Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:05 UTC
Debian and its clones FreeSoftwareMagazine takes a look at Debian as a desktop system, and they conclude: "I feel that Debian Etch is as good on the desktop as it is on the server. It has a long rich history, a strong community, is amazingly stable and is a great fit for both my servers and my laptop. I urge everyone to give it a go on the desktop."
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Debian stable/unstable
by IkeKrull on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:51 UTC
IkeKrull
Member since:
2006-01-24

With debian youre kind of caught between a rock and a hard place - either adopt the 'same packages for 5 years' debian stable, or risk breaking your machine on upgrade with unstable or testing.

When someone makes a mistake and your Debian unstable is rendered unbootable by a libreadline, glibc or some other problem, the response is 'what do you expect - don't run unstable if you want stability', but then until recently debian stable was so ancient in terms of package versions that it simply wasn't suitable for modern desktop use.

Things arent so bad right now because a new Debian stable has just been released, but in 2 years or so, the glacial pace of unstable -> stable migration will yet again make Debian useless as a desktop OS.

Ubuntu's 6 month 'stable' release schedule is addressing of a major problem with Debian on the desktop, and a big reason why people are abandoning it in droves for desktop use.

I can't think of a single reason that would make me go to Debian for my desktop PCs over Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by Crono on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:03 in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
Crono Member since:
2006-11-08

...because Debian testing is just as "stable" as Ubuntu?
BTW, I just laughed some time ago, when an update for Ubuntu's Xorg was broken.

I didn't laugh because I am spiteful or something, but because I updated Debian unstable the same day and I got exactly the same error.

And that's why I think that someone who wants a stable and updated system is better off running Debian testing insted of Ubuntu. At least, if you don't mind putting a bit of time into it to get multimedia and such working.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by deanlinkous on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:05 in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

uh....what is totally false, alec?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by anda_skoa on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:06 in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

...or risk breaking your machine on upgrade with unstable or testing.


With apt-listbugs and apt-listchanges IMHO no more risk than updating other distributions.

I can't think of a single reason that would make me go to Debian for my desktop PCs over Ubuntu.


What about: release cycle based on your own schedule. Daily, weekly, monthly, you name it!

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by sbergman27 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 20:52 in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
When someone makes a mistake and your Debian unstable is rendered unbootable by a libreadline, glibc or some other problem, the response is 'what do you expect - don't run unstable if you want stability', but then until recently debian stable was so ancient in terms of package versions that it simply wasn't suitable for modern desktop use.
"""

You've kind of hit on what I used to call "The Debian Shell Game".

It goes like this:

---
New Debian User: I'm running Debian Stable, but everything is so *old*. Seems like the other distros always have stuff that isn't so ancient.

Debian Community: Just run Testing. We all use it. And it's more stable than the "supposedly" stable releases of other distros!

New Debian User: I'm running Testing and I've found all this stuff that is just broken. It's really causing me problems.

Debian Community: Well, Duh! If you run "Testing" you should expect that. That's why it's called "Testing" you goofus.

User of non-Debian Linux: Debian's packages are so old.

Debian Community: No they're not. We have stuff that even Fedora doesn't! (Speaking of Sid.)

Debian Community: Debian is the most rock solid Linux distribution on Earth! (Speaking of Stable.)
---

There was really no way, effectively, to make a criticism of Debian. Because Debian fans could just keep moving the shells around and you were mired in an eternal cycle of trying to describe which shell your criticism was about.

That worked before Debian had strong competition in its own back yard.

Now that they do, I can't help but notice that they are actually competing again, rather playing the shell game and hiding behind the "It's ready when it's ready" defense, year in and year out.

Ain't competition grand?

Being Free/Open Source does not protect an organization from complacence.

When competition (finally) knocks at the door, even the most revered of the Free Software players have to jump just like the rest of us.

I like that. :-)

Edited 2007-06-05 21:02

Reply Parent Score: 5

deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

All of that is true and accurate - and is perfectly understandable once you learn Debian. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by cato_minor on Wed 6th Jun 2007 10:31 in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
cato_minor Member since:
2006-02-13

You do know the difference between Testing and Unstable? You'll find broken or temporarily unavailable packages only in Unstable. Testing consists of the well-tried packages of Unstable.

So people running Testing will have, after some delay, the desired updates they don't find in Stable. And if they complain that Testing is broken, they are perfectly right about that :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by da_Chicken on Thu 7th Jun 2007 20:13 in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

"The Debian Shell Game" sounds like a cool game. It's almost identical with "The Ubuntu Upgrade Game" (or "Is It Yet Safe To Upgrade?") that we get to enjoy twice a year whenever a new Ubuntu release draws near. It goes like this:

New Ubuntu User: I'm running the latest stable Ubuntu release, but everything is so *old*. Seems like the other distros always have stuff that isn't so ancient.

Advanced Ubuntu User: Just install the latest alpha release and fire up Synaptic to get the latest and greatest Oo-BOON-too. I've tracked the development branch since day one with no problems whatsoever. It's rock solid!

New Ubuntu User: I've installed the latest alpha release and I've found all this stuff that is just broken. It's really causing me problems.

Advanced Ubuntu User: Well, Duh! If you install "alpha" you should expect that. That's why it's called "alpha" you goofus.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by melkor on Tue 5th Jun 2007 22:13 in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Whilst some of what you're saying has a basis in truth, most of it is really bordering on FUD. I ran a Debian based mixed system (mostly stable, somet testing, some unstable and even some experimental!) and it ran fine for years. I was up to date with packages that counted to me, and it ran pretty stable, no more unstable than Microsoft Windows XP, no more unstable than other distributions from my experience.

Unstable isn't necessarily unstable in the sense, in fact, most unstable packages are the same packages that go into these "up to date" distros. If Debian unstable is unstable, then ergo, these other distros also are unstable.

Sure, you'll get some breakages in running a mixed system, sometimes you'll have to downgrade, or wait a few days/week until a new package hits unstable, but mostly, it works, and it works well.

I suggest you learn how to effectively use dpkg, apt-get, aptitude etc before piling blame on Debian. Oh, and Ubuntu would be NOTHING without Debian. NOTHING. It's amazing how many of your ungrateful Ubuntu users don't realise that, or even care. Typical ex-Windows refugees, you care more about yourself than the community.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by Terracotta on Wed 6th Jun 2007 07:20 in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
Terracotta Member since:
2005-08-15

Claiming that Ubuntu has revived the debian community doesn't mean that people are ungratefull to debian. Ubuntu would indeed be nothing without the debian community, but it's also noteworthy that a lot of things changed positively for debian after ubuntu appeared in the distro-war.

There is nothing disrespectfull in what canonical is doing. Perhaps they only ice the cake, but the icing is quite good and simpel.

Besides the ubuntu community is known to be nice and helpfull towards newbies. Most of the time a lot of (k)ubuntu users turn to debian, and might stick to "the real thing", so a new ubuntu user might be a new debian user in the future.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Debian stable/unstable
by ashigabou on Wed 6th Jun 2007 01:18 in reply to "Debian stable/unstable"
ashigabou Member since:
2005-11-11

Ubuntu's 6 month 'stable' release schedule is addressing of a major problem with Debian on the desktop, and a big reason why people are abandoning it in droves for desktop use.


Exactly. This is the one and only reason why I install ubuntu at work instead of debian, which have been my distribution of choice ever since I've used linux.

They also provide some good polishing for desktop not easily available on debian (which I don't care that much because I know linux well enough to make the changes by myself). Saying that you can get the same is totally missing the point: by default, ubuntu is more usable than debian for average people. I have never seen so many people who would have never tried linux otherwise trying ubuntu now, which is a really good thing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable
by sbergman27 on Wed 6th Jun 2007 02:19 in reply to "RE: Debian stable/unstable"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Saying that you can get the same is totally missing the point: by default, ubuntu is more usable than debian for average people.
"""

Right on, ashigabou!

Ubuntu's success is Debian's success. And a huge compliment (and complement) to Debian and the Debian world.

Those who insist upon seeing Ubuntu as as threat, and viewing the interaction as a zero sum game, are holding back the revolution.

I'm 44 years old, and getting a bit set in my ways. But even *I* can see that.

One would think that the 20-something whippersnappers that are the driving force in this community would be a bit more flexible and see the *buntus as an opportunity to drive the Debian family forward and not as a threat.

Those who want a challenge can still get it by installing Debian and customizing to their heart's delight.

Or... if they *really* want to have some down and dirty fun, they can do what I've been doing lately and pick up a Linksys WRT54GL from Amazon or Newegg and have a blast playing with OpenWRT. A bit off-topic, I know. But those little boxes are the most exciting pieces of hardware that I've played with in a long time.

Reply Parent Score: 2