Home > Debian > Libranet 2.8 Review Libranet 2.8 Review Submitted by Aryan Ameri 2003-08-10 Debian 17 Comments Aryan wrote a mini-review of Libranet 2.8. Read it 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 17 Comments 2003-08-10 1:54 pm I haven’t tried Libranet 2.8, but I did download and try their free 2.7 version the other day, and I must concur with the author on this. I found Libranet to be a very nice Linux distro. I am thinking seriously about including Libranet 2.7 CD’s at our local LUG, along with KNOPPIX and Mandrake. 2003-08-10 3:11 pm In this review the author disagreed with adding proprietay “software” into Libranet. What a load of shit. If my Nvidia only works in 3d mode WITH proprietary drivers then by all means please add them (which Libranet has), if I NEED flash to view web sites then add them (which Libranet has) etc… You can’t expect everything to be free and EVERYONE should realize this. IF you are some kind of GNU hippie purist then by all means start coding and testing the GNU/HURD and STAY AWAY from Linux because you don’t know what kind of world you are getting into. 2003-08-10 4:15 pm What he said was “I don’t like the fact that Libranet has bundled a couple of proprietary applications with it’s distro.” This could be interpreted as simply meaning that he wants a greater degree of clear separation between Free and proprietary software. This would make sense since he frequently draws comparisons between Libranet and Debian proper, where everything that does not meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines (http://www.debian.org/social_contract.html#guidelines) is placed into the Non-Free tree. Besides, even if your interpretation is the correct one, you’re over-reacting. “STAY AWAY from Linux”? Why? There’s room for both views, so long as *you’re* the one who gets to choose whether to install proprietary software on your own computer or not. And hey, you are – so no problem. 2003-08-10 4:54 pm Well, bullethead about the Nvidia drivers, I indeed mwrote: “This act (loading a proprietary driver into the kernel) is a bit controversial, but I think it can be justified given the fact that many systems simply don’t work without this proprietary driver.” And as Syntaxis mentioned, I don’t say that users should not be able to use proprietary software, what I say is that they shouldn’t come bundled with a distro, but if a user needs them, he/she should be able to easily (means one or to click) get them. Indeed, Libranet is a big step, towards this goal, however there is still room to go on. 2003-08-10 6:58 pm Or at least let the User decide which software application or drivers get installed on his/her system, proprietary or otherwise. The reason I can’t stand 90% of Linux disrtibutions is that they come bundled with a lot of crap I don’t need; Red Hat, Debian, SUSE, Mandrake, all come to mind. Just give me the core required software packages, and then let me build my operating system as I please from there on. I acknowledge there are individuals who advocate for bloat in Linux distributions and I respect their point of view. I guess in the end, it’s all a matter of opinion and preferrences. 2003-08-10 7:19 pm Just a FYI, this is directly from the article: ——- Libranet has also put the proprietary nvidia graphical driver, and if it finds such a graphics card, the user has the option of choosing between the free ‘nv’ driver and the proprietary ‘nvidia’ one. ——- 2003-08-10 7:42 pm “Just give me the core required software packages, and then let me build my operating system as I please from there on.” Whilst I share your dislike of bloat, I don’t think you should be listing Debian amongst those distributions guilty of this. By way of evidence: —- Torgo:/home/syntaxis# du -h –max-depth=0 debian_install 89M debian_install —- 89 megs for a base install seems pretty lean to me. 2003-08-10 7:45 pm That’s true, but that choice requires that the user is already aware of what the terms “Free” and “Non-Free” mean, and is correctly able to distinguish between them. If they’re new to Linux, they’re almost certainly not going to have the foggiest. From this point of view, I think Debian’s clear separation of Non-Free into its own tree is the superior model. 2003-08-11 5:14 am 1. Rule of Modularity: Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces. 2. Rule of Clarity: Clarity is better than cleverness. 3. Rule of Composition: Design programs to be connected to other programs. 4. Rule of Separation: Separate policy from mechanism; separate interfaces from engines. 5.Rule of Simplicity: Design for simplicity; add complexity only where you must. 6.Rule of Parsimony: Write a big program only when it is clear by demonstration that nothing else will do. 7. Rule of Transparency: Design for visibility to make inspection and debugging easier. 8. Rule of Robustness: Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity. 9.Rule of Representation: Fold knowledge into data so program logic can be stupid and robust. 10. Rule of Least Surprise: In interface design, always do the least surprising thing. 11. Rule of Silence: When a program has nothing surprising to say, it should say nothing. 12. Rule of Repair: When you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible. 13. Rule of Economy: Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time. 14. Rule of Generation: Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can. 15.Rule of Optimization: Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimize it. 16.Rule of Diversity: Distrust all claims for “one true way”. 17. Rule of Extensibility: Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think. 2003-08-11 8:32 am One other nice thing about libranet is that it can be used on a little aged hardware. For example, I have installed v 2.7 on a pentium 150 MHz with something like 40 megs of RAM. With icewm this system is still very useful for network administration tasks. Even running mozilla is bearable. However, it couldn’t configure the videocard on this particular machine. I could simply resolve it by booting up Knoppix and copying it’s XF86config, though. Since I’m very happy with Debian because it allows you to update your system constantly without reinstalling the whole system, I think Libranet is the way to install it for a desktop. For a server, I prefer the Debian installer, because you don’t want X, sound, etc., etc. 2003-08-11 2:57 pm IF you are some kind of GNU hippie purist… Yeap. Thats a good argument… Detract by association… Tell you what, if you don’t like free software, why don’t you just go and use your pay-for-play OSs, and leave us free software hippies alone to commune with our code… 2003-08-11 5:15 pm I was going to give it a try to libranet 2.7 but I read that it comes with gnome 2.0 and not 2.2. Since I don’t know how to install gnome 2.3.x I’ll have to whait. Meanwhile I’ll keep my RH9 partition. 2003-08-11 5:28 pm While I don’t condone his choice of words the fact is that bundling Flash and Acrobat Reader is a good thing for the “majority” of users. If you don’t like it, either don’t use the distro or talk to the Libranet guys and find out why they did it. I have asked them a couple questions and they are quick to answer. Debian is a purists Gnu/Linux distro but that doesn’t mean that distros based on Debian have to be. 2003-08-11 6:31 pm Im curious to see how distros like Libranet will cope when the new Debian install comes out. If Debian do a good job of the installer I think a lot of poeople will move away from Debian based operating systems in favour of actual Debian. 2003-08-11 7:47 pm It does use apt-get to run out to the net and install them, same goes with straight Debian, this is a mute point. They just make it easier for you to see that you can install them easily. 2003-08-11 7:51 pm And I never said bundleing closed-source apps was a bad thing. Libranet is a distro targeted at end-users. And most end-users just care about getting things to work. If a commercial app is the best way to go, then do it! Say what you will about Windows, it (currently) gets the job done with the widest variety of hardware. 2003-08-12 4:15 am “Im curious to see how distros like Libranet will cope when the new Debian install comes out. If Debian do a good job of the installer I think a lot of poeople will move away from Debian based operating systems in favour of actual Debian.” I know I will go right back to the plain vanilla Debian. But I think Debian can improve their process even further by getting in the practice of remastering their cd’s in 3 months cycles. I don’t want the latest/greatest apps, but it will be nice to have all the latest fixes on cd so that when I do a fresh install, I don’t have to update the entire distribution. For home users, it isn’t a big deal because most people just have one system. But in the work force, where there are hundreds of servers and new ones being installed on a weekly basis, it will be much friendlier.