How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = trouble")

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How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = trouble")

Postby pastic » 2020-01-13 08:11

It is frequently stated that Debian Stable will not play well with new hardware and that one should expect troubles. But how old is "new" in that respect? Is it possible to say anything general about how long one needs to wait after CPU or mobo release for Debian Stable work with that hardware? Is there a compatibility list or something or is it just a question of searching forums for peoples experiences?

I just moved to Buster Cinnamon from Mint and I thought I would settle down with Debian (having switched to Linux two years ago), but now the PC-upgrade urge is hitting me and I would like to replace my 10-year old x58/i7-950 platform with something akin to b450/Ryzen 3600. B450 has been out since 2018 but the CPU came out last summer. Or if I wait for upcoming B550 motherboards this summer, how long might it take until Debian Stable would get support for those (based on previous experience or something like that).

I don't think I would want to switch to Testing since I am security minded and Testing is said to get security patches "a bit late".
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby Chrisdb » 2020-01-13 09:21

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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-01-13 17:13

Any hardware released after the testing branch is frozen (in preparation for the transition to stable) will probably not be well supported.

Debian buster was frozen in January 2019: https://release.debian.org/buster/freeze_policy.html
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby bremington » 2020-03-28 01:05

You might want to take a look at MX AHS (advanced hardware support) version. As far as I can tell it is basically Deb 10 plus some MX addons w/ an up-to-date kernel. I tried it out and it seems pretty good and stable. The only downside I noticed was that something is funky with MX's install of KDE. Cinnamon and XFCE work fine, though.
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-28 02:00

Think it goes as follows, better support or supported at all in gnu/Linux in general better support/performance possible and likely or not to work well on Debian, including stable. Freeze is irrelevant, as newer software can still be backported or installed via other sources. Comes to newer hardware + gnu/nix, major-main considerations are newer kernels, newer firmware = better support/performance. Any particular details as to potential gotcha's and/or best practices and methods of getting things best setup on Debian stable with newer hardware are no doubt already covered tons of places online.

If you want a newer system, get one, always worth doing some research before-hand for anyone wanting a pleasant experience. Some manufacturer's and/or components are known to be more or less gnu/nix friendly. Opt for friendlier = better of course. :)
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby stevepusser » 2020-03-28 04:23

bremington wrote:You might want to take a look at MX AHS (advanced hardware support) version. As far as I can tell it is basically Deb 10 plus some MX addons w/ an up-to-date kernel. I tried it out and it seems pretty good and stable. The only downside I noticed was that something is funky with MX's install of KDE. Cinnamon and XFCE work fine, though.


Ahh, "ahs", one of my sweet, sweet, children. :) Just don't think that I'm hiding behind that curtain!

Since even Sid's firmware isn't being updated, I just ported over Ubuntu's linux-firmware package to the AHS repo, and that got at least one user's newer AMD 5700 XT GPU to a GUI. Otherwise, you could do a git pull of the current kernel firmware tree and do a "make install" on it.

The KDE problem does have a solution, if you're talking about font colors and such. Some users have done KDE respins that have that solved already.
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Kodi 18.6, Strawberry 0.6.11, Muse 3.1.0, Chromium with va-api, Audacity 2.4.1, Kdenlive 20.04
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-28 06:07

Mostly pointless PSA, should go w/o anyone saying but here goes.

You can snag pkgs from fully compatible distro's of course. Though folks should realise they're going outside of official Debian when doing so. The folks involved with the Debian gnu/Linux project have been dealing with all things open source + gnu/Linux for decades and are doubtlessly some of the most competent, knowledgeable and experienced in all such matters. Nixer's are still free to use other methods or do for themselves, can grab firmware, can use the Liquorix kernel too, etc so forth though clearly should be aware they're dealing with the most critical software there is in such situations. The firmware makes the hardware go, kernel makes the hardware + software (operating system = gnu/Linux) work.

Not saying don't ever do xyz, just a general caution advisement. I have zero problem with what many refer to as Frankendeb's, though can obviously cause serious problems, it's not the methods being used, it's the people who never bother learning or knowing what they're doing that give it a bad name. Honestly though such types are going to spectacularly break installs regardless of whatever they are or are not doing anyway. Those who do build the know how and skills can simply kickback and watch such shenanigans. :P
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby bremington » 2020-03-28 14:56

And those who don't build the know-how; mostly just want a working DE; and do not want to chase what turns into an endless snarl of confusing interdependencies (at least to the uninitiated) are probably best off installing one of the many available distros. Thereby letting someone who (hopefully) has the knowledge (and that ineffable thing I will call the "touch") deal with the messy bits for you. After a grand tour of >20 of the top distros I came to settle on (for the nonce) Deb w/ MX AHS as a close runner up. I don't claim much knowledge of the inner workings of Linux, but I sure have a knack for getting computers to do what I want them to:-)
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-28 15:25

Thanks for the infobit about git @Stevep. Could easily enough be used to create a .deb too? When comes to newer firmware curious why use Ubuntu vs some upstream source as you mention? Used to be a very vocal buntu-basher, in time came to realise some things, most importantly nothing Canonical Inc is doing violates the GPL, it's even actively encouraged for commercial interests to leverage open source for profit.

Plus they brought a lot of people on board w the gnu/nix platform, lots of useful documentation that's not Ubuntu specific, other obvious benefits but here's the thing, they made the distro binary incompatible for obvious reasons, not wanting Debian or other Deb-based to be able to easily use the software and tools packaged for their/that distro. Do they have any gotcha's integrated into pkgs to trip up people trying to port them? Only a random brainfart, surely not in their best interests to make doing it easy.

Also have you(Stevep) or anyone looked over this fwupd.org deal? Seems interesting, this thread prompted looking up firmware related junk. Might bring whoever some better hardware support joy, know very lil about it atm. What OP mentions, a database of hardware known gnu/nix friendly, it's a logical train of thought and have periodically researched such resources w/o finding much of value. Seen efforts ... Still plenty of effective ways to go about finding hardware nixer's are likely going to be happy with though. There's sure to be improvement in future too as this platform continues making headway on desktop-etc. :)

PS, @brimington, nothing wrong with that either. People are free to learn or mess w gnu/nix to whatever extent satisfies. Tell the truth spend way too much time screwing w tech, than productively using it, lol. There's always another hill to climb, river to cross etc etc when comes to gnu/nix. :)
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby bremington » 2020-03-28 16:37

@Deb-fan: Is there such a thing as spending too much time screwing with tech? I guess when the monitor goes flying across the room:-) BTW, these new flat panel monitors just don't fly with the same authority that the old CRT units did, sigh:-)
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-29 01:07

^ Lol ... nice. Keep plugging away, don't be destroying too much hardware, geekiness and gnu/nix is sorta a quasi-religion to some and sending working monitors sailing through the air would then have to be sacrilegious, do not be a techless HEATHEN! :)

RAmennnnnn.
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby stevepusser » 2020-03-29 01:19

Those flat screens you have to throw like a discus instead of shotput.

Anyway, here's a respin of the AHS version I did with even newer firmware 1.187, Mesa 19.3.3, and a 5.4.19 kernel, plus the other stuff we've rolled into the AHS section (it's more of a rolling section, so disable ahs if you don't want updates from it): https://archive.org/details/mx19x64updated

The MX snapshot tool I used to make it is a killer MX app--I don't know if anything similar and as easy to use is available for Debian.

Ubuntu packages aren't any more difficult to port over than upstream Debian packages, and they don't purposely make them incompatible any more than upstream Debian does for testing and Sid binaries. Often, they just end up that way when built against different library versions.

Firmware files are just binary blobs that get put into the firmware folders, so those are another matter, and should be backwards and cross-compatible across distros. I just had to make sure my port removed the Debian firmware packages first, which wasn't too difficult.

I would have updated the Debian packages if I knew how, but apparently it's quite a job, which is why we don't see any Debian updates yet. :( I don't really want to spend my remaining decade or two of life updating one set of packages! Most Debian packages can use an included debian/watch file to get the latest source tarball with the "uscan" or "debian/rules get-orig-source" command, or some other included script, but I couldn't find anything so easy with the Debian firmware.
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Re: How old is "new" ("Debian stable on new hardware = troub

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-03-29 01:47

Those flat screens you have to throw like a discus instead of shotput.


LMAO, also nice ... Makes sense. Thanks for the interesting pkg'ing info, something many have no reason to think about overmuch. Like many others am spoiled by all the readily available binary goodness. Here and there taken an interest, started poking around but always end up poking in some other tech area instead. Good to know/think about though. :)
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