Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 3rd Sep 2003 11:38 UTC, submitted by ladislav
Debian and its clones Debian is not quite like any other distro out there. If bigger is better, then Debian wins hands down. Aside from having the largest collection of free software packages, Debian also runs on 11 platforms. But there is more to Debian than just size. Travel writer and recent Debian convert Robert Storey tackles the whole installation procedure head on and gives his report.
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Debian's great
by Joeri Sebrechts on Sat 6th Sep 2003 13:33 UTC

Debian is great as long as you read all the documentation on (though admittedly, some of it is outdated). There are a lot of "debian" ways of doing things that you won't find out about otherwise, like modconf to select which modules you want loaded, or kernel-package to easily roll your own kernel and turn it into a debian package, or update-menus and the files in .menu to configure your window managers app menu, or the alternatives system for selecting default apps (something redhat added recently as well I hear), or...

Installation and (especially) configuration is a bitch though. But once you manage to go through it once you know debian's idiosyncracies, and it no longer bothers you. Besides, it's true what they say about you only having to install debian once. Although I did manage to destroy my first debian install (by forcing dpkg to do stuff it shouldn't have), I haven't had to reinstall debian since (that was several years ago). I took three systems through the potato -> woody upgrade (one of them even remotely), without it posing any real problems. Debian is pretty slick that way.

I'd just like to mention also that if you want anti-aliased fonts, you need to install defoma and msttcorefonts (look around for howto's, I know they exist). that'll give you the exact same fonts windows has. Don't know whether it's limited to unstable though (I run a mix of woody and unstable on most of my machines). I believe the bitstream vera fonts have been packaged too (they should be pretty as well), but I haven't tried those. Everything as Verdana suits me fine for now.