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Debian Ubuntu Linux

Happy 17th Birthday, Debian! 225

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the august-is-interesting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Debian turns 17 today. Yes it has really come a long way from being Murdock's pet project back in 1993 to being the distribution on which the most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu, is now based."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Happy 17th Birthday, Debian!

Comments Filter:
  • Thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:43AM (#33264248)

    Thanks Murdock! This distro is still one of the easiest to maintain over a long period of time.

  • by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:43AM (#33264252)
    I was coming from Slackware and apt-get seemed magical. Never left the boat since.
    Long life to Debian!
  • by kwabbles (259554) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:46AM (#33264282)

    It's actually kind of sad that most people identify Debian solely as being "that one that Ubuntu's based on".

  • Happy birthday (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drunkennewfiemidget (712572) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:50AM (#33264330) Homepage

    To the distro I keep crawling back to. I always go off searching for the next great thing, and realise debian was the great thing all along.

    And ubuntu is second rate (at best) compared to debian. Ubuntu's got severe stability problems. debian almost never fails me.

  • by druke (1576491) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:50AM (#33264334)
    Anyone who really feels this way doesn't understand open source.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:52AM (#33264376)

    Maybe because the article has useful info and is interesting to read, while the 'official page' you linked feels like it belongs on geocities in the age of the blink tag?

  • by richdun (672214) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:55AM (#33264416)

    Depends on what you mean by "last."

    Debian will probably be kicking around on someone's toy web server or overly complex but overly awesome home file server for as long as there is someone either willing to get the kernel working on whatever hardware is available or rig up a network protocol to talk to our future brain/computer overlords.

    IE will probably remain commercially relevant longer, sadly, for as long as there are corporations, there will be that one piece of mission critical software written X years ago that runs only on IE 6.0.

  • by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:55AM (#33264426)
    Is it about understanding Open Source? Or giving credit where credit is due?

    I'm not saying the guys at Ubuntu just sit there and do nothing, but Debian deserves way more than being called "the distro Ubuntu is based on".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:57AM (#33264440)

    True enough! Debian was the best idea around when they started introducing the concept of dependency resolution and meta data. It has been one of my faves ever since.

  • by Kepesk (1093871) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:04AM (#33264542) Homepage

    It's actually kind of sad that most people identify Debian solely as being "that one that Ubuntu's based on".

    Not really, I'd say that's a compliment to Debian. To create a basic system solid enough that the most popular Linux distribution is based on it? That rocks!

  • by MrHanky (141717) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:05AM (#33264560) Homepage Journal

    You seriously think Microsoft will embrace an LGPL browser engine? Originally from the KDE project?

  • Re:Happy birthday (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IrquiM (471313) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:08AM (#33264586) Homepage

    Why are you always going off to search for the next great thing if Debian is so good?

    I've dual booted myself, but only to try out different distros (like debian, ubuntu, etc) - I've never been "off to search for the next great thing". If you're happy with what you've got - stick with it. New distros tend to be either specialised in one field, or tweaked beyond useful (read ubuntu). Stick with the good old ones, that you know work, and try to help them instead! :o)

    (Personally, I'm sticking with Slackware)

  • by StormReaver (59959) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:09AM (#33264602)

    It's actually kind of sad that most people identify Debian solely as being "that one that Ubuntu's based on".

    Why? Debian is incapable of appealing to a mass audience. Ubuntu is a necessary extension that fills that need. Debian is exactly where its developers put it.

  • Re:Thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:11AM (#33264628)

    Damn right it is. Debian is the distro you install on your mom's computer when you're moving 2000+ miles and don't want to fly home for tech support.

    Over the course of two years, I've had exactly one problem with that box, and all it needed was a phone call + ssh.

  • by hcpxvi (773888) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:17AM (#33264688)
    I was coming from Slackware and apt-get seemed magical.
    I was coming from being an ordinary user on Solaris systems. Installing Debian (from a stack of floppies!) and finding myself logged on as root was magical. I also have stuck with Debian ever since. It's just excellent. A huge cheer for the vast crowd of people who make it possible.
  • Re:Happy birthday (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:26AM (#33264766)

    We used to have Linux snobs who were snobs because Windows and MacOS were popular. Now it seems we have Linux snobs who are also snobs about some Linux distros because those are popular. But don't worry fellas, one of the great strengths of open source is that there will always be more trendy and elitist distros coming down the line.

  • Re:Happy birthday (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interval1066 (668936) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:33AM (#33264866) Homepage Journal

    "Ubuntu's got severe stability problems."

    Such a bald-ass simple statement really requires back up. I've not had ANY stability problems, much less severe. And I've been running this distro since Feisty Fawn. The worst thing about Ubuntu that I've ever experienced is its ridiculous desktop color schemes, and they never seem to get any better, but that's easily changed.

  • by volkerdi (9854) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:33AM (#33264870)

    Anyone who was actually using Linux in 1993 knows the manifesto came a couple of years before anything else.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:42AM (#33264986) Homepage

    Being a Debian user for 15 years I'm sad to see it relegated to being only identified in the mainstream as something that a dumbed-down desktop distro is based on.

    As opposed to what?

    Look, my path to Linux took me through Slackware 15 years ago (wow I don't miss installing Linux from dozens of floppies) through RedHat, and then Debian. And I was happy for a while. Sure, Debian packages are decidedly archaic, but you couldn't ask for a more stable Linux distribution. Everything just seemed to work.

    And then I tried Ubuntu. Suddenly things I just assumed wouldn't work out of the box (basic crap like wireless, USB printers and mass storage devices just working and integrating with the desktop, and god knows what else) just... did. I mean, sure, I could always get Debian there eventually, with enough tinkering. But dear god, Ubuntu did all the tinkering for me! And I got a more modern package set to boot. Not to mention PPAs, which make taking on non-standard repositories dead simple.

    So, because Ubuntu took the rather rough diamond that is Debian and polished it up, it's somehow "dumbed down"? Really?

    Frankly, it seems to me there is a choice: either you run a rough distro that forces the user to roll up their sleeves and get dirty, and then you can feel all smart and superior, or you can make something that actually works for your average user, and lets us power users just fucking get on with it already, and then get labeled "dumbed down". Which is, frankly, pretty fucking stupid, but such is the world of tech geeks who feel its cool to have to manually hack files in /etc in order to get their god damned printer to just print already.

  • by marsu_k (701360) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:50AM (#33265108)

    I really, really wish people would stop comparing Apt and RPM, the actual comparison would be dpkg vs RPM. And just as pretty much nobody uses dpkg directly, the same applies to RPM. People use one of the various frontends (yum, urpmi, what have you). While at one time automatically resolving dependencies was godsend, it's nothing special now.

    (I'm quite impartial to the debate, pacman [archlinux.org] is where it's at. It would be nice to see an actual apples to apples comparison for a change though)

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:56AM (#33265198) Homepage

    'course, I just realized my post makes it seem like I think Debian sucks.

    Frankly, Debian kicks ass. For a server, I'd consider nothing else. I've long believed that apt is, hands down, the best package management system ever invented. And Debian has done a truly marvelous job of ensuring that upgrades Just Work... unlike Ubuntu or Redhat, I have never feared doing a full distro update on Debian. Their package quality is simply through the roof (well, minus that pesky sshd bug they introduced ;).

    Heck, I should given Debian a try again. It's been a couple years since I made the leap to Ubuntu, and it may be that Debian unstable could now fill the roll that Ubuntu fills for me today (as a modern desktop distro)... particularly given how incredibly painful Ubuntu in-place upgrades can be. OTOH, I am spoiled by the fact that Ubuntu has the nVidia blob drivers incorporated into their software repo...

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:25PM (#33265524) Homepage

    Simple: geeks like to justify their superiority complex.

    No, really. I started off in the bad old Slackware days, and you couldn't help but feel hardcore when you got your damned printer to work after fiddling with lpd and magic filters. But guess what happens as you get a little older? You stop giving a shit about that stuff. You just want to get on with it, already. Suddenly tweaking and fiddling with config files in /etc doesn't feel hardcore, it feels really fucking boring.

    So while the rest of us pick a distro that just works out of the box, and so is labeled "dumbed down" because we don't have to manually edit config files, the young geeks can go on showing off how awesome they are because they switched to Gentoo and get to fiddle with their compiler flags.

    As an aside, I still think Debian kicks ass. But no one would ever claim its a polished desktop Linux distribution (it can certainly become one with a bit of effort, but I've gotten past enjoying that kind of effort)... for a server, though, it's peerless, IMHO.

  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:45PM (#33265814) Journal

    This.

    I just giggled at these comments, where everyone's saying "Ubuntu just works" ... except in upgrades. It's like a fancy haircut from a stylist that just works, except you can't duplicate it the following evening for your date.

    Just updating things like Open Office and Firefox caused dependency clashes - sorry, that's totally unacceptable. I met my share of the version upgrade bugs too.

  • Re:Thank you (Score:1, Insightful)

    by lisany (700361) <<moc.hodeht> <ta> <todhsals>> on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:58PM (#33265982)

    No. You get them a Mac and buy them a year of 1-on-1 training from Apple. The number of support calls I've fielded went to zero from the old windows system. My step-mother is happy to call the Apple store, load up the iMac and have the Apple staff show her how to do something. It's wonderful.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday August 16, 2010 @02:24PM (#33267014)

    But guess what happens as you get a little older? You stop giving a shit about that stuff. You just want to get on with it, already. Suddenly tweaking and fiddling with config files in /etc doesn't feel hardcore, it feels really fucking boring.

    You fix that problem at the start by by purchasing the correct hardware, not installing the correct distribution. I've been doing that since '93, its really quite easy.

    Also in the past two decades or so I've noticed that the "stuff that only runs under windows" like winmodems, winprinters, winscanners, is generally, garbage and a complete waste of time under any OS, when compared to "standardized real stuff".

    I was never able to buy and use a winmodem in the 90s, but I don't feel it was much of a loss.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday August 16, 2010 @02:46PM (#33267226) Homepage

    You fix that problem at the start by by purchasing the correct hardware, not installing the correct distribution. I've been doing that since '93, its really quite easy.

    Yeah, I've been attempting it since 94', and people like you have been claiming it's "really quite easy" for the last 16 years.

    Obviously step 1 is "buy supported hardware". But for years, basic wifi didn't work out of the box in most Linux distros. That had absolutely nothing to do with driver support, and everything to do with the application stack either being insufficient to the task, and the distros doing a crappy job of integrating it properly (wifi before NetworkManager == hell on earth). Similarly, printer support used to be a sore spot, not because the drivers weren't available, but because the software made it an enormous pain in the ass to install them.

    Distros like Ubuntu, focused on the user experience, finally polished this crap up (largely thanks to work by others, like RedHat (NetworkManager) and Apple (cups)), so now I don't have to manually fuck around with iwconfig or lpd in order to get a fully-functioning Linux desktop. And thank god for that, because, like I said, I'm *way* over finding that kind of thing fun/cool.

    But, of course, the uber-geeks around here would have me believe that the distro I've chosen is "dumbed down" because, god forbid, I don't *have* to mess around with the bowels of my distro in order to get basic functionality to work. Which is weird, because it strikes me that it's far more dumb to waste time fiddling around with config files, when I could be getting real work done, instead...

  • Re:Thank you (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @06:03PM (#33269492)

    Hmm, let me think about it... no, I still prefer the free Debian option to the $1000+ (not including mandatory upgrade cycle) Apple one.

  • by lawpoop (604919) on Monday August 16, 2010 @06:14PM (#33269568) Homepage Journal

    Is it about understanding Open Source? Or giving credit where credit is due?

    Do you call it Debian GNU/Linux?

  • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @04:47AM (#33273564) Journal

    How could one forget the Hurd? Debian is the best Hurd distribution there is.

    Or did you think Debian was a Linux distro?

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