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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Comment by Alexander
by Alexander on Sun 20th Mar 2011 14:11 UTC
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As for the screenshot issue, yes it's a simple apt-get install or a few minutes clicking in synaptec but the real question (and I think the one the reviewer was trying to raise) is how was such a commonplace utility so easily missed in the Install (I would like to know this myself actually ;) )

I would like to know that too because just two days ago I did an install of Debian Squeeze (version 6.0 not 6.0.1 which was just released) and the screenshot utility was there. I did a default install with Desktop Environment selected in tasksel. So perhaps the reviewer did something wrong or his media was damaged or i don't really know what, but i'm fairly certain that there is no problem with gnome-screenshot. In fact i did not encounter any problems whatsoever and everything worked as expected.

As for the review i think it is bad review because it presents a very strong opionion about Debian while at the same time the review clearly has not bothered to look inside Debian. We have 99% of the review dedicated to the installer and virtually nothing dedicated to using Debian. How could anyone manage to get a fair impression of any operating system without using it is beyond me. While in the end the review had a bad opinion of Debian, even if he had a positive one it would not be fair because symple he has not basis for any opinion on the matter.

The second major fail of the reviewer is his failure to graps the concept that there most linux distributions have different goals and target groups. This is major fail because this is the very reason why there are hundreds of linux distributions. If you want a desktop distribution then by all mean try Ubuntu, Open SuSe, Mandriva and if you have formed an opinion in the process then share it. If you want a server ditribution then you should try CentOS or RHEL. There are also distributions that try to do all the work for the users and strive to come up with the best default settings, there are also distributions like Debian which let the user set up his own system. Therefore if you are looking for a server distribution but decide to review Ubuntu and end up not happy with it or if you are looking for a desktop distribution and try CentOS the fault is not with the distribution but with you. My experience with Debian is that it has a very specific goals and the current release works without any problems and as expected in the framework set by these goals.

Here is also my opinion on several topics from the review:
The Installer - in opinion it is very good, in fact it is my second favourite linux installer together with Fedora's anaconda. And i don't see what's so difficult about it - most of the questions it asks you the Ubuntu installer will ask you too - like where you live, what is your keyboard and partitioning. For the other questions you can successfully use the defaults. In the context of Debian's target groupthe installer is very good.
The need for networking - realistically speaking no matter what distribution you are using you need network. It's just how modern computers work. For example if i try to install Ubuntu without network my video card won't have 3d (because i need the proprietary drivers for that) and i won't have multimedia codecs. And it's not like only with Linux. I recently installed Windows 7 and without network i would have been left with a practically useless system - the default install of Windows 7 lacks many essential programs (like a good office suite which thankfully most linux distributions provide by default) and while Windows 7 supports a lot more hardware by default than Windows XP i still needed to install several drivers. So in practice no matter what you install on your computer without Internet you will be severely limeted. And if you insist to do a networkless install you can use the install DVDs (in fact i think that the first dvd will be enough).

The inability to use WPA encryprion during install - it's not like your are installing Debian everyday, i don't think that is such a big issue to set your router to use WEP for about an hour.

"The partition setup was particularly annoying" - this must be the most stupidest thing in the review. The partitioning setup is nearly ideantical for most linux distributions i've tried (except for Gentoo). How is Debian's partion setup different from Ubuntu's or Fedora's - same old, same old. You can delete partitions, create new partitions, select a file system and a mount point. I'm not sayinг which one is the best because to me they are all vирtually identical.

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