Debian Etch (4.0) Review

I thought i should do a review of quite possibly my FAVORITE linux distro, Debian…note this might be a little bit biased, here we go:

I’ve been using Debian for close to a year now and more specifically Etch for about 7-8 months. I’m not going to discuss the differences between Etch and Sarge (old stable) because it’s currently somewhat difficult to find Sarge and as i said Etch is the current stable and if you’re running Sarge, it’s worth the upgrade. Unlike most distros, selecting the full CD/DVD set for Debian is not a good idea. The best option is to use the netinstall which installs a base system from the CD and downloads all the other packages from the internet, but make sure your network card works (no wifi support in the installer). In Etch, the installer is new in the fact that it has a GUI instead of a ncurses interface, i wasn’t a big fan of this as it provided less information than the old installer, but for new Debian users, it’s probably a good idea. Unlike Gentoo in my previous review, the installer asks you a bunch of questions, installs your system and if you selected to have a GUI, you reboot right into Gnome. At this point, when you get dropped into Gnome, it will feel a lot like Ubuntu, and it is as Ubuntu is based off of Debian, but in many ways it’s different as Debian doesn’t have wizards and GUI’s for everything, you have to do many things by hand and you learn a lot about linux. If you want things to just work after installing your OS and not having to really tinker with it for a few minutes to get things to work, Debian is not for you. If you want a OS that’s very stable, quite powerful, customizable and has great package managment, Debian might be for you.
Pros:
1. Debian is fast, stable and customizable.
2. Debian has Apt which is great package managment.
3. It’s a reasonably easy to use distro and you learn more about linux than you do with some other distros (such as SuSe, Fedora Core, Ubuntu, etc).
4. Debian is one of the oldest distros out there.
5. Debian is great for a server OS and on that note, you have the option to NOT install the GUI if you don’t want it.
Cons:
1. Debian is a little harder to use than some distros (see list on #3 above).
2. The Debian community is not as big as the Ubuntu community or some others.
3. On the same note as #1, you have to do a lot of things manually.
4. Debian is not updated very often (in stable at least) as all the packages are VERY thoroughly tested (The last debian release before Etch in April 2007 was Sarge way back in June 2005).

Hope you enjoyed this, and enjoy using Debian if you choose it. I’m planning on doing either a review of Ubuntu 7.04 or Fedora Core 6 next.

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2 Responses to “Debian Etch (4.0) Review”

  1. Brendon Says:

    Good review

    PS

    I think that you should hold off on the review of fedora, because Fedora Core 6 is a little old and Fedora 7 is coming out in a month or so.

  2. Top Posts « WordPress.com Says:

    [...] Debian Etch (4.0) Review I thought i should do a review of quite possibly my FAVORITE linux distro, Debian…note this might be a little bit […] [...]

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