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Debian Woody 3.0r2
Reviews Views Date of last review
11 55647 06-12-2005
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 9.1

Description: Powerful yet difficult linux distribution.
Keywords: Debian Why Use

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Old 03-14-2004, 02:45 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 54

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

Pros: Powerful system, many packages, nice pic of Tux drinking beer
Cons: Difficult to configure, packages often very out of date

Debian Linux is a good distribution for many reasons. It's package management system is great, and it comes with plenty of packages for it on it's 7 installation CDs! It is a powerful and stable system, with a realtively simple installation process. You get a lot of control over your system, much more than using those configuration tools RedHat provides.

However, once you are done installing, things can be tricky to configure. This release comes with many packages, but many are old and out of date. From kernel version 2.2.20 to GCC version 2.95, you will need to upgrade many packages in order to get an up-to-date system running. The Debian site is little help there, as most of the packages there are just as old, which generally means compiling from source, which many newbies don't want to do. Despite all it's positive attributes, this can make Debian a real pain to use.

In general, if you are a newbie, I'd recomend one of the easier distros like SuSE, RedHat, or Mandrake, then move to a 'harder' distro like Debian, Slack, or Gentoo if you are prepared to spend a lot more time configuring your system. But for power users, Debian is definitely one of the best distros out there once you get to know it.

//edit: While Debian still is a very good distro in my mind, I found the old packages too much trouble to update, especially since I couldn't get my internet connection working, which nullifies the advantages of apt-get. I am now using slackware linux, and suggest that for any serious linux user.
Old 03-15-2004, 09:41 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2001
Distribution: Caldera OpenLinux 2.3 and Morphix
Posts: 193

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

Pros: Dselect allows a lot of control over what packages are installed if user opts to run, tasksel is helpful for basic selection of broad package groups, wide range of hardware supported, optional security updates help to make your system more secure.
Cons: Very crytic text based installer that badly needs to be updated, newbies might be scared off by the amount of questions asked throughout the install process, dependency conflict resolution in dselect can be complicated and learning how to mark items to be

As I mentioned in the cons section the installer is text based and quite badly in need of updating. I sure hope the Debian Woody programmers update the installer soon. At the very least as mentioned in the cons they should make it so that the installer asks a minimal amount of questions versus the at least 20 (I've lost count since this is being written from memory) I was asked during the install process. They should also include more updated versions of xfree86, kde, gnome, and dselect. Particularly I noticed the latest version of deslect wasn't included which quite frankly suprises me considering the fact that is used to download updated packages. The way I see as is if dselect isn't up to date than how do I know there won't be bugs preventing me from installing programs. I also agree with other reviews I've seen on the web that this distro is more geek oriented due to the cryptic nature of its installer. Apt-get and dselect are both very useful, but only if you know how they work. I also believe on of the most limiting factors about Linux distros is the level of processor optimization. In my opinion if you must release a i386 Linux distro fine, but I would appreciate it if all distros would release a i586 or i686 optimized version for better performance. I'm also suprised to see that my favorite 68k Mac emulator Basilisk II wasn't included in the emulators section of dselect. It's a great distro if you're the geek type. I know most Linux users are geeks, I just mean in the context of specifically having lots of Linux experience. Overall I've enjoyed my Debian experience, but it could be better.
Old 04-02-2004, 03:29 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2003
Distribution: Debian 3.0r2 SuSE 9.0 professional
Posts: 10

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

Pros: apt-get, quick and easy once u know it, stable
Cons: You have to bite the sour apple...

I'm using Woody as a server on my P1 166 MHz.
The first time I installed it, it took me about two hours before I had sshd, proftpd, apache, mysql and php up and running.
Because I always first try, then think or read the no time I messed up the installation. I did that for about 4 times, formatted, partitioned and reinstalled everything also 4 times.
Now, just give me a pc and a broadband connection and within the hour I have a stable, fast, minimized Debian LAMP-server up and running, which you can keep up to date, just using apt-get update.
Do you need to install a program, like links? Easy: apt-get install links. This is a very user-friendly distro!
Old 04-17-2004, 03:33 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 1969
Posts: 0

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

Pros: Excellent package management (apt + dpkg), solid packaged applications, quick installation (for power users), three tier releases
Cons: Stable has old versions of software, difficult install for first timers = steep learning curve

Debian is perhaps one of the most respected linux distributions among the more experienced user crowd. Not without reason, the distribution is excellently packaged and the system is rock solid due to extensive testing and QA.

The main weakness is of course the perception of users that Debian is a very "slow" distribution, due to two factors :
- The Stable distribution has old versions of software
- The binary packages are compiled for the i386 architecture (no i686 optimizations etc.)

These points may be valid, but Debian Stable is a system to consider if your needs are more of the stability rather than ultimate performance kind. Still, the performance deltas are not actually that large either.

Once you have mastered the debian installer, installing multiple servers is a breeze, and a very quick process. The much badmouthed installer is actually one of the things I like a lot about Debian.

If you really need a newer version of some specific package, there is always the option of either backporting the package from "Testing", using someone elses backport, or simply upgrade the entire system to "Testing". All of this is very straightforward, and the site is a very good starting point if you are looking for new versions of important packages.

Summary : use Debian if you want one of the best quality distros there is.
Old 07-16-2004, 07:03 AM   #5
Registered: May 2004
Distribution: Debian Woody, FreeBSD 5.2.1
Posts: 106

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

Pros: Organization, apt, refusal to "sell-out"
Cons: Oh I don't know ...

Rock solid stable. Tons of programs. I like X11 with KDE on Debian better than Windows on Windows. I think it looks better and performs better. And I canīt get FreeBSD tweaked like that YET....

Four months ago the only thing I knew about Unix/Linix was what I gathered watching system installers aboard Navy ships 15 years ago.

I wasnīt even an accomplished Windows web surfer. I didnīt know what an ISO was, but had been reading up on Unix/Linux and wanted to give it a go. I picked Debian because it seemed to be the farthest removed from any commercialization and I liked the straight-forward information on the site, the links to GNU, FSF etc.

After I finally learned I had to "burn" my downloaded mini-woody ISO in order to use it, I was on my way. Using the background from installation howto and step-by-step from, I was on the net running a (dual-booted with Win98) PII (celeron) 400mhz system complete with http, ftp, telnet and mail services and Lynx and Mozilla for browsing. Awesome.

Of course, I reinstalled many many times since then, slowly learning how to avoid reinstallation by doing some configuration instead. But that is what I like about it. I CAN FIGURE OUT MOST THINGS NOW.

Changed my apt sources to unstable about a month ago and do update/upgrade about once a week and I have a smooth running machine. Thatīs how I got firefox to work like it's supposed to.

I am not a gamer or big video monger, but I swear my Debian system is faster running X11/KDE than my AMD 1800mhz machine running XP Home.

I have no complaints about outdated programs. Just the firefox thing which was cured by having faith in the unstable versions of the apt pkgs. If I really want something unavailable with apt, I download it and chase down the depencies.

I am as new as they get and I highly recommend Debian to anyone who wants to learn about Linux.
Old 08-12-2004, 09:39 AM   #6
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 3

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

Pros: apt-get, cross platform support, the installer
Cons: the installer

apt-get, of course, is great the reasons why have been expounded many times.

The installer is both good and bad. It's a little tricker than clicking an 'install' button but it's very easy to use once you have done it once or twice - most of your time will be spent wondering about partitioning and the few minutes taken to copy files.

I run slightly more exotic hardware architectures than most people. Sure I have a x86 PC but my laptop's a Powerbook (NewWorld), I've a couple of Oldworld Macs an Acorn RiscPC (ARM), some XBoxes and a DEC Alpha 3000. With the exception of the DEC Alpha, (which runs BSD - no Linux support for the Turbochannel bus - though Debian is being ported to the BSD kernel so there soon will be support.) They all run Debian. When I get something else, Debian will probably run on it too - beats supporting 5 different distros so all your hardware works.
Old 11-01-2004, 06:35 AM   #7
Registered: Jul 2004
Posts: 111

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 7

Pros: Completely free, organization
Cons: Old software

It is quite good to learn linux (administration, programming), and for a server usage, but not for a desktop computer.
Old 12-18-2004, 03:18 PM   #8
Registered: Dec 2004
Posts: 14

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

Pros: Fabulous once you have it installed and set up.
Cons: Could give newbies a few more hints.

I was totally new to Linux when I first downloaded Debian 3.0 using BitTorrent. So I proceeded with the install.

Not being sure what to choose, I chose the default safe install option, which installs the 2.2 kernel. It reconigzed my RealTek 8139 network card, but could not get the network working no matter what I tried. I finally chose the bf24 install option and this kernel did happily recognize and configure the card (but it took hours of struggling, swapping the card, reinstalling, googling, etc. to get to that point).

I also had to tinker around with the X Windows setup as I had to turn off framebuffer support for it to work, and change the refresh rate.

Now that I have it all working, I rate Debian very highly and love it. However, for people entirely new to Linux I would suggest they add the following improvements:

1) They should make the 2.4 kernel the default. It has been out there long enough! Hey people are already using 2.6. This would have saved me the network card trouble!

2) During the install Debian asks you about your video card. Of course most people have to guess at some of the answers, not having checked the specs before starting the install. It should let you test the graphics mode to make sure it is configured correctly and will display later on. I now know that there are Linux programs which do this. Why not build it into the install?

3) Once I booted, it started up GNome but I chose the wrong resolution during the install and could not see much of the display. I think the first few times you log in, it should give you a few seconds before starting gnome in case you want to use the command line instead to make changes to the settings. Cause if you are a new user in Gnome, you don't know how to get out of it or how to get back to a command line. So you reinstall again...

4) They should set up a little script for newbies when they log on that tells you things like what to type to reconfigure the monitor and display settings for Gnome, how to get at the Debian documentation which is apparently installed somewhere on the system, a few basic vi commands to get you going, remind you about tasksel, dselect, etc. There is "man" but it is only any good if you already know what command you want help on. What if you don't know what the command is? It does not seem to have an index.
Also, the keys used by deselect is just atrocious.

But once you get over the above initial hurdles, things are great! I got apache, PHP4, MySQL etc all working without much trouble. It really helped when I discovered ""

In all fairness I should mention that I used an older system but the RealTek card is apparently more modern. Also, the monitor onit is older, otherwise GNome might have had better success.

So given the above you may think I had a bad experience, but, yes, I would highly recommend Debian. Before you start, just make sure you know what hardware you have and what it is capable of, and carefully consider which kernel version you choose.
I now gather that the first time most new people install Linux, they commonly go through a few reinstalls until they slowly figure out how to configure things after the install. It took me four installs to get it all working, which I figure is not too bad.
Old 01-08-2005, 12:09 AM   #9
Registered: Jan 2005
Distribution: DSL, Debian GNU 3.0 Rev 3, Red Hat Shrike 9.0
Posts: 10

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

Pros: stability, security, less chance for viruses or hackers
Cons: you have to be a bit smarter to set it up

Debian stable 3.0 R3 using a gateway pII 233 96ram
40G hd, nvidia stb velocity 4meg 128 AGP, Ensoniq sound 1370, X2 winmodem. Over all good install this is my first try at linux. Have done windows for 15 yrs. installed 6 times to find the right settings so far. all works good except KDE will not load, but Gnome does fine and debian does also. KDE seems to stop once it tries to recognize the peripherals. probably my idiot error since i am new to this. but GNOME works and i like. Still am trying to learn if i can get the wireless adapters to work on this. Desktop a bit different dont know the unix commands yet, still learning alot so dont take this entry to much.
Old 02-24-2005, 10:49 AM   #10
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 8.1
Posts: 2

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

Pros: Very stabe distro! ALL should try it ( You install Debian ONCE ! )
Cons: Software is a bit old but .... not a big problem

Debian i a great Linux distro.
I am using Debian 30.r4 Woody, but its software is a bit out of date.
No Problem for me because , as a programmer i dont care if KDE looks exelent.... as long as it works super fine and never crash.
... About software ... you will find plenty of them ( up to date ) on the internet
Old 06-12-2005, 07:28 AM   #11
Registered: May 2005
Distribution: Debian Woody,Knoppix
Posts: 88

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

Pros: Tons of software, fast, secure, stable
Cons: Hmmm, everything went well!

Well, Debian was my first contact with the linux world. First of all, apt-get is really easy, even for the newb, like me. The installation wasn't really hard, I found it easy to set up kernel and devices (cfdisk is great!) There are also many games, development tools, net tools, mozilla which I love and KDE-GNOME-TWM etc. I love it! (some of the people here mentioned old software etc. I think it's not a problem. I am happy that GNOME works like a rocket and if I want better graphics, I download another theme!)


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