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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RE: Angry Rant Reviews present
by WorknMan on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:52 UTC 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

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

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.


That's great and all, but what about everything else? Do they have the equivalent of a package manager for hardware, where you can hit a website, have it scan your machine, and give you a list (with download links) for all the drivers you need? That's what driveragent.com does on Windows.

Granted, it costs like $30 a year, but if you're the default tech support for friends/family like I am, it pays for itself the very first time you use it ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

This is why I was so perplexed that Debian didn't recognize and autoconfigure a wireless card that Ubuntu picks up right away

Most wireless chips require a firmware blob to work. Debian considers these blobs to be non-free and thus against the Debian mandate and ineligible for inclusion with Debian proper, being relegated to the non-free repo. As a result the standard system, which does not include non-free, does not have them.

Do you remember the announcement last year that Debian finally had an entirely Free kernel? That's directly related: They got a Free kernel by packing all of the non-free blobs into a separate repo and making them optional (albeit that some things wont work without them).

Ubunutu doesn't give a damn about freeness of firmware, though it should, and is happy to ship the firmware with its standard install disc. Thus, Ubuntu (and slackware) will Just Work, whereas Debian will take a little more effort (aka "install firmware after the system is up"). And, in fact, Debian only requires one terminal command to begin using the firmware for any given card (if you know which card): apt-get install firmware-$whatever, where $whatever is your driver. This presumes that you opted to include non-free repos at or after install time.

Edited 2011-03-18 12:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

> I have a USB wireless dongle based on an RaLink
> chipset with full support in the Linux kernel.
Which one is that? I tried several ones 'fully supported' ralniks, but they have lot's of issues with my router (just wouldn't connect at all).

Reply Parent Score: 1

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

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.


Linux contains support for many chipsets, but don't plan on using any usb dongle if you don't know positively it's supported(ID included in kernel driver).

I had to make a kernel module on a LiveCD using GPL source(that doesn't even build as is) from some seedy site(the chipset vendor's) just to be able to install Linux Mint. An that is the open'est mainstream vendor. Another "GPL" dongle I happened to have around would just panic the kernel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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