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Debian Sarge
Reviews Views Date of last review
39 135927 02-25-2007
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
90% of reviewers $8.00 8.6



Description: The 'in-between' distribution of Debian. Not quite stable, but not unstable. Debian is the dedicated 100% open-source Linux distribution which uses the famous apt-get package management system.
Keywords: Debian Sarge Testing GNU/Linux apt deb dpkg apt-get


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Old 03-22-2004, 08:16 AM   #1
tmp123
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Knoppix, Debian, Gentoo, Arch, FreeBSD, NetBSD, QNX, FreeDOS, L4...
Posts: 8

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Huge amount of software, advanced package manager, maintainers are demigod gurus
Cons: Stable branch is out-of-date, Relatively complicated package maintainance (tho it's not and issue for the end user)



Pros:
-Advanced package manager (apt-get + dpkg)
-Maintainers know what they are doing
-One of the distros with the biggest collection of software

Cons:
-The "stable" branch is out of date, but the "unstable" is fine, and hey is not even unstable
-Baroque and overcomplicated maintainance model, tho at the end we get a professionally put together system

Debian began in 1993 and is continously among the "major" Linux distros since. The supporting community is large, friendly and PROFESSIONAL.

Head: Ian Murdock
 
Old 05-13-2004, 10:54 PM   #2
xanas3712
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Slackware/Mandrake/Debian (sarge)
Posts: 266

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 6

Pros: Good once it's running
Cons: Terrible pain to get it running


I am giving debian the same rating as I did mandrake because it's pretty much the reverse of mandrake. It's got stability down, and it has the best x package manager ever in synaptic. apt-get is not as easy as it's made out to be but it's not terrible.

But the up front installation process is still a pain even with the upgrades to the installer. The main reason it's a pain is not that the installer hasn't improved (it has) but the fact that with sarge in particular (not with woody) you will run into problems during install. Packages won't work. You'll get a few errors where it will tell you packages will not install. This stuff will seriously scare some people away right at the start. Now if you know what you are doing (you've used debian before) you can apt-get -f install and deal with dependency issues and apt-get install kde or whatever to pick up specific things that you need that weren't installed along the way. But the installer does not run through from start to finish without problems (unless we are talking about woody, and woody is ancient).

I ultimately recommend debian, because it makes a good system and it's better than mandrake stability wise. But it's not 2.6 kernel ready, and there are some major installation pains that need to be worked out seriously.
 
Old 06-09-2004, 01:26 PM   #3
awreneau
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 29

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: stability, not commercially driven
Cons: not user friendly on install, but most anyone can plow thru


My only complaint _was_ that woody was too old, indeed it is, however I discovered the sarge installer.

Sarge is nice and I've isntalled it on 2 machines start to finish w/o any error in the expert mode.

I did have one problem with the linux26 mode trying to start pc services, it did hang there so I opted not to start them untill I rebooted with a working kernel.

Even for newbies I recommend it, if youre going to kick the tires you need to provide users with the easiest means possible.

Setting up the machine and installing synaptic is about as easy as it gets, however I prefer apt-get.

I've tried RH, Mandrake, SuSE and Turbo Linux I've always come back to Debian.

 
Old 07-23-2004, 07:54 AM   #4
aranius
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 0

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros:
Cons:


 
Old 08-03-2004, 05:33 AM   #5
Moloko
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 729

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: package management, availability software, configurability, stable, secure
Cons: steep learning curve, but it gets easier


I tried CollegeLinux and Knoppix first as a newbie. These distro's do not show you what goes on under the hood, I therefor learned very little about Linux. What good is a desktop if one doesn't know how to handle the system?

The first attempts at network-installing Debian were relatively succesful. The installer takes some getting used to, but is perfectly understandable. The hardest part wasn't installing, but configuring the system. This is easier nowadays with discover and the likes.

Debian really pushes you to learn and understand Linux. Everything is configurable through easy commands like dpkg-reconfigure and modconf.

Start with Woody or the almost stable Sarge, if something goes wrong you can be 99,9% sure it's your own fault and not a problem with packages. Ones things get more natural to handle you may consider compiling kernels and packages yourself. There are a ot of Debian users so help is easy to find on the internet, irc or newsgroups.

I have never tried anything else since I started using Debian. Going from total n00b to intermediate in two months isn't something I expected since so many people say that Debian is one of the most difficult distro's around. I do not believe that. With apt-get you can very easily install a desktop or a server system without compiling yourself. Just install and it works. How easy can it be?

I personally enjoy the "Debian way" of getting around the system, so why switch? This might the same for Gentoo or Slackware, which leads to the conclusion that choosing and using a distro is a very personal choice.
 
Old 08-14-2004, 05:10 PM   #6
Dialore
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Debian, Mandrake, Fedora
Posts: 38

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: You can tweak almost everything; great community/following
Cons: Sometimes you need to tweak stuff to make it work; not as user-friendly as some other distros


Although Debian has 'ancient' and 'outdated' often applied to it, Debian Sarge is quite up-to-date and gets updated continuously (of course, this is going to end once it is officially released). And this is the most popular community distribution, which might appeal to those who try to avoid everything corporate.

One thing that is not very convenient is that new software releases often have rpms but not debs, which leaves users to either convert rpms to debs (with a risk of breaking some dependencies) or compiling from source code, or just waiting for the Debian team to provide debs. Of course, these come first into SID, so some more waiting... And after the release (planned in September) most of the packages will be receiving only security updates, so users who want to have a reasonably modern system will have to move to the next Debian flavor.
 
Old 08-16-2004, 04:39 PM   #7
denniz
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Debian (Sarge and Woody)
Posts: 49

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Rock stable and secure, best package system (apt-get) which takes care of ALL dependencies for you, HUGE amount of packages (over 14.000 for Sarge already), very tweakable, great community/help, the maintainers and developers are demi-gods (at least). Deb
Cons: You need to read up on things, not THE easiest distro but the new d-i (Debian Installer) works for 99 out of 100 cases, Sarge is not the bleeding edge (Sid is though)


I moved from Mandrake to RedHat to Debian. I reckon many people take the same route more or less. Easy to more difficult/serious.

HOWEVER: I started with Woody (Debian's previous stable release). Sarge is about to become stable (still testing) and is much user friendly to set up. Once it is running you WILL need to read up on a few things, depending on what you will be doing with your Debian/Sarge box.

By having to read up on some things, you DO learn a lot about linux though and get to appreciate Debian/Sarge and what you can do and tweak with it. Compare it with mixers: Mandrake=your average stereo set. Debian = a pro mixer (24 channels, loads of equalising etc etc).

Thanks to the best package system, you can easily configure your system to stay up to date automatically thanks to quick responses of security teams of Debian releasing updates which are handled by your package system!

The community are really helpful, polite, patient and friendly.

I would not recommend Sarge as your first distro of linux (Try knoppix (debian based) or mandrake instead).
 
Old 08-24-2004, 06:26 AM   #8
myriad-zero
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 38

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Wide range of software, wide range of hardware platform, package maintenance and lot more.
Cons: Not up to date, extremly large number of packages and some more.


The installer is quite simle and sophisticated. No GUI and complex interfaces. The base system configuration is pretty neat and minimal. The package management is one of the best features of Debian. I love apt. There is a good collection of software available. But too much of anything is good for nothing. Sometimes, beginners get confused by the wide range of options they have for a particular piece of software. For developers, Debian is a heaven. It has almost everything a developer need.

Overall, Debian is not for newbies.
 
Old 09-05-2004, 12:09 AM   #9
mipia
 
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Debian, Mint, Slackware
Posts: 457

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: quite the os
Cons: the vast abount of apts can be overwelming and all to tempting to a new user causing un-needed waste of hd space


I downloaded a daily build net install ISO from a mirror and burned it to disk.
Being a Slackware user of almost 2 years I wasn't expecting much.
The install went well using the linux26 option. I skipped the package selection dialogue to be able to read up on apt-get and learn for myself. No problems there after reading the documentation.
After I had what I thought where the needed apps (X, browsers, gui etc) I was pleasently suprised to find Gnome as the default environment. The mouse wheel on my optical logitech mouse worked without need to add the infamous ZAxisMapping 4 5 option to my X configuration and a decent 150+ fps on glxgears at full screen on my ati 7500 64 mb card.
The only problem I had was no where in the installation did I see an option to select what services I wanted at boot time. Ah well, that is easily changed in the rc files.
So here I am with a K7 optimised system with full gui replacing my xp/slackware dual boot.
Sorry Pat, but Im hooked on Debian.
Its a great middle point for someone who wants to get thier hands dirty learning how linux works, and just user friendly enough to forget about mandrake, fadora or suse. There may be a few zealots out there who live thier life according to R. Stallman, but put that aside to experience what a real OS can do. This is it, there is no substitute for what Debian had become, zealot or not (in my case).

cheers,
factotum
 
Old 09-25-2004, 11:13 AM   #10
garywk
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian (sarge)
Posts: 20

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $15.00 | Rating: 10

Pros: stable, tons of software, secure
Cons: I really haven't found any yet


As a Windows user I was always disappointed in how little I could modify my system and actually learn about the internals of the OS.

As a Linux newbie I'm delighted with this distro. I had tried RedHat 8 and 9, and Mandrake 9. I didn't like either of them. The Mandrake install never did work correctly and all I ever got was flamed when asking for help on the MandrakeClub site. I find the Debian mailing list very helpful, and have yet to recieve a negative reply to any request for help.

I guess I'd have to say that the thing I actually like the best about Debian is that it basically forces you to learn. Not that I dislike learning. I don't. I love learning. It's just that all of us usually will do things the easiest way possible, and Debian doesn't really allow that. I'd have to say that in the last couple of months with Debian have been best time I've spent on a computer.

Debian is really what I expected all computing to be like. I'm hooked.
 
Old 10-30-2004, 05:20 PM   #11
big_syner
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian Sarge, Slackware X
Posts: 17

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: apt-get, nuff said! As hard as most ppl make it out, the install was cake!
Cons: I will let you know...


First off, I would just like to say that this forum rocks! It has helped me with every problem I have had thus far, just by searching. Next, please allow me to present some background information. I have been a long time prisoner to the Microsoft world. Like anything, I guess they have thier pros and cons. Long story short, I just wanted something different. I am currently going to school for a degree in computer technology/networking, and I have always heard a lot about this whole Linux thing. Even tried to download some distros back in the day when I was still on dial-up, but I got frustrated with that pretty quickly. A friend at my school hooked me up with a copy of SuSE 9.1... I installed it and had a cable broadband connection at the time. It worked out fine for a while, then I decided to switch to a DSL connection. Well, SuSE did not like that, so I went to the local library and got myself a copy of Linux for Dummies, which came with a Fedora Core 1 DVD. Installed it, and it didn't mind my DSL connection, which was great, but I felt like a beta tester, because it seemed like absolutly nothing worked. I ordered some Mandrake CDs, installed them, and could not stand it! I came to this site, sort of shopping around for something else to try, and I download Knoppix. I really liked that, but I couldn't settle for booting from a CD all of the time. So I read up on Debian. Everything I had read about it was a rip on the install, and this distro is NOT for newbies... Blah blah blah! I downloaded a mini-Woody net-install image and I could not even get connected to the net. Read up a lil more and decided, why not give this Sarge thing a try, and I will never go back to anything else! BTW the post install config sticky is one of the best I have seen on this website.
 
Old 11-28-2004, 11:15 AM   #12
winsnomore
 
Registered: May 2004
Distribution: #1 PCLinuxOS -- for laughs -> Ubuntu, Suse, Mepis
Posts: 315

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 6

Pros: Fast install, clean setup
Cons: Poor documentation (naming) .. poor hardware detc. etc.


Though the inital boot completed in less than 10 minutes, it took a total of about 6 hours to get most of the stuff in.

Install failed to detect my Video ( SIS on the motherboard) and wanted me to supply the PCI bus parameter that I supplied wrong and x won't start. I hand-edited the XFree* and x started up. But this is poor, FC1/2 and Suse had no problem with this hardware.

Only gdm is installed by default and you get Gnome, you can download other dm's and it provides you a nice option to select which one you want to use as you log in .. but .. but .. but the fonts aren't right for kde, in short it's optimized for Gnome for KDE expect to spend some time figuring out how to make it look right. I tried icewm and it was totally unacceptable.

The apt stuff is hyped, it has some good parts, unlike Suse Yast it does go to multiple sources easily. But it's whacky, it says I have version 5:42 of KDE available, part of the number refers to the distro disk, but the second # is clearly funky.
KDE current version is 3.3.1 so debian folks are doing their funky numerology or plain discouraging folks from using it.

Gnome almost sucks at places, though it has some interesting and useful packages, simple console can't be sized and you can't change fonts (except on the desktop, which changes everything). This is a retro behaviour of 1985!!

Though Debian site talks about lilo, it did install grub (may be cuz it detected grub in the mbr) and pulled in the install for Suse (something that Gentoo not only failed to do, but messed up totally !!!!)

It's useable by a newcomer, but with a huge caution. If knoppix is easier, may be one could use it but that also is only 2.6 kernel with 3.2 kde.

About numerology, the Sarge is touted to be 2.6 kernel, but the default torrent and CD images boot with 2.4 and you have to install 2.6.8 after downloading. 2.6 installs as another kernel boot option.. this is quiet dumb, though I am sure the good folks at debian had their reasons.

Overall, I was expecting a clean install, it almost is but not as clean as FC (1/2) or Suse 9.1.
Ability to base-config is nice, but there is no way to make it run the "video detection" to setup XF*-4 file unless you read the code and do it by hand!!!

I don't see it as a faster distro, Suse on another partition on this machine is just as fast in everything I have used. Disk performance on the Suse is better than on Debian ..
 
Old 12-05-2004, 12:57 PM   #13
Unregistered
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Posts: n/a
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: better installer, easy kernel update with apt-get, apt-get itself
Cons: snobby irc community, product itself is fine for some just starting out! really!!


I am by no means proficient with computers in the same way that many linux users are today. I am your typical home computer user who at most creates a website or two in my spare time. I have no experience in networking protocols, scripting or coding of any kind. Technical reviews aren't something I am good at.
I downloaded the debian sarge beta 4 net install a while back because I wanted to give linux another shot. I started using computers with windows 98 around the time of the release of win 2k and since then dabbled with redhat 9 a bit so my linux skills are pretty bare.
The install in itself was actually quite simple compared to the typical 3.0. Simply boot up with the #linux26 option if you want a more updated 2.6 kernel or just hit enter for the default 2.4. From there pick apt-get through ftp, select a default desktop config, go through the motions of reading the various options and here I am in gnome running what I think is a more than complete desktop system.
It does remind me alot of my try with redhat 9 with gnome and all, but I know you cant judge a disrobution my a screenshot. Regardless this is a positive for me. It makes it exciting and I look forward to getting into the guts of what makes it all work. I feel like I have picked up where I left off, but with major improvements and a bit more get-up-and-g0 (must be the kernel).
If you are considering a Debian based distro like Mepis, Knoppix or Ubuntu, save yourself some time and go straight to the source. Check out Debian. Its a great comfortable medium between sickeningly technical like slackware or LFS and hold-your-hand distro's like Mandrake and SuSE. I think I found zen.
On a side note, slackware isnt sickeningly technical, just more involved. A great learning distro.
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:37 PM   #14
towjamb
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 87

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Package management; Community; Stability; Speed
Cons: Requires learning; Lacks some graphical config tools; Slow release


A year with Sarge on the desktop

I've discovered a lot about my computer and the delicate relation between hardware and software. I've learnt of kernels and configuration files, but mostly of how to use my noggin to figure things out on my own. Linux does that to a user. Because it's open, it invites you to explore and learn.

I won't sugar coat it; Sarge does not pamper the new user like SUSE or Mandrake might. While the Debian installer is a new milestone in simplicity, it does require some degree of prowess to achieve a fully functional desktop. But the result of a bit of time and effort is a rock-stable and modern workstation capable of many varying tasks.

One of Debians' strengths is the brilliant package management system coupled with a huge repository of precompiled binaries. Most of what you need is available to download or you can purchase cheap CDs from several vendors. Debian is one of a handful of community driven distributions with a rich social contract and dedication to a free and open platform. The fact that it runs on 11 architectures speaks of its breadth.

But what really matters to me, the user? Getting stuff done! And I can and prefer to do all work on my Debian box.

I enjoy the seemless upgrades, even of the kernel itself, with the graphical tool, Synaptic. Packages work well and I encounter very few bugs. I always choose only "upgrade" and haven't had a single broken package. It is very important to me to have a reliable machine, which is why I migrated from Windows.

Aside from the Nvidia driver, I haven't needed to look elseware for programs -- Debian provides it all. And the level of trust I have placed in the packages should not go unmentioned. All binaries from Debian repositories are clean. Try to fill an equivalent Windows PC with freeware off the Internet and you'll see your box dragged to its knees.

I can also add and remove hardware without much fuss. Sometimes things just work and at others some configuration or modprobing is needed. Recently, I upgraded the mainboard and processor but kept the hard drive. I was sure it would require a reinstall, but to my amazement the thing booted up and everything worked -- just try that with XP.

My desktop is fast, always consistant, predictable, and, IMHO, beautiful. From a working standpoint, it's difficult to express how comforting it is knowing a fussy app can simply be killed without bringing down the entire system, and that the system will run indefinitely without a reboot. The few problems I've encountered were quickly solved because the OS is so transparent. You just can't buy that kind of peace of mind.

Of course, all is not roses.

Sarge lacks a complete set of graphical system configuration tools like YAST, which I believe is on the way. Sure, everything can be done in text if you know where to look, but sometimes you just want things to be easy. Documentation can be sparse and dry at times. And I admit to pining for newer versions of software, like X.org and SID's K3B for dual-layer DVDs. There are ways around these issues and it does require one to look and learn.

So, can I recommend Sarge as a desktop OS? To use an analogy: If you prefer to have a meal prepared and delivered to your table, you'd best pick a shrink-wrapped distro like SUSE or Mandrake. But if you'd rather go right to the buffet and assemble a great meal to your pleasing, then Sarge should be on your menu.


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Old 12-08-2004, 01:05 PM   #15
initialdrifteg6
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Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: debian
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: apt-get
Cons: a few mistakes caused a reinstall


I am a die hard debian fan...

from

Mandrake --> Red Hat --> SuSE --> Fedora Core 1 --> Fedora Core 2 --> SuSE --> Debian

That's the point where i'm at... I definately love the debian OS and i got it working 95% flawless on my Dell Laptop (Inspiron XPS)... Video Card (ATI Radeon 9700) workin flawless with Direct Rendering Enabled.

As of right now... i can sit at my dell on a formatted harddrive and have the whole system up and running with all of my programs and drivers installed in just about an hour...

So i'm confident with debian so why not stay with it... it was easy for me to learn and easy for me to use... I downloaded the 110MB Sarge Installer and used

boot: linux26 acpi=on at the prompt to start fresh with 2.6.8 kernel

Even though it might not be the best dist. out there, i've got it working, it is a good dist, i'm happy that it plays my counterstrike faster than it did on windows, and i'm familiar with it... so why change.... =)
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:51 AM   #16
RobertP
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Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 451

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Huge selection of reliable packages and apt/synaptic are a great package management system.
Cons: It's not quite perfect...



I have been a computer geek since 1968 when I met a computer whose daddy couldn't add and didn't even try (IBM 1620). I met Linux in 1999 and was immediately hooked. Last year, I set up a Linux Terminal Server in the lab at my school. It was wonderfully reliable. I used k12ltsp. This year, in a different school, I did the same thing with Mandrake 10 and their terminalserver. I've had to reboot every two weeks due to instability. I've decided to switch to Debian because of its renowned stability and the wide availability of packages. K12LTSP is based on Fedora and I have been in rpm Hell too many times. Hell is where the latest and greatest programme will not install because your system has different libraries. In Debian, almost anything worth having is available by apt.
My school division is seriously thinking of switching to Linux after spending $300000 on PCs and software for that other OS and, in January, I will be giving a presentation on my classroom system to the other computer geeks in my division. I believe Debian will be a reliable configurable system and plan on showing the other geeks how to install and use Debian on a terminal server.
After extensive research and playing with KNOPPIX both from a live CD and doing the hdinstall, I started using Debian Sarge. Rather than disrupt the present system when students were using it, I installed on an old PC. I used debian-installer from a single CD download. It was a piece of cake. There were no glitches and everything worked immediately. For the terminal server, I wanted to use LTSP because similar packages for Debian seemed complicated to install. I downloaded the .tar.gz for LTSP4.1 and the only problem I had was that the LTSP installer failed to download stuff. I had to use the LTSP .iso . That worked. On the setup, the LTSP configuration program did most of the work but I had to enable XDMCP and TCP in /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf manually. Boot disks for thin clients can be made at http://www.rom-o-matic.net . I needed to configure a universal boot disk for clients with a non-standard port for DHCP and my Debian system made that a piece of cake for the 5.2.2 release of etherboot (http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=4233) I had four clients logged in no time to a 466MHz/64 MB machine and it would not crash even with all the swap used up. I added manually many useful packages for an educational environment. Using dpkg, I can automate the installation on the old server and a new one that I am building.
In spite of the abundance of packages for Debian, I was disapointed to find that neither LTSP nor OpenMosix have a current Debian package. As a Linux Terminal Server has its load grow, OpenMosix is a natural way of extending services. A tar.gz install and a kernel compile + patch will take care of that. ClusterKnoppix is a quicker set up.
My new server will be 64bit but can run i386, so I will start with i386 Sarge and have x86-64 from Alioth on separate partitions waiting in the wings. Debian plans not to release a 64 bit version until Sarge+1, so a bit of hacking may be needed.
Sites that were important to me in making my decisions were:
http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
http://bofh.be/clusterknoppix/download.htm
http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/tutorials/5667/1/
http://lwn.net/Articles/113527/
The latter describes installing an unofficial 64 bit version of Debian. Debian developers plan to run 32bit apps from a chroot jail, but there are few of those. Even OpenOffice will have a 64bit build soon.
Debian is a bit of an adventure to set up, but well worth the effort. With the debian-installer, almost anyone should be able to get a system working, and you can still have all the control you need at any point. CDs are probably easiest for a newbie, but net installation makes sense. One can set up a local mirror if many systems need to be set up or one can use a powerful terminal server and a bunch of dumb clients.
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:39 PM   #17
jordo2323
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Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 16

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Network Installation, # Packages, Customizibility.
Cons: Install needs some tweaking with hardware


I am an applications specialist for a fortune 1000 company. I don't mean to sound like I'm tooting my own
horn, but researching software is my occupation and I concentrate very hard on it.

I have tried several linux distro's, including Red Hat, Fedora, Mandrake, SuSe, and a few others. I have heard about users of Debian complaining that the install was a little harder than other distro's, but I didn't find that at all.

Network install and package management was a breeze with Debian. I burned one 100 MB file to a CD-RW, and apt-get took care of the rest. The FTP transfer session (installing the packages) didn't have any glitches, and the install time was way faster than installing Fedora from .iso's.

Apt-get blows any other package management system out of the water. By typing one easy to remember command, you can install/update any debian package listed with all dependent files. I wanted Firefox....so I typed: apt-get install mozilla-firefox. That was it. With RPM, I found that dependent files weren't installed automatically, and even if all dependent files were present for a package, it still wasn't even that reliable.

The only problem I have had with Debian Sarge was with my monitor config; and it was a small problem at that. KDE was extending some menus past the screen boundaries. Everything was visible and elegant, but this did cause an issue.

I would highly recommend Debian. It's true open-source, it has mothered many of today's other great distributions, and is supported by a community of true linux gurus worldwide.

Try DEBIAN. You won't regret it.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:10 PM   #18
mdt
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Pros: Up-to-date software, easily installed and maintained with the excellent APT system, combined with stable binary kernels and their sources (if you want them). New and easy-to-use installer, so even beginners can install it.
Cons: Parts of it are for professionals, and a normal user doesn't know how to handle it.


My favorite distro, for the above reasons. It is good to see a rock solid system combined with a reasoned infrastructure and at the same time configurable to the details. Respect, Debra, Ian and all the contributors!
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:24 AM   #19
Haraldsh
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Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Debian 2.6.9 Sarge
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Pros: apt
Cons: Not the easiest to make work


Debian is not the easiest distro to begin with, you should have some knowledge about linux in general before even thinking about using it.

If you still want to try it out, just be aware of the fact that every choice you do in the installation of Debian may cause some problems later on (may not only apply Debian though).
So be sure to have some knowledge about what you are actually doing.

I see myself as a mediocre linux user; I don't know everything, but I can get things to work after awhile.
Again Debian is not that easy.

An example;
I sat for two weeks trying to install a wifi driver on my t41p, not realising that I used too new kernel.
Of course the solution seems now obivious, but still..

But looking aside the problems, you can see the beaty of Debian;
It can update every program, compilers etc.. for you, instead of locating everything yourself.
It can even figure dependecies (which was one of the reasons for switching from redhat to debian) which may occur (often).

As a final note; when Debian runs, it runs.
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:15 AM   #20
harken
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Distribution: Debian Sarge, kernel 2.6.13
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Easy to use, many packages
Cons: A bit confusing installer, but you can get it working


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Old 02-03-2005, 04:34 PM   #21
jbstew32
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Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Debian 3.1
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Pros: LOTS of available software, easy software installation, new installer, no more dselect
Cons: Difficult for newcomers to install, setup, and use


I've never been a great fan of Debian. I used to prefer hte likes of Gentoo and Slackware, but having tried Sarge, it is my favorite.

The installation and setup could be especially difficult for those with lacking linux experience or those people that are afraid of the command line. If you are able to install and set everything up, you will have a stable and easy to maintain system. A simple "apt-get dist-upgrade" will keep your system up to date with the latest updates.

Debian is the best desktop linux I have used.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:47 PM   #22
mushmaster
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Pros: apt-get
Cons: none


debian is great. the package management is what really makes it for me.
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:00 PM   #23
wapcaplet
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Distribution: Gentoo
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Pros: Good package management, lots of up-to-date software available
Cons: Difficult to install and configure


I decided to do some distro-shopping recently. I tried the Debian Sarge network installer on 2/16/05; overall, I found it to be a disappointing experience. I expected a distribution as mature as Debian to have a better installation and configuration system. While the installer has improved somewhat since I installed Woody a couple years ago, it was still very frustrating.

Being a network installer, one of the first things to do was configure the network. My local network, not being DHCP, was not detected, but the manual configuration option allowed me to easily put in the IP of my router so the network could be used. Easy enough for me, but this step is likely to stump a newbie; it'd have been nice if the installer could detect that I'm connected to a local router.

Configuring the local time zone was easier than it is in many distros, except I always get dumbfounded by the question about whether the hardware clock is set to GMT; frankly, I don't care what the hardware clock is set to. I just want my clock to work (a seemingly simple desire that often meets with profound difficulty, in my Linux experience, but that's another topic).

The next moment of confusion was using the partitioner. Debian's partitioner recalled my earliest Linux installation experiences with RedHat 5.0. The terminology of /devs and /hdas is obvious and natural to me now, but at the time it totally baffled me, especially coming from a world in which drives were named simple things like C: and
D:. I found this modern Debian installer no easier to use than the partitioning interface in Redhat 5.0.

Anyway, I have an existing Gentoo system that I want to keep, and I even had a pre-Reiserfsed partition set aside for Debian; I was not interested in doing any partitioning at all, but merely needed to tell Debian where to put itself. A choice such as "Install Debian to an existing partition" should have been included on the menu that also included "Erase entire disk" and "Manually partition." I nervously chose "Manually partition," hoping there would be an option to exit the partitioner without saving the partition tables. I didn't want to take a chance on screwing my existing installation up.

At some point during the installation, I was informed that it was important that I know what port my mouse was on: PS/2, USB, and so forth. Fair enough, I said to myself; it's USB.

But then I was taken to a menu listing options such as "/dev/psaux", "/dev/ttyS0", "/dev/input/mice", with no description of what the hell any of those things mean. I had been expecting to have choices like "USB" and "PS/2", but no dice. (Another interesting aside: the simplest, most straightforward mouse-configuration I have ever seen in an installer was in muLinux: it said "move your mouse around and I'll figure out where it is." Why does one of the most minimalistic Linux distributions in existence have such an easy configurator, while mature distributions like Debian do not? Why don't all Linux installers have mouse-detection, instead of requiring the user to know the rather cryptic device name for a normal USB mouse?)

Another confusing menu: the selection of a repository site. The preceding pages (after choosing a country) explain that it's good to choose a mirror site that is geographically close. I am then presented with a list of university and other website acronyms, only a few of which even resemble places that I could maybe point to on a map. Hint: if you're going to ask the user to choose a geographically proximal site, it'd be good to at least mention what city and state these sites are in.

When I get to choosing what overall package categories I want to install, I choose to select packages manually, expecting that this step includes the installation of X, GIMP, and whatever else I may want to have. Unfortunately,
the aptitude interface is mysterious (even to a command-line fan), and I don't see those things listed; I figure, nevermind this - I'll just quit and go back to the regular task-based package selection. When I quit, though
that's it; a couple more loose ends, and the installer exits. I had at least noticed the name of the package-installer, so I know to run 'aptitude' again just to get my base system installed.

I install X, and end up in a configuration screen for specifying my monitor's refresh rates, which I was ready for. I choose 'nv' as my video driver, though had I not had repeated experiences with nvidia card configuration, I
probably wouldn't have known to use 'nv'. Again, some description here, if not the capability to select from a list of video card manufacturers/model numbers, is essential.

When I finally got into X, it used 800x600 resolution, a default that is well below the capabilities of my monitor. I wondered why I was not given the opportunity to configure a default resolution. Though, the config script that came with the X package is far friendlier than the archaic xf86config that I have been confronted with so many times. I still had to do some manual XF86Config-4 editing in order to get my resolution up, and took the opportunity to rename the "Generic" items to their proper names.

Now ensues the adventure that is trying to get a non-free package installed under Debian, namely the official nvidia drivers. But no: the nvidia kernel driver doesn't want to install because my kernel headers are the wrong version. I find that the correct kernel headers are not available in my default apt repositories. I give up, and decide that this is not worth the effort.

Had I continued, and managed to get Debian configured properly, I would probably be using it right now. I think apt is the best package management system I've ever used (aside from the relatively annoying step of hunting down appropriate apt repositories for the software I want). But after a couple wasted hours fiddling with just getting a usable X configuration (not to mention that my system clock still wasn't showing the right time), I decided to cut my losses.

I'd recommend Debian Sarge if you are already an expert in all aspects of Linux installation, know the names of your important devices, and don't mind installing software and editing some configuration files by hand. But if you just want to get Linux up and running, I'd suggest avoiding it.
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Old 02-27-2005, 12:35 PM   #24
tuxombie
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Distribution: Slackware 10, Ubuntu, Debian Sarge
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: Apt-get , fast, stable
Cons: difficult to set up, X


I managed to install Debian after several abortive attempts with Woody in the last six months caused by what eventually turned out to be bad cds. After getting an extra 80 GB HD, I had a lot of space to play around with. And I have Ubuntu sitting in another partition.

The Debian installer has improved a lot from Woody, and it almost walked me through. Ubuntu has an almost identical installer.I had trouble getting X up and running because of moniter configuration. After copying Ubuntu's config, it worked.

DMA was not set up by default. I might have missed something during the installer, but in any case, it is something that should have been transparent. I had to compile the kernel to get it working.

Apart from that , it is a fast, stable distro, and I have grudgingly given up Slackware as it went bad because of hardware and RAM problems.
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:32 AM   #25
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros:
Cons:


Debian Debian Debian! When I got the Sarge DVD with my tech magazine I could hardly wait to try it out that I completely removed Fedora Core 1 from my system and installed this.

I have never regretted this decision to switch.

Installation is not that difficult as it is made out to be. In fact, the Sarge installer is one of the easier installations that Linux affords you. Sure, the hand-holding of Fedora is not there in Debian, but for a fairly confident user, this distribution is excellent and easy to install.

This is actually one of the best binary-based distributions of Linux around for several reasons and I will outline them one by one.
  • An excellent package management system. Enough has been said about this, so I will restrict myself to saying that so far I have never had a failed installation or a dependency issue. Debian is rock solid.
  • Easy to keep up-to-date. With the Debian testing branch (as opposed to stable) you can have the a fairly up-to-date (but not the bleeding edge) system with very few hassles. Updating the system is very easy.
  • HUGE repository of ready to install packages on the web. This is one of the best reasons for anybody to use Debian. If you want a piece of software installed on Linux, chances are that Debian already has them on their web repositories. Constantly maintained, the Debian repository maintainers follow very strict standards of which software is good and which is not so you will have very few worries of installing a suspect software on your system.

On the other hand, Debian does not hold your hand. Graphical tools are conspicuous by their absence for various system settings, but this can be easily rectified by installing Webmin which allows you to administer your system through a web interface without having to go through the hassle of editing config files. This is actually the best part about Debian: if you want a tool to install on your system, just search using apt-get or Synaptic.

Would I recommend Debian for any newcomer to Linux? Yes. Purely because once up and running, you are free of headaches and broken dependencies that distros like Fedora gives you. Forever.
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Old 03-19-2005, 06:29 PM   #26
mohtech
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Distribution: Kubuntu/Debian
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: apt-get is great, reasonably easy to install
Cons: Not bleeding edge | Descriptions on installer could be reworked


I started with Knoppix in November, and was impressed by this first show of what Linux (A Live CD version) was capable of. I found out Knoppix was based off of Debian, so I began to explore. I have tried DSL, fedora core 3, ubanto, Mandrake, Suse, feather,red hat 7-9, Progeny, and I have always come back to Sarge.

The net install is great..its small enough to fit on a USB drive, and pretty much walks you through everything you need. You should know how your video card's driver translates to Linux, as well as what your type of mouse you have...the first time it took me a fwe shots in the dark before I figured my mouse out.

I have not gotten my printers or some video cards to work. I guess its my chance to learn something new...which is what Debian is all about. Maybe I will have to learn how to write a device driver!

Heard of a great program? apt-get it and try it out!

the installer is pretty reasonable. Some things could be a bit cryptic for new user, and I wish there would be redundant xserver check so you could easily reconfigure your GUI settings easily if they are incorrect.

If you google Progeny Linux, you will see discove that Ian (the ian in debIAN) and his crew are porting anaconda...if this gets mainstreamed then Debian will be top of the world!

Gnome 2.10 came out in March '05, and I am still using 2.6 so Sarge is a bit behind the curve, but that can aid stability.

Well thats all for now... give Sarge a try!
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Old 04-15-2005, 07:37 AM   #27
daft
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Registered: Jan 2005
Distribution: Debain
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Good installation cd, apt-get,big list of apillications, kernel independed
Cons: not the egde of new apps


Installing debian has become mutch more easy with the sarge install cd. Debian is a distro with huge amount of command line tools making it exelent for servers.

Im running Debian for my desktop for over 1 Year now. and useing MS XP well alomost never.

Updating and installing of software is easy. but sometimes config X tents to be a bitch. but this is on time only so it will not spoil my fun.

also the compilation of kernels is verry easy it makes a deb of it. and only thing you need to do is to install the deb.

verry easy to install kernels on multiple pc's
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:43 PM   #28
DrNeil
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Debian, Suse, Knoppix, Dyna:bolic, Mandrake [couple of years ago], Slackware [1993 or so]
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Easy net install
Cons: Sometimes apt makes idiotic errors


After having used nearly all distros over the years since the first Linux kernels, I find debian really nice and easy to install and to upgrade and to update, while still giving you all the possibilities to play around.

While installation is easy if it runs for a while the updates can become a bit tiresome, especially for people that have not yet broadband. [I have 3mb bb]. What is particularily annoying is that apt can make you lazy and can lead you sometimes into Nirvana. I had an update loop that was unsolvable clean and sometimes like with phpMySql it suddenly has to install the older version of say mysql, php although you already have the newer version installed. This happened with Zope, Apache PHP etc. This means that a minute change can suddenly result into a massive download while basically defuncting other packages..

On the other hand given the difficulties of dependencies it is still a job well done and after all you can still fall back on the good old tarball compile method, if you know what you are doing.

On a Laptop installation there are continuing issues with sound card detection, but that can be overcome.

I run debian now stable since over a year on a 933Mhz 128 MB Toshiba Laptop and an 1Gig 128MB AMD with an NVIDIA graphics card.

The Graphics card 3d Driver installation is also really easy with help of the net.

Overall I can really recommend the product.
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Old 06-04-2005, 09:15 PM   #29
Dreamcast
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Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: numerous options, easy application installation with apt-get
Cons: not the easiest Linux to install


Most distributions of Linux are very simular after the initial installation. Suse, Mandrake, and Mepis are all great distributions. My favorite part of Debian is the fact that it is a non-comercial ditstribution. Moreover, the folks at Debian have a social contract that protects the interests of the users.

Should you wish to install Debian Sarge on your PC you will only want the first 3 CDs of the Dozen or so CDs. CDs 4 and above have very specialized and rarely used applications.

If you want a quick and easy way to get Debian, install Knoppix on your harddrive. In less than 15 minutes, you will have pure Debian on your computer.
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Old 06-23-2005, 03:27 AM   #30
bp12345
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Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: Debian testing, Kubuntu 5.04
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $0.99 | Rating: 9

Pros: Synaptic pagkage manager is great, very stable
Cons: Install process is difficult and long, slower than other distros


Debian has a great package management system, automatically detecting all dependancies and conflicts. Easy to update and comes with a lot of software (about 15500 packages). Debian also comes with KDE and GNOME, with Blackbox and Xfce optional (good for slow computers).
The install process is still hard, but significantly better than earlier Debian releases. Also, you can play minesweeper at the package selection of the install process. :)
Debian is a bit slower than Fedora Core, Ubuntu or Mepis, but it has never creashed once. Only individual apps crash sometimes, or when Windows messes the partition up (I don't know how it manages to do this). There is also a great community and lots of help online, not that you really need it very much.
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