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Old 02-09-2012, 08:06 AM   #1
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Thinking in moving to Debian

Hi guys, I'm new in this forum that seems to be a nice place.
I have been using Ubuntu and I thought that I could install Debian or Fedora to learn more about Linux.

That's my first and important objective for choosing a distro; to learn.

I think that I'm not a beginner because I always have been discovering things in Ubuntu sometimes (Dual boot, so when I want to play I go to Ubuntu), I love using terminal but I don't know HOW to use it well haha. So that's the way that I though to changing from Ubuntu to another Distro... (Now I'm downloading Linux Mint but at this point -50% downloaded- I've read that it's the same as Ubuntu).

So, I don't really know what to do guys, do you recommend me to stay in Ubuntu or changing to Debian or the 2 other I said?, it's a totally different and more difficult than Ubuntu?


Diego V.H.

PS: I'm not an english speaker [from Chile], sorry if you found a mistake in my writing :P
Old 02-09-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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Your english is fine. Its a lot better than my Spanish!

'Normal' mint is based on ubuntu. There is also 'LMDE' (linux mint debian edition) which is based on and uses the debian 'testing' repos. Normal mint versionsa are more different to ubuntu now than in the past, as mint is using different desktop enviroments to ubuntu (ubuntu 11.04 uses 'unity' by defualt, and mint 12 is using gnome3). There might be some difference between installed programs as well, I am not enough of a ubuntu or mint user to know for sure. I could possibly find out, but I'm lazy.

Moving from ubuntu to mint isnt that much different, and wont teach that much about linux in general that you havent already learnt from ubuntu.

Debian is still a pretty easy transition from ubuntu. It will make you learn things that you didnt have to with ubuntu. Ubuntu (and mint versions based on ubuntu) has 'jockey' the hardware driver install tool for things like video card drivers and wireless drivers. Debian does not have jockey, to add drivers you will either have to play around with synaptic (GUI) or the command line.

Fedora is harder transition from ubuntu. Its got different package managment, etc..

f you want to learn more about linux, I'd pick debian over fedora. I admit my bias, I really like debian, fedora I dont really care about much.

BTW, another great choice if you want to learn about linux in general is slackware. It will make you do things (system setups, etc.) that debian does automatically. Its a harder transition from ubutnu than debian, but if you really want to learn, slackware is good. Personally, I perfer debian, but thats my choice.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
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I still like CentOS over Ubuntu... cause I sit on server environment most of the time graphix is not my thing
Old 02-09-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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Thanks man!
You have mentioned a good point that I didn't said before about the transition from Ubuntu to these distros.
So for now, my doubt is between Debian and Slackware . Until now, I'm choosing Debian because I haven't read comments about Slackware so please I hope anyone can help and add more points if it's necessary.

Again, thanks cascade9 for your fast reply!

Diego V.H.
Old 02-09-2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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CentOS is Slackware LOL

If you wanna learn... and you have the time - go for LFS, compile everything by yourself ... and adjust the system like you want it to be.

Or better - try Gentoo (which is Enoch - as, the hardest ever!)
Old 02-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #6
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Wow, don't you think that is too early for creating my own distro xD?
Old 02-09-2012, 08:50 AM   #7
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I donno... you wanna learn I don't even remember how I learned )
Old 02-09-2012, 09:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jozsefsamuel View Post
CentOS is Slackware LOL

CentOS is RHEL

Seriously, though, I started on Slackware and think it is a fine choice. Debian will be an easier transition from Ubuntu because of similarities in package management. I think you will learn more from Slackware though. Salix is also a nice distro based on Slackware with some easier administration tools added.

On the other hand, if you find Slackware boring try Arch or Gentoo. You will learn, or quit in frustration trying!
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Another factor you may like to consider when choosing a distro is the community around it -- the people who answer questions about it. The main forum for Slackware is here on LQ and the people posting there were one of my reasons for choosing Slackware when moving from Ubuntu.

I also administer Debian servers and like the distro well enough but would choose Slackware if it were a free choice. The reason for choosing Debian for the servers was skills availability for taking over when I leave.
Old 02-09-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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As a Debian user (and lover), I'd recommend Debian Testing (IMO, the perfect balance between stability and up-to-date software). It will be an easy transition from Ubuntu, but will give you the opportunity to tweak a bit more some things (specially, you will have to learn how to edit your sources.list, if you haven't done so yet... It actually isn't difficult at all).

Some useful links:
-Debian Reference (it's in Spanish, take a close look at section 2.3 in order to learn how to use apt-get).
- (an entertaining guide to the command line. In English).
-The Linux Documentation Project.
-There's also an excelent PDF on the Linux basics, tips, tricks, etc., Here (in Spanish. Don't let the name fool you; it's actually a very interesting and handy guide )

Old 02-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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Debian is certainly a step up from *buntu (and Mint, for that matter) as it leaves more choices to the user. Especially *buntu has gained a reputation (not to its credit sometimes) of taking the Linux mantra of 'choice' away from the user in a way M$ and Apple do in their OS's and increasing the difficulty in getting that choice back. Unity, anyone?

However, learning Linux is more (much more) then just choosing a distro. My advise would be to install Debian (use the net-install CD, it's a quicker download ) and buy yourself a decent handbook on Linux administration. The "Unix and Linux administration handbook" is a proper starter, as is "Running Linux" and the "Linux Bible". Each one takes you through setting up Linux and administer it, teaching you best practices as well as basic and advanced computing knowledge for more complicated tasks like networking etc.

Last edited by Dutch Master; 02-09-2012 at 01:54 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:03 PM   #12
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Thanks guys, I've decided to get Debian .

I didn't understand the difference between the different isos when downloading :S.

I choose the first DVD for amd64, it's OK ?

Old 02-09-2012, 02:08 PM   #13
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If you have a 64 bit CPU then that ISO is all you need.
Old 02-09-2012, 04:07 PM   #14
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Yes that first Cd is all you need.

The rest are great if you are installing on a box with no internet access.

Be sure to check out this thread, particularly toward the end where it becomes relevent to your Debian version.

To give you some solid info on Debian compared to Ubuntu, Ubuntu bases the LTS releases (current 10.04 and coming 12.04) on Debian testing (currently Wheezy), all the "regular" releases are based on Debian unstable (always Sid).

I have an install of Squeeze (Debian stable) installed and somewhat security hardened for secure business. What I normally use for general use is Debian testing. Testing is more stable than most new Ubuntu releases.

Squeeze was Debian testing when Ubuntu 10.04 was developed. It is pretty much the same thing, uses the same kernel, etc.

If you install Wheezy or Sid you really should install the package "apt-listbugs". Will warn you if there are known bugs filed against a package you are installing or upgrading.
Old 02-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #15
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Even though you have already chosen Debian, good choice by the way it is my favourite, have you considered having 2 Linux on the machine?

Debian is awesome and will teach you a huge amount because you will have to set some things up yourself, so reading (as has already been suggested) and asking questions will be a big part of your new experiment. BUT, you could also learn how Linux is put together by installing a distro like Slackware or Arch or LFS (my personal preference would be Slackware and I have downloaded it to give a it a run).

So if you think you are capable why not install Debian as your main distro but also leave room for another like Slackware which you can "play" with.


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