Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 11th Nov 2003 06:11 UTC, submitted by Syntaxis
Debian and its clones The first official beta of the new Debian installer was released on November the 9th. New goodies include, but are by no means limited to: automatic hardware detection, support for LVM, and support for the non-Linux ports such as Debian-HURD and Debian-*BSD.
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any screenshots?
by mark on Tue 11th Nov 2003 06:50 UTC

Does anyone have any screenshots of this thing in action? I'm curious to see what it looks like. I'm downloading it now.

Final release date?
by Anonymous on Tue 11th Nov 2003 07:01 UTC

And typical to Debian, this will stay as beta for a few decades?

But well, interesting. I might try Debian again. I cancelled my first install because of the horrible installer a couple of years ago (and no, I'm not afraid of curses-installers. Slackware's is just fine.)

Is it graphical?
by anon on Tue 11th Nov 2003 07:23 UTC

I'm curious - I thought graphical install was still quite far down the road. Or is this Ian Murdoch's modified Anaconda job?
Or are they the same thing? I'm confused!

The old Debian install wasn't THAT bad anyway, to be honest. It's a lot better than people make it out to be - it is actually possible to use successfully.

Two questions...

Can Debian use late-model Mac internal modems?

Why is Debian STILL using LILO?

RE: Is it graphical?
by paashaas on Tue 11th Nov 2003 07:40 UTC

I don't think it is going to be graphical. I have not tested it but the anouncement does not say anything about graphics. I think it is just going to skip some of tedious the steps that needed to be configured by hand in the old setup.

LILO
by dpi on Tue 11th Nov 2003 07:57 UTC

"Why is Debian STILL using LILO?"

You mean Debian GNU/Linux i386 and perhaps a few other ports; not all Debian GNU/Linux ports can use LILO.

One can easily chose for GRUB,
apt-get install grub

Also see
http://packages.debian.org/cgi-bin/search_packages.pl?keywords=grub...

GRUB
by anon on Tue 11th Nov 2003 08:09 UTC

I know you can use GRUB - I do. However it seems odd to use LILO as default.

RE: GRUB
by Mark on Tue 11th Nov 2003 08:24 UTC

What does Slackware use? Oh yeah... LILO.

"The Linux Loader, or LILO, is the most popular booter in use on Linux systems. It is quite configurable and can easily be used to boot other operating systems." (Slackware Linux Essentials)

So you question Debian using LILO, but are content with Slackware using it? (From your above reference to cancelling Debian and that you are not `scared` of ncurses installs)

LILO is still the de facto among non-BULK distros. IF IT'S NOT BROKEN, DO NOT REPLACE IT ;)

@ Mark
by Anonymous on Tue 11th Nov 2003 08:29 UTC

So you question Debian using LILO, but are content with Slackware using it? (From your above reference to cancelling Debian and that you are not `scared` of ncurses installs)

Umm... I think you are confusing me with the guy who posted right after me. I have no complaints about LILO. I use it myself exclusively.

Easy
by Lennart Fridén on Tue 11th Nov 2003 08:40 UTC

At Mark

"So you question Debian using LILO, but are content with Slackware using it? (From your above reference to cancelling Debian and that you are not `scared` of ncurses installs)"

You're barking up the wrong tree, friend. Put on your glasses and read a bit closer before getting agitated.


From IP: 128.214.220.---

"But well, interesting. I might try Debian again.
I cancelled my first install because of the horrible installer a couple of years ago (and no, I'm not
afraid of curses-installers. Slackware's is just fine.)"

From IP: ---.apx0.paradise.net.nz

"Why is Debian STILL using LILO?"


See? That's not the same bloke. And to add my 2 öre, a proper installer for Debian can't hurt, GRUB is indeed nice, and there are times when replacing things that aren't broken is in order.

Debian Installer GUI
by theARE on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:07 UTC

From what I understand, the debian installer will be text base again, but it has been designed so that it will be easy to add a gui front end, or even several gui front ends to it, or it can just be used on it's own.

While a lot of people whill complain that they spent several years developing an installer that is still text base, in the end this approach will make sense as the debian installer has to support something like 11 different architectures. The aproach that they have taken of building an installer that will be solid and usable, but easily configurable and extendable is the right one.

You probably wont see a graphical installer for the release of sarge in December, but you eill have a powerful installer. And by the time the next relese comes out there will probably be a plethora of GUI installers out there, all using Debian-installer as a base.

RE: Why is Debian STILL using LILO?
by Wrawrat on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:07 UTC

Debian developers tend to be conservative. LILO might not be the best now but it's the most tried and true. I guess they'll adopt GRUB once it becomes more mature. Don't get me wrong, I use GRUB and I love it but I know some people that got problems with it while they never ever had a problem with LILO.

RE: Stupidity
by Mark on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:22 UTC

Ok, I am not "barking up the wrong tree". See there is this thing called hiearchy. "GRUB" was the last topic to deal with the subject of LILO being the defacto, I was posting to that post because it was the last post of relevancy.

I am glad the OSNews readers are so keen on pointing pseudo-flaws in subjects... but why dismiss the actual statements because of it? They are still the same comments, regardless of WHO you think I was talking to. For all I care, take it as a new topic.

My reference is this, if you say you cancel Debian cause of an ugly installer, and then make a positive comment about slackware, and gripe about debian using lilo... why is it not fair game to say you would be apt to like slackware?

P.S. Not my fault OSNews has no threading of topics and replies ;)

Re: Wrawrat
by dpi on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:24 UTC

"[...] I know some people that got problems with it while they never ever had a problem with LILO."

Like which problems? I had the exact opposite (pointed out in the GRUB/LILO thread a few days ago). For example, after having a new kernel compiled and rerunning lilo it states LI- or something similair keeping there, not continuing the boot cycle. Can you imagine this happening on a server which is hosted 300 miles from home? :/

back to debian
by francesco on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:25 UTC

i have a little architecture office, with more or less 7 pc networked through an old pentium 133 that acts as firewall, file and print server, etc.
now we're in a process of switching from Microsoft crap to Linux (and we will probably be the first architecture office in italy to go this way). I've been using several Mandrake and RedHat distributions in the last years, and the server is still running a mandrake 7.1, but for our official jump in the GNU world (all the machines, i mean) we've chosen Debian. I don't find the debian installer too complicate or messy...i think it does what it is supposed to do, and does it well (maybe i don't run any particular hardware or disk configuration, but it worked nicely for me since my first try on an old 486 several years ago). I really don't understand why Debian is always defined as "difficult for the newbie" when it has the smartest package manager i've ever seen (after some years of getting crazy with RPM's messing up my hard disks). The only thing with debian giving me a bit of headhache is the "stay free" philosophy, that makes for example that the OpenOffice in ustable gets compiled without java support (that means no DocBook import/export and no plain XML), for the rest i fell in love with Debian again (and LILO too: i always make a mess with the names of the diskds in grub, i now i'm old fashioned).

It's like others, but improved...
by Hey_neken on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:35 UTC

I'm installing it right now, under vmware, and I must say that is like the old install style, but with improvements.

As always starts with the language selection, and after that it starts with the HW scan. Later, it will ask which sources you will like to install [woody, sarge, sid]. It continues with the hd partitioning, via cfdisk.

It will ask you what FS you will like to use [ext2/3 and reiserfs], and what do you want to mount in each [/, /home,/usr].

After that it starts with the packages instalation, contiunued by lilo install, and the reboot.

It will ask for shadow pass, but it doesn't ask now about MD5 pass or not. Enter root pass, create a normal acount, configure APT-sources, select to run tacksel or dselect or nothing, exim conf.. and no more.

Have a lot of fun xD

Debian Installer
by Jesus Climent on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:45 UTC

The new installer has two major improvements: it is modular and pluging-aware.

The modules allow to have a different front-end for different platforms (at the moment, the beta installer uses a ncurses aka textmode one, with a GTK already on the works with some minor issues in the error handling code). This will allow any kind of installation.

The plugin-aware structure allows you to get a GRUB udeb (the name this packages got, i believe is read nu-deb) or a HTTP one, or a NFS one, or ... you name it.

And now, time to test and report bugs.

RE: Re: Wrawrat
by Wrawrat on Tue 11th Nov 2003 09:51 UTC

GRUB is picky with some motherboards/video cards configurations. It's also picky with many chipsets with an integrated graphic core. I believe you can make it use a text mode instead of the GUI but I never tried it if there's one. I think it's only compatible with x86s.

RE: Re: Wrawrat
by Jef Pober on Tue 11th Nov 2003 10:42 UTC

Standard, GRUB is text-based ;)

ReReRe: Wrawrat
by dpi on Tue 11th Nov 2003 10:46 UTC

"GRUB is picky with some motherboards/video cards configurations. It's also picky with many chipsets with an integrated graphic core."

Ok thanks, didn't knew. Is that a bug or a feature? How come?

"I think it's only compatible with x86s."

So is LILO.

From the GRUB todo list

"[...] Support other architectures than i386-pc. [...]"

http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/html_node/Future.html

..and
grep KEY /usr/portage/sys-apps/grub/grub-0.93.20030118.ebuild
KEYWORDS="x86 -amd64 -ppc -sparc -alpha -mips"
gives me a hint, too ;)

ATTN: dpi
by anon on Tue 11th Nov 2003 10:49 UTC

I've had the same LI... problem with LILO in the past. Life's a b***h, ain't it? ;)

LI error from Lilo
by debian_semi_guru on Tue 11th Nov 2003 10:59 UTC

you probably have an error in your lilo.conf file if you get that LI thing.

what it means is that it could not find the kernel image, so it had nothing to boot.

make sure your symlinks in the / dir point to the requireed /boot image.

other than that, i find lilo easy to use, and easily configurable. except for that nasty above the 1023 cylinder thing

but debian is the only os i have installed on my servers so i don't care. and out of all the distros ive tried out on servers, debian is by far the least bloated

at the end of install i don't do deselect or tasksel, i just install a bare system.

want to upgrade your kernel? no problem
apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.22-1-smp

easy, no recompile, nothing. it even edits lilo.conf

debian is the sh*t.

quick review
by psilo on Tue 11th Nov 2003 11:15 UTC

I've used the businesscard.iso dated 5 november to install Debian Sid and these are my impressions:

- ncurses-based installation, not yet fully translated (in dutch). Seems to be using vesa.fb. Add-ons for the install system are downloadable (like a GRUB-installer)
- Hardware autodetection worked. Run a DHCP-client without asking. (I have a static setup, so that stalled my install a little)
- The base-install was over before I knew it. (Partly due to the fast debian mirror I use)
- Can be interupted and restarted, not loosing any settings
- After rebooting Dselect and taskselect are still default options. But Xfree86 uses autodetection for videocard, mouse and monitor. Preferred keymap,resolution, and modules section are left to the user.
- I removed discover (the hardware autodetection) to be able to install ALSA.
- First time I installed woody it took me a week to get X / ALSA / network etc. installed. From an empty disk to a fairly complete desktop (GNOME2.4, OOo, gVIM, Lyx, multimedia stuff, autofs, removing services) took me an evening this time.

Some of the old flaws remain:

- No guidance for newbies, apart from downloading and printing a (not yet completefor this new installer) large manual.
- Setting up a dual boot is done manually. Example: Mandrake can resize windows-partitions and adds a windows-item to the bootmenu.
- No time indication of actions. No comforting info (or eye candy) for the user to stay calm. When the disk rattles and nothing seems to happen, I get nervous.

Bottom-line: still no newbie-distro, but a experienced linux users wet dream.

I've convinced myself to give debian another shot on a test machine... Just! The only thing it offers (for me anyway) over Slackware is a bigger package database and an automated update system. upgradepkg works fine when not too much errata exists anyway though I guess.

The main drawback for me (and probably many other users) is the fact that even unstable still has XF86 4.2.1. I have a Mobility Radeon 9000 that is only supported in 4.3.0 (it doesn't work with VESA on 4.2.1) so I'll need to put on my own X. There are apparently quite a number of other cards that don't even work under VESA on 4.2, requiring 4.3.

Oh well, let's see what the debian folks have in store for us :-|

Re: debian_semi_guru
by dpi on Tue 11th Nov 2003 11:23 UTC

"you probably have an error in your lilo.conf file if you get that LI thing."

Not really. Because after i ran a floppy and executed /sbin/lilo without editing _anything_, then rebooting, it worked again. I had this problem with various distro's. Not much of a problem if you have physical access, but in other situations...

I never had this problem with GRUB nor i have to execute grub after compiling a new kernel. I never have to edit my config files either, because i have a working kernel entry at vmlinuz.working (the original) and an old entry at vmlinuz.old. When a new kernel is installed vmlinuz goes to vmlinuz.old and the new kernel goes to vmlinuz.

Plus GRUB allows one to edit the config in the GRUB console live, taken one has physical access. Perhaps having networking + sshd or something similair in the bootloader is a nice option in order to minimize the problems of local vs. remote access.

XFree86 4.3.0 @ Debian GNU/Linux Sid
by dpi on Tue 11th Nov 2003 11:35 UTC

"The main drawback for me (and probably many other users) is the fact that even unstable still has XF86 4.2.1. I have a Mobility Radeon 9000 that is only supported in 4.3.0 (it doesn't work with VESA on 4.2.1) so I'll need to put on my own X. There are apparently quite a number of other cards that don't even work under VESA on 4.2, requiring 4.3."

See the comments here from Rayiner and me
http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=5090&offset=15&rows=26

If you go to
http://www.apt-get.org
and search for xfree86 you'll see version 4.3.0 for _Woody_.
Perhaps it exists for Sid too, try Google. You can do a Woody install, add a XFree86 4.3.0 repositry from apt-get.org and you'd be all set ;)

Very nice
by Bob on Tue 11th Nov 2003 11:54 UTC

Debian may be my next distro then.

installed
by cybrjackle on Tue 11th Nov 2003 12:52 UTC

I installed it yesterday and it worked pretty well for detecting hardware, it's just text for the install, just like slackware/debian & *bsd. Who cares, gets the job done and installs Linux.

as far as Lilo or Grub debate, again who cares they both get the job done, if you don't like the one that is standard, install the other.

Re: Re: debian_semi_guru
by debian_semi_guru on Tue 11th Nov 2003 12:54 UTC

yah i have the vmlinuz symlink setup too, also when you
apt-get install kernel-image, apt does this vmlinuz backup too, and edits your lilo.conf too add the old kernel image as an option during boot

the only thing about using the kernel image is that stuff that was compiled into the kernel now runs as a module, but i don't see any performance degradation.

when i have more time i will compile a cuzton kernel myself, but i don't know if i want to install all the kernel tools in my server for security reasons.

Re: XFree86 4.3.0 @ Debian GNU/Linux Sid
by Andy on Tue 11th Nov 2003 13:04 UTC

you can find xfree 4.3 for debian sid in the experimental branch
deb http://ftp.XX.debian.org/debian/ ../project/experimental main

install it with 'apt-get -t experimental install x-window-system-core'

andy

I am having trouble with it.
by debman on Tue 11th Nov 2003 14:54 UTC

I get some weird error when it goes to get the packages to install. it says that I need to insert the sarge cd, but it is in there!!!

I configured an FTP source and all that crap, why does it care about the CD?

Re: Debian may be my next distro then.
by A.K.H. on Tue 11th Nov 2003 15:26 UTC

I know I'll get flamed, but I just wanted to warn you that SID sometimes has serious problems. I know it's unstable, but since people here like to promote unstable as stable, this is relavent.

Just a few weeks ago (around the gnome 2.4 update), a standard system package update horribly broke X windows on my machine. All GTK apps were broken, including none-gnome ones. I couldn't figure out what was the problem for the life of me. So my office mate, who's a debian nut, got me to downgrade to testing and it seems to work. But now I'm relegated to compiling my own packages for some common essential programs like Mozilla and Evolution since those are not avaliable in testing.

When the Debian developers call sid "unstable", they mean it. Debian stable still runs gnome 1.4, just to give you an idea of how outdated for desktop use it is. And backports never integrate into the system well. You may well be able to get gnome 2.4 for stable, but what use is that when all your other apps are gnome 1.4? Pretty soon you'll have installed so many updated libraries or applications that you'll basically be maintaining your own Debian quasi distribution.

Debian in general
by Isamoor on Tue 11th Nov 2003 15:33 UTC

I finally got a debian install done on my computer. I like the idea of it, but I couldn't handle the packages available in stable, so I went to sid. As soon as I did, I tried to toss in apt-listbugs so I could avoid broken packages. Ironies of ironies, apt-listbugs was broken and has broken apt in general. I was so peeved I haven't gone back.

And why isn't Xfree 4.3 in unstable? I know it's in experimental, but c'mon, it's not even that unstable.

Is there still being work done on "defoma", that was a very neat tool I found. As was etherconf, and update-menus. Why isn't all of these packages mentioned somewhere in a debian for the desktop manner?

D-I beta 1
by cabodine on Tue 11th Nov 2003 15:48 UTC

It is text based and it did have some probblems for me. IOO grabbed a spare HD and went with it. I just got the install done and I am adding this message from that very system.

It did detect and install all the modules for the nic, and audio, this I had to find my self in the other install. Plus it detected the promise ata133 controler. Something I still have yet to work on my real install.

I give it two thumbs up.

I did have problems with the Partioning of the drive and EXT3 the first time with D-I 1 but just restarted and did the auto partition.

Some of the debconf question are diffrent or reordered. But over all it is good much better then the old installer. and you can get to a more advanced form, the base version is a prompt and respond version, the advanced version is much like the old installer a list of commands or things to config.

The problem IMO, is GNOME
by jaldhar on Tue 11th Nov 2003 16:02 UTC

A.K.H said:

I know I'll get flamed, but I just wanted to warn you that SID sometimes has serious problems. I know it's unstable, but since people here like to promote unstable as stable, this is relavent.

It would be more accurate to say that certain packages in sid are unstable. If you choose wisely, you can (mostly) avoid problems and have a very stable sid system. I agree sid is not for people who just want upgrades without having to think about it.

Just a few weeks ago (around the gnome 2.4 update), a standard system package update horribly broke X windows on my machine. All GTK apps were broken, including non-gnome ones.

I never had this problem. Why? Because I use KDE. See the problem with GNOME is that upstream it is made of many small independent packages developed by different people at wildly varying rates. This causes them to enter the Debian repository at different times and be all out of synch with each other at times. In contrast, KDE is a few big packages (kdebase, kdekibs, kdemultimedia etc.) upstream, is more centralized and has firmer release schedules.

Debian stable still runs gnome 1.4, just to give you an idea of how outdated for desktop use it is. And backports never integrate into the system well.

Again it is the kind of backports you seem to be using. I've installed Debian stable and added a backported KDE 3.1.4 and not run into any problems.

So I would amend your complaint to Debian is outdated for _GNOME_ desktop use. That's bad no doubt about it, but not as bad as you make out.

How bad is it?
by Steve W on Tue 11th Nov 2003 16:02 UTC

Is Debian's installer worse than Gentoo's? Gentoo's can hardly be called an 'installer' at all.

re: Gnome bing the problem
by debman on Tue 11th Nov 2003 16:23 UTC

why doesn't the debian system then have a repository that holds the DEs until all the packages are synced, then move them into sid? you would have no more broken packages at all.

Re: The problem IMO, is GNOME
by Victor on Tue 11th Nov 2003 16:50 UTC


Again it is the kind of backports you seem to be using. I've installed Debian stable and added a backported KDE 3.1.4 and not run into any problems.
So I would amend your complaint to Debian is outdated for _GNOME_ desktop use. That's bad no doubt about it, but not as bad as you make out.


Why are you so anti-gnome? Why are you KDE folks always like that? Makes me wonder you're all jealous or something.

Well, so here's some news for ya: you CAN RUN a backported Gnome too. Ohhhh, you didn't know that huh? IMHO, you just have no clue of what you're talking about. Honestly.

Just to finish, let me give you another news: the *first* time i installed Debian (1 year ago), KDE was broken, and Gnome was not. Ohhhhhhhh, you didn't know KDE gets broken too? Oh, what, you thought KDE was, like, "unbreakable"? So naive...

Victor.

Re: Gnome being the problem
by jaldhar on Tue 11th Nov 2003 16:51 UTC

why doesn't the debian system then have a repository that holds the DEs until all the packages are synced, then move them into sid? you would have no more broken packages at all.

In theory that's what testing is. But then you have to wait for things to stabilize. So you have three choices:

1. Have the latest and greatest but deal with breakage

2. Have the tried and true but deal with obsolescence

3. Have it your way but do all the work yourself.

There aint no such thing as a free lunch.

new installer needs work.
by debman on Tue 11th Nov 2003 17:42 UTC

I keep getting errors during install after I download the packages.

everything else works great though.

ok, figured out the problems
by debman on Tue 11th Nov 2003 19:04 UTC

the business card version just does not work on my system for what ever reason, but the regular netinstall places an entry for CDs I do not have which causes problems when it can not find the cds. I just edt the sources.list file at config time, delete the bad line, then I configure a new source from FTP.

RE: ReReRe: Wrawrat
by Wrawrat on Tue 11th Nov 2003 19:24 UTC

dpi, I don't know. I suppose the problem with some chipsets/video cards configurations is a bug but the problem with integrated graphics might be a feature. I believe that's because of a memory conflict, i.e. the integrated core and GRUB want to use the same memory range. Maybe it was fixed in the last version.

I thought LILO was multi-platform. Me bad. ;)

Jef, GRUB is using a graphical video mode here.

Re: GNOME/debian/unstable
by A.K.H. on Tue 11th Nov 2003 20:46 UTC

Actually, it wasn't GNOME that was the problem, before I downgraded to testing I tracked the problem down to fontconfig. I have no idea what changed in that update, but somehow fontconfig core dumped no matter what you did with it. Since GTK apps use fontconfig, they all broke. Maybe KDE packages would have been broken too, I don't run them though, so I can't say.

In theory that's what testing is. But then you have to wait for things to stabilize. So you have three choices:

1. Have the latest and greatest but deal with breakage

2. Have the tried and true but deal with obsolescence

3. Have it your way but do all the work yourself.

There aint no such thing as a free lunch.


This is basically true, for debian. But somehow other distributions manage to have reasonably up to date packages that are also pretty stable. Why testing still has Mozilla 1.0.0.0 (yes, not even a pont point point point release above 1.0) is beyond me. I guess all the Mozilla releases after 1.0 have broken on some obscure platform or configuration and so they don't make it to testing. But this is how debian's release cycle is designed.

The main problem is that a release cycle of 1.5 or more years is way way to long for open source software. The reason is that open source software has been very much behind proprietary software in a lot of areas and is having to move fast to catch up. In such a situation short release cycles are essential to bring new features.

Again it is the kind of backports you seem to be using. I've installed Debian stable and added a backported KDE 3.1.4 and not run into any problems.

My problem with backports is not so much that the basic desktop environment doesn't work as it's that the essential apps are not avaliable. Maybe KDE apps don't suffer this as much, I don't know but with gnome it goes like this:

Get backport of 2.2 or 2.4.
Get backport of mozilla and galeon or epiphany.
Get backport of evolution.
Get backport of gnome2 version of pan.
Repeat for all gnome2 apps.

Now, quite simply, all the apps are not backported. So you end up having to backport yourself. Which then involves compiling, dependencies and what not. This is NOT a good desktop system. It works if you try hard enough, but I'd like it to just work.

About Linux Dist's
by LeifD on Tue 11th Nov 2003 22:20 UTC

Here is a long one.
I think everybody should try many diffrent dist's. Not you to find wich one is best for you.

But to see how similiar they are. How configuration works. What is in /etc. How to set up you graphics card without a *automation hardware detection* thing. Becouse you learn alot about how linux works. That way if your latest distro dont have the latest [something], you might be able to do it yourself.

I started out with Slackware becouse of a friend used it so I could get *free* buddysuport ;) . And there are not many GUI konfigurations for Linux no it. Except for KDE config, wich is not for Linux itself.
That made it possible for me to get hardware that one dist didn't support yet, installed and working.

I have tried alot of dist's. But the one that has cought me now i gentoo.org. Wich require alittle bit of computer skills. But not much. And it dont rely on any own config tool for everything. So i made all config's myself.

This does not mean that you should as an example edit all the kde settings or gnome settings yourself. But just the basic get all hardware working.

You learn alot if you work in the beginning, instead of trying to get a good answer in the forums later on.
And it is fun too. But require quite the time and effort.

Always have a OS installed that works. So if anything goes wrong, or you get stuck. You can reboot and ask for directions.

I recommend Grub installed at the MBR( master boot record). And when you install some new linux, you don't install a new bootmanager, but edit grubs config file. That way it is harder to break your comp if you have fast fingers and tired eyes ;) .

Another good thing is to have windows, if you are gonna use it. Installed first. Couse windows writes over you master boot record. Grub is gone, but still on hardrive, but dont work. Like a virus windows is ;) .

re: A.K.H.
by Syntaxis on Tue 11th Nov 2003 23:05 UTC

"But somehow other distributions manage to have reasonably up to date packages that are also pretty stable."

<shrug> Debian has higher standards than they do. Migration of packages from Unstable is bug-driven, so there's no other explanation.

"Why testing still has Mozilla 1.0.0.0 (yes, not even a pont point point point release above 1.0) is beyond me."

I don't know either. I personally don't find it too serious a problem, though, as the mozilla-firebird package is far more up-to-date. There's also a Mozilla 1.5 backport for anyone who wants it, which I've heard is excellent.

"I guess all the Mozilla releases after 1.0 have broken on some obscure platform or configuration and so they don't make it to testing. But this is how debian's release cycle is designed."

The evidence disagrees with you. The architectures are always pretty much in sync. Check http://buildd.debian.org/stats/ for yourself, as well as this post from one of the ftp-masters ( http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2003/debian-devel-200306/msg00...).

"The main problem is that a release cycle of 1.5 or more years is way way to long for open source software."

Why bother making such sweeping generalisations? Too long for you, maybe, but just fine for a very large group of people. Debian is the #2 server distribution behind RedHat (http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2003/08/16/debian_linux_distribut...). I personally run Stable not only on my household server, but on my workstation and laptop as well. I run Unstable on my home desktop where I like to play about with the latest software releases.

"Now, quite simply, all the apps are not backported. So you end up having to backport yourself."

Because that's not what the backports are intended for. If you're intent on backporting *all* the apps, you might as well either use Unstable (where they're backported from in the first place) or switch to another distribution.

Sid has been stable for me
by free loader on Wed 12th Nov 2003 05:53 UTC

Debian sid has been pretty stable in my laptop. Then again, I haven't used Gnome or KDE since XFce4 was introduced (I installed it to hd from MorphixLightGUI live-CD). XFce4 is a lightweight, fast, and easy-to-use DE and it also seems to be very stable.

@LeifD: You don't necessarily need an installed backup OS to fall into in case something goes horribly wrong with your main OS, as long as you have a live-CD. From live-CD you can mount your installed OS and troubleshoot. You can also connect to Internet via live-CD. Also, if you need to travel you can just carry your live-CD with you and it allows you to read your e-mail and browse web and do your work from a familiar desktop in a strange computer. Always carry your Debian GNU/Linux with you! ;-)

RE: Sid has been stable for me
by anonymous on Fri 14th Nov 2003 21:25 UTC

Not nessarily true. I have a dell, and as most people know, Dell's motto is, Dude, Your going to go through hell. Some modems WONT be reconised. Yes, I know, why on earth would you want a dial up connection. But, I cant possible afford 50 dollars a month for high speed internet.