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

Why Debian Matters More Than Ever 345

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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  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:44PM (#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.

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

    by garyisabusyguy ( 732330 ) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @10:05PM (#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:4, Insightful)

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

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

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

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

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

  • by tonytraductor ( 1284978 ) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @11:13PM (#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.
  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @11:48PM (#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?
  • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:35AM (#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.

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

    by zr-rifle ( 677585 ) <zedr AT zedr DOT com> on Friday February 11, 2011 @04:20AM (#35171502) Homepage
    What has this to do with the desktop? He is talking about CentOS (a distro commonly used on servers) and Django (a Web framework).
  • Re:Since when? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <> on Friday February 11, 2011 @04:24AM (#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.

Loose bits sink chips.