Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 20th Oct 2002 17:14 UTC
Debian and its clones "This is a critical review of Debian 3.0, but I want to say right from the start that I'm not trying to bait anyone. However I feel that reviewers often root for Debian as the open-source underdog, and give it marks which it doesn't deserve. If RedHat 8.0 came out with installation software like Debian 3.0 it would be savaged. I think it's time for an honest review, to spur the Debian developers into making the best possible distribution. I really want Debian to succeed. I want to use it daily, and recommend it to my friends. But I can't do that right now and I think it's important people understand why." Read the review and its (already long) discussion at DebianPlanet.
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User since 12/97
by Tugrul Galatali on Sun 20th Oct 2002 23:48 UTC

I had gotten my first modern computer in 10/96 (after some while with a 8086 based clone), and within a year I was introduced to Slackware in a quest with my friends to try different things on our computers. That is where I got my bearings in Linux with some help from my friend's big brother.

I installed Debian after wanting to take part in my high school's student network team, which was a strictly Debian shop. I don't remember exactly when, but I'm pretty sure it was in December 1997 when I overcame the first big hurdle in those days, getting ppp to work ;)

I haven't used another Linux distro since on my desktops or the networks I've run, except on the rare occasions I didn't have a choice (ie, cheap one size fits all dedicated servers I use). I strayed to FreeBSD for a while before or around when Debian got apt, and I still have a decent amount of respect for that system.

But Debian treats users like me so well, I'm still amazed to this day. Everything I want to run is a few keystrokes away. With broadband, they are up and running within seconds. And things are pretty damn recent (and stable) with unstable, with those that are not (like having everything built with gcc 3.2) are worth the wait to have them function perfectly with my system. Everything functions so well that I rarely need to reinstall, with my desktop installation outliving the machines I use as my desktop ;) . Things might not be pre-configured/tweaked, but I prefer learning how to do/understanding things myself and molding my own preferences with daily use.

And it just works. The other day I had a whim to chuck Solaris off my Ultra 60 and I had Debian installed within 15 minutes of looking up the directions on the internet (admittedly having some experience with tftp and rarp). Another 15 minutes and I had X running with my usual settings and apps. I'm still very impressed.

I think the last thing Debian needs is to waste time on bells and whistles. It just needs to keep the skilled user's experience as wonderful as it is now and let the corporate types deal with the normal user market. People who think Debian needs to change don't understand what Debian provides and how well it suits its intended market.