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Old 17th February 2009
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Default Debian 5.0 released

Is anyone still excited about Debian?

There was a time when I would check distrowatch.com/debian every day eagerly waiting for the next release.
The software is usually hopelessly out of date especially near the end of a release cycle.
But it looks like Debian has made some progress in the last few years by packaging more recent kernels and newer versions of the bundled software.

I think I will give Debian 5 a try sometime this weekend.
If anyone has already tried it please share your experience.
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Old 17th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
Is anyone still excited about Debian?
Not really, new Arch release [1] is more interesting for me, the only thing I like about Debian is "continue installation remotely ..." all the rest is just typical fragmented Linux distro.

[1] http://www.archlinux.org/news/434/
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Old 17th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
Is anyone still excited about Debian?
Yes, me!

It's still my favourite OS - it's stable, the packages are new enough for my demands and up to now I haven't found a package management system that deals better with my needs than Apt (which of course might be different for different users).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
The software is usually hopelessly out of date especially near the end of a release cycle.
But it looks like Debian has made some progress in the last few years by packaging more recent kernels and newer versions of the bundled software.
Please keep in mind: Debian -stable is not ment to be cutting edge, it is ment to be - stable.
If the applications are to old for your needs, you can give -testing or even -sid a try (the two other Debian "flavours"). I have run -sid for several years on my desktop. And if one is a little bit cautious, it will (almost) work without problems.
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Old 17th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
Is anyone still excited about Debian?
Very much so! That's what we run on 95% of our servers, and 100% of our Linux desktops. And we have a lot of Linux desktops in this school district. All of our elementary school labs (~50) are running diskless Debian, 6 of our secondary schools are diskless Debian everywhere (including admin stations), the other 3 secondary are slated for switching this summer, and the rest of the elem stations are in the process of being switched over. So we follow Debian quite closely.

We'll be considering migrating our diskless servers over to Lenny this summer.

Quote:
I think I will give Debian 5 a try sometime this weekend.
If anyone has already tried it please share your experience.
Linux is Linux is Linux. There's very little to differentiate between the distros, especially on the desktop side of things.

What would be nice, is if a distro came out that clearly separated the "base" OS from the "applications", in such a way that you can install new apps without installing a new OS release (and no, "backports" repos don't cut it). There's no reason I should have to upgrade my kernel and core software in order to run KDE 4.2.
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Old 19th February 2009
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Phoenix, I think they call that the Free Berkely Software Distrubtion (FreeBSD), but it's not a Linux distro :-)
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Old 19th February 2009
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Yes, I know, I would really like a more FreeBSD-like Linux distro to arise and take over the Linux world. Actually, I'd prefer it if FreeBSD took over the Linux world, but that's a pipe dream.
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Old 21st February 2009
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>I would really like a more FreeBSD-like Linux distro to arise and take over the Linux world.

Slack & Arch, but the latter lacks the quality (compared to *BSD) and Slack the comfort of the ports (well there is pkgsrc but who cares ;-)). Ubuntu will take over the Linux world, but ... okay no flame
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Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
Linux is Linux is Linux. There's very little to differentiate between the distros, especially on the desktop side of things.
True. When I installed XUbuntu 8.04 LTS I made a mental note not to change to a different distro or fall for the "shiny new release" trap (LTS is supported for 3 years). I think I will stick with Ubuntu and install Debian 5 in a VM instead for use in MS Windows.

> What would be nice, is if a distro came out that clearly separated the "base" OS from the "applications", in such a way that you can install new apps without installing a new OS release (and no, "backports" repos don't cut it).

Sounds like FreeBSD with a Linux kernel.

[/offtopic]I enjoy reading the stories from your work (school).

Last edited by ephemera; 21st February 2009 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nihonto View Post
If the applications are to old for your needs, you can give -testing or even -sid a try (the two other Debian "flavours"). I have run -sid for several years on my desktop. And if one is a little bit cautious, it will (almost) work without problems.
I did try Debian Testing once, but I found it to be a little too bleeding edge for me. I would get wierd dependency issues for which I had neither the patience nor expertise to resolve. When Wireshark broke I finally gave up on Testing.
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Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
Not really, new Arch release [1] is more interesting for me, the only thing I like about Debian is "continue installation remotely ..." all the rest is just typical fragmented Linux distro.

[1] http://www.archlinux.org/news/434/
I have to say I am intrigued by Arch and Slackware but am not very keen on learning a completely new distro...it's too much work.
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Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver_H View Post
>I would really like a more FreeBSD-like Linux distro to arise and take over the Linux world.

Slack & Arch, but the latter lacks the quality (compared to *BSD) and Slack the comfort of the ports (well there is pkgsrc but who cares ;-)). Ubuntu will take over the Linux world, but ... okay no flame
I could never get pkgsrc to work reliably with anything else except NetBSD and DragonFly? Maybe it is going to change now when NetBSD switches to XOrg. Does it work well on Slack?

What about SluckBuilds? That seems like a very primitive ports infrastructure. Could it be fixed into full blown ports system? I honestly thing that without proper packaging system Slack with all its qualities is just a hobbyist system.

The number of various Linux distros without any serious goals despite the fact that there are only couple real distros (CentOS, Debian, Slackware) is so repulsive. Even distros like CentOS and Debian are trying to cater
everything to everybody. CentOS is probably the best since in my understanding is focused on server market supporting only couple architectures. That looks serious at least.

I am a firm believer that all applications should be run natively. It
is a sad reality that there are far more commercial
applications for Linux than for any flavor of BSD. So I guess that
one sometimes can not avoid using Linux but man I wish there were
little bit more commercial applications for BSD.
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Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
> What would be nice, is if a distro came out that clearly separated the "base" OS from the "applications", in such a way that you can install new apps without installing a new OS release (and no, "backports" repos don't cut it).

Sounds like FreeBSD with a Linux kernel.
... well, the other way round it exists:

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

or:

Debian GNU/NetBSD

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Old 21st February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nihonto View Post
... well, the other way round it exists:

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

or:

Debian GNU/NetBSD

No, it does NOT. Those people would be well advised to take their web-sites
down as you can not just take a peace of BSD licensed software and
release it as GPL. Both projects were officially halted couple years ago
but it seems that some people will not learn their lesson until somebody takes them to court.

Last edited by Oko; 22nd February 2009 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 22nd February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
honestly think that without proper packaging system Slack with all its qualities is just a hobbyist system.
Do remember Oko, in the early days of Linux people had to build their own OS out of bits and pieces and hex edit their boot blocks in some cases just to get a Linux system working off their hard disks.

Slackware is probably the oldest remaining distro, if anything else is close, I would have to guess it is Debian or RHEL. Slack comes from a early point in the distro-hell compared to most of the newer ones. From way back when there were few serious distro around -- and not pissing off the hobbyist was probably the most important factor. Or should I say, very very very very very very far from what Ubuntu is today, and probably from a time period where running GNU/Linux would've made running 2.9BSD or 4.2BSD on a VAX, look a quick lunch instead of a weekend project ;-)
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Old 24th February 2009
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Debian 5.0 was nice, but kept getting a kernel panic. Something about apt-get firmware-iwlwifi causes a kernel panic on the Intel 4965. Spent a few hours trying to get a fix, but it required a kernel upgrade and downgrading firmware to a 2007 version....just garbage. I'm back on SLAMD64 for now.
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Old 9th March 2009
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Debian 5.0 has problems with Xorg and older monitors. You need to add the Modes line.
The kernel needs to be upgraded upon install of the system. Some modules won't work on the newer kernel.
I've also had to make different versions of xorg.conf. Certain IGPs are not detected as they are in other distributions: Fedora, Suse or other OS's: FreeBSD.
Besides that, the good thing about debian is you still have the modular build environment if you like.
On GNU/debian KFreeBSD: These guys have made a lot of progress, why not ask some of them to work on the Linux emulation layer?
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Old 25th March 2009
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I thought you could relicense BSD software under GPL.
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Old 27th March 2009
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Some BSD license revisions are compatible with older GPL versions.
Because of the GPLv3, the BSD community is moving away from using gcc in the base system.
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Old 28th March 2009
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Quote:
Because of the GPLv3, the BSD community is moving away from using gcc in the base system.
It's not just the GPLv3.
The OpenBSD GCC maintainer posted a long lists of problems (misc@ I think?), but I'm unable to find it right now ...
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Old 28th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver_H View Post
>I would really like a more FreeBSD-like Linux distro to arise and take over the Linux world.

Slack & Arch, but the latter lacks the quality (compared to *BSD) and Slack the comfort of the ports (well there is pkgsrc but who cares ;-)). Ubuntu will take over the Linux world, but ... okay no flame
Ubuntu conquer the Linux world? I doubt RedHat would let that happen - they are the Microsoft of Linux.
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