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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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

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

...and as soon as people realize that they should not have their computer do as much work for them as possible, but that they need to be in control and master their own machines, the year of Linux on the desktop will finally be upon us. ;P

Reply Parent Score: 3

mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Exactly. Man was I upset when I turned the key and my car started... no choke, clutchless manual transmission, or starter crank handle.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I'm not bagging on automation. I like that Fedora works on my stuff out of the box, and I don't have to worry about messing with wpa_supplicant. It saves me time, and it's the reason I use it over FreeBSD on my desktops and laptops.

This Debian. This isn't Ubuntu or Mint which strive for perfect installs; People should expect to do some work when installing Debian. Adding wizards strips the power and obfuscates configurations, Red Hat is really bad about this, so it's nice to have distros that are just barebones.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ferrix Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought the whole point of computers was to do as much work for us as possible!

and yes, I run Linux on my systems, I have for years. But having gone through the 'pioneer' days in the 90s and having messed around with Gentoo, Arch etc, nowadays I'm perfectly happy to use Linux Mint - because it just installs and does what I need straight out of the box. I've come to the conclusion life's too short to spend it installing obscure drivers and codecs just to watch that youtube clip.

Reply Parent Score: 2

mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

Yeah, he didn't pick his hardware correctly, that's surely the right answer for Debian. I think the complaint was that everything needed to be manually configured starting with the damned firmware - what the hell kind of install is that?

It's a perfectly valid (attempted) review - a reason someone shouldn't even consider reaching for this installer unless they specifically need it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the complaint was that everything needed to be manually configured starting with the damned firmware - what the hell kind of install is that?


Complaining about the lack of proprietary firmware on the install image, when installing a distribution which is widely known and very vocal about the fact that it does not ship proprietary firmware, is ridiculous.

It's about as interesting as "reviewing" Arch Linux and lambasting it for following a rolling release schedule, or noting that RHEL seems to be particularly well suited to servers.

Reply Parent Score: 5

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

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.

I think is one of the most accurate summaries of the "review" - who the hell modded it down?

The review fails right at the beginning - the author is confused by the variety of available images. Than he just takes a shot at one of them! Well, you can't get any more clueless than that.. Debian is explicitly aimed at users who are willing to clue in, get the information they need, read documentation, etc. One can stop reading right there, the rest is as expected... A thorough rant about the installation (after choosing not to read up on it at all!)

I'm saying this as someone who doesn't even use debian (in case you were wondering: I'm on Windows 7 now). Installed it once about 7 years ago, on a low-traffic server. The installation was a breeze after reading the documentation. Used a variety of linuces since then, plus FreeBSD for a few years. FreeBSD had the best installer of all (again, after RTFM of course). Arch was the latest. One thing in common in these is that they DON'T promise a fully automated bells-and-whistles installation process. So criticizing them for not doing what they never claimed to do is stupid.

In the case of Debian, even a somewhat informed linux user would know that the first thing to do (if it's your first time) is to get a clue and prepare before you start the installation. I expect more for someone who regularly writes reviews.. Or NOT, actually, seeing how most reviews nowadays are actually installation reviews - as parent points out.

Reply Parent Score: 7

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Well, it was good review of a bad installer. It is always hard to chose a good version of Debian. Pretty much nothing except a recent netinst seems to work. I am surprised he managed to even complete the install on the CD version. Why these broken ISOs are even offered blows my mind.

I think the problem is: Debian is a lot more than the installer. I've run Debian for 10 years, and only used the installer twice. I don't care what it does during install, because I am setting the machine up after install anyway.

Also noticed the installer has regressed. Somehow the short people have tried to relabel GNOME to the graphical desktop again, instead of providing the choice that is the essence of Debian. This has been reported as a bug before and fixed, but apparently the short people refuse to play by the rules.

Reply Parent Score: 4