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Debian GNU is Not Unix Open Source Operating Systems Software Ubuntu Linux

Why Debian Matters More Than Ever 345

Posted by timothy
from the secretly-replaced-these-folgers-crystals-with-debian dept.
Julie188 writes "If you look at the feature list for Debian 6, released on February 6, it's easy to be underwhelmed. This is especially true when measuring Debian against its offspring, like Ubuntu. Debian doesn't get much credit, and its become trendy for industry pundits to claim it's become irrelevant. But it's more relevant than ever. If you're using Ubuntu (or Linux Mint, or Mepis...), you're really using Debian with some enhancements. According to a presentation given recently by Debian Project Leader (DPL) Stefano Zacchiroli, only 7% of Ubuntu is directly derived from upstream projects, Canonical's projects, or other non-Debian sources. Of the rest, 74% of Ubuntu is rebuilt Debian packages, and 18% are patched and rebuilt Debian packages."
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Why Debian Matters More Than Ever

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  • Since when? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:35PM (#35169592) Journal

    Debian doesn't get much credit, and its become trendy for industry pundits to claim it's become irrelevant.

    News to me. Who's calling it irrelevant?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Obviously nobody important. Ubuntu is more like extended Debian family. They even contribute back to Debian. Heck, I even use the Wine packages from an Ubuntu PPA (Lucid) unmodified. Would it make sense to say that Ubuntu is irrelevant if Kubuntu became a big deal? No. This is just stirring up an anthill.
      • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:28PM (#35169922)

        agreed. debian is probably the most successful linux distribution ever, and i'd probably turn to freebsd before another linux distro.

        sadly, one often hears a sense on the debian mailing lists, etc, that users (and even debian developers) would like to make debian slicker and more appealing to desktop users (more like ubuntu, or mint, for example). i consider this (especially the infighting) to be a huge mistake. ubuntu is just "the externalization of all the tweaks suitable for desktop users", and I consider this to be "The Right (tm)" solution to the "how best to please everyone all the time" problem (aka the "world domination syndrom") that most distros suffer from.

        i really appreciate debian as a solid foundation. fwiw, i usually install a base system and then add on from there.

        debian, and all the derivative distros should work together while supporting these types of forks... ubuntu should just be a repository of exactly/only the packages that are tweaked or added above and beyond the debian packages. it should be reasonable to just add an ubuntu repo to my sources file and do an upgrade to get to a typical ubuntu.

        • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sg_oneill (159032) on Friday February 11, 2011 @01:18AM (#35171066)

          Oh absolutely. I recently came to realise just how much I took Debian for granted when I had to set up a Django site with Post-GIS on a CentOS (5.5) box.

          Out of the box Centos only supported Python 2.4(!) and if you update it, you break everything. So trying to install a parallell version, I tried to use the EPEL repository to install Python 2.6. All good and fine until I realised I had to recompile my own pysocopg2 driver.

          Then I realised Postgres and PostGIS where way too old for django. Could I update? Nope! the 8.4 version in epel didnt have any obvious version of PostGIS.

          Giving up at wasting 2 days of my clients time recompiling things, trying to patch broken scripts, fighting busted versions of upgraded non supported software and pulling hair out, I badgered the host to install Debian squeeze for me (thanks Rackforce!) and they did.

          Heres how I then did all this without pain on Squeeze:

          root@debian:~# apt-get install postgresql-8.4-postgis
          root@debian:~# apt-get install libapache2-mod-passenger
          root@debian:~# apt-get install python-django python-django-south

          And thats that. Server set up in 4 easy commands. No compiling, no complicated patch files, everything automatically and intelligently downloaded, installed, and checked for conflicts by the OS.

          You'll note it looks like I have missed some things. Not true, apt-get knows installing an apache mod without apache is silly and did it for me, likewise installing postgis without the server itself is also silly. Everything done, checked for sanity, and so on.

          Now of course I know YUM can do all that too, but thats no good to me, when the repository is that old its got 7 year old language distros as its cutting edge.

          Its amazing to think that once upon a time Debian was considered behind the times.

          See why I love this operating system?

          • by Terrasque (796014)

            You might want to have a look at pip [openplans.org] and virtualenv [python.org].

            In many cases, it lets you largely ignore what python-stuff is installed on the server, that you don't have root access, what package manager it use, and how outdated everything is.

            It's still a bit of compiling going on, so you would need source packages for python and posgres (for pysocopg2) - but overall it's considerably easier (also, perfect for testing new versions of packages)

            Example, to replicate a set of packages:

            pip freeze > reqs.txt #dumps i

    • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by garyisabusyguy (732330) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:05PM (#35169794)

      If anything it makes me question 'industry pundits' who fail to recognize the layered way that open source projects are able to build on each other.

      Like saying a plant is irrelevant to the flowers that grow on it

      • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 11, 2011 @03:24AM (#35171524) Journal

        Well good Lord, look who the guy who wrote the article in TFA is listening too, fricking Stephen J Nichols! Read some of his past "work" and it is pretty obvious he is a professional Linux troll. All he does is come up with one outlandish theory after another, all designed to stir up the shit and score page views no matter how crazy.

        If you read Nichols history it can be summed up as thus: "X (insert Linux distro or Linux itself) is dying" "it is all a conspiracy by (insert usually MSFT but sometimes Apple or someone else) to kill Linux!" or "Because of X (insert product he's shilling for) THIS year will be the year of Linux on the desktop!"

        He is just the Linux equivalent of Paul Thurott, professional Windows troll. The same way Thurott can be counted on to say anything that makes Windows debates epic troll threads with his total bullshit (Vista is great AND low resource? Really Paul?) the same can be said of Nichols and Linux. Everyone knows Debian isn't going anywhere, hell they've outlasted just about everyone that started at the same time for the love of Pete. This is just Nichols stirring up the shit, and the guy who wrote TFA either took the trollbait or was desperate for some page views.

    • Who's calling it irrelevant?

      You know, that guy who always fails to get his wireless working in Debian, then downloads Ubuntu and goes on a rant about how everything should Just Work like Ubuntu did for him that one time on that one machine...

    • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Informative)

      by foxed (152267) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:09PM (#35169818)

      Steven Vaughan-Nichols is calling it "no longer as important as it once was". See http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/the-new-debian-linux-irrelevant/8218 [zdnet.com]

      • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:36PM (#35169974)

        Say who? If you're going to call others irrelevant, shouldn't you first have some modicum of relevancy yourself?

      • by eldepeche (854916)

        Yeah, but he also says stuff like "pain-in-the-rump." Who cares what he thinks?

      • by aztektum (170569)

        Who?

      • Steven Vaughan-Nichols is calling it "no longer as important as it once was".

        Perhaps he doesn't know that Ubuntu depends on it, so do most live CD distros.

      • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138) on Friday February 11, 2011 @01:35AM (#35171110) Homepage

        Steven Vaughan-Nichols is calling it "no longer as important as it once was"

        He should know. He's on ZDnet.

        I should know, I'm commenting on Slashdot.

      • Who the Fuck is Steven Vaughan-Nichols?

        I have run Debian based systems for a very long time. Mepis, Mint, Kubuntu, and on and on. On my server, it's just pure straight stable Debian. I did, at one point have to compromise slightly on that for PHP5, IIRC. It can be frustrating running pure stable Debian. Unstable Debian can be just as frustrating. Hence the need for third party Debian based distros. If it wasn't for Debian's crazy release schedule and placement of code in unstable or testing when it really n

        • by afabbro (33948)

          Who the Fuck is Steven Vaughan-Nichols?

          I have run Debian based systems for a very long time. Mepis, Mint, Kubuntu, and on and on. On my server, it's just pure straight stable Debian.

          And just who are you? Why should we care what you run? Or about the fascinating history of your personal odyssey through Linux distributions?

    • by garcia (6573)

      People who are concerned with more current software, easy installers, and flashing GUIs out of the box.

      For those of us that want a very stable and reliable server and don't want to have to deal with a bunch of garbage, Debian is the way to go. However, I say this as I just finally finished up hunting down all the script issues which arose for me (for the first time) following my upgrade to Squeeze.

      It's been a fun week to say the least and yet, for whatever reason, I still cannot upload one of my many CSVs t

      • by deek (22697)

        I'd even recommend Debian for people who want the latest software updates. That's what testing and unstable are for. Using package pinning, you can run a stable base, with selected testing and unstable packages. Mix and match what you want. Debian will cope fine with it. That's the beauty of the system.

        Of course, you have to be a little more careful, but it's easy enough to revert to a previously installed package if you have issues. I've been running a mixed testing and unstable install on my laptop,

    • Re:Since when? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by countertrolling (1585477) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:14PM (#35169840) Journal

      Somebody named Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols [zdnet.com] the third. Should be working at the DMV

    • by icebike (68054)

      Its called a straw man.

      Set up false claims then demolish them in a fit of peek.

      If anything people have voiced concern for Debian since so many distros depend heavily on it
      and its purity.

      • by afabbro (33948)

        Its called a straw man.

        Set up false claims then demolish them in a fit of peek.

        It's easy to POKE holes in your argument...

    • News to me. Who's calling it irrelevant?

      Didn't you get the memo from the department of small minds? Importance is now measured with a blood pressure cuff.

      When a brick decides to be a simple brick "Imminent Storm Threatens Village".

      In Zittrain's world (The Future of the Internet and How to Mess it Up Real Bad) what matters most of all in technology is generativity: the usefulness of a brick to support other bricks. Possibly I mean Lego bricks, but more likely I mean Mechano, since generativity gloms in all directions.

      I've also read that C and/or

  • by drunkennewfiemidget (712572) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:38PM (#35169618) Homepage

    I've sampled the others, and it just keeps working for me.

    When other distros let me down -- even the debian based ones (like Ubuntu failing miserably over and over on my wife's netbook) -- debian, with the desktop set of packages installed, works beautifully.

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Personally I don't like Debian (gentoo user) .. but I do admit it drives a lot of open source.

      And it does strike me odd that ubuntu is pulling off the Debian repos, but seems to take all the credit (best Debian ever gets is "it's based off Debian"). This is probably not intentional, and it makes sense (re-inventing the wheel should be avoided if reasonable) .. it just kind of "looks bad".

      • by jasno (124830)

        People still use Gentoo? Wow! That was always my fav distro. How well is Gentoo being maintained nowadays?

        I was actually thinking of trying Debian 'cause I figured Gentoo would have rotted over the last few years.

        • Gentoo is in very fine shape these days, I'm using it daily!
        • by eldepeche (854916)

          I use Gentoo on my desktop. It works great, but it's kind of a pain in the ass if you don't upgrade packages regularly. I just moved, and I was only using my laptop for about 6 weeks. When I tried to upgrade, I got all kinds of dependency hell. It wasn't too hard to get everything resolved, but it seemed unnecessary.

      • Gentoo is easily the most clever distro name.

      • by cgenman (325138)

        In the early days, Ubuntu was basically framed as "Debian on a disk." Anyone in the know, knows that Ubuntu (like MEPIS and a lot out there) is based upon Debian. Debian is just stable, solid, and unencumbered enough to form the basis of a lot of good stuff.

        And these days, who still uses Fedora? openSUSE? Mandriva? Ubuntu pretty much won the Linux desktop wars by finally providing something better than Windows (a no-install install). And on servers, you options are basically the stability obsessed gnom

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I love Debian too, and run it on anything important. But Arch is more fun.

  • by melted (227442) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:44PM (#35169656) Homepage

    You can't just count packages and draw conclusions from counts. Some of the packages haven't been updated in years. Some are only used by like five users on the planet. Some are so buggy they won't even run.

    Weigh them by how many people install and use them, and you've got something to talk about, though.

    • I don't think many of the people using Ubuntu or other OSS are going to give permission for a package manager to snoop and send back this information.
    • You can't just count packages and draw conclusions from counts. Some of the packages haven't been updated in years. Some are only used by like five users on the planet. Some are so buggy they won't even run.

      Maybe, but if a Debian package out of date, uncommon, or unusably buggy, then I expect that Ubuntu would not import it or pull from the upstream project. You know, the packages the summary is talking about.

    • You can't just count packages and draw conclusions from counts. Some of the packages haven't been updated in years. Some are only used by like five users on the planet. Some are so buggy they won't even run.

      Weigh them by how many people install and use them, and you've got something to talk about, though.

      Nope, you sure can't draw conclusions off of package counts alone.

      However, a person, such as myself, can use Debian since 2003 and come to the conclusion that the packages, and packaging, in Debian are of high quality. A typical Debian Gnome desktop install takes around 3-4 gigs of hard drive space. My desktop installations, after a year or two, normally take up 12 to 15 gigs due to the number of packages I install. My longest running install--apt-get dist-upgrades from Woody through Etch--had more than

    • by shuz (706678)

      Hey! What do you mean 5? There are like 6 people that use JOE(Joe's Own Editor) and Nano is for L user's that don't know word star key binding's. /playgeekcard

  • by hackstraw (262471) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:49PM (#35169684)

    ubuntu is to debian as firefox is to gecko

    • Re:analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:08PM (#35169812) Homepage

      That is how it should be, but that is not how it is. Debian is not some generic distribution-construction-kit, but instead Debian is a complete normal independent Linux distribution and that is exactly where I see the problems. Ubuntu, just as the other distributions based on Debian, isn't a real Debian with a few extra packages installed, but a completely different thing, having its own complete package dependency tree that is incompatible to that of Debian. You might have luck installing Ubuntu packages on Debian or visa versa, but you might as well have not. There is no Debian base system to which developers can develop their packages that will then automatically be compatible with all Debian based distribution, you still have to build every package for every distribution.And thats really the crux, instead of having a unified base with which you can reach a large part of Linux users, you have heavy fragmentation. See for example the whole Launchpad auto builder infrastructure, great for building stuff for Ubuntu, but wanna build something for another Debian based distro or even Debian itself? Tough luck, that stuff is Ubuntu only.

      At this point I would really welcome it when Debian would work towards becoming a proper base system for other distributions to build on in a proper way, not the kind of hacky one that is practiced today.

      • by TBBle (72184)

        I think that'd be a terrible idea. The reason Debian works as a distribution base is because it's a complete, centralised, internally consistent and _working_ distribution guided by principles of end-user (admin) choice and unusually strict guidelines for package quality and interoperability, which make it fairly easy to drop new packages into the mix from random sources, mix-and-match packages already in the pool, and pre-decide things for your specific user base.

        And you most certainly can build packages t

      • Derivative distros should adapt themselves to Debian, not the other way around.

        See for example the whole Launchpad auto builder infrastructure, great for building stuff for Ubuntu, but wanna build something for another Debian based distro or even Debian itself? Tough luck, that stuff is Ubuntu only.

        Maintainers can upload their source packages to Debian Mentors [debian.net] and get them into Debian, which will then be pulled by the other distros.
        If the maintainer chooses to go through Ubuntu's incompatible platform, what are the Debian developers supposed to do?

      • by msauve (701917)

        I would really welcome it when Debian would work towards becoming a proper base system for other distributions to build on in a proper way, not the kind of hacky one that is practiced today.

        I would welcome a cart able to push a horse, and Ambercrombie/GAP/DKNY should pay advertising fees to all those people wearing their clothes.

    • Re:analogy (Score:5, Funny)

      by TBBle (72184) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:20PM (#35169884) Homepage

      Ubuntu is to Debian as Stalin is to Lenin?

    • by basotl (808388)
      I would say a better analogy would be:
      Ubuntu is to Debian as Flock is to Firefox.
    • by dudpixel (1429789)

      ubuntu is to debian as firefox is to gecko

      not really.

      debian can still do all the things ubuntu can.

      ubuntu is debian packaged for (possibly non-tech-savvy) end-users and polished a bit.

      • "Ubuntu is debian packaged for (possibly non-tech-savvy) end-users and polished a bit."

        Hmmmm. But then Mint would win out. Mint started out as Ubuntu packaged for (possibly non-tech-savvy) end-users and polished a bit. Then they skipped the intermediate step, Ubuntu, and went for the source itself - Debian.

    • I think a better analogy is that Ubuntu is to Debian what HTC Sense is to Android.
  • by IANAAC (692242) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:53PM (#35169704)
    Mainly, I've just used Ubuntu and Studio 64. Sure, I realize they're Debian-based. I dont really make the distinction.

    I have, however, read MANY comments on the evils of the very bits of default software that make me like Ubuntu.

  • I have Squeeze running on a desktop and my home server. It is excellent. I have a Ubuntu desktop also. I really see no major difference except with Debian you don't have to update every two days to keep current. The long release cycle is excellent for servers. The new version has the latest bind, php 5.3, etc. Seems really current to me. It also plays Sirus player, compiz, software-center, just like debian. 2.6.27 compiled fine and runs like a top.
    • by eldepeche (854916)

      The new version seems current, but it probably won't in a year and a half, when it will likely still be the current version.

      • And this bad? Why? The point of a stable release is to be stable, not to introduce bugs by introducing new software into the system, and possibly major system changes. That can break a lot of stuff, and if you're running a server that's the last thing you need.

    • The new version has the latest bind, php 5.3, etc. Seems really current to me.

      For servers, sure. The desktop? Some applications, like Firefox, may technically be on the most recent stable release, but it will be over a year out of date–and remember, new FF release cycle after 4 gets comes out–by the time Debian 7 rolls around. And last I checked they still haven't put a beta of 4.0 in sid yet.

    • Why are you running 2.6.27 when Squeeze ships with 2.6.32 by default?

  • by joeyadams (1724334) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:03PM (#35169772)
    Debian is one of the last major Linux distros still supporting PowerPC (along with Gentoo, Arch Linux PPC [archlinuxppc.org], and a few others). Ubuntu discontinued official PowerPC support in 2007, and Fedora did the same in 2010. I'm tempted to install Debian 6 on my Apple eMac, replacing Fedora 12 (which reached EOL a couple months ago).
  • by inflex (123318) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:04PM (#35169782) Homepage Journal

    A lot of people are upset that Ubuntu doesn't give back a lot to Debian in terms of packages/software/whatever, however what Ubuntu gives Debian (and indeed Linux) is a more approachable OS package as a whole, something more suitable to the non-geek, this is something that Linux/Debian have never really bothered with a lot while in the realm of genuine geeks but it's something that Ubuntu adds and which is greatly appreciated by people outside of the geek circle. So while you cannot measure Ubuntu's 'give back' in quantitative terms it is still giving a huge amount in other areas where advancements were sorely needed.

    I don't see the problem with Ubuntu being a Debian based distro - isn't this what Debian or any other distro would want - a larger adoption rate? It's all GPL, it's not like licences are being broken.. or is the crying from a minority more to do with a bad case of sour-grapes?

    • Ubuntu may not contribute that much back to Debian in terms of code, but at the very least, if they become profitable at some point, it would be great if they could use some of that cashflow to fund the Debian project (if they don't already). I think that's where they have a lot (if not the most) to offer.

  • Quiet! You Fools! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by havardi (122062) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:35PM (#35169968)

    Let Debian do it's collectivist work in the shadows, and Canonical can provide the capitalist facade that keeps Them at bay. . . This arrangement might be its only hope for survival. Voluntary virtual-subjugation? Since data, unlike food, can be copied endlessly-- this might be a pretty good arrangement. Until it isn't, anyway.

  • Cars are 90% horse carriages repackaged with some added features (an engine.) So really, carriages are still very much relevant.
  • I use Ubuntu because it is the 'Apple' of Linux distributions. ... it just works... I even violate my Linux roots sometimes and configure stuff through the GUI. I think it is Steven Vaughan-Nichols who is not relevant. And it it were not for Debian, there would be no Ubuntu.

    Yes, yes, I know that Red Hat works too, but it just doesn't DO anything. RPMs that won't install. An ugly incoherent out of date GUI. configured for security ... meaning you should consider yourself privileged that it actually le

  • by tonytraductor (1284978) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @10:13PM (#35170178) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I don't understand why people claim that Ubuntu is more "user-friendly". I tried ubuntu for about a year before finally taking the dive into Debian (had used Fedora/RH for 8 years prior, but finally got tired of yum breaking stuff). Stuff broke on Ubuntu (not as much as Fedora!), and I wasted time fixing it. I installed Ubuntu for a few n00bs, friends who were tired of their virus/crash ridden XP, etc. They all became frustrated, because, well, stuff broke, and they didn't know how to fix it. Now, when my Mom got an old computer from a friend, a 400hmz PII with like 128mb ram, I installed Lenny on it for her. It's run great ever since, without a single problem (time to go update her to Squeeze, though). I've been using Debian on all my desktops now for about 2 years, upgraded to Squeeze last weekend. The most trivially easy, seamless upgrade ever. (can't be said of ubuntu's frantic release schedule, where every new silly snake release breaks more stuff). Nothing ever breaks in Debian. I haven't had a single software problem since making the move, and I can't imagine ever moving away, now. It's rock-solid, impregnable, and it just works. I don't get what's supposedly so "user-friendly" about Ubuntu. For one thing, I kind of agree with Tuomo Valkonen about "usability" anyway. Do what I want, only what I want, and stay out of the way. Ubuntu makes too many decisions for the user, and not always good ones (usually tying a ton of bloat together in "metapackages" in such fashion that you can't remove some useless crap like, say , cowsay, or something, without removing your entire window manager). Debian allows me to install what I need, precisely, no more no less. And for n00bs, it doesn't break and cause problems.
  • I missed that completely. I wondered why squeeze was a bit quiet this week.
  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @10:48PM (#35170318)
    If Ubuntu disappeared tomorrow would the Debian team notice?

    If Debian disappeared tomorrow would the Ubuntu team notice?

    Now ask yourself. Who exactly isn't relevant?
  • This summary is drawn from an opinion piece which was originally inspired by a presentation by Debian leader Stefano Zacchiroli in January called "Who the bloody hell cares about Debian".

    Original presentation makes a solid case for why Debian is more important now than ever.

    Stefano's blog post discussing the story behind the presentation is here [upsilon.cc]. There is a link to the slides there and apparently video will be available soon.

  • Android aside, Ubuntu is far and away the most used Linux desktop. If you look at say, Wikipedia traffic analysis [wikimedia.org], Ubuntu has over twelve times the web users than the next closest competitor.

    What does this mean? As GNOME was Ubuntu's desktop, it means a mass of new users for GNOME. I think this has been one of the main influences of Ubuntu. Linux has been on the server a long time, and people have been mucking with Apache on Linux and the like for a long time. But Ubuntu brought a lot of new users to

  • My mum says... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Beowulf878 (1304661) on Friday February 11, 2011 @12:48AM (#35170930)

    "this is obvious."

    Since I put debian 6 on her laptop - the frequency of ubuntu updates annoyed her, and she refused to install them (windows failed her long ago - even without viruses the spyware slowed it to a crawl) - she thinks it matters a lot. And who am I to argue...?

    I am slightly amused by all the insistence on its geek credentials. For the above installation I put the installation CD in and essentially pressed return until a working desktop came up. I admit I had to type 2 user names and passwords, but I didn't find it too onerous. For my other machines I might do other things - but that is me complicating matters and nothing inherently to do with debian. It seems all my hardware is so old now, it just works out of the box.

    {Kindly refrain from posting "j00r m0m" jokes... heard them all before... really. Not a challenge, either.}

    • by dlgeek (1065796)
      Reminds me of a great quote by Joey Hess who did a lot of work on the Debian Installer. Something along the lines of "It takes more keystrokes to enter a Windows Product Key than it does to complete an entire Debian Install".
  • The Debian project lead, Stefano Zacchiroli, is being terribly misquoted.

    The numbers in the article do not address the common case of having one package maintainer for both distros. That 74% actually means that 74% of packages are *in common* between the distros. It is conceivable that much of that 74% is because of maintainers who contribute to both distributions. It isn't fair to say that Debian does all the work and Ubuntu merely takes advantage of it.

    Seeing that the same package exists in both Debian an

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