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-   -   What is Debian ideal for? (

dave247 05-06-2004 03:20 PM

What is Debian ideal for?
well, i impulse bought debian 3.0 off ebay... (i need to stop doing that)

and now I would like to find out what debian is good for. What is it made for? games, networking, office work? ..I searched google...but nothing to juicy.

whats debian ideal for?

KneeLess 05-06-2004 03:41 PM

Well, it's probably the best thing ever for easy server maitenence. If you're not going to use it for that, it's a rock-solid power user desktop. So easy to install packages, and I've never had a major problem.

Teaches you to use Linux more. :)

dave247 05-09-2004 06:53 PM

sweet deal!

I can get over how awesome linux is...especially compared to microsoft products.

I cant believe how much time I have wasted on ms! :cry:

wartstew 05-15-2004 12:08 AM

Debian 3.0 (Woody) is very dated. Also, being the "stable" distribution, it contains only a small set of well tested apps. If this is what you want, fine. Otherwise you might consider editing your /etc/apt/sources.list file and do an "apt-get update" so that it knows about the "Unstable" distribution instead. Then you can either attempt an "apt-get dist-upgrade", or just do an an "apt-get install synaptic" to get a good browser that you can use to look through over 14,000 free-to-download and up-to-date (mostly) application packages. A very impressive list. This is what Debian is *really* good for!

sylvain_gnu 05-15-2004 05:29 PM


On your Debian, you can install any application running with the Linux kernel and Gnu programs, just like with other major distributions, so:

whats debian ideal for?
Well, for anything you can expect from a Gnu/Linux distribution! :D
It is to say, server, networking, desktop, games (improving), etc.

Now you will have to choose between three versions available:
=> Stable - ideal for a server ;)
=> Testing - will soon (one day) become the new stable version :cool:
=> "Unstable" - on the development branch, great, but use with caution :o

Have a look here for details:

Here at home we are using Debian Sid ("unstable") for:
- e-mail, Internet
- desktop apps such as
- development (wxWidgets)
- watching videos (XINE and mplayer)
We are using an old Celeron 400 and it works fine.

I could just have been using Testing instead. I just picked up Sid and I'm happy with it for now.


walterbyrd 05-17-2004 12:03 PM

Unlike other distros, debian isn't targeted towards desktops, or servers, or multi-media, low-end machines, rescue, security, or whatever.

Frankly, that might be a good thing, most of the specialized distros are just linux with some extra windows dressing.

Debian strong points:
- absolutely commited to 100% free
- commited to mult-platform
- best application install and upgrade in the business
- once installed, you never have to re-install to upgrade

Debian weak points
- standard debian you get from cd's is *way* old
- worst installation program of any linux distro - by a mile
- worst hardware detection of any linux distro
- no standard configuration tools like YaST
- no major company, like novell or redhat, stands behind debian

All JMHO. I'm using debian Sarge myself.

jriis 05-19-2004 04:44 AM

I want to add my opinion here as well.

I have been using Linux for 6 years now, starting off with Red Hat, then SuSE, Mandrake from 7.1 to 10.0, Fedora Core,Libranet etc.

All of those above have slick installation procedures, but when it comes to configuring and updating - they fall far behind Debian.

I've had some problems configuring my Nvidia card (that is hard on Debian) and that made me go back to Mandrake for a while, only to discover that I missed the unbeatable "apt-get"

Now I am solved my hardware problems, almost (USB printing annoys me) and am only using Debian.
My server which serves as mail,ftp and webserver runs Debian Unstable and my desktop runs the same. On the server I mostly don't use X, but occasionally i startup with Fluxbox (webmin)

My desktop runs Debian Unstable, switching between Fluxbox,KDE and Gnome. I use it mainly for webdesign and hopefully soon I will get some time and learn a little programming (Kdevelop, QT-designer)

phil81 05-19-2004 07:33 AM

Debian specs available anywhere
I am quite tempted by debian but can find no specification list anywhere.

I have been using mandrake 9.1 since 8 month already with an apache/phpmysql/ php set up and it runs great Also using SO7

Never any problems at all and I am very happy with it . I have also set it up on 4 different pc's for friends of mine who were unable to run their business due to VIRUSES and other MS bugs I never hear any thing from them apart from GREAT.

I have been told that Debian is far superior and would like to try it .

sylvain_gnu 05-19-2004 05:38 PM is a good start
Hello phil81,

I am quite tempted by debian but can find no specification list anywhere.
I have been told that Debian is far superior and would like to try it .
Good idea! Just try it. You will have an experience of an important distribution.

Debian is basically like any other Linux (Gnu+Linux actually) distribution,
apart from its specificities, its great package management system for instance, or the fact that it is not "commercial", etc.

Looking for specs or something? Having a look here is a good start:

Have fun!

(P.S: you're not far from Castres and Albi (in the south of France).
Cheers to you, then.)

sylvain_gnu 05-19-2004 06:02 PM

wxWidgets rather than Qt...
Hello jriis,

I use it mainly for webdesign and hopefully soon I will get some time and learn a little programming (Kdevelop, QT-designer)
If you allow me, please have a look here as well:
wxWidgets C++ cross-platform GUI framework

Personnaly, I abandoned Qt for _wx_ because of the commercial license of QT. You can write GPL apps for Gnu/Linux using Qt, but then you cannot have them ported to Windows or Mac OS X unless you buy an expensive license :mad: So Qt is useless as a cross-platform framework since you cannot envisage porting your apps freely... On the other hand, it is tempting because of the KDE project based on its GPL version for gnu/Linux. It depends on what you want to do, and on your ethics...

wxWidgets (==wxWindows) is less famous and fancy looking because it is supported by volunteers only who prefer spending their free time on programming rather than on marketing.
wx is used in the very good Audacity program, in the (Windows and Linux) AVG (free anti-virus app), and other apps. It is worth having a look at.


phil81 05-20-2004 03:31 AM

Thanks sylvain

thanks for the answer Its what I had already heard.. Debian seems to have a great reputation I have a friend who has been using linux since the start and is my guru on linux matters he advised me to try it also . I went on the debian site and saw the specs its complet and has all the things on the Mandrake 10 CD set .
But what i saw about the instal seemed complicated doesnt it have an instalation where you can boot from the cd direct or do you have to compile it ?

I have set up Mandrake 9.1 and 9.2 on some customers PC's here, people who were fed up with the usual Windows problems especialy viruses and I never hear any thing from theme but great !! I guess that this is just thanks to Linux and not speciificaly related to a Distrib even though Mdrk is quite user friendly ..

I will go ahead for now and set up Mdrk 10 but will probably move to Debian within the year Thnks again for your post

Yes I live in a little village near Gaillac


atheist 05-22-2004 06:38 PM

phil81, don't be afraid of the installation process. Just dive head first into it, you won't be able to drown. The worst thing that could possibly happen would be that you wouldn't be able to complete the installation process. And screwing that up will be very hard for you since you know about this forum.
The installation instructions they give you are quite nice too. But you are going to want to update your kernel ASAP since it ships with a 2.2.20 kernel.

Actually. Here are two very nice guides for you. Follow them. And you won't be able to screw up no matter how hard you try. This is what made me cross over from the dark side of Red Hat.

Debian installation
Debian kernel compilation

I remember never actually following the kernel compilation exactly though. It's a good read though although I prefer the "make && make modules && make modules_install && make bzImage && cp arch/i386/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-x.y.z && nano /etc/lilo.conf && lilo" way for 2.6.x kernels.

Hope this was of some help to you. Now go install Debian and just try going back to Mandrake. :P
I know I wouldn't switch distros if they paid me for it.

phil81 05-23-2004 09:40 AM

Thanks for the links athiest !

I have the mdk10 now with the new kernel and it runs really nice everything works great !

I will definatively try Debian when I have an other PC to try on For now I need my everyday worhorse But instaling Debian will be the next step in the next few months


MissMetal 05-27-2004 10:36 AM

What about security?
I've heard that many of the debian apt-get servers were compromised somewhat recently. Have they cleaned up the problems there yet? Is it safe for a professional server to install packages that might have been compromised?

Marc A 05-28-2004 11:54 AM

Hi Miss Metal,

Two things, if i remember correctly the exploit on the servers were discovered few hours (min) after compromise. Everything was stopped immédiatly and put on line after check a few days later. So there's no security problems with servers.
The other thing is a new installer is under way for debian sarge. You can already test inst with it and it works quite well. Search on "" for sarge-i386-netinstall.iso or look for debian installer. You'll find that debian is not so far behind for instalation anymore.

Marc A

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