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Old 06-18-2003, 11:00 PM   #1
syouth333
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Registered: May 2002
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Prospective Debian user


Ok so i've been using linux for about 5 years now. Used red hat, it was ok, loved slackware, but hated the package management, used SuSE, mandrake, storm, corel(BLEH sorry first distro), caldera, and have settled on gentoo. i really liked how easy it was to update and i also love how complex it can be at the same time. For me it is comparable to the fun of slackware, but with better package management...howver i have a gripe, which is the compiling and the sometimes just things breaking horribly. Not that i don't enjoy tinkering with things, but i am also going into a second year of college and i use this computer for everything, so i depend on it working always. I hear good things about debian from friends and i've been thinking about giving it a try. Although this will require getting rid of gentoo for the time being, which has become my distro of choice. I also keep hearing about how archaic debian can be and i do enjoy being on the bleeding edge with software updates. And i know i can run debian unstable, but is it worth it? So i figured it would be a great idea to ask actual debian users about debian. Maybe even better, ones who've used gentoo. I don't mean to start a flame war but debian is something i have been considering. And i imagine other people wonder this too. Debian doesn't get as much publicity as other distros even gentoo, and it is hard to find a really good analysis on how debian works in different situations for different people. So any replies would be awesome...thanks
 
Old 06-19-2003, 04:12 AM   #2
BlckJck
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Distribution: Debian (www.knoppix.net)
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I have tried Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware, Turbo-linux and Debian.... at this time my distro of choice is Debian. I like the update and install capability with apt-get. If you would like to take a test drive without installing, modifying, or touching your HD at all, check out www.knoppix.net. I have used this run-from-cd distro, which is based of Debian, for about 3 years. It also has the ability to install to the HD, and then it is the same as a full install with the Debian CD's.

Hope this helps, its not every OS you can test drive without installing.
 
Old 06-19-2003, 07:10 AM   #3
Nigel_Tufnel
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Easton, PA
Distribution: Debian, Kubuntu, Arch
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I've previously used Red Hat, Mandrake and Slackware. I liked Slackware a lot but the package management system just didn't cut it for me. Upgrading is a real bear. I figured I'd try out Gentoo. I took forever to install on my 800mhz PIII. I got it working and the package system was a major improvement over .rpm's or .tgz. The supposed speed improvement was not noticeable. I did a system upgrade and all my init scripts got completely hosed. I was thinking of trying Debian before trying Gentoo but have always heard the install was sooo difficult. You know what, it was easier and quicker than the Gentoo install. It was about the same difficulty as the Slackware install. Apt-get is by far the best package manangement system in linux. I upgraded to 'unstable' and have been very happy. I'm thinking of trying the knoppix method HD install for my laptop which currently has Mandrake on it. Party on!
 
Old 06-19-2003, 09:31 AM   #4
syouth333
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nice yeah...my init scripts get hosed all the time. I really enjoy gentoo, but there is just a point when i step back and wonder why i spend so much time redoing everything. It ends up being too much work. And then installing things takes a day. Its crazy. Upgrading X turns into an install marathon. Now BlckJck since you use unstable, would you say that you still get to use all of the newest programs and the such. I am a huge gnome fan and i like to upgrade with each release and upgrade all their smaller programs. Is the support there?
 
Old 06-19-2003, 10:09 AM   #5
busbarn
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Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Denver, CO US
Distribution: Arch
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I rarely have to fix things after updating gentoo. It all depends on how you update. I learned my lesson just doing emerge -u world when I broke kde and had to start over from scratch. If you are careful with your config files when you update, then you will rarely ever have to fix anything. Just busting through and replacing all your old config files with new ones will of course leave you up an emerge without a system.

I would stay with gentoo for a couple of reasons:
I think it's more up to date than debian sarge (that's stable right?). It might be equal to sid but emerging is a lot simpler than dealing with apt-get.

The documentation for installation is much better all the way around.

I have found the people at gentoo forums to be extremely helpful and kind.

Everything is just easier on gentoo I think. My 2 cents.
 
Old 06-19-2003, 07:41 PM   #6
luap
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: atlanta ga usa
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hi,
i use gentoo, i'm not really very cutting edge with mine. if i wasnt using gentoo, i would be buying libranet, a debian based
distro. libranet is a mix of the latest and the stable, and is really quite nice. mayhap it wont give you the full experience of building your own debian, but you would have a really good distro up and running very quickly, and running stable.
some people dis libranet cause they only do their latest releases(up to 2.8 i believe) as a for bucks distro, releasing last week's (2.0) as a freely downloadable linux.
since you are fairly experienced with linux, i believe you could easily do libranet 2.0 and upgrade using debian packages.that might be a good challenge for you.
i also second the post about knoppix-cant think of a better way
to show off a really great (debian based) distro without doing an install.
as a student , libranet will give you a discount on the for sale version. you probably arent in to buying distros, but you would find libranet worth your money.
 
Old 06-20-2003, 01:47 AM   #7
jmr71769
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: East Coast, USA
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, Slack, FreeBSD
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i've tried them all

i still keep coming back to debian.

stable is old and beat... but it's solid. for server stuff, it rocks. it doesn't break!

if you *truly* want cutting edge, no distro will give you that. *cvs* will. :-)

download debian, try it. apt-get is an awesome tool.. and so is the 'upgrade' for it - netselect - a tool that automatically downloads a list of debian mirrors and tests your connection to find out where would be the fastest servers to download from.

the only thing i really use apt for anymore is to get libraries if i need them.

everything else, i compile from source.

just my two cents.

i love debian and i truly think it rocks.

p.s. not everyone who uses debian is a jerk. :-D
 
Old 06-20-2003, 02:32 AM   #8
BlckJck
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Distribution: Debian (www.knoppix.net)
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With apt-get, I've been able to install and stay as current as I need to for everything. CVS and compiling from source would be the only better way to go IMHO.... I am extreemly happy with what I have, and unstable has been stable enough for me.
 
Old 06-20-2003, 06:08 PM   #9
macewan
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i prefer debian from a purity stand point
 
Old 06-25-2003, 09:16 PM   #10
masinick
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Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Clinton Township, MI
Distribution: Debian, antiX, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and many others
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Re: Prospective Debian user

Quote:
Originally posted by syouth333
Ok so i've been using linux for about 5 years now. Used red hat, it was ok, loved slackware, but hated the package management, used SuSE, mandrake, storm, corel(BLEH sorry first distro), caldera, and have settled on gentoo. i really liked how easy it was to update and i also love how complex it can be at the same time. For me it is comparable to the fun of slackware, but with better package management...howver i have a gripe, which is the compiling and the sometimes just things breaking horribly. Not that i don't enjoy tinkering with things, but i am also going into a second year of college and i use this computer for everything, so i depend on it working always. I hear good things about debian from friends and i've been thinking about giving it a try. Although this will require getting rid of gentoo for the time being, which has become my distro of choice. I also keep hearing about how archaic debian can be and i do enjoy being on the bleeding edge with software updates. And i know i can run debian unstable, but is it worth it? So i figured it would be a great idea to ask actual debian users about debian. Maybe even better, ones who've used gentoo. I don't mean to start a flame war but debian is something i have been considering. And i imagine other people wonder this too. Debian doesn't get as much publicity as other distros even gentoo, and it is hard to find a really good analysis on how debian works in different situations for different people. So any replies would be awesome...thanks
I only did a short stint with Gentoo Linux, and I'll tell you why. On one hand, the resulting system was extremely fast and efficient, the fastest I've seen on my hardware. But the down time I needed in order to build the software packages I wanted was beyond what I could afford, even though I have other systems. The fastest system is the one where I tried Gentoo Linux, but a few changes would tie it up for six hours or more, too much for me.

In contrast, when I install and update Debian software, first of all, I can get into a working system in under a half hour, which counts for me, secondly, the code seems to run only slightly slower than Gentoo Linux, barely perceptible once the system is up and running, and better than most other systems. I can still upgrade source packages instead of binary packages if I am bent on maximal speed, but that turns out to be unnecessary.

Libranet is a great commercial entry point into Debian. It's very complete, and it gets you going with a full range of software, and it's typically composed of software from the testing tree, so it has already passed at least some qual testing, though not as much as a stable Debian binary tree. I can back off stuff that doesn't work, download even more bleeding edge stuff, build from source, if I really want to do so, and I have complete flexibility.

Another distro that's worth trying out, if you don't want to completely abandon Gentoo Linux yet is Knoppix 3.2. It's pretty bleeding edge, yet you can try it out as a Live CD, then install to disk if you like it. The software is even newer than Libranet, and slightly more experimental. You may end up really liking that. There's certainly enough stuff that works fine to make it worth your while.

Both Libranet and Knoppix are solid Debian distros. You can get the official Debian CDs, too. I don't go that route because it takes more time,. in my opinion, to get it all set up. If you're a Slackware and Gentoo kind of a guy, though, perhaps the non profit, official Debian ISO images will be best suited to you. I just think that Libranet and Knoppix get you there a bit quicker... once there, it's all Debian.

Since you didn't like Corel Linux, chances are you won't like Xandros, either, which is a descendent of Corel Linux. It's good software, but it has a business feel to it, stable, conservative, not leading edge. I like it, but based on your comments, you may think differently. Lastly, the consumer grade LindowsOS has just released its Version 4.0. This software is among the most controversial of all Linux distros, people seem to either love or hate it. I can tell you that it works just fine, but I can also tell you that both Xandros and LindowsOS will take over your MBR unless you take precautions, because both preconfigure a custom version of LILO and write the configuration to the MBR without asking if that's what you want to do. Not bad for consumers, but not always what hobbyists want.

Oh by the way, the Knoppix Live CD comes with a recent version of OpenOffice. If you sometimes need to generate Word documents or Office presentations, OpenOffice can not only do it, the software can output in Office formats, including .doc and .ppt.
 
  


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