Stable desktop.

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Stable desktop.

Postby Concomitandt » 2006-02-01 19:38

I have been toying with Debian-based distros for about a year. I recently got Sarge installed on one of my boxes but I haven't done much with it yet. My Question: Taking hardware problems aside, what are the practical problems a user may face with Stable?

All over the internet I find people saying that it is hopelessly out of date. But they never say why, except to mention hardware compatibility. If a user solves his hardware problems, are there some real software pitfalls that cannot be solved with a backport or two? My aim is to use this box for sheer utilitarian stuff that I don't want to lose in a crash. I don't believe that I will need much of the new hotness out there except for some media codecs. Any reason why Stable is a bad idea for that?
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Postby john_h » 2006-02-02 00:04

Doesn't sound like there'd be a problem.

And if you got bored with Sarge and started hankering after the likes of Firefox 1.5, OpenOffice.org, KDE 3.5 etc you could always dist-upgrade to Testing. The chances of a system crash that wipes out your data are pretty remote on Testing and presumably you would be backing your data up anyway (I'd guess the main threat to data is more likely to be a hardware problem anyway, eg head crash).

My understanding (certainly my experience) is that Stable is usually a bit tedious and over-cautious for desktop use - it's mainly aimed at servers and other systems where stability is massively more important than having up to date software.

I run Testing (with the occasional package from Sid) and its name can be misleading - it's a darn sight more stable and "tested"-feeling than some other distros I've tried (eg SUSE). And I'd guess it may well be more stable overall than a Sarge system to which lots of backports have been added.
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Postby Lavene » 2006-02-02 03:45

I use a fairly mixed system of testing and unstable and have been doing so for a long time. I have yet to experience any kind of dataloss due to a 'crash'. In fact, I have yet to experience a 'crash'!

What I have experienced a few times is that the system breaks after an update. That is... something stop working, and it has been fairly easy to fix. But no dataloss what so ever.

We also have a box running pure testing and that one just works... plain and simple. No 'crash', no breakage.

But how outdated Sarge is kinda depend on what you're gonna use the box for. Bleeding edge hardware might possibly be a problem, but if you don't crave the absolutly latest apps (which some of us do :P ) there is nothing wrong with using Sarge.

Sadly, to alot of Linux users a distro which don't contain the absolute latest version of things is 'out of date' and that just isn't true. Debian stable might starting to get a tad old but what you get in return is a system that actually is stable.

:)

Tina
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