Home > Debian > First Look at Libranet 3.0 First Look at Libranet 3.0 Eugenia Loli 2005-04-25 Debian 26 Comments Libranet 3.0 has been a long time coming, and highly anticipated by its devoted customers. Read the review here. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 26 Comments 2005-04-25 8:43 am I have been a very satisfied user of both Libranet 2.8.1 and now the newly-released Libranet 3.0. Here are some of the things I appreciate about this distribution: – “It just works”. The attention to detail and testing and making sure everything is stable is, in my experience, a cut above many other distros out there. The Libranet team and the beta testers don’t “rush” things, and the result is a very stable and reliable release. – Adminmenu. How many times have you thought to yourself in other distributions: “Hmm, I need to set that up but am not sure where to go to do it or how to do it?” Chances are in Libranet that there is some tool in Adminmenu that allows you to do just that. (LOVE the ease with which even I can compile a new kernel using their kernel compile tool!) – Choice. Libranet does not make your choices for you, it presents them all to you in a reasonable and understandable way, be it through the sheer wealth of applications included on the installation media to the desktop environments to options during installation. You rarely have to think to yourself “I wish they had included that” – they probably did and it’s yours for the installing or not. – Updates. Again, tools in Adminmenu allow you to keep your installation as up to date as you choose with minimal effort. – Support. Jon and Tal, the two main Libranet developers, must be among the nicest and most patient guys on the planet. Whenever I’ve contacted them for help, they’ve replied courteously and helpfully. The Libranet forum is also a very friendly place, something of a rarity among Linux distributions and their “zealous” supporters these days. I am not saying other distributions are bad. For example, Libranet certainly doesn’t have all the gorgeous eye-candy of the new Linspire 5.0. But, all things considered, if you are looking to be productive on a stable system without having to scratch your head too much about how to achieve this, Libranet is the way to go. 2005-04-25 9:24 am the review suggests the performance is not up to that of slcakware or vector linux. any ideas what the cause might be? or are such comments simpyl subjective? 2005-04-25 9:36 am i tried x and it didnt work but it works on ubuntu hoary! i asked my friend who is a developer and he said it was because they were using an old xorg package from ubuntu but ubuntu had much newer packages … back to ubuntu i guess 2005-04-25 9:42 am used it for a while, but I am a “beta man” so I moved on.. I would recommend Libranet 3 to everyone that is thinking about moving to linux or ppl that don`t know everything about it, setup, kernel etc- there is admin menu. I would say in someways it`s better than suse: yast vs admin menu. 2005-04-25 10:15 am http://archive.libranet.com/archive/libranet/dists/hemlock/main/bin… seems to confirm that they’re using old Ubuntu packages for a couple of things. 2005-04-25 12:43 pm http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=324&slide=4… 2005-04-25 1:39 pm Add Prelinking to Ubuntu and you get a hell of a fast system. Personally Libranet, was a good debian choice for a while, but ubuntu is just… how can you say… already ahead of them? KDE 3.3 (libra) vs KDE 3.4 (ubunut), gnome 2.8 vs gnome 2.10. I personally see no reason to use Libranet, when ubuntu is there already, and ahead. btw, I bought 2.8.1 a year or so ago, stayed on machine for about 6 months, warty came out , i did a switch after a hard drive failure. I personally perfer Ubuntu. 2005-04-25 2:01 pm Paul I’m glad you like Ubuntu, I personally have run up on far too many bugs in it to have it running on any of my systems. Kubuntu 5.10 had several very annoying problems with the version of KDE 3.4 that I never could get fixed. having said that, I hope you understand when I say that slamming Libranet just because they don’t have the latest and greatest version of a particular package is just plain out stupid. I would much rather have a slightly older but well tested and debuged version over one that is more bleeding edge and apt to having problems. The folks at Debian are not pleased with how the Ubuntu Developers are straying so far from the standard Debian repository. Most Ubuntu Packages don’t work correctly if you attempt to install them on a “Pure” Debian system. It’s this sort of stuff that can lead to instability and problems for Linux later on down the line. Just my 2 cents, if you put about 98 more with it you can buy a cup of coffee. 2005-04-25 2:53 pm Kubuntu 5.10 You you mean Ubuntu 4.10 or do you mean Kubuntu 5.04? 2005-04-25 3:25 pm A couple things I think put Libranet ahead of Ubuntu, is the GUI installer and the Admin menu. Also I can access the Debian repos without it breaking my system. I’m using Ubuntu rightnow but its things like the GUI utilities that will get more people interested and thus using Linux. 2005-04-25 3:42 pm I’m one of those devoted customers Adam referred to in his review. I’ve been using Libranet since the 2.7 version as my work computer of choice. I updated to the 2.8, 2.81 and just installed 3.0. In my experience the Libranet products have delivered stability and equally important, Debian repository compatibility. These qualities have made Libranet ideal as a working distribution to earn an income. The purchase price seems like a fair trade in my particular case. For my hobby use and to keep skills up to date I often have Ubuntu, Suse, Gentoo or even Linux From Scratch on the test system. They are all great distributions, each has advantages, strengths and weaknesses. These differences are what keeps Linux exciting and vital. Will there ever be a “King of Distributions”? I hope not, the monoculture problems are very apparent in the Windows world. 2005-04-25 3:43 pm What do the sources.list look like? If, like Mepis, they’re pulling from Debian, watch out. If they’ve forked like Ubuntu, how are they going to maintain it. This to me is what makes Ubuntu so attractive to me. Sure, it’s a nice looking desktop that has new packages, but the stable release cycle, the now proven security patches with 18-month commitments, and the financial backing really put it in a different league. I used and purchased Libranet back in the 1.7/2.0 days, it was awesome. However, I fear that projects like this and Mepis will be rpushed aside if they don’t get their sources straight. Personally, I would base Libranet and/or Mepis on Ubuntu sources. Both projects offer plenty of value besides package sources and it would offer much peace of mind to their users. However, I haven’t tried Libranet 3.0 and I don’t know their packaging policy, so perhaps they’ve already addressed this. It certainly wasn’t discussed in the Mad Penguin review. 2005-04-25 3:45 pm Ubuntu has many OLD packages as well, gasp, shock, horror! Yes, they have X.org and KDE 3.4 and Gnome 2.10, but many other packages are well behind Debian Sid, if they even include them at all. It works fine on my Mac, but the package limitations get annoying. I can grab X.org and KDE and Gnome form unofficial Debian repositories and they will work with Debian (and with Libranet), that is not all ways true with Ubuntu. And remember that Ubuntu, like Debian, assumes that you know how to use and maintain a Linux system. Ubuntu is not right for a newbie since it drops them in Gnome or KDE with no directions. How does Ubuntu handle a messed up xorg.conf? What firewalling tools does it use? How does it assist users in setting it up? Does it help with user administration like adding a new user or adding them to a new group? It is these additional tools that new people need and expect, and what they are willing to PAY for. Perhaps if Ubuntu ported Yast to use, they would solve most of their problems, but until then they are just forked Debian just like Linspire and Xandros, but without the nice tools. 2005-04-25 3:46 pm Ubuntu was virtually started because of debian’s lack of releasing. Problem is for debian, debian is seeing a mass exodus, and debian leadership doesnt like it one bit. Maybe that will kick debian’s rear into action instead of inaction. Remember when 2.2 was STILL the default kernel.. and 2.6 was fast approaching? Debian 3.0 has 2.4… but we already using 2.6 as default kernel for most distro. This is debian’s fault that ubuntu is over taking it. I should expect debian has less bugs… you would too if your running a few years old software… Remind you debian’s “big software depositorary” , also includes outdated software… 2005-04-25 4:21 pm Debian is stable before anything, I think 2.4 should still be their default. And I think a release is hopefully coming soon. 2005-04-25 6:04 pm This is a review about Libranet! So what happens? The Ubuntu fanboys post “Ubuntu is the greatest thing to happen to both Linux and all humanity! If it ain’t Ubuntu, it sucks!”. Distro flame wars are stupid to begin with, but add to that the fact that Ubuntu is vastly over-hyped and overrated (and yes, I’ve tried it and liked it, but did not think it was all that and a bag of chips), and you get the Ubuntu zealots hijacking a thread about a review on Libranet. Frankly, I have yet to try it, but by all the reviews, screenshots, specs, package lists, Libranet looks like a vastly superior distro to Ubuntu. Libranet offers all the major desktop environments/window managers, as well as a plethora of software packages of all kinds, to choose from (from the CDs, not requiring long downloads), has a kick-butt installer (Ubuntu’s is mediocre at most, and no that’s not because it’s text based), remains compatible with Debian repositories, and has that Adminmenu, which rocks (Ubuntu offers almost nothing for GUI config tools). I can’t wait to try Libranet. It looks like the best all around Debian based distro (we’ll see, but it looks promising). And I think I’m leaving Ubuntu behind. It’s overrated, it’s hd detection is not as good as most others (in my experience), it’s package selection is bad, Hoary has a butt-ugly background, the ubuntu hype is now beyond being hellishly annoying, and the Ubuntu cult is getting absolutely ridiculous. I mean, geez, can’t the Ubuntu fan boys just let a Libranet thread be about Libranet? 2005-04-25 7:06 pm You are sooo speaking the truth, Jeff. I’m so bloody tired of the Ubuntu spam whenever people are talking about anything remotely tied to Debian. It’s like Gentoo all over again. *sigh* 2005-04-25 7:19 pm JeffS and Anonymous(—.sympatico.ca): I totally agree. I am so sick of these Ubuntu thread jackers. I currently use straight Debian Sarge and am highly interested in Libranet’s “AdminMenu”. It’s too bad that I have to sift through all of the Ubuntu fanboys to find a comment that’s relevant to the article. I’m tempted to just run down the list and hit “Report Abuse” on each fanboy pontification. DNU. Debian’s Not Ubuntu. 2005-04-25 7:39 pm Paul, let me say that I like your enthusiasm buddy…but Libranet has a very important place. I mean….I am a big defender of Ubuntu. Anytime something about Ubuntu is posted here, or on /. or many other tech sites with comments I do my best to rip apart the comments of anit-Ubuntu trolls. But to say that Ubuntu is the best in every case is wrong. Libranet has a different audiance than Ubuntu. The main reason to use Libranet is to get its great Adminmenu. Before Ubuntu, I used to run Sid with a Libranet base just to get the admin menu. GUI tools are very helpful and are needed by some Linux users. Libranet (like Mandriva, Linspire, Xandros) appeal to non-nerd Linux users that want simplier ways to do things. Sure, for you and I Ubuntu (with is great documentation, new packages and good vibe) work best. But thats not the case for everyone. Heck…I would probably buy Libranet myself just to make another Mutated Sid if Ubuntu didn’t exist. But not everyone likes the bleeding edge, or likes using the commandline. I appriciate your support of Ubuntu, but Libranet has its place. 2005-04-25 7:42 pm with ubuntu it is free and has good packages but with libranet …its 68 dollars for a debian with a installer and with adimenu Frankly if i had the money i would go with libranet cause i like the way they do things but in the end i dont feel justified to fork out 68 bucks when i can easliy setup up my computer with *insert distro* and get it running for free o well what can you do…and no i dont use ether ubuntu or libranet..and i do say stop flaming cause some one is going to get burned 2005-04-25 7:51 pm Some people are sick of Ubuntu thread-jackers. I’m sick of reviews by people who solely use that particular distribution on their desktop. Typically (as in this case) it’s not a review – more of a comment on the features they like and don’t like. 2005-04-25 8:23 pm “I’m sick of reviews by people who solely use that particular distribution on their desktop” I don’t. I use Slackware. In the review I stated that I “live” on the distros I review as much as possible because I can get a better idea of how they run (or don’t run in some cases). In no way do I solely use Libranet (or any other Debian-based distro). If I’m guilty of solely using a Linux distro, it would be Slackware. That’s it. 2005-04-25 8:32 pm couldnt resist saying ubuntu debian is superb and if they can massage the infrastructure in place and get some steady release then that would be sweetttt… But until then I am a mixed man, debian when that is all i need and libranet when i need something just a bit easier and sweeter… love them both and HOPE libranet sticks to debian compatability! Libranet is debian-ish enough that I never realize i am not using debian but it has those cool libranet tools that make life just a bit easier and simpler… Would like to see a slighty lower price since I am not a student anymore but soon I will be again and 3.0 will be mine 2005-04-25 9:07 pm hey, didnt students use to get a lower price than that… ? looks like i will have to buddy up with someone 2005-04-25 9:46 pm One thing libranet offers that alot of operating systems donot or are very lacking in is up and running support you need help with a driver or anything else they help you get it right simple as that! To some that is worth the $$ right there. They also have the best user forums around you ask a question you get a well informed answer usually within minutes and none of that rtfm and google is your freind stuff we see on the ubuntu and debian boards. Infact i think alot of ubuntu and debian users probably goto the libranet forums for help.:p 2005-04-25 11:10 pm I learned pretty early that a Debian based distro was the way to go. Debian’s APT repositories are second to none. I have used Libranet since 2.7 came out. I still have a couple of machines running 2.8.1. I installed 3.0 on one machine. It replaced Mepis 2004.06. I have also run, or played with, other Debian based systems, including Ubuntu (Warty), Knoppix, and Kanotix. All were good. None could figure out a 1280×800 laptop screen. Libranet could. The other names I mentioned are all one CD distros. Libranet’s is five, or one DVD. Like Knoppix, Libranet is fairly conservative, relying on Debian Sarge and its own “Hemlock” repository. As Sarge is in semi freeze, updates will be fairly infrequent, and will occur to fix security problems. In short, Libranet is about ideal for dial-up users. Other comments: Over the years, Libranet has been an easy way to experience Debian. Once up and running, Debian remains the best distribution out there. Now others have entered the field. Mepis was the first I found that supplied a kernel patched for Win4Lin. Just don’t look to add any modules, or recompile, as no kernel headers or source is supplied. Debian offers good command line tools for kernel and module building, but Libranet’s are easier. The biggest failure of Libranet 2.8.1 was lack of any support for wireless networking. Libranet fixed that with a vengeance. Like Kanotix, Libranet also supports the NDIS wrapper, but Libranet’s support is easier. Libranet is fairly conservative, yet full of advanced features, and unlike single disk distros, it works well with dial-up users.