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debian Debian 3.1 r0
Reviews Views Date of last review
31 66131 03-21-2007
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
84% of reviewers $11.00 8.0



Description: Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (‘sarge’)


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Old 07-15-2005, 02:12 AM   #1
Dreamcast
 
Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 51

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

Pros: huge software library, easy to add new programs, volunteer run, advocate for free software
Cons: Installing is much easier than 3.0. Still, configuring hardware is challenging.



If you want an easy to learn to use distrobution, then pay your $40 for Mandrake Discovery or $60 for Mandrake power pack. Unfortunately, you will need to spend money every 12 months to keep your Mandrake system current with the latest software.

Learning to use Debian is a royal pain in the rear end. Still, once you learn some of the basics of Debian, you will never want to return to a different operating system. Your choices are limitless with Debian.

Because Debian is a noncomercial distrobution, I trust it more than other operating systems. I know that Debian places my interests above all other interests.

 
Old 07-18-2005, 01:52 PM   #2
pradeepyamujala
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: Debian-Sarge, WinXP, 2003 Server, Longhorn
Posts: 5

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

Pros: Unmatchble Distro with guarenteed functionalitys
Cons: As everybody know, Installing and configuaring it is better headack


As far as me concern Debian is for advance users who really want play with TUX. This is the only Distro (i check ed 10 varied Distros) where, as a programmer i got better feelings. This distro bundilled with 6000+ packages for further needs. It is Grate if u capable to install and configure it.

Don;t expect any HiFy graphics becaous the latest distro Debian 3.1 is using KDE 3.2 there FC4 is using 3.4. comes with no theme manager. But one good thing is u can instal any pakage which is made for ant distr like .rpm using alien command. So no need to search for debian pakage.

If u r a programmer personally i recommend Debian.

-----------------------------------------
Working With WinXP and Exploring LINUX since 19th AUG 2000. Both r grate at their pros. Atlast They r OSs.
 
Old 07-29-2005, 04:52 PM   #3
Erik_the_Red
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 113

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

Pros: Compiled well, tested stability
Cons: Packages will become out of date very quickly


I used Debian 3.1 on a Dell Latitude D800 that was essentially fully loaded.

Compared to Ubuntu I would say that Debian is made better. There seem to be less bugs, and the binaries seem to operate more smoothly.
 
Old 07-31-2005, 09:49 PM   #4
cddesjar
 
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 125

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

Pros: 15,000 packages, aptitude, easy to install, great community
Cons: none


I have been running linux now for a year and half. I started with Fedora, then Slackware, and now I have arrived at Debian. I have only been using Debian for a few months but it was worth the switch from Slackware. Apt-get is an incredible tool. It works wonders. The 15,000 packages in the debian repository makes getting a program super easy (apt-get install <package>). The team at irc.freenode.net #debian are super helpful and will answer any question (there are usually around 800 people just hanging out).
Granted Sarge is a little out of date already. It comes with KDE 3.3 while the rest of the distros coming out have KDE 3.4 but if you upgrade to Etch or Sid then you'll be able to keep up to date on software.
I hope this helps and I recommend Debian with no reservations to anyone looking for a great, extremely stable distribution with a great package manager.
Cheers!
 
Old 08-10-2005, 02:04 AM   #5
sarajevo
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: Debian, OpenBSD,Fedora,RedHat
Posts: 228

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

Pros: A lot of packets, and easier than woody 3.0 to install.
Cons: none


First I used Suse 9.1 and it was easy to install for me, after Suse I have used Knnopix and then Ubuntu.
Six months ago I tryed Debian Woody 3.0, and I was amazed how good it is.Last month I installed Debian Sarge on my computer adn I think it is the best operating system I ever installed on my computer.

I also recomended Debian to all my friends as best distro(in my opinion), and many of them now use it.

Finally Debian is the best, or simpy the best






 
Old 08-12-2005, 05:40 AM   #6
crazymulgogi
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: SuSE 9.1
Posts: 2

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: $11.00 | Rating: 6

Pros: huge amount of packages
Cons: even with a lot of guidelines I got stuck


I wanted to try Debian Sarge because it is supposed to be stable, because it has a good multilingual support and because I got annoyed with the fact that my SuSE system crashed a couple of apps now and then. I printed out a very detailed install and post-install manual, but after the basic install I didn't get to know what kind of desktop Debian was installing. It was rather vague at that point. I got into a black screen in which Debian simply didn't recognize my root password, which I carefully typed, anyway I got frustrated and I reinstalled my SuSE Linux 9.1 system, now considering to update that. I wonder if Debian is really only for expert users (which I'm not), because the entire basic install was good, everything was detected perfectly. A little vague menu on the partitioning however. The installer lets the DVDs scan themselves carefully for failures, which I like.
 
Old 08-15-2005, 12:41 PM   #7
JeanBrownHarrel
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu Linux 12.04 [64-bit version] THE BEST!!!
Posts: 50

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 1

Pros: Great product & fixes the blank screen problem on laptops
Cons: Laptop sound card does not work & memory leak the size of Texas which makes it hog all my RAM!!!


Loved the product as it is usually great on regular desktop computers but not too good on laptops as it has a problem with the sound card on my Dell Latitude C600 and it would sometimes crash when I would use a certain feature on my desktop and my laptop or go crazy after using the same feature on my laptop. Also discovered that the 64-bit version of Sarge and Etch have a memory leak the size of Texas. I leave either one on for more than 20 minutes and it hogs all of my 1 GB RAM. Apparently it is the Xserver/Xwindow system. Not sure which. Ubuntu Hoary Hedgehog does not have this memory leak and neither does FC2-i386. I leave either one on for days and no memory leak. One time it logged out unexpectedly due to some unknown bug; this has happened a couple of times. The sound card is an ESS Maestro3 brand and it would not work with this Distro but it would with FC2 & FC4 and Ubuntu and Red Hat Linux 7.3. Also it would download program updates but REFUSED to install them as it said the public key was invalid or the updates were unsigned (no public key) and it did NOT have any option to choose to go ahead and install the updates without invalid or nonexistent public keys; fixed this problem; I just don't install deb-sig(?). Also Debian refused to up the resolution of my screen to at least 1024x768 on my big computer and also on my laptop; fixed this problem too; I just use dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 or xserver-xorg to reset the low resolution. It insisted on 800x600 on both my laptop and my big computer. Ridiculous as my big computer has a Viewsonic VE510b LCD monitor with a resolution of 1024x768 and video card Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 agp8x with 256 MB of video RAM. My laptop will go up to more than 1400+x1000+ with Ubuntu so another reason that I could not use Debian. I could never figure out how to up the resolution. If I tried it still reverted to 800x600. That's why FC2-i386. Superb hardware detection for monitor and graphics card. Other than that Debian was a great distro. Would have loved it tho. Ubuntu has the same problem with unsigned/unverified updates and refuses to install them. Great distro too and no sound card problem and no blank screen on my laptop. Debian was stable and fixed the blank screen problem on my laptop but when the sound card would not work and could only install 500 updates manually one by one I then decided to go back to FC2 [the 32-bit version-the most stable of Fedora Core versions]. A little tweaking and I fixed the blank screen problem. FC4 has apt and synaptic but they won't work right. They want to remove the core of my FC4-x86_64 system and leave it unusable and even want to remove themselves as well. I installed yumex on my big computer as it is a gui for yum. I still prefer apt and synaptic. That is why FC2 [32-bit version] will stay on my laptop. Debian is a great distro if you get accustomed to the installer. The installer is somewhat difficult to use but once you figure it out it is OK. I had planned on migrating to Debian in the future but now I have decided to stay with Fedora Core 2 and/or Red Hat Linux 9. For a 64-bit processor I had to install FC4-x86_64 as the 64-bit version of FC2 crashes on me as soon as I install it so that it is totally unusable and I hate FC3 and refuse to use it. So there you are. Sure loved Debian, though. May even try it one more time on my AMD64 system just to see if it works better than FC4. Real shame as Fedora Core & Red Hat Linux used to be good distros but no longer are. Also tried Mandrake as well. Blank screen on my laptop, etc. Mandrake is a joke. It is the worst of all.

PS: I re-installed FC2-the 32-bit version on my big computer as well as it is the only version of Fedora Core that works right. Had too many problems with all the 64-bit versions of all these distros. So I have to use a 32-bit operating system on my 64-bit processor-an AMD Athlon64 3400. Well, I guess FC2-i386 is the only good distro there is out of all distros in existence. Also my brother agrees with me on this more or less.
 
Old 08-21-2005, 04:41 AM   #8
ChristianNerds.com
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 2

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

Pros: Massive package database, simple updates, large userbase
Cons: Not the easiest to install, no forum for asking questions on their homepage


For a user like me, who loves the concept behind linux, but just wants a distrobution that you set up once and leave it that way, Debian tends to be one of the best Linux distrobutions.

There's an ever-expanding number of packages that you can download and install by using one simple command: 'apt-get install <packagename>' and there are pretty-constant updates.

If you're not one who likes to wait for all packages to become entirely stable, there are also testing and unstable branhes of Debian. Debian has the reputation of being behind the times because they wait for all of their programs to become rock-solid before letting them get into their stable branch of their distrobution, but that is a great advantage to those running that distrobution as a server.

It truely holds to that distrobution, as many people claim that even the testing and unstable brances of Debian are more stable than many, but be forewarned. The unstanble branch can truely be unstable sometimes, so if you use that branch, don't just blindly update packages just because there are new ones available. It may break your system.

Personally, I stick with the stable branch, because I don't want to worry about that stuff.

Anyway, Debian is rock=solid, and wonderful. For a basic user, it's great. Not quite as user-friendly as Mandrake, but alot easier to keep updated too.
 
Old 09-06-2005, 09:05 AM   #9
Chuck Strut
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Posts: 1

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

Pros: Has alwas stuck to true Linux Values
Cons: Not yet a Desktop


I have been using off Windows since 1998. I have Debian to thank for helping in to my sobreity. As I take my 12 steps everyday I have millions who hold my hand.

I have tried many Linux distros Turbo linux, Suse 7.1,7.2,8.0,9.1,9.3 Red Hat 7.0, 8.0 ,9.0. Ubuntu, Damm small, Gentoo, Mandrake, Coral, Knoppix, Xandros, Slackware and Fedora Core 2 all good in there own right but as good as Debians lastest child.

While running all these otheres over the years I have alway had a Debian PC and Server close at hand.
They have people who are very helpful and professional.
You only need to download Debian once in your life and just update it. It dose not release very 6months but only when its ready. So you dont have a imature realse like Windows always dose. There fixes are fast and upgrade are easy. Apt-get is better than YOU or RPM packages
Its one of a very few that have not gone some how commecial.What a wonderful set of guys to work with.
Its no wonder some of the best distro's out there are based on Debain.
This should have 10 but I give it a 9 because they are not attempting to make it a desktop O/S.
Now a stand with my fellow man Mad Dog when he says that Linux is not ready for the desktop. But keep tring.
I have one other small thing with Debain is qmail.Why not have qmail? The two go together like pees in a pod. If you use Debian as a mail server use qmail not the default.Much more stable and faster.
All software is work in progress, nothing is perfect but Debian is almost there.
 
Old 10-14-2005, 02:24 PM   #10
zvonSully
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian maniak(apt-get upgrade)
Posts: 85

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

Pros: .deb package system; huge community; installer in many languages; works on many architectures; provides even a HURD and FreeBSD kernel
Cons: some packages are updated with a delay from announcement


this line installs all the kde(with dependencies)
apt-get install kde
 
Old 11-20-2005, 06:58 PM   #11
AllenM
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Posts: 1

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 1

Pros: Installed fine in Auguest 05
Cons: Oct. and Nov. install messed up


Everything had workedfine in Auguset of this year when I installed debian on a cd from a book called Linux Bible eddition 05. I had deleted it while trying to update kernal. I have not been able to suceessfully install in October and November. I have noticed e2fsprogs would look apt-get up. I have wasted almost a day trying to install the testing version.
 
Old 01-26-2006, 04:24 AM   #12
 
Registered: Dec 1969
Posts: 0

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Complete, Docs easy to find, works
Cons: dselect is bad news, the first install


I installed played with Debian 3.1rc having used Fedora Core since it was released. I used it for a week and then changed to it permanently for the following reasons:
- I found all development libraries/packages I needed on the 2 dvds

- The config files like modules.conf were very complete. You can comment/uncomment what you need. Fedora only gave you what they thought you needed.

- the package manages dpkg, synaptic, apt-get are much more powerfull than rpm. Solving of dependencies works very well under Debian.

- docs are easy to find. It took 20 mins to build my first deb package. I could not build a working rpm package in a long time.

The install is a bit time consuming. You only have to install once.

Thanks,
Rob Key
 
Old 02-07-2006, 09:27 AM   #13
ewlabonte
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 66

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

Pros: Fast, apt-get is great
Cons: Installation still needs some work


I tried to install debian back in the woody days and I could never get the sound to work. This time the only thing that I needed to do was tweak XF86Config-4 a little. I am really impressed. Debian is much more responsive than Ubuntu. Running Gnome in Debian is faster than xfce in (X)Ubuntu. There simply is no better package manager than apt-get, and it works better under debian than under any of the debian knock-offs.
 
Old 03-22-2006, 08:01 PM   #14
MbowerARA
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 35

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Great package manager, quick
Cons: packages can be a little dated, unless you run testing, or unstable


Great distro
It really is a toss up between Gentoo and Debian for me. I would really go with either one.
 
Old 03-29-2006, 02:47 AM   #15
QuickSHADOWMAN
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: OpenSuSE 11.1 Beta2
Posts: 31

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

Pros: Debian 3.1(Etch) Is the most stable with plenty of free packages out there to install.
Cons: None for me.


The most stable platform that I have ever ran on my machine since starting to use Linux years ago.

Started with Mandrake 8.1, tried RedHat 9, and ended up with Fedora Core 2, then 3, and tossed them for another version of Mandrake, 9.2 thru 10.2. Went over to Progeny Debian, and finally ended up with Debian Etch, which is the best of everything that I have tried, even the testing version of SuSE 10, which I have on another drive.

For those of you who do not know, Etch is the testing version of 3.1(Sarge). For me it works better than Sarge, as I like to run the latest kernels, 2.6.15-8. But then I am a habitual tweaker. That happens to some of us, when we first learn how to control our systems. LOL Well, I recommend it. Have fun and enjoy Linux.
 
Old 04-18-2006, 04:59 AM   #16
baikonur
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: debian
Posts: 255

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: very convenient package management; a stable OS
Cons:



even upgrades to another release JustWork(tm) !
that's something no other OS can honestly claim.
 
Old 05-04-2006, 08:04 AM   #17
cseanburns
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 117

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

Pros: stable, apt-get, non-commercial
Cons:


I'm more of a BSD fan so I'm really looking forward to Debian GNU/NetBSD, but I've got to say, Debian GNU/Linux is a beautiful OS. I've downloaded tons of software via apt-get and every piece has run without a hitch.

There may be easier ways to install Debian, but I only installed the base system, without X, and doing so takes a little knowledge and building your system from the base package takes a little knowledge, but it's been worth the effort and time and the benefits of knowing exactly what's on your very lean system is priceless.

This is the best Linux distro I've ever run and it's been one of the most pleasurable of any unices.
 
Old 05-20-2006, 10:06 AM   #18
demiansan
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Distribution: Debian testing.
Posts: 8

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Software in thousands, many platforms and freedom.
Cons: Configuration isn't easy sometimes.


As a mac user, i've tried Yellow Dog Linux (RPM based distro for PowerPC , like Fedora Core for PC) and it worked fine, but everything was to automatic, i didn't feel like feeling or learning linux, a lot of things were point and click, write password here and there... and here we go (very good for beginners, but not for me).

Then, found Debian... looks like for i386 platforms, but no, also powerpc and a lot more.
Tested the Stable version (Woody in those times): terrible experience.
But then a friend told me about the Testing version: Wonderful experience.

A lot easier to install, configure and make work, more compatible, very updated, and of course with the linux feeling and control.
 
Old 06-16-2006, 03:56 AM   #19
astelix
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: debian 3.1 etch
Posts: 2

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: Humungous free software library just from default repositories
Cons: Install don't work perfectly on etch and still unresolved multimedia dilemma


My box:
Athlon XP2400+ via KT600 chipset, 1GbDDR400, ATI Radeon9800Pro,Samsung syncmaster LCD monitor

Sarge (the stable):
no issues coming out the installer except that it set my monitor max resolution to 800x600 but no a great issue. If you are seeking stability this is your flavour but don't expect the latest software releases until Debian boys state that is STABLE (and this means loooong time passing).

Etch (the testing):
some issues installing it (netinst): it aint put in the grub bootlist my windows2k hd as sarge did and, while is not a great issue for me, maybe it could be pestering for the non initiated. Once all is in place you got a fast Gnome desktop that, thanks to a free software choice "a' la gran carte" you should build the desktop of your dreams. BUT...keep in mind that this is not stable distro so, even if you would expect a SLIGHTLY less shacking desktop, this is mainly left to the developement stage, as is that you will see you updating your system updates almost daily and sometimes with unespected results so this could be a really funny distro but just if you are a fearless hacker.

Words of one who have passed beyond (with this order): Slackware,Gentoo,Mandriva,Suse,Ubuntu,Fedora4,Debian and stopped here.
 
Old 06-29-2006, 10:33 PM   #20
Mizzou_Engineer
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Gentoo 2007.0 x86 & amd64
Posts: 25

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 5

Pros: Lots of packages in APT repository
Cons: Kernel too old to run my NF4 chipset fully


I have used Debian before on my laptop, which is admittedly an older model. It is okay- very stable, but a kernel recompile is always needed to compile in the modules to run the hardware, even in that 4-year-old machine. It is also much more of a pain to get things up and configured in Debian than something like SuSE and it's even harder than doing so in Gentoo! It is also pretty outdated- but if you want up-to-date, Etch or Sid are your Toy Story guys to use.

I attempted to install Debian Sarge AMD64 on my computer and the installer got no farther than loading the kernel modules for the installer and it complained that they were not present. Ooookay. I then tried the 32-bit version, which successfully booted and installed onto my desktop. When I rebooted and started it up, X puked at me and left me in a terminal. Okay, I can deal with that. After tweaking with XFree86, I got the config to what it should have been- but it still puked. So I try to wget the NVIDIA drivers as that tends to help- oh, but my Ethernet controller is not even found- the NForce4 chipset requires a kernel >= 2.6.10 to have support, and Sarge is 2.6.9. With no net connection, the box was rendered incapable of helping itself, so I had to nuke it and put something else on there.

I really like using APT (on Ubuntu) and like the whole idea of Debian- and its offshoots are VERY good- but its rather rotten hardware support generally sours the deal to the point of me finding something else.
 
Old 07-10-2006, 08:55 AM   #21
weibullguy
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Slackware-current, Cross Linux from Scratch, Gentoo
Posts: 2,676

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Lots of packages available, stable, apt-get, easy to install
Cons: &quot;Too&quot; stable


Debian offers many thousands of packages from the default repositories. I still had to add a couple of additional repositories to get all of the packages that I wanted. In my mind that is the only negative about Debian, it is "too" stable sometimes. Of course, I haven't found a Linux distro yet that is really unstable.

Stability is one reason I chose Debian because I didn't feel that I needed to be cutting edge for the things I do with the computer. Unfortunately, not every FOSS project out there has the same philosophy as the Debian team regarding stability. I found myself having to install from source more than I wanted to be able to take advantage of some of the latest releases of the software I was using.

I also had an older machine when I became a Linux revolutionary. Debian worked fine on the older machine, but when I built a new box, Debian wasn't taking advantage of the hardware features available. This was the case with Etch as well.

On the other hand, Debian is easy to install. My 12-year old installed Debian 3.0 and only asked me one question. The only thing he asked was whether the URL for one of the Debain mirrors was Michigan State. Not a show-stopper; he could've picked any mirror and installed successfully.

I also like apt-get and the GUI Synaptic. In my experience, apt-get does do a better job of resolving dependencies than rpm. Both are easy to use also. Once again, my 12-year old installs, removes, and updates packages all the time and hasn't busted a thing.

Overall Debian is an outstanding distribution. I certainly respect the Debian team's philosophy regarding stability. However, seriously assess your computing needs, you might find like I did that you're more cutting edge than you think.
 
Old 07-17-2006, 02:18 PM   #22
burninGpi
 
Registered: Mar 2006
Distribution: Gentoo ~amd64
Posts: 163

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 1

Pros:
Cons: wouldn't boot


Wouldn't boot. I tried every method, but got the same result.
 
Old 08-06-2006, 04:42 AM   #23
today53
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 70

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: Very easy to find and install new softwares
Cons: Installation and dated Kernel


It took me almost two months of reading and trying to have Debian set up on my PC. There have been a lot of problem trying to get X windows up and running.

However, once it is set up, everything just runs smoothly and properly. I am not a technical person, and I don't have the knowledge and experince to say anything about the structure of the system, but comparing to Mandrake, Fedora or even Ubuntu. Debian turns out to be a very good and trouble-free system, so far.

Would definitely recommed it to people if they don't mind a bit of reading.
 
Old 08-07-2006, 02:05 PM   #24
PingFloyd
 
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 94

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: Stability, seems relatively secure out of the box, and very stable.
Cons: Seems to have a rather high overhead and requirements in some ways.


Keep in mind I'm no Linux expert by any means. My experiences with Linux is that I've installed and used Debian, Slackware, and Red Hat in the past a little bit, but it was more recently that I got back into Linux a few months or so ago when I installed Debian again. I do have a long history with many different computers on different platforms over many years dating all the way back to early 8-bit systems though. So this review is really a matter of my conceived perceptions and impressions.

My overall impression of Debian is that it really shows how pretty much everything in life is a double-edged sword or a tradeoff and that great things are about weighing the pros and cons and making wise decisions. Debian seems to do a really good balancing act with things IMHO.

Installation:
I did the installation through the internet. They provide a very elegant means by which to do so. It's actually rather simple and straight forward, however it can probably be rather daunting to newer users. Doing the net install is sort of a sink or swim affair unless you've made some provisions beforehand for a contingency plan in case things should go wrong. In other words, an experienced user will probably have themselves covered or doesn't really see this as really an issue since they probably already know how to build a system from ground up already, but a less experienced one may find themselves caught between a rock and hard spot without the guidance of someone more experienced. This is kind of what I mean about double-edged sword and tradeoffs -- Debian provides a great, and rather ideal, install facility for the confident and seasoned (though, sometimes it seems to really get you to worry a bit. I'll get to that later) that don't want to be weighed down with extraneous facilities. For example, it's installer gives a good array of options so that the install can be mostly automated or as detailed as you want without bombarding you with alot of fluff and unneeded prompting etc. There again though, is the double-edged sword. The streamlined and to the point nature of it is great when you are familiar with the presented options, but can be a bit daunting when you're presented with an option that you don't quite understand the full ramifications of, since it's not always clear what Debian is really going to do with it down on the nuts and bolts level of things.

The best thing is that you have quite a few options and what manner you can install the system. Off the top of my head, you have 2 different types of means of installing through the internet, can purchase a distro CD from one of their partners, or can download a distro ISO and install from it. This is a great thing since it covers alot of different bases for people with different situations. In my case, this was on an old system that doesn't have a CD or DVD burner, is my only system available right now, and money was tight at the time. Debian allowed me to get a powerful and versatile operating system up and running under my circumstance. Debian's versatility in installation means and methods may very well be why it's such a popular distro (last I looked on Linux Counter, it appears that Debian has a very large share).

Configuration:
Configuration seems to be one of the aspect of Debian that can in some ways be very nice, and in other ways, lead to some serious frustration. It's packaging system and repositories are a wonderful thing. Debian has developed a great infrustructure that captures the goals of GNU and open source and handles management of files and software nicely. It really demonstrates how Linux is the ideal platform for those that don't like limitations imposed on them.

The frustration with configuration seems to come from how Debian has their way of doing things. It can sometimes be very confusion trying to get things configured how you want. It also can be a bit daunting since it's not always that clear of what effects or ramifications, the changes you make, will carry. A big part of that is the lack of distribution specific documentation. Don't get wrong, there is actually quite a bit of it, but it's often rather convoluted and more terse than it needs to be.

A good example of an ideal way to tackle how to handle configuration is how Slackware's does it. Slackware seems to adhere to an ideal of keeping things straight forward and to the point. It doesn't bother itself with overdoing "user friendliness". Instead, it takes a direct approach with things and that is how things should be done IMHO. Slackware seems to provice excellent documentation that is straight to the point, much like it's distro, while at the same time it explains things enough that you can understand what you need to when you are about to make a change. Debian tends to be where if you need to tweak something it ends up branching out into a million different related topics to understand the ramifications of what you were going to change. This is also how it's handling of configuation feels as well -- it can often be difficult to figure out what is precisely responsible for what, and if what you are reading is currently applicable to your system with it's current versions of things.

This is not really a knock against Debian though. Afterall, Debian is a very large scale project. With large scale projects comes the needs for stricter conventions and standards (which they seem to apply). I also tend to think that Debian has had to come up with some of their "own ways of doing things" because of the sheer scope of what they cover. Slackware provides a good example of an adaptable distro in that you are given alot of freedom to stray away from it's established mold unlike what it seems with Debian. Again, I don't know if you can fault Debian for that, but that is where it becomes even more important for there to be good, clear, and consise distribution-specific documentation. I do see that they are always making great efforts in doing that though. I think perhaps, it's really matter of getting great writers to become involved in it's documentation. If you're an "alpha geek" the docs are probably just fine, but they can often seem rather ambiguous or too long winded for your average person.

Debian definitely does cover alot and that is one of it's big strengths. So to their credit, they can probably be considered very successful at keeping things simple for the scope of what they take on. Perhaps the real problem I have with it is that it seems to me they really need to come up with a better means of organizing documentation. Afterall, their distro-specific docs are good about being rather thorough which is very important, but it could offer more examples to demonstrate concepts, as well as, more tips and general rules of thumb. Also clearer indication of what is still applicable and what it not to different versions. One might be thinking that this is where picking up a good book comes in handy, however, one has to consider the lag time of printed and published materials. Regardless, the ideal is for there always to be good included distro-specific documentation with any distribution. Especially with something that can be as complex as Linux and Debian.

The bottom line is that Debian takes on a big undertaking and probably does about as good of job with it as can be done.

Broad appeal:
Like mentioned earlier, Debian covers alot of ground. It can be a very powerful and versatile distro of Linux while at the same time makes provisions for inexperienced users to be able to use the system. Keyword is use. It doesn't try to make administration friendly, but that's a probably good thing in that it keeps it from being as limited and allows you probably be able to apply Debian to almost any need out of the box and within established protocol and mindset. For example, my girlfriend isn't very computer savvy and doesn't have the interest of understanding computers, but she does need one and likes to do your standard end-user things. I on the other hand am a very paranoid user that wants a very secure OS that I can customize to my hearts content, and have direct control of what it's doing/allowing. Debian seems to accomplish both of these goals pretty well so far. It seems to have taken on the task of trying accomidate both types of needs that are in conflict with each other about as good as can probably be done. It doesn't overwhelm the end-user too much, while it gives the paranoid admin/user the direct control they need and doesn't purposely try to hide things (They very much have the philosophy that security by obscurity == stupidity and insanity. The sometimes obscurity of Debian is instead out necessity to facilitate it's versatility and high functionality). I suppose that can be said of Linux in general, but Debian seems to adhere to that general goal in manner that can appeal to many different people while also adhereing the ideal and philosophy of GPL and open source.

Anyway, that's how I percieve Debian so far. I'm not all knowing and am capable of ignorance and naivety. I could come back in a month and have totally different take on it all. That's what learning is all about though and one never runs out of things to learn in life. This review was more to share the feelings I have based upon the experiences I've had with Debian so far. Ideally it may somehow help anyone who is curious about Debian. Overall, I really like it. There is times where I sometimes contemplate replacing it with a different distro, but so far I opt not to since it really feels like it could be the system that gets as close to what I want as possible. It's just that it's going to take some time and considerable effort to mold it to be more exact for needs and desires and it feels like pretty much everything that I'll need (versatility, a good infrustructure based around it, and strong adherence to open source), and more, is there to be able to reach that goal.
 
Old 09-07-2006, 12:12 PM   #25
jbumgar
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1
Posts: 23

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 1

Pros: small basic download
Cons: time wasted


Although 301r has small download that is the only good thing I have to say about it.

On my HP 585 I never could get past the setup partions phase. It would never recognize my free space that I saved back for linux on purpose.

To me it sucks and was a waste of my time.
 
Old 10-03-2006, 12:10 AM   #26
JackieBrown
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Debian-AMD64 Sid
Posts: 481

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

Pros: Excellent hardware support - fast updates
Cons: none


A Debian install can be as snall or large as you could possible want.

The end result, a system to meet your needs.

My internet, video, sound, etc.. was all detected correctly and painlesly.

I wish all other linux distro could be this easy.
 
Old 10-25-2006, 10:54 AM   #27
pcesar
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Posts: 1

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

Pros: Very Stable, High Performance, Truly Secure
Cons: Not very user freindly like other distros


As far as i know, many other distro are trying to pass to the other side, the "Commercial ONE". Debian is truly faithfully to the Open Source.

This Distro/Debian, is very recommended if you want to learn, understand and develop the linux Core. It will give you great skills in manage linux systems.

I personally recommend to try it, because you will love it.

Best Regards to all
--
 
Old 01-04-2007, 01:05 PM   #28
Asymmetry
 
Registered: Jan 2007
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 13

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

Pros: Package tree is stable, dependency resolution is near-flawless. The installer does what it is designed to do, and it does it without failure.
Cons: Minor cosmetic shortcomings.


<P>When I started using Linux, my first attempt was SuSE Linux 6.1. As a thirteen year old computer nerd, Linux was the next greatest thing since a native 32-bit operating system. Except for the fact that SuSE 6.1 was far from great. The system is question was a Dell with a 500MHz P3. It's not that it ran slowly. I could have understood that. The installer was spotty and unstable, to say nothing of the OS itself. That set me off from Linux for a little while. </P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P>Later, at the behest of a friend of mine, I tried Red Hat Linux 9. That was a little better, and for a time, I was a loyal Red Hat fanboy, simply out of lack of experience with anything else. Once I had gotten my feet wet in the Linux realm, it was the only thing I wanted to use.</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P>I followed the releases of Fedora Core up until revision 3. I decided that there were greener pastures to be found, mostly because of Red Hat's continued Windowfication of its operating system. I found Gentoo, and I had my ricer phase. That was short lived (about two weeks) when I realized that Gentoo was prone to catastrophic failures, even when using only the most basic of settings and USE flags.</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P>Moving on once more, I discovered Ubuntu. Ubuntu was, for a long time, my operating system of choice. But there was still something about it, something mysterious, something nebulous and undefined that made me uneasy. So, I followed Ubuntu to its roots, and found Debian.</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P>Debian. To me, Debian is the creme de la creme of Linux operating systems. The package management system is robust, clean, stable, and infinitely powerful. The installer is straight and to the point, simple, unassuming, not as glitzy and gaudy as some of its counterparts.</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P>The system doesn't do anything with grandeur, nothing truly stands out about it (the exception being, of course, apt). It simply runs, and runs well. I use it on every system I have. I use it on my desktop without issues, even with my WPA-RADIUS setup. I use it on my laptop with the same success. My server runs Debian etch. I have had no problems of any kind with Debian since I began using it almost a year ago. It will probably always be my first pick.</P>
 
Old 01-14-2007, 10:31 AM   #29
eric_marsh
 
Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 31

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0

Pros:
Cons:


I've been running Debian since the Woody release. I like the fact that it's non-commercial, though I do think it's time that I donate some funds. The biggest down side is that the stable releases tend to be kind of old. One of the biggest up sides is the apt utility which makes it trivial to install and upgrade software.

I just installed the Etch release on a new dual core machine and upgraded my laptop to Etch from Sarge. Everything went pretty well, except that in both cases I had to do a little investigation and tweaking to get X to work, as Etch moved from XFree86 to XOrg. Now that that's done I'm mostly happy except for one thing, which is not a Debian bug, it's a KDE bug. The 3.5.5 version of the KDE vnc server crashes when connected with either the "Chicken of the VNC" and TightVNC clients. Hopefully they will get that bug sorted out soon.
 
Old 02-19-2007, 05:03 AM   #30
Frank Soranno
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 230

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Rock solid, Stable.
Cons: Little problems with install.


Love it, very reliable, great package manager apt. Has great developers also trying to move a head with trusted applications.
 
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