Why do you use debian?

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

Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby Lysander » 2019-12-28 13:11

My reasons have changed over time. A few years ago I was a new Linux user and was excited to learn an OS which was more challenging than Ubuntu. I then left Debian for Slackware on my main box.

As much as I adore Slackware, I ran into issues when adding a fourth internal hard drive, which meant the system wouldn't boot. We hit a wall on the Slackware forum trying to diagnose the problem, the normal processes for persistent naming wouldn't work. I went back to Debian because it makes configuring and maintaining a system with multiple hard drives a lot easier.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby neuraleskimo » 2019-12-28 17:06

Like a lot of other people, I like Debian's position on free software (but easy access to non-free drivers, etc.), its inclusiveness, and community. I also like that Debian is community-driven and free of corporate attachments. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Red Hat and their contributions to Linux and other free software, but the jury is still out on IBM owning Red Hat and I don't know that I like the Red Hat business model. Also, I have this fear that Microsoft will purchase Canonical someday.

Anyway, back on topic... I also like the stability and reliability of Debian. I have toyed with other more cutting-edge or rolling releases and usually end-up hating the daily churn of updates.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-12-29 15:43

My main reasons:

1. Actual ABI stability and promise of an unchanging environment. In the real world, this is very important.
2. A lot of packages to choose from, and an easy way to install them. No repo hunting, like in Fedora, for example.
3. Premium security support. For some desktop software (like Chromium), it could use some improvements, but this is not a big deal.
4. You get the choice of either fully-free software, or mixed. I'm pragmatic, so I care about non-free stuff's availability.
5. Long and rich history of development. It ensures survivability of the distribution. I don't have to worry that next year it could suddenly vanish.

Of course, I talk about the only official Debian release, Debian Stable.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby NFT5 » 2019-12-30 02:46

Chrisdb wrote:Why do you choose or use Debian...

I use Debian because that is what I chose. :wink:

About 7 years ago I faced what many others faced at that time - the upcoming end of support for Windows XP. Between my business and home I had around 15 machines that would have to be upgraded to a new operating system. At the time MS saw the end of life for XP as a massive opportunity to boost their profits and Win7 licences were not being discounted at all. So, I faced a capital cost of about $4500 to upgrade the OS, double that with upgrades to software, and then the prospect that it would all happen again with an OS that was full of holes, both in the practical and security senses.

I'd played around with Ubuntu on a PC at home and saw that Linux had potential to do what we needed, but the need to upgrade every 9 months had no appeal at all. I did look at LTS versions but started a search for a system that was stable in operation and had much longer periods between major upgrades. Red Hat made the list until I realised we just weren't big enough to fit into their customer mould. PCLOS actually had some appeal until it became apparent that it simply wouldn't install on some machines and then there was ............Robolinux. I laugh now but they were very active in targetting people like me and the system, which came with Virtualbox to run those programs that couldn't be substituted with a Linux equivalent was very attractive. I was halfway to making a decision when a small problem required that I actually contact the guy that runs the project. Without going in to that further, let me say that I came away looking for another alternative and then realised that Debian could, with not that much work, do everything that Robolinux had promised and also had a level of support that was non-existent with the alternative.

Six months of testing Wheezy ensued with very few problems, none of which that couldn't be overcome with a little research and work, plus some application to a giant learning curve. Needless to say we're still running Debian exclusively and in the process of upgrading to Buster, one machine at a time. Along the way I tried various other distros, just to confirm that I'd made the right decision. MX came close but missed out on their excessively tight permissions policy while Ubuntu MATE lived alongside Debian on my notebook for some time, as well as on my wife's desktop, but the noticeable difference in performance, and implementation of features in Debian, eventually knocked that distro out as well.

Is Debian the perfect distribution? Not at all. Some of the problems along the way have shown, to me at least, that there are issues with the sharp division between devs and users. MXLinux could really teach Debian a thing or two about the benefits that come from devs and users being part of a single community. More recognition of the ever increasing use of Debian as a desktop system would overcome many of the problems that newer users experience. Again MX and Ubuntu really show what can be done in this area. The stable/testing/unstable model has proven advantages in delivering software that works, but more could be done to discourage the inexperienced from jumping into a release that they're incapable of dealing with and taking up resources that could be better utilised elsewhere, while not actually contributing much to the actual development of the Debian distribution.

The following goes very close to summarising my thoughts on Debian:
Wheelerof4te wrote:1. Actual ABI stability and promise of an unchanging environment. In the real world, this is very important.
2. A lot of packages to choose from, and an easy way to install them. No repo hunting, like in Fedora, for example.
3. Premium security support. For some desktop software (like Chromium), it could use some improvements, but this is not a big deal.
4. You get the choice of either fully-free software, or mixed. I'm pragmatic, so I care about non-free stuff's availability.
5. Long and rich history of development. It ensures survivability of the distribution. I don't have to worry that next year it could suddenly vanish.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby Mr. Lumbergh » 2019-12-31 04:52

F37U5G0D wrote:Why do you use debian and not another distrobution?

Ahh, but I do use another distro. :wink: I have PCLOS installed on here too. Simple to use and I know it inside and out. When I first got into Linux back in 2005, I had that on the laptop and Ubuntu on the desktop. It eventually won as Ubuntu got more and more Microsoftish in their approach to things. It's only ever given me real grief twice in 15 years. I can get in there and do maintenance on everything else installed on this multiboot box (4, soon to be 5 OS's) because I'm so familiar with it at this point.
Debian appealed to me because of the huge range of available packages and pretty much infinite customization options. You can always find installation destructions for Debian for just about any package; a lot of other distros don't have this compatibility. I liked the concept behind Ubuntu Studio with its tweaks for audio and video production, but I still don't like Ubuntu. Debian lets me run the same tweaks such as the realtime kernel and JACK audio, which makes it a perfect alternative if you hate Windows and your Mac is too old to run a modern DAW. I can even set up JACK for my audio interface while still using Pulse for the HDMI out and built-in audio. It doesn't come pre-loaded with a bunch of crap; everything on here is there because I installed it, even the GUI. It can be a great general-purpose distro or one built for a specific task. And of course apt; it's far and away my favorite PM.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby dvk » 2020-01-03 10:43

I am using debian buster. because it is more stable than other distros
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby paneless » 2020-02-17 15:56

Back in 2009 an old laptop I had was struggling with Windows XP. I decided to give Ubuntu a try and the laptop was revived for another year or so. At the end of 2010, I bought a Compaq desktop with Windows 7 installed but found that I was actually missing Linux. I went back to Ubuntu first then tried a few distros most of which were Arch derivatives, before finally settling on Arch in 2012. I had been running Arch without any problems until Friday 14th, when an update prevented me from being able to boot. I knew which package had caused the problem and was going to roll back to its pre updated state.
I booted with what I thought was a copy of the Arch ISO to discover that it contained Debian 10 live KDE. Hastily perhaps I thought I'll give it a try and rebooted and installed it on the same old 2010 Compaq.
It has only been three or four days, but it is probably the best outcome from what initially looked like a disaster. This old desktop is probably better off without living on the 'bleeding edge.'
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-02-22 13:14

I like reliability, choice and Debians commitment to freedom. It gives me comfort that it is maintained by a big and diverse community spread out over the whole globe. It is also great that Debian doesn't pre-install to many applications out of the box. A plus is that most web servers I need to deal with run Debian also. Therefore, I can utilize the same experience and get faster better with it. It comes with well pre-configured desktop environments for different use cases. It is very easy to use it on an ancient laptop with the in my opinion still rather good LXDE and if I have more powerful hardware at hand I can just stick to the default GNOME desktop, which I love also. In every case it feels like a well thought through base to start my own customisation from if I don't like the default. (Other distros often come with heavy customisation and therefore make it harder to follow manuals in order to do my personal customisation.)

I love the spiral logo. (Nearly as much as the even prettier Trisquel logo.) I don't mind being behind with versions as long as everything works well. But Trisquel is a bit to ancient even for my taste. And if I would be impatient at some point I could always use the testing branch and would still have a reasonably stable system. (But that didn't happen so far.)

At some point I did use Suse Enterprise but I never really got into it. I can't decide if it would be worth the effort to try a good rpm distro. I was surprised to learn that Fedora should be entirely free software out of the box also. Maybe it would be wise to give it a try. But I am reluctant to learn to work with a different packaging system just for the sake of it. After all, I mainly want to use my operating system to do my work with. It isn't for playing around. And so far there hasn't been a good reason for me to crave an other packaging system.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby PsySc0rpi0n » 2020-02-28 21:54

This is a thread I think now one will read back. It's just long replies, so most of people will only give their opinions (me included).

I've been using Debian for the past 8 or 10 years. Unfortunately, and for unknown reasons to me, I don't have the knowledge about Debian/Linux that 8 years should give me. I'm sorry for this and also a bit ashamed. I see many people with way less years with Debian/Linux and knowing much more than me about this OS.

Anyways, I already have more time with Debian than with any other OS.
I started using Linux a bit after entering the world of torrents. And I have entered the world of torrents at about 12 years ago.
I started with the GUI options, as almost everyone else, but when it came the time to use dedicated servers in torrents, the command line started to gain importance and popularity to configure the servers. I started to like to see things happening in the black window. Today I only use GUI applications when I don't have any other alternative that allows me to do the same and not having to spend too much time learning to work with more complex cli alternatives. Examples: surfing the web is done with Chromium and DuckDuckGo. Discord and Telegram, Gimp, KiCAD, MPLAB IDE, Arduino IDE, VirtMan/Qemu-kvm, WPS. These are probably 80% of the applications I use with GUI. Most of other things I use cli alternatives, such as Octave, irssi(with some plugons), mcabber, Toxic, vim (with a few plugins), avrdude, odcb, ssh, telnet, gpg, git, fdisk, tar, bitcoin-cli, qreencode, openocd, etc, etc etc.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-13 06:46

Two simple words describing Debian gnu/nix, KICK BUTT. :)
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby Zoot » 2020-06-08 15:09

This thread makes an interesting read with people's stories. In the spirit of keeping it going, there is an older post from me in this thread from 10 or so years ago which I figured I would add to.

I've used Debian since 2009 (I've ran every version of Debian in some form since Lenny), but I didn't use it continuously through the last 10 years. I actually used no version of Linux from around 2016 to 2019. I sort of got tired of maintaining two OS's on my main desktop around 2015/2016, since 95% of my usage was gaming or music production which needed Windows. I ended up removing Debian from my main desktop given I got to the point that I wasn't using it anymore.

That was up until I got into running my own server at home in the last few years. I tried out Windows Server for a while, and while it worked fine for my needs, it certainly ain't cheap and it isn't the most flexible at times either. I thought about using Unraid for a while given it's not expensive and has a nice UI. However, I went off the idea after a while with things like not being able to run multiple arrays, or it not liking non-Unraid formatted drives, so I then decided I'd venture back into the traditional Linux world.

I thought I'd try out Ubuntu again. So, I installed Ubuntu Server 19.10 on my home server. It ran fine for a few days, but at one point when I got it to run an rsync job copying 10TB of data from an NTFS formatted drive to an EXT4 formatted drive as part of converting from NTFS to EXT4, I came back down the morning after to find my server locked up and unresponsive - I had to force a reboot via the motherboard's IPMI. It brought back memories of the buggy mess that was Ubuntu 9.10 for me.

So, then I decided it was back to my roots - Debian. Well now, I'm running Buster about 7/8 months on my server, and it's been solid. My current uptime as I'm typing is about 6 weeks which is completely ridiculous for me, given I'm constantly tweaking and configuring things.

The machine has also really evolved beyond the media server it started out as. It now runs a whole slew of KVM/Qemu Virtual Machines to do a large variety of stuff. I'm also adding some Docker containers to the mix now too. I'm still undecided about whether I'll run everything in Docker containers or not in the future. My plan from here on out is to go from Stable release to Stable release, but maybe delay the upgrade 2 or so months until after the next Stable release comes out.

CentOS is probably the only other distro I would consider given that's just as stable as Debian's releases, but I'm just too used to Debian to consider moving to another distro for my server now.

So, to sum up - Debian is dependable, reliable, free and it's what I know. :)
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby LE_746F6D617A7A69 » 2020-06-08 20:02

I can afford buying MS server - but it would be stupid to spend lots of money on a system which is not doing what I'm paying for... - so I'm using Debian.

Debian is not perfect - but I can tune it to become perfect... ;)

I've also switched to Debian on my laptops and on my main PC - because it's much faster and more reliable than Windows.

I've started to 'seriously' use Linux about year 2007, mainly Ubuntu (I've used RHEL and Arch, and I've tested many other distributions). The last Ubuntu version which was really competitive to Debian was v10.04.
Since the introduction of Unity in version 11.x, Ubuntu gets bloated like hell, and even after Canonical have removed that crap from Amazon, it's still deadly slow when compared to Debian.
But what is really bad -> it's unstable by default, not to mention what happens after adding some shitty code from ppa's.

Since the adoption of systemd however, I'm seriously considering switching to Devuan, because systemd is now the main reason for unexpected failures in Debian (logic races)

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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-06-09 19:49

1. Nearly all my old PowerPC machines run Debian
2. Freedombox https://freedomboxfoundation.org/
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby KBD47 » 2020-06-10 00:48

Stability. For years I distro hopped, and you realize just how breakable other distributions are after awhile. Often, just running normal updates can break other distributions.
I've found Debian Stable to be the most reliable Linux version, and I've never been happy for long with anything else.
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Re: Why do you use debian?

Postby darry1966 » 2020-06-10 04:52

Run a very basic XFCE install on an HP DV6000 from a net install - very solid. Reason - because it has run the best so far.
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