Moving from Ubuntu to Debian!

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Moving from Ubuntu to Debian!

Postby maelgwyn » 2006-05-29 23:00

Hey all - I'm considering making the step away from Ubuntu to Debian...

What do I need to think about for this to go smoothly?

* Can I copy across the .deb files I've downloaded for Ubuntu? Which Debian do I use?

* Ubuntu has Deskbar which I totally love - can I get that in Debian as well?

etc :P
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Postby Bulkley » 2006-05-29 23:06

Good question. I suspect this is rather more complicated that it looks on the surface. Has anyone here tried it?
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Postby maelgwyn » 2006-05-29 23:07

Oh yeah - and I'm guessing I'd have to do a clean install of Debian to make sure I don't b0rk things up?
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Postby osmo » 2006-05-30 00:06

maelgwyn wrote:Hey all - I'm considering making the step away from Ubuntu to Debian...

Good considering. I just switced a while ago from Breezy to Debian unstable. Basically all you need to do is decide which distribution (stable/testing/unstable) you want and install it.

You can read about the different distributions here. Basically, for a desktop system you'll probably want testing or perhaps unstable. More experienced users can probably recommend which is better, but both are a lot stabler than their names imply.

You better do a clean install. You shouldn'd need to keep anything from Ubuntu. Just make a backup of /etc so that you can later check e.g. what you had in Ubuntu's xorg.conf. The installer is much like Ubuntu's, but Debian doesn't have metapackages like ubuntu-desktop, ubuntu-minimal and ubuntu-standard. It took me a while to figure out what exactly to install to get a suitable GNOME desktop. I ended up installing xorg and gnome-core.

Debian has very large repositories and with Marillat's non-free stuff you shouldn't have much need for compiling stuff yourself. Debian has the deskbar-applet you mentioned.

If you're using an Nvidia graphics card, note that it is a bit more difficult to install the non-free nvidia-glx driver on Debian than Ubuntu. Basically you should either use the module-assistant way or Nvidia's installer.
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an extra care...

Postby domecq » 2006-05-30 00:43

Read Debian Security FAQ, specially this section to understand Debian concept of program versions in stable repository that can be considered "old".

There's a lot of misunderstanding about the reason stable uses old versions that are clarified in the above link, what needs to be fully understood by someone who's starting with Debian.

Many people take some adventure on testing and unstable, attracted by the eye-candy stuff offered in testing and unstable and don't realize later on why the system is not acting properly or simply "broke".

To put it simple, testing usually doesn't break but doesn't get security updates the same way as stable, and unstable it's meant for testers/developers, i.e., people who know what they are doing and are in control of the situation, when it arises.

You won't see me giving much help on Etch (testing) or Sid (unstable) as I focus only on Sarge (stable). 8)

Cheers.
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Postby nayoo » 2006-05-30 02:27

I would like to say my humble opinion here.

It is a matter of your choice. As "domecq" has mentioned, if you are running mission critical systems, I suggest you'd better stick to Sarge which is currently called "Stable". Sarge is known to be solid-rock stable. Very very rarely you will encounter any dependencies problems or other annoyances. I myself started running Debian Sarge on 28th March 2006. It was also my first time using Linux and I encountered an installation problem related to graphics driver. This particular forum Debian Forums.net was very helpful and by cool helps of Tina and other gurus here, I managed to solve it in one day. I am still very much thankful about this. And of course, I started using Sarge. To me, Sarge is very stable and may be too stable and conservative that you could not find latest eye-catching fancy and pretty GUI in Sarge. I am just a desktop user and I run Debian on my laptop. So I needed more pretty GUI and may be, the latest packages. So what I did later was I backported it. Also, by backporting, I could manage to use more pretty GUI interfaces. And I heard of Etch and people said that though it is called "testing", it is not as risky as it was named. So I talked to myself, why not try "Etch".

And I upgraded to "Etch", again with the helps from experts here. You know, I am running "Etch" now. To me, I am very much satisfied with "Etch"/"testing" of Debian. I am now using KDE 3.5.2 with Firefox 1.5.0.3. So far, there has been no dependency problems and no funny stuffs. I do regular update and upgrade using apt-get. I could also use skype with no problems. So all my daily computational needs are satisfied. And to me, "Etch" is pretty and stable.

In fact, I have Ubuntu 5.1, Gentoo 2006 Version and FreeBSD installers. Since I am so much satisfied with Debian and her communities, I decided not to try out others.

So my suggestion to you is that if you are a desktop user like me, you should use "Etch" and you will love it.
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Postby Bulkley » 2006-05-30 04:16

Oh Boy! Did I mis-read the first post. I thought maelgwyn meant he wanted to change the sources on his Ubuntu install and do an apt-get update and reconfigure it as normal Debian, without doing a fresh install.
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Postby maelgwyn » 2006-05-30 04:46

I'll further explain as well :)

I've got a Pentium III Coppermine (866MHz) with ~240Mb RAM. I'm currently running Dapper Drake 6.06 Beta with GNOME which is very nice & pretty but whenever I ask some of my friends for linux help, Ubuntu seems to be doing things differently!

And of course, I'd like to get to know more about how/why Linux works and what I can do to help!

RE: KDE - I've found it doesn't run so well on this computer, and I think I prefer GNOME anyway. I also tried Xubuntu (Dapper Drake) and loved the speed, but found it difficult to configure and also difficult to find information on *how* to configure it!
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Postby nayoo » 2006-05-30 05:52

TO: Bulkley


Bulkley wrote:Oh Boy! Did I mis-read the first post. I thought maelgwyn meant he wanted to change the sources on his Ubuntu install and do an apt-get update and reconfigure it as normal Debian, without doing a fresh install.


Personally, I don't think it is possible to "apt-get" from Ubuntu to Debian. I learnt that downgrading from Sid to Sarge is not even possible or error-prone, doing up/downgrade (don't know what word to use) from Ubuntu to Debian is not possible without reinstalling. I posted my previous post with a good intention in mind and sharing of my previous experiences in friendly tones. Most importantly, "maelgwyn" did not mentioned that he/she wants to "to change the sources on his Ubuntu install and do an apt-get update and reconfigure it as normal Debian, ".


maelgwn wrote:I'm considering making the step away from Ubuntu to Debian...


maelgwyn wrote:Oh yeah - and I'm guessing I'd have to do a clean install of Debian to make sure I don't b0rk things up?


Referred to above quoted messages, I interpretted as "Abandon Ubuntu and start to use Debian".

N.O
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Re: an extra care...

Postby ajdlinux » 2006-05-30 06:56

domecq wrote:Many people take some adventure on testing and unstable, attracted by the eye-candy stuff offered in testing and unstable and don't realize later on why the system is not acting properly or simply "broke".

To put it simple, testing usually doesn't break but doesn't get security updates the same way as stable, and unstable it's meant for testers/developers, i.e., people who know what they are doing and are in control of the situation, when it arises.


Testing does have security updates.

=================
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Debian Testing Security Team May 12th, 2006
secure-testing-team@lists.alioth.debian.org
http://secure-testing-master.debian.net/
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Testing security archive move

The Debian testing security team is pleased to announce the integration of
the secure testing archive to http://security.debian.org

We invite Debian users who are currently running testing, or who would like
to switch to testing, to subscribe to the secure-testing-announce mailing
list, which will be used to announce security updates.
<http://lists.alioth.debian.org/mailman/listinfo/secure-testing-announce>

We also invite you to add the following lines to your apt sources.list file,
and run "apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" to make the security updates
available.

deb http://security.debian.org etch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org etch/updates main contrib non-free

This replaces the previous http://secure-testing.debian.net/ lines which should
no longer be used. There will be a transition period where packages are
uploaded to both, but you should now use the http://security.debian.org lines.

Note that while all of Debian's architectures are supported, we may release
an advisory before fixed packages have built for all supported
architectures. If so, the missing builds will become available as they
complete.

Debian developers who would like to upload fixes for security holes in
testing to the repository can do so, following the instructions on our web
site.

Finally, we are still in the process of working out how best to serve users
of testing and keep your systems secure, and we welcome comments and
feedback about ways to do better. You can reach the testing security team
at secure-testing-team@lists.alioth.debian.org.

For more information about the testing security team, see our web site.
<http://secure-testing-master.debian.net/>.
===================
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Postby domecq » 2006-05-30 14:45

ajdlinux wrote:Testing does have security updates.

Yes, it does have and let me emphasize what I have said about that:
domecq wrote:testing usually doesn't break but doesn't get security updates the same way as stable

For further information on how security is treated for testing, please see this.
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Postby Lavene » 2006-05-31 02:34

Testing is getting better and better as at comes closer to become stable. My main system is mainly testing with bit's and pieces from unstable and I haven't had any problems with it for a good while now (although the last upgrade did something peculiar to my fonts).

So personally I see no problem with starting of with thesting at the present time since the plan is to move it to stable at the end of the year. My only advice is to use the name 'etch' instead of 'testing' in your sources list. That way you will follow it into stable without having to edit your sources. Because you don't want to use testing just after a new stable release.

Tina :)
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Moving from Ubuntu to Debian!

Postby glf2818 » 2006-06-02 01:50

maelgwyn
This is more a common sense suggestion than computer stuff.
Since you are doing a fresh install, this would be a good time to do some experimenting--before you have everything set up the way you want it and a thousand files you would have to back up.
Go ahead and install--sarge if that's handy.
Play a bit with KDE and Gnome. You may find you actually like one (Gnome for me). Also when you login, you will find other options on the left pull-down menu.
Then edit your /etc/apt/sources.list with nano or something.
Skipping the cdroms I started with my sources.list looks like this:
Code: Select all
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ sarge main
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ sid main# Testing
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib
# Testing Sources
deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib
#unstable
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable  main contrib
#stable
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main contrib

deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib


My system is testing/unstable.
Do # apt-get update
And then #apt-get dist-upgrade
If your system is unusable, reinstall with sarge or just etch. My guess is you won't have any significant problems. Lots of people are running sid (unstable) and love it!
Occasionally you may have a problem. So fix it, work around it, or live with it.
Example: When I first fixed my screen resolution so I could have the highest resolution possible on my system, everything shrunk. Fixed that. But on my x-terms the text was very tiny. The Gnome menu item for fixing that didn't work. I remembered it used to be possible to right-click to do that.
So I right-clicked and then clicked on Edit Current Profile and that worked fine.
There aren't that many programs that are critical to me (firefox, balsa,xzgv). As long as those are o.k., I'm fine.
Good luck,
George :wink:
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Postby maelgwyn » 2006-06-02 02:37

Thanks for that :)

I do have quite a list of programs I want available to me, as I've been running Ubuntu for quite a while now and have got the programs I love! So there would be a fair amount of to-ing & fro-ing involved if things were to mess up...

I think I'd probably be best to start with Sarge as you advised and see how I like it.

I prefer Gnome over KDE, what version of Gnome is running in Sarge?
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Postby nayoo » 2006-06-06 05:30

maelgwyn wrote: what version of Gnome is running in Sarge?


To check gnome version:
Code: Select all
gnome-about


Sarge's Gnome = 2.8.3 (Build Date : Friday 04 March 2005)
Etch's Gnome = 2.14.1 (Build Date : Friday 21 April 2006)
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