[TriLUG] Debian (was: Installfest SW)
john at radiomind.com
Tue Apr 30 20:01:34 EDT 2002
On Tue, 2002-04-30 at 18:09, Ben Pitzer wrote:
> Potato will do alright on older hardware, however I'm not sure how well
> it will do on older /laptop/ hardware. Debian has never really been an
> extremely laptop-friendly distro.
> In all, I'd say try it, but be prepared to run into some problems.
> Especially on a 386 laptop.
Debian gets a bad rap from statements like this, and it doesn't deserve
them. Debian allows you to do anything from run a rock solid system
from the stable branch to bleeding edge, it came out yesterday software
in the sid branch. There is a large number of maintainers, so the
packages are overall well taken care of. I know it installs emacs the
best of *ANY* installer for any OS i have used, and the Perl folks say
that Debian packages libraries correctly. It carries part of the free
software ethos with it also, its where the definition for Open Source
came from, and was helped in getting started by the Free Software
Foundation. The "free speech" and community aspects are why I run
I've run Debian since Redhat 6.0 disappointed me, and I have run it on
386 - P-III Laptops. Yes, dselect and the configure process never
worked perfectly, but I've never had Red Hat configure well on the same
hardware either. I've had to download a sample X config and tweak it
myself, no matter what the distribution is.
On the other hand, many of the laptop Debian installs I have seen, were
laptops pressed into server duties, such as firewalls and WAPs.
My current laptop runs Debian, and the only config issue I had with it
was that the nVidia video didn't work well with XFree 4, so I had to
fall back to version 3.
I haven't used Mandrake in a while, but I can say with confidence that
Debian is better for me on my hardware than RedHat has been. Almost any
software I want is there in the archives somewhere, it handles
dependencies, so I can just install the package, and it will fetch the
libraries and other pieces I need.
I don't mean to start a distro war, but Debian deserves a look. Potato
is old and crusty, and Woody (soon to be Debian 3) still is carrying
over some of the issues, but for people who are looking for more than
"free beer" software, and an extremely strong community, Debian is worth
john at radiomind.com
More information about the TriLUG