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Ian Murdock: Debian "Missing a Big Opportunity"

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the tsk-tsk-tsk dept.

Debian 330

Natester writes "While Debian struggles to get its next release (Etch) out the door, the project's founder, Ian Murdock, has spoken out about politics, the lack of firm leadership, and Ubuntu's meteoric rise in prominence. Murdock believes that Debian is "process run amok" — nobody feels empowered to make decisions, leading to the sluggish rate of progress."

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330 comments

This is why you need to vote SAM HOCEVAR for DPL (0, Insightful)

timecop (16217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402415)

For more info see here
http://sam2007.zoy.org/ [zoy.org]
Believe it!

This is why you need to mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402663)

Why would I listen to someone with gnaa as their homepage?

If anything, you only hurt his cause with your endorsement - that's like RuPaul endorsing Pat Buchanan for President.

WTF ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402433)

First post from spain? xD

Firm Leadership (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402439)

Sometimes you need firm leadership to make decisions rather than stagnate by trying to please everyone all the time and doing nothing.

Re:Firm Leadership (4, Funny)

athloi (1075845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402829)

I thought Open Source was about each of us having it our way instead. Compilation without representation is tyranny!

Re:Firm Leadership (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403069)

I thought Open Source was about each of us having it our way instead. Compilation without representation is tyranny!

It is, and as soon as you roll your own distribution, you can have it your way, too. You can't please everyone. Trying to do so is a sure road to failure. Which is why Debian, under its current charter, has no chance to survive.

MAKE YOUR TIME (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403303)

DEBIAN, MAKE YOUR TIME!

Re:Firm Leadership (4, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403097)

Open source is about choice, but Debian is about providing a distro that does what most of their users are supposed to want. It's still a tyranny - the tyrany of democracy.

Ian Murdock to join Sun (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402447)

Hi all,

It's being announced today that I'm joining Sun as chief operating
platforms officer, which basically means I'll be in charge of Sun's
operating system strategy, spanning Solaris and Linux. I just posted the
announcement on my blog (http://ianmurdock.com/2007/03/19/joining-sun/),
and it'll likely be making the rounds soon. Just wanted to
make sure you heard the news directly from me and to introduce myself.

First things first: I'm a long time Linux user, developer, and advocate.
I founded Debian in 1993, co-founded a Linux distribution company called
Progeny in 1999, and most recently served as CTO of the new Linux
Foundation, where I was (and still am) chair of the LSB, the Linux
platform interoperability standard. I'm also a long time Sun fan.

As for what I'll be doing: While I'm coming in with some fairly formed
opinions about what Sun/Solaris/OpenSolaris ought to do (peruse my
blog a bit to learn more), I'm also a big believer in listening
before talking, and I have a lot of listening to do in the weeks
to come. So, please, feel free to drop me a line if you have
anything to tell me. And, please, be gentle while I get settled. :-)

Gotta get on a call in a few minutes. In the meantime, I just wanted
to say hello, and to make sure you heard the news directly from me.

Later,

-ian
--
Ian Murdock
http://ianmurdock.com/ [ianmurdock.com]

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402569)

congratulations on joining a team that had developed a real OS and not some kids plaything.

it looks as if you finally hit the mark and are running with the big dogs. i'm sure you won't miss the little whiners in the linux community.

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402973)

You're calling Solaris a real OS?

You're joking, right? Solaris is probably the worst "real" Unix out there. Compared to HPUX/AIX (or even Tru64) it's pretty lame.

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402673)

I'm a Sun engineer and I don't get this. Sun has their own "linux". And prior to that, they were a "Red Hat" shop. At least, when they were bothering to pay Linux more than just trendy buzz-word lip-service.

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402923)

Sun is trying hard to rebuild from the wreck that McNeally created. There is a good reason why Sun is not selling like they once did. Perhaps with some good judgment being applied to the good engineering that you have, it is possible to resurrect your company.

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402961)

Everyone even outside people thinks Solaris is a great stable server and a scientific processing platform.

What is wrong with Solaris which is now open-source? Make it end user, teen geek friendly? It will never happen and it will lose existing professional userbase too.

Adding my AC warning :)

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402909)

Hi
Ian,

learn
to
use
web
forms
properly
before
posting
because
now
you
look
like
a
dumb
intarweb
n00b.

thanks,
anonymous
coward.

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403391)

I'm glad to see the truth rated "troll" by slashdot users. Nice to see the "you shall not insult high-profile people unless they work for microsoft" doctrine at work.

Wait a minute.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403205)

by Anonymous Coward
+

I'm a long time Linux user, developer, and advocate.
= WTF? Not every linux dev is a slashdot user?

Re:Ian Murdock to join Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403225)

I loved you in A-Team

Debian is dead (-1, Troll)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402523)

Really, Ubuntu has made Debian obsolete in most ways. Why would anyone even bother installing "true" Debian at this point? Ubuntu is easier and better in almost every way. And, even though it's a "desktop distro", I find that it works great for servers. Just shut off the GUI.

Re:Debian is dead (5, Insightful)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402575)

Why would anyone even bother installing "true" Debian at this point?

the debian that can be installed in 40 minutes is not the true debian.

i used to have a debian Tshirt that said "it's what your mom would use if it was 20 times eaiser."

i think that the debian group will always be needed to do the heavy lifting and the ubuntus of the world will add specifictiy and compatibility.

Re:Debian is dead (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402763)

Uh. What debian can't be installed in forty minutes? My last debian install was as a backup to my production server and I certainly spent less than an hour doing it. Most of that time was spent downloading (I was using a net-install). The actual time I physically spent at the machine installation was under a half hour.

Ubuntu is pretty sweet for the desktop, but there's too much desktop-y stuff involved in it. Without doing some research, I wouldn't even know how to do an Ubuntu install completely free from any window manager whatsoever. With Debian, however, there's nothing I don't want installed by default. I only have to deal with a GUI if I want to. And since I don't want to, installing my window manager is as simple as "apt-get install screen". Done. Hurrah!

Anyway, the whole idea that Debian is somehow this painfully difficult distro is just absurd and I don't know why people buy into that. It might be more difficult than normal to get a fully operational desktop and window manager with all the trimming going than something like Ubuntu where it's all pretty much built into the installer by default, but in every other aspect, you can't get much easier and straightforward than debian. I've been using it since about 1999 and I keep playing with other distros every couple of years to see if I can be swayed away (and other than Ubuntu for pure-desktop systems), I don't see any compelling reason to stray from Debian. And even then... only to a Debian-extension like Ubuntu...

Choose the server option. (2, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402869)

Ubuntu is pretty sweet for the desktop, but there's too much desktop-y stuff involved in it. Without doing some research, I wouldn't even know how to do an Ubuntu install completely free from any window manager whatsoever.

Boot the install CD and choose "Install a LAMP server" at the menu.

Other than that it's almost identical to Debian. And it doesn't get any easier than Debian.

Re:Choose the server option. (3, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403239)

Boot the install CD and choose "Install a LAMP server" at the menu.

And that's exactly why Debian is better than Ubuntu in most scenarios (although Ubuntu may still be better for most users). Someone is asking how to install Ubuntu without GUI and the answer is to install it with a full webserver stack. Some people have more specific needs than 'Desktop' or 'LAMP server' and in all of these cases Ubuntu has no added value, worse yet, it looses out on lower stability and having to deinstall stuff as a first step right after the installation.

Apart from that, it's way more fun to actually decide for yourself which packages to use. If i wanted the software to take as much as possible decicions for me I'd be using Microsoft stuff, they are way better at deciding what's good for their customers.

Re:Debian is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402963)

Dunno, Debian (2.1) was my first Linux (after having only used Windows 98 for a year), was pretty easy to install (certainly much less than an hour; but more time to configure it), and unlike SuSE or RedHat back in the day, it actually worked. When I told it something in a config file, it did what I told it to.

SuSE and RedHat pretty much always sucked, and still do, while today I run Ubuntu just fine. No, don't tell me about Mac OS. Been there for a good while, back to Linux now.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403021)

Why is Debian "racing" or has to race with Ubuntu like distros anyway? There are still many things to learn from Slackware. If Slackware tried to race with Ubuntu, it would be considered as joke and would lose the existing credibility.

There are people who missed your point, yes Slackware can be installed in 40 mins and can be used as end user friendly Linux too but it would be missing a lot. If I installed Slackware today, I would let it boot and start configuring my own kernel based on my own needs searching the web for -m flags for my CPU.

If you want a practically installed, end user friendly, easy Linux, your choice was Redhat and now it is Ubuntu. No need to "panic" :) There won't be digg.com "popular" entries concerning Debian or Slackware but they will keep working and serving to millions as they do for years.

Re:Debian is dead (4, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403041)

the debian that can be installed in 40 minutes is not the true debian.

Debian was NEVER supposed to be "difficult to use". This is something that has happened with the time - other distros became desktop-oriented and debian kept being power user-oriented.

It just happened, but that doesn't means that you shouldn't be able to install debian in 20 minutes. From the Debian social contract [debian.org]

4. Our priorities are our users and free software: We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environments.

Debian users are asking for an easy to install/use, desktop oriented distro. The Debian project is just not providing such thing, so they go and choose other distros that actually listen to them, like ubuntu.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403141)

Debian users can start their desktop oriented, apt-get based, bells/whistles distro and leave Debian to people who actually enjoys truely free/truely configurable Linux distro.

What stops them? Apt-get became like standard on OS X thanks to Fink project for example.

What about the current Debian lovers who does love the true open source/free/stable OS? Give them up for digg.com friendly ubuntu wannabe distro? What happened to philosophy? What are the chances if there are Intel running Macs all over the place running a true easy BSD/NeXT based OS which you can fire gcc whenever you want?

Re:Debian is dead (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403261)

Debian users can start their desktop oriented, apt-get based, bells/whistles distro and leave Debian to people who actually enjoys truely free/truely configurable Linux distro.

Again, you or any debian contributor are not allowed to define what debian users should and how debian should be.

4. Our priorities are our users and free software: We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environments.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403367)

Let me out of this Fido style internal politic fight. If Apple moved to unstable/up-to-date Apache, I would go and find a AIX or Debian based host to trust my data.

Yes, I am not a Debian user, I am just an ex Slackware user who hated the "No 24 bit/1024x768 displaying windows wannabe installer" whining of weekly distro switcher people while I enjoyed my stable, real Linux OS. Thanks to Slackware I figured the logic of Unix and the purpose of /etc init system which really helps me on OS X.

After years giving up Linux for desktop, if I moved to Linux based hosting provider today, I would seek for Slackware or Debian based ones. Wonder why?

Re:Debian is dead (5, Insightful)

timrichardson (450256) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403137)

Debian had better not be dead because it is the soul of Ubuntu. We have Ubuntu because of the people who spent so many years making Debian, and they did a lot of things right, and they did those things because they believed in the Debian philosophy. Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. Maybe we have to have a crazy Debian world full of people who really care about releasing versions when they are ready. Besides, it's not as if it's the only operating system with irregular releases that tend to miss deadlines.

Additionally, I wonder how much cash is being burnt to keep Ubuntu cracking along. Perhaps it is not sustainable? Debian is, I would say. It has proven itself.

Re:Debian is dead (-1, Troll)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403201)

If this is entirely about "new version" software, here is a paste from OS X 10.4.9 (current) which is considered to be World's number 1 Unix Desktop:

Ilgaz:~ ilgaz$ httpd -v
Server version: Apache/1.3.33 (Darwin)
Server built: Aug 21 2005 15:35:42
Ilgaz:~ ilgaz$ php -v
PHP 4.4.4 (cli) (built: Jan 19 2007 19:18:59)
Copyright (c) 1997-2006 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v1.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2004 Zend Technologies

Our OS is "dead" too, no new software.. Sigh!

Re:Debian is dead (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402629)

I put Ubuntu on a server and got a bunch of crap I didn't need. Next time I'll probably just use Debian. My LAMP VM that I use for testing runs Debian. I can run it under Windows to test new PHP/MySQL crap. Debian has a zillion uses. It's my OS of choice for servers for sure.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402799)

Same here. I had an Ubuntu/XFCE disk handy and thought I'd just install my development server from that. Surely there has to be an option during installation that says "don't install any crap that I don't want installed... such as a window manager". And... maybe there is. But it wasn't apparent during the install.

So I burned a Debian etch net-inst disk and tossed that in, instead. Easy as pi.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402853)

Surely there has to be an option during installation that says "don't install any crap that I don't want installed... such as a window manager". And... maybe there is. But it wasn't apparent during the install.

This is, I think, the most inexplicable issue with Ubuntu. There are two different install CDs. One is the LiveCD. The other is the alternate install CD. Their contents are largely identical, yet the LiveCD is the only full LiveCD environment, and the other CD is needed to do custom installs (you can customize a little bit on the LiveCD, but not much) or unattended installs.

I simply don't understand the logic here. It should all fit on one CD just fine, since there's so little difference between the two. And then you wouldn't have people downloading one ISO, finding out that they can't do what they need to do, and downloading the other ISO.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

Markspark (969445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403067)

this is however not true for Feisty Hurd 5, (i installed a few days ago), so we can only hope they keep the install only server menuoption at boot time in final..

Re:Debian is dead (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403211)

I understand what you're saying. Ubuntu installs a full suite of desktop stuff, which on a server is of little use.

BUT...by the same token, since it's a desktop distro, there's hardly ANY "server-y" apps installed. YOU get to pick what server stuff you want installed. And the GUI comes in handy for this. Just hit Synaptic, pick your packages, and you're done.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403265)

I don't want to use the GUI. Aptitude is the only package manager smart enough to automatically remove unneeded packages when they are no longer needed. And if I'm connecting remotely, then I REALLY don't want to use the GUI, because even with NX it's going to be hellaciously slower than using a text interface. Plus, I never even enter aptitude's gui, I do all operations from the commandline. Synaptic has one feature that causes me to use it ever: you can create a download script. I have wget.exe on my flash drive, and I just save the download script as download.cmd. Then I stick the drive into a windows PC and double-click it. The first line (#!/bin/bash or sh or whatever) is a syntax error and then it downloads my debs as it should. Otherwise I have no use for the thing.

Debian Stable not dead in my server room (5, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402657)

I don't have time to worry about internal Debian politics. Perhaps it is a clusterfuck. Beats me. But Debian Stable (Woody) may run old software, may lack some desirable features, and may not have the latest Gnome interface... but so what. It is stable. I have a cluster of machines running Stable that serve AFS to hundreds of clients. With those machines, my problems are almost all hardware related.

That's all I care about. Is it stable? Yes. Is it secure? Yes. Does it perform a function I need? Yes. Then deploy.

Re:Debian Stable not dead in my server room (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402773)

Last I checked, Sarge was the stable branch and Woody was obsolete even by Debian standards.

-uso.

Re:Debian Stable not dead in my server room (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402857)

You're right. Sarge is what's deployed. Woody is deprecated, but I believe they're still providing security updates for it. My error.

Re:Debian Stable not dead in my server room (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403055)

What version of Apache Debian comes with? Apple still ships 1.33 Apache with Xserve and nobody calls it "dead" or "outdated". If you really need Apache 2.x, you compile and run your own.

Isn't it the same deal with Debian stable?

Re:Debian Stable not dead in my server room (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403355)

apache: 1.3.33-6sarge3
apache2: 2.0.54-5sarge1

Re:Debian Stable not dead in my server room (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403389)

apache: 1.3.33-6sarge3
apache2: 2.0.54-5sarge1
So you got Apache 2 option at least. Apple.com runs/serves perfect with Apache 1.3.33 anyway :)

Re:Debian Stable not dead in my server room (1)

rnws (554280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403115)

Damn right. As usual there seems to be hordes of PFY's on /. that believes the world begins and ends at their gee-whizz, eye-candy laden desktop installed on some garish box all lit up like a titty bar.

As a server OS Debian is where you want to be, in fact if they just sorted out their goddamn bickering they could own the server space. Slow, sure STABLE and SECURE development is what sysadmins want, not freakin Aero or Beryl or anything else that doesn't warrant being in a production server farm. In fatc this is one of the reasons RH split off their desktop development and slowed down their rate of release for the server variant. Enterprise customers want PREDICTABILITY not eye-candy. (You whack the eye-candy on the management's desktop's to get them to sign the cheques.) Admittedly Debian is predicatably late, but hey, its release cycle is still light-years ahead of Duke Nukem. :D

Debian and Ubuntu work excellently together as a server/desktop OS pairing. Ubuntu is the dogs bollocks for the Linux desktop (IMHO). It was the first ever distro where everything worked "out of the box" on my laptop (YMMV) and that impressed me. It is a polished desktop OS that deserves its place in the sun. Debian is the sure workhorse on the server.

Debian needs to get it's act together poltically speaking but technically it's a damn fine OS and Ubuntu, Knoppix, Mepis and a pile of tohers would be nothing without it.

Re:Debian is dead (-1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402677)

As much as I like Debian, I must admit you're right: Ubuntu seems to be what Debian should have become. I currently run Debian, because I just can't be bothered to reinstall, but I must say it has a couple of quirks, not the least of which is, every now and then, apt-get upgrade does something stupid that hoses the entire package database and forces me to reinstall the whole darn thing.

I think my next install will be Ubuntu.

Re:Debian is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403113)

Give it a try but:
1. Don't assume dist-upgrades will "just work." They don't ... at least not as well as in Debian. Breezy to Dapper broke drive ordering. Still hasn't been fixed.
2. Feisty CD install doesn't work from a SCSI CDROM.

In general all of the layers that "make it easy," turn out to make it harder when they don't work.

Re:Debian is dead (2, Informative)

d^2b (34992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402779)

Well, sometimes the Ubuntu installer does not work. That is how I ended up reverting to plain debian on my wife's core2 duo machine after a few days of struggling with the Ubuntu installer. No doubt someone else has had the opposite experience.

Truth to tell, I don't really notice that much difference between running Debian testing and Ubuntu. At least no-one at my house is longing for the days when we ran Ubuntu.

So I am curious, what fabulous things am I missing? Or maybe the fact I am a fairly experienced Debian user negates most of it.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

g2devi (898503) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402793)

Not really. Ubuntu piggy-backs off of Debian's SID packaging and would be nowhere without Debian. Of course, Ubuntu regularly gives back to Debian, so it's a two way street that benefits both.

What would be good, however, is if Ubuntu and Debian could co-ordinate their releases better. I see absolutely no reason why Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) shouldn't be based off or synced to Debian stable, other than the fact that Debian and Ubuntu don't co-ordinate their releases. If Debian could make regular releases and actually have slushy freezes, soft freezes, and hard freezes months before the expected release date, there's really no reason why Debian stable couldn't be both stable and released regularly. It just requires good project management. With this in place, syncing Debian stable and Ubuntu LTS would just be a matter of mutual agreement.

Re:Debian is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403003)

> Ubuntu piggy-backs off of Debian's SID packaging

It's Sid. Sid is the name of the mean kid who breaks toys.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

rnws (554280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403363)

Agreed, as I've mentioned elsewhere in this discussion, Debian/Ubuntu would make an ideal server/desktop pairing.

Probably too many personalities involved to make it happen though.

Sigh...

Re:Debian is dead (2, Interesting)

livingdeadline (884462) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402835)

sooner or later, probably some time from now it might make sense for Debian to focus at releasing their testing branch as a continuous distro like Gentoo or Arch, and focusing at giving it community support and timely security patches insead of using it at something developing toards a stable release. It seems like Debian stable has far too many users many users for server stuff for this to sound realistic now, but maybe after the next Ubuntu LTS release, Debian's lack of scheduled releases (released when ready, patch support for oldstable for [how long was it again?]) could make it hard to compete with release cycles like the one of Ubuntu LTS, and its regular, 18 month supported releases has. But decreased interest in Debian stable is probably depending on improved quality of other distros. Does this theory make sense at all or will people keep using debian stable?

Re:Debian is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402837)

What comments like yours miss is how unstable and untested Ubuntu really is. Have you ever used anything but the most common packages in Ubuntu? The other packages are full of bugs that would never be released in Debian stable. The Ubuntu motto seems to be if it's not in Main, it's not a release critical bug.

Hell, the PowerPC version of Edgy is so buggy, it's practically unusable. But that's just a symptom of the big problem with Ubuntu. Ubuntu only tests a tiny, tiny subset of their packages before release. For the rest of the packages, if the code compiles, it's good enough for Ubuntu. Unfortunately, that's not good enough for me.

I'll never use Ubuntu in a server situation. I'd rather use Debian, where stable means stable. In Ubuntu, stable means "I got it to compile! Who knows if it segfaults on startup, no one has ever run it!"

Re:Debian is dead (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402843)

"Why would anyone even bother installing "true" Debian at this point?"

Because Ubuntu's installer hung up my machine every time I tried to run it and Debian didn't (neither did FC4 but who wants that?). I really wanted a decent apt-get implementation and went straight to Ubuntu. After about 4 tries at install, I tossed the Ubuntu install CD in my stack of useless CDs (yes I did verify the CD was good) and downloaded the Debian net install CD. It installed quickly and cleanly and it has even passed the wife acceptance factor. As long as people are making their secondary boxes into Linux machines, Debian is far from dead.

Re:Debian is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403099)

As long as people are making their secondary boxes into Linux machines, Debian is far from dead.
As long as people increasingly put Linux onto their primary boxes, then Windows continues to fade away.

Re:Debian is dead (1)

petabyte (238821) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403143)

I found something similar on one of my older machines with Ubuntu (machine has since been retired). My solution was to get the "Alternate Install" CD. It pretty much only has the text installer of Debian Lore (which I've installed enough times to just click through in my sleep). Not as pretty, but it seems to work on more hardware.

And frankly, I don't really need the bootable CD to boot up and waste my time and memory. Just dump the packages to harddrive as fast as possible, let me reboot, upgrade and roll. :)

Re:Debian is dead (4, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403209)

Why would I want Debian over Ubuntu? Stability and quality control.

Ubuntu is to Debian what Fedora is to Red Hat. It moves fast with the best new versions. It has all the bugs in the best new versions and deprecates old interfaces and configurations with that same speed.

Here's what I want from a server: It should be rock solid with an absolute minimum of bugs. It should run with essentially no attention for several years. Routine security updates should should be prompt and complete but require little or no operator attention. In particular, no routine update should result in an old configuration file becoming incompatible. Barring exceptional circumstances, it should run itself without my attention.

And when it does finally come time to upgrade to the next major release there should be a minimum negative impact on the server's existing configuration. If a piece of software drops a feature I'm using then it shouldn't automatically upgrade to the next version. Instead, the old version should remain available with security updates for a good long while.

Debian delivers on this. Ubuntu, as fine a system as it is, does not.

It's sad (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402549)

Unfortunately, Debian has suffered from a concatenation of problems this year. Dunc-tank (a scheme to pay some developers) sapped a lot of good-will and motivation, and made some developers actually work to hold back the release in protest, and as a result it's another "who knows when it'll happen" Debian release. There has been a lot of bickering on other topics - Debian should never hold face-to-face meetings, something bad always happens - and unfortunately the current DPL hasn't been able to rally the troops or lead effectively in any way I can see. I hope they recover, I think they are still our best hope among Linux distributions.

Bruce

Re:It's sad (3, Interesting)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402777)

Sorry for the naivete, but I don't plain understand the rationale behind the DuncTank failure.

I mean, even if I'm a non-paid developer, what's bad in having me collaborating with payed developers if it helps getting the work done? Isn't it a bit like the GSoC? People in GSoC-funded projects should whine and hold back releases because "hey, why is he paid and I am not?" I just don't understand it, but I don't know the exact story behind the Dunc Tank collapse, so I'd like some enlightenment.

Re:It's sad (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402815)

The only important part of the story is that some big-egos felt that they deserved monetary recognition more than people who were receiving it, so they got upset. These people are selfish and arrogant. If it was worth it to develop Debian for free before some people started getting paid, then it was still worth it after; nothing changed for these particular developers. You could google around to find more information on why people are upset about this, but no matter what it boils down to immaturity and petulance.

Re:It's sad (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403295)

I'm afraid I'm 'immature' then.

If I was helping create a distro, and nobody was being paid... Then only a few people got money for doing exactly the same thing as before, exactly the same thing as I'm doing... I'd be upset, then disgusted, then I'd probably quit. (I wouldn't be so immature as to remain and hold back the project, though.) Then I'd either find something else to do with my life, find another distro to help, or make my own.

Yes, there's ego involved... Everyone on a 'team' wants to feel like their at least equal to everyone else. With some people being paid and others not, it draws a very clear 'you're not as valuable' line. This is exactly the reason that many businesses make it a fire-able offense to discuss wages with other employees. And I whole-heartedly agree with that policy.

Re:It's sad (2, Insightful)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403343)

These people are selfish and arrogant. If it was worth it to develop Debian for free before some people started getting paid, then it was still worth it after; nothing changed

While what you say is true, the problems stemming from paying some developers should have been anticipated. If you and I are both working on a project for free, and the organization running that project decide to pay you but not me, what they are essentially saying is "tyke, you're contribution is not as important as drinkypoo's". That is a slap in the face, especially if I think my contribution is as important as yours. True, I haven't lost anything, but you can't overlook the de-motivational impact of rewarding some people but not others.

Re:It's sad (2, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403345)

The only important part of the story is that some big-egos felt that they deserved monetary recognition more than people who were receiving it, so they got upset.

Maybe they did? If some of my colleagues where I work got a big payraise and I did not, despite me performing just as well or maybe even better than them, of course I am going to be immature and petulant. Such are the traits of humanity and I am sure most other would feel the same way. Every manager at every company could tell you that. Money really is the root of all evil. And with an unequal distribution of it only compounds the problem.

Re:It's sad (3, Insightful)

k8to (9046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403017)

Sure, the response is dumb. But the response should not be _surprising_ when you realize that it was done in a back-room-deal fashion and brought to the greater community fait accompli. It's supposed to be a community project and doing things (sun java include, dunc tank) out of sight weakens that sensibility, which engenders ill will.

That people could have expressed their views and then moved on is given. That some people did not is no shock. Dunc tank, while not a bad idea, was poorly executed, and I'm really surprised at how it was done. Essentially I'm ticked off at the dunc tank group for refusing to recognize the problem. They wanted to avoid thrashing and whinging ahead of time, and short circuited it, only to get MORE thrashing and whinging after the fact.

Social engineering is important, and hard, and by that I mean the "making societies work" engineering, not stealing passwords. Can anyone especially clever in these matters point to research on how to make cooperative distributed projects work?

Debian's problem (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402551)

Personally I found that Debian's problem is that by the time they've gotten a new release out the door, it is already hideously out of date. I switched from Debian to Fedora and was quite happy with it for a while but I ended up moving to Ubuntu.

Maybe I'm just promiscuous, who knows...

Re:Debian's problem (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402661)

That's seen as an advantage to some. Fedora likes to ride the bleeding edge, but there's a lot more bugs because of this. Debian stable is called that for a reason. A lot less patches, and a lot less bugs. As a desktop user I can see the desire to run a more up-to-date OS, but if you're running servers I would probably opt for a more stable distro over having all the latest toys.

Re:Debian's problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403325)

you know, i hear this alot, and the same thing in reference to slackware. do people not *get* stability does not include chucking in what ever? that systems integration isn't just seeing if a package compiles and runs? ubuntu is nice; i like it. I run it on my personal machines, and love it on my laptop. would i deploy it in an enterprise situation? no. stability is more than the distro runs stable in it's default install. it has to be easily maintained inside other systems with existing standards and software. debian has been a work horse for years, and part of it's lasting charm is it's stability. well tested before release. i can say the same for slackware. watching your version numbers grow is neat, but has no direct correlation with it's place in a mature environment.

Ian Murdock... (1, Flamebait)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402577)

Ian Murdock was the reason I first tried Debian, after disastrous experience with early RedHat builds. Read an interview, he seemed like a good guy and knew how to run a project.

Debian's meteoric rise in suckitude correlates very well with Murdock's departure and the further stepping away from the way he ran things.

Ubuntu is the new Debian--even despite its often-busted packages and all.

There is no "winning" in their spocial contract... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402591)

Ian Murdock from Debian fame feels the urge to win the war of distributions.

News at 11.

The problem with Debian (4, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402603)

is Deb and Ian. That's what an IBM guy told me at FOSE a few years back.

IDNRTA (2, Insightful)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402607)

I did not read the article, but here's my two cents:

Ubuntu is trying to be a Windows killer. And it could be. Wine is "good enough" with the right settings for 90% of what most people want to do coming from a Windows world. Drivers exist. No, they're not FOSS, and I understand why people want FOSS ones, but....

Why doesn't Ubuntu seal the deal?

With beryl, good drivers, and built in FOSS apps that beat MS at every turn (Firefox > IE, Beryl > Aero, Thunderbird > Outlook, and VLC > WMP), it seems like the win would be fast and clear. Nobody wants Vista, especially when you have to pay. Ubuntu comes preconfigured in a way that is over all superior to every Windows that has ever existed. It's more solid and reliable, it has four desktops (though they moronically all have the same wallpaper by default, and it happens to be shit brown), it has a very nice user interface (though *i* and many others feel it could take some design cues from Windows 98 with regards to menu structure and some other minor details), and it's free. Oh yeah, and it's open source, so anybody who doesn't like part of it can fix it themselves.

But nobody has. It's like people take pride in allowing the world of uneducated masses sucking on the corporate tit of MS. I just don't understand it.

Feisty could win the OS wars decisively, but given the over all FOSS community attitude towards ordinary people....

Damn, gotta catch my plane.....

Sad?

rhY

Win98 menu (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402789)

it could take some design cues from Windows 98 with regards to menu structure


You mean, having a "Start" menu that spans over 3 columns, filled with sub-folders that have only 1 single application and are cryptically named after some taiwaneese constructor ?

Sorry, but I prefere much more the "Office / Games / Internet / Graphics / ..." menu structure of my linux disto. And in fact use the same structure in Windows too.

Re:IDNRTA (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402803)

But nobody has. It's like people take pride in allowing the world of uneducated masses sucking on the corporate tit of MS. I just don't understand it.

Feisty could win the OS wars decisively, but given the over all FOSS community attitude towards ordinary people....


Um, if this attitude was such an obstacle, then Ubuntu wouldn't exist in the first place. If anything, Ubuntu is proof that there is a significant portion of the FOSS community that wants to bring FOSS to "ordinary people". Sure there are people who don't, and they're running Slackware.

So given that, I must have completely missed the part where you specified what it is that is preventing Ubuntu from winning the OS wars decisively. You say it's comes preconfigured in a way superior to Windows. Personally I think Ubuntu, and Linux in general, has a ways to go before it's really an "ordinary people" as in "Windows replacement for everyone" kind of OS. I think they're a long way from winning the OS wars decisively or otherwise. But it is getting there, by leaps and bounds. You seem to think it's even farther along this path than I do, poised and ready to claim victory, so I'm again left wondering what it is you think is holding Ubuntu back.

Re:IDNRTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403231)

"and they're running Slackware"

Yes, Slackware requires more tech savvy to configure, but it's not that difficult. If you want to compile from source, there's nothin better, in IMHO. Having said that, I am very much an "ordinary" user, and not a developer, sysadmin, or any other kind of IT pro, but I have used most of the popular distros out there at one time or another. Most of them "just work", except for things for which only proprietary drivers are available.
My point, finally, is that even though I sometimes use Slackware, I want other "ordinary people" to use Linux,too. Microsoft is evil (not necessarily its people), and gotten more obvious about it in recent months. I wish the entire company would find the success they so richly deserve. Linux-based OS's are more than ready to take over, needing only a small fraction of the manufacturer cooperation that MS has been getting for many years to succeed for _any_ computer user in the world. There is no meaningful way in which Windows is fundamentally better.

One last thing before I stop; what's holding Ubuntu back,(and several others, like Mepis, pretty much any Debian derivative, & Suse to name a few), is inertia, nothing more.

Oh its that simple huh? (0)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402841)

"Why doesn't Ubuntu seal the deal?

With beryl, good drivers, and built in FOSS apps that beat MS at every turn (Firefox > IE, Beryl > Aero, Thunderbird > Outlook, and VLC > WMP), it seems like the win would be fast and clear. Nobody wants Vista, especially when you have to pay. Ubuntu comes preconfigured in a way that is over all superior to every Windows that has ever existed. It's more solid and reliable, it has four desktops (though they moronically all have the same wallpaper by default, and it happens to be shit brown), it has a very nice user interface (though *i* and many others feel it could take some design cues from Windows 98 with regards to menu structure and some other minor details), and it's free. Oh yeah, and it's open source, so anybody who doesn't like part of it can fix it themselves."

Oh really? So I can just fix whatever part of it I don't like myself? I didn't know I knew how to program! Good thing you told me or I would have never known! And I personally use 3 OS's, OS X, XP and Kubuntu and I did not know that Kubuntu with Beryl was better than Windows. Silly me! Don't get me wrong, Kubuntu is pretty awesome but its still not on par with Windows JUST YET. Did you know I had to do something EXTRA after installing Kubuntu 6.10 to get my video codecs to work? Crazy thing. I didn't have to do that with Windows. I've never had to do that with Mac OS X. Then there was the wifi card in my laptop, which I also had to install after installing the OS. Did you know XP and OS X have built in wifi drivers? If you are using Windows on centrino its no issue at all. With Kubuntu I had to install KNetworkManager to get WPA functionality.

But maybe I'm just imagining these things.

Re:Oh its that simple huh? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402989)

You claim that you didn't have to install codecs to get video working on Windows and OS X.

I don't think that's true. Out-of-the-box, WMP doesn't play everything. Same problem with OS X's Quicktime Player: it doesn't play everything. (And it won't go to full-screen mode out of the box, either.)

On Windows and Mac I always have to install VLC to get a media player that "just works." On Ubuntu good media players are already there, and, yes, I have to install the codecs.

So what's the difference? I love the myth of the OS that "just works." Every OS requires tweaking to get it working the way you want.

Re:Oh its that simple huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403181)

"Did you know I had to do something EXTRA after installing Kubuntu 6.10 to get my video codecs to work? Crazy thing. I didn't have to do that with Windows. I've never had to do that with Mac OS X. Then there was the wifi card in my laptop, which I also had to install after installing the OS. Did you know XP and OS X have built in wifi drivers? If you are using Windows on centrino its no issue at all. With Kubuntu I had to install KNetworkManager to get WPA functionality."

I have been clean for over a year now, though i maintain a windows machine at home, so correct me if i'm wrong:

1. You still need to install divX,Xvid,quicktime and whatever other codec seperately after the windows installation. MP3 and WMA/WMV play out of the box though
2. I needed to install a wifi driver after the installation of XP SP2 the last time I tried... guess what? Ubuntu didn't need that, but then again I didn't try Vista(yes it's a centrino)

But hey, that is STILL nothing a properly PRE-configured computer can't do, heck, I think I'll start selling this kind of machine over here: "Your kids spending too much time on video games? Viruses and ad/spy-ware are forcing your machine to it's knees? We can help, just bring the machine over and we will configure a proper Linux distro on it. Additionally you can purchase support where it doesn't take 1 hour to get an answer out of the tech support since they'll access your PC remotely and do your bidding. Tech support is void if you start messing with root"

Okay if I needed a PC for word processing/some simple games/internet/research/development I would be sold for an ad like this... especially if i feel intimidated by following the tech support instructions. Need an app? send an email, someone will remotely access and apt-get it for you, got some configuration you don't like? ssh in remotely and VIM it.

Stable? Check
Secure? Check
Easy to install/maintain? Only if you buy the right hardware(In this case you chose the hardware for the customer)
Easy enough for my grandma to use? Check(we're talking about using not administrating)

Seriously, why has no one thought about this one? Are there obstacles I cannot see?

Re:IDNRTA (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402941)

> Why doesn't Ubuntu seal the deal?

It's called Linspire. It still doesn't run over half the printers or wireless NICs out there. You'd have to sell the box too, and people interested in that sort of thing will buy a Mac.

> Oh yeah, and it's open source, so anybody who doesn't like part of it can fix it themselves.

Way to know your market.

Re:IDNRTA (4, Insightful)

Bright Apollo (988736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402993)

I'll explain it to you.

Thunderbird Outlook and in some cases, *nothing* = Outlook for calendaring, contact management, etc. When Linux has a drop-in replacement for Outlook that connects to Exchange Servers and can handle PSTs, they'll have the killer app needed to crush Office. Until then, it'll be no sale. Believe me, programmers would probably love to switch but they still need to get email at work from the Exchange Server.

And no, solutions that require interdiction with Exchange administration do not count. Drop-in replacement is exactly that, just your Windows domain username and password.

-BA

Re:IDNRTA (4, Interesting)

repvik (96666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403009)

Why doesn't Ubuntu seal the deal?

With beryl, good drivers, and built in FOSS apps that beat MS at every turn (Firefox > IE, Beryl > Aero, Thunderbird > Outlook, and VLC > WMP), it seems like the win would be fast and clear. Nobody wants Vista, especially when you have to pay. Ubuntu comes preconfigured in a way that is over all superior to every Windows that has ever existed. It's more solid and reliable, it has four desktops (though they moronically all have the same wallpaper by default, and it happens to be shit brown), it has a very nice user interface (though *i* and many others feel it could take some design cues from Windows 98 with regards to menu structure and some other minor details), and it's free. Oh yeah, and it's open source, so anybody who doesn't like part of it can fix it themselves.

rant:
Thunderbird > Outlook? Seriously? Outlook is one of the very, very few apps that Microsoft got somewhat right. As opposed to Thunderbird, it can be used to share calendards, contacts and stuff easily. Thunderbird is just an E-Mail app. Outlook isn't.
VLC > WMP? For some values of VLC, that is correct. But the userinterface is better on WMP. How on earth do you get a slider in fullscreen mode on VLC?

And your statemend about open source is just plain wrong. I can't see my mom "fixing" the freaking lameness that is "cut and paste" in gnome. It's simply broken, it doesn't work. When it does work, you have to try pasting in three different ways! Open Source doesn't mean anybody can fix. It means that the knowledgeable *may* fix stuff that they find annoying. Even then, it might not go upstream so other users can benefit from it.

I'm an ubuntu-only user, so I think I am semi-qualified to know what I'm talking about. I dig linux. I've been digging linux since '93. I've had windows too periodically, but linux usage far outweighs windows usage.
Linux sucks, unless you're somewhat skilled. Take the Gnome copy-paste dysfunction for example. When copying in the terminal, *sometimes* it picks up what I've marked with my cursor, so that I can just press shift-insert. Sometimes it doesn't. WTF? WHY NOT?. Oh well, then I have to right-click to make it put the text on the clipboard. So... now I've got the text on the clipboard, everything should be fine and dandy, right? NO! I still can't use shift-insert in a sane way. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and I have to rightclick *again* to paste! WTFISTHAT? I've switched to Kubuntu not long ago, and thank god... The copy and paste functionality appears to actually WORK AT ALL. It works pretty good. The even better part is that you can predict if it works or not. With gnome you just can't.

How do you suppose I fix that? It's open source isn't it? Then I should be able to fix that easily!

To all the proponents of Linux On The Desktop:

1. Please stop flounting linux as totally superior. Be realistic. It sucks in many ways, but it sucks in other ways than Windows
2. Make sure that you point out that learning linux isn't as easy as windows. Really. Do it. Please.
3. Make sure you've pointed out 2.
4. Accept that Linux is a Tool, just like Windows. Every tool has its good and bad sides. Windows has a (mostly) coherent user experience, linux has not. Windows has (inflexible) wizards, Linux has extreme flexibility (at the cost of complexity). You can't have it all. EVER. /rant

You can mod me down now. Just had to get that out. Should be incoherent enough to make it hard to read :-P

Re:Debian's Easy 3D Desktop (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403213)

Follow these instructions: http://wiki.beryl-project.org/wiki/Install/Debian [beryl-project.org]

Works beautifully on the graphics chips listed.

KDE has some minor issues, but the whole 3D desktop and animated windows works perfectly.

Like other posts, I don't see the huge technical advantage Ubuntu has. I see Mark Shuttleworth spending money giving ubuntu more visibility.

Re:IDNRTA (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403279)

Feisty could win the OS wars decisively, but given the over all FOSS community attitude towards ordinary people....

Unfortunately, I believe the war is over, to risk a cliche. I think the best we can do now is just chip slowly away at MS's structure by recommending a linux switch to people who complain about MS or by putting linux on our own computers. Perhaps more people should start foundations where they give out computers for free by taking an older computer that someone wants to get rid of and putting linux on it and giving it to someone who has no computer. Either way, the war is largely decided despite most peoples' fervent hatred of the victor.

The good part is that linux exists, and with any luck it will continue to grow as a community. It's not really a war as much as it is like digging a tunnel through the shit pile of the proprietary software paradigm. Every day in every way we can we can help move things to OSS. The first thing you can do is replace the applications on existing installations of Windows. When someone suggests upgrading to office whatever, try to hit them with an openoffice suite instead. I already moved my neighbor who used to use pirated office to openoffice with a little resistance. More of this will make OSS applications feel like "home" and once they start all seeming like home, then maybe what OS they run on can be changed. The present is applications, it really doesn't matter what OS they run on. Let's start with applications, and gradually move to OSs. Just chip away at the monopoly anyway you can, from recommending firefox to installing Ubuntu on a person's old Win98 machine. Whatever you can do.

Netcraft (0, Troll)

jimmiejaz (264607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402637)

Netcraft confirms it, Debian is dying, the grave is dug, and it's bastard offspring, Ubuntu is lowering the casket.

The King is dead, long live FreeBSD

Re:Netcraft (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403281)

Netcraft confirms it, Debian is dying, the grave is dug, and it's bastard offspring, Ubuntu is lowering the casket.

The King is dead, long live FreeBSD
Funny , this guys joke gets -1 point but the FA is actually speaking about same pointless Ubuntu desktop % racing giving up stable image Debian gained/earned for all these years.

The no RC bug ideal... (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402701)

...is sorta like the "no deaths in traffic" ideal, nice ideal but if you live it to the letter everything wlll stop. What gets Debian every time is the long tail of RC bugs, some long-lived bugs in e.g. the kernel linger on while less critical software go through many cycles. They go into a sort of meta-support stage where they're busy backporting fixes to etch, before it's even released. Sure every distro has those but for Debian it seems to go on for months and months.

Re:The no RC bug ideal... (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403175)

The no RC bug ideal is sorta like the "no deaths in traffic" ideal

The problem with Debian RCs is that it has more than 15.000 packages and except for the "base system", all of them are equally important. So a RC bug in a crappy package that has 3 users is just as important as a RC in firefox/iceweasel, which lots of people use. It's stupid, but it's the way debian works.

Politics suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402717)

In principle the value of F/OSS is that if you don't like the leadership you find another group of knights who say 'nee' and fork the project. In practice that may not be enough because of momentum and apathy. eg: How many political parties can you vote for and how did the system triumph in removing Hitler or Stalin once they established a power base? Is it really practical to maintain a Mozilla fork?

Yeah, 'When It's Ready' (2, Insightful)

boogahboogah (310475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402735)

If you're looking for the latest drivers/kernel tweaks, it seems like Debian is perpetually behind. Every so often I try installing it (and Ubuntu/Kubuntu also), but with any new hardware it breaks and I end up re-installing SuSE again. Not that SuSE is perfect but at least it works with my hardware better than Debian/Ubuntu/Kubuntu.

Re:Yeah, 'When It's Ready' (1)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402971)

I've had no problems installing Etch and every version of Ubuntu from 5.04 onwards and every piece of hardware I've thrown at it (admittedly not a great deal being on a laptop) has been perfect. Perhaps I've just had the good side of it all but I've considered Debian and its derivatives to be good when it comes to driver support

Debian's new niche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18402823)

All the hard stuff in Ubuntu is lifted wholesale from Debian. That's cool - it's the point of Free Software. The problem is the idea that Debian has to compete with Ubuntu. Debian is (and in my opinion always should be) rock solid, 100% free and stable over time. Debian is still the OS of choice for servers, of that I have no doubt - the window-dressing and shiny newness of Ubuntu bears no value in a server environment, but the minor niggles and instabilities of Ubuntu do. In my opinion, Debian should give up trying to be a distro that normal people use - Ubuntu have them roundly beat. They should concentrate on developing the infrastructure, the dull but essential foundations of an OS. For that, a plodding, myopic precision is absolutely the right attitude.

Slowness (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18402957)

The slowness of Debian updates is a feature, not a bug. When you have a server 4,000 miles away from home (where a major OS upgrade can quite easily leave the machine an unbootable lump of metal), having a long time between major releases, and the updates to the current release being rock solid - it's a BIG feature. It's why I run Debian on those servers - because it's a lot less stressful than running a faster moving distribution.

On a point of pedantry, also you cannot have a meteoric rise. Meteors fall!

Debian has it's place (2, Informative)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403015)

I used debian for years on my servers and desktop and really enjoyed it. Then one day I went to install a hauppauge video capture card and a couple other devices that aren't very standard. After weeks of recompiling the kernel, out-of-branch kernel sources, and various other things it became very tedious. A friend gave me an Ubuntu CD to try it out and everything just worked out of the box. Every piece of hardware was configured and working nicely out of the install, and the universe/multiverse feature was nice for getting things Debian normally doesn't carry. So for now I prefer Ubuntu for the desktop, and Debian or Ubuntu for servers. Just my oppinion, but I've had a couple friends switch over too because they wanted more bleeding edge software or wanting things to just work.

Not a brand (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18403019)

I think of Debian as a packaging system, not a brand. So nowadays when I want to install a debian box, I start with a Ubuntu CD.
At a previous employer, I even implemented a dpkg-based packaging system for Solaris, and from time to time, referred to it informally
as "debian". It never occurred to me until this morning that the debian folks wanted to be protective of their position.
 

When Did NetCraft Confirm This? (4, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403045)

Let's get a few things straight.

1. Another post mentions a concatenation of problems. I agree with this post.

2. Ubuntu is not a good server distro!
Stable and well-tested older packages are a strength of Debian. Yes there is a large class of sysadmins that like keeping odd hours running buggier systems. They generally burnout or learn how valuable stable is. To address the rather immature "needs newer packages" complaints, may I refer you to http://www.backports.org/dokuwiki/doku.php [backports.org]

3. Depth of Knowledge
There are still, many excellent Debian sysadmins out there that share and certainly have brought my skills up to a higher level. I don't see the same depth in Ubuntu forums.

4. Ubuntu Money
Mark's bringing money to the table, he gets to call the shots. That's well and good because the honeymoon is on right now. What happens when the honeymoon is over? Debian doesn't look organized compared to a guy calling the shots with his bankroll. It's an apples-and-oranges comparison.

5. Etch
I'm running etch right now on my desktop and in testing. It was ubuntu-release quality months ago.

Am I the only one... (1)

XdevXnull (905214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403061)

..who looked at the title and for just half a second though, "Who gives a rat's ass what the owner of NewsCorp(TM) thinks about Debian??"

Fuck Debian (-1, Troll)

jaxon6 (104115) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403081)

You know what?

Fuck Debian.

I am so sick of their elitism, their idealism, their purity-over-functionalism. I cut my teeth on Debian and I thought it was a great platform to learn on, but it has no place in the workplace. Can anybody honestly justify an email telling the userbase that 'Uh, so Firefox is being renamed to Iceweasel. No, seriously. It still works the same, but now it's different. Please adjust accordingly.'

I firmly believe that efforts such as Debian deserve their place and that we all benefit from them, but only in the sense that we also benefit from flag-waving hippies; their freedom is our freedom. But, I wouldn't want any of those hippies coming into my work, spouting liberal ideals while simultaneously interfering with actual productivity.

Keeping control of a large network is difficult enough without having the personalities of brilliant yet insignificant(to me) developers holding back shipping dates, preventing current software releases and in general preventing me from doing my job.

I think Debian needs a wakeup call. It should either be abandoned or made correct; no in-between. I remember those ideals I had a decade ago when installing Debian from floppy. Those ideals, while they have their place, should never be paramount in the decision-making process when managing a network of any size.

So, once again, filled with the frustration of knowing that a great platform has succumbed to its worst elements - Fuck Debian.

Ubuntu no better than Debian (1)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18403121)

I think one opportunity that Debian continuously fails to see is to make very clear that Testing is always uptodate and always usable.
Basically Ubuntu = Debian Testing with a few tweaks.
I've tried to use Ubuntu a few times. When it did not fail to install properly (it fails often and spuriously) I ended up with a system that hardly differed from Debian Testing. And where it did it was mostly in the colouring.
Functionally I never found a reason to use it instead of Debian Testing. A short while ago the same happened with Ubuntu 6.10. I already returned to Testing again.
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