Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

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Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby jmgibson1981 » 2016-04-07 23:48

I've just got done redoing my laptop, back to Debian on a premise that I think is wise but am looking for input with. Am I being to paranoid about not having a stable system basically. My installation is 100% debian repo based, nothing outside of official repos. For the 2 programs I need that aren't in the repos I set up an Arch vm. The idea is to keep my base 100% stable and clean for easy upgrades without having to worry about stray packages from random places. I feel it gives me the best of both worlds at the expense of a couple gigs of space on my ssd (got plenty to spare). Basically am I going about this wrong or is this advisable? Am I being entirely to paranoid about using anything outside of Debian repos / compiling? I am looking for the most stable solution I can get.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby NFT5 » 2016-04-08 00:48

You'll probably get 20 different replies to this and none will be wrong. FWIW, this is my take on it:

If you were running a server or something mission critical, then yes keep it 100% clean and limited to a stable release. But for a notebook or desktop that isn't quite so important, provided you're sensible about it.

For example, in my business we have to run some proprietary software that is Windows based. So we run in Virtualbox, but Version 5 because it offers better USB support and that makes a big difference. The Samsung printer drivers work much better so we use those. Dropbox suits our needs quite well so we use the proprietary version of that. Plus a couple of applications from Backports (which is commented out in sources.list). So, technically, not a "pure" Debian system, but fairly close.

What I don't do is mix Stable with OldStable, Testing and/or Unstable, or anything from other distros. IMHO that's just asking for trouble.

With this kind of setup I never have any problems with updates. However, I take the opportunity to do a clean installation when doing a version upgrade, i.e. Wheezy to Jessie. Since that only needs to happen once every few years it's no big deal and provides the opportunity for something of a clean up at the same time.

Doing things this way gives us rock solid stability combined with the features and usability that we need. There may be some flash features in later versions of many of the applications that come with Stable/Oldstable, but you really need to assess whether these are necessary and whether the risk is worth it. My decisions have been fairly conservative but I don't feel that we really lack anything in terms of being able to do what we have to do.

I get no grief from my wife about her machine playing up and she hasn't managed to contract a single piece of malware since I took Windows off her machines. That in itself is worth the approach I take. :wink:

I do have a completely separate box that i use for testing/playing. I bork that regularly. :roll: :lol:
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-04-08 08:00

I use Arch as my main system and it doesn't really matter if it goes down suddenly because I never have anything important to do on it.

For $BETTER_HALF, their laptop is "mission critical" and any failures would have consequences...

I use Debian stable on that machine with selected software from jessie-backports and absolutely no foreign repositories; I won't use deb-multimedia or google-chrome, et al, either.
:D
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby lukas » 2016-04-08 09:55

The short answer: It sure is worth it. That's what it is for, that's the way to use it.

I for one had no big problems in adding stable-backports. Else i usually don't use third party software.

If you are really paranoid, you will want to get your head into a good backup solution. But then: If you have one, you could just as well run Debian unstable instead of stable ...
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby Nili » 2016-04-10 15:14

Absolutely, (netinst) stable an opportunity to have a Debian in your way.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby lukas » 2016-04-10 18:07

Nili wrote:Absolutely, (netinst) stable an opportunity to have a Debian in your way.

That is a wrong myth.
If you have a desktop environment and shitloads of apps you will never need depends on the choice you make during installation.
If you select environment, you will get one, if you don't select it, you won't get one.
You may use a DVD, a CD or the netinst iso, it doesn't change the way the installer works.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby Crewp » 2016-04-11 00:11

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I use Arch as my main system and it doesn't really matter if it goes down suddenly because I never have anything important to do on it.

For $BETTER_HALF, their laptop is "mission critical" and any failures would have consequences...

I use Debian stable on that machine with selected software from jessie-backports and absolutely no foreign repositories; I won't use deb-multimedia or google-chrome, et al, either.
:D


Yes the wife's PC is " mission critical " here too. :lol:
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby spacex » 2016-04-11 01:57

Crewp wrote:
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I use Arch as my main system and it doesn't really matter if it goes down suddenly because I never have anything important to do on it.

For $BETTER_HALF, their laptop is "mission critical" and any failures would have consequences...

I use Debian stable on that machine with selected software from jessie-backports and absolutely no foreign repositories; I won't use deb-multimedia or google-chrome, et al, either.
:D


Yes the wife's PC is " mission critical " here too. :lol:


Here too, and in addition it's worthy of preservation she says, so it's kind of boring to maintain it :lol:
lukas wrote:
Nili wrote:Absolutely, (netinst) stable an opportunity to have a Debian in your way.

That is a wrong myth.
If you have a desktop environment and shitloads of apps you will never need depends on the choice you make during installation.
If you select environment, you will get one, if you don't select it, you won't get one.
You may use a DVD, a CD or the netinst iso, it doesn't change the way the installer works.


Yes, but it's kind of stupid to do a big download when you only need a fraction of it. That's the point of the netinst.iso.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby kedaha » 2016-04-11 10:29

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I use Arch as my main system and it doesn't really matter if it goes down suddenly because I never have anything important to do on it.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:For $BETTER_HALF, their laptop is "mission critical" and any failures would have consequences...
I use Debian stable on that machine with selected software from jessie-backports and absolutely no foreign repositories; I won't use deb-multimedia or google-chrome, et al, either.
:D

For my main home desktop system I use pure stable without any admixture or tainting because it is - kind of - mission critical. The same applies to 4 Debian desktop machines at work.
I've never tried Arch but just stick to Debian. I can also boot - from my stable grub - both sid and testing which occupy their own, separate partitions. This is only to track testing in its progress toward stable since I'm way behind the times with regard to the shiny new stuff. 8).
For a server, it's essential, but I also think running a pure Debian desktop system for getting things done is well worth it, specially if you are busy with other things. But for fun one can explore many other options...
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby RU55EL » 2016-04-11 15:26

lukas wrote:
Nili wrote:Absolutely, (netinst) stable an opportunity to have a Debian in your way.

That is a wrong myth.
If you have a desktop environment and shitloads of apps you will never need depends on the choice you make during installation.
[...]


What am I missing? Isn't having the choice of tons of apps, or not having tons of apps "an opportunity to have a Debian in your way"?

To answer the first post, yes, Debian stable is worth it.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby lukas » 2016-04-11 16:07

What you are missing:
My point was that choosing (*) desktop environment during installation doesn't only install a desktop environment, but also lots of other applications (and i for one doubt that most users need all of those apps, or even the bigger part of them).
I didn't say i wouldn't like the option to install one of four desktop environments or none at all.

My main point was that the choice doesn't depend on using the netinstall iso.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby RU55EL » 2016-04-11 21:05

I never saw anyone post that netinstall is required in order to prevent installing a complete desktop (with all the extras) and just install the base desktop, without the bells and whistles.

OK, I am still at a loss to understand...but it really doesn't matter.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby lukas » 2016-04-12 16:35

scroll up this thread, and you will see it. I even quoted it.
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby spacex » 2016-04-13 14:15

lukas wrote:scroll up this thread, and you will see it. I even quoted it.


In all fairness, nothing wrong in saying that a netinstall is a good opportunity to have Debian in your way :)
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Re: Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?

Postby Ardouos » 2016-04-13 14:29

jmgibson1981 wrote:Running a pure Debian Stable system. Worth it?


Yes, just stick to trusted Debian repos and not be tempted by the shiny new stuff, on a side note upgrades between versions will be smoother too. My old work laptop only has used software in the Debian repos and it is still going strong and stable after years of use. ;)

Just keep this in mind though.

https://wiki.debian.org/DontBreakDebian.

p.s. There are ways of getting foreign packages through Debian as long as they are packaged for Debian. Stevepusser and the mepis community are a good example of this.
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