Debian: Love it or hate it?

I was reading at infoworld that "The Debian Consortium takes on Novell, Red Hat". It seems Bruce Perens has said:

A lot of people have been unhappy with the service they've been getting from a certain very large Linux vendor.

So I decided to visit Debian's homepage. And I noticed that Debian 3.1 is out since June 2005. It has taken several years to the Debian team to release 3.1 (Sarge, they call it).

As I said a year ago I am a Mandrake-Linux user. Or I was. I think. ;-)

Once upon a time I was a Debian fan, so I decided to give Debian 3.1 a run. As a matter of fact I miss several Debian features in Mandrake.

And because installing Debian has been, is, and will probably be a pain in the neck; I decided to post some installation notes about the whole process. For you and for me. Just to keep track of the whole pain ;-)

  • Installation mechanism: Internet (I'm doing 100Kbps at home). I downloaded and burned the network installer CD. Booted. No problemo.
  • Install process: text based. Not bad. Good enough.
  • Gnome libraries crept inside the default selection. Since I don't like Gnome at all I had to deselect them by hand. Pain. I'd prefer having at least two options for desktop users: "KDE desktop" and "Gnome desktop". I was not that lucky, though, and I had to select stuff by hand.
  • Video card selection. I don't remember what video card I have. Debian should find that out for me. It's an ATI Radeon 9000 with 64Mb RAM (let me write it down). pain.
  • After configuring X I had trouble with the mouse. I had to manually specify /dev/input/mice as the mouse device. pain
  • KDE 3.3 (I expected 3.4, anyway, I installed the "stable" Debian release, so I prefer stability to new features) runs much faster than KDE 3.2. Works fine.
  • KDM (login manager) didn't work. I had to manually edit the file myself (I think I broke something by launching the Control Panel before installing KDM. So it's me to blame, not Debian).
  • Kernel: The default kernel is a pain in the neck since it has lots of weird stuff (and it's 80386 compatible, so it doesn't use Pentium optimizations pain). I prefer thin kernels. I had to compile it myself. pain.
  • By the way, Debian has no administrative graphical GUIs. I don't miss them very much. I used "KUser" to add users to the system. Remember to add users to group "audio" to be able to hear your MP3.
  • Network: The system thinks my network is always on; so I had to tell the system that it's me who manually starts/closes the network. This is done with the interfaces file. pain.
  • CD burner: I installed K3B and all the packages it depends on. K3B is unable to find "cdrdao" in "/usr/bin". I think this is a K3B problem, not a Debian problem. Anyway I think it should not be installed in the "stable" distribution if it fails that much. Anyway, K3B never worked on Mandrake either. So I think I won't be able to use it in Debian either.

So that's it basically. I'm glad I've written it down for future reference. Just in case I decide to give a try to Debian 3.2. Next year or so, I assume.

To summarize: I think Debian is for advanced users. Needs some dedication for installation, but once installed it's a piece of cake, I hope ;-). I'll be using it for a while; after the installation nightmare dissappears from my memory I'll donate something to the Debian team. After all I have tons of ready to use software out there in the Internet. (But k3b, of course).

Cheers,
Antonio

Comentarios:

i just u/g to ubuntu:

  http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/gonzo?entry=ubuntu_tigers_and_keyboards

and i am \*thorougly\* impressed w/ it. beyond painless install. ubuntu is based on the debian release. i'm glad to be back in the debian camp, albeit via ubuntu.

Enviado por gonzo en agosto 25, 2005 a las 01:46 PM CEST #

I just had a quick comment, but first on the topic. I've used gentoo on my laptop for ages, but I haven't updated it in ages. So I figure its about time to wipe and reload with a new install, just haven't figured out what yet. Thought about Solaris x86, but also have thought about doing gentoo or ubunto just to keep linux on it until I get more familar with Solaris on a spare machine.

Onto a different topic, I was trying that Mandelbrot you wrote on a new machine I have here at work. It sort of suprised me actually, its on average 2x slower then on my older system.
Spec wise,
Old - P4-2.8ghz 2gb ddr, win xp pro, nvadia quadro nvs running duel moniters, tons of apps open (15 including a bloated version of eclipse known as RAD6.0 by ibm, sigh works choice), java5 update4

New - p4-2.8ghz duel core, 2gb ddr2, intel 829545G express graphics chipset(Nvidia Quadro 2xx haven't arrived yet), java5 update4, and no other applications running.

Another thing I find interesting, is that the second core isn't even being used, it just sits at almost unnoticeable utilization while watching performance. Would have thought it would be utilized by Java for some task on it if a duel-g5 is?

Just found that odd is all.

Enviado por Jeffrey Olson en agosto 25, 2005 a las 03:24 PM CEST #

Consider Ubuntu, which is built on top of Debian. I was a long time Mandrake user but am a happy Ubuntu user now.

Enviado por Pete en agosto 25, 2005 a las 03:58 PM CEST #

Hi,

Thanks everybody for pointing me to Ubuntu. I think I'll wait a little bit and see how kubuntu goes, and then I'll give it a run.

Jeffrey, I'll release a new Mandelbrot application by the end of the next week, or the beginning of the following one, and then we'll talk about the performance in dual cores. What operating system are you using for those tests with the dual core?

Have a good weekend,
ANtonio

Enviado por Antonio en agosto 26, 2005 a las 10:30 AM CEST #

Win XP pro, work is a complete microsoft shop. I hope to someday get one at home to play with. Look forward to the next release to play with.

Enviado por Jeffrey Olson en agosto 29, 2005 a las 08:23 AM CEST #

Enviar un comentario:
Los comentarios han sido deshabilitados.
About

swinger

Search

Archives
« julio 2014
lunmarmiéjueviesábdom
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
   
       
Hoy