Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

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Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-08-23 17:31

I've seen quite a few posts on different forums over the last 2-3 years that contain the following:
-newbie
-installs Debian Oldstable rather than Stable
-on a desktop machine
-usually has more recent piece of hardware foo which doesn't run or run well on Oldstable.

Now, when it happened back when Jessie came out, it wasn't really odd, given that some newcomers might have had some former Linux knowledge and then decided to stick to a systemd-free system. But what is the upside of having Jessie over Stretch? I can't say that Stretch is significantly less stable or that Jessie got more stable over its course as a Stable release. What do you think?
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby ruffwoof » 2017-08-23 18:08

Debian Stable = unchanging, other than critical/security driven changes. Obviously a release that has been out-there for a while (2 years) and fallen into oldstable, will be more stable (solid) than a just a recently released stable.

Debian has one of the largest 'bases'. The collective main repository for Jessie might reasonably have more extensively used combinations of programs ... and fixes (or workaround documentation/online references) than Stretch. And oldstable still gets patched/security updated.

Same for any systems really. If its been out for a while that tends to work better collectively than something that's newly released. Older versions of programs, but if your hardware works with that and you don't need any of the newly added features within the later released versions of programs, then that can work well. There's also the option of grabbing a backport assuming one is available and deemed appropriate.

Perhaps the best choice for stability might be to run run oldstable for a year before upgrading to stable (once stable has been out for a year and all of the initial problems ironed out). And then stay with that for 2 years (one year as stable, one year as oldstable) ... before upgrading again. Stable = Current release. Oldstable = Mature release.

I'm sticking with Jessie for the time being. I did try Stretch and it worked really well, however a few cracks were evident in certain combinations of programs, that with time likely will get ironed out. I am however running relatively older hardware that works well with Jessie. There are cracks in Jessie also, however a search will typically produce workarounds or alternatives (i.e. at the present time Jessie is more extensively documented than is Stretch).

As a collective base (main repository), Jessie's base is more tested/used/fixed than Stretch's base.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-08-23 18:52

ruffwoof wrote:Obviously a release that has been out-there for a while (2 years) and fallen into oldstable, will be more stable (solid) than a just a recently released stable.

I doubt that since only security fixes are allowed after the release. Even very grave usability bugs remain in Jessie to this day (e.g. the Xfce gtk3 engine and its themes not working). Or would you care to point towards examples/sources for your claims?

ruffwoof wrote:The collective main repository for Jessie might reasonably have more extensively used combinations of programs ... and fixes (or workaround documentation/online references) than Stretch.


Again, I don't think that's how Stable actually works unless it's about very grave bugs.

ruffwoof wrote:[B]ut if your hardware works with that and you don't need any of the newly added features within the later released versions of programs, then that can work well.


Maybe you haven't read my initial question: It's about newbies who install Oldstable on a more recent machine not supported fully by Oldstable, rather than installing Stable on it.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2017-08-24 11:23

What is the very first thing you see when you go to debian.org ? Yes, a big, beautiful banner with download "Debian release" on the right. Maybe that link could be bigger? I don't know. Maybe those newbie users aren't quite new, since they have somehow found links to an oldstable release when Stable is in plain sight. They could have downloaded the image before Stretch released as Stable. Could be that they found the image on some unofficial site. Or they are just trolling guys who are eager to help.

Debian Stable bugs are squashed in the point releases, while security updates are released on the go. Of course, with point releases come all security fixes for those who haven't been updating frequently. There is no reason not to run Stable, except if the hardware you need is only found on a specific release. For example, non-free drivers for my old Nvidia Geforce4 MX 440 card are only on Wheezy.

Oldstable is called that because it's old, not because it's more stable than Stable. Since stable releases are already behind in software versions, IMHO you really want to have the most up to date, most supported distro possible. Especially for desktop or laptop.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby ruffwoof » 2017-08-24 11:35

Oldstable is called that because it's old, not because it's more stable than Stable

Case and point, Jessie oldstable 8.9 was more stable than stable Stretch 9.0 both in terms of stable=unchanging and stable=reliable.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2017-08-24 11:51

^Case and point, it also couldn't support newer CPUs on stock kernel, so your reliability argument is invalid. If Stretch was unstable when it was declared Stable, it is the devs mistake, not an general truth that Stable is less stable than Oldstable. You are missing the point here, and that is Stable=unchanging only. Every Stable release is grounded in time with the versions of applications it was released with. If those versions are somehow unstable, it was not meant to be released anyway. Thus, devs should have waited a little longer to release a more stable (as in stability) OS, maybe with an older kernel (4.4, not 4.9).

This is one dead horse topic, so we should just drop arguing about it. All users are directed at Stable on the official website for a reason.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-08-24 17:35

Wheeler, some good points there. Just seen a post where someone installed Wheezy that came on a CD they had lying around. Haven't thought of that.

ruffwoof wrote:Case and point, Jessie oldstable 8.9 was more stable than stable Stretch 9.0 both in terms of stable=unchanging and stable=reliable.


Sorry, but you have no data to back that sort of thing up. In my case, it's actually the other way around. For example, the drivers for my video card are more mature on Stretch than on Jessie. I think this really depends on the machine used.

[quote=Wheeler]This is one dead horse topic, so we should just drop arguing about it. All users are directed at Stable on the official website for a reason.[/quote]

Really? The fact that people download Oldstable, install it on new machines and complain about that it doesn't work has been talked about? Can you point me to a thread? Thanks.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2017-08-24 18:08

deborah-and-ian wrote:Really? The fact that people download Oldstable, install it on new machines and complain about that it doesn't work has been talked about? Can you point me to a thread? Thanks.


No, I meant the whole Stable vs Oldstable "which one is more stable" thing ruffwoof talks about. Your topic is fine, it really is a mystery.

EDIT: To expand on this a little, IMHO users should run whatever supported version of Debian they like. If they know what to do, even Wheezy can be perfectly usable. But for new users, the most obvious choice is Stable. Hassle free, up to date and fastest security support makes it almost mandatory.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby Innovate » 2017-08-27 00:47

It possibly have something to do with AMD users that need fglrx catalyst video utility with amd graphic drivers.
They can't get anything from 9.0 or any distro. Even amd gpupro refuse to install on debian and other distro.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-08-27 07:28

That's a good point! Even after all those improvements in the Radeon drivers, I still get worse FPS than with Catalyst. AMD really betrayed us there, especially since AMD GPU Pro is only for more recent and more expensive video cards. With my card that uses the Radeon SI driver, I got the middle finger from AMD. Not buying AMD ever again.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby acewiza » 2017-08-27 13:35

I believe the point being missed in this discussion is the fact that the term "Stable" being used as a distro naming convention does not jive with the fact that the term "Stable" in computing vernacular is a moving target, presenting different results with different HW no matter what software is being used.

The old adage YMMV holds true.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-08-28 08:00

acewiza wrote:I believe the point being missed in this discussion is the fact that the term "Stable" being used as a distro naming convention does not jive with the fact that the term "Stable" in computing vernacular is a moving target, presenting different results with different HW no matter what software is being used.


Sorry, but I really fail to understand as to how the fact that the term *stable* might be confusing to users is contributing to them installing oldstable over stable.
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Re: Baffling Choice for Desktops: Jessie Over Stretch

Postby acewiza » 2017-08-28 12:11

deborah-and-ian wrote:Sorry, but I really fail to understand as to how the fact that the term *stable* might be confusing to users is contributing to them installing oldstable over stable.

It's confusing the people that understand the naming convention - not the ones installing stuff blindly. They just present a topic for argument among the first group.
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