[ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

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[ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby arochester » 2017-03-17 13:21

In twenty-four years, Debian has gone from one of half a dozen leading distributions to the premier representative of Linux. Its derivatives Linux Mint and Ubuntu are the most popular distributions today, and new security and server distributions are likely to be based on Debian itself.

So far, over three hundred other distributions have been based on Debian -- so many that in recent years Debian has tried to position itself as the upstream project for them.

There are at least seven reasons for this runaway popularity. However, depending on your interests, Debian's features can come at a cost.


http://www.datamation.com/open-source/7 ... ot-to.html
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby phenest » 2017-03-17 17:31

3. The Largest Number of Installed Packages

Probably no one has counted exactly, but Debian includes over 40,000 packages -- and possibly over 50,000.

What do they mean they've never been counted. 68,623 packages in Stretch according to https://packages.debian.org/testing/allpackages?format=txt.gz.
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby cpoakes » 2017-03-19 23:51

phenest wrote:What do they mean they've never been counted. 68,623 packages in Stretch according to https://packages.debian.org/testing/allpackages?format=txt.gz.


Right. People with accurate tools for counting never counted them? The author lost all credibility as a technology writer.

While we can certainly count lines in that list, it is arguably a poor metric for comparing distros. Package pairs like something and something-{dbg,dev} are essential to managing disk space but counting them as multiple packages adds no value to the tally when comparing distros (there are 14000 such duplicates!). It is tantamount to counting the armel, armhf, i386, amd64, et al packages compiled from the same source as separate packages. And there are more than 15000 task, meta-, and virtual packages. Their sole content is a list of other packages to install; this is highly distro-variable and/or distro-specific.

While I appreciate (and am impressed) the devs package more than 68000 packages to maximize usability in the smallest footprint, the source package count seems a far better metric to compare distros.
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby Danielsan » 2017-03-20 04:25

The author of that article can recycle this point:

2. Debian Uses Systemd

While most users have accepted the introduction of Systemd a few years ago, some continue to fault Debian for using it. They see Systemd as too powerful an administration tool, and suspect it as a ploy by Red Hat to control the desktop. The Debian wiki includes instructions for replacing Systemd with Init, but the process is cumberson, so those who object to Systemd often prefer a derivative distribution like Devuan, which installs without Systemd.


And create a new article: 1 reason to not use almost 99% of Linux distros... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby ruffwoof » 2017-03-20 14:24

The 3 negatives

1. Only installs with free software
2. Uses systemD
3. Software not up to date

... are easily sorted. For instance I install from the Debian 'unofficial' that includes the non-free.

Some don't like systemD, personally I find it runs well and has more eyes looking at the same thing rather than massive diversity (all looking to do similar things different ways).

Well tested and bug fixed software tends towards perfection/stable. As the article author notes one of the positives is
A Balance Between Cutting Edge and Stability

Given the choice of buggy new up-to-date software or well tested and bug-free software that's been around for a while ... and personally I prefer the latter.
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby bw123 » 2017-03-21 00:07

The 3 negatives

1. Only installs with free software


Yeah well just to be contrary, that is one of the reasons I like debian. People who write reviews like this miss the point of 'free' software...

https://www.debian.org/intro/free

plus, I never click links that are lists. Headline/Titles like, "The Ten reasons, you should <<Click THIS>>" is just another example of lazy pseudo-journalism. It's an infomercial and not to be taken seriously. Since there are seven for, and 3 against, is this some kind of idiots guide to mathematics, or how to make up your mind about a linux distribution?

God help us, if 70% of the people who read the article actually install debian, it's going to be a busy year.
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby millpond » 2017-03-22 07:26

The simple reality of the matter is that Debian is essentially the backbone of Linux - for all practical purposes. Redhat is a distant second, as it is not really 'free' - Fedora cant really compare, and RH was charging for drivers for Mandriva. There is of course the Arch/Slackware/*too universe, but it is not practical to expect normal users to compile thousands of programs. Hells bells, even compiling wine can take hours just hunting down its dependencies.

And BSD is not even Linux - its Unix.

So Debian Corp. is for all intents and purposes - a monopoly, though of course not an absolute one.
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby woteb » 2017-03-24 19:01

The simple reality of the matter is that Debian is essentially the backbone of Linux - for all practical purposes.

One of the most profound thoughts I have ever read about Linux in general.
Write them down and hang them over your bed, or learn it by heart.
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"The simple reality of the matter is that Debian is essentially the backbone of Linux - for all practical purposes."
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby Crewp » 2017-03-25 22:13

woteb wrote:
The simple reality of the matter is that Debian is essentially the backbone of Linux - for all practical purposes.

One of the most profound thoughts I have ever read about Linux in general.
Write them down and hang them over your bed, or learn it by heart.


+1 agreed
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby Gaius » 2017-09-20 20:07

ruffwoof wrote:Given the choice of buggy new up-to-date software or well tested and bug-free software that's been around for a while ... and personally I prefer the latter.

Indeed, especially considering that most (non-major) updates only add unimportant functionality improvements ... in other words, save you a mouse-click or a terminal command to achieve the exact same result. (That's an exaggeration, of course, but updates containing that one functionality you've desperately waited for forever are very rare.)



bw123 wrote:God help us, if 70% of the people who read the article actually install debian, it's going to be a busy year.

Image

An entertaining example of the 70%.

Cheers,
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby oswaldkelso » 2017-09-20 22:35

woteb wrote:
The simple reality of the matter is that Debian is essentially the backbone of Linux - for all practical purposes.

One of the most profound thoughts I have ever read about Linux in general.
Write them down and hang them over your bed, or learn it by heart.


"That's a load of old bollocks"

Currently GNU is the user space, Linux is the kernel and the rest is what we chose. Or should be. Once that is no longer true "Debian has failed and is nothing but the tail of a Red hat dog" ... If it's not already true since systemd.

With any luck Debian will incorporate patches from the likes of Devuan and gentoo's eudev to make it true and rise from it's enforced and willingly entered in to servitude. I doubt it but we can only hope.

Personally I'd love to see a Debian where there was no non-free and a choice of init including systemd, the reasons why that wont happen IMO are the real problem.

https://www.debian.org/intro/about

Maybe they need to update that page
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-09-21 05:51

oswaldkelso wrote:I'd love to see a Debian where there was no non-free

The official Debian images do not contain any non-free code.

Perhaps you are referring to the unofficial ISO images, it is important to remember that these are unofficial :mrgreen:

a choice of init

It is still possible to use SysVInit in stretch but the systemd-shim is un-maintained.

Personally, I would prefer that the developers (and users) focused their efforts on a single, well-maintained init system; fragmentation is one of the biggest problems in GNU/Linux.

I don't think your objections to systemd have anything to do with Debian's Social Contract and it is disingenuous of you to suggest otherwise.

I also dislike systemd but only because of it's intense and quite ridiculous complexity and the consequent inherent vulnerability to bugs and exploits; I really like the fact that it is GPL'd and so should you :)
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby oswaldkelso » 2017-10-08 21:39

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
oswaldkelso wrote:I'd love to see a Debian where there was no non-free

The official Debian images do not contain any non-free code.

Perhaps you are referring to the unofficial ISO images, it is important to remember that these are unofficial :mrgreen:

Sorry I was a bit pissed so not as clear as I'd have liked to have been :-)

I was referring to the almost defacto lip service to only to "The official Debian images do not contain any non-free code" . Now since the great Ubuntu influx and now the more recent Windows user influx, every Tom, **** & Harry links to or puts contrib and non-free in their sources.list. Bet it's there by default just commented out? The whole idea of contrib and non-free has been corrupted. People used them to get their systems working when they had little or no choice as in like X and sound or wifi, not to play friggin Steam.

I was also referring to the blobby kernel as compared to Linux-Libre

a choice of init

It is still possible to use SysVInit in stretch but the systemd-shim is un-maintained.


The fact that systemd-shim is needed shows the bigger problem of giving POSIX the big boot. Firefox and pulseaudio! wtf. ALSA is part of the Linux kernel, while PulseAudio and JACK are not. So like wise instead of a direct connection to ALSA you need to install a bunch of middleware. Of course I can get around it by installing apulse. Soon we'll need a whole bunch of bloat to undo all the crap that's enforced on us. It should not be like that. Debian and others seems to be using using the freedesktop.org as a standard, but as freedesktop.org themselves state "freedesktop.org is not a formal standards organization" They just behave like they are. I would suggest folks look down there list of projects and even a blind man would see what direction they're going.

https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/



Personally, I would prefer that the developers (and users) focused their efforts on a single, well-maintained init system; fragmentation is one of the biggest problems in GNU/Linux.


I wouldn't, choice is good. Whilst there are issues with vast choices there are also huge benefits as well. The Unix philosophy has served us well for damn well near 50 years now. For example Dragora 1 used sysvinit, Dragora 2.2 systems use Runit as it's init it has it's own supervisor. Dragora 3 will be using sinit as the init and perp as the supervisor . I really like Runit and may revert back to it on D3 because to switch to another init should not break the whole system. Fragmentation is one of the biggest assets in GNU/Linux it gives the individual choice to not have to follow the corporate dictate. Even that of the main dev of my Distro.

The same could not be said of the whole top down freedesktop monoculture. It all depends what your looking for. I say follow the money on freedesktop and all is clear. They want control and how better than to turn that broad pyramid on it's head and control the peak.

I don't think your objections to systemd have anything to do with Debian's Social Contract and it is disingenuous of you to suggest otherwise.



We'll have to disagree on that one as I no longer believe it can be called "The Universal operating system" If any distro deserves that title nowadays imo it's Gentoo.

I also dislike systemd but only because of it's intense and quite ridiculous complexity and the consequent inherent vulnerability to bugs and exploits; I really like the fact that it is GPL'd and so should you :)


systemd was GPL'd but has been LGPL'd since 2012. It's license is a mute point to me as it's the copyright holders that I find scary. Imagine in 10 years time when most people use systemd and it's underlieing 769 processes. Gnome and KDE are the only desktops and they make it non free because Microsoft give Lennart a load of money and buy Red Hat :-) Corprate power means it may as well be non free now. Because no fork has the man power to keep up with changes that a large multi billion dollor company can implement.

Anyway really glad your trying openrc :D



http://smarden.org/runit/
https://core.suckless.org/sinit
http://b0llix.net/perp/
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Re: [ARTICLE] 7 Reasons to Use Debian (and 3 Reasons Not To)

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-10-09 05:54

oswaldkelso wrote:I was referring to the almost defacto lip service to only to "The official Debian images do not contain any non-free code" . Now since the great Ubuntu influx and now the more recent Windows user influx, every Tom, **** & Harry links to or puts contrib and non-free in their sources.list.

Notwithstanding the silly actions of foolish users, it is still true that the official Debian images and repositories *do not* contain any non-free code.

I would hazard that most users employ the unofficial images in order to obtain the firmware blobs and I would humbly point out that any hardware in your computer that does not load it's firmware blobs from the operating system instead has the firmware blob embedded at the point of production.

Bet it's there by default just commented out?

No it isn't. Please don't do that.

not to play friggin Steam.

Hey! Steam is awesome, I would gladly sign any Faustian pact to play CS:GO :twisted:

I was also referring to the blobby kernel as compared to Linux-Libre

There are differences between what the DFSG classifies as "free" and the FSF definition but the Debian kernel definitely has no blobs, that's for sure.

Are you just here to FUD? :mrgreen:

Firefox and pulseaudio! wtf.

I am posting this from my Alpine Linux system using FF, there is no PA and sound works just fine :)

But yes, I do agree with you generally, bloody Mozilla... :roll:

ALSA is part of the Linux kernel, while PulseAudio and JACK are not. So like wise instead of a direct connection to ALSA you need to install a bunch of middleware. Of course I can get around it by installing apulse. Soon we'll need a whole bunch of bloat to undo all the crap that's enforced on us. It should not be like that.

My OpenBSD system has a unified audio stack and it is developed by the same team who work on the kernel, it's ace.

I would recommend it to you but...

Can we fork it and apply the GPL? :mrgreen:

systemd was GPL'd but has been LGPL'd since 2012. It's license is a mute point to me as it's the copyright holders that I find scary. Imagine in 10 years time when most people use systemd and it's underlieing 769 processes. Gnome and KDE are the only desktops and they make it non free because Microsoft give Lennart a load of money and buy Red Hat :-) Corprate power means it may as well be non free now. Because no fork has the man power to keep up with changes that a large multi billion dollor company can implement.

Red Hat have been controlling kernel development for many years now, that horse has bolted.
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