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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RE[3]: Debian stable/unstable
by da_Chicken on Wed 6th Jun 2007 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Debian stable/unstable"
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

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.

Things would have changed in Debian even without Ubuntu's appearance. The very first Ubuntu releases came out in October 2004 and April 2005. At that time Debian was struggling to get out their 3.0 release, which was originally planned for December 2003.

So Ubuntu appeared when Debian was in a very bad condition: packages in Stable were outdated and even the packages in Unstable were getting old. And I assume that Mark Shuttleworth hiring a bunch of top Debian developers and distracting their attention to another project didn't actually help things on the Debian side.

Ubuntu took packages from Unstable and the new installer that had been developed for Debian 3.0 and then they updated Gnome, X11, and a lot of the core system. The first Ubuntu releases were quite rough, actually, but the community greeted them with great enthusiasm because Ubuntu could offer an easy-to-install version of Debian with newer software.

Debian 3.0 was finally released in June 2005 and it had the same installer that clueless people had celebrated as an Ubuntu invention. But, due to the 18-months long release delay, Debian Sarge had ancient versions of software and it was no real competitor to Ubuntu that sported the latest Gnome and Xorg.

And that was the image that was propagated in numerous articles and reviews: Debian is outdated and difficult while Ubuntu is up-to-date and easy. After the 3.0 release was out the door, Debian started to make a very good and steady progress but this was only seen by the people who actually used the Unstable or Testing branches of Debian. And these Debian users had to deal with all forums full of newly-converted Ubuntu zealots who couldn't admit any weakness in Ubuntu and who loved to ridicule Debian for being so outdated and difficult.

Well, the Etch release shows people that Debian has advanced quite a lot since the Sarge release. And the next stable release will again lift Debian to a new higher level in ease-of-use. In the meanwhile, you can dist-upgrade your Etch installation to Lenny (the current Testing branch). Then you can update your packages every day if you so wish -- or you can update the packages only once every 6 months if you prefer the slow Ubuntu-style update cycle.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Barnabyh Member since:
2006-02-06

Are you sure you're not talking about the 3.1 release? Otherwise spot on!
And, BTW, some people appreciate stable on the desktop, stable in the sense they don't have to upgrade all the time and know they only need to apply security updates for the next two years.

Reply Parent Score: 1

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Yes, I meant 3.1.

Reply Parent Score: 2