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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A Few Points...
by goneaway on Mon 21st Oct 2002 02:35 UTC

At least on where Debian has innovated over the past few years.

1. Obviously, getting 5000 or so packages interoperable and non-interfering is quite a distinction between Debian and most distributions. I have had zero conflicts between packages over the past year or so and this is running the unstable branch.

2. Keeping three distinct branches of Debian up and running. While stable might be frozen both the testing and unstable branches have insane amounts of new packages pouring into them every day. contains a list of the new packages introduced to the unstable branch in the past seven days. Take a look. Or take a look at the available packages from

3. Debian is kernel independent. There are projects using the BSD (free and net) and HURD kernel. I'm not sure if that qualifies as innovation from the perspective of kernel patches or not but being able to plug whichever kernel you like into the operating system isn't really present in most user targetted distributions.

4. Debian also runs on an absurd number of architectures.The list is here:

Anyway, just wanted to point these couple of suggestions out while avoiding the pissing war. I do run Debian on both my desktop and laptop and haven't given another distribution (other than Gentoo because I like both it's spirit in having a social contract and it's source based nature) any consideration for quite a long time. I'm biased because it works very well for me. It might not for you but if you find the current state of things disparaging but are still curious try Libranet or Xandros since the core is still the same.It's good stuff.