since they don't have a ppc version), but as a way to seduce friends to the dark side: Debian.

My only complaint (and this goes for Debian as well) is I would like more news in addition to the reviews.

v So where is today's Libranet ad?
by Anonymous on Tue 11th Nov 2003 01:01 UTC
@cheapstake
by Eu on Tue 11th Nov 2003 01:01 UTC

YEah, the wallpaper is cool. Is it available anywhere else?

RE: Libranet and OSNews
by Eugenia on Tue 11th Nov 2003 01:03 UTC

>There sure are a lot of Libranet reviews on OS News.

Yeah, because they are a real company and they make sure they are more in the news than Debian.org cares to be. We only report whatever is in the news and whatever articles are sent to us, I have personally never used Libranet in my life, neither I think I will (I mostly use Slackware when I feel the need to use Linux)

Beta of the new Debian installer
by Syntaxis on Tue 11th Nov 2003 01:16 UTC

On a somewhat related note (since Libranet is often touted over stock Debian on account of its installer) the first official beta of the new Debian installer was released on November 9th.

Check it out at http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/News/2003/2 if you're curious. You'll be doing the project a favour: "what we need most now is broad testing. That is why we want users to help us by testing this beta."

RE: @cheapstake
by Anonymous on Tue 11th Nov 2003 01:34 UTC
*Sigh*
by None on Tue 11th Nov 2003 01:52 UTC

"But all the distributions seem to have a weakness, Mandrake is rpm based,"

Yet another person who doesn't understand the difference between package formats and pacakges benefits. RPM in itself is NOT a weakness. It's a very good packaging method that when combined with the proper package management tools works as well if not better than any packaging method around.

Debian-installer is fast!
by psilo on Tue 11th Nov 2003 02:15 UTC

That was the fastest distro install I ever did. Got a working base-install + fluxbox + aptitude (sid) in so little time I, downloading the iso and burning was the longest part.

Re: psilo
by Paul on Tue 11th Nov 2003 02:36 UTC

Are you referring to the beta installer that Syntaxis link to? If so, I think I feel a smile creeping across my face. That would be a news item.

I have a question, but only time will tell; If Debian comes out with a decent installer, how will the other Debian based distro's fair? I currently use Knoppix, solely for the installation routine.

Re: psilo
by Kar120c on Tue 11th Nov 2003 02:49 UTC

"If Debian comes out with a decent installer, how will the other Debian based distro's fair?"

I don't think it'd have too much of an impact. To me, much of their strength comes from better, or at least better integrated and easy to use configuration tools than can be found in a normal Debian install. Even with the easy install of Debian that Knoppix gives, I still wouldn't point someone new to Linux to it, just because I know most would have a tough transition without better hardware update and configuration utilities. I think eventually though that a desktop oriented controll panel style setup will be made for Debian, and that's the point where I personally wonder how other distros are going to fare. The commercial distros get their money from home use primarily through offering software and system updates. If someone can install Debian Unstable and get a Mandrake style controll panel as well as updates that come faster than mandrake or lindows provide, it's going to be seriously sharp competition.

Libranet is good...
by Denis Law on Tue 11th Nov 2003 02:50 UTC

but it didnt install on my Toshiba laptop, and I just dont know Debian enough to get everything setup right. And there aren't many books out there specifically targetting Debian...

The wallpaper is so cool, it is now on my desktop, cheers!

@None
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 11th Nov 2003 02:54 UTC

Actually, dpkg does have some rather significant advantages over RPM.

1) Its closely tied in with package configuration (debconf). I was a Debian user for quite a while (up till the KDE-3 debacle) and debconf is *sweet*. Its basically a unified backage configuration mechanism. Every time you install a package, debconf will come up (with a number of different UIs, depending on which one you choose) and give you a kind of "wizard" for configuring it. You can also call debconf at any time to reconfigure the package if you want.

2) It gives recommendations. I don't know if this is a limit of the RPM format, but every dpkg comes with a list of recommended packages. These packages usually represent other packages that will give the current one additional functionality.

3) dpkg has a lot of excellent developer tools that make it easy to create Debian policy-complaint packages.

4) It uses tree of text files for its database, unlike RPM which uses a binary database. Text formats are almost always better for this kind of critical system information, because they are harder to corrupt and easier to work with directly. A binary database is a single point-of-failure. Even Microsoft has learned its lesson with the registry, and is moving to an XML tree in Longhorn.

Re: Debian Installer
by Nix4you on Tue 11th Nov 2003 03:06 UTC

Thank you very much for providing that information. The new installer should help and encourage new users to debian (imho).

v Another Libranet review...
by Victor on Tue 11th Nov 2003 03:19 UTC
Debian on the desktop?
by free loader on Tue 11th Nov 2003 03:27 UTC

New Debian installer! Also Progeny has ported RedHat installer to Debian. See the news in DebianPlanet: http://www.debianplanet.org/

And a Debian based live-CD distro called Morphix announced recently that it is currently porting some RedHat/Fedora's GUI config tools to Morphix/Debian, as well as developing some GUI config tools of its own. Morphix also develops at the moment 'MorphixControlPanel' that is going to be something like Libranet's Adminmenu. Also I've read that Knoppix now uses graphical partioioning tool QTParted and that Morphix plans to provide something similar written in gtk. All tools from Knoppix and Morphix will come in time to official Debian repositories (unlike tools that Libranet develops). All in all, future looks pretty bright for Debian on the desktop! :^)

re: Debian Installer
by Syntaxis on Tue 11th Nov 2003 03:52 UTC

Cheers for the responses, guys. I've submitted it as a news item in its own right (with a little extra detail thrown in). Now to see if the moderators agree that it's newsworthy. :-)

re: Debian on the desktop?
by Syntaxis on Tue 11th Nov 2003 03:54 UTC

"All tools from Knoppix and Morphix will come in time to official Debian repositories (unlike tools that Libranet develops)."

Yes, hopefully. The debian-knoppix project (http://alioth.debian.org/projects/debian-knoppix/) is one to watch; its stated aim is to "integrate all Packages which are necessary to build a Knoppix live CD into Debian and build a system to build your own Knoppix derivative from Debian mirror."

"All in all, future looks pretty bright for Debian on the desktop!"

I couldn't agree more. :-)

Libranet Classic
by perotbot on Tue 11th Nov 2003 04:16 UTC

I've been using libranet 2.7 "classic" for about 2 months now. I've always liked debian, but didn't like the pain and suffering involved in getting things "just so". Libranet takes the grunt work out of it and gives me a bf2.4 woody install that works on my laptops (Dell CpiA366 and C800) with out a hitch. The stability of debian 3 woody is what I wanted, and it's what I got.

rpm based?
by Carl on Tue 11th Nov 2003 04:37 UTC

"But all the distributions seem to have a weakness, Mandrake is rpm based,"

What a strange comment. Mandrake is rpm-based, yes, but with an easy-to-use tool that handles dependencies stably. It's the equivalent of Debian's apt though it isn't as mature and well-known. Being rpm-based and having a tool like urpmi is one of mandrake's advantages! I don't understand calling it a weakness.

Debian's apt is better
by Anonymous on Tue 11th Nov 2003 04:56 UTC

because it more mature and has about a three times larger repository size that is better updated and is better tested than the unofficial stuff put out by everyone else.

re: Debian's apt is better
by pi on Tue 11th Nov 2003 05:03 UTC

I completely concur with you here. I use Gentoo instead of Redhat because I can get just about ANYTHING in Gentoo and compile it exactly how I need to. (Gentoo has a very similar repository to Debian)

i.e. If I want to use Galeon 1.3.x I just compile Mozilla w/GTK2 support. If I want to use Galeon 1.2.x instead, just compile Mozilla with GTK support.

Sure compiling takes a little while (I just do most of it over night), but it sure beats the heck out of having to go to Galeons site, find/download the latest RPMs. Try to install the, find out you need libfoo.so.x and libfoo2.so.y, have to download those RPMs and then hope they all work together.

Freshrpms has a really nice apt repository, but it doesn't have anywhere NEAR the amount of packages as the Debian or Gentoo repositories.

I like Debian but...
by Slackware_is_1337 on Tue 11th Nov 2003 05:07 UTC

all the packages are so out of date(even the testing). For now im going to stick with slackware and swaret.

Re the installer, knoppix IMO has to be the easiest and fastest(~15mins to install everything).

Debian GNU/linux Sid
by dpi on Tue 11th Nov 2003 05:32 UTC

"I like Debian but... all the packages are so out of date(even the testing)"

Some stuff can and will ''never'' be included into Debian GNU/Linux, like MPlayer and LAME. Various reasons exist for such decisions, try Google.

If you want the newest of the newest, try Sid. Moderate Debian knowledge is recommended imo, and i wouldn't use it on mission critical servers either because who cares about the newest on such computers, but anyway, your computer.

There are also 3rd party repositries for Woody and Sarge. See http://www.apt-get.org

Re: I like Debian
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 11th Nov 2003 05:35 UTC

The packages generally aren't far out of date. Unstable is very up-to-date, and still rather stable. I used to run unstable, never got any broken packages. Certainly, their package quality is on par with FreshRPMs --- about as stable, but with more niceties like debconf scripts and whatnot. Unstable is still out of date on a couple of things (mainly XFree) due to portability requirements, and for those there are *tons* of third-party APT repositories. Try http://www.apt-get.org. If you're looking for a binary distro, the only thing that keeps me from recommending Debian is its lack of a good graphical installer and suite of config tools like RedHat or SuSE have.

anyone with solid insight into Debian vs FreeBSD?
by Anonymous on Tue 11th Nov 2003 05:46 UTC

i'm migrating servers from redhat.

thanks.

v Genius!
by Yuan on Tue 11th Nov 2003 08:51 UTC

anyone with solid insight into Debian vs FreeBSD?

Try debian-user mailing list.

Or ask in #debian @ irc.debian.org

J

Not much to learn with Red Hat or Mandrake ?
by Steven on Tue 11th Nov 2003 13:47 UTC

The retail versions of Red Hat or Mandrake come with a decent manual, contrary to some other operating systems (name your favorite cheap turkey here). In fact, I have my old Red Hat 5.x manual somewhere in a drawer or a box. Those who prefer to download the iso still have access to a wealth of information, either on the CD or online. Therefore, I don't understand why the author didn't learn much with those two fine distros, unless he means he didn't have the opportunity to tinker with configuration files every five minutes.

RE: rpm based?
by renoX on Tue 11th Nov 2003 14:09 UTC

>>"But all the distributions seem to have a weakness, Mandrake is rpm based,"
>What a strange comment. Mandrake is rpm-based, yes, but with an easy-to-use tool that handles dependencies stably.

Stably?
I disagree!! Maybe it has improved lately but when I used it, the graphical tool drakrpm was junk: it crashed a lot, and was very slow.
So when I discovered that drakrpm was a frontend for urpmi (it wasn't written anywhere on the help files about drakrpm, which is stupid!), I dumped drakrpm and used urpmi.

Urpmi was better than drakrpm, but it wasn't very good either:
- for an unknown reason, it was looking for the package only on my old CDROM reader, not on my CDRW (too bad: my CDROM reader can't read rewritable CD..)
- two times the binary database was corrupted so I had to recreate it which was very slow!


Hi
by David Barker on Tue 11th Nov 2003 14:17 UTC

Thanks for the replys, as you may have guessed ive never written a review before :p

Anyhoo heres the url for the background image because ive already got a few emails about it . http://www.badsooden.de/bilder/sonstiges/5272-1.jpg . I duno who made it, i found it in the gentoo forums somewhere.

Good to hear
by Olivier on Tue 11th Nov 2003 15:34 UTC

Good to hear that a fall back solution is emerging in case something wrong happens to Mdk

Are you sure you're good enough to actually own a PC?
by CGJ on Thu 13th Nov 2003 12:22 UTC

That's about the most idiotic "review" I've read in ages. Are you sure you're actually fit to own a computer at all?

I mean, "I don't like having a hardware 'coz then I have to set it up", "I don't trust installers but I don't want to do it all myself", "I don't like menus 'coz I can't find my programs in it".

Come to think of it, maybe DOS will fit you're needs. Or maybe you should just buy a PC casing and look at it without actually installing anythinh.

More qualified reviews and reviewers please !

RE: CGJ
by free loader on Fri 14th Nov 2003 04:54 UTC

Hold your horses, buddy. FreeDOS is still out there, getting better day by day... Just try it out and you might actually like it!