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Debian Sarge
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39 152084 02-25-2007
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
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Cons: Stable branch is out-of-date, Relatively complicated package maintainance (tho it's not and issue for the end user)

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

-The "stable" branch is out of date, but the "unstable" is fine, and hey is not even unstable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
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
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
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 0

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


Old 08-03-2004, 05:33 AM   #5
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
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
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
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
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).

Old 09-25-2004, 11:13 AM   #10
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
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
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
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
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 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
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: debian
Posts: 173

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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...


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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