Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Jul 2009 09:50 UTC, submitted by kragil
Debian and its clones Most mainstream distributions, like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mandriva, have already adopted a time-based release schedule, meaning that releases are not done on a feature basis, but according to a pre-determined time schedule. The Debian project has announced that it has adopted a time-based release schedule too.
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Member since:

no, it doesnt really matter to corporate desktops, unless ofcourse you need something to occupy yourself with and thus feel like upgrading peoples desktops very regularly?

You are presuming to tell *me* what matters to my customers, and to me as an admin? Careful. I'm the one with the experience in this particular area. (Or please present your credentials.) You don't have to deal with the user complaints about, for example, how certain business critical PDF's won't open in or print from Evince when you know that the latest version can handle it.

And just try apt-get'ing Evince from testing. It will destroy your Debian system.

It is possible to use a distro with a long release cycle, like CentOS. We've done it. But compared to what we are using now, the long release cycle distros are more pain than gain for corporate desktop use. And Debian has the longest release cycle of them all. With unpredictability thrown in just to make it even more appealing.

Edit: In the interest of fairness, I should note that as of RHEL6, Red Hat's release cycle has become even less predictable than Debian's. Which also affects CentOS, of course. Though one can't blame the CentOS guys for that.

Edited 2009-07-29 17:23 UTC

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Lennie Member since:

Creating select backports isn't terrible complicated.

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sbergman27 Member since:

Creating select backports isn't terrible complicated.

It is when it pulls the entire next release of the DE into a distro version that it didn't come with. And even if it worked, I can't justify doing that kind of completely unsupported open-heart surgery on our business critical desktops. Certainly not when there are better, and supported, solutions.

Edited 2009-07-29 17:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Barnabyh Member since:

Just curious, but why don't you just use Acrobat Reader then in a corporate environment if .pdf's matter that much.
Seems worth it getting the proper 'original' app for this, or was it just and example and not really the only issue.
Myself, I can't find anythin wrong with a two year old system that's still receiving security updates, but then I'm a home user. Lenny is the most stable/solid I've tried though in recent months with absolutely everything working fine (even wireless and with added kernel modules for Vbox and vmware) being the smoothest experience ever, and I thought that would count for something in the business world too?

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:

Just curious, but why don't you just use Acrobat Reader then in a corporate environment if .pdf's matter that much.

We used to. Adobe's product has horrors of its own. But yes, that was only an example. The flexibility of being able to upgrade at reasonable time periods turned out to be more valuable than the 'stability' of long release cycles. That experiment took about four years to complete, and there is no doubt in my mind as to the result.

Myself, I can't find anythin wrong with a two year old system that's still receiving security updates, but then I'm a home user.

Bingo. Supporting 70 users in a business environment is *completely* different than simply satisfying one's self. My users, collectively, do a lot more different things than I do. Print about 150,000 pages a month. And problems which would have you or me throwing up our hands in digust at the website, or pdf generator, or whatever, in question, and simply refusing to deal with that entitiy... I actually have to solve. No matter how badly the entity perverts standards. And no matter how distasteful the "solution" might be. (e.g. I have a number of people using IE6 under Wine)

It's all challenging enough when I'm dealing with the current software versions. The added impediment of dealing with where the OSS world was 2 years ago makes it that much worse. And despite all the advice one gets about "just get this or that from testing" (or unstable!) the fact of the matter is that doing so is completely unsupported. When people casually advise me to do that on my live servers, I'm tempted to send them some sort of "assumption of liability" document to sign and get back to me. But while the community is full of advice, I doubt many would have it signed and notarized and send it back.

Lenny is the most stable/solid I've tried though in recent months with absolutely everything working fine

Lenny was released in February of this year. We upgraded our biggest server in April, 2 months later. Just out of curiosity, because so many Debian fans come out of the woodwork to ooze about how wonderful Debian is, I decided to do a quick eval on the new server. Lenny wouldn't even install. Couldn't see the SATA controllers. The kernel was too old to recognize that hardware. I shook my head and continued on, installing the distro that we had decided to use. And it went flawlessly.

Just as a note, Lenny won't install on my workstation either. SATA problem again, on a board I purchased last July. However, Fedora 10 and Ubuntu 8.10, released 4 months previous to Lenny, have no problem with it.

Edited 2009-07-30 12:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Redeeman Member since:

oh teh noes, a few applications cause you to need to have regular operatingsystem wide release schedules... no offense, but i think im beginning to understand your issues a little bit better ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:

oh teh noes,

You're going to have to help me with that one.

My view can pretty well be summed up as:

Why fight my IT battles (which are challenging enough in this Microsoft World) with ancient OSS tools when there are very stable distros available which give me the benefits of the tremendous amount of work done by the OSS community over the past few years without having to patch in unsupported chunks from repos called "testing", "unstable", or "experimental"?

To hear some Debian community members talk, you'd think all non-Debian distros were on the level of Windows 98. When in fact I've had far more trouble with Debian than with any other Linux distro (except Fedora, of course).

I'm sure that Debian on an old server that just sits there year after year churning out work is very stable. But then, so are most Linux servers.

An XDMCP server is like no other. It is a living, evolving environment that requires change and adaptation as my desktop users need to do new and different things. Because serving desktops is a very different workload than any other kind of server ever sees. The apps actually *do* bit-rot. It is a more challenging workload in many ways.

That said, administering desktop servers is a very rewarding and interesting thing to do. And despite the name "server", it really requires a different kind of distro than what is generally supposed to be "good for servers".

Reply Parent Score: 2