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Debian Ubuntu Linux

Happy 17th Birthday, Debian! 225

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."
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Happy 17th Birthday, Debian!

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  • by netsuhi.com ( 1867770 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:44AM (#33264262) Homepage
    So there are two important aprts of the internet with birthdays very close together. I wonder if Debian or IE will last the longest?
  • by darealpat ( 826858 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:46AM (#33264294) Journal

    So far as being easy to use goes, I give Mepis more marks than its more popular cousin Ubuntu. Those that have tried it will understand. And I am not a KDE fan boy, not with my fond memories of RH 7.2

  • apt-get install love (Score:5, Interesting)

    by doublebackslash ( 702979 ) <doublebackslash@gmail.com> on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:48AM (#33264314)

    Debian, making installing dependencies a reflex rather than a compulsory chore. That alone would have gotten my praise. Then they also bolted on an incredibly stable and useful kernel and software stack on top of that.

    Good show! (I know I got the order wrong, but thats the order of importance to me)

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:52AM (#33264372) Homepage

    In terms of name, my bet would be on IE. If the Debian leaders manage to act retarded enough the community might have to fork and pick a new name but the project would live on. While with IE I figure there's a good chance Microsoft will eventually figure out that developing their own browser engine is a waste of resources and create their own Webkit-based browser, but still under the IE name. So one could have the same content with a different name, the other different content with the same name.

  • by arkane1234 ( 457605 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:52AM (#33264374) Journal

    Actually most base Ubuntu as "That one that's based on Debian".
    I refer to it as Red Hat on training wheels :)

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:24PM (#33264746)

    What? Apple's Safari also uses it! You're not going to suggest Microsoft to copy something from Apple do you? They would never do so!

    Oh, wait...

  • DFSG (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:30PM (#33264812)

    The main advantage I got out of Debian rapidly approaching 15 years ago was the DFSG Debian Free Software Guidelines

    http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines [debian.org]

    That saved me from a mighty holy war being brewed up by the IT department. They tolerated it and left the engineering department alone, which worked pretty well.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:34PM (#33264878) Journal
    If it is the cheapest way to get developers churning out c# applications running on Server2008/MSSQL/Azure on the back and Silverlight on the front, yeah I could imagine them doing that.

    The horse has very much left the barn(for all but the most ossified projects that are also millstones around Microsoft's neck because they don't want to deal with IE6 anymore) when it comes to controlling the internet by being the de-facto HTML renderer and being a real oddball about it.

    If, however, MS can reduce HTML to the header and footer that you wrap around your XAMLtastic chunk of Silverlight, the could easily save considerable money and lose essentially no influence by putting trident on ice(as some "compatibility mode", enableable by group policy for the corporate types) and switching to cheaper webkit for embedding silverlight objects.
  • Don't knock Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rueger ( 210566 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @12:37PM (#33264938) Homepage
    I don't entirely get all of the Ubuntu complaints.

    Over the years I tried maybe fifteen or twenty different Linux distros. (back to the days of buying boxed sets of Mandrake floppy disks!) Each time I went back to Windows because I invariably ran into some problem that I just didn't have the time to figure out and fix. You know, little things like printers, modems, and video.

    It's not that I don't like fixing things, or even learning new stuff, just that with Linux it was always so damned painful.

    Two months ago I installed Ubuntu using their little Windows installer app, and I haven't looked back. Aside from one occasion when a specific Windows program wouldn't run under WINE, I have had no reason to fire up Windows. And when I did.. well, yuck.

    You may call Ubuntu "dumbed down", but it's honestly the first distro I've seen that worked flawlessly out of the box with virtually no fiddling.

    And of course you can still fire up a terminal window and enjoy the command line.
  • by CrkHead ( 27176 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:01PM (#33265250)
    I think you summed it up fairly well.

    As a project, Debian is most interested in Freedom and stability. Although someone coming from a *nix back ground shouldn't have much trouble, someone new to computers or coming over from one of the dark sides is likely to.

    Enter Ubuntu. Their primary interest is getting Linux on the desktop. Debian is an ideal base because it has everything, so you just need to keep current on the unstable version and put some chrome on it.

    Grey beards keep their Debian and the whipper snappers stay off the lawn.
  • Re:Happy birthday (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:04PM (#33265290)

    You should check out the Ubuntu forums after a new release, it's obvious that they tend to overlook things they shouldn't be overlooking.

    Over the years they've managed some pretty neat fuck-ups such as replacing the disk encryption system without testing if it was possible to migrate encrypted volumes (it wasn't, not without serious pains anyway) and randomly breaking all sorts of "little" things.

    And I have no idead what they've done with the networking subsystem but I'd love to know why Ubuntu is the only OS/distro I'm consistently having network issues with (if I enable IPv6 on an interface using the GUI tools it nukes the entire interface and sometimes the only thing that helps is wiping the config for that interface and either rebooting or restarting everything but the kernel). This is on several machines and networks and a problem I have not had with Debian, Slackware, FreeBSD, OS X or any other OS with IPv6 support...

    Oh, and I just loved how my Ubuntu 9.10 desktop decided that since I already had a font package it wanted to install installed when upgrading to 10.04 LTS it should deinstall the xserver-xorg-core package without telling me...

    Yes, Ubuntu has issues since it tries to stay bleeding edge and isn't nearly as concerned with stability as many more mature distros are.

  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:10PM (#33265348) Homepage Journal

    Playing catch-up can be immensely profitable if you also sell web services that aren't as well supported by the competing browsers, especially if the competition's web services depend on other browsers: MS Web service users will be forced to use IE, IE users will choose MS Web services. Apple plays the same game with media formats. It's called lock-in.

  • Eh? Flip those.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by itomato ( 91092 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @01:16PM (#33265426)

    Mass audiences are incapable of finding appeal in Debian. ..for good reason.

    What appeal could they find in a well organized toolbox, when all they really want is a shiny red hammer?

  • I was comming from a broken Red Hat install, that succeded a broken Connectiva one, that succeded another broken Connectiva one, all of those refused to install my software due to dependency problems. Debian stable simply installed everything, and from the very few packages you couldn't install from testing, most become installable once you added the stable tree to sources.list, and most of the others just become installable a week or so after that. And it upgrades, and upgrades, and still you can install all those packages, even if you are using testing. That awesome.

    And, of course, after you feel what is like having a desktop system where it is easier to find new software at the repository list than on Google, there is no comming back. I once tried to switch my desktop to Suse, just to find that I'd need to install (and keep up to date) nearly all my software by hand. That and the fact that you can configure it all by ssh, without any GUI program changing the settings that you choosed later makes it way easier to maintain than Red Rat and Suse on a server.

  • by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @04:02PM (#33267414) Homepage

    because obviously the command-line is still there and easily accessible, but it's still a dumbed down distro

    Why on earth do you equate "accessible" with "dumbed down"? It's not like those configuration files magically vanish when you install Ubuntu. If you want to go hack config files, go nuts, it's basically Debian underneath (minus upstart, these days).

    Truly I find this baffling. Apparently complex, difficult-to-use systems are good, but easy-to-use systems are "dumb"... funny, I would've thought the opposite, that any software which makes using the computer *harder than necessary* is dumb, as in poorly written. But no, inaccessibly complex software is good, and accessible software is bad.

    It's just bizarre.

  • by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @04:39PM (#33267886) Journal

    ...if Debian dies?

    Then many of the Debian-originated tools (apt) get spun off as independent projects. Ubuntu becomes a standalone distro (and probably chokes for a release or two). Due to the sudden influx of Debian users and developers, Ubuntu would also probably start that permanently-unstable Grumpy Groundhog idea (basically an Ubuntu sid) that they've been considering.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.