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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I dont see what all the whining is about..
by pherthyl on Mon 21st Oct 2002 05:27 UTC

Even though debian really isn't targeted at the end user, I'm always surprised how well it actually works as a desktop machine.. Before I installed Debian I'd messed around with some distros (Mandrake, Caldera, the usual "easy" ones) but no matter how much I tried I always ran into a problem I just couldnt get past. The annoyances just wouldnt stop and I would ask myself after a week why the hell I even bothered and went back to windows.
The first time I tried debian it worked great. The installer was technical but if you spent about 15 seconds on each screen reading what it actually said, you would be fine. Its very well explained and quite logical. This was around the 2.2r1 days. Now I've been using it for well over a year and it just gets better and better. I recently tried redhat 8 and was absolutely horrified. Yes it looks pretty but basic useability is just lacking. I seriously spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get a list of programs that I could install and I still have no clue how to do that.
I dont know what it is about debian but it took me about 30 seconds to figure out how to install xfree86 and that was using dselect (aptitude is much suoperior).
Sure it would be nice to have some common defaults set for desktop use but its not essential, most things can be figured out fairly easily.
I think the reason why debian gets such bad reviews overall is that reviewers only install the system, play around with it for a few minutes and delete it again. So they run into the text based installer and conclude that debian is behind the times. But a system should be judged on how easy it is to use, and nothing, not even windows can beat debian after you get used to it.