Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read this

Here you can discuss every aspect of Debian. Note: not for support requests!

Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read this

Postby dcihon » 2018-02-26 00:26

Looking at a lot of the beginner questions here it always seems to me that the OP chooses Debian before knowing what they are getting into.
Even the base install confuses people. I don't care how much they read all the HOW TO's or what Debian is. I don't think they understand it is like IMHO a Car with just the frame and and you have to go to the store and buy tires and seats and other accessories before you can drive it.
I think people should read this or a similar article before choosing Debian:
https://www.lifewire.com/choose-best-linux-distro-for-needs-2201172

Some way to help them understand that this isn't as easy as what they are used to.
What do you guys think. Am I off base here?
dcihon
 
Posts: 233
Joined: 2012-09-23 16:18

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-02-26 01:47

Well , I do agree the main reason many of the first time Debian users have problems is because they did not read much of anything before they just down load some debian iso, (image), and try to install it.
I don't think the site you are promoting would help much, but yes, definitely they should try reading some of the documentation from the Debian web site first,
by dcihon »Even the base install confuses people.

All though I agree, a very few do seem to be confused very easily, but honestly, there is nothing confusing about the documentation on it, I am not all that swift, or technically oriented, but I find it straight forward and easy to follow, nothing confusing.
I find the site you are promoting very confusing, and very little on Debian, nothing about the "netinstall". It is confusing because it also is promoting Ubunto, Fedora, and a whole bunch of other distros, that have been determined to be "the most popular" according to "distro watch', (another site I have absolutely no use for), if I was interested in the "most popular" I would be stuck with Ubuntoooo or MSWindow/buntoo.... most of the distros they promote are , as bad or worse then MS windows. The Nissan advertisements made the site even more confusing.
The best thing, I think a beginner can do is get as much information as they can, from the Debian website / wiki,... if they are going to use Debian. As for the other distros, the same applies, first-hand information from the Website/wiki specific to that distro, not some random website or "distro watch" promotions, in fact this is a cause of many of the problems they have, reading promotions from random blogs and websites, instead of the actual documentation specific to the chosen distro.
These are some they should read, : https://www.debian.org/CD/faq/
===============================
Another: https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/FAQ
======================
For now, last but not least, : https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstall

When I first installed Debian, years ago, this is where I started:
https://www.debian.org/doc/
From there, I decided which ISO I needed, or wanted, I read a lot of the documentation, and my first install went smoothly, with no problems, it is all straight forward and easy to understand, again, I stress, I am not at all "techy", and do get confused easily, especially from all the propaganda and promotions so many of the random websites have......
Before I retired, I was a "stone cutter",...yea, I broke and cut stones for a living, .... never finished the 7th grade in school, I am your average "flunky",... I really feel sorry for the people that find the documentation confusing, if and when some one is that handicapped , I suppose the best thing they can do is try to get some body to help them, in person, literally hold their hand,and make sure they don't fall down and hurt their selves.
I do have a nephew, 17 year old, "dows syndrome", and he did not find the documentation at the Debian website confusing either, YES I would have helped him, if need be, but to my surprise he worked it out him self,... so just goes to show.
Any way,
by dcihon » What do you guys think. Am I off base here?

No, you are not "off base" at all, it should be clear to new users, that if they decide to just install a "base" system , they will need to know how to get and install packages, etc. and also need to know how to establish a internet connection. Quite often I do see other helpers give the advice " Maybe you should just install Ubuntu, or Linux Mint, or MX-17 , etc.... "
Last edited by GarryRicketson on 2018-02-26 04:30, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
GarryRicketson
 
Posts: 5192
Joined: 2015-01-20 22:16
Location: Durango, Mexico

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby dcihon » 2018-02-26 02:14

Garry,
All your points are good ones.
That website I linked to had listed for Debian:
"Level Of Expertise Required - Medium"

What I was trying to get at was some beginners with Debian that ask questions on this forum seem to not understand that the Debian is a foundation on which to build from and not what I would call a "Polished Distro" (One that comes with many of the packages installed that make Linux easier to use).
There is nothing wrong with that. It just makes base Debian not as easy to use.

The confusion questions I have seen are like "I thought I selected a Desktop (Like Mate) and all I got was a terminal prompt.
I know that comes from reading instructions properly and maybe a few trial and error installs.
I don't know maybe I am over reacting here.
I just think the instructions on the Distro before installing should be a little clearer on what to expect maybe.
dcihon
 
Posts: 233
Joined: 2012-09-23 16:18

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-02-26 04:21

I agree, 100%, and any sites that may help clarify things are something more people (beginners and "new to linux" ) should read.

I just think the instructions on the Distro before installing should be a little clearer on what to expect maybe.

They probably could be , and maybe should be, the wiki is pretty easy to modify, edit,... the Debian website is more restricted, and sadly a rather complex process to make any changes. Kind of "off topic", but I do notice there seems to be a trend now, on the Debian website, and it is getting worse instead of better.
User avatar
GarryRicketson
 
Posts: 5192
Joined: 2015-01-20 22:16
Location: Durango, Mexico

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby Lysander » 2018-02-26 09:30

Some way to help them understand that this isn't as easy as what they are used to.


Maybe it's like marriage in a sense. Why do some marriages work while most fail? There is no single answer. But I can attempt a generalisation - because one or both partners are not having their needs met.

Like with Linux there is no single answer as to why people find it hard but the generalisation could be - because it's unfamiliar.

Proliferation of software takes places socially. MS/Mac software tends to revolve within social groups. For anyone to use desktop Linux they will mostly be stepping outside the bounds of their social circle, or they will be independent, or part of the already existent Linux/Unix world. And like with marriage - they have to be prepared to put the work in. It won't be what they expected, and they will most likely bail at difficulty and revert to the familiar [this is my theory as to why desktop Linux market share has gone down since they summer].

I like the article you linked to because it cites levels of expertise. That is helpful. Another thing it should cite, which it doesn't, is OS ethics. A lot of people get deterred by Debian because they don't know about the effects of the free software ethic which means that they won't be able to use some programs. This means it's not quite as easy as Windows/other distros.

A lot of things within other distros are explained in-distro with GUIs. With Debian the user has to do some reading around both before and during install/usage esp if they have little experience with Linux.

Also Debian necessities terminal work. Terminals scare people. They're not used to them, they don't understand what they are. They are mostly used to the Hollywood depiction of terminals as something secret and dangerous and think the word 'hacking' only means doing bad things on the internet. They have to get some experience to realise that terminal work is generally quicker than using GUIs and gives them more control. But a lot of people would rather use software than working out how to use software.

Another issue is belief. People believe Linux/Debian will be a certain way or a distro will be a certain way. They believe that Linux will be better than Windows/Mac or easier when it is neither. It is purely a different way of working.

The final point is that people don't like reading up, generally. They would prefer for the install/OS to do all the work for them because that's what they are used to. And reading up/learning means stepping outside the bounds of the familiar. They like automated processes. They need to do some reading around for Debian.

So to switch to Debian means reading up, learning new skills, practicing a level of independence and free thought, understanding its ethos, getting mentally attuned to less automated software, in many cases using different software, generally caring enough to learn and taking the time to do so. And most people will see that as being entirely unnecessary and frustrating. And it's too much work to get their needs met.

One final point - people underestimate, or fail to realise, that they have an emotional relationship with their OS. They depend on it hugely for stability, reliance, to get work done. It is a virtual base which houses their software, their documents, their personal artifacts. By passwording it they lock it purely for their own use. They customise its to fit in with their personality and their identity. It's a representation and product of their personal lives, their work lives, their interests. If they have to move to an OS which jeopardises any of these - or makes accomplishing tasks difficult - they will revert to what they are used to. Using Linux and Debian will seem unnecessarily frustrating or even panic-inducing and then will go back to what they know and what makes them feel comfortable.

Apologies for the rather disorganised structure of this post, trying to do several things at once.
Last edited by Lysander on 2018-02-26 10:06, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Lysander
 
Posts: 558
Joined: 2017-02-23 10:07
Location: London

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby alan stone » 2018-02-26 10:03

dcihon wrote:What do you guys think. Am I off base here?

See the post above: Some people should think before getting married and raising children too.
Don't they because there's no manual? :mrgreen:
User avatar
alan stone
 
Posts: 258
Joined: 2011-10-22 14:08
Location: In my body.

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby Lysander » 2018-02-26 10:10

alan stone wrote:Don't they because there's no manual? :mrgreen:


There are plenty of manuals and more advice out there than you can shake a stick at! But people tend to get married for emotional reasons rather than thinking long and hard about the ramifications, the effect on their lives, the effort, their goals and the variables.

And therein lies the problem with OS adoption - people have an emotional attachment to using an OS and they tend not to realise it [until they try to move].
User avatar
Lysander
 
Posts: 558
Joined: 2017-02-23 10:07
Location: London

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby acewiza » 2018-02-26 13:15

dcihon wrote:...some beginners with Debian that ask questions on this forum seem to not understand that the Debian is a foundation on which to build from and not what I would call a "Polished Distro"....

I'm guessing you are/were one of the newbs you speak of at some time recently. You're not there yet if this is what you think. :roll:

Everything is all there, right off the .iso, or whatever, assuming you choose the right install media. That is a common mistake. Any "building" required is minimal and specific to the system in question.

If I had a nickle for every time somebody failed a Debian install starting with exactly not one single clue about what they were doing... I could even buy a cup of coffee just counting my own from years back. :lol:
Nobody would ever ask questions If everyone possessed encyclopedic knowledge of the man pages.
User avatar
acewiza
 
Posts: 358
Joined: 2013-05-28 12:38
Location: Out West

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby Lysander » 2018-02-26 14:42

dcihon wrote: not what I would call a "Polished Distro" (One that comes with many of the packages installed that make Linux easier to use).
There is nothing wrong with that. It just makes base Debian not as easy to use.


To clarify, Debian is not supposed to be easy to use but it is polished. Debian has a specific focus on libre software and rigorous testing, it is this that makes it stable. Do not conflate a 'polished distro' with one that is 'easy to use' - they are distinct and different.

If people want an easy to use distro they can go for the long list of usual suspects.
User avatar
Lysander
 
Posts: 558
Joined: 2017-02-23 10:07
Location: London

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby dcihon » 2018-02-26 16:25

Lysander wrote:
dcihon wrote: not what I would call a "Polished Distro" (One that comes with many of the packages installed that make Linux easier to use).
There is nothing wrong with that. It just makes base Debian not as easy to use.


To clarify, Debian is not supposed to be easy to use but it is polished. Debian has a specific focus on libre software and rigorous testing, it is this that makes it stable. Do not conflate a 'polished distro' with one that is 'easy to use' - they are distinct and different.

If people want an easy to use distro they can go for the long list of usual suspects.


Ok wrong choice of words on my part.
I agree it is "polished".
You said "Debian is not supposed to be easy to use".
That is what people need to know.
They usually find out after they install especially if they install it after using one of the other "easier to use" distros.
I have used back in the day "Mandriva" that is where my Linux use started. When it fell apart then I went to "Linux Mint" using the LMDE version which got me headed to Debian. Then I went to Solydxk. Still based on Debian. After using that for awhile and getting use to it I decided try pure Debian and started from scratch well except for using the non-free side to get wifi working easier.
I am using testing and I don't know everything there is to know about it but I am learning and thanks everyone here for being patient with me as I go down this road.
For me I am an IT Manager at my job all windows based and having Linux at home and at work in a virtual box is fun for me.
Thanks for reading all of this and everyone making their comments. Been very helpful to me.
dcihon
 
Posts: 233
Joined: 2012-09-23 16:18

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby n_hologram » 2018-02-26 16:29

dcihon wrote:I am an IT Manager at my job

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=136659&p=667897#p667599
dcihon wrote:I just do my regular updates and leave the security concerns to the experts.

wut.
bester69 wrote:There is nothing to install in linux, from time to time i go to google searching for something fresh to install in linux, but, there is nothing

the crunkbong project: scripts, operating system, the list goes on...
n_hologram
 
Posts: 444
Joined: 2013-06-16 00:10

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby emariz » 2018-02-26 18:26

emariz wrote:There is a huge difference between using and administrating a computer, and these task are mostly unrelated. A competent user may never have to perform an administrative task, and a capable administrator may never be a competent user of everyday applications.
That being said, the installation of an operating system is clearly an administrative task. It involves complex concepts like file systems, disk partitioning and usage, device drivers and firmware, microprocessor architectures, package management, etc. Why a computer user should be familiar with these concepts is beyond my comprehension. No matter how competent he is.

A system installer must not be easy but comprehensive. It is a one-time task that must be carefully and diligently exercised by a person with experience in system administration. 99% of the Windows and Mac user did not install their systems and there are countless satisfied, proficient users among them. Why should these same users be capable of installing an entirely different operating system like GNU/Linux? The expectation is not high but naïvely impossible.

Originally written on June 20th, 2012.
viewtopic.php?p=440074#p440074
emariz
 
Posts: 2904
Joined: 2008-10-17 07:59

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby dcihon » 2018-02-27 01:07

n_hologram wrote:
dcihon wrote:I am an IT Manager at my job

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=136659&p=667897#p667599
dcihon wrote:I just do my regular updates and leave the security concerns to the experts.

wut.


I will try to explain my comment:

What I meant by leaving the security concerns to the experts is:
I don't know enough or have have the time to look at all the code that is written in every package to know what security concerns would be in there.
So I trust that the developers will or someone looking at the security of these packages will find the problems and correct them. I will just make sure my system is updated to the latest that is available to help with any security issues that may be in older packages.
dcihon
 
Posts: 233
Joined: 2012-09-23 16:18

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby JmaCWQ » 2018-02-27 03:54

emariz wrote:There is a huge difference between using and administrating a computer, and these task are mostly unrelated. A competent user may never have to perform an administrative task, and a capable administrator may never be a competent user of everyday applications.
That being said, the installation of an operating system is clearly an administrative task. It involves complex concepts like file systems, disk partitioning and usage, device drivers and firmware, microprocessor architectures, package management, etc. Why a computer user should be familiar with these concepts is beyond my comprehension. No matter how competent he is.

A system installer must not be easy but comprehensive. It is a one-time task that must be carefully and diligently exercised by a person with experience in system administration. 99% of the Windows and Mac user did not install their systems and there are countless satisfied, proficient users among them. Why should these same users be capable of installing an entirely different operating system like GNU/Linux? The expectation is not high but naïvely impossible.


So "users" should just keep "using" their systems as is?
And not learn how to install a different OS, partition disks, upgrade firmware etc. etc.?
Do big things....
User avatar
JmaCWQ
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2016-08-17 17:53
Location: Western Queensland

Re: Before Choosing Debian as your distro you should Read th

Postby debiman » 2018-02-27 06:30

^ sure, why not? i do not expect everyone to become a (linux) nerd/hacker (or whatever term you prefer).

as to the original, first post:
i think there's a big problem with vastly overestimating one's own abilities, not being humble.
many potential linux users will listen to this sort of advice, and all they get from it is a challenge:
sure i can do that! that sort of advice is for losers!
a newbie is a wuss, and i'm certainly not a wuss! i'm a winner!
etc.
so it will have the opposite effect - not on all, but on many new users.
and i dare guess that it is this particular group of new users that flood the forums later, with demanding questions, pointing the finger anywhere but themselves.
User avatar
debiman
 
Posts: 3064
Joined: 2013-03-12 07:18

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

fashionable