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Updates From Debian

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the keep-the-flame-alive dept.

Debian 204

A couple of people noted that "Linuxlookup.com is reporting the third update of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (codename `woody') which mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with a few corrections to serious problems. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update." Another reader writes "Looks like the Debian project just released their old stable distribution (woody) with a huge numbers of security updates, some removals and some less critical bugfixes. It's been a long time that we had to wait for it, the last update was in November last year, together with the break-in." And finally: pkarlos_76 writes "What's holding up Debian Sarge from release to stable? It's those lazy maintainers..... no actually it's just a few issues with security and bugs being quashed, and maybe you can help speed things up, especially if you are a maintainer, as your package will be left out if release candidate bugs are not fixed. Sarge Release Status Update available on Debianhelp . Even if you aren't a maintainer, any help with bug quashing, picking up orphaned packages or what not is always a Good Thing.

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apt-get dist-upgrade (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631071)

I'm gettin' a woody!

heh heh heh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631073)

they said woody!

Too Much Toy Story (1)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631092)

[droll] Obligatory: "I'd rather have the Buzz update" [/droll] Good to see the updates.

www.kerryoniraq.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631107)

www.KerryOnIraq.com [kerryoniraq.com]

I'm busy installing Ubuntu (3, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631120)

on my laptop... just finished downloading it via torrent. I can't be jiggered to wait for Sarge to come out in final form... How long has it been now in rc form??? I mean, they posted the teaser for Sarge two years ago!!! ridiculous...

Installer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631217)

Philosophy of Debian is impeccable!

But what I'd really like is the easy graphical installer.

So much easier to persuade people with!

And install of course!

Re:Installer (4, Informative)

edbarrett (150317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631794)

But what I'd really like is the easy graphical installer.

The rc2 installer was shockingly simple. Still text-mode, but who cares? I believe I *had* to answer four questions:

  • installer language (English)
  • language dialect (I could choose between American, British, and something else)
  • partitioning -- 1 big partition or manual?
  • any additional software?
That was it. I rebooted, gave it an admin password, set up a regular user account, and could start working. Expert mode (not the default) still allows you to go through the whole "this is too complicated for crybabies" process.

Re:I'm busy installing Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631358)

Actually I would rather wait a year more for Sarge to come out. All the projects, such as GNOME, XFCE the Linux kernel, X11 itself are at a big transition point. A year would not be enough for them to settle down fully, but enough to get a release like that of Woody (at its time).

On the other hand, it could also be fast, so that the next release would be soon. Remember, once a stable release comes out, everything is frozen. (Yeah, there is 'pinnin', backports and other stuff, but for lazy flippers like me, there is nothing like the 'stable' relase to promote laziness.)

Re:I'm busy installing Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631464)

wow... 30% Troll, 40% flamebait, 30% interesting... glad someone got my message... pity some others couldn't see past their blinkers (blinders for the USAnians)... Debian is increasingly in danger of being sidelined because it's too big and the release process is so damned slow... Ubuntu has got the right message, freeze a subset of Sid and fix it, pass the fixes back to Debian... everyone benefits

Nice, but... (-1, Offtopic)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631122)

Why is this frontpage news? All the news about updates for *BSD show up only in the BSD section.

Re:Nice, but... (2, Funny)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631192)

It's news probably because Debian only does updates every 3 years...

Re:Nice, but... (3, Funny)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631560)

So, Debian is to coma as *BSD is to dying?

Re:Nice, but... (4, Funny)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631223)

Hahah what is funny is that if there is any news about old retro dying stuff, it is bound to be on the front page, except of course *BSD :-)

It is a conspiracy you know. :-)

In all seriousness - debian sucks the same way as a swedish student doing illicit massage to help get through college - i.e. it is awesome!

If I didn't use SuSE I would use Debian. If I had another PC *it* would use Debian.

If I had a swedish student trying to earn her way through college....

Re:Nice, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631582)

Maybe you are out of luck since in Sweden college is free for all and students get support from the state.

Re:Nice, but... (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631607)

if there is any news about old retro dying stuff, it is bound to be on the front page, except of course *BSD

So in other words, Slashdot confirms; *BSD is alive. :-D
And Debian sucks in a good way? *confuzzled*
I think I'll just stick to something that doesn't suck that well, but can be (ab)used all the time.

Re:Nice, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631264)

Because everyone knows BSD is dying..

World of People (0)

ebooher (187230) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631430)

I always thought it was more like this:

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those that don't.

Re:World of People (0, Redundant)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631640)

See? You're one of those 2 people. :-P

What Debian good for... (3, Insightful)

barcodez (580516) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631131)

I'm not that familiar with Debian so I'm wondering what's Debian's unique selling point? What does it do that others don't?

My impression of Debian rightly or wrongly is a rather conservative distro with a very rigid/ideological view on which licenses the will package.

Re:What Debian good for... (4, Informative)

th173 (464208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631172)

Debian has a very good packaging system with very well definied dependencies. You could install a system and update it over and over again, without the need to reinstall.

On the other Hand, Debian integrates security fixes without using the new upstream version from the original package maintainer, giving software developers a solid plattform to base the applications upon.

Re:What Debian good for... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631504)

In fact, its update/package/dependancy system is so good that you almost never do a complete install to upgrade from one debian version to another.

For example, while Red Hat 6 -> Red Hat 7 or Red hat 7 -> Red Hat 8 or Suse 8 -> Suse 9 upgrades are typically done by doing a complete re-install; debian upgrades are typically done by pointing apt/sources to the right place and doing "apt dist-upgrade".

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631644)

One hint this dependency system makes Debian installs for special-purpose servers much easier than other distros.

For example, to set up a Java/C#.net web server: First, install the minimal stuff from any of the many different debian installers [linuxmafia.com] .

Then, from the minimal debian-stable system

apt-get install mono-apache-server/unstable tomcat4-webapps
and you'll end up with a pretty current web-server - since tomcat & mono will depend on pretty current stuff.

All the other packages you'd need (apache, java, mono (the recent one from unstable), etc) will be automatically handled thanks to its dependancy checker.

Being out of date. (5, Funny)

glrotate (300695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631173)

It's niche is being so out of date that hackers are no longer familiar with it's versions of packages.

Re:Being out of date. (1, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631470)

Cute, but still not true.

To upgrade to the latest software, replace "stable" with "testing" in your sources.list file. If you need further direction, look here [debian.org] .

The "testing" repositories usually contain the latest releases of software, and sometimes packages compiled from CVS.

Re:Being out of date. (3, Informative)

pyros (61399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631563)

You shouldn't run testing or unstable on production servers. They get major version upgrades of packages which introduces new features that sometimes break existing deployments. The stable version only gets bugfixes and security patches, sometimes backported to the version that was shipped. This is necessary in a production environment. blahblahblah.heard.it.all.before.blahblahblah Debian's main selling point depends on the role you want it to fill. But the apt dependency resolving package management system combined with the number of packages available are the advantages universal to every role you would try to fill.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

x.Draino.x (693782) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631174)

You would be correct.. that and an ancient and very cryptic installer. The real seller on Debian is it's package management and stability.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

th173 (464208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631374)

I don't understand why everything has to graphical. I like a textbased variants, also because they needs less ressources. They do their job as good as their graphical pendants.

Also I have to say, the new installer for sarge is quite impressive. I can handle LVM and SoftwareRAID and is very structured, with many explanations. You should give it a try.

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Insightful)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631468)

I don't understand why everything has to graphical.

People want things to be graphical because, if done well, they can be much more pleasing to the eye and easy to use without sacrificing functionality.

And yes, some GUIs can be less functional than their text counterparts. That's no reason to deride all things graphical as useless, though.

I like a textbased variants, also because they needs less ressources.

A valid reason, though it's a reason for offering a choice between interface types to fit the situation, not for eschewing a GUI entirely.

They do their job as good as their graphical pendants.

Depending on your level of skill and time available, this is either completely true or totally false. You can't make blanket statements like that.

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Informative)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631658)

I'm sure, given your UID that you understand and have heard the reason for a text installer many times before: it needs to work across all platforms Debian supports.

That said, I have used the new installer several times recently, and it works fine, but:
  1. I always have at least one unrecoverable error during manual partitioning which has to be recovered from after installation; and
  2. The download of update packages invariably breaks in the middle, dumping me out to a shell or aptitude to finish it all off, again manually.
I hope these issues get worked out of the installer before it gets released.

Here's a blanket statement (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631955)

GUIs are vastly superior if you're doing a task which requires you to find one item among many, without proper search parameters. This may be a file you're trying to locate, or a configuration option. This is even more superior if this is a task you do rarely or only once.

CLI is vastly superior if you're doing rutine tasks. They are typically more flexible, have more options and offer more ways to manipulate and automate them. Auto-complete (a must) makes it about as easy to select files as in GUIs.

Of course, the G in GUI is mostly eyecandy. TUI (Text User Interface, think text-based menus), though rare, provide mostly all the functionality of GUIs, unless you're specificly doing something graphic like viewing/manipulating images.

What I really really do miss is more hybrid interfaces. Where you can do things graphically, and yet command the full power of a CLI. I don't see why it has to be an either-or. I don't mean 1:1 maps of CLI->GUI which are basicly eyecandy, but programs where the GUI is useful in itself, and the CLI readily available.

Kjella

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

lemox (126382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631600)

The installer may not be the simplest to use, but it is the most flexible. There are so many things you can do with Debian's installer and it's so flexible that in some ways, it is also a utility disk along with being an installer. I've used it countless times as a rescue disk for other distros, even windows.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631831)

The new Debian Sarge installer is really pretty slick. It allows you to configure software RAID and everything. It also autodetects hardware.

-matthew

Re:What Debian good for... (0)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631194)

That's about accurate.

It's linux, a few years ago. Handy if you want something that has been hardened by time ( web server comes to mind, as well as maybe a firewall. Are they still using ipchains? ).

Not my cup of tea really. I dislike the entire feel of the OS ( personal opinion ).

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

chrisopherpace (756918) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631268)

ipchains, iptables, kernel 2.2 and 2.4 are all on the installation medium. Despite popular belief, 2.4 is indeed in stable (2.4.18), and has been for quite some time.

Re:What Debian good for... (5, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631210)

Debian GNU/Linux is quite ideological. The best writeup on it I've seen is Why Linux? Why Debian? [debian.org]

I wouldn't call it conservative: Debian comes with over 8000 precompiled packages, many of which are fairly recent (see distrowatch or others for version info).

Debian is a user-supported (noncommercial) distro that appeals to people with some experience with Linux or which believe in the GNU philosophy. The package manager (apt) is quite good. It is a well thought out distro & (arguably) has had the most succesful branches: Knoppix, Ubuntu, etc.

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631234)

Debian keeps Linux looking beyond ix86 and to some extent GNU looking beyond Linux. The new installer will also (hopefully) keep Linux working on (most) pieces of hardware lying around instead of just the latest whiz bang desktops and servers that the other distributions maintain support for.

Most other distributions do one or two things better whilst restricting your options in other ways. Debian tries to do it all and generates a lot more work for itself because of that. But everyone will benefit in the end.

Re:What Debian good for... (3, Informative)

BokLM (550487) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631257)

What is good with debian is that it's STABLE.
You can install a server using Debian, and you know that it will last for years. The security update try to never change the version of a program but only correct the bug, in order to avoid possible break. I'm never scared before I run an update on a Debian stable.
The problem is that the packages can be a little old if you're running the stable version. That's probably not Debian stable that you want for a Desktop computer :)

Re:What Debian good for... (5, Interesting)

TigrOoOo (263744) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631394)

I work for a company that makes Linux "embedded" systems. First choice (and only choice) - Debian. One of our servers mirrors the Debian FTPs early in the morning, one hour later all the desktop machines sync with it. All the servers run Debian stable and rely on the security fixes. The systems that we sell all have stable on them too. The development platforms run on testing, and for the hardcore users, we also use unstable. Everything works fine. Sometimes an unstable machine will be, well, unstable, but I have never seen a "stable" give any problems whatsoever. In the beginning we made sure that the updates went well. 3 years later, we don't even bother looking. The installer is text, granted. dselect is a nightmare for beginners, granted. But the systems work, as in really, really work.

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631564)

The installer is text, granted. dselect is a nightmare for beginners, granted.

There are GNOME and probably KDE front ends for apt, even in stable. The main problem I have with dselect is that many packages don't have a descriptive enough description, so I don't know whether I want it or not.

Meta-packages for one-click selection of a typical desktop, development or server machine á la Mandrake would make life easier for the new user, but I think Debian users want the control. All distributions targeting the same audience would be boring anyway.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

pyros (61399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631663)

Meta-packages for one-click selection of a typical desktop, development or server machine á la Mandrake

They have this sort of thing, probably in testing, but definitely in unstable. They have ones for KDE desktop, GNOME desktop, kernel images (a meta package that always depends on the latest kernel of a particular major version and platform). Probably a bunch of other ones too, but I'm primarily a fedora user. Getting into Ubuntu lately too.

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631746)

What is good with debian is that it's STABLE.
Not arguing at all, but would like to say that, for me, the cool thing about Debian are all the little packages scripting weird stuff I'd never think of. For example, want to try out Debian with The Hurd, NetBSD, or FreeBSD kernels on another partition? Just apt-get install crosshurd. Run crosshurd and your system is bootstrapped for you and ready to boot into.

Re:What Debian good for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631272)

You do not have to upgrade frequently ...

Debian is the easiest/more hasle-free distro (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631320)

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
Everybody harps about packages being outdated, but oftentimes that means rock-solid stable (yes security fixes are carefully backported).
For those two reasons I don't dream of running any other distro on my servers. I also use it on my desktop machine, LAN gateway, etc. It's just so simple to maintain.
In the rare cases when I need newer version of a program, I first check http://www.backports.org/ and http://www.apt-get.org/, and if there's nothing I just download the original src tarball from freshmeat/sourceforget/etc and use dh_make to create my own .deb package.
Overall I'm a very satisfied "customer". Only things I'm missing is a nice install CD/bootdisk that allows to install directly on RAID-1 root filesystem (like RedHat has been doing for some time), and a Usetnet newsgroup I can post to w/o having to sign-up for the mega-high-traffic Debian User mailing list (I tried following that list a couple years ago and soon decided I don't want to receive that much email).

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Interesting)

smcavoy (114157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631342)

Conservitive yes, but only in the sense that the stable disturbution is rock solid. The packaging system is excellent, and the actual quality (i.e. setup scripts on install) of the packages included is by far the best out of all the distros. It's not a great distro for those who want/need the latest build of something, but that's what their testing and unstable versions are for. Their testing version is usually fairly current, equivilient to what most distros pump several times a year. Unstable is the bleeding edge branch. it's Usually very current. I've run it on my desktop for years, other then the occasional packaging goof it's been great.
I'd suggest checking out the latest sarge installer release [debian.org] . It's much friendlier then the previous installer.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631350)

I'm not that familiar with Debian so I'm wondering what's Debian's unique selling point? What does it do that others don't?

The best package management of any *NIX like system and an overall system that "just works". The install is still a bit rough, and it may not be as "ready for the desktop" as some other distros, but is excellent for a server.

My impression of Debian rightly or wrongly is a rather conservative distro with a very rigid/ideological view on which licenses the will package.

Pretty much sums it up.

Just little things that I like about Debian are its reliance on perl as a tool as a glue to get stuff done vs. say python in RH land. Its no real big deal, but I'm just more familiar with Perl. Also, I like the way Debain utilizes /usr/local. Something that most distros don't seem to recognise. The biggest downfall with Debian is 3rd party support.

Re:What Debian good for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631536)

My impression of Debian rightly or wrongly is a rather conservative distro with a very rigid/ideological view on which licenses the will package.

Of course if this bothers you, with Debian you can always add their suppoprted "non-free" apt-sources repository and get much of the non-ideologically-clean licensed software too (like PovRay, Pine, etc)

Re:What Debian good for... (3, Insightful)

Jason Ford (635431) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631391)

I used to run RedHat. It took me many hours to install MythTV, figuring out which packages I needed, trying to resolve the dependencies.

Now I run Debian unstable. It took me a few seconds to add a package source for MythTV to my list of sources, run apt-get update, and then apt-get install. apt-get took care of everything.

Similarly, I wanted to install an ssh server on a Debian box. I just typed 'apt-get install sshd', and apt-get took care of the rest. I shelled into the box a couple of seconds later.

Debian unstable is much more recent, but supposedly less stable, than Debian stable or Debian testing. I've never experienced any stability issues, save for the rare mozilla crash. I measure my uptime in months, not days or weeks.

By changing your sources list, you can easily add unstable and even non-free package sources.

I choose to run Debian because it works very well and fits nicely with my ideals. I switched away from Microsoft because I didn't want to be locked into their technologies, and I switched away from RedHat because I didn't want to pay for security updates and I'm too lazy to answer their survey.

Debian is free as in speech and free as in beer. It does not lock me into a rigid view.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631562)

The trouble with unstable is:
1) The package dependencies often seem to be broken making installtion harder, in my experience

2) No security updates. You have to keep your eye on the ball (CERT advisories, etc) and update relevant packages to the latest versions in the hope that it picks up the security fixes.

3) Constantly changing! Personally I like Debian Stable's and Microsoft's long release cycles that mean I don't have to keep adapting.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

pyros (61399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631737)

Debian unstable is much more recent, but supposedly less stable, than Debian stable or Debian testing.

The stable/unstable naming is more an indication of version changes than uptimes. The unstable version of debian can have packages changing versions several times a week sometimes. The problem is that you have to keep updating. If you get too far behind, then doing an update will likely be similar to a dist-upgrade and can run into problems because you have so many packages with major version changes introducing new features, half of them might be incompatible. So when people say it's unstable, they really mean packages are being updated so frequently they break with incompatible new features, rewrites, and config file format changes.

Stable, easy to maintain, fast to install (4, Informative)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631393)

Debian's strengths are that its very, very easy to maintain. apt-get makes installation and maintenance very easy.

It's also very stable and you can get by with a minimal of packages. The approach is to patch exisiting versions rather than force 'upgrades' to newer versions which may or may not change behavior (see PHP for examples of behavior changes even between point versions).

And it runs on quite a variety of hardware [debian.org] besides lame old x86. I've run classes for semesters off of old junker Macintoshes -- 100% availability, no downtime from course start until the hardware was retired for good the next year.

It's also very fast to install once you get used to it. (Don't use dselect) I've installed Debian for use as a web/cgi/database server on Pentium machines in under 15 minutes. Including some tweaking, however that needs a fast network connection.

It's easy to choose linux 2.2, 2.4, 2.6 or a custom variant Linux kernel. I've also read that you can drop in other kernels besides Linux, like BSD. Though I myself have not tried, but would like to read more about it.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631397)

debian was the easiest linux to get onto my Xbox, which is about the only purpose I've seen for it. It might be nice for a router, however, because it's probably easier to update than slackware. When someone is fed up with redhat, I point them to debian. (This is not a hypothetical situation, I've done this several times and most of them were happy.) Their ideological restrictions on included packages usually don't affect one much.

Debian can be thought of as 3 parts... (3, Informative)

phorm (591458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631461)

All debian varieties can use apt-get (and its partner tools) to contact the main debian repositories. The repositories have a *huge* selection of prepackaged applications/libs/etc that you can install with very little fuss simply by choosing "apt-get install NAMEOFPACKAGE." Alternately, there are CLI tools such as "aptitude" which one may use to select software from a categorical list of packages, or GUI tools such as "synaptic" that do the same in a graphical environment.

At regular intervals, you may "apt-get update" to update your machine's list of software known to debian. "apt-get upgrade" can then be used to upgrade to known newer versions, or apply security updates in debian/stable.

For software updates/installations that have configuration options, often you will get a curses-based interface which steps you through basic configuration.

Debian/stable: As most have mentioned, very stable, well tested, and generally out-of-date as far as new features etc etc (but with security fixes etc being backported). Automatic download/configuration of most new security updates via apt-get. Very nice for servers or other systems that you want to be reliable, but don't need a bleeding edge environment. Packages are generally well-tested against each other, so you have a good assurance that apt-get installing package B will not break package A.

Debian/unstable: No security patches for unstable packages. Instead, regularly updating will get you newer versions of software. Sometimes you get conflicts but ususally it is fairly stable. I've been using a debian/unstable desktop for quite sometime now... the worst problems I've had thus far is needed to manually select a different "automake" version for Anjuta to work, and having a package that wasn't from debian being broken by a gtk update (mainly because some quirky coding in said package didn't like the new GTK version).

Debian/testing: I haven't used it, but basically I believe it's supposed to be slightly more bleeding edge than debian/stable. Packages haven't been fully tested against each other, package updates/changes are more common.

Really, you could think of the above as something akin to freshmeat.net's software grading system, where 'stable' is often for "mature" software packages, 'unstable' includes "beta" or less mature, and 'testing' is very new or "alpha."

The only thing that confuses me at current is why my Firefox is only avaiable up to version 0.9.3, even in 'testing'...

In summary though, the concept that debian is for old/crufty software is bogus. This may apply to debian/stable, but unstable will keep you very up-to-date for most users.

Re:Debian can be thought of as 3 parts... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631680)

"Debian/stable: [..description..] Debian/unstable: [..description..]"

Also important to not is that you can mix & match packages from stable and unstable as you need.

Our servers are running "stable" with Mono/ASP.NET from "Unstable". Debian's dependency checker happily identifies which additional packages are needed from "unstable" to make mono run while leaving the rest of the system as "stable".

Re:What Debian good for... (4, Informative)

Confessed Geek (514779) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631467)

One item not yet mentioned is that it supports a LOT of differnt computing platforms:
alpha
arm
hppa
i386
i64
m68k
mip s
mipsel
powerpc
s390
sparc

and soon AMD64

On top of just being really cool in in of itself, this allows you to have a unified computing platform across mutliple legacy, bigiron, and modern consumer x86 hardware installations.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631772)

Plus multiple base systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and The Hurd. Apt-get install crosshurd to try them out.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

xylix (447915) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631917)

and soon AMD64

I have Debian installed on my AMD 64 3500+ box right now, thank you very much. No soon about it. what is soon, is that it will soon be in the official sarge branch. Right now you have to point apt-get to alioth.debian.org/ [slashdot.org] .

So far no problems other than the fact that the version of Firefox that apt-get installed is broken on the AMD64 so you have to downgrade to the 0.8x version.

I know I am going to sound like every other debian convert but ... I used to use mandrake, but got tired of RPM Hell. I installed and kind of liked Gentoo, but on an older 233 MHz machine 'emerge' would take ... oh about a season to finish.

My introduction to Debian came through Knoppix. I was blown away - a bootable CD that just works! (And it isn't Mac OS!?!) Give it a try. It's a pain-free way to check out Debian, and if you enter "install-knoppix" (I think that is the command) you can install it painlessly.

Wish I could say the same for the AMD64 install. Once Debian gets a painless idiot-free installer they will be complete in my opinion.

Re:What Debian good for... (1)

thisissilly (676875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631509)

As other have mentioned, stable is STABLE. You can set up a server running stable, and it will run for years, including security updates that won't break anything.

Another big plus for Debian is it is multi-platform. I have an old SGI Indy. It has a MIPS cpu. My choices for OS pretty much boil down to Irix, NetBSD and Debian. Debian also runs on Sparc, Alpha, ARM HP PA-RISC, PowerPC, ... They all work the same way.

Finally, it's good that someone is taking the ideological high ground. Knowing the Debian is there helps keep other distros from adding tons of non-free stuff to try and get distro lock-in.

Going on 8 years... (4, Interesting)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631648)

I've had the same install of Debian on my desktop at work for 7 years. I use it exclusively. No Windows on this machine at all. It has been copied onto a larger harddrive, the motherboard/CPU has been upgraded twice, and I've 'apt-get dist-upgrade'd to new stable releases over the years, but it is the same installation." I don't know if this is a "selling point" but it is a sign that Debian is a solid, consistent, and upgradable base. The "purity" of the licensing is just a bonus for GNU geeks.

-matthew

Re:What Debian good for... (2, Interesting)

amcguinn (549297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631880)

It works on very low-spec hardware (because it doesn't depend on fancy graphical installation or maintenance tools). I have it running on servers down to P5/100 spec, and running well as a desktop OS on P5/133 machines. (Plus tremendous stability and availability on a very large number of hardware architectures, but those have been mentioned by others. Oh, and the fact you never have to install it on a machine more than once; just seamlessly upgrade.)

Debian Improvement (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631163)

I've used a handful of distributions (Suse, Mandrake, Redhat, Fedora Core 2, Slackware) over the years, but only dabbled a bit with each. I tried installing Debian woody yesterday for a project I'm working on, and got frustrated with the installation process. They should look to Mandrake or Fedora Core for an example of a streamlined installation process. I'm sure I'm just lazy when it comes to installing an OS, but I did sit through a Slackware install off before.

Re:Debian Improvement (2, Informative)

zerblat (785) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631203)

Try the sarge installer, it's a huge improvement.

Re:Debian Improvement (1)

clayasaurus (758835) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631285)

If you have trouble installing Debian, then try Mepis or any other of the "easy to install" debian based distros.

Re:Debian Improvement (1)

wertarbyte (811674) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631355)

You should check the new Debian Installer used in Sarge, which is the testing branch of Debian. Everyone with an IQ over a slug ones (not couting brainslugs) will be able to use this. It's still primarely text base, but makes installing debian really comfortable.

Re:Debian Improvement (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631647)

I tried installing Debian woody yesterday for a project I'm working on, and got frustrated with the installation process

You should try Gentoo before :)

Sarge... (2, Interesting)

JPDeckers (559434) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631164)

Darn,

We have 'recently' switched our servers over to debian (coming from redhat), because of the so-called stability etc.

We decided to go with Sarge (testing), as we where expecting a final release with security-fixes soon, and didn't wanted to have woody installed and becoming obsolete within a couple of weeks.

This was almost 7 months ago, and right it's not even in a freeze.
(Yes, I know, Debian releases when it's ready, but hey, atleast get the security team start having a look at the packages.)

No flaming (I love the ease in the distribution), just a bit disappointed.

Re:Sarge... (1)

th173 (464208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631221)

I have to agree with you. I am in a similar situation and the release is not even near. I changed from woody to sarge, when they announces, the security team will start their work; but they stop again because of problems with the infrastructure.

Re:Sarge... (4, Informative)

lspd (566786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631289)

We decided to go with Sarge (testing), as we where expecting a final release with security-fixes soon, and didn't wanted to have woody installed and becoming obsolete within a couple of weeks.

For anyone else considering the same route... If you want a Stable server OS, install Debian Stable. Regardless of when Sarge is finally released, Woody will be supported for an additional year or so. In fact, if you have a Debian stable box and don't want to get pulled into Sarge before you're ready, change your /etc/apt/sources.list file to pull packages from Woody rather than Stable. Let other folks debug the upgrade process on their experimental boxes before you upgrade your production boxes.

Re:Sarge... (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631325)

I've been waiting for Sarge for a couple months now. I don't know why they can't freeze it, give people 2 weeks to fix bugs or get cut, then release what's available. Those other packages could still be obtained from testing after Sarge is "stable". IMHO, they really are looking quite bad. Just freeze, fix, ship, and move on.

Re:Sarge... (1)

lspd (566786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631543)

I've been waiting for Sarge for a couple months now. I don't know why they can't freeze it, give people 2 weeks to fix bugs or get cut, then release what's available.

For a long time the release was waiting on the new installer. The i386 installer has been working for quite a while now but other architectures have come along slowly. My understanding is that the installer problems have all been worked out at this point.

After the installer, the major issue was setting up security support for Sarge. Woody will be supported for a year or so beyond the release of Sarge, so the two stable releases will need side-by-side security infastructure. The last message on Debian-Devel-Announce that referenced this (8 August 2004) said that it wasn't ready.

After security support comes bug squashing, package sanity testing (do 2 packages contain the same file, etc), and finally release testing.

There was also heated discussion about including AMD64 in the next stable release (and further delaying the release as a result.) AFAIK the decision was to not include AMD64 in the list of supported architectures for Sarge.

Getting the RC bug count down to 0 would be a nice step towards releasing Sarge but it's not the only step required.

Re:Sarge... (2, Interesting)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631706)

Um, no.
The solution you propose does not work because with the current setup, as a user, you can only pull the packages from testing into stable for a few days/weeks after the Sarge release. After that, testing gets already all the updates from unstable to prepare testing for the release-after-sarge. Holding up this propagation from unstable to testing until all the fixed stuff has moved to Sarge would hold up the development.
An additional problem is that after release no new packages can enter Sarge b/c it is stable (due to policy for which there are good reasons).

Related: I always find it amazing that in every Debian story, some people come up with stuff like "I don't know what's the problem, just do A" (or B, C, D, ...). Well, lots of Debian Developers who actually know Debian (and its technical and political needs) very well, think a lot about the release process. Don't assume they are all stupider than you ("you" not targetted at gr8_phk specifically, but everyone). If you really think you have a new great idea, post it to the mailing list and try whether it survives the scrutiny it deserves and is in fact suitable for a project with 1,000 developers maintaining 13,000 packages on 11 architectures

Re:Sarge... (2, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631617)

Who advised you 7 months ago that Sarge was about to move to stable?

IIRC, it was only in the middle of the summer (after you made your decision) that they tried to put together a release schedule for Sarge aimed at sometime after September. It's only now that I would feel comfortable using Sarge with the aim of avoiding a major version upgrade. The truth of the matter is though that with Debian, going from Woody to Sarge is always going to be fairly easy. Of course, in a production environment will require sufficient testing. I personally don't expect Sarge before the new year...

Obligatory Comment (0, Redundant)

DelawareBoy (757170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631167)

Can't wait to get me a "woody"...

New Slogan Too... (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631169)

Debian GNU/Linux : Yesterday's technology ... tomorrow
Now with extra political correctness...

GNAA announces victory over Matthew Tanner Bonig (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631170)

GNAA announces victory over Matthew Tanner Bonig

GNAA freedom fighters attack mbonig into submission

Cakedrink KillsPics - Sinclair Broadcasting Correspondent

In the GNAA's continued effort to combat mindless idiocy, blogging, and bigoted oppression of gay nigger rights, GNAA member Penisbird has announced victory over mindless slashbot and blogger [blogspot.com] mbonig.

In true Hitlerian fashion, mbonig wanted to deny freedom speech to gay black men under the guise of his own nazi-esque values of censorship. "Gasgaynigs", mbonig was quoted as saying to a swooning crowd of neo-nazis ready for a golden shower of his drivel.

GNAA member Penisbird, who is considered of one of the most gifted and intelligent members, according to the GNAT or Gay Nigger Aptitude Test, excellently crafted his arguments against the nazi, as shown here [slashdot.org] , and was able to counter every point with concise and irrefutable facts. In the usual Slashdot hypocrisy, anyone who fights for the legitimate rights of the unpopular is considered a troll and this thread was no different.

The tragic defeat on Slashdot forced mbonig to retreat to his blog [blogspot.com] and admit that the GNAA's posts are free speech (unlike what he said earlier) while at the same time slandering Penisbird's impeccable character. Penisbird does not tolerate such insolence and proceeded to attack his wretched blog.

In the most skilled fashion, Penisbird proceeded to flood his blog as a form of legitimate protest. Like an relentless flood of nigger cocks, Mbonig (which is an intentional slur against niggers) tried to squelch the massive flood of protest posts by deleting hundreds of comments but could not keep up. His next step was to disable commenting for a couple of days. The very morning he restored comments and declared that by requiring logins, the attacks would cease. Wrong. Penisbird was on the attack and continued the assault.

After the morning offensive, mbonig quickly and embarrassingly disabled comments, declaring that "script kiddies" (the scripts in question consist of Microsoft Internet Explorer and the refresh button) do not deserve the same free speech rights he enjoys. However, Penisbird was victorious in that he caused mbonig to permanently disable comments. Penisbird vows to keep up the assault on his Slashdot posts and anywhere else he tries to oppress free speech rights online.

mbonig claims that he is not hiding who he is. Really? What is your last name? Where do you live? Oh, it seems that you are hiding who you are. Hypocrite.

About mbonig:

mbonig is a mindless Slashbot and blogger [blogspot.com] who constantly tries to oppress free speech online. He is a known neo-Nazi and supports the gassing of Gay Men of African Descent.

Mbonig is currently offering gmail invites, You may partake his invitation below:
https://gmail.google.com/gmail/a-b0ab39f1a8-51723 [google.com]

About GNAA:

GNAA
(GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which
gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [dickcream.com] ?
Are you a NIGGER [mugshots.org] ?
Are you a GAY NIGGER [gay-sex-access.com] ?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing GAY NIGGER community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America. You, too, can be a part of GNAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!

  • First, you have to obtain a copy of GAY NIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [imdb.com] and watch it. (You can download the movie (~130mb) using BitTorrent, by clicking here [idge.net] .
  • Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA "first post" on slashdot.org [slashdot.org] , a popular "news for trolls" website
  • Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on irc.gnaa.us, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today!

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is Niggernet, and you can connect to irc.gnaa.us as our official server.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

.________________________________________________. fucking
| ______________________________________._a,____ | CmdrTaco
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | will
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ | he ever learn that
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ | GNAA is totally
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ | unstoppable? Teamed
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ | up with the other troll groups,
| _________#1__________?________________________ | GNAA will absolutely own
| _________j1___________________________________ | the shitty place that is slashdot.
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ | Just remember, the longer the lines are,
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ | the smaller CmdrTaco's penis.
| ______-"!^____________________________________ | This logo is (C) 2003, 2004 GNAA [idge.net]
` _______________________________________________'

(C) GNAA 2004

Re:GNAA announces victory over Matthew Tanner Boni (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631400)

"Matthew Tanner Bonig" is an anagram of "GNAA(tm) bot the winner" (parentheses added). So now we know. Penisbird is just a bot, and this whole episode is complete fiction!

Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (4, Interesting)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631202)

Debian's strategy of rock-solid releases is something that makes the distro unique. It also doesn't make it much fun. If you want modern packages, you often have to hang out with the "unstable" crowd, rather than the "testing" crowd. But this is like being signed up for regular crotch-kicks, since unstable breaks systems on a practically weekly basis. This, plus dependency creep, makes anything but "stable" debian sort of a drag.

Stable Debian, on the other hand, is a nice thing. I've always admired Debian's power structure and community focus, but I've been so much happier with my hobby computer when I switched to a more "I-think-I'm-an-expert-but-really-I'm-an-idiot" distro like gentoo. For binary distros, I think there's a big pack of modern flashy desktop ones that eat Debian's lunch. Debian's idealism might end up side-lining it in the Linux world.

Re:Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (4, Interesting)

shrykk (747039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631243)

Yeah, but Debian is used as the sprinboard for a bunch of other distros (e.g. Knoppix) because of its stability and dependability.

That could be its main strength.

This is not accurate. (2, Insightful)

hummassa (157160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631297)

To track unstable (like tracking -current in the *BSDs) _can_ give you some surprises, but rarely _does_. I use sid on my desktop since the time KDE wasn't in the distro (QPL problems). I haven't been bitten for some two years now.

Re:Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (5, Informative)

zerblat (785) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631344)

I don't agree. I've been using Debian unstable for years, and I can't remember the last time something broke. YMMV etc of course. I've gotten so bored that I've started installing experimental packages in hopes to finally get something to break.

Anyway, if you want a modern flashy desktop based on Debian, look no further than here [ubuntulinux.org] .

Re: Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (1)

er_col (664618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631911)

Is your setup CLI-only? I'm asking because fonts got FUBARed like three times in the last few weeks.

Re:Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (2)

bfields (66644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631418)

If you want modern packages, you often have to hang out with the "unstable" crowd, rather than the "testing" crowd. But this is like being signed up for regular crotch-kicks, since unstable breaks systems on a practically weekly basis. This, plus dependency creep, makes anything but "stable" debian sort of a drag.

OK, Debian unstable does have occasional problems, but the above is a massive exageration. All of my machines are running unstable, I apt-get upgrade at least weekly (often daily), and I can't think of any serious problems that have been caused by that in the last year or so. Maybe I'm forgetting something, but breaking systems every week? No way.

There are smaller annoyances that are more common; e.g. there was an update that made my mozilla fonts ugly for a while. Hm, actually I'm having trouble thinking of anything else.

I think the main practical problem for many people is that the size of the updates would make it awkward to use without broadband.

--Bruce Fields

Re:Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (2, Informative)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631659)

Let's not forget backports.org. Modern packages where needed without having to going the whole hog and drop Stable for Unstable/Testing. That still not exactly a solution I would really want on a production box.

Re:Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (2)

lemox (126382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631694)

I really don't understand you guys that are always saying things like "unstable breaks systems on a weekly basis". I have run unstable for two years now, and I only remember two instances where a bug in a package seriously affected the usability of my machine in any significant way, and even then that problem was fixed in a day, if not hours.

I think a major problem people have is not being familiar enough with the packaging system to tell the difference between a major error and a momentary glitch. Just because dpkg or apt-get quits with an error does NOT mean your machine is hosed. Often, just running the same command a second time solves the problem. No the packaging system is not perfect, but when you essentially upgrading your *distribution* (not your packages) every day (which is what you're doing with unstable or testing) I think it does a pretty damn fine job, as comparing to other distros that would simple have you do a complete reinstall instead.

The biggest hurdle in running unstable is getting up to that level. I've found that to set up an unstable system, you need to start with a very base stable install, and upgrade to testing, then to unstable, before installing X, and other larger, more complex packages. More often than not, people try to upgrade to unstable as a last resort, usually after trying out some home-rolled packages they found on the web. If you're using a bunch of unofficial packages, then *that* is the reason your upgrade gets hopelessly lost in problems. It is not the fault (usually) of unstable.

Re:Oh Debian, I don't know what to think (1)

lspd (566786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631819)

Debian's strategy of rock-solid releases is something that makes the distro unique. It also doesn't make it much fun.

It's simply a matter of expectations. Debian Stable is there for the same reason as RedHat Advanced Server and RedHat Advanced Workstation. If you're using GNU/Linux in a business environment you don't want to upgrade the OS every six months. The long release cycle and insistence on keeping the same versions of packages between major releases makes it possible to install a server or workstation and forget about it. If you're playing/experimenting/learning/developing with GNU/Linux, then Debian Stable probably isn't what you're looking for. If you're earning a paycheck or running a business on GNU/Linux then Debian Stable is probably what you're looking for. You can pay $2000/year for a 3 year support cycle from RedHat or $0 for a 3 year support cycle from Debian.

Whether or not the current state of affairs with Debian Stable was intended is a different subject though. I think many Debian developers would like to see more frequent releases. There is no indication that releases will be more frequent in the future though. IMHO, that's a good thing. There are plenty of other distros with rapid release cycles to choose from.

Servers are not supposed to be "fun". (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631858)

Debian's strategy of rock-solid releases is something that makes the distro unique. It also doesn't make it much fun.

Servers are supposed to be "boring", "dull", "mundane", "reliable", etc.

I run a few Debian servers and they never give me any problems. Patches go in without any problems. They never do down. They just keep serving.

I've always admired Debian's power structure and community focus, but I've been so much happier with my hobby computer when I switched to a more "I-think-I'm-an-expert-but-really-I'm-an-idiot" distro like gentoo.

Gentoo is great on a desktop. But a desktop has completely different requirements than a server. A desktop can get by with an unstable app.

A server should not be running anything it doesn't absolutely have to and everything it runs must be rock solid. Debian gives me all of that on a server.

For binary distros, I think there's a big pack of modern flashy desktop ones that eat Debian's lunch. Debian's idealism might end up side-lining it in the Linux world.

Maybe.

Knoppix on the desktop is awesome and it is Debian. One Knoppix CD + a USB toy and you've got it all.

Debian on the server may not have all the Oracle support and such that Red Hat does, but it handles just about everything else.

I was a teen-age Debian user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631267)

for several years, then I got fed up with how outdated even a testing system is. I want a recent Linux distribution, not a system with old stuff, no matter how stable and secure it is. Maybe on my server system Il consider staying with testing, but there is no way in hell I ever install stable again.

Crazy what stops the new release (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631306)

Debian has so many packages and platforms that it is hard to release.
It is even crazier that a game like "Abuse" is listed as a release stopper. C'mon folks. We need a small core that drives the release schedule.
Maybe this is why ubuntu forked.

I do love the long support cycle of debian. Can't afford to upgrade a server every year, which is the case for Fedora and friends

Re:Crazy what stops the new release (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631664)

Yeah, except one of Debian's *huge* selling points (to me, anyway) is the ability to move an installed system from one release to the next with virtually no problems. This is only possible because Debian is incredibly anal about ensuring that each and every package will upgrade cleanly. This, unfortunately, means that minor packages like Abuse, or anything else you can think of, could block the release, because otherwise, someone's box somewhere could suddenly break after an upgrade.

Re:Crazy what stops the new release (1)

psavo (162634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631691)

Fool. Ubuntu isn't a fork, it's a specialization.

Re:Crazy what stops the new release (4, Informative)

cortana (588495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631750)

The actual release stopper at the moment is getting the Security autobuild network ready to build packages for Sarge.

While it's true that packages such as Abuse have release critical bugs, the release of Sarge will not be held up by them. Sarge cannot release while RC bugs are present--if it's simpler to remove Abuse from Sarge than it is to fix the RC bug, then Abuse will be removed.

I'd be happy to get a debian based distro to work (3, Funny)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631343)

My machine at home can run redhat, mandrake, suse, and even gentoo, but I can't for the life of me get any debian based distro to work on my PC.

During the base install I will get random package errors. I thought it might be my CD, but i've burned 10 at this point and verified the CRC, so maybe its my sony DVD burner that i'm using to read the disk for the install.

Here's my specs if anyone has a clue

p4 3ghz
intel i865perl motherboard
audigy 2 ZS
Samsung SATA 160 gig drive.
Gainward nvidia FX5900XT
Sony DVD burner

Nothing new or special. Tried doing a netinstall of sarge with the rc2 installer. Tried to ubantu (or however you spell it) and i'm going to try a knoppix chroot install tonight. I've tried other's but no luck on those as well.

Any ideas?

Re:I'd be happy to get a debian based distro to wo (1)

NamShubCMX (595740) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631809)

I suggest trying to install directly from knoppix. You get a really messed-up debian but a working one. If Knoppix works then the HD install will; simple as that.

It is then easy to slowly upgrade everything to unstable or testing, recompile kernel if necessary (only if needed for modules, else don't bother).

Of course to get a "real" debian you will end doing a lot more work than simply installing it from the start (fixing those rc-scripts, removing half of the pacakges etc...) but at least "it works".

Make sure you have broadband because you'll end up installing the whole distro again, basically.

The thing I like best about Debian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631389)

is the large number of packages it has. I used to use Mandrake, being a super user friendly distro, but I got tired of finding out that a program I wanted to run was not available as Mandrake rpm. I tried rpms that were made for Redhat and had problems. Also compiling from source didn't always work since the version of libraries would often be different.
The number of packages + number of platforms that Debian runs on is the largest...but I got tired of waiting for Sarge to be released. Ubuntu came to the rescue. Debian based + large number of packages if you add in Universe, and it covers the main platforms I'm interested in: PPC, AMD64, and legacy x86 (will be great to have PPC64 optimized someday too).

Plus the latest Gnome (which I'm liking much more now than KDE)!!!

Great to hear. (3, Interesting)

quag7 (462196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631480)

This is great to hear. I recently deployed Debian on some production servers out on the internet and they have gone several months without even the slightest quirk or hiccup, under moderately heavy load. I was semi-new to Debian, and I use it on one of my machines at home too; on my desktop I use Gentoo.

People have a variety of opinions on any distribution, but I can't think of anything easier to maintain, and it's well-documented too.

I've heard some rumors about the Debian support community being a little crusty and curmudgeonly, but I wouldn't know because I've so far never needed to ask anyone for support. And I'm not that bright, so that says a lot. :)

On the other hand, I've met Debian users in other non-Linux forums who all have been nice enough folks.

As I update regularly, it appears from the release announcement that there won't be any added value to downloading and burning it, which is just as well.

The conservatism here has been a positive things for the server-related things I use it for. I've never tried using testing or unstable as a desktop (where I imagine you generally want to be a little less conservative) so I can't speak to that. However, when I get a new system to replace this miserable 1 GHz Celeron, I'll probably turn this machine into a Debian machine, since running Gentoo on it, with the attendant compiling, is increasingly painful given its speed.

(Though I'll run Gentoo on the new system :)

Side by side, they seem to cover two extremes of the spectrum, and work well in that regard, side by side. I haven't even been very curious about anything else but these two. But that's just mey opinion.

More important question (3, Interesting)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631565)

First of all, I am a happy user of Debian Woody on the desktops and servers. And let me tell you something: it is stable. And it is stable not only in the sense that the system per se has never crashed during 24h/day heavy load for years, but what is even more important for large networks and offices, it is stable in the sense that no API or system behaviour change while the patches are applied. There are no new featuritis after a stable Debian is released, no version of any program changes to a newer one with even slightly different interface or semantics. There are only isolated security patches. Period.

If any software has fixed a vulnerability in a newer version of the program, the Debian team backports that security fix to older versions, and that security fix alone. What does it mean? That in addition to the system itself being rock solid, I can be quite sure that my custom applications will not break after patching. And we all know that this is the real reason that makes administrators not patch their systems on time. No one will patch a system if the patches break everything, there would be no point, why not shut down the network in the first place and be done with it.

But with stable Debian this is a non-issue. And in my opinion, this the reason why real-world Debian installations tend to be generally more secure. As a Debian lover I would love to say otherwise, but Debian is not inherently more secure than Red Hat or Mandrake; Debian admins are not generally smarter than anyone else. Even the APT packaging system is not so important. It is not important who, how or with which tools applies patches. It is even not that important if those very patches are available after ten hours or ten days after disclosing the vulnerability. It is, however, important what happens after applying those patches. Does anything break? Does anything start working different than before? Does it need extensive testing and rewriting of local custom software? If the answer is "yes" then you can be sure that those patches will be rolled back and will not get applied for months.

That is the real issue. That is the real difference. So now going back to the question:

"What's holding up Debian Sarge from release to stable? It's those lazy maintainers..... no actually it's just a few issues..."

I would like to ask a more important question: what does it actually mean that Debian Sarge is released as stable? And as it turns out, it means changing the "stable [debian.org] " symlink from "woody [debian.org] " to "sarge [debian.org] ."

That's right. Sarge is already released and you can use it before that symlink is changed if you need software newer than Woody. The only other thing that will change after the "release" is that feature updates will stop and only security updates will get backported. But the security updates are already available in Sarge, maybe even faster. The only difference is that before the "stable" symlink is redirected to Sarge, you are also getting feature updates of the software in addition to security patches. If that is not an issue for you, then nothing is stopping you from "releasing" Sarge today.

I hope this will help to understand why Debian users and developers are often outraged when people ask when the new version of Debian is released.

debian security in sources for testing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631601)

Is there a line for a debian security ftp site that I should have in my sources list for testing?

Debian is NOT that out-of-date (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631685)

What exactly is so "ancient" about debian? I'm using unstable (which isn't quite as 'fresh' as testing) and I'm not nearly so far behind as people indicate:

Firefox: 0.9.3-6 (my primary complaint about anything being outdated, latest: 1.0PR has a lot of nice features)
Thunderbird: 0.83 (latest)
Perl-base: 5.8.4 (latest is 5.8.5)
Open-Office: 1.1.1-3 (1.1.3 is latest)
Blender: 2.34-1 (latest)
GIMP: 2.0.5-1 (latest)
PHP4-pear: 4.3.9-1 (latest is PHP5)
Apache: 1.3.31-6 (latest is 1.3.32)
Apache 2: 2.0.5-1 (latest)
GAIM: 1.0.58 (1.0.2 latest)
aMule: 1.2.6+rc6 (latest is 1.2.8)
GnomeMeeting: 1.0.2-5 (latest is 1.0.?)


It hasn't quite got that new car smell, but it's newer than my windows system and a heck of a lot nicer to update than many.

The main fallbacks seem to be on major version changes (php5, firefox is probably waiting on 1.0 rather than preview release, etc). For some of the above "testing" might even have newer versions.

Re:Debian is NOT that out-of-date (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631832)

I thought the order is, stable, testing, unstable, experimental.

Testing is sarge; unstable is sid.

Wait a minute... "Security Patches". WTF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10631697)

I have been misinformed! Why would an OS that is "secure by design" require security patches. I've already told everyone that they don't need to constantly patch Linux because it is secure out of the box. So now I have to go back and tell them I was lying?

A release (1)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10631833)

from the distro that time forgot
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