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Why Debian Matters More Than Ever

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the secretly-replaced-these-folgers-crystals-with-debian dept.

Debian 345

Julie188 writes "If you look at the feature list for Debian 6, released on February 6, it's easy to be underwhelmed. This is especially true when measuring Debian against its offspring, like Ubuntu. Debian doesn't get much credit, and its become trendy for industry pundits to claim it's become irrelevant. But it's more relevant than ever. If you're using Ubuntu (or Linux Mint, or Mepis...), you're really using Debian with some enhancements. According to a presentation given recently by Debian Project Leader (DPL) Stefano Zacchiroli, only 7% of Ubuntu is directly derived from upstream projects, Canonical's projects, or other non-Debian sources. Of the rest, 74% of Ubuntu is rebuilt Debian packages, and 18% are patched and rebuilt Debian packages."

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The Family Guy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169584)

It makes me laugh that all you nerds like The Family Guy but I've figured out why. You like The Family Guy because the fat father's chin looks like a nutsack and I know how much nerds like nutsacks on their chins. Stupid faggot motherfuckers.

Re:The Family Guy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169602)

It makes me laugh that all you nerds like The Family Guy but I've figured out why. You like The Family Guy because the fat father's chin looks like a nutsack and I know how much nerds like nutsacks on their chins. Stupid faggot motherfuckers.

What?

Re:The Family Guy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169774)

My good sir/madam (but probably sir), wanting to as you say fuck your mother while rather disconcerting does not make a person gay.

Re:The Family Guy (-1, Offtopic)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170232)

It makes me laugh that all you nerds like The Family Guy but I've figured out why. You like The Family Guy because the fat father's chin looks like a nutsack and I know how much nerds like nutsacks on their chins. Stupid faggot motherfuckers.

Last time I checked your mother was all woman.

Since when? (5, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169592)

Debian doesn't get much credit, and its become trendy for industry pundits to claim it's become irrelevant.

News to me. Who's calling it irrelevant?

Re:Since when? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169644)

Obviously nobody important. Ubuntu is more like extended Debian family. They even contribute back to Debian. Heck, I even use the Wine packages from an Ubuntu PPA (Lucid) unmodified. Would it make sense to say that Ubuntu is irrelevant if Kubuntu became a big deal? No. This is just stirring up an anthill.

Re:Since when? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169922)

agreed. debian is probably the most successful linux distribution ever, and i'd probably turn to freebsd before another linux distro.

sadly, one often hears a sense on the debian mailing lists, etc, that users (and even debian developers) would like to make debian slicker and more appealing to desktop users (more like ubuntu, or mint, for example). i consider this (especially the infighting) to be a huge mistake. ubuntu is just "the externalization of all the tweaks suitable for desktop users", and I consider this to be "The Right (tm)" solution to the "how best to please everyone all the time" problem (aka the "world domination syndrom") that most distros suffer from.

i really appreciate debian as a solid foundation. fwiw, i usually install a base system and then add on from there.

debian, and all the derivative distros should work together while supporting these types of forks... ubuntu should just be a repository of exactly/only the packages that are tweaked or added above and beyond the debian packages. it should be reasonable to just add an ubuntu repo to my sources file and do an upgrade to get to a typical ubuntu.

Re:Since when? (5, Insightful)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169794)

If anything it makes me question 'industry pundits' who fail to recognize the layered way that open source projects are able to build on each other.

Like saying a plant is irrelevant to the flowers that grow on it

Re:Since when? (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169800)

Who's calling it irrelevant?

You know, that guy who always fails to get his wireless working in Debian, then downloads Ubuntu and goes on a rant about how everything should Just Work like Ubuntu did for him that one time on that one machine...

Re:Since when? (5, Informative)

foxed (152267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169818)

Steven Vaughan-Nichols is calling it "no longer as important as it once was". See http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/the-new-debian-linux-irrelevant/8218 [zdnet.com]

Re:Since when? (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169974)

Say who? If you're going to call others irrelevant, shouldn't you first have some modicum of relevancy yourself?

Re:Since when? (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169988)

Yeah, but he also says stuff like "pain-in-the-rump." Who cares what he thinks?

Re:Since when? (2)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170218)

Who?

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169820)

We have this information, provided by the popcon (popularity-contest) package.

Re:Since when? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169826)

People who are concerned with more current software, easy installers, and flashing GUIs out of the box.

For those of us that want a very stable and reliable server and don't want to have to deal with a bunch of garbage, Debian is the way to go. However, I say this as I just finally finished up hunting down all the script issues which arose for me (for the first time) following my upgrade to Squeeze.

It's been a fun week to say the least and yet, for whatever reason, I still cannot upload one of my many CSVs to Google Docs for backup via the API. I'll get around to figuring it out eventually I guess.

Re:Since when? (1)

deek (22697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170046)

I'd even recommend Debian for people who want the latest software updates. That's what testing and unstable are for. Using package pinning, you can run a stable base, with selected testing and unstable packages. Mix and match what you want. Debian will cope fine with it. That's the beauty of the system.

Of course, you have to be a little more careful, but it's easy enough to revert to a previously installed package if you have issues. I've been running a mixed testing and unstable install on my laptop, and have had only one issue in the last few years where I needed to revert a package.

Re:Since when? (4, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169840)

Somebody named Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols [zdnet.com] the third. Should be working at the DMV

Re:Since when? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169860)

Its called a straw man.

Set up false claims then demolish them in a fit of peek.

If anything people have voiced concern for Debian since so many distros depend heavily on it
and its purity.

Re:Since when? (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169878)

pique :-)

Re:Since when? (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169900)

DOH!
I save my best spelling for those who pay me.

I thought it looked wrong when I typed it, but couldn't remember the right spelling. Thanks for the reminder.

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169950)

Linus: I always felt that Debian was a pointless exercise.

I love Debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169606)

Debian has been my flavor of choice for quite some time now; since Sarge. It is a solid distro with great features for the pro, and accessible to the newb.

Re:I love Debian (1)

LesFerg (452838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169738)

I have preferred it for some time, but it does have those little quirks that put it above newb access level still.

Really wish I could have done the last dist upgrade without it dropping my display settings and losing my drivers. Come on, who really cared if the kernel was relying on some 'non free' firmware, I wasn't protesting outside Debian offices about it. Sometimes they take this free crap too far.

No, aside from bitching about minor inconveniences, I still have to choose Debian for all serious installs (and Puppy for the other installs :)

Re:I love Debian (4, Interesting)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169914)

Debian cares, and it's their job to care. You should probably read the release notes before you upgrade between major versions.

I think the best way to draw attention to hardware that doesn't function without non-free drivers and firmware is to have a distribution that will take a principled stand against including such software. That way, you can try to install Debian on a computer and know exactly what is supported by free software.

Re:I love Debian (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169980)

Yes, how dare they stick to their principles if it annoys me!

They even host (unofficial) CD images with the non-free firmware [debian.org] , so I don't know what you're complaining about.

Ubantu = Fail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169610)

How long has Ubantu been around and what percentage of the market do they have? Oh thats right, NONE.

Re:Ubantu = Fail (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169756)

Not sure how long Ubantu has been around... never heard of it.

Ubuntu on the other hand was first released 20 October 2004. Ubuntu is used by an estimated 12 million users and accounts for about 50% share of desktop Linux users.

I would take these numbers all a grain of salt as they are estimates from Canonical and others. Stats courtesy the Ubuntu Wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_(operating_system) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ubantu = Fail (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169918)

I would say those estimates are not unreasonable. You probably have to assume that Kubuntu and Xubuntu and Edubuntu contribute to those numbers too, as they all draw from the same repositories.

I've long used Opensuse, but for joe user, Ubuntu is probably one of the easiest to install and keep up to date, especially when you can start with an LTS version.

debian is still my choice. (3, Interesting)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169618)

I've sampled the others, and it just keeps working for me.

When other distros let me down -- even the debian based ones (like Ubuntu failing miserably over and over on my wife's netbook) -- debian, with the desktop set of packages installed, works beautifully.

Re:debian is still my choice. (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169652)

Same here. Hell, I'm deploying 7 Debian servers into our live environment tonight to replace some old RHEL4 servers at work.

Re:debian is still my choice. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169674)

Personally I don't like Debian (gentoo user) .. but I do admit it drives a lot of open source.

And it does strike me odd that ubuntu is pulling off the Debian repos, but seems to take all the credit (best Debian ever gets is "it's based off Debian"). This is probably not intentional, and it makes sense (re-inventing the wheel should be avoided if reasonable) .. it just kind of "looks bad".

Gentoo? (1)

jasno (124830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169768)

People still use Gentoo? Wow! That was always my fav distro. How well is Gentoo being maintained nowadays?

I was actually thinking of trying Debian 'cause I figured Gentoo would have rotted over the last few years.

Re:Gentoo? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169824)

Gentoo is in very fine shape these days, I'm using it daily!

Re:Gentoo? (2)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169926)

I use Gentoo on my desktop. It works great, but it's kind of a pain in the ass if you don't upgrade packages regularly. I just moved, and I was only using my laptop for about 6 weeks. When I tried to upgrade, I got all kinds of dependency hell. It wasn't too hard to get everything resolved, but it seemed unnecessary.

Re:debian is still my choice. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170210)

I love Debian too, and run it on anything important. But Arch is more fun.

You can't just count packages and draw conclusions (5, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169656)

You can't just count packages and draw conclusions from counts. Some of the packages haven't been updated in years. Some are only used by like five users on the planet. Some are so buggy they won't even run.

Weigh them by how many people install and use them, and you've got something to talk about, though.

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169740)

I don't think many of the people using Ubuntu or other OSS are going to give permission for a package manager to snoop and send back this information.

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169752)

You've just described the Debian Popularity Contest [debian.org] . It has a lot of users, although probably not a large proportion of all Debian users.

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169758)

Why not? I always check send anonymous information. Oh shi- if it's just me doing it, it's not so anonymous now is it...

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (1)

hidden (135234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169816)

debian has a package called popularity-contest, which it asks to install when you do a new debian install. from the package description:

Description: Vote for your favourite packages automatically
  The popularity-contest package sets up a cron job that will
  periodically anonymously submit to the Debian developers
  statistics about the most used Debian packages on this system.
  .
  This information helps Debian making decisions such as which packages
  should go on the first CD. It also lets Debian improve future versions
  of the distribution so that the most popular packages are the ones which
  are installed automatically for new users.

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169834)

Popularity contest statistics for popularity-contest [debian.org] says that 99.76% of the almost hundred-thousand Debian users sending statistics back to the "popularity contest" have installed the application which gathers such statistics.

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (0)

TBBle (72184) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169858)

Dammit, forgot to log in. >_

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (0)

TBBle (72184) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169866)

And check the preview. >_<

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (3, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169992)

How the hell do the other 0.24% report them?

Re:You can't just count packages and draw conclusi (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169842)

You can't just count packages and draw conclusions from counts. Some of the packages haven't been updated in years. Some are only used by like five users on the planet. Some are so buggy they won't even run.

Maybe, but if a Debian package out of date, uncommon, or unusably buggy, then I expect that Ubuntu would not import it or pull from the upstream project. You know, the packages the summary is talking about.

You can count packages and draw conclusions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170030)

the conclusion is that Debian has tons of packages! More than anybody else.

I have been using Debian for 15 years on sparc, ppc, i386, amd_64, and arm. I don't know what you are talking about broken packages. Bugs exist, but I have a zillion times more use of Debian than Red Hat, and have seen fewer bugs in Debian than I have found in Red Hat (which also has next to zero packages in comparison, supports few architectures, and has horrible upgrade options). I have boxes that started out as potato that are still running today with lenny.. all just apt-get dist-upgrades-- this is impressive as hell to me!

As for software only used by 5 users on the planet, I might be one of those 5 users, and I appreciate that it is packaged, and simple to install and use. I had to f'ing build clamav from source for RH 4?! WTF? somehow I think clamav is used by more than 5 people.

I think the derivatives of Debian are targeting new users coming mainly from windows. this is fine, but I don't want my experience dumbed down, nor do I want to be forced to install some crappy bloatware windows emulating desktop like gnome or kde. I will stick with deb, and for those who want it, ubuntu and others give the canned experience while benefiting from Debian's careful processes, huge software library, and amazing package management infrastructure.

Also, software is as fresh as you want it with debian without having to run an unstable system using bleeding edge for everything. Their package management system is the best there is. With pinning, you can run stable, testing, unstable, experimental, volatile, etc. on the same system without anything unexpected happening. Just need to learn to use the tools.

Also, Deb packaging all that software means you get manpages for that app regardless of your distro... Debian maintainers create manpages if none exist upstream-- I've seen these Deb manpages on other distros... which is great for everybody.

Re:You can count packages and draw conclusions... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170174)

There's still some work to do on cultivating a bit of coordination between sets of packages. E.g. they managed to hose my BOINC cluster NFS shares by dropping aufs NFS export support before there was a viable replacement (unionfs seems to take an asymptotic path towards full completion). They decided as a matter of policy to not fix that, because aufs NFS isn't especially high quality code... gee thanks, all of us who were just using it to run junk clusters don't exactly need data center quality. But that's life in unstable... things break more often on the bleeding edge.

This pales, however, in comparison to the hell I watch the sysops at work go through with RedHat/CentOS.

No Ubuntu on my Server (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169668)

One has to be an idiot to use Ubuntu on a server.

Debian is the way to go.

(or FreeBSD if your goal allows it)

analogy (2)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169684)

ubuntu is to debian as firefox is to gecko

Re:analogy (1)

Dopefish_1 (217994) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169714)

ubuntu is to debian as firefox is to gecko

Nobody uses Gecko directly. Debian isn't just a good base for building an operating system, it's a pretty good one already.

Re:analogy (4, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169812)

That is how it should be, but that is not how it is. Debian is not some generic distribution-construction-kit, but instead Debian is a complete normal independent Linux distribution and that is exactly where I see the problems. Ubuntu, just as the other distributions based on Debian, isn't a real Debian with a few extra packages installed, but a completely different thing, having its own complete package dependency tree that is incompatible to that of Debian. You might have luck installing Ubuntu packages on Debian or visa versa, but you might as well have not. There is no Debian base system to which developers can develop their packages that will then automatically be compatible with all Debian based distribution, you still have to build every package for every distribution.And thats really the crux, instead of having a unified base with which you can reach a large part of Linux users, you have heavy fragmentation. See for example the whole Launchpad auto builder infrastructure, great for building stuff for Ubuntu, but wanna build something for another Debian based distro or even Debian itself? Tough luck, that stuff is Ubuntu only.

At this point I would really welcome it when Debian would work towards becoming a proper base system for other distributions to build on in a proper way, not the kind of hacky one that is practiced today.

Re:analogy (2)

TBBle (72184) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169930)

I think that'd be a terrible idea. The reason Debian works as a distribution base is because it's a complete, centralised, internally consistent and _working_ distribution guided by principles of end-user (admin) choice and unusually strict guidelines for package quality and interoperability, which make it fairly easy to drop new packages into the mix from random sources, mix-and-match packages already in the pool, and pre-decide things for your specific user base.

And you most certainly can build packages that'll work on every Debian-derived system, with a bit of care, and providing you don't need to rely on any packages whose ABIs have been forked downstream or have simply aged and been discarded from the repositories.

Sure, if you build something on Debian/unstable, you have no expectation that it'll work on Debian/stable, but if you build on the oldest distribution you care to support, a litte bit of effort with your dependancies should get you working on nearly-as-old distributions from other distributors, and you'll only be stopped from working on newer distributions when they don't provide a library ABI you need, in which case you need to build a version that works with _that_ ABI and so on.

Except where downstream distributions have created their own rules for shared library package naming, of course.

Re:analogy (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170044)

Derivative distros should adapt themselves to Debian, not the other way around.

See for example the whole Launchpad auto builder infrastructure, great for building stuff for Ubuntu, but wanna build something for another Debian based distro or even Debian itself? Tough luck, that stuff is Ubuntu only.

Maintainers can upload their source packages to Debian Mentors [debian.net] and get them into Debian, which will then be pulled by the other distros.
If the maintainer chooses to go through Ubuntu's incompatible platform, what are the Debian developers supposed to do?

Re:analogy (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170204)

Pinning binary packages is a bad idea but source debs between whatever the current flavor of Ubuntu is and Sid/Testing are highly compatible. They should be. The bulk of Ubuntu is a snapshot of Sid that gets some QC and Ubuntu specific bits added. The few times I've wanted something newer that the Ubuntu repos had, I'd just build the Sid source deb in Ubuntu. apt-get build-dep is your friend here since of course the build dependencies and names are the same. There was one time Ubuntu had a newer spamassassin and I built an Ubuntu source deb and installed it on a Lenny Debian I was running but I generally do this in the other direction.

I basically treat Ubuntu as the QCed Sid snapshot that it basically is.

Re:analogy (5, Funny)

TBBle (72184) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169884)

Ubuntu is to Debian as Stalin is to Lenin?

Re:analogy (2)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169986)

I would say a better analogy would be:
Ubuntu is to Debian as Flock is to Firefox.

Re:analogy (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169994)

ubuntu is to debian as firefox is to gecko

not really.

debian can still do all the things ubuntu can.

ubuntu is debian packaged for (possibly non-tech-savvy) end-users and polished a bit.

Re:analogy (1)

SudoGhost (1779150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170230)

I think a better analogy is that Ubuntu is to Debian what HTC Sense is to Android.

I've never run "pure" Debian... (2)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169704)

Mainly, I've just used Ubuntu and Studio 64. Sure, I realize they're Debian-based. I dont really make the distinction.

I have, however, read MANY comments on the evils of the very bits of default software that make me like Ubuntu.

Re:I've never run "pure" Debian... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169998)

Keeping it free and open is evil? =P

Or stable and outdated?

If you want an open and stable distribution Debian works.

Re:I've never run "pure" Debian... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170038)

Keeping it free and open is evil? =P

That's not what I said. Nice try though. And you're kind of making my point.

Re:I've never run "pure" Debian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170202)

Dumb fucks like you are why most people can't be bothered with Linux.

re Debian Squeeze (2)

freddieb (537771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169712)

I have Squeeze running on a desktop and my home server. It is excellent. I have a Ubuntu desktop also. I really see no major difference except with Debian you don't have to update every two days to keep current. The long release cycle is excellent for servers. The new version has the latest bind, php 5.3, etc. Seems really current to me. It also plays Sirus player, compiz, software-center, just like debian. 2.6.27 compiled fine and runs like a top.

Re:re Debian Squeeze (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169970)

The new version seems current, but it probably won't in a year and a half, when it will likely still be the current version.

Re:re Debian Squeeze (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170042)

The new version has the latest bind, php 5.3, etc. Seems really current to me.

For servers, sure. The desktop? Some applications, like Firefox, may technically be on the most recent stable release, but it will be over a year out of date–and remember, new FF release cycle after 4 gets comes out–by the time Debian 7 rolls around. And last I checked they still haven't put a beta of 4.0 in sid yet.

Debia what? (-1, Troll)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169728)

sorry I use ubuntu and really dont give a shit about it's grandparents.

less politics, more pretty, then maybe we can hug and go back to 2001 and cuddle

Re:Debia what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169764)

Nice troll, troll.

go back to 4chan please.

Re:Debia what? (3, Informative)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169780)

Is this supposed to be sarcastic?

Debian is not Ubuntu's grandparent, that's a really bad analogy. If anything, Ubuntu's a leech (a very pretty leech, yes) to Debian. It's more of a symbiotic relationship than a true leech, but Ubuntu would have a very hard time to move forward without Debian's foundation and the work done by Debian developers. Chances are a LOT of Debian updates find their way into Ubuntu, so when the former updates, the latter benefits from it.

If Debian died today all the sudden, Ubuntu wouldn't grind to a halt, but it'd be struggling to keep its pace.

Re:Debia what? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169978)

Ubuntu wouldn't exist without it, and the Debian contributers deserve a big "Thank you" for their contribution to fantastic software that you can use for free.

proudly posted froom Debian 6.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169744)

that's it

why debian is irrelevant: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169750)

two years between new versions. That's a long time in the open source world and a lot of software becomes horribly out of date. If you want new versions, you need to fiddle around with backports. Move to a new version every year.

Re:why debian is irrelevant: (2)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169908)

SNS (Shiny New Shit syndrome) is a very serious condition that can negatively impact the reliability of your computer.

Re:why debian is irrelevant: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169984)

More like "a newer version fixes that critical bug... but we won't backport it".

Re:why debian is irrelevant: (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170072)

Ha, that's rich. Older, patched, more stable versions Just Work(tm).

The newer versions are the critical bugs caused by shiny new shit syndrome.

Re:why debian is irrelevant: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169982)

2 years is sooo little that windows xp users (the dominant DESKTOP OS) waited 10 to upgrade to windows 7.
So, in servers it's easy... you need stability, so debian's 2 years release cycle it's at least perfect (And I have debian servers 4.0 still running over 3+ years). And with desktop users... the real "grandma user" doesn't want new features every 3 months. They want to learn as little as possible, and not change any kde version or gnome or switch from pidgin to a broken and incomplete empathy or moving their photos from fspot to the next big thing and from using rhythmbox to banshe...
Don't you see how irrelevant is to have new versions of software for real end users??? how annoying is for them?

Re:why debian is irrelevant: (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170160)

If you want bleeding edge, you run sid, not stable.

I run Ubuntu because it installs - Debian doesn't (0, Flamebait)

pepik_knize (542172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169754)

Every few years I get a new box, and I think, "I'll try Debian, people seem to like it." Then I try to install it, and it never installs properly. My experience has been that the installers over the years have been non-intuitive, required too much detailed knowledge, and were clunky. That's why I've never used it. Instead I've used Red Hat, Fedora, and now Ubuntu.

Re:I run Ubuntu because it installs - Debian doesn (2)

HPUXCowboy (735911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169962)

As noted in the article, Debian has never been a distribution that was built for the masses. Yes, some detailed knowledge of the hosting hardware is required. But this is nothing new. It's always been a distro for the more savvy user I.E. your down and dirty geeks and serious developers/administrators.

While some complain loudly about the release schedule (?) that Debian is famous for, it is this very attention to detail that makes each new release of Debian one the most stable in the Linux world.

While Debian does not ooze with the WOW! factor like Ubuntu and many others, it is Debian that enables these other distros to prosper. Without the solid platform furnished by Debian the many derivative distros would would find it very difficult at best and nearly impossible at worst to maintain their aggressive release schedules.

I use Ubuntu. It seems to have problems getting along with the sound hardware on my machine (something I never saw while using pure Debian) but, overall it's a good distro. However, if you have experienced the "pure Debian" distro there is no doubt regarding Ubuntu's ancestry.

Re:I run Ubuntu because it installs - Debian doesn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35169990)

I try to install it, and it never installs properly.

Then to be honest, you are incapable. It's nothing personal, but you wouldn't last a second with arch or slackware. I'm 16, and I'm running Wheezy on the box I type this, and the install for squeeze was easy, the upgrade to wheezy was quick, and the system is very stable for a testing version. No offense is intended, but for God sakes, it's just a TUI. Didn't you ever install Windows 98? I swear, they work the same way. You'll only have problems if you can't be bothered to actually use ethernet for ten seconds while you install the driver for your wireless NIC. Trust me, a stable version will install. You just fail.

TL;DR: You fail at computers. Please go darwin award yourself. Thank you.

Re:I run Ubuntu because it installs - Debian doesn (1)

Jello B. (950817) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170222)

You are a conceited asshole.

I'm 16

Nobody gives a shit how smart you think you are just because you are SLIGHTLY relatively young and by luck you can get a Linux distro working on your particular setup with a default install.

Get bent.

Re:I run Ubuntu because it installs - Debian doesn (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170228)

Indeed. Ubuntu comes from an African word meaning "can't install Debian".

Debian still supports PowerPC (5, Informative)

joeyadams (1724334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169772)

Debian is one of the last major Linux distros still supporting PowerPC (along with Gentoo, Arch Linux PPC [archlinuxppc.org] , and a few others). Ubuntu discontinued official PowerPC support in 2007, and Fedora did the same in 2010. I'm tempted to install Debian 6 on my Apple eMac, replacing Fedora 12 (which reached EOL a couple months ago).

Ubuntu and Debian - they need each other (2, Interesting)

inflex (123318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169782)

A lot of people are upset that Ubuntu doesn't give back a lot to Debian in terms of packages/software/whatever, however what Ubuntu gives Debian (and indeed Linux) is a more approachable OS package as a whole, something more suitable to the non-geek, this is something that Linux/Debian have never really bothered with a lot while in the realm of genuine geeks but it's something that Ubuntu adds and which is greatly appreciated by people outside of the geek circle. So while you cannot measure Ubuntu's 'give back' in quantitative terms it is still giving a huge amount in other areas where advancements were sorely needed.

I don't see the problem with Ubuntu being a Debian based distro - isn't this what Debian or any other distro would want - a larger adoption rate? It's all GPL, it's not like licences are being broken.. or is the crying from a minority more to do with a bad case of sour-grapes?

Re:Ubuntu and Debian - they need each other (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170020)

Agreed. Shuttleworth had a blog post about this very thing when that whole "ubuntu contributes less than anybody" thing went down: they're primarily focused on distribution, packaging (in the non-Linux sense of both words) and polish. To suggest that they don't contribute lines of code is missing the point of their contribution to the community at large.

That said, I'm becoming less and less satisfied with Canonical's way of doing these very things and have just installed Debian (via Mint's new version thereof). Not too shabby. So take THAT for whatever it's worth.

Re:Ubuntu and Debian - they need each other (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170102)

"what Ubuntu gives Debian (and indeed Linux) is a more approachable OS package as a whole,"

Says who? By what metric?

This is all just Ubuntu marketers tooting their own horns (when they can't get dupes like yourself to give them a good toot for free).

Debian is eminently usable and continues to be so. Ubuntu is just bullshit-brown marketing and purple-prose propaganda.

Congratulations to the Team for Excellent Work (1)

Frank J Kime JR (1994210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169868)

Let me say that the Debian team has My deepest thanks for a job well done. I am a user of distro Linux because of the periodic search for bandwidth (and of course to host my endless emails of viagra ads.) The Debian team should be studied from the perspective of package compatibility and strong support of Aptitude. Support is due to the proper application of (or perhapss luck) over the years of use in the package management. I know you kids love compiling kernels and it makes me sigh with appreciation for youthful energy. My need is to slam into another account, setup a complicated gizmo and let the freedom of speech reside. But somehow the setup is pretty capible of supporting obscure configurations without alot of effort. Thats a distro folks, for my opinon. Of course Ubuntu is nice for sitting on the console ... For a remote, Debian is my #1.

Enough with Debian (0, Troll)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169964)

Debian and debian derived projects are for people that are to lazy to use a real Linux system. Any Linux user who is lazy enough to rely on the binary Linux distro's are really just admitting they don't actually want to put the time into learning source based Linux.

Ubuntu well the most popular distro is becoming so much like Windows it's disgusting, Any ubuntu based distro is just ripping off a poorly designed root. Debian might matter in the grand scheme being it's one of the big distro's that started off Linux but now it's a bloated Linux distro which spawns children that aren't bringing Linux's best features to table.

If you want to call yourself a Linux user, take a LFS cd and start compiling, if your not going to make your own distro using LFS then grab a good distrobution that actually makes Linux use act the way it's meant to be used. Slackware, Gentoo, Rock, T2 are all great distro's because they force the user to actually know thats going on with there system and care about how there system works. Ubuntu on the other hand cares more about how the user can use there webcam or get on facebook then about how the system runs.

The binary vs source argument has been long made and long argued but the fact is that you CAN NOT get the performance specs out of a binary distro and that just doesn't seem right, at least to me. When you have the chance to get your hardware to run faster and run with the exact feature you dictate then why wouldn't you choose that path. If you experienced then it's not alot of work to learn how, if you learning how then it's worth the time to learn the right way, Once you know the right away your not going to want to go to the debian style distro's unless your lazy and if your lazy then don't use Linux.

Linux is meant for computer users who care and when you go binary your not caring your just using and that is not a good methodology to live by.

Re:Enough with Debian (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170034)

Using your criteria, I cared about Linux in 95-96, starting with Slackware. 80% of my time was spent doing the following:

1) "Hey, foo has come out! I hear it's awesome!" ./configure. "foo requires barlib5.2.1."
2) Find barlib5.2.1. ./configure. "barlib5.2.1 requires balib2.1.3, bolib6.8, parlib 3.9"
3) Find balib2.1.3 from some random website being maintained by god-knows-who. "balib2.1.3 requires teelib 8.1"
etc.

Recursively discovering, downloading, and compiling the 500 source libraries required in order to make configuring of a Makefile not choke just to get one app to work. Dealing with X configurations was not fun, and dealing with researching in order to (hopefully) answer 800 kernel questions was not fun.

My greatest "joy" of that period was compiling/installing a newer glibc and managing to annihilate my system. I remember going onto IRC asking how to go about repairing this and met with the answer of "In the future, don't do that!" (This is back when metacrawler was the King of search engines, and finding help wasn't always easy).

Over the years, after moving from Slackware to Redhat to Fedora to Ubuntu, I am incredibly thankful that I no longer have to "care" about Linux anymore. Give me my performance hit for the sake of convenience. I'll gladly take it over the alternative.

Re:Enough with Debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170040)

Perfect example of the kind of arrogance and hostility that puts people off of Linux and open source in general.

Congrats.

Re:Enough with Debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170056)

You really spend that much time compiling software instead of having sex?

Re:Enough with Debian (1)

HPUXCowboy (735911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170240)

Let the flame wars begin!

I have been developing software for, and administering, computers for the last 30+ plus years on systems ranging from the old proprietary SuperMini's of the 1980's to the high powered HP and Sun systems of today.

I've been using Linux since kernel version 0.9x. I've have used Slackware, Mandrake, Red Hat, Debian, Gentoo, Suse and Ubuntu as well as OpenBSD (BTW, the build system in Gentoo smells suspiciously like the system that has been in place in the various *BSD distros for years). I have spent many a night building packages and custom kernels just because I like to play with 'em.

My point is, there is room for everybody in the Linux universe. To loudly complain that people who use a binary based distro "are to lazy to use a real Linux system" is to display a pure lack of consideration for everyone who is not "A True Geek (tm)". To display such an intolerance toward the many people who make up the current and future user base for Linux reveals the very attitude that has prevented Linux from making significant inroads into the casual user segment of the market until very recently.

To imply that "I'm better than you" because you like to build your own distro only serves to continue to fan the flame wars and insult the intelligence of the casual user. However, these casual users are the very reason that FOSS exists.

If you desire to be an ubergeek, please feel free to do so. That's what Linux, and Open Source Software is all about. However, Linux is ALSO all about giving the casual computer user a choice ... preferably a choice that is more secure that M$ could ever hope to be. But make room for the Joe Public too.

Quiet! You Fools! (3, Interesting)

havardi (122062) | more than 3 years ago | (#35169968)

Let Debian do it's collectivist work in the shadows, and Canonical can provide the capitalist facade that keeps Them at bay. . . This arrangement might be its only hope for survival. Voluntary virtual-subjugation? Since data, unlike food, can be copied endlessly-- this might be a pretty good arrangement. Until it isn't, anyway.

well... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170002)

Cars are 90% horse carriages repackaged with some added features (an engine.) So really, carriages are still very much relevant.

Debian and Ubuntu - an ideal symbiosis (1)

retrospectenlighten (1928828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170080)

I'm always a little concerned what might happen if Ubuntu became too much of its own ecosystem - and started to drift away from its Debian roots. According to the text "only 7% of Ubuntu is directly derived from upstream projects, Canonical's projects, or other non-Debian sources". Just about the worst thing that could happen to Debian is a fork (and the enhanced probability lies squarely in Ubuntu's lap).

In a way, Debian and Ubuntu provide an ideal symbiosis - the sober one to ensure the party animal turns up to work the next day, but also a good time is had by all.

My greatest concern is if Canonical and friends stopped driving/upstreaming improvements, a wholesale migration would be encouraged. And then we only have Ubuntu (and friends of course) - and once the symbiosis is broken it's very hard to put back together.

I smelled this in 2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170100)

Ubuntu is just a deviant fork that is stealing development from Debian,
Unless the dist has features that place it another space such as real-time or process control
creating a distribution that is just a re-packaged rip-off is wrong.

I have never liked ubuntu, it's like riding a bike with training wheels.

Re:I smelled this in 2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170128)

If Ubuntu is a deviant fork of Debian, what does that make Iceweasel?

Debian: more relevant than Steven Vaughan-Nichols (2)

DougReed (102865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170134)

I use Ubuntu because it is the 'Apple' of Linux distributions. ... it just works... I even violate my Linux roots sometimes and configure stuff through the GUI. I think it is Steven Vaughan-Nichols who is not relevant. And it it were not for Debian, there would be no Ubuntu.

Yes, yes, I know that Red Hat works too, but it just doesn't DO anything. RPMs that won't install. An ugly incoherent out of date GUI. configured for security ... meaning you should consider yourself privileged that it actually lets you login.

Who is deb ian and what is *ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35170140)

Question from Slakware user since 90's.

But seriously, TFAuthor of TFA didn't bother to check distrowatch. HPD of Ubuntu is 2096 and Debian's 1244. That is not less relevant.

debian is better for n00bs (5, Insightful)

tonytraductor (1284978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170178)

Personally, I don't understand why people claim that Ubuntu is more "user-friendly". I tried ubuntu for about a year before finally taking the dive into Debian (had used Fedora/RH for 8 years prior, but finally got tired of yum breaking stuff). Stuff broke on Ubuntu (not as much as Fedora!), and I wasted time fixing it. I installed Ubuntu for a few n00bs, friends who were tired of their virus/crash ridden XP, etc. They all became frustrated, because, well, stuff broke, and they didn't know how to fix it. Now, when my Mom got an old computer from a friend, a 400hmz PII with like 128mb ram, I installed Lenny on it for her. It's run great ever since, without a single problem (time to go update her to Squeeze, though). I've been using Debian on all my desktops now for about 2 years, upgraded to Squeeze last weekend. The most trivially easy, seamless upgrade ever. (can't be said of ubuntu's frantic release schedule, where every new silly snake release breaks more stuff). Nothing ever breaks in Debian. I haven't had a single software problem since making the move, and I can't imagine ever moving away, now. It's rock-solid, impregnable, and it just works. I don't get what's supposedly so "user-friendly" about Ubuntu. For one thing, I kind of agree with Tuomo Valkonen about "usability" anyway. Do what I want, only what I want, and stay out of the way. Ubuntu makes too many decisions for the user, and not always good ones (usually tying a ton of bloat together in "metapackages" in such fashion that you can't remove some useless crap like, say , cowsay, or something, without removing your entire window manager). Debian allows me to install what I need, precisely, no more no less. And for n00bs, it doesn't break and cause problems.

Re:debian is better for n00bs (1)

tonytraductor (1284978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35170192)

I continued to use ubuntu on some laptops, netbooks, but eventually installed debian on those, too (although the netbook is now running peppermint os, as an experiment, since it's not a mission-critical production machine).
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