Debian is a Linux distribution started by Ian Murdock in 1993. Debian is DEB from his wife Debra and IAN is from Ian Murdock. One thing that Debian has is rock solid stability and security. Its packages are thoroughly tested before becoming categorized as stable. Review here.
Debian 3.1 Review
Submitted by Rajiv Battula 2005-06-23 Debian 26 Comments
I don’t know… I recently tried sarge and it really sucked. I could use it fine and all but I simply did not like they way things were set up. Oh yeah, and apt-get is really horrible, especially compared to Arch’s pacman.
lol! Here we go…
What’s next? How about “I just do emerge somepackage…”
9 pages, and almost no content. oookay…
7, 9, whatever. They’re both odd numbers.
I’ve had it. All these stories being posted here pointing to reviewlinux.com. Not one of them have been worth the read. Quit wasting my time.
I could use it fine and all but I simply did not like they way things were set up.
Me neither, especially the init system… I just hate the System V style. We’re in 2005, not 1980. That said, you eventually get used with the rest… I have shunned Debian for a long time but it’s not that bad once you get used to its quirks.
Oh yeah, and apt-get is really horrible, especially compared to Arch’s pacman.
To my experience, both are not radically different. Aptitude is even great.
Quote: “I’ve had it. All these stories being posted here pointing to reviewlinux.com. Not one of them have been worth the read. Quit wasting my time.”
You could always try the Libranet 3 review 😉 Debian made easy!
Frankly I’m tired of all the superficial desktop reviews here. “Fuh fuh I installed Gnome here is a screenshot” is almost entirely irrelevant for a Linux distro these days, since Gnome is pretty much Gnome everywhere.
How about something with substance, such as challenges in setting up and running a multi-user remote system and supporting a variety of software you don’t even use because other users want it.
For example, I don’t use BitchX for IRC, but irssi. One of my users sends me a message “Hey can you install BitchX?” I can say “sure, hold on” and have it installed in less than a minute.
Until this afternoon I only had the C compiler installed, but one of my users needed g++ today. No problem, i installed g++ and he was in business.
Honestly, this is the prime strength of Debian over other distros (besides the ease of maintainability of the system). I generally don’t have to find sources or track down package files on the web, or wait for something to compile.
Debian also includes fairly extensive documentation for most packages, and keeps that documentation in a common location. There are Debian specific READMEs and help files in addition to the upstream files in there, and those documents are often the fastest way to getting something to work the way you want it to.
Yes I am biased toward Debian, after many years of bouncing from distro to distro.
First, I use Debian 3.1 on several of my servers but I strongly disagree with the statement from the article summary:
>>>”Its packages are thoroughly tested before becoming categorized as stable.”
Many packages are indeed thoroughly tested before becoming categorized as stabe, but this is not the case with ALL packages. Nor do I believe this to be the case with MOST packages.
For example, pound is a reverse proxy and http load balancer used by websites like Slashdot.org. As you can see from the following URL, the package in stable STILL contains a buffer overflow that was fixed around 60 days ago in a newer version.
What is worse, the TESTING and UNSTABLE versions of the package also contain the buffer overflow–again, a newer version containing a fix was available for around 60 days.
And to top it all off, pound-1.8.2 which is the version in Debian stable is actually a beta release. The last two stable releases from the pound developers are 1.9.0 and 1.8.0. Versions 1.8.1 – 1.8.5 are beta releases.
Despite problems such as this, I still use Debian on my servers because maintaining a Debian stable release is a breeze once installed. For the desktop, I prefer other distros such as Ubuntu and Mepis (both of which are based on Debian).
If all of us satisfied users pretended important problems didn’t exist in our favorite software, they’d never get fixed. Feel free to submit bug reports, patches and so on even if the package maintainer ignores them. Eventually, they’ll get replaced with a maintainer that actually takes a look at the package more than once per year.
I strongly believe that Debian’s strengths are on servers. Most of the reviews you see out there are all desktop reviews. I would really love to see more server reviews. Enterprise level stuff.
No doubt someone’s going to say well why don’t I write them myself. Well i’ve never been much of a writer that’s all.
I get this feeling the author is completely indifferent to what he is talking about…it is more of a installation and “what kinda wallpaper on my PC” sort of report…maybe he is just trying to meet a deadline?
…so I am biased toward Debian, but I think it’s really dumb to test Debian as a desktop distro. Whenever I changed to another distro in the past, I changed because I needed a better desktop. Unfortunately Debian’s slow update cycles make it impossible in a release’s final days/weeks/months(/years?) to use it for the desktop. For example GNOME updates every half a year, Debian releases new versions every two? (I don’t even remember when woody was released.) years?
On sunday I’ve installed Sarge on my parent’s machine next to an ubuntu system, but I’ve was much more happy with the Debian. I managed to run a full gnome desktop in an hour after I put the netinstall cd into the drive. But I know, that if Debian doesn’t speed up it release cycles I need to install another distro in a year for my parents machine, baceuse GNOME 2.8 will be really old in summer of 2006… And this is the real problem…
“review” ever posted. Granted, it originates from a high-school student, however, even taking that into consideration, it is seriously lacking any reedeemable aspects as a distro review. The layout of the site was simply bull…as was the amount of content per page. one page only had 1 sentence on it! C’mon people…post quality reviews, not drivel like this.
> But I know, that if Debian doesn’t speed up it
> release cycles I need to install another distro
> in a year for my parents machine, baceuse GNOME
> 2.8 will be really old in summer of 2006…
> And this is the real problem…
But on a non-critical desktop computer, there’s absolutely no problem running Debian unstable. “apt-get dist-upgrade” and what do you have? A working Gnome 2.10!
Is this supposed to be a review? It just verifies that Debian can be installed by continuously hitting Enter and accepting the defaults. If this is the kind of distro you want, then why not choose Ubuntu or Mepis or something like that — “Debian done right for the dummy desktop user”.
For the rest of us there’s Debian proper, or “Debian done the Debian way” — a highly sophisticated GNU/Linux system for the intelligent and knowledgeable user who can appreciate flexibility, choices, and commitment to Free Software. For this kind of users Debian is a good choice, although you couldn’t tell this by reading this “review”. After reading this “review” you might even start thinking that Ubuntu and Mepis and other Debian based “dummy desktop distros” are actually better than Debian proper. Well, not for the experienced user, they aren’t.
But most “reviews” nowadays seem to be written by clueless newbies who just install a distro to see what it autodetects and autoconfigures and what applications it installs by default, and then they move on to the next “dummy desktop” distro. I wish they’d skip Debian and leave reviewing Debian to someone who can show what you can actually do with this excellent distro.
Sorry about ranting, but reading this kind of “reviews” is just wasting my time.
Yeah right now you do – but a few weeks ago all C++ programs would break with ABI mismatches against gcc4 and gnome-panel was uninstallable due to gnome 2.10 going through in stages. unstable is not to be used by people who just want to get stuff done. You have to be prepared for breakage.
I Second that. that site “reviewlinux.com” seems to be run either by someone under 16 or near there, and posting the crappiest reviews ever.. this review had ZERO content. OSNews needs to stop posting reviews from this lame site that has yet to learn how to write an article.
Speaking of OSNews, they finally bought my advicewithout posting a horde of libranet reviews… i got sick of them about a year or so ago.. and ranted for a while asking them to stop. One or two reviews is enough.
I even bought libranet, while its ok… I am using Ubuntu since warty been released (I still love warty.. it was the best release I seen… whats not to love about warty)
Whacky The Wonder Bard.
Ubuntu and Mepis are fine products, but neither is compatible with the Debian repositories. Libranet is, but costs money. Here’s a new project that is fully compatible with Debian repositories and geared towards the newer and desktop users.
I just installed it and I like it far better than Ubuntu.
“Its packages are thoroughly tested before becoming categorized as stable.”
While this may remain true, many of the packages on Debian’s repositries will break other packages and installs very easily if your not careful. This is one of the main reasons that companies like Ubuntu, Knoppix, Xandros, and MEpIS went to their own tested and stable repositories rather than using http://ftp.debian.org.
“While this may remain true, many of the packages on Debian’s repositries will break other packages and installs very easily if your not careful. ”
huh? if you arent using debian they will…
if it is debian pure then whats the difference in it and debian?
i mean why choose it over debian? confused here…
I’ve been tracking unstable for years now and I’m still as much in love with it as ever. Great distro and I’ve NEVER even had to do a reinstall (not counting the time my hard drive decided to crash). For me there is no other besides debian. I’m also using sarge now on some more important machines and all in all I’d say it’s a terrific release.
Kudos to the debian team thanks for making a distribution that still impresses me after 4 years.
The following packages are available to replace the default SysV-init scripts used in Debian:
“runit is a daemontools alike replacement for SysV-init and other init schemes… runit implements a simple three-stage concept…”
“file-rc provides an alternative mechanism to boot the system, to shut it down and to change runlevels. The /etc/rc?.d/* links will be converted into one single configuration file /etc/runlevel.conf instead, which is easier to administrate than symlinks, and is also more flexible.”
file-rc is very BSD and slackware-like, and it operates well with the Debian mainter scripts, replacing the update-rc.d application, for example. So if one rc file is more your that’s more your style, “apt-get install file-rc”. runit is a departure from even the init.d scripts we’re used to and does NOT tie in well with maintainer scripts. I haven’t used either and cannot comment personally on their effectiveness or warts. YMMV.
Quote: “OSNews needs to stop posting reviews from this lame site that has yet to learn how to write an article.”
I’m now rather offended thank you. By your comments, you’re saying that my (and others) reviews are so poor as to be unworthy of reading. I have a great deal of pride in my review, and spent many hours working on it, including having many proof readers help out in the true meaning of open source. I think your comment deserves a modding down 🙂
Hmm… While I am spoiled by Gentoo, I tend to like BSD/Slack-style. Anyway, everything is better than SysV, at least in my opinion…
I will probably mess with file-rc during my 3-day holiday. Thanks a lot!
unstable is not to be used by people who just want to get stuff done. You have to be prepared for breakage.
I run Debian Unstable for more than a year ago. I’m writing this from my office computer which I use daily for my works such as report writing and else. I upgraded the the software several times every month. This computer are also run as server for my boys to input our highway traffics data. The best thing is that although I always update the software, seldom I have to reboot this PC.
I’ve tried/used many other distro scuh as SuSE, SCO, Mandrake, Slackware, Gentoo, Fedora, RedHat (the second longest I used after Debian) and I even built my own from scratch but it look like Debian give me what I need. I felt is sometimes better than some commercial distro out there especially on the maintenance aspect.
apt-get/dselect are the best since I don’t have time for “emerge” things.