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Progeny Debian 1.0 Released 167

martins99 writes: "Progeny was released today. It is a commercial dist based on debian but with lots of new stuff which Debian 2.2 (potato) or woody (testing) lacks like: support for 2.4, graphical installation, XFree86 4.02, glibc 2.2. Read more at" Since Stormix is ailing so badly, I hope Progeny can do better...
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Progeny Debian 1.0 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Had the same problem on my Inspirion (5000 - no E) and that's the reason I'm using storm...finally found a distro that worked the magic foo, only to see them go by-by.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I came to Debian a rank newbie, and was a little
    a little apprehnesive because of the install's
    I read the install documentation a couple of times
    crossed my fingers, and took the plunge.
    Too my surprize I found a straight forward install
    that went very smooth.
    I even managed to install KDE with installer
    because it asks you if you want to install any
    extra software when you are choosing your packages.
    True, I didn't just push a button, and go watch
    TV, but after doing it, I kept wondering what all
    the fuss was about.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    blah....nice graphical installer...GRUB included...commercial support...hmmmm...sounds like Mandrake to me.

    Want some differences? How about...

    • apt-get doesn't do Mandrake Update's favourite trick: start mysteriously trying to upgrade the same five (up to date) packages every time you run it
    • no need for half-broken ThisDrake and ThatDrake configuration programs, since all configuration is done automagically in package postinst script
    • sane init scripts
    • update-menus actually works.

    These are just a few of the reasons I abandoned Mandrake.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Simple question - no answer on the site: What will a subscription to the Progency Service Network cost?
  • They are the same, just a filename extension difference

    You burn the .raw images just like you would burn a normal .iso image.


    My car is orange, my sig is not.
  • by jbrw ( 520 )
    If it just worked, wouldn't it be in the stable branch of the distro?
  • You can put 3rd-party sources in your apt.sources list if you want to. Only thing is, if the sources there can't be installed in conjunction with a standard Debian installation (due to library conflicts or whatever else)... well, that's the problem of the alternate source, not Debian or apt-get.
  • I've been using debian for over five years and I have *never* had any serious problems installing on any machine I've ever used.

    The installer is extremely flexible. At any point during the installation, you can stop what you're doing and go back to an earlier step of the procedure, or skip ahead to future steps. If what you want to do isn't supported in the menu, the installer can spawn an ash shell and get a command line on the machine even before you've partitioned or formatted a disk. You can handle just about any special case you can imagine by hand at the shell prompt. You could do the entire installation that way if you like! It's true the Debian's installer isn't the prettiest or the easiest, but it's one of the most powerful and flexible there is. You can't get much more flexible than a shell prompt!
  • These are just a few of the reasons I abandoned Mandrake.

    My main reason for dropping Mandrake Cooker in favor of Debian Unstable was that (a) Debian Unstable is a hell of a lot more stable, and (b) has a lot more useful software packaged and easily installable, not to mention (c) upgrades seem to go a LOT more cleanly and smoothly...

    Okay, so that's three main reasons... I don't need to know how to count, just how to write a loop to count things for me...


  • Woody, like all Debian versions, supports any kernel version you wish:

    apt-get install kernel-package
    cd /usr/share/doc/kernel-package
    zmore README


  • WindowMaker! WindowMaker! (Rah! Rah! Rah!)


  • Debian is a great distro, but it can be somewhat harsh on users sometimes, and it doesn't have commercial backing.

    Hmm. Yes. When I find a bug or am having a problem with Debian, I submit a bug report or email the package maintainer and usually get a response and sometimes a fix within 24 hours.

    With most companies I can't even *find* the email addresses of the appropriate people to email my reports and patches to. I did get a response from a knowledgeable programmer at Sun once, but it sure took a long time.

    Yup, Debian lacks commercial support, thank the gods...


  • Apt-get is great if all of your packages come from the same place. I have had problems installing debs from other distributions (tossing WordPerfect on my laptop from my Corel distribution). I don't think that there are easy ways around the problems.

    But are the problems you had problems with the actual packages, with the archives themselves, or really with apt-get? I suspect it's more likely that the problems were related to Corel's archive. Perhaps they provided e.g. a version of libc that apt-get interpreted as being "newer". It's not apt-gets fault, it's that Corel didn't intend to make it easy for *Debian* users to get the package, they intended to make it easy for *Corel Linux* users to get the packages.

    There are several lists available of unofficial apt sources. apt-get is designed to easily handle many sources, related or not. That doesn't mean it's immune to screwed up archives.


  • take a look at stunnel (
  • I love Debian. I use it when I want a linux distro. Its package management (apt-get) rocks. But its installer does suck. I don't know what it is that makes it suck, but it does. I always feel like I am fighting with it. I don't use the installer anymore if I can help it. I made a pretty generic install of base2_2, and the drivers. Upgraded to woody and made a nice tar ball. A few hacks to the boot disks later and I have a bootable cdrom with fdisk, tar, and lilo to make the hard drive bootable. It works great. I can now get past the install quickly and install all those great .debs.

    The install really does suck. Sorry.

  • THANKS! I _still_ like Red Hat better than Debian... especially if I can get few enhancements from VA... ;)
  • by Psiren ( 6145 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:36AM (#305063)
    Last time I looked the 2.4 kernels were in woody. In fact, I downloaded one the other day. So if this is the case I would assume all the other necessary programs have been upgraded to the relavent versions.
  • Not quite true. I just installed a Woody distribution straight from potato disks a few days ago. It was amusing :) You start with the reiserfs+debian disks (which also include GRUB, and kick lots of ass!), then when you get to the point where you're adding or modifying the sources.list file for apt, you choose to edit it by hand, and replace the "stable" references with "unstable". Hell, add Helix Gnome's debian source entries if you want. Add the sourcecode links too. When you save and quit, then tell dbootstrap to get to it, it sources and downloads the lists just fine, gets the right task lists from the latest unstable, and even the "simple" option of package selection reflects the new content. It gets the dependencies right, and installs just fine off the 'net right outta the box. I was impressed, to say the least. :)
  • There's a reason they want you jumping through hoops to get the ISO images. Bandwidth isn't free. You're got two ways to get a Debian CD set -- download the ISO images or use the tools they provide to download the binaries and construct the ISOs yourself. Now which is more likely to succeed -- transferring a 650MB file you hope will make it through in one piece, trusting your transfer agent not to screw it up (and to be able to resume if it can), or downloading a buncha littler pieces (that can be more easily recovered)? apt-get isn't great. It's WONDERFUL. It has quirks like everything else (ever installed a Windows product? :), but it kicks ass. And we *have* given it some time, the other distros *aren't* doing it. apt-get has been around for coming up *two* years now. dpkg (which understands, but doesn't presume to fix, dependencies and conflicts) has been around even longer. Nothing else has come close.
  • by GypC ( 7592 )

    Dude, dissing Slackware as "not-modern" is like putting a big neon sign on your head that says "I'm a newbie!"

  • Progeny should have set things up so that you can buy the boxed set a month ahead of it being available online, rather than vice versa (with any last-minute security bugs made available online immediately, as with

    This is completely in keeping with the GPL, and would make it more likely that they will collect enough money to pay staff. The free-beer crowd would whine, but without some means of motivating people to pay up, Progeny has even fewer prospects for business success than the fifth dot-com to try to sell you pet food over the net.

  • Anyone got a mirrors list? None on AFAIK...
  • Where exactly did you find that on their site? The link works but I can't find anything liking to /download/mirrors!
  • Doh! I agree with you though. I looked at least twice for the mirrors list and nothing... The navigation interface is pretty bad.
  • Actually, if you upgrade to progeny from potato the version numbers of all the software (or just about all of it I imagine) will be higher, and so changing the apt sources list back to a potato URL would do nothing. All the packages that apt would see available would be lower versions than the ones you have installed. So you'd never have updates. I assume you'd have a lot of trouble going from progeny back to woody too.
  • Debian does only have old packages... Have you recently installed a 2.2R2 system? Kernel 2.2.18? XFree 3.3.6. No version of KDE. Trust me, the lack of KDE keeps a lot of potential users using Mandrake. OpenSSH 1.? XMMS 1.01?

    You're right, Debian stable has only older stuff. But if you get into your sources.list file and change "stable" to "unstable" and apt-get dist-upgrade, you get all of the goodies you desire (except for pre-compiled 2.4 kernels, but as someone pointed out, I'm going to recompile my kernel anyway -- and kmake-kpkg makes it pretty painless).

    As for the stability of "unstable", well, Red Hat's x.0 releases wish they could be this "unstable". Honestly, when testing freezes (hopefully with a 2.4 kernel) I may just switch my sources.list back to "stable" and forget about needing the latest and greatest stuff every day...

    (Yeah, right... who am I kidding? *grin*)

    Jay (=
  • I have been using Progeny Linux on my Thinkpad since RC2, and I have been very happy with it. I am starting to become a convert to apt-get, even though it does have some very odd little quirks. I think that Progeny needs a little bit of work before it becomes as user friendly as Mandrake 7.2.

    Well I am very much a convert to apt-get. There's nothing like thinking of a package you don't have and just apt-get install'ing it. Works very reliably. My main beef is apt-get upgrade asking you every time if you really want to do it - that's just silly and there should at least be a way to configure that feature off.

    I briefly used progeny before switching to debian unstable, and I'd recommend it for someone who wants a little handholding. It's a pretty safe way to be close to the bleeding edge. Personally, I like having the 100's of debian maintainers backing me up so I go with the real thing but if you aren't really hard core, Progeny is probably a better idea.

    I agree with you about Mandrake - it's really easy to get started with, but doesn't have apt-get. You probably never considered Conectiva, the Brazilian distro but actually I think it's about the smoothest installing and best-configured Linux I've used so far, and it has a version of apt-get modified to use rpm's. Recommended.

  • I just upgraded to Debian 2.2r2 on my new hard drive last week. I went to Progeny's page but at that time they only had a "release candidate".. oh well.

    Installing 2.2 was a lot harder than it was to install 2.1 for some reason. Perhaps it was the fact that my old system was so customized and I had to start over with a default (crippled) setup.

    Maybe I'll try upgrading to Progeny but I'm sick of installing stuff. And my 28.8 isn't up to a net upgrade.
  • apt-get is a great tool which IMHO all distributions should have some form of. Conectiva uses an rpm version of it which is great. The latest Mandrake distribution uses urpmi, which is actually an amazing tool in that it will do almost everything apt-get will. If you haven't had a chance to use it, you should. Give it a package and it will install all the dependencies neccesary and the same for uninstalling packages. The only problem is that it doesn't have a complete rpm depository to choose from like Debian does. Maybe some day....
  • Upgradeing the kernel usually isnt that much trouble. I'm not sure what went wrong there but It sounds to me like it was a fairly simple lilo problem. If Progeny is like debian the kernel will be put in /boot/vmlinux- and there will be a link /vmlinuz -> /boot/vmlinuz-

    Lilo will point to /vmlinuz and sometimes cause it not to work correctly. when asked if you want to rerun lilo I always say no and configure lilo my self. Although it should have worked and rebooting shoudl have been fine. My guess would be a bad package.
  • Has anyone with a SB Live sound card tried it? Does it detect the card?

    I read that it's an old KDE which is included and that it isn't even installed by default. I "know" most people here are GNOME people, but there are really many KDE users out there for who, Progeny will then always, sadly, be a secondary option. It is not about how easy it is to apt-get it afterwards, it's about support for your choice of desktop environment. If Progeny supports only GNOME and not KDE (which they obviously do), then they will not get many customers that prefer KDE.

    Greetings Joergen
  • This isn't interesting unless the page actually doesn't work on other browsers. The name they give their "everything but IE" stylesheet is just not that important.
  • There's fake FUD and there's real FUD. To me this doesn't sound like either, but more of a personal preference. Which is fair.

    OTOH, don't denegrate someone just because he is experiencing FUD. Real FUD exists, and is hard to get through.

    The problem is so many fakers exist. It's the fakery that's the problem. And generally, though they spread FUD, they aren't even claiming to be experiencing it.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • by HiThere ( 15173 )
    I'm not a Debian user, so I don't know. I've had problems with kernel upgrades removing ppp support (or maybe they just leave it so broken that it won't run... no difference to me). Do apt-get installs have this problem? It can be a bit hard to recover from. (Well, actually, I've always ended up going back to the prior kernel, and usually back to the CD.)

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • OK. But when a kernel vulnerability is detected, then I want to upgrade it. OTOH, I also want to keep ppp working. So far this has caused a conflict until the next major release. I was just hoping that Debian provided a way around this.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • by Grond ( 15515 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @10:18AM (#305082) Homepage
    One of the coolest things that can be done with Progeny is upgrade straight to "real" debian, since Progeny is (AFAIK/can tell) completely debian compatible. A simple sources.list edit and a somewhat lengthy apt-get update/upgrade later and bang! regular debian, with the benefit of a really keen graphical installer and a lot of the major packages already installed.

    Even so, Progeny itself is quite cool, especially the commercial support aspects. Hopefully they can succeed where (in some sense) Storm Linux failed.

    (interesting test of the strength of the apt/dpkg system: switch from progeny to unstable to stable and all the way back and see if stuff still works stably....)
  • It's there. Along with X 4.x which is incompatable with all but the most expensive newest cards.

    That's funny, it works fine with my old Matrox Millennium [] and the Chips & Technology 65550 [] in my old Libretto...
  • by Chris Pimlott ( 16212 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:53AM (#305084)
    Debian Woody (aka testing) does have support for 2.4 kernels, glibc 2.2 [] and XFree86 4.0.2 [].

    It is correct that none of these are in Potato. However, there are unofficial packages for running 2.4 kernels [] and XFree86 4 [] in Potato, both provided by Debian developers.
  • I'm thinking of moving from Potato to Woody, but I can't find which kernel version Woody uses.


  • by mindstrm ( 20013 )
    Wow. You must be smart, I bet they didn't know that!

    Seriously. They just don't *care*. Or maybe it's that they only test with ie & netscape.. and the netscape one does okay for otehr browsers.

    All it says is they called the second stylesheet for non-MS browsers 'nn_global.css'. It doesn't say 'if you don't have netscape, fuck off'

    Besides.. I bet they don't care anyway.
  • Why not? It *IS* debian. It's 100% debian compatable, they just provide some extra packages to do things that are a pain with debian.

    Really, it's just a pre-set confiuration of debian.

  • It's not really an upgrade, just a new set of apt-sources and some neat packages for building a nice coherent desktop.

  • Why can't the X people be bothered to actually include support for the older cards that they said they would put back into the original source? My S3 Trio64 chip isn't supported and therefore prevents the newly hyped release.
  • I tried Progeny Beta 3 but unfortunately, ppp didn't work 'out of the box', I guess I just used to being pampered, anyone know if there is a 'dial-up workstation' option during install?
  • Progeny contained 2.4.2 as of rc1. It should still have that in it... That way you get all of that debian loving, that Woody goodness, and a nifty graphical installer, and last but not least, the 2.4 kernel.

    I found it to be immensely simpler than Debian (for newbies, like my dad), but it has some simple gotchas, like the fact that it doesn't ask whether the second CD is available. Other than that little annoyance, Progeny is pretty tight!

  • I guess I'll buy it for the fact alone that they hired several Debian "Senior" Developers like Branden. Thanks to them, those can now work on Debian-related stuff 24/7.

    No way I'm ever working for Progeny. They don't let you sleep, by the sounds of it! Either that or they have more than 24 hours/7 days in the corporate week. And they say Steve Jobs has a "Reality Distortion Field"... this sounds like some wacky Debian-based cult.

    Don't drink the Kool-Aid, Branden! For the love of God, don't!
  • I did it. It took a little working to get the dependencies strait. I also had to redo the Ximian Gnome install. I was able to do the whole process without a reboot and without a crash. It is possible to go back and forth between Debian and Progeny, but would I recommend it, probably not.
  • Along with X 4.x which is incompatable with all but the most expensive newest cards.

    Pretty much the only vaguely common cards that XFree 4 doesn't support are the old S3 Trios (not the Trio3D, which is supported). Still, if you do own some ancient crufty thing, the Debian packagers have thoughtfully included modified XFree 3 packages that only support the cards that XFree 4 doesn't.

    Note that pretty much every cheap graphics card on the market for the past 5 years is supported by XFree 4. Note also that the new Vesa driver in XFree 4 means that pretty much every graphics card on the planet is supported to some degree, something that wasn't true under XFree 3.
  • If they want to set an example they should be
    given equal weight.

    Thereby increasing development costs significantly as they have to rewrite all their Gnome-based config utilities to use QT as well? Progeny made a decision to support one desktop environment over another in order to make life easier for themselves.
  • Actually, it is targeted for use in networked workstations. It works well as a distro for beginners, but Progeny wants to be able to create clusters of workstations.
  • It has an older version of KDE 2.0. It is really targeted to working with Gnome, not KDE. KDE doesn't come installed by default, but you can easily install it using apt-get.
  • by ajakk ( 29927 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:20AM (#305098) Homepage
    I have been using Progeny Linux on my Thinkpad since RC2, and I have been very happy with it. I am starting to become a convert to apt-get, even though it does have some very odd little quirks. I think that Progeny needs a little bit of work before it becomes as user friendly as Mandrake 7.2.
  • by ajakk ( 29927 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:37AM (#305099) Homepage
    Apt-get is great if all of your packages come from the same place. I have had problems installing debs from other distributions (tossing WordPerfect on my laptop from my Corel distribution). I don't think that there are easy ways around the problems. You really just have to get used to how apt-get does things. I was very happy that I could upgrade from Progeny RC2 to Progeny Release (53 package updates) with one command.

  • by expunged ( 30314 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:50AM (#305100) Homepage Journal
    I don't know what debian you're using (you're probably not), but I run nothing but debian and I have kernel 2.4, glibc 2.2, and X 4.0. All from debian packages (the kernel was source, but compiled using make-kpkg).

    It is nice to see a "friendlier" debian-based distro "for the masses" but that doesn't excuse people from the usual "debian is slow" and "debian only has OLD packages" crap.

  • Change .raw to .iso and burn away.

    I have no clue why they do that. It's like when they released RC2 and named the installation diskettes *.img instead of .bin. rawrite wouldn't recognize the extension. And nothing in the release notes to explain it either.

    A newbie shouldn't feel the need to call Miss Cleo on something like that.

  • Funny, I find it more interesting that, if you accept the default, Opera 5.0b7 for linux it will identify itself as IE5.0. Considering that isn't preventing me from browsing the web and Progeny's site isn't booting me I don't see what the big deal is.
  • The name of the university which I attend is "Carnegie Mellon." Please be sure to follow proper hyphenation and capitalization rules in the future.

    You may, if you wish, refer to such orthographical conventions as "hyphecap." This will save some typing in the future.
  • According to their download page, you can even upgrade from an existing debian installation (in this case, 2.2 potato).

    However, why would I want to do that? I'm happy with debian, and actually I no longer have potato, since I'm using woody to get X4.02 and KDE2.1.

    Please someone enlighten me.

  • Oh I thought is was here []
  • Sorry, tell that to the folks working on Khtml!
    Recently konqueror has gained an option allowing you to use the mozilla engine to render pages, instead of khtml, but anyhow, you are mistaken about konqueror, right about galeon.
  • check it out if you got $20,
    since it isn't available any other way...
  • Progeny is to Stormix like a modern distro is to slackware. It's just taking what was good of Stormix and making it better, while changing the negative things.

    Being that Stormix doesn't exactly exist as a commerical entity, Progeny effectively replaces it.


  • Is it just me, or isn't KDE (and GNOME, and Mozilla, and dpkg) a little too slow (think x86 120-200MHz, here)? What happened to "lean, mean GNU/Linux?"
    Genius dies of the same blow that destroys liberty.
  • # apt-get install clue
    Reading Package Lists... Done
    Building Dependency Tree... Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.

    Since you only requested a single operation it is extremely likely that
    the package is simply not installable and a bug report against
    that package should be filed.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    Sorry, but the following packages have unmet dependencies:
    clue: Depends: cmucl-clx but it is not installable
    E: Sorry, broken packages

    Genius dies of the same blow that destroys liberty.
  • by RubberDuckie ( 53329 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:34AM (#305111)
    Interesting, I'm running sid with a 2.4.2 kernel and XFree 4.02. Still, it will be nice to see improvements in the Debian installer. The Debian installations have always been a bit 'rough'. Once you get it working however, keeping updated with apt-get is a piece of cake (well, mostly). I figure I spend much more time keeping a working system updated, than I do installing one, so I really appreciate apt.

    This should make convincing the PHB's that Debian is a viable solution vs. RedHat. Now, we have a vendor to go to for Debian as well. It's not a selling point to me, but the bosses seem to like the fact that a Linux distributions is 'supported'.
  • by game ( 62990 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @09:38AM (#305112) Homepage
    I mean if I upgrade to Progeny, and decide to go back to plain old potato can I do that? Or can I go back to testing(woody) from which it was created?

    I'd really like to check it out, but I also want safe path back.
  • What Debian are you using? The one thing Debian provides that makes it better than any other distribution is the quality of its packages.
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • apt-get will never upgrade the kernel unless you explicitly tell it to.
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • Mandrake is the one that seems to go to the most effort to be user-friendly, so they would probably benefit from a better installer the most. However, if they're not willing to accept that kind of input from outside the company, Debian would certainly appreciate it.
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • It's compatible with Debian. Thus, it supports everything you can get from apt-get - thousands of quality packages.
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • Corel flopped because they didn't make their software compatible with Debian and didn't provide adequate updates for their own packages. Progeny, on the other hand, seems to be making it completely compatible with Debian.
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.
  • If you find that the instructions are unclear,

    The instruction for acquiring the distribution are unclear. Visiting and trying to obtain ISO images makes me go through a bloody great big questionairre which tells me that cause of my broadband connection I should download it.

    There's no `fuck off and let me decide for myself' button. What if I want to install on more than one machine? For a distro that uses `its aimed at technial users' as an excuse for being damned unfriendly, this lack of control is surprising.

    As for the installation , I like to think I'm experienced enough with Linux to install just about any distro without RTFM. I know how Linux works. Debian requiores me to read the manual it seems (though I really copuldn't be bothered after my last install). Things like E: for error messages, and `base system' aren't immediately obvious. Prolly my fault for not reading the documentation, but usually, I expoect the documentation to be online. No such luck with the Debian installer.

    the choices ambiguous, the order illogical,
    or something like that,

    In my opinion, its buggy. I tried to do a floppy install on 2 machines. I got driver disk one and loaded it when asked. The installer slowly grabbed the fioles of disk. In the next part, the installer told me there were no modules in its install directory, and to go back to the loading modules bit. Okay, I might have a bad floppy disk. But no error messages. That pisses me off significantly.

    There's other issues to. There shoudl be a vertical scroll bar indicating the steps for the menu go off the bottom of the screen. THis is basic GUI fundamentals. There isn't one.

    I could see the problem. But, the only "problem" you describe is that it's text based.

    Most users have no idea that tab and space can be used to navigate a GUI. they also have no idea what modules are and why they shoul;d be loading them.

    Apt-get is great, and installing packages with dependency chains in most distros in bad enough that I would simply call it `broken'. But either using the RPM version of APT or some other new tool with fix that within the next six months. Maybe Red Hat will set up a unsupported mirror with a stack pf packages tested against its distro, and use RHN as a download mechanism (allowing paid subscribers to also get closed source apps and perhaps support for these packages).

    Yes, installing packages under most distros sucks. But using Debian isn't the answer for those that want to make this easier on themselves, in my opinion anyway. Give it some time and I bet every distro will do this within a year.
  • It has an older version of KDE 2.0.

    Last I heard, they were using KDE 1.2 (one and a half years old) in the last beta.

    It is really targeted to working with Gnome, not KDE.

    That seems rather pathetic of Progeny. So now users are supposed to pick their apps based on toolkit rather than quality?

    I though this type of childish bullshit ended a long time ago, once every modern distro decided to let people choose.
  • by Nailer ( 69468 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @03:14PM (#305120)
    Unless Woody and or Progeny are using Glibc 2.96, I understand this is pretty much impossible.
  • by hub ( 78021 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:20AM (#305121) Homepage
    What the article does not show is that Progeny is aimed at simplifying Debian GMU/Linux distribution so that beginners can simply use. Consider it as a MandrakeDebian :-)

    Ah and to provide commercial support on Debian based system, which is not a bad idea.

  • sawfish/gnome
    Full plate and packing steel! -Minsc
  • Is that Progeny isn't missing little bits here & there. Did an apt-get dist-upgrade Potato-->Woody ~2 days ago - debconf slang frontend broken, X configuration broken.... Potato-->Progeny went smooth as silk. Doing an apt-get upgrade to 1.0 at the moment. N.B. a developer in #progeny reccommended adding:
    deb updates/newton/
    to /etc/apt/sources.list
    Full plate and packing steel! -Minsc
  • ...I think it's text based installation is a pain in the ass (and I'm not even a newbie - I started with slackware many years ago).

    If you find that the instructions are unclear, the choices ambiguous, the order illogical, or something like that, I could see the problem. But, the only "problem" you describe is that it's text based.

    Why is that a problem? What is so intimidating about a text interface? It's still got buttons and menus -- it's not like you have to edit configuration files. Does the average new user even know what the difference between text mode and graphics mode is?

    I've always thought that this obsession with installers that run in graphics mode has been a red herring.

  • I am a usability design guy. I look at how people use computers, what kinds of things trips them up, and what kind of stuff they can understand. All the distribution installers (even ximians installer, even though it isn't really a bona fide OS distribution) have serious UI flaws that can confuse newbies and make them (as well as power users) work far less efficiently. Mandrake has serious issues, Redhat's really f*cked up, Suse ist nicht gut, and progeny's a damned joke. If I were to redesign one of the four's installers so that it was the most user-friendly linux installer ever written (which wouldn't get in the way of true power users), which distribution should I award this honor to? Which one deserves it the most?
  • Progeny is just a particular set of packages for Debian, with a nice installer. This is a very good thing.

    The Progeny guys don't support the full 3000+ packages available for Debian. (Right now if you were to burn CDs for the latest version of Debian it would take 4 CDs to hold all the packages; Progeny fits on a single CD.) They have put together a working, tested set of packages that make a pretty darn nice installation, and they will keep it up to date. For many people Progeny will provide them with everything they will ever need.

    Since Progeny is still Debian, you can easily add packages from the main Debian distribution if you want something that Progeny doesn't provide. And if you ever tire of Progeny or they ever disappear, you can just switch smoothly over to using the main Debian distribution. So there really is no down side to choosing Progeny.

    And, by the way, Progeny is donating all their new stuff back to the Debian community. So the improved installer should find its way to Debian. (Probably not for the Woody release, but the one after that should have it.)

    For my friends who get interested in Linux, I am burning Progeny CDs and giving them away.


  • woody is testing, not unstable

    Okay. You are right.

    I'm using the latest Debian stuff. When it's all nice and stable it will all be released under the name of "Woody", thus in my mind I'm using Woody, albeit I'm using the unstable branch. But I should use the names the same way everyone else does!

    The "stable" version of Debian right now is Potato. Thus "stable" and "Potato" both refer to the same collection of packages.

    The "testing" version of Debian is called Woody. When testing is over and Woody is released, then Potato will be retired and Woody will become the new stable. A new code name will be chosen for the next Debian (from the movie Toy Story if the tradition holds), and that new code name will be the new testing.

    The "unstable" version of Debian is called "Sid" and always will be called that. (Sid was the boy who enjoyed destroying and mangling toys. Of all characters in Toy Story he was the clear choice for a code name for unstable!)

    If you want the latest packages, you should apt-get from unstable. If you want fairly recent packages and you want less risk, you should apt-get from testing. When a package has been in unstable for a while and it tests out okay, it gets migrated over into testing. Thus, there is a huge overlap between the packages in testing and the ones in unstable: every package in testing is in unstable, but the version in unstable might be a more recent version.

    Because testing and unstable are fairly close, you can apt-get from unstable, and then switch back to testing if you like. This can be a convenient way to grab a few packages you want that are too new to be in testing yet.

    I have found that unstable hasn't lived up to its name; I haven't had any bad problems with it yet, and I really want to get each update to GNOME as soon as possible, so I'm using unstable right now.


  • I just downloaded 1.0. While the Progeny betas fit on a single CD, it turns out that the 1.0 version has just a little bit too much stuff so they went to two CDs. There is lots of extra room left over, so I don't expect them to grow past two CDs anytime soon.


  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @10:53AM (#305133) Homepage
    I'd really like to check it out, but I also want safe path back.

    The important thing about Progeny is this: it is Debian.

    They didn't screw anything up or glue in something proprietary. It's just a particular set of Debian packages with a nice installer.

    Thus, once you have Progeny set up, you can point your sources.list file at a Debian mirror, and start using apt-get against the Woody package set, and you are using Woody.

    Their installer does create a few icons on the desktop that say Progeny, but if you were really gung-ho about having a non-Progeny Woody system you could delete those.

    As for going back to Potato, it would be just the same as taking a Woody system back to Potato. I have never done it but it would be possible. Just point sources.list at a Potato package set, and use apt-get to get the Potato packages. You will have to force apt-get to "downgrade" since the versions of the packages will be older, but that functionality is supported. It would be something of a pain, and I don't know why you would bother; I'm running Woody unstable and I'm extremely happy with it.



    There are 2 projects, both of which provide Debian installer disks with support for Reiserfs. Yes, they're Potato disks, but there are no "woody" disks yet anyway; you'll have to install potato and apt-get dist-upgrade no matter what.

    Sotto la panca, la capra crepa
  • by autechre ( 121980 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:46AM (#305141) Homepage
    Woody(testing) does have XFree 4.02, and glibc 2.2. And while there are no kernel-image packages for 2.4, the kernel certainly works just fine (and really, I wouldn't use anything other than a custom-compiled kernel anyway).

    That being said, I see Progeny as a definite Good Thing. Personally, I don't have any problems with the Debian installer, but I understand that some people do; different people approach things from different directions(thus explaining the many window managers in the *nix world). From my experience, Debian is much easier to keep up-to-date once it is installed than any RPM-based distribution, and if more people find that it's also easy to install, great.

    Sotto la panca, la capra crepa
  • by Cloud K ( 125581 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @08:25AM (#305142)
    XCDRoast uses .raw files... in fact, it won't see anything else. You could say they provided Progeny as .raw to avoid questions about how to record an ISO file in xcdroast - but then, everyone else in the world will be asking them how to burn a .raw file *shrug*

    I wish people would agree to the same extension!
    I also wish they'd stick to the same boot procedure (SysV?), but that's a different story.
  • For those who want user-friendly slashdot posts, here is a link to Libranet's site: []
  • My main beef is apt-get upgrade asking you every time if you really want to do it - that's just silly and there should at least be a way to configure that feature off.
    I have the habit of typing "apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade -y", this way I don't have to sit by the keyboard to answer "y".
  • You can install pacakes from other sources as long as those sources behave, if they have packages with names identical to ones from the official Debian sources then those packages should provide the same files, have the same dependencies and correct version number, etc.

    For a list of unofficial sources see urces/ [].

  • Running 'make install' on Mandrake installs the various files to /boot. Isn't that where they're supposed to go?
  • Progeny is to Stormix like a modern distro is to slackware.

    Are you saying slackware is not a modern distro? I am sorry but nobody can contest that slackware has the best free support system anywhere. It offers new packages in binary format sooner than almost any other distro (even though most slackers compile themselves). And slackware follows standards better than any of your "modern" distros! It is like one of the only systems where you can install the linux kernel with "make install" instead of copying it to some silly place Linus doesnt intend it to be in.

    Slackware not a modern distro. Go boil your bottom you stupid son of a silly person. Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time-e!

  • by SquadBoy ( 167263 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:37AM (#305156) Homepage Journal
    Have everything the poster listed except for the graphical installer and that is being worked on. Nonetheless good job. This will make commercial support for Debian improve which when trying to sell a client on it is an important. Thing. Also GRUB is nice very nice.
  • So what does Kernel 2.2.18 (2.4 option included) really mean? Can we install kernel 2.4 from the distribution?
  • by felipeal ( 177452 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:27AM (#305162) Homepage
    I've been using Mandrake for years now and, although it's a good distribution, it's hard to upgrade the big guys (like X 4.0.3 or kde 2.1.1). I recently tried debian 2.2 to try out the famous apt-get, but I think it's text based installation is a pain in the ass (and I'm not even a newbie - I started with slackware many years ago). In my opinion, a distro with an easy installation system and a smooth way to upgrade is the way to go. Will Progeny do it? I hope so...
  • Anyone know what version of KDE this thing is running? KDE2? I tried to get details from the website but couldn't find a package list.

    If it has KDE2 I'm game.

  • As an aside, has anyone been able to install KDE 2.0 or 2.1 to RedHat 7.0 without crashing the system on startup?
  • by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @10:29AM (#305165) Homepage
    Where the Debian installer is especially rough is if your install skids off the straight-and-narrow path it hopes to find. For instance, if it doesn't see your network card (maybe it wasn't supported in the included kernel modules) it halts setting stuff up in the middle, with no option to override this and no option to restart at that point (say, after you compile a module for the card). The maintainer replies to suggestions for improving this with "Whatever it doesn't do is purposely unsupported."

    I've nothing against non-GUI installs, but I'm all against routines that are inflexible and brittle - that fail in the (not so) exceptional cases. That, and developers who think the exceptional cases are the user's fault. Difficult to walk into a client's shop to do a new install using Debian, when you know you might end up looking dumb and swearing at the machine if it happens to be hardware for which the Debian install derails; at least with Red Hat you know, despite the trade-off in long-term maintainability, you're going to look efficient as you install it. So I'd say putting a solid installation routine on the front of Debian could just be brilliant.

  • This is a common mistake to new linux users, as well as, people doing their first dual-boot with Windows. I've been using Linux since Red Hat 4.0, but when I tried a dual boot on Windows, I got Scandisk-scammed myself twice. That's when I learned the importance of backing up partition tables and making boot disks and recovery disks, even for "toy boxes," if you get my drift.

    I've just run scandisk so I can show exactly what you can expect and recognize the "I hate Linux" warning signs. This will appear as a slightly smaller window (dialogue box) over the main window of scandisk.

    ScanDisk Found an Error on Local Disk (C:)____[?] [X]
    ________________________________________________ __ ___
    This drive's boot area contains important information that is damaged
    or invalid. This can cause Windows to report the drive's free space
    incorrectly or slowly. ScanDisk repairs the boot area by recording the
    correct values in this area

    O Repair this error.
    O Ignore this error and continue.

    [___OK___] [_CANCEL_]

    Click, of course, Ignore, and it'll come up telling you, "Scandisk found errors on this disk, but did not fix all of them," followed by your disks statistics. That is nothing to worry about, because neither LiLo or GRUB are errors;)

    Happy computing,
    .oO(By Linus, I actually just said that...By Linus, I just said "By Linus!")


  • by Niscenus ( 267969 ) <.ericzen. .at.> on Monday April 09, 2001 @09:15AM (#305190) Homepage Journal
    Progeny is to Debian what Mandrake is to Red Hat. Doesn't make it worse or better, and if you've been updating properly, you should be around 2.4.2 with X 4.2. In my opinion, Debian is the fullfillment of the ideals of the GNU Project, and, quite frankly, pretty darn good one. Furthermore, there ARE several groups developing a graphical install for those who are a little slower on the pick up.

    Though, I guess it's hard to answer the question, "What kind of tech support does it have," with, "There are people all around the world with way too much time on their hands willing to help out on USENET and bboards scattered throughout the Linux world."
    As I read at an anti-linux site*, PHB's seem to be looking for someone to sue.

    *two friends of mine seem to enjoy sending me tidbits from anti-linux sites. that's not as bad as "Microsoft's PenguiNT"...

  • by kerneljacabo ( 320052 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @07:32AM (#305201)
    I've been using Progeny since beta 2 on my Dell Inspiron 5000e. Yes you heard right, Dell Insipron 5000e. I tried every distro out there and sent bug reports to every company. There was a problem with X compatability with my Video Chipset. Progeny was the only company that gave a damn to work with me on fixing the bug with their distro. Frankly, I'm disappointed at Red Hat. BTW, thanks ian and branden from progeny for giving a damn to help users. PROGENY KICKS SOME SERIOUS ASS, ESPECIALLY WITH HELIX GNOME!

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein