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Old 11-28-2005, 03:44 AM   #1
anti.corp
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sarge or etch?


Im about to do an install on a new pc.

Which distribution should I pick?

I know that sarge will work just fine, but I also heard alot of good things about etch. Only thing that bothers/concerns me is that it's beta.

Any suggestions and/or good/bad experiences with any of these?
 
Old 11-28-2005, 03:56 AM   #2
makuyl
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I'd say start with sarge. When you get more comfortable with debian you can dist-upgrade to etch if you want newer packages. Don't forget to upgrade to 2.6.x kernel first though.
Some packages have sometimes broken dependencies in etch, like k3b atm.

Last edited by makuyl; 11-28-2005 at 03:57 AM.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 12:44 AM   #3
arrenlex
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Etch, definitely.

Debian's naming is confusing. What's referred to as "stable, testing, unstable, experimental" should actually be "frozen, stable, testing, unstable," in my opinion. Sarge is frozen. It doesn't get new versions of programs at all, only bugfixes. Linux, being open source, is constantly under development. Especially for newer applications, software you downloaded a month ago is ancient. The Debian Stable release is going to be up there, with all those unchanging versions, for YEARS. Woody, the old stable version, put away only recently THIS YEAR still had KDE 2 and the 2.2 kernel. This is the Linux equivalent of the Commodore 64.

Debian Testing, "Etch", is perfectly stable, and it recieves new versions of programs after they've been tested out in Unstable and don't appear to have bugs in them. Since Sarge is relatively new to Stable, the software in it isn't yet outdated and you could get away with using it, for a while -- but in a couple months to half a year, it's going to get too old.

In general:
Stable is for those who need absolute security and stability, but don't care about being up-to-date.
Testing is for those who want to run a relatively stable system, but see their programs updated once in a while.
Unstable is for those who want to develop and test the applications that are waiting to be accepted into Testing.

I say, go with Etch. It's stable enough for the end user. Debian's "beta" is what everyone else refers to as "stable". Debian's "stable" is what everyone else refers to as "archaic". You'll be fine.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 12:47 AM   #4
arrenlex
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Quote:
Some packages have sometimes broken dependencies in etch, like k3b at the moment.
That's true. When very big packages update, little programs that depend on these packages sometimes get held up due to bugs and can't be installed for a while. You can always grab these packages out of unstable or compile from source. It's not a big deal to me. The biggest beef I have with stable is that big programs, like KDE or openoffice, can be held up in unstable for months and months due to one or two unreproducible bugs which others don't care about, but I wouldn't trade Etch's stability for that. They'll get there eventually.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 02:16 AM   #5
makuyl
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On unstable you can usually grab kde from alioth if the unstable is broken, and openoffice was available from experimental. Not oo2.0 though. I don't actually have x-windows on my stable box, but yes, kde and gnome in stable are a dated. Still, when you install sarge you can dist-upgrade to etch if you feel like it. That's why I recommended sarge. Also might be worth noting that when you boot the sarge installer you use linux26 or expert26 to get a 2.6.x kernel. Besides, someone running slack will surely know how to upgrade a kernel on sarge. One should also learn about apt-pinning and setting packages on hold when running etch or sid. Perhaps look at the packages in http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=debian for differences between the releases.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 10:01 AM   #6
carlosinfl
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I would install Etch "Testing" from a net install. Just make sure your NIC is nothing crazy.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 10:51 AM   #7
kloss
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May I add a question?
I had problem installing sarge on a Acer Aspire laptop (nic not properly detected, boot freezes) but the installation worked well with etch.
So far the installation is minimal (no wm, etc.)
How could I configure my box in order the stable packages to be installed - and not the testing ones - when I use aptitude ?
TIA ++
Kloss

Last edited by kloss; 11-29-2005 at 11:03 AM.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 03:06 PM   #8
BillyGalbreath
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I am so confused now...

Sarge... Woody... Etch... Sid... AHHHH !

Ok - I know Woody is ancient.. That's the Debian I started on. I have been using Sarge for awhile now, and once it became stable I just stayed with it at stable. All new machines I install on get Debian sarge still..

From my knowledge, there was a Sid after Sarge. Sid was unstable, and then Sarge became stable, does this mean Sid is now in testing and the new unstable is called Etch ? Or is Etch right after Sarge, and before Sid?

I am so lost... Someone please put them in order in my head!
 
Old 11-29-2005, 03:23 PM   #9
makuyl
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This should shed some light http://www.debian.org/releases/
 
Old 11-29-2005, 03:36 PM   #10
arrenlex
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Quote:
Sid was unstable, and then Sarge became stable, does this mean Sid is now in testing and the new unstable is called Etch ? Or is Etch right after Sarge, and before Sid?
Oldstable - Woody
Stable - Sarge
Testing - Etch
Unstable - Sid

Sid is and will always be the unstable distribution. It will never be released. When Sarge became stable, a copy of it was made and renamed Etch, which became testing, just as Sarge started as a copy of Woody in its time. When Etch becomes stable, it will be copied and the new distribution will become testing. Sid will stay unstable forever.

<irrelevant>Actually, Sid is a very nice pun. All the debian releases are named after characters from Toy Story. Sid was the boy next door who broke toys (like the packages in Sid are often broken). "Sid will never be released" is the Debian developers' own words, and it's kind of cute that way. Like something scary that needs to be kept away. Sid is also "unstable". Hehee.

Etch is an etch-a-sketch board in the movie.</irrelevant>

Last edited by arrenlex; 11-29-2005 at 03:46 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 03:43 PM   #11
arrenlex
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Quote:
have been using Sarge for awhile now, and once it became stable I just stayed with it at stable.
Not meaning to confuse you more, but if your /etc/apt/soures.list has lines such as

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main non-free contrib

Or other lines that have "testing" in them, you're actually running Debian Etch.

Try typing

gcc --version

And if it says '3.3.5' you're running Sarge, and if it says '4.0.2' you're running Etch, if you're using official packages.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 04:09 PM   #12
davcefai
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Running gcc --version gives me 4.0.3 20051111.

That confirms I'm running Sid doesn't it?

Linux prints Debian GNU Testing/Unstable before giving me the login prompt. I ask because it may be relevant to a question I am about to post.

(No, it's not because I'm a daredevil hero but because it was the only way I could get OOOo 2.0!)
 
Old 11-29-2005, 04:40 PM   #13
BillyGalbreath
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Quote:
Originally posted by arrenlex
Not meaning to confuse you more, but if your /etc/apt/soures.list has lines such as deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main non-free contrib Or other lines that have "testing" in them, you're actually running Debian Etch.
Good point. I forgot to mention I haven't had internet in the past year. I think January 2005 I lost it. So I downloaded the testing iso images for cd and used them for awhile. Then when it became stable in July, I downloaded the stable iso images to fix any and all changes since the images were made that I already hadfrom January. I just recently got my internet back on Nov 25, 2005, and oh boy you should have seen the security fixes apt installed. Looked like I did a major upgrade. hehe - But indeed, I am running Sarge.

But thank you for pointing out the process and naming. But just to double check...

Woody is the old stable..
Sarge is the new stable..
Etch is the testing (which means it should work, but it hasn't been proven stable yet?)..
Sid is unstable (which means it is currently being built?)..

So... let's say Etch is dubbed "stable". That means everything on the list gets bumped around? What was Sid, is now Etch.. What was Etch, is now Sarge.. etc etc...

I still don't fully understand the naming thing. I've heard of "Potato"... What is Potato? Old Old Stable? This is so damn confusing....

But I now understand what Etch is. And I think I am going to do an upgrade to it. Sarge is getting kinda boring, and I want to see something new. I just didn't want to get Etch if it was dubbed unstable.

Ok, I have a "pure" Sarge setup... How would I upgrade to Etch? I've haven't done an upgrade like this since I upgraded from woody which was like 2 or 3 years ago.

Last edited by BillyGalbreath; 11-29-2005 at 04:44 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2005, 06:30 PM   #14
arrenlex
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Quote:
Originally posted by BillyGalbreath
So... let's say Etch is dubbed "stable". That means everything on the list gets bumped around? What was Sid, is now Etch.. What was Etch, is now Sarge.. etc etc...
[/B]
NO! XD What was Sid is still Sid. What was Etch is now both Sarge and Etch. The Etch distribution will be COPIED. Sid has nothing to do with the lower branches. This is only going to confuse you more. Look:

BEFORE:
stable: woody
testing: sarge
unstable: sid

STABLE GETS RELEASED:
stable: sarge
testing: etch, A COPY OF SARGE
unstable: sid

WHEN THE NEXT STABLE GETS RELEASED:
stable: etch
testing: <new distribution>, A COPY OF ETCH
unstable: sid

Sid isn't going anywhere. The testing distribution is copied and becomes both stable and the new testing.

"Potato" is a super-old version of Debian, even before Woody.

> Ok, I have a "pure" Sarge setup... How would I upgrade to Etch? I've haven't done an upgrade like this since I upgraded from woody which was like 2 or 3 years ago.

Add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main non-free contrib

Then, as superuser, run

apt-get update

and then, still as superuser, run

apt-get dist-upgrade

And grab a cup of coffee.

Or, if you prefer, copy the below into a shell script and execute it. It's the same as what I gave you above.

#!/bin/sh
su
echo "deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main non-free contrib" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
 
Old 11-29-2005, 10:06 PM   #15
BillyGalbreath
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ok - i get the naming process now. Seems a little weird tho.. Why is there a Sid if it is never part of the cycle ?

I'm going to run the dist-upgrade over night tonight.
 
  


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