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Debian Sarge
Reviews Views Date of last review
39 152151 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 06-26-2005, 03:02 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Distribution: slack
Posts: 40

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

Pros: Net-install with 2 floppies, apt-get, still uses xfree86 ,wildly huge list of packages

I just installed sarge on a 133 Mhz pentium with 192 Mb ram. I like that. No other distro(FC1,2,3 RH7.3, slack10.1, freebsd, woody) I tried would write to the 40GB western ditital hd. Tried Ubuntu, but got tired of burnig cd's trying to get a smartboot floppy to boot one of them. Being as it installed and runs on this mish-mash of hardware, it'll probably get my vote for distro of the year this year. Packard Bell Axcel 460, Intel Pentium 120 (overclocked to 133), 40 gig wesern digital, 64Mb ATI radeon 7000, Cicero 17" pure flat, wal-mart network card(Via-Rhine)
Old 08-22-2005, 05:02 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian Etch
Posts: 123

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

Pros: It's very stable, has a huge amount of packages (14,000), it's non-commercial and the installation is much better then the one Woody had.

Debian GNU/Linux is the first Linux distro I used when I (partly) switched from Windows to Linux. At that time Woody was the stable one, the installation was very very hard (esspecialy for a newbie). That caused that I had to do it three times to get a working system (I really don't know why) And still I didn't use it a lot, it looked weird and ugly (old) if I compared it with Windows.
After a while of not using Linux I read an article saying that Debian Sarge (at that time it was in the final terms of the testing part (end 2004)) had an automated installer and was more up-to-date than woody. So I got curious about Linux again and installed Sarge on my laptop. The installation was a breeze if I compared it with the Woody one. I installed (a pretty up-to-date version of) Xfce and I enjoyed exploring Linux more.

The suberb package manager make installing programs and checking their dependencises really easy. Debian is also more suitable for servers and older computers that distro's like Mandrivia, Suse or Linspire: it doesn't install a killer app like KDE by default. So if you have an older machine you can just install windowmaker, fluxbox or openbox instead. (I prefer these wm's also on newer machines)

So I would really recomend this distro. Even to starters: you may need some help in the beginning, but you learn more about linux and it's not that hard as some might think.
Old 09-11-2005, 11:48 AM   #3
Registered: May 2004
Posts: 277

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

Pros: APT

I really like APT! It makes everything so much easier!


I have to argue the fact that the installation is really not as hard as everyone seems to describe it. The only real hard part about the install is that it doesn't look very good, however, it is quite easy.
Old 09-30-2005, 08:21 AM   #4
Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: Debian & Slackware
Posts: 77

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

Pros: apt, helpful community, highly configurable, stable; a fair attempt at appealing to both new users and 'gurus'
Cons: despite the effort, it is a little hostile to the newest new user, ESPECIALLY during install

I'm still somewhat of a newbie. My first distro was Red Hat 9 (it was already outdated) and I played around with that a bit before trying a couple of others very briefly and settling on Debian.

Debian is, so far, my favorite. It balances some of the great strengths of other distros with less weaknesses: like Slackware, you can pull all the code apart piece by piece and configure it any way you want if you so choose, but for people who just want their system up and running, or who are less knowledgable, there's at least one simple, automated, or GUI alternative to the down-and-dirty way. There IS a learning curve, but I don't consider that a bad thing in this case, as it does prompt you to learn more.

Like I said in my pros, it makes a fair attempt at appealing to both the linux masters and the lost newbies alike. It doesn't get it down perfectly, but I don't think any distro has, has it? Debian, I think, is one of the closest. It lets you freely choose every step of the way whether you want a task automated, or you want to do it yourself. It lands more on the "experienced user" side than the "newb" side. Especially in installation, which IS difficult and cryptic. I managed to plow through it pretty well, though, and it does have default and detected values that at least point you in the right direction. The rest, I learned... I learned a lot simply getting Debian intalled and configured.

Apt-get is apt-get is apt-get: awesome. The software database is genius, even if it is sometimes too large to handle. I mean, they've got everything you could ever need! If you want to compile from source, that is still available, but usually installed programs is a simple matter of "apt-cache search" and "apt-get install" before you're up and running. Playing around with all of the software at your fingertips is fun.

The Debian community is among the most helpful I've run into. The Linux community is, in general, great, but I find the Debian people really go out of their way to help people out.

It has its faults, but I love it, and most of the problems I have with it are my fault. Again, the learning curve means I'm going to LEARN something.

Furthermore, I'm very much into the "truly free software" approach you have with Debian and Debian-based systems.
Old 10-28-2005, 09:41 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2001
Distribution: Mint Cinnamon AMD64
Posts: 155

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

Pros: Huge assortment of programs precompiled
Cons: building things difficult

I started out with Caldera OpenLinux about 8 years ago, then switched to Mandrake 7.2 when it was just an offshoot from RedHat, and it was fine. Then I went out and bought the Mandrake 8.1 CD's about 5 years ago. All was fine because I didn't know much or try much back then.

Then I ran into this woman at work - my first contact with the Debian community - the black belts of the Open Source world. She made me feel like a 98 lb pip squeak running such an un-manly distribution. (It's amazing how much influence the weaker sex has on us, eh guys?) So I went home and tried downloading and installing Woody and couldn't get past square one with it. My pride wounded, I ended up running Slackware for a while, which was a lot of fun, but didn't tax the brain cells as much as Debian.

Over the years I've been alternating between Slackware, Red Hat and Mandrake but have never been totally satisfied with any of them. I think I liked Slack the best. At least it is a little more 'macho' that Windows, and I could compile the kernel to boost the performance.

Finally, with the official release of Sarge a few months ago, I screwed up my courage and decided to give Debian another try. This also coincides with the latest version of Slackware dropping the Gnome desktop, which I prefer over KDE. It wasn't hard to install at all! Sarge wasn't nearly as difficult as Woody, and only took me a few tries to get running. (When you're dual-booting with XP, choose Lilo, not Grub for your bootloader).

Now that I've been poking around Debian Sarge for a while, I realize that there is no perfect distribution. It works well, I must admit. But I'm not convinced the kernel is optimal for my Pentium 4, and would like to recompile it, however it takes so long to figure out what packages to install for this, that I've given up and decided that maybe it's better to keep it as a pure binary install.

What I do mainly with Linux is edit photographs. I scan the photos in Windows (horrors!) and then copy them over to my home directory and then edit them in Gimp. Photoshop is just way too expensive. I'm delighted to report that CinePaint installs very painlessly in Sarge as well, and does give a sharper edge than the regular Gimp. I also do most of my E-mails and web construction on the Linux side - the text editors are way better.

As you can probably tell from the nature of this post, though I'm always learning something new with Linux, I'm not really a computer guru. I like using linux for the philosophical as well as the practical reasons. Debian's got the right philosophy. I'm pretty sure it will be around for a while too, and I like that! It all adds up over time, and maybe when I meet another one of them Debian black belts I'll be better able to spar with 'em.

Old 10-30-2005, 12:34 PM   #6
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: It is a good product and I love apt & synaptic and good software
Cons: Memory leak the size of Texas if I leave it on for more than 20 minutes

This review applies to the 64-bit version of Sarge and Etch. It has a memory leak the size of Texas that hogs all of my 1 GB of RAM if I leave it on more than 20 minutes. Etch has the same memory leak but it takes longer to hog all the ram. I think it may be the Xserver or the Xwindow system; I am not sure. Sarge uses Xfree86 and Etch uses Xorg and they both have memory leaks the size of Texas that renders them unusable. I refuse to use FC4-x86_64 as they took out Apt/Synaptic. Red Hat Linux/Fedora Core used to be good distros but no more. I stopped liking Fedora Core starting with FC3 which I consider trash and FC4 is better than FC3 but I just cannot stomach it. Ubuntu Breezy won't even boot even though it is amazing. Ubuntu Hoary works fine even though a few quirks but it is tolerable and I like it. I am running out of distros to try; I guess I will have to try Linux From Scratch and build a distro to suit me. Debian was really promising and I really really liked it. Such a shame.

Jean Brown Harrell
Old 07-11-2006, 01:57 PM   #7
Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 28

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

Pros: none
Cons: would never detect hard drive

When I got to the hard drive install part it never recognozized my ata hard drive. All it recognized were the 4 ports in the front of the computer like mem/stick.
Old 10-14-2006, 01:45 PM   #8
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Red Hat, Debian, trying others.
Posts: 16

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

Pros: Generally quite stable and usable.
Cons: All Linux struggle with hardware compatibilty concerns.

I liked it alot until here rescently. Alot of upgrages are not functining properly. I wouldn't upgrade at this time, even though now they are starting to get higher resolution functionality in the video system working. If UBUNTU's push and their competition are out to rattle the Debian base, they has succeeded in my opinion, at this time.


Gregory D. MELLOTT
Old 02-25-2007, 02:21 PM   #9
Registered: Jun 2006
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1

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

Pros: Extremely easy maintenance
Cons: A little difficult to install, at the disk partitioning stage.

Debian has become much easier to install in later years. But it still asks the user to tell it the sizes of the partitions at the very beginning: It would be better to have the choice to let the installer do it, from some general guesses.
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