Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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Angry Rant Reviews present
by Vanders on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:32 UTC
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.

My new job has required me to go back to Redhat after a year of Debian. It's so painful it almost brings tears to my eyes. Just configuring the network on a Redhat system is a nightmare compared to Debian, and the least said about RPM, Yum and the woeful amount of software in the RHEL repositories, the better.

Show me an *actual* review of Debian 6 being installed on decent server class hardware, or an actual review with constructive criticism in it, and I might care.

Reply Score: 25

project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

.. well volunteered .. look forward to reading your review.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by WorknMan on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:52 in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.


To be fair though, if I'd have had the same experience as the author, I would've posted the exact same thing, except my rant would've had a lot more profanities in it. This is 2011, not 1995.

As for the network issue, I have learned long ago that the best thing to do is to have a USB wireless NIC handy for times when I run into a machine (mine or somebody else's) who's NIC can't be recognized by the OS. Sure, it cost me about $30, but it has more than paid for itself by saving me a lot of headaches.

I'm not a Linux user, but on Windows, I'll use my wireless USB adapter to hit driveragent.com and download drivers for the NIC in the machine, as well as all other drivers I need. I'm guessing Linux has something similar. (If it doesn't, it should.) Not being able to get online because the network card isn't recognized is not a problem we need to deal with anymore.

Edited 2011-03-17 23:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

To be fair though, if I'd have had the same experience as the author, I would've posted the exact same thing, except my rant would've had a lot more profanities in it. This is 2011, not 1995.


Right you are, and I've had a similar experience with Debian 6. In fact, I'd say Slackware is now easier to install than Debian, and it still has the old school non-X installer. At least Slackware recognized both of my (fully supported in the kernel since 2.6.20-something) wireless cards, whereas Debian 6 choked on both.

As for the network issue, I have learned long ago that the best thing to do is to have a USB wireless NIC handy for times when I run into a machine (mine or somebody else's) who's NIC can't be recognized by the OS. Sure, it cost me about $30, but it has more than paid for itself by saving me a lot of headaches.


I do the same; I have a USB wireless dongle based on an RaLink chipset with full support in the Linux kernel. For Windows and Mac OS, I keep the relevant installer files on a thumb drive I also carry everywhere.

I'm not a Linux user, but on Windows, I'll use my wireless USB adapter to hit driveragent.com and download drivers for the NIC in the machine, as well as all other drivers I need. I'm guessing Linux has something similar. (If it doesn't, it should.) Not being able to get online because the network card isn't recognized is not a problem we need to deal with anymore.


You may be interested to know that current versions of the Linux kernel have built in support for virtually all wired network chipsets out there, as well as many of the most popular wireless cards today. Specifically the Atheros cards used in many laptops today, some of the RaLink cards in laptops and available in USB dongles, and some Intel chipsets. This is why I was so perplexed that Debian didn't recognize and autoconfigure a wireless card that Ubuntu picks up right away, and Slackware only requires me to issue two terminal commands to use.

Reply Parent Score: 5

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

He chose to do it all the hard way.. I'm surprised he didn't base the review on the text installer interface instead of hte GUI overlay.

I don't even install Windows with the expectation of wireless right off the bat. The wifi manufacturers have insured that it's a mess to deal with. His wired nic should have been detected without a hickup. dhcp would then have had his network config'd without a second hickup. He may have also considered using the isntaller image that actually included the non-free firmware; if there was a firmware for his wifi NIC, it should have been there.

(I do think that Debian should include more driver and firmware support by default but it's never been hard to deal with when drivers/firmware are not included initially by default.)

He's had other reviews recently which where equally as bent on finding fault rather than providing constructive critisism though which casts this one in a poor light from the onset for me.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Lennie on Fri 18th Mar 2011 00:01 in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Sounds like the person doing the review wasn't the target audience. ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 11

mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

True. I can't wait to have my parents install it instead of some evil 'proprietary' product from Microsoft or Apple. If they were into the idea of replacing the firmware on various devices in their machines with open source replacements, guessing what a WEP key is (and why their current WiFi password isn't working), etc., this would be fantastic.

This is exactly why Linux in general is never going to take over anything - the target audience is the 1% already using it. :/ (And I know there are easier-to-install distros, but even then you get your package managers, questions about KDE & Gnome, and god knows what else... just never going to be a real replacement desktop OS.)

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by Terg on Fri 18th Mar 2011 02:27 in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
Terg Member since:
2010-02-24

What you just saw *is* an actual review. You're dismissing it based on the fact that you don't want people bad-talking your favorite OS. Cuz if there's something bad about what you like, then there must be something wrong with you.

Can't have that now can we?

Reply Parent Score: 5

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

It's a whiny blog post. This has nothing to do with criticism of Debian.

Let me summarize the article.

"They used old code that works and not new code that doesn't. Massive FAIL!"
"They don't include proprietary blobs. Why isn't my poorly chosen hardware not working?"
"You mean I actually have to config stuff?"
"My network didn't work. Waaa... I quit!"

That is all he had to write.

This is an installation article. Props to the author for using actual hardware rather then a VM, but did the world really need this? What did the world gain by someone whining about a bad installation experience and failing to investigate or provide any sort of analysis of the problem? I may be being too harsh, but I expect technical articles to have technical details in them. I can go read clueless drivel countless other places; it's nothing special.

Reply Parent Score: 6

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

No, it's not a review. A reviewer is supposed to have done his homework, and gained some knowledge about what he's reviewing. This is like having a kid who's read maybe a couple of Harry Potter books and half the Da Vinci Code to review an anthology of modernist poetry. Some people will of course say it's highly interesting, since they dislike modernist poetry and want the world to see someone "unbiased" sharing their view, but in reality it's just incredibly embarrassing.

OK, so Debian isn't suitable for absolute morons. The solution is, of course, to hire someone else.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by molnarcs on Fri 18th Mar 2011 08:34 in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.

Indeed, and I know your criticism means a host of "do your own review then" answers. I don't agree with that sentiment. If I volunteer a review, valid criticism helps me improve my next one. The major flaw with this review is that it's 90% about the installation. Were it called Debian Installation Review, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it (for I wouldn't even bothered to read it). Debian is explicitely targeted at experienced users, whining about the difficulties of installation is pointless. If you have some experience with Linux, you'd just get it over with. If you don't have much experience (and are not inclined to learn), than Debian is not for you, simple as that.

Unfortunately, 80% of the reviews out there are basically installation reviews posing as distribution reviews. Criticism of the installation process might make some sense with distroes that has easy of use and newbie friendliness as one of their major selling points. Even then, it's still just a one-time endeavour, and most reviews place far too much importance on it. But when you have a review that is 90% about the difficulties of installing a distro primarily intended for administrators - yeah, you end up with criticism like this, and it is a valid point!

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by abraxas on Fri 18th Mar 2011 09:23 in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

That wasn't a review. It was an angry, non-constructive rant.

My new job has required me to go back to Redhat after a year of Debian. It's so painful it almost brings tears to my eyes. Just configuring the network on a Redhat system is a nightmare compared to Debian, and the least said about RPM, Yum and the woeful amount of software in the RHEL repositories, the better.

Show me an *actual* review of Debian 6 being installed on decent server class hardware, or an actual review with constructive criticism in it, and I might care.


This is just par for the course. This is what passes for an opinion piece here. It makes sense though. All other "normal" OSNews posts are generally opinion filled diatribes anyway. They wouldn't be considered objective by any respected news outlet. Don't worry though we have Thom to remind us that OSNews is not a news site. It's just a blog that resembles a news site in all but journalistic integrity. I guess being objective is just too hard.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by wongbater on Sat 19th Mar 2011 14:05 in reply to "Angry Rant Reviews present"
wongbater Member since:
2011-03-19

I am an RHCE and I perfer Debian over RHEL.

It is a wonderful server OS.

Edited 2011-03-19 14:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2