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Debian Leaders: We Need to Release More Often

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the keeping-up-to-date dept.

Debian 460

daria42 writes "The lack of a new stable release of Debian GNU/Linux since July 2002 is fuelling the campaigns of many candidates for the project's Debian Project Leader role, with many pushing for a shorter and more stable release cycle to stop Linux users heading for greener and more updated pastures."

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This is comical.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972689)

July 2002 .. you've gotta be kidding me.. right ? Another Slasheditor typo ?

I thought Debian was an enthusiasts distro..

Re:This is comical.. (2, Informative)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972762)

Nope. This is correct.

Re:This is comical.. (5, Insightful)

LordoftheWoods (831099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972911)

Indeed. The whole Debian stable rationalization is actually pretty easy to explain.

I believe the meaning of the word 'stable' is doesn't change often.

Or was it "So placed as to resist forces tending to cause motion."

stable as in stability, right? Isn't stability supposed to be a good thing?

That in mind, I do agree releases a year or so more often would help Debian. But for some people only having to update every few years is a great thing, they don't want upheavals on their servers every 6 months. This is the kind of people Debian stable serves. All of the rest use testing or unstable. They should make the website be more clear that stable is not for desktop users who want recent stuff.
There really isn't anyone working on Debian full time, and it's release pace reflects this. Debian is, well, different.

Re:This is comical.. (2, Informative)

LordoftheWoods (831099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972930)

Oh, and I forgot to add.

Unstable - changes often

for any slow people out there. English, anyone?

Good explanation. (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973010)

Someone mod the parent up?

54 minutes to go (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972947)

then "Victoria's Wet Secret" is done downloading and I can stop reading slashdot.

So...anyone seen it?

release more often!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972690)

omg roffl mao.

rub one out!

Kubuntu Hoary Snapshots (KDE 3.4) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972691)

Here's some fresh Debian: []

Re:Kubuntu Hoary Snapshots (KDE 3.4) (1)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972702)

That's not Debian, that's just Debian-like.

well.. (3, Interesting)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972693)

I would like to be the first to say "duh". Debian is old. Despite it being stable, it's often a good idea to have the newest programs to keep up with the newest technologies.

However, I do find that using a netinstall version of the "testing" release tends to keep up to date with most packages.

Re:well.. (1)

ctj (210968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972718)

I agree I run debain testing as It offers almost the latest software with out more of the breakages you can get with unstable.

That being said it would be good to get a stable release more often. Rather than having to using testing all the time.

Re:well.. (2, Insightful)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972781)

What are the problems with releasing debian more often, that have caused it to become older and older? I think it's 3 years soon since Woody was new.

I've heard it mentioned that some packages are keeping things back, and by the time those packages are ready, there are others being kept back. it's a duke nuke'em kind of situation

Why not aim for a 12-monthly release? Go over by a month or two if absolutely needed, but aim for that. Even if some packages were missed the first time around and left the same as the old ones, then damn... they could have been caught up three times over already (assuming yearly releases over the last 3 years)

Re:well.. (5, Insightful)

lullabud (679893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972840)

Even if some packages were missed the first time around and left the same as the old ones, then damn... they could have been caught up three times over already (assuming yearly releases over the last 3 years)
I think that defeats the idea of a stable release. The test versions of Debian are released weekly, and from my experience they work perfectly fine. In fact, a few weeks ago I even had a problem installing Debian on a Dell SC420 because the installer didn't have support for SATA, but the following week's release put that support in. I think it's important to realize that the slow release cycle is just for a stable release, which is rock solid, and not for releases in general. Personally, I like the way they do it now.

Re:well.. (2, Informative)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972989)

The test versions of Debian are released weekly, and from my experience they work perfectly fine.
Testing gets updated daily, not weekly. (Katie runs at least every 24 hours and the mirror pulse happens soon afterwords.)

You're probably refering to d-i which does have snapshots which get updated every now and then, but it itself is updated all the time.

If it's stable, it doesn't need to be updatedOften (5, Insightful)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972704)

I can see the need for keeping ahead of security bugs, but to change for change's sake is just silly.

Re:If it's stable, it doesn't need to be updatedOf (1, Insightful)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972803)

This is one of the reasons I'm not using Debian now. It might be stable, have a brilliant program that handles all the installation stuff automagically, and have a great community, but the big problem with it that turned me away is exactly that mindset. The last time I had the inclination to try out something different, I was looking for a non-commercial distro that had recent versions of Gnome and KDE and decent non-annoying package support. Debian had two out of three, but if I got it, it would have been mostly a downgrade for me.

Another really important advantage of releasing more often is that releases attract attention. A new version of something is often enough to get people to try it out, and it could turn out to be very good for Debian. Plus, that's the general mentality anyway -- "release early and often" -- of open-source, and Debian is perhaps the most adherent of the well-known Linux distros to the whole open-source philosophy.

If Debian starts releasing a new version every couple months, I'll be sure to give it a try, and I would imagine many other people feel the same way.

Re:If it's stable, it doesn't need to be updatedOf (4, Informative)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972834)

Try Ubuntu. They have a release cycle of 6 month and the next release due to april is Gnome / KDE. You can even get the preview release now.

Re:If it's stable, it doesn't need to be updatedOf (3, Informative)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972974)

As I said here [] , it might act like Debian, but Debian it's not.

A notable problem with using "spinoff" distributions is package compatibility. Can I install any .deb package on Ubuntu without possibly causing binary version problems? Similarly, can I build a package on Ubuntu, give it to a Debian user, and be sure that it'll work properly on their system?

This is a problem with rpm-based distributions; I don't know if apt handles it in a smarter way than rpm, but I've been burned by it and I'm hesitant to try and see. While on the surface everything may seem to function properly, you never know when doing something seemingly innocent like installing or upgrading a package can open up a huge can of worms. I know; I tried installing some packages from my Mandrake 8.2 CDs on a Red Hat system. The first couple worked without any problems, but I tried installing another package that happened to mess with some other file that was already on the system, and it broke several other seemingly unrelated programs.

Re:If it's stable, it doesn't need to be updatedOf (4, Informative)

cperciva (102828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972889)

I can see the need for keeping ahead of security bugs...

Speaking of which... *tap* *tap* is this thing turned on? Is anyone from the Debian security team listening? I've got a security issue here... I've e-mailed vendor-sec (3 weeks ago)... I've e-mailed debian-security-private directly (1.5 weeks ago)... are you guys planning on responding some time this month?

(Yes, I'm entirely serious. Slashdot isn't my preferred channel for communicating with other security teams, but the usual mechanisms seems to have failed, and I figure that there must be at least a few Debian people reading this story.)

Re:If it's stable, it doesn't need to be updatedOf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972936)

Uh, nothing has changed in the nearly the past 3 years?

In that time, most of the civilized Linux world has switched to X server, dumped whatever browser they were using and gone to Firefox, switched to the 2.6 kernel, etc. etc. The list goes on.

It's quite simply insulting that the default install comes with virtually every component being out of date. It's a shame because apt-get is so nice. (Yes, I know you can apt-get on other distro's but still)

Reality check folks (0, Troll)

rusty-nail abortion (470272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972707)

Debian is gay. Debian sucks. Debian is for fags. Debian is for bedwetters. Thank you.

Re:Reality check folks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972747)

Mod parent up, +5 insightful!

Re:Reality check folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972857)

Mod parent, self, and grandchildren down, -1, Offtopic!

In other news ... (0, Offtopic)

3dWarlord (862844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972709)

Zombies proclaim, "It would be cool if, like, we could eat more brains."

More stable releases please (4, Interesting)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972712)

I have no problem playing with aptitude from their latest unstable Sarge (it's great BTW), but it makes it very hard for me to recommend Debian on servers to customers when the latest stable release is eons old. Yes, I know there are ways around this... but let's face it, from a customer point of view it's an small image problem Debian has.

Re:More stable releases please (5, Insightful)

JayAEU (33022) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972892)

Strangely enough, there are actually people who appreciate long release cycles! I have servers running woody which absolutely need nothing newer and I'm happy about the fact that I don't have to change everything every 18 months.

If the release cycle were to be shortened to said 18 months, it would be nice if Debian were to maintain older releases and not only the previous release, like it it now.

I recommend Debian to my customers as a server platform, exactly because it has the finest package management and the longest release cycles. When stability is the goal, Debian is the right choice!

Speaking of which, Suse 9.3 next month (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972714)

Suse 9.3 is available for pre-order already. It will ship with KDE 3.4 and 2.0, and of course the latest Firefox and everything else. After Redhat 9 was the last "desktop" Redhat release, and they committed themselves to Gnome, I switched to Suse and it has been perfect.

I hear many good things about Debian but if it doesn't have a fast release cycle I can't use it. The reason? I am a 100% Linux desktop user. The Linux desktop changes fast so I need the latest stuff. I realize that there is some cool Debian thing called apt-get which would let me upgrade to the latest stuff without upgrading my system, but I like to upgrade my system. The reason is that I like to clear everything out. If I have broken the installation of some package, or if (I hope it doesn't happen) my system has been rooted, I would like to just backup all my files and re-install. A six-month release cycle is good for that.

So, if Debian could catch up to Suse with all the latest things, I could use it on the desktop.

Re:Speaking of which, Suse 9.3 next month (3, Insightful)

ctj (210968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972744)

debain testing allow you to update your system as packages become abalable with out having to wait for a full release

anecdote (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972715)

Debian was the first Linux distribution I ever downloaded, in the summer of 2003. I was on dial-up at the time (and didn't even have my own line, so I couldn't download 24/7), and I remember being worried that there'd be a new release by the time I was done downloading the first ISO. I mean, open-source software moves fast, right?

Should've relaxed.

well, are you done downloading yet? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972739)

There's a fine line.. (1)

RubberDuckie (53329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972734)

Between releasing too often, and not often enough. That being said, I run Debian at home, and at work. I can run unstable at home, and get mostly current software. Even testing is stable enough for most of the work related stuff.

In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972736)

legions of pimply faced linux nerds around the world simultaneously "released" the manual way in support of the mostly irrelevant and ignored Debian community

debian (2, Interesting)

prurientknave (820507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972741)

I suppose an apt-get answer to yum,portage et-al seems appropriate in exchange for the debian written security patches that would only be included in the stable branch. They should focus on i686 binaries instead. Since such a small minority of debian users are still using 386's

Re:debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972799)


No, seriously...


Bush wishes he was Irish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972743)

Then he'd have an excuse for being an incompetent drunkard.

Re:Bush wishes he was Irish (-1, Offtopic)

leereyno (32197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972913)

An excuse is something that follows failure, not success.

Since he is neither incompetent, nor a drunkard, an excuse for either is unnecessary.


Re:Bush wishes he was Irish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972965)

The point was that he sounds incompetent and acts like a drunkard, you fool. Just like you sound like a dick, doesn't mean you are one. Got it?

There is always BSD (0, Offtopic)

dbesade (745908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972745)

There is always BSD...

Re:There is always BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972790)

There is always BSD...

Not quite yet. [] Maybe it will be ready for release in time for etch.

Not to mention... (3, Interesting)

jrushton (806560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972828)

Not to mention Gentoo.

But I'll wisely keep quiet so not to incur the wrath of Slashdot...

Duh... (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972754)

Geez. All I can say is Duh. Yes, you need to release more often. Indeed, you need to release once. Release period. Boy, did I goof by deciding to base the UserLinux release management on Debian. Good idea in theory. And I couldn't get all of the time I wanted to work on the project. But I finally got my act together, but Debian didn't release, and didn't release, and didn't release, and still didn't release. And I will start working on UL again when there is a distro to base it upon.


Re:Duh... (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972774)

How is it going otherwise? Is the project dead? Have you considered any other distros to base it on?

Re:Duh... (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972856)

It's ready to go, as soon as Debian makes their release.


Re:Duh... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972809)

See what happens when you don't pay his consulting fees? He makes you look bad.

Re:Duh... (4, Informative)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972838)

IMVHO, ubuntu [] is Debian Done Right.

Check it out - I'm certain that they'd like the help of a high profile advocate like Bruce Perens.


Re:Duh... (1)

fixertechno (554158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972925)

I must agree. User Linux seemed like a dumb idea from the start, especially the software choices that were announced. It's vaporware at best, and needless competition when something that works and for the most part seems to fit the goals of userlinux exists. Hell , its also a more original name. Personally I prefer Arklinux, which is perpetually in an alpha state, but at least kde oriented.

Re:Duh... (1)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972951)

UserLinux isn't vaporware. From what I understand, it's Debian with a specific set of supported packages. It's hard for a support company to say "I support Debian" when there's no standard set of software to support. UserLinux fills that void.

Re:Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972861)

Take a look at ArchLinux. It has some nice underlying internals that might be a good start for a new distribution.

Debian thoughts (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972757)

As a new Linux user, what I heard from all my friends was, "don't use Debian, use Mepis or Knoppix or Ubuntu." It seems to be the opinion of many that Debian is nice, but it's not worth using a plain version of Debian, because these other distros have built it into something better. At least, that's the impression. So it seems that Debian is losing "mindshare" among new Linux users to a degree.

Re:Debian thoughts (5, Insightful)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972837)

Well pretty much the whole point of Debian is to have a distribution that others can take, modify, and re-distribute.
So using Debian derived distributions like Ubuntu or Knoppix is still good for Debian, or at least compatible with its goals.

The fact that it's a pretty good distribution in its own right is more or less just a bonus....

Have to compete with Microsoft (5, Insightful)

mr_tap (693311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972758)

Last stable release in 2002 - how can they possibly compete with Microsoft whose last desktop operating system release was in 2001 :)

Re:Have to compete with Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972796)

Then again, when was Microsoft's last stable operating system release. :)

Re:Have to compete with Microsoft (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972884)

Microsoft only provides the operating system. A Linux distro, OTOH, is expected to provide just about every program that you might ever want to use.

A version of Windows from 2001 isn't a problem, but it would be if it couldn't run more recent programs.

Re:Have to compete with Microsoft (3, Insightful)

arduous (91558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973003)

Well, first of all, I'd call Windows XP SP2 their latest release.

Secondly, Windows XP is just the a basic operating system. Debian 3.0 has 8710 packages bundled with it, and all of those packages are now almost 2 years old.

Running a 2002 release of Windows XP doesn't prevent you from installing the lastest version of Mozilla, Firefox or . The version of Mozilla in Debian stable is currently 1.0.0, and Firefox isn't even there!

I've been running debian servers for the last 5 years, but lately I have been seriously looking for an alternative that has a faster release cycle.

I had to wait for a new stable release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972769)

to get this FP

i try to release once or twice a day (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972779)

we are talking about pooping, right?

I wonder (0)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972786)

when the new Debian installer comes out, will that kill Libranet? I sure as hell hope not. Libranet is one of the unknown gems of Linux distros. If you can ween yourself of the need for the latest and greatest buggy software releases, Libranet *just works*.
Also, this posting should have been labeled from-the-no-shit dept.

Yeah... (3, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972789)

It would be really nice if Stable were updated at least yearly. I'm willing to play with Unstable or Testing if it's for my own use only, but if it's for someone else then I may as well either use a heavily-package-based distro like RedHat or SuSE, or Slackware if I'm going to have to build a bunch by hand anyway.

I guess that it'd been awhile since I last installed Debian from scratch, I didn't know that it has been two years.

this just in... (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972801)

Debian Leaders: We Need to Release More Often

This just in: the Catholic Church says the Earth is round.

In other news, George Broussard admits Duke Nukem Forever "is a little late".

Question- why did it take, oh, 3 years for them to finally come to terms with the fact that their iguana was turning into a dinosaur? It's like they've all been collectively in denial. I took one look at the list of versions in the stable branch when someone suggested I check out Debian. I laughed, and closed the window. Every time I've come across a Debian box, it was "put in by some weird guy who doesn't work here anymore". Debian users preach to me about stability, when I haven't had a linux box do something unexpected in quite some time. Debian's still stuck in the age of obsession with uptimes.

I understand the need for stability, but that means you put more effort into QA, not that you sit on your ass because what you've got works. I mean hell, some distros still ship 2.4; it's an embarrassment that companies like Redhat port BACK improvements made in 2.6 to their own versions of the 2.4 kernel, instead of finding and fixing problems in 2.6.

Re:this just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972963)

Every time I've come across a Debian box, it was "put in by some weird guy who doesn't work here anymore"

Hey, who you calling weird?

Not a huge deal (4, Insightful)

BAILOPAN (694545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972808)

Ultimately, the people who like Debian will continue to use it; likewise Debian's goal should be keeping its customers satisfied rather than trying to sway people away from other distros.

I don't really care that it's not updated because apt is flexible enough to work around that. And if a package is _insanely outdated, usually a newer one is in Testing or Unstable. And as a last resource, it's not like Debian precludes you from compiling it myself.

While more frequent releases would be nice, I like it just the way it is. I feel as if I'm guaranteed that the packages will work together without problems (something I haven't encountered in certain other package management systems). And for the select few programs where the version is unacceptably old (like gaim), I just compile from source code.

Re:Not a huge deal (1)

Chealer (732665) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972969)

"apt is flexible enough to work around that." Really? The possibility of mixing software from several releases is interesting, but you make it sound better than what it is really. Sarge/Sid mixes are really useful, Woody/* mixes bring dependency hell. Of course Gaim is the perfect example of software so outdated that it's broken, but there's more. php4 and 2.4 kernel source have unfixed known holes since monthes. They're just too out of date for anybody to care. If you can't get a secure LAMP under Debian (stable), why use it?

Re:Not a huge deal (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973006)

"Debian's goal should be keeping its customers satisfied. . ."

Debian doesn't have customers. It has users.


Too much pr0n... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972810)

...for a second, I thought that read "Lesbian Leaders".

And I, for one....

ahhh, never mind.

Good news, I think (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972811)

I think this is good news that some of the potential leadership in Debian has reconized this as a problem.

I've been a Debian fan for some time, but I find I am racking my newly built critical servers on RHEL3&4 just because so many of the Debian packages are 'stale'. In a lot of enviroments, running testing is unacceptable and using stable is to far out of date for the intended use of the machine. We are definatly in limbo as far as Debian installs.

I really hope they pull this together, without Debian the landscape changes dramatically for binary stable systems.

But, the biggest problem I can see is that by releasing early and often it creates a larger legacy code base that needs to be maintained but does not have the resources to do so. You cannot effectly update a server farm of hundreds to thousands of machines to a new version within a short legacy cycle, yet it is a huge burden to maintain the legacy code for any lengh of time.

Even Slackware.... (3, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972819)

Is up to date, even considering the head honcho's health problems.

There's no excuse for no Debian stable releases since 2002.

Maybe Bruce should base UserLinux on that.


Re:Even Slackware.... (1)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972869)

True, for the most part. However, even the latest version of Slackware only installs the 2.4 kernel by default.

The bleeding obvious (1)

Doyle (620849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972845)

In other news, Microsoft decides that "We Need to Make IE More Secure!" [] .

Good to see the penny dropping twice in one week. ;)

Debian appears.... (4, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972851)

...just looking at it, to be more of a "base platform" from which people build their own customised distros. This in fact might be an actual model for a future LinuxOS,(OSes in general I mean really) if no standard GNU/LinuxOS ever evolves, just make it incredibly easy to select what sort of computing experience you want, mash a few buttons, answer a few questions about hardware, whatever and etc, and your custom distro gets created, you then download it burn it and install it. People don't really "run" an OS, they want to "run" some applications. They want to just go do stuff with their computer, not really futz with it constantly. Well, I mean the 99% of the other people on the planet. You know, "them" guys.

Anyway, if you look at it that way, it's neither way behind the times or bleeding edge, it's just a big ole pile of apps and kernels that you have access to. Maybe they should just skip the different versions, let Apt sort it out when people go to build their own, make it a remasters dream system instead of trying to be a stock classic distro "OS". Do something different than what MS and Apple and Sun are doing. Make the personalised "your computer" be the primary focus, along with the "easy" part.

Not sure about more stable releases (1, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972854)

but at least give us a distro that we can use for almost-but-not-quite mission critical applications, like web servers for small businesses, or cyber cafe machines.

There is one very easy way the Debian team could achieve this: merge security patches into Testing at the same time as Stable and Unstable.

Why would this be a good idea? I can't be bothered re-iterating, so here's a paste from a prior post:

Stable? Sadly, not an option due to its complete lack of support for modern hardware or moderm features. It's a marvelous example of what computing should have been in 1997.

Unstable? Far too likely to break at the next apt-get upgrade.

Experimental? Same as Unstable, but worse.

Testing? Probably the best bet, though still not recommended for production use by since it doesn't get timely security updates.

I most certainly agree! (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972860)

I have used many different distributions (started with one of the very first Slackwares in 2000-2001, stayed with them for a while then moved on to a now defunct German distro, then another defunct one, then Debian, then RH7.x, RH9 and now finally FC3) and the glacial pace of Debian development was what caused me to switch to RH.

Most of the things I needed were in unstable (at the time it was potato I think), and unstable was breaking various odds and ends on a weekly basis and I didn't trust it at all so I ended up jumping ship onto RedHat and have never really looked back.

It kind of sucks, as I did like the idea of using Debian, but when it started getting in the way of me being able to work (aka, things I needed were not available for it) I really had no choice but to stop using it.

Every time I brought the issue up with a debian person I'm always told that 'everybody uses unstable anyways so I should do it as well' which is kind of weird, as when most of your user base is using your 'break at will' branch vs your 'stable' one it should be obvious there is a problem.

Good luck to the debian folks anyways, although I have the feeling it's a bit late to be closing the barn door...

Re:I most certainly agree! (1)

JonathanX (469653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972964)

You do realize that Slackware has been around since 1993 right?

Stable != Cutting Edge (1)

akabigbro (257295) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972870)

You people have to realize that having a server run forever without a hickup is the key to Stable...Not the latest and greatest. If you want the latest releases, use the Testing or Unstable versions. How many updates does it take Redhat;Suse;Slackware;etc. to be entirely stable?

Why? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972876)

Why does debian-stable even have to exist? Let Ubuntu and the other distributions based on debian do your stablising.

no shit, einstien! (3, Interesting)

RelliK (4466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972879)

Debian developers basically have two options: either reign in the development cycle or rename "Debian Stable" to "Debian Obsolete". I've been a long-time Debian user, but now I too am looking for greener pastures. The question is where to? Gentoo? Fedora? Is there something that compares to apt-get?

Re:no shit, einstien! (4, Insightful)

leereyno (32197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972927)

Nothing compares to apt-get, and that is the biggest shame of all.


Re:no shit, einstien! (1)

neypo (860979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972931)

Depends. If you are an i686 machine, I highly recommend ArchLinux [] . Its an i686 optmized distro, its package manager pacman blows everything I've used away.

Re:no shit, einstien! (1)

neypo (860979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972949)

Sorry [] - Ctrl + C acted up.

Re:no shit, einstien! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972937)

Arch is pretty good... I have been using Arch for about 6 months now, speed is good, can't remember having any stability problems of signifigance and has a good release cycle.

And pacman (arch package manager) is in my opinion just as good (if not better) than aptget..

though the base install does come pretty sparse; I like it like that but others might not.

Re:no shit, einstien! (2, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972946)

I'd say there's a number of programs that compare well to apt-get, such as urpmi with mandrake. The problem is that, at least in my opinion, none of the software repositories are on the same level as debian unstables. It's the only linux distro where I've never found myself having to sit around compiling something or other.

Re:no shit, einstien! (1, Flamebait)

wyldeone (785673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972955)

Definitely Gentoo. A pain to install, but emerge is even nicer than apt-get. Just 'emerge packagename' and the package is downloaded and installed.

Re:no shit, einstien! (1)

daliman (626662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972979)

Skip gentoo. I've played with it for about 6 months now, and have come to the conclusion that its unstable is just too damn unstable. Debian unstable isn't too far behind, and is, in the main, pretty damn good. Unfortunately we also use debian for a hundred or so boxes at work; I've been waiting for about 15 months for sarge to become stable now, wanting to upgrade the damn things, but it just isn't happening...

Re:no shit, einstien! (2, Insightful)

nns6561 (559085) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972980)

Try Ubuntu. It's nearly as up to date as Gentoo, but still has all the benefits of Debian. Even better, you can apt-get upgrade to it from a Debian install. I recently changed myself. The upgrade is not entirely staightforward but doable. Better yet, you can always go back to Debian relatively easily.

Re:no shit, einstien! (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973008)

Fedora has Yum which has a similar feel to apt, but with a simpler syntax, and also apt-get for fedora works very well. answers alot of questions about that stuff if you do decide to check it out. Apparently alot of people have been pleased with Fedora considering that its usage as a server has increased 122% in the past 6 months. [] It is worth checking out, FC4 is coming out soon and it should be real nice, however I believe FC5 is supposed be damn near magical :)

Hey. (1)

JollyFinn (267972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972887)

Hey why not the developers would do with the only incubator they are going to use, get a 9 month release cycle for their favourite (and only child;)

Greener pastures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972893)

" .. to stop Linux users heading for greener and more updated pastures.

And what are those? We migrated recently from RedHat to Debian. Before that we were looking hard for what distro to replace RH with and Debian was the best choice by far. We are running Debian "testing", I admit that. So far, Debian has been excellent, it exceeded all of our expectations. Apt-get/aptitude, it made our life so much easier.

Somewhat shorter cycle would not hurt though. IMO, one release in 2 years is optimal with 6 months of mandatory migration phase support for prior release.

One Word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972894)


Re:One Word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972991)

kanotix is the way to go

I never thought of Debian as having releases (4, Insightful)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972915)

Debian was the one distro that I never really thought of having official releases. It has versions that are fluid with their packages:


Each have their own rewards and risks, but the key to me, was that with the netinstall disks, they never went out of date. You never had a CD set full of six month old packages, you had your favorite debian versions latest, usually day old release, a download away.

The new installer is excellent, and with the lack of X based GUI, will still work with a minimal download.

Ubuntu (-1, Redundant)

whysanity (231556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972916)

It's so good it bears repeating...

Go ahead, mod me -1 Redundant

This is why I changed to Gentoo (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972922)

Debian is great, but hey the packages come out too slow!!!

I changed to Gentoo because a lot of the new software took far too long to be released as a debian package. Sure, I could have just downloaded the software, make install, etc blah. But I wanted to manage my packages!

For this very reason I switched to Gentoo.

The only thing annoying about Gentoo is compiling time - which is still quicker than waiting for Debian packages to come out.

What's the problem? (5, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972929)

People aren't leaving Debian for greener pastures. They're leaving Debian for Debian derivatives. If the last three months on Distrowatch [] are any indication of how much each distrbution is being used, then Debian is the most important distro out there. Ubuntu is #1, Mepis is #3, and Debian itself is #6. The Debian project has obviously doing something right if some of the most popular distros choose to base themselves on it.

On the other hand, the fact that derivatives are necessary is a sign of Debian's shortcomings. I haven't used Mepis in over a year, but the last time I used it, it was basically Debian installable off of a live CD with easy to use configuration tools. That says that Debian proper is hard to install and lacks user friendly configuration tools. The former problem has been fixed, but I'm not sure the latter has been. Ubuntu is Debian with a shorter release cycle and paid developers to add polish. This shows that users obviously take issue with Debian's long release cycles, and once again, the administration tools. Anyone who is running the development version of Ubuntu right now knows how easy it is to keep things up to date. The newer software also takes advantage of advances on the Linux desktop, such as Project Utopia. I can plug in USB devices, and they just work. It's nice, and Debian proper misses out on things like that because of the age of its packages.

So who uses Debian stable? From the things I hear, it's people who want a long release cycle. Woody users have been getting security updates for however long it's been since the release. People like that. Ubuntu is supported for 18 months after a release, which is likely to be too short for some people. I don't see how Debian loses out from desktop (and some server) users using the derivatives. Ubuntu is the main derivative, and all its work goes back into Debian proper. When etch is getting ready for release, the job is going to be much easier to do, since Ubuntu has already done much of the work ahead. Sarge has been in some sort of a freeze for most of the time Ubuntu has been around, so they haven't been able to reap the benefits of Ubuntu's presence. People getting paid to work on Debian is a good thing, not something to be angry about, which is the sense I get from some posts on Planet Debian.

So if Debian shortens its release cycle, where does that put it in the Linux ecosystem? I doubt they will be able to support security updates for multiple stable releases, which is what they would have to do with a short release cycle to maintain the current length of support. As much as Slashdotters like to poke fun at Debian, it plays a very important role. Does it really need to change?

Debian developers, thanks for making such a great distribution. There are lots of Ubuntu, Mepis, and Debian proper users that appreciate it.

well then (0)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972939)

go fork off. it's open source y'know. seriously though, i'm not too up with debian, but don't they have an unstable tree that keeps things pretty much up to date? and aren't there plenty of packages one can apt-get? and hell, if people want, there's fedora or mandrake for more "current" distros. and nothing stops someone from compiling a new kernel if they should choose. debian tends to be the more linux guru distro anyways, unlike many more user friendly ones. big deal. choice is great. distros like lindows, lycoris, and especailly knoppix use deb as their base. so, big deal if they want to be more methodical.

stable = insecure (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972956)

chkrootkit doesnt find packet sniffers!

snort doesnt pick up port scanning or anything for that matter

gaim cant use any other protocol other then jabber or some shit!

i wouldnt use it for a server my self its too old and insecure..

long live sarge!!!

Did you see the most recent developement? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972972)

No one gives a fuck about Linux, you bunch of fucking faggots. Go fuck yourselves with a butcher's knife. Linus eats nigger dick.

#1 Reason Why I Don't Choose Debian For My Bus. (2, Interesting)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972973)

We have over 100 Linux servers, but we chose CentOS as our default OS. We could have chosen Debian instead. In fact, the control panel we use for our customers (DirectAdmin [] ) runs on Debian. But here's the #1 reason I didn't choose Debian:

[hypothetical scenario]
Customer: "What operating system version do you use?"
Us: "Debian unstable."
Customer: "...unstable??"

The close-behind #2 reason is the installer, but I understand that's getting fixed. IMHO, Debian should strive to release a new stable version every 6 months, with 12 months being the maximum time between new stable releases. As it is, I cannot justify using Debian for business purposes when their offering that coincides with what we need is labeled "unstable".

Question? (2, Funny)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972976)

whats the only thing that takes longer than a full Gentoo compile....

Re:Question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973012)

waiting for GWBUSH to get kicked out of the white house maybe?

which will never happen

I just heard some sad news on the radio.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972988)

Debian Linux, Linux zealots preferred and most secure OS, has died today. A phone call to the Debian office (in a Kansas basement) was not immediately returned.

GNU/Hurd/Linux grandmaster RMS had the following to say.. "Debian was a great friend, always on time till its lack and luster faded away. Negligence was at fault, but fear not, the GNU/Hurds will be ready to discard any Debian code and have the poor, helpless OS join us in our GNU/Hurd conquest."

I guess it's time to install Windows XP Professional Edition w/ Service Pack 2.. my pirate copy from China Town.. bye bye Debian

Just so everyone knows... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972998)

Debian _UNSTABLE_ is shipping Xfree 86 4.3. There have been, quite literally, _thousands_ of bugs fixed since then.

Stable does not always equal good.
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