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Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

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rpt
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Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#1 Post by rpt »

Hi,

Just like registering in this forum, where a strong password was required to have access a forum of posts, no sensitive data, in the same fashion as I was registering at a bank or the IRS site, so is Debian 12.5 I have been dealing in the last two days, with persistent errors in defining user account passwords, with unsaid and unwritten requirements, which forced me to uncomment several lines of the pwquality.conf configuration file in order to accept my password, software like Skype that didn't work well after the flatpak installation, forcing me to uninstall it and reinstall it with Snaps, the whole OS running too slow in a 2014 desktop computer, etc., just a nightmare.

This was not a computer where I could choose what to install, but someone who asked me to do it, replacing the existing Windows 7 OS. Debian 12.5 was my choice but I will have to decide to keep it or replace with another gnu/linux OS more suitable.

I even had to deal with the vi text editor for the first time (I usually use nano, gedit or mousepad), it was almost a traumatic experience, a program where you press a normal key of the keyboard and if the program is in "command mode" you do something to the file you are editing instead of entering text, only a complicated mind could envision such software.

In the last two days I could more than any time before understand why gnu/linux has a so low acceptance. It lacks the daily feedback of regular non-tech users.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#2 Post by Hetzer »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-01 18:27 software like Skype that didn't work well after the flatpak installation, forcing me to uninstall it and reinstall it with Snaps
Skype is non-free crap possibly build on Electron (as otherwise MS wouldn't even think about porting Skype here), which is itself crappy.
It's not Debian fault that Microsoft-made shitty locked-down client (which is Windows-oriented anyways) doesn't work well here
rpt wrote: 2024-04-01 18:27 ...the whole OS running too slow in a 2014 desktop computer, etc., just a nightmare.
The question is, what kind of hardware is this? Like well, it can mean either pretty packed one or a budget-class terminal in tower case. Though I have such "terminal" (but in a laptop case, Lenovo Ideapad from 2015) and Debian ran acceptable on it when paired with MATE
Remember also that with Debian, unlike with pre-configured systems, it's up to you what it'll be like. Ya may live with minimal IceWM or run fully-blown heavyweight KDE. Or both. It can even have no desktop at all and run purely command-line. it's The Universal Operating System.
The problem is that people think it works OOTB (possibly because of installer offering desktops to install). Well nah, that way you still end with unconfigured DE + the bloat installed by installer. it's that kind of system where one installs barebones and then does the real setup (though easy one as packages here work just after install). It's not a system which is ready to use right after install. If want that ready-out-of-the-box experience, go with pre-configured Linux Mint. It's a pretty good system, especially for first-times coming from Windows (I was one, I know what I'm saying) and needs (note, not "requires") little setup to make it feel nice. I'd avoid Ubuntu as it's bloated and recently infested with snap
rpt wrote: 2024-04-01 18:27 I even had to deal with the vi text editor for the first time (I usually use nano, gedit or mousepad), it was almost a traumatic experience, a program where you press a normal key of the keyboard and if the program is in "command mode" you do something to the file you are editing instead of entering text, only a complicated mind could envision such software.
Was never forced to use it, and I run Debian(-derived) since 06/2022 (Linux Mint 20.3 -> LMDE 5 -> Debian 11 -> Debian 12 -> Devuan 5). Nano was always here, single-user or not
But indeed vi is hard editor, and said to be powerful if mastered. If it really is I don't know as I've barely messed with it
rpt wrote: 2024-04-01 18:27 In the last two days I could more than any time before understand why gnu/linux has a so low acceptance. It lacks the daily feedback of regular non-tech users.
Won't agree. Low acceptance comes from the fact that Windows was (and is) pushed into every existing pre-built computer system and now people refuse to even be aware that other systems exist. It's not Windows so it must be masonery
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#3 Post by pbear »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-01 18:27 regular non-tech users.
Frankly, I've always thought of Debian as moderately advanced. If you client is new to Linux, I'd recommend a distro like MX or Mint, which have newbie-friendly GUI system admin tools.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#4 Post by rpt »

About the Skype comment, I would like to remind my post - "This was not a computer where I could choose what to install, but someone who asked me to do it". Anyway if Skype is available in Flathub, it should have been tested and work ok, otherwise it should be removed.

The other comments I will reply later as I have to leave my premises now.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#5 Post by steve_v »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 09:54 if Skype is available in Flathub, it should have been tested and work ok, otherwise it should be removed.
Then you'll have to take that up with Microsoft, Flathub, or the appropriate flathub git repo. Skype is not a Debian package, and none of this has anyhing whatsoever to do with Debian.
Much the same goes for snap BTW, the only software with explicit support from and testing by the Debian maintainers is that in the Debian repositories. If you want to install third-party proprietary garbage, you get to deal with third-party proprietary horkage.


As for your other complains:
persistent errors in defining user account passwords, with unsaid and unwritten requirements, which forced me to uncomment several lines of the pwquality.conf
Yes, like most things in Debian (and GNU/Linux in general), this is configurable. If you don't like the default, change it.
the whole OS running too slow in a 2014 desktop computer
You have not listed any hardware specifications, given any objective measurements, defined "too slow", or even mentioned which desktop or window manager you have installed. How exactly do you expect any intelligent comment?
"2014 desktop computer" could mean just about anything, hardware requirements for GNOME are totally different to TWM, Snap and Flatpak performance differs from native Debian packages, etc. etc.
vi text editor for the first time (I usually use nano, gedit or mousepad), it was almost a traumatic experience
Uhh, LOL?
Again, the default editor is configurable.

Code: Select all

update-alternatives --config editor
You could also just invoke nano directly.
It lacks the daily feedback of regular non-tech users.
If you mean non-constructive feedback complaints like yours, good.

If what you really want is a turn-key one-size-fits-all desktop OS requiring no decisions or configuration, and you consider traditional unix utilities "traumatic"... Then I suggest you try Windows. I'm told it's very friendly.
Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#6 Post by rpt »

"Low acceptance comes from the fact that Windows was (and is) pushed into every existing pre-built computer system", I only partially agree, I remember many attempts like Asus Eee pc to sell pre-installed ubuntu, it just didn't sell, consumers saw it as a low-cost solution with an inferior OS. If you don't conquer the average non-tech user, gnu/linux will never leave the low market share it has for the last twenty or so years.

How do you conquer the non-tech user? Certainly not investing and developing character based software, pleasing the tech world and displeasing all the others. A proof this is not the way? Just look the change of attitude by Microsoft versus the linux world, they don't see it as a competitor anymore, they had absorbed it into the windows subsystem for linux, just to give an example.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#7 Post by wizard10000 »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 15:54...If you don't conquer the average non-tech user, gnu/linux will never leave the low market share it has for the last twenty or so years.
Increasing market share has never been a stated objective.

Been following this thread and now feel ready to inflict my own opinion on our studio audience :mrgreen:

I'd be really interested in why you had to edit pwquality.conf to get your password to work. What did you have to change?

How did you call your text editor? I don't think I've seen a recent Debian install that didn't have nano available and I do minimal installs since I don't use a prepackaged desktop environment.

Last, it's already been mentioned but flatpaks aren't hosted by or managed by Debian - that's all third-party software.
we see things not as they are, but as we are.
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#8 Post by Hetzer »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 15:54 I only partially agree, I remember many attempts like Asus Eee pc to sell pre-installed ubuntu, it just didn't sell, consumers saw it as a low-cost solution with an inferior OS. If you don't conquer the average non-tech user, gnu/linux will never leave the low market share it has for the last twenty or so years.
De facto ye already mentioned the real problem there;
rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 15:54 [...] consumers saw it as a low-cost solution with an inferior OS.
Trust me that if they did the reverse (I mean, GNU/Linux on higher-end while Windows on lowest shelf), people would think otherwise: that Windows is inferior OS found on cheap crap while GNU/Linux is good as it's bundled with good hardware
And also the popularity and resistance against changes comes in. Since everyone knows only Windows, anything new is obscure and exclusively for masonery, they may think
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#9 Post by Uptorn »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 09:54 About the Skype comment, I would like to remind my post - "This was not a computer where I could choose what to install, but someone who asked me to do it".
If I understand correctly, you are installing a system for somebody else and according to their preferences? That is very nice of you to do. Hopefully they understand the implications that go along with their software choices.

Because Debian refrains from making choices for the user, it leaves much of the configuration up to the individual installing it.
the whole OS running too slow
Can you clarify this? In what way is it running slowly? I have known desktop environments to fall back to "software rendering mode" such as if GPU firmware is not loaded.

On fresh Debian installations, there is usually prompt to select the preferred text editor, as when first running apt edit-sources. Or you can call the prompt manually per steve_v's advice.

At first I struggled with vi (vim tiny), but it begins to make sense the more time I spend in terminal applications. Let me share some of my favorite tips:
  • Shift + : then enter "set number" to show line numbers
  • dd to erase entire current line
  • g + j to jump up one line
  • g + k to jump down one line
  • e to skip to end of next word
  • ZZ (or Shift + zz) to quickly save and close text
My hope is that you, or the person you are installing for, stick it out to give Debian a chance to begin to make sense. It can be better having learned the reasons behind why some software or config is the way it is, rather than to have it all abstracted for you by something like Ubuntu.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#10 Post by steve_v »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 15:54 If you don't conquer the average non-tech user, gnu/linux will never leave the low market share it has for the last twenty or so years.
Personal desktop market share is a desirable goal for software which is either distributed under a per-install paid licence or otherwise extracts value on a per-install basis (e.g. advertising / spyware).
GNU/Linux is not that, and all the commercialised distributions target servers, supercomputers, embedded devices, or managed endpoint deployments and their support contracts. In the first 3 at any rate, GNU/Linux "market share" already massively exceeds that of Windows.
The only area GNU/Linux currently has "low market share" is non-technical home users, and that is the least productive segment of all, both in terms of direct project funding (i.e. donations or support contracts) and in FOSS code contribution.
rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 15:54Just look the change of attitude by Microsoft versus the linux world, they don't see it as a competitor anymore, they had absorbed it into the windows subsystem for linux
Microsoft created WSL to defuse the threat of developers and sysadmins who work with GNU/Linux servers or software targeting the same moving their development machines over to GNU/Linux as well.
This is the same strategy MS has been using since the browser wars - when competition appears, bundle similar functionality into Windows and let OEM preinstall contracts and end-user laziness do the rest.


If you have questions, ask them and we will try to help you.
If you just want to moan about Debian not providing you with a free, no-learning-required, drop-in replacement for MS Windows, you are pissing into the proverbial wind.
Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#11 Post by pbear »

rpt wrote: 2024-04-02 15:54 How do you conquer the non-tech user?
Is there a point to any of this? Or are you just ranting? Linux is what it is, and isn't going to change any time soon. One thing it isn't, and never will be, is a free version of Windows.
If it's too difficult for the person you're trying to help, they should buy a new computer. At ten years old, the current one has done its duty and deserves to retire.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#12 Post by Uptorn »

pbear wrote: 2024-04-03 00:50 At ten years old, the current one has done its duty and deserves to retire.
As long as it is functional, I don't see why a device should be pulled from service. Especially if the use case is just for web browsing.
wholesome.jpeg
I have a few systems that I've deployed or managed within my family that will have been going strong for 10 years, and one for 14 years. The individuals using them probably wouldn't be able to tell how old the systems are, if asked. It's just that seamless and Linux enables hardware to enjoy a very long and stable life.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#13 Post by steve_v »

Uptorn wrote: 2024-04-03 02:42
pbear wrote: 2024-04-03 00:50 At ten years old, the current one has done its duty and deserves to retire.
As long as it is functional, I don't see why a device should be pulled from service. Especially if the use case is just for web browsing.
Indeed. All of these examples *looks around room* run Devuan stable (i.e. ~= Debian Bookworm):
Home file/web/other random services server: Supermicro Dual Sandybridge-EP, 128GB, ~2013. Performance (CLI/headless) excellent. Quite capable of saturating its 10GBE NICs.
CNC router control + electronics workbench: Random junk-bin Dell USFF, Sandybridge, 4 or 8GB (CBF powering it up to check), ~2012. Performance (KDE Plasma) entirely adequate.
MPD server: HP POS SFF (for powered-USB and PCI slot), Sandybridge, 4GB, ~2011. Performance (mopidy, webserver, firefox in kiosk mode) excellent.
Laptop: Lenovo/IBM X230, Ivybridge, 16GB, ~2013. Performance (KDE Plasma) quite adequate (for a dual-core "ultraportable" anyway). Even runs Windows 10/7/XP VMs fine for when I need that crap.

If Debian is "too slow", then either the mystery "2014 desktop computer" in question is junk (or more likely, has a miserable amount of RAM installed), or the OPs software selection and/or configuration is inappropriate for the hardware.
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#14 Post by pbear »

Or it's not able to run Win10. And definitely not Win11. A lot of people try Linux on the hope it will save them from buying a new computer. Truth is, if they ascribe any value to their time, it would be cheaper to buy a new computer.

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#15 Post by steve_v »

pbear wrote: 2024-04-03 06:21 A lot of people try Linux on the hope it will save them from buying a new computer.
It might too... But almost certainly not when the idea is approached with that as the only goal, and no time or effort is devoted to learning or configuring a completely new OS and software selection.

Debian will run just swimmingly on a 1Ghz CPU with 512MB of RAM... But only if you select software that works with those constraints. Installing a full GNOME3 desktop on a machine that shipped Windows 7 (probably bargain-basement OEM desktop, as the OP is so keen not to give hardware specs), then loading it up with a bunch of snap and electron crap is a fairly obvious recipe for suboptimal performance.
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#16 Post by Hetzer »

pbear wrote: 2024-04-03 00:50 If it's too difficult for the person you're trying to help, they should buy a new computer. At ten years old, the current one has done its duty and deserves to retire.
Sorry but that only applies to Windows
Mother has Lenovo x230 which runs Mint pretty smoothly. It's a laptop from 2013
My "improvised server unit" is a Hewlett-Packard Point-Of-Sale from 2014. htop reported barely 1% processor usage on Debian 12
I have Fujitsu P520 lying around (age similiar to that Point-Of-Sale), it still can serve as a good desktop. It got retired pretty recently not because of performance but 'cause I've decided that using 3 computers simultaneously is just unpractical and replaced them all with SFF I carry everywhere
Recently ('bout 4 months ago) installed Debian 12 onto Toshiba Satellite from 2005. De facto runs slowly, pretty same as as W10 runs on hardware of it's age. But difference is that 2005 runs system from 2023 as fast as 2015 hardware runs same-year system. If people have no problems with running W10 on LGA775-era hardware, then I see no problem for such one to run GNU/Linux instead
pbear wrote: 2024-04-03 00:50 A lot of people try Linux on the hope it will save them from buying a new computer
Because it will. Just one must not think that GNOME will run smoothly on it
There's no sense to make even more e-waste than we have, especially from computers that still can be utilized in many ways. Decade-olds are still pretty powerful (and, unlike Core Duo era, power-efficient) and if GNU/Linux keeps it's quality, they will remain useful till they die out because of old age.
I think we finally reached level on which properly-written systems, if set up right, should run on anything newer than 2010
Last edited by Hetzer on 2024-04-03 07:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#17 Post by steve_v »

Hetzer wrote: 2024-04-03 07:04 Just one must not think that GNOME/KDE will run smoothly on it
FWIW, KDE Plasma runs very well indeed on the X230 or pretty much anything else from that hardware generation, provided you give the system a reasonable amount of RAM.
As for GNOME... I've said my piece on GNOME many times before. Why it's the default desktop selection in the installer still eludes me.
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#18 Post by Hetzer »

steve_v wrote: 2024-04-03 07:11
Hetzer wrote: 2024-04-03 07:04 Just one must not think that GNOME/KDE will run smoothly on it
FWIW, KDE Plasma runs very well indeed on the X230 or pretty much anything else from that hardware generation, provided you give the system a reasonable amount of RAM.
As for GNOME... I've said my piece on GNOME many times before. Why it's the default desktop selection in the installer still eludes me.
Good to know. I've edited last post
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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#19 Post by Fossy »

The dogs are barking , the caravan passes by :

Code: Select all

bookworm@bookworm-k54hr:~$ inxi -Fxpmrz 
System:
  Kernel: 6.1.0-18-amd64 arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 12.2.0
    Desktop: Cinnamon v: 5.6.8 Distro: Debian GNU/Linux 12 (bookworm)
Machine:
  Type: Laptop System: ASUSTeK product: K54HR v: 1.0
    serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: ASUSTeK model: K54HR v: 1.0 serial: <superuser required>
    UEFI: American Megatrends v: K54HR.204 date: 03/20/2012
Battery:
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 44.3 Wh (87.5%) condition: 50.6/57.2 Wh (88.5%)
    volts: 12.5 min: 10.8 model: ASUSTek K53--52 status: charging
Memory:
  RAM: total: 3.8 GiB used: 2.2 GiB (58.0%)
  RAM Report: permissions: Unable to run dmidecode. Root privileges
    required.
CPU:
  Info: dual core model: Intel Core i3-2350M bits: 64 type: MT MCP
    arch: Sandy Bridge rev: 7 cache: L1: 128 KiB L2: 512 KiB L3: 3 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 799 high: 800 min/max: 800/2300 cores: 1: 800 2: 800
    3: 800 4: 798 bogomips: 18359
  Flags: avx ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx
Graphics:
  Device-1: AMD Seymour [Radeon HD 6400M/7400M Series] vendor: ASUSTeK
    driver: radeon v: kernel arch: TeraScale-2 bus-ID: 01:00.0 temp: 51.5 C
  Device-2: IMC Networks UVC VGA Webcam type: USB driver: uvcvideo
    bus-ID: 1-1.2:3
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 1.21.1.7 with: Xwayland v: 22.1.9 driver: X:
    loaded: radeon unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa dri: r600 gpu: radeon
    resolution: 1366x768~60Hz
  API: OpenGL v: 4.5 Mesa 22.3.6 renderer: AMD CAICOS (DRM 2.50.0 /
    6.1.0-18-amd64 LLVM 15.0.6) direct-render: Yes
Audio:
  Device-1: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio
    vendor: ASUSTeK 6 driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
  Device-2: AMD Caicos HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 6450 / 7450/8450/8490 OEM R5
    230/235/235X OEM] vendor: ASUSTeK driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
    bus-ID: 01:00.1
  API: ALSA v: k6.1.0-18-amd64 status: kernel-api
  Server-1: PipeWire v: 0.3.65 status: active
  Server-2: PulseAudio v: 16.1 status: off (using pipewire-pulse)
Network:
  Device-1: Ralink RT5390 Wireless 802.11n 1T/1R PCIe vendor: Foxconn
    driver: rt2800pci v: 2.3.0 bus-ID: 03:00.0
  IF: wlp3s0 state: up mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR8151 v2.0 Gigabit Ethernet vendor: ASUSTeK
    driver: atl1c v: kernel port: 9000 bus-ID: 05:00.0
  IF: enp5s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 111.79 GiB used: 15.28 GiB (13.7%)
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Kingston model: SA400S37120G size: 111.79 GiB
Partition:
  ID-1: / size: 108.22 GiB used: 15.27 GiB (14.1%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
  ID-2: /boot/efi size: 299.4 MiB used: 5.8 MiB (1.9%) fs: vfat
    dev: /dev/sda1
Swap:
  ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 1005 MiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%)
    dev: /dev/sda3
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 53.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: radeon temp: 52.0 C
  Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 0
Repos:
  Packages: 2232
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list
    1: deb https://deb.debian.org/debian/ bookworm main contrib non-free non-free-firmware
    2: deb https://deb.debian.org/debian/ bookworm-updates main contrib non-free non-free-firmware
    3: deb https://security.debian.org/debian-security/ bookworm-security main contrib non-free non-free-firmware
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/eid.list
    1: deb https://files.eid.belgium.be/debian bookworm main
Info:
  Processes: 202 Uptime: 13m Init: systemd target: graphical (5) Compilers:
  gcc: 12.2.0 Shell: Bash v: 5.2.15 inxi: 3.3.26
bookworm@bookworm-k54hr:~$ 
Image
ASUS GL753VD / X550LD / K54HR / X751LAB ( x2 )
Bookworm12.5_Cinnamon / Calamares Single Boot installations
Firefox ESR / DuckDuckGo / Thunderbird / LibreOffice / GIMP / eID Software

https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/cu ... so-hybrid/

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Re: Uunnecessary and unfriendly requirements

#20 Post by pbear »

Sure, Win7 hardware runs current Linux pretty well. One of my test boxes dates from 2010. OTOH, I spent a bit of money upgrading it over the years, so it's a Ship of Theseus fallacy to speak of it as being that old. OTOH, I don't think the question is whether Debian will run on the OP's friend's computer. The question is whether it's worth the time and trouble. The OP's friend gets to make their own decision in that regard.

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