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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How Long Has This Article Been Needed?
by it_should_be_possible on Mon 21st Oct 2002 15:48 UTC

I am so glad someone was finally willing to speak the truth about Debian. The installer is totally useless and does not work. Period. As I have read through these comments, I have noticed the typical Debian responses. All of the wonders of Debian are recounted in amazing and glorious detail. We hear how amazing apt-get is (and it is). We hear about the astounding number of architectures Debain supports (and it does). We hear about the extremely high number of packages which Debian supports (also true). Yet, can anyone see, know and learn the wonders of Debian, if it can not be successfully installed? The answer is, NO!. Compare the Debian install to Redhat or Mandrake. Redhat and Mandrake are a breeze to install. At this point, the Debian user will launch into the "RPM and Dependency Hell" as well as the "If you know what you are doing you don't need a graphical install" modes. Yet, FreeBSD does not have a graphical install. FreeBSD is as easy to install as Redhat or Mandrake, IMHO. FreeBSD install is logical and intuitive, as well as simple to understand. If FreeBSD can do it, why can't Debian? Compare the Debian install to Gentoo or Linux from Scratch. Neither of these two distros have an installer, yet the installs are simple, straight-forward, logical and achievable. How is it that these two distros, having no installer, can wipe Debian's floor when it comes to installation?
Debian risks becoming irrelevant. Will Debian choose to satisfy the .05% of the population who has attuned themselves to the awful interface of the Debian installer? Or will Debian choose to improve the installer interface so that mere mortals can actually use it and have it work? If the latter, then Debian remains relevant. If the former, then not.