Home > Debian > Review of the free trial libranet-2.8.1 Review of the free trial libranet-2.8.1 Submitted by Low Kian Seong 2004-07-05 Debian 18 Comments Libranet is a debian based distribution and is a progeny of Libra Computer Systems Ltd. The platypus has written a review of the free trial of libranet 2.8.1 at his site. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 18 Comments 2004-07-05 6:47 pm Anonymous “Is libranet really worth it’s USD 65 price tag” For an experienced Debian user the answer is: certainly NOT. For a Debian newbie: maybe. This 2.8.1 “trial” version was the first distro I’ve tried that detected my monitor correctly and used the factory recommended refresh rates. Adminmenu is also nice. But after playing with Libranet for a while, I wiped it off and re-installed Debian proper with the Sarge beta 4 installer. Although the minimal installation of Libranet is pretty slim, it still includes stuff I’ll never use. Personally, I didn’t like the reviewer’s choice of style referring to himself in third person. Platypus? What’s wrong with penguins? 2004-07-05 7:16 pm Anonymous Good review, short and to the point. Is it worth $65, yes for me! Keep up the good work Libranet, and I for one look forward to the next version. 2004-07-05 8:29 pm Anonymous For a debian newbie: of course, it’s worth every penny. I’d still be on WinXP if it wasn’t for Libranet. What I like so much about libranet is it doesn’t try to be or replace Windows, like, say Linspire or Xandros. It starts you off and then it’s on your own to learn the basics of linux. I’ve been with Libranet for a year and a half now and of course I always try others distros, but I always come back to libranet. For the system itself and for the ultra friendly forum. I could go with plain debian now, but I don’t know, I just don’t, I feel at home with Libranet! Good work Jon and Tal, can’t wait for Libranet3 Yanik 2004-07-05 10:25 pm Anonymous I downloaded it and ran it for a day. I’ll stick with Xandros OC. 2004-07-05 11:23 pm Anonymous “Personally, I didn’t like the reviewer’s choice of style referring to himself in third person.” I found it disconcerting when he would switch from first person to 3rd and then back again. It would be best if he chose 1st or 3rd person and stuck with it. Other than that, great article, it explains things well and makes some good points. 2004-07-06 2:47 am Anonymous I downloaded it and ran it for a day. I’ll stick with Xandros OC. A mate of mine is crazy about Xandros….seems a bit more popular than Libranet is too 2004-07-06 5:18 am Anonymous I prefer Mepis, myself. 2004-07-06 5:31 am Anonymous “Is libranet really worth it’s USD 65 price tag” For an experienced Debian user the answer is: certainly NOT. For a Debian newbie: maybe Just because its Debian-based doesn’t mean it doesn’t have advantages over a Debian. I have been using Debian for about 2 years, and linux in general for about 7. Every free distro I’ve installed on my laptop takes me several days to configure to get all the hardware working correctly. Many Deb-based commercial distros (Lindows, Xandros, Libranet) have worked out of the box for me (for the most part… Xandros has worked the best for me). The only reason I switched back to Debian (from Xandros) was to run the latest version of software (i.e. KDE 3.2), but otherwise, distros like Libranet can save a lot of time and headaches, but still provide a solid Debian install… 2004-07-06 6:49 am Anonymous First tried out Libranet when it there was a free download of libranet 2.0. It was very nice and user friendly. However, now that Debian has come out with a beta installer which I tried the other day. I dont know if for me I need Libranet anymore. Also the last time I tried Mepis that was very good too. But again I kinda prefer pure debian sarge with its new beta installer. 2004-07-06 6:59 am Anonymous During my test drive of this “trial” version I noticed that Libranet didn’t want me to install the latest prebuilt 2.6 kernel-image. As a solution I commented out some entries in sources.list and left only testing and sid. Then I changed the pin values and after that installing the 2.6 kernel-image was easy. But this required some tweaking and dumping Libranet’s official package repository. I was wondering if there’s a more newbie-friendly way to install 2.6 kernel in libranet-2.8.1? Or are Libranet users expected to wait until libranet-3.0 is released with kernel 2.6? 2004-07-06 7:18 am Anonymous I saw the upgrade to kernel-2.6.x in it’s list on the synaptic upgrade but it couldn’t upgrade due to some uninstallable dependencies. My guess is short of editing the sources.list yourself the only way to get the kernel is to wait for the next release. On a side note, any libranet users here know how to get gaim to play nicely with yahoo again on a libranet-2.8.1 box ? 2004-07-06 9:36 am Anonymous For Windows migrants and newbies, Debian-based distros like Libranet, Mepis, Xandros, Knoppix, Kanotix, Overclockix afford the most ease of mind in installation. Once installed, provided these Window migrants and newbies take the time to learn APT, Dpkg and the CLI, post-install maintenance and administration is but a breeze. That said the Sarge Installer is becoming more and more user friendly and idiot-proof and perhaps will remove the excuse of many (users of different versions Windows; OS X; other distros or even those currently on Debian derivatives such as Libranet) from installing Debian proper itself. On the whole a pretty good article but most mainstream Debian users would not like references made to Mandrake and how we can learn from the latter e.g. with regards to the latter’s glitzy installer. Mandrake is a large and established commercial entity with some money to spare and a huge pool of volunteers helping out in its development process. Libranet on the other hand is but a small outfit. They can only do what the given availability in manpower and material resources allow them to. 2004-07-06 11:53 am Anonymous I gave libranet a try and found it great. I had been having a hard time getting sound working on my IBM R50 laptop, but Libranet found everything out of the box and had it set up and working. The install was a bit biased toward Gnome, but I managed to get a nice KDE desktop going. If you run into unmet dependencies you can often force it with apt-get -t unstable install package_name I had to install one package to get 2.6 on. 2004-07-06 3:09 pm Anonymous Deuce, I’m not sure in what ways you find Libranet to be pro-Gnome and anti-other DEs & WMs, many NON KDE lovers would say Knoppix and their spawns e.g. Kanotix to be unfairly biased towards KDE. Isn’t the default desktop in Libranet IceWm? I had it along with KDE and Gnome installed just for fun before wiping my whole Libranet installation off my hard disk altogether and running just Debian SID/SCUD and Slackware 10 now. And you can beside doing what you did i.e. issuing ‘apt-get -t unstable install package_name’ just pin ‘unstable’ to get the latest software along with the kernel. 2004-07-06 3:42 pm Anonymous Platypus. The beauty about Libranet, is that unlike Xandros and other commercial debian-based distributions, Libranet is 100% Debian compatible. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. This makes supernerd’s point about KDE 3.2 moot (since anything that Debian can have, Libranet can have – case in point, I’m running KDE 3.2.3 right now on my Libranet laptop). This means, that you can run the latest GAIM, without any problems. Just type (as root) ‘apt-get install gaim’, if that doesn’t upgrade to the latest version, then try ‘apt-get -t testing install gaim’, and if you’re still unsatisfied with the version you have, then ‘apt-get -t unstable install gaim’ will get you the ‘bleeding edge’. 2004-07-06 4:03 pm Anonymous JoeLinux: I just started out with the full install and started to remove items, but it had a lot of gnome library items in there by default. Since I wanted KDE I did a lot of unchecking of various apps. I got tired of that and just did a minimal install and went back and added KDE things. I am sorry I don’t have the exact things on hand I didn’t take notes during install like I should. I am not nocking it at all, I actually am enjoying it although my upgrade to 2.6 fried my mouse and thus X, but that is just a matter of figuring out what needs to change in my X config. Anyone that has given Debian a try and had a few problems that kept them from keeping it should give libranet a try. 2004-07-07 3:03 am Anonymous Just how much different this distro is from Mepis,Which I picked up rather cheaply from the Mepis site recently. one of the big pluses in Mepis from what I see is a real straightforward graphical installer that runs off the desktop in the live cd It was a real snap to install(although the partitioning tool left something to be desired and I ended up setting up my partitions with a handy-dandy copy of Partition Magic I have)But it recognised every piece of hardware on my Jetta Jetbook laptop ,winmodem included(BeOS didn’t even give me a display)and Peanut Linux absolutely refused to boot on this machine without a disk,Mandrake probably would have worked but I didnt want such a big distro on this machine.All this leads me to believe these Debian folks are onto something,but my only previous experience with Debian is the weird version of it that came with my Intel DotStation,which had about every conceivable piece of software imaginable already installed on it.SO now I have to figure out how this Apt-get stuff works because I have basically been dealing with Linux distros that use the RPM method of installing software.It’s getting closer but I still have yet to find a Linux Distro that will replace BeOS on the desktop,but I keep looking and tinkering. 2004-07-07 6:59 am Anonymous The content of the article itself was decent, but the third person format was really obnoxious and made it VERY annoying to read. Furthermore, as someone else pointed out, the person who wrote the article was also inconsistent in which voice was used.