Linked by Jeremy Wells on Tue 8th Feb 2005 08:05 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu For over six years I have been hunting for a Linux distro that would allow me to replace my Windows installation. I've tried many versions of RedHat and Mandrake, and more recently, Gnoppix, Kanotix, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Knoppix. In my evaluations, I would start with high hopes that the latest and greatest distro would install smoothly, support my hardware, and create a genuinely usable system, but none of them really worked--until now. I recently came across the first distro that satisfied all my requirements: Ubuntu.
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Ubuntu isn't all that
by Robert on Wed 9th Feb 2005 01:52 UTC

I have to agree with Mario Giammarco. Ubuntu is nothing more than the Debian installer with some additional packages. Which in itself, isn't necessarily bad, however, the additional packages are maintained by Ubuntu themselves rather than Debian. Why would you recreate a repository when there is one that has been in operation for years and has been proven time and time again. For those of you who believe Ubuntu is compatible with Debian repositories, you should read some of the forums on Ubuntu's site. Ubuntu themselves do not recommend using Debian repositories with Ubuntu as they may break the system and indeed, I have broken a Ubuntu system doing so. Also, what happens if Ubuntu's funding falls through? Will they start charging for access in the way that Linspire and Xandros simply to maintain this independent repository? The default theme in Ubuntu is awful and it isn't as polished as it could be. And Ubuntu doesn't give enough credit to all the works they have incorporated into their software.

I have tried every Debian variant out there (Knoppix, Mepis, Libranet, Ubuntu, Progeny, etc.) and found none of them to be pure Debian. And of course, pure Debian is hard to install for all the lazy people out there. However, I'm currently testing the usability of a new system which is in development. The link is as follows:

www.debblu.com

This distribution is another polished Debian system, however, there are some differences from all the others. DebBlu is 99.9% compatible with the Debian repositories. I say 99.9% because the only way to get 100% is to install using the chroot method. So don't worry about fees to access repositories. This project will include kernel 2.6.8 and gnome 2.8 with a decent theme. It is very polished and I have yet to see issues with it. Everything I've apt'd has installed perfectly and it is using Debian repositories in its /etc/apt/sources.list file. It's similar to Ubuntu as it uses the Debian installer, but uses pure debs (there is talk about an anaconda installer for the next version also using pure debs). From what I understand, they're using seeding methods rather than recreating the pure debs which keeps compatibility at perfect. I'm currently testing the "Xtra" version of the software which comes bundled in full with Java, Flash, Crossoffice, Cedega, DVD, and more. There is even a hard-printed quick-reference guide (like 30 pages) which will be made available for newbies. I've corresponded with the project leader and he is very practical and was another frustrated user of half-ass Debian systems and decided to finally put one out there that works, is compatible with Debian repositories and one that MS Windows users can understand. He is also considering writing up a how-to for folks who have no need for a printed manual and would simply like to install pure Debian and have no need for pretty packaging. But, it's clearly targeting people who despise installing Debian and to switch over those MS Windows folks. With the combination of Crossoffice and Cedega, many MS Windows applications and games will be made available. He mentioned that he hates having to include this software since there is so much software like Openoffice and others that replace windows software and also that this software will require a higher price tag since Crossoffice and Cedega aren't free, but, he feels to make MS Windows users switch, they need to have roots to their old software. The project is also instituting a very lucrative reseller program which will consist of store fronts and sales people. I don't think the details are available yet, but there is a link on the website for anyone who might want to earn some extra bucks. The website itself looks very professional. It doesn't have a support section yet, but will once the software is released.

I honestly think this could be the Windows killer since the leader of this project is not only good at keeping things simple and usable, but has a business mind as well. I believe the project will be offering a download edition which will be scaled back and won't include a manual obviously and the non-free stuff. The standard edition will be a hard copy for people with limited bandwith and that will have a small fee for the printed material and shipping costs. And finally, the Xtra edition which will be fully loaded and obviously won't be free.

Another plus is that the DebBlu project is self-funded and no one is pulling their strings. They are committed to pushing a Debian desktop to the world. Check out their website and drop them an email. They have been incredibly friendly, honest and very open-minded. Their quick reference guide will even have a list of all the names of people's work that have been incorporated into the software. Although because of the GPL, this isn't necessary, but it's nice when people give credit when it's due. I'm hoping more people get behind this project and will help get it out to the masses.