2011-02-11

Review: Debian 6 "Squeeze"


After a wait of 2 years, Debian 6 "Squeeze" has finally been released! Yay! It's now officially termed "stable".
Some highlights include changes in supported architectures (e.g. ARMEL instead of ARM), choice in using either the Linux kernel or FreeBSD kernel under the Debian GNU tools, a Linux kernel that is now made completely of free software, GNOME 2.30 with some updates from 2.32, KDE 4.4.5, Xfce 4.6, LXDE 0.50, IceWeasel 3.5, OpenOffice.org 3.2, more packages available, an improved installer, and more "pure blends" for different users.

Main Screen + Main Menu
With this release came a couple articles and a bit of back-and-forth discussion online about the continuing relevance of Debian. The original article posited that Debian is becoming irrelevant because its most famous derivative Ubuntu has it beat on the user-friendly desktop side and Red Hat and SUSE are also much more popular on the server end. A different article argued that Debian, far from becoming irrelevant, is essential for the ongoing survival of derivatives like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MEPIS, and #!. The original article's author then responded by saying that if need be, although it would be a royal pain to do so, the developers of these derivative distributions could probably continue developing packages for their systems if Debian suddenly disappeared.
I take issue with that, because distributions like Linux Mint, MEPIS, and #! have smaller developer bases, so their time is already taken up by developing the smaller add-on packages to make their distributions unique; they have neither the [wo]manpower nor the funding to possibly continue developing core packages without the help of the Debian developers upstream. Plus, Linux Mint, although currently a primarily Ubuntu-based distribution, is also continually maintaining a rolling-release Debian-based distribution, so it needs the work of the good Debian developers even more in that sense, especially considering that the Ubuntu-based version of Linux Mint will diverge a bit more from Ubuntu in not adopting either Unity or GNOME 3 and not using Wayland for a while.
That said, I did read an interesting comment in one particular release announcement of Debian 6 "Squeeze", and that says that almost all the features present in the current stable Debian release were present in the most recent Ubuntu LTS release (10.04 "Lucid Lynx"), which came out just under a year ago. I would also add to that the fact that Debian stable releases are not supported any longer than Ubuntu LTS releases, which are supported for 3 years after release. Therefore, unless unbeatable stability or low resource usage is paramount, I would say for now that there's no compelling reason to use Debian 6 "Squeeze" over Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx". Of course, that case might become more compelling when Ubuntu uses Unity in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "P[...] P[...]", as Debian will likely stick to a more traditional GNOME setup and will probably appeal to more users disenchanted with the current direction of Ubuntu.

But I'm not here to argue if Debian is relevant or not. I'm here to try it out. I tried out the standard GNOME and KDE live systems through a live USB made with MultiSystem, and installed the KDE version in VirtualBox with 1024 MB of RAM allocated to the guest OS. Plus, there's a little bonus at the end (which I won't reveal right now), so follow the jump to see how it all goes.

GNOME

After rebooting and going through the boot menu, the boot process was pretty fast. Apparently there's a Plymouth boot splash, but I guess it's only viewable post-installation, because I didn't see anything except a scrolling wall of text. After that came the desktop.

The desktop, of course, is fairly standard GNOME, which is at version 2.30 and contains some parts from 2.32. The wallpaper is space-themed with a cartoon spaceship tracing out the Debian logo. It looks a bit too kid-oriented and not quite as professional (some might argue bland) as the previous one, but it fits well with the codename, as the Squeeze toys were 3 alien toys in the Toy Story movie series; in any case, the wallpaper can easily be changed.

IceWeasel + Gnash and OpenOffice.org
The default browser seems to be Epiphany, but IceWeasel, the rebranded version of Mozilla Firefox, is present at version 3.5, although the most recent version is 3.6. As I said earlier, Debian has removed all proprietary parts from the kernel, so the only codecs present are free software. The Adobe Flash replacement is thus Gnash; unfortunately, I continue to have bad luck with it as I got an error message on YouTube. That's no matter, though, as I could easily enable the Debian non-free multimedia repositories and download the proprietary Adobe Flash plugin.

OpenOffice.org present at version 3.2, which is understandable considering that version 3.3 didn't come out until a week ago or so.
Cheese Webcam Booth was present, and after I unmuted my mic in the volume control program, it recognized my webcam and mic just fine.
For entertainment and distraction purposes, the full assortment of GNOME games is present.

Compiz Desktop Cube
For desktop effects, it is possible to enable Metacity compositing, but this can only be done in the GConf editor (the GUI way, so this is aside from manually editing a text file), and this only enables things like shadows and nicer-looking borders. For better desktops effects, like the cube, I had to install Compiz, which wasn't already present. To do this, I headed to the Software Center and installed it. After that, effects like the desktop cube worked just fine, although when I changed the WM from Metacity to Compiz, I also had to enable things like window borders, moving windows, and resizing windows in the CompizConfig Settings Manager.

The Software Center, which is what I used to install Compiz, seems to be an unbranded version of the Ubuntu Software Center, which certainly does support Debian's recent commitment to user-friendliness. Installing things here was a breeze and is certainly more intuitive for newbies than Synaptic Package Manager, where binary packages can easily be confused with underlying libraries or similar but unrelated packages.

Later on, I tried installing Skype, which isn't in the official Debian repositories. I went to the Skype website and downloaded the DEB package built for the previous stable release of Debian (version 5 "Lenny"). Unfortunately, IceWeasel didn't associate the DEB package with either GDebi, the static DEB package installer, or the Software Center, which is supposed to be able to handle static downloaded DEBs. It instead opened the package in the GNOME File Roller. I then had to go to the terminal and make the package open with GDebi, which, thankfully, was present out-of-the-box. That wasn't so great in terms of user-friendliness, though the file associations can easily be changed.
In any case, Skype worked fine, although I couldn't test my mic because the test call kept failing due to the large number of people using Skype at that time.

Debian used about 210 MB of RAM at idle, but this was with Compiz and all the associated effects as the WM instead of the standard Metacity.
After switching to Compiz, the volume control panel applet box became misaligned, as the right side of that box disappeared off to the right of the screen.
Finally, I tried shutting down, but I was booted back into the login screen and then the desktop for some reason. I'm not sure why that is. The second time, however, shutting down worked fine.

Overall, Debian GNOME seems to be a perfectly fine and fairly user-friendly distribution; at the very least, it works well on my hardware. Aside from the minor shutdown issue and the lack of association between DEBs and GDebi, it works great; it seems to be good for people who want a stable, rock-solid desktop and don't really need cutting-edge software, though adding repositories and upgrading software that way is a snap too.

KDE

Please do note that because I was able to see most of the new Debian features in GNOME, my trying the KDE version is more just to see how KDE is in Debian.
The boot time was fairly fast after the boot menu, and after that came a fairly standard KDE splash screen, followed by the desktop.

Main Screen
The desktop looks to be pretty standard KDE, although the wallpaper is the Debian 6 "Squeeze" wallpaper; although KDE is at version 4.4, this combination of the Plasma theme "Air" with the dark blue Debian wallpaper makes the desktop coincidentally look a little like KDE 4.6. There aren't any Plasmoids on the desktop save for of course the panel and a Desktop folder widget. Because KDE is still at version 4.4, the old, clunky, zoom-in Activities interface is still present. Hence, although it is quite useful when working, for me it isn't worth the effort to set it up to work the first time around. KWin desktop effects weren't enabled out-of-the-box, but when I did enable them in the KDE system settings program, they worked smoothly. That said, with desktop effects enabled, the desktop used 400 MB of RAM at idle, fully double that of GNOME with Compiz effects enabled. That's pretty significant.

Konqueror is the default browser, but IceWeasel is also present. Unfortunately, IceWeasel isn't themed to match with the KDE theme, and there aren't any Oxygen themes available for Mozilla Firefox/IceWeasel 3.5; they only work with versions 3.6 and above. I tried using Konqueror for a while, but it unfortunately crashed twice, so I switched back to IceWeasel.
OpenOffice.org is available, and thankfully, that does have the Oxygen theme enabled.
Other than that, the selection of applications is a combination of the standard KDE repertoire as well as a handful of GNOME/GTK+ applications; unfortunately, rather than being categorized correctly in the Kickoff main menu, they were given their own category "Debian" with further subcategories. It's all a bit confusingly organized.
I might have missed something big-time, but I didn't see any GUI package managers in the KDE version, not even KPackageKit or Synaptic Package Manager. That's bad. All I saw was a symbolic link to run the CLI Aptitude package management program. (Of course, that and apt-get can easily be run from the terminal.)
Finally, I tried shutting down, and the KDE Debian desktop had the same issue as the GNOME Debian desktop; trying a second time worked here as well.

KWin Desktop Cube
Aside from the Konqueror crashes, KDE seemed pretty stable. That said, KDE seems to be getting quite a bit better with every release, so I don't really see any reason to stick with KDE on this Debian stable release. I did test installation in the KDE version, just to do something a little different, so keep reading to find out how that went. I did this in VirtualBox in on a Linux Mint 10 "Julia" GNOME live USB with 1024 MB of RAM allocated to the guest OS; both the Debian live DVD and virtual hard drive were on my hard drive.

Debian Live Installer
There isn't actually a whole lot to say about the installation process. It does seem to be broken up into more steps to reduce user confusion; for example, things like language, keyboard layout, and time zone selection, among other things, are all on their own screens. The installer seems to integrate pretty well with the KDE environment, although it isn't a totally tailored look (as compared to Kubuntu's installer's look compared to Ubuntu's, although the content of the screens are the same). The partition editor, which I think is the most important step, hasn't changed a whole lot; this time, I used the "Guided" option and used the entire disk, which created an EXT4 primary partition of 9.5 GB and a SWAP logical partition in the remaining space on my 10 GB virtual hard drive. That seemed to work pretty well, and the installation itself seemed pretty quick.

After installing, I rebooted and was greeted with the KDM login screen. I logged in, and the session looked identical to the live session. I didn't really have any other issues pop up, so there's not really a whole lot more to say about that.

But wait, I'm not done! There's one more thing I tested.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 6 "Squeeze"

Yes, I tested Debian with the FreeBSD kernel (hence "kFreeBSD"). The Debian website says that Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is meant to be as close as possible to the standard Debian GNU/Linux. I didn't know how close "close" was meant to be, so I tried it out. There's no live CD/DVD, so I grabbed the net-installation ISO (which grabs selected packages from the Internet during the installation process after the base system is installed) and went on my way in VirtualBox; the conditions were the same as in the KDE version installation.

The installer is the old ncurses-based text installer, which is still present in the main Debian editions, but there's no GUI installer, unfortunately. Thankfully, the text installer almost exactly followed the GUI installer, minus the shiny windows.
Debian GNU/kFreeBSD ncurses Installer
The only big differences arise in the partitioning section, and here there are two. The first is the disk naming convention: typically, Linux distributions name their drives "sdLN" where 'L' is a letter starting with 'a' for the first drive, 'b' for the second, and so on, and 'N' is the partition number on that drive, starting with 1 for the first, and so on. BSD variants name their drives "adXsY", where 'X' is a number identifying the drive, starting with 0 for the first, and so on, while 'Y' is a number identifying the partition, starting with 0 for the first, and so on. This was evident in my review of PC-BSD in my KDE distribution comparison test, and it has showed up here too. It's not too big a deal, though, and actually, GRUB uses a similar naming convention with numbers for both drives and partitions starting at 0 for the first of each. The second is the file systems allowed. The only file systems the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD installer allows are EXT2, UFS, FAT, and SWAP. Given that EXT3 is just EXT2 with journaling capabilities, I figured I would make the main root partition EXT2 and then make a SWAP partition alongside that. Unfortunately, the installer through an error message saying the partition from which the system will boot must be UFS — so much for choice. I was given the opportunity to correct this, so I made a 9 GB UFS primary partition and a 1 GB SWAP primary partition. This was on the same virtual hard drive as the KDE system installation, so this setup reformatted that drive.
After that, I was given the option of install a GUI DE and/or a bunch of network tools along with the standard base system tools; I chose to install only a GUI DE (GNOME) in addition to the base system. I also got to install GRUB, although this is a BSD (not Linux) system. That went relatively quickly, and in time I was asked to reboot.

After the reboot, I saw the GRUB menu, proceeded past it, and saw the GDM login screen. That's when my time with Debian ended, because the system got hung up trying to log me in. At the same time, it didn't recognize my mouse for some reason, which has never happened before in any distribution that I've tested in VirtualBox. I tried checking online for solutions to no avail; maybe I was looking in the wrong place. Anyway, I didn't really go further with that.

Considering I wasn't really able to see a usable installed Debian GNU/kFreeBSD system, I can't really make many comments about it aside from the installer and the mouse and login issues. I will say that other than being a proof of concept, I can't really think of any reasons why someone would use it instead of standard Debian GNU/Linux, aside from someone really wanting a BSD-based system without the hassle of compiling everything associated with FreeBSD. Then again, for that purpose, there are also PC-BSD and DesktopBSD with KDE as well as GhostBSD and GNOBSD with GNOME.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my time with Debian. There are just a few issues, including Gnash, Konqueror, shutting down, the lack of a GUI package manager in KDE, and the kFreeBSD issues. Other than that, it seemed quite stable. Again, I think that with the number of distributions relying on it now, Debian is more relevant than ever, but for pure desktop use (i.e. not server use), it's hard for me to justify using it over an Ubuntu LTS release unless resource usage is a priority, considering the Ubuntu LTS releases come out around a year before the corresponding stable Debian release upon which they are based. That said, with Ubuntu's new and controversial direction, Debian could just become all the more attractive. I wouldn't give someone a Debian live medium and tell them to have at it, but if an experienced Linux user was there to help them along the installation and post-installation configuration processes, I think it would be great for newbies to use on a daily basis.

28 comments:

  1. I agree with your assessment of Debian 6.0. However I do believe that the Debian team will offer Gnome 3 when it becomes stable. I'm not sure if they will offer Unity or not. That is a wait and see item. The classic Gnome will not be developed anymore after Gnome 3 takes hold so who knows. The Debian team did adopt KDE 4.x so I'm sure they will go forward with the latest Gnome when it's stable. Good review and thank you.

    Eddie Wilson

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  2. I use Debian exclusively for my servers at work. I prefer Debian over Red Hat and other alternatives. I had previously used Ubuntu with extensive problems (constant rebooting for no apparent reason) which were all solved when I switched to Debian.

    I really like Debian's rock solid stability compared to Ubuntu for use as a server. I don't install X-Windows or a GUI, so most of this article didn't apply to me. I have not yet booted up a sandbox with Squeeze on it but I am looking forward to upgrading.

    I don't understand why Debian wouldn't be considered relevant. I see its purpose as a stable alternative to Ubuntu, rather than switching to something else like Red Hat.

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  3. @Anonymous 1: I'm guessing that version 7.0 "Wheezy" will have GNOME 3 as the default. However, there are a couple developers that are going to continue maintaining (in some form or another) GNOME 2, foremost among them the Linux Mint developers, who are going to release the standard Linux Mint with the classic GNOME 2 interface for at least the next few versions. After that, I don't know what will happen. But it'll be interesting to see how this fork works out, considering that while work on a fork of KDE (3.5) didn't happen until a couple point releases into KDE 4, there's already discussion of maintaining GNOME 2 separately even before GNOME 3 has been released. Thanks for the support!
    @Anonymous 2: I specifically said Debian may be less relevant than Ubuntu for the desktop end-user, because I realize that it does have huge value for servers over Ubuntu and is a viable competitor to RHEL.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  4. That was a good read, thanks!

    Also thanks for pointing out the Debian/Ubuntu LTS comparison. Its actually why I stick to Debian. I don't see Debian being any better, just a preference.

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  5. @Anonymous: I can understand why you might stick with Debian. Don't give me credit for that statement, though -- it came from a comment on one of those inflammatory articles. Thanks for the support!

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  6. You miss the fact that the kernel is now completely Free is another factor in Debian's relevance, as it can now function as a completely Free distro.

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  7. @Anonymous: I did mention that Debian has a fully free Linux kernel, but you are right in that this fact is another feather in Debian's cap of relevance. That said, while I'm sure there is a portion of users who care about full freedoms, I'm not sure (a) how big that portion is and (b) how relevant that is to end-users who just want to be able to use their computers with minimal hassle. Of course, that may just be me. Thanks for the comment!

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  8. Some how I always fancied installing the Debian Distro but never really did. I always thought why installing Debian if there is a pretty looking and easy installing Ubuntu? After reading many reviews on Debian 6.0 I decided to give the whole thing a serious go. For the first time while installing a system I felt a bit of 'joy' and mere involvement. I installed Debian with the Graphical installer for advanced users. Yes, indeed one has to read some lines but it is quite informative. After having set up Debian I automatically searched for the non-free goodies because in the end I am just a simple computer user (flash, MP3 and the rest). It all was quite simple to install and after reading two notes on "wireless" I even got my Ralink RT2860 working. The whole looks like Fedora but not quite that. I am a fan of Fedora, by the by. Iceweasel (what kind of name is that) is just Firefox without the Firefox. Debian 6.0 is so far a great Distro and I like it. Meaning, it topped Fedora off my laptop. I dare say that anyone who can install Ubuntu can surely also install Debian. Debian seems to be very solid and stable, what I like thus. A good Distro for the Desktop or/and Laptop. Well done. And lets face it: Debian is a real Long Term Support Distro!

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  9. @Maxime: That's great that you've had great experiences with Debian so far. I would like to point out a few other things, though. With regard to being able to install Debian as easily as Ubuntu, I still believe that Ubuntu has the most newbie-friendly installer out there, largely because of it's partitioner -- it hides the whole /dev/sdX notation as well as things like EXT and '/', instead showing general partitions as colored cylinders and allowing creation of a new set of partitions for Ubuntu through a very newbie-friendly click-and-drag slider. Debian still requires you to know the basics of Linux drive nomenclature and partitioning if you want partition sizes different from the defaults. Also, Debian isn't actually supported any longer than an Ubuntu LTS release. Thanks for the comment!

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  10. You have at least used the Live systems, even though the Debian Website won't mention it in their "getting Debian" page, but Debian insists on downloading Netinstall, or CDs or DVDs or 4.4 DVD1, for which many reviewers had got caught and had a hell of a time installing it. At least you didn't get caught to Debian ploy of trying their best to get "negative" advertisement!

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  11. Debian Gnome cannot reboot or get poweroff. It can't see USB sticks, for the line in fstab is misleading. Sdb1 is a CDRom in that! It cannot do any updates without the Live DVD, or installation CD/DVD and one has to manually delete that line from sources.list and add all other sources! If one has to decide, its better to decide on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS as it is a complete distro than Debian 6! Debian Team is good at making packages, but not as makers of a distro. It is not an OS, but a distro!

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    1. Hit Root terminal and type #gedit /etc/apt/sources.list. From the sources, comment out the iso options. Debian won't bug you for CD/DVD after that and would update from net.

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    2. @arindam sen: Thanks for the tip!

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  12. @Anonymous 1: Yeah, I've used Debian Live images before. The thing is that Debian Live isn't truly an official Debian project; the Debian website does mention it but, strangely enough, doesn't provide any links. Then again, for installation, typically the first CD should suffice.
    @Anonymous 2: Well, Debian was able to read the other partitions on my USB stick well enough, so that wasn't an issue for me. Yes, I know it can't do updates without the live DVD or without uncommenting the appropriate lines in the repository list; I guess it's a relic of the days when the developers couldn't assume that everyone had a steady, good broadband Internet connection, so people would get a whole bunch of CDs and install extra software as necessary from those CDs.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  13. I use Debian 6.0 w/Liquorix kernel daily on a 15" Linux friendly laptop. Issues have been few and typically a result of my fumbling about.

    I also have 10.4 LTS on this machine. It has been equally reliable and it would be easier for most people to set up.

    So which do I use? Interestingly I am on Debian most of the time. BTW the smxi family of scripts from smxi.org make system maintenance very much easier. Sadly these are not available for Ubuntu.

    These are both terrific systems for people who would like to think about their work rather than system management. I enjoy Debian but I would not argue with someone choosing to run 10.4 LTS.

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  14. @julian516: That's great that you have both working great. Also, I've heard a lot of praise for the Liquorix kernel, but I'm not sure I understand what it's all about: would you mind explaining what's so great about the Liquorix kernel over the standard Linux kernel? Thanks for the comment!

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  15. Remember when Corel came out with Corel Linux waaay back around 1999/2000? It had the best installer at the time and Xandros Linux took its code base and created an amazing commercial Linux.
    What did they both have in common? A Debian lineage. :-)

    I will ALWAYS have a preference for Debian-based distros. :-)

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  16. @Max - The IT Pro: I don't remember Corel Linux because (as you could probably figure out by reading some of my other posts) I was too young to know about that kind of stuff then. I have heard of Xandros, though -- wasn't that quite a flop (after it acquired Linspire)? I'm just a little confused here. Of course, I too will probably always stick with Debian-based distributions in the long-term. Thanks for the comment!

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  17. I use Ubuntu for my desktop, but on my older laptop I've been having glitches with 9.10, and 10.04+ simply won't boot into Gnome (some video issue). Debian 6 works great on it though. A few months ago I also installed Lenny on an older iMac to use as a database server for work. So I've definitely become a fan on Debian, despite the fact that Ubuntu is around.

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  18. @Anonymous: I wonder if it would be better then to stick with the already-working-for-you Debian 5 "Lenny" instead of upgrading to Debian 6 "Squeeze".... Anyway, thanks for the comment!

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  19. hello im using 6 now switch from mint 10 i cant see why you would what something to eat up you systems resources like that. I really seen nothing in mint i really like more then debian at all. I can run xp in virtual box have a load of tabs open and music and still be half way through my ram usage. I like it much ill never use a mint or ubuntu again

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  20. @Anonymous: It's great that Debian 6 "Squeeze" has been working so well for you. The beauty of Linux is that there's so much choice that there's bound to be something that works just perfectly. Thanks for the comment!

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  21. Long road for me, from Windows to Mint to Sabayon to Fedora 15 and finally to Debian. I'm just a beginer in Linux. I like the way fedora works but I can't stand Gnome 3 and LXDE, Xfce are not valid options for my needs, so I have searched for a distribution which is still using Gnome 2.

    Debian is really great, stable, low usage of resources, quite fast, no problem for me. Just had to work little for the non-free packages.

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  22. @Anonymous: I'm guessing you wouldn't want to use KDE then. Anyway, it's good to know that Debian has worked so well for you. Thanks for the comment!

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  23. The question if Debian is still relevant seems a bit odd to me. The answer depends on what type of users you take.
    If you take typical desktop users then Debian has never been a top choice for them.
    For technically skilled people however it is and will be great because of its versatility, stability and overall quality.
    Comparing Debian to Ubuntu LTS isn't that obvious actually.
    1. Debian 6 freeze was longer than a complete Ubuntu release cycle. That tells something about how carefully bugs are being hunted.
    Even not very serious and relatively rare bugs are considered release-critical during that period.
    2. The majority of software available for Ubuntu lies in “universe” which is not supported by Canonical – only “main” is.
    On the other hand almost all software available for Debian lies in “main” and is fully supported.
    3. Debian guys pay special attention to smooth release upgrading which is not the case for Ubuntu.
    4. Debian makes it possible to mix distributions so you can have stable with some needed packages from testing, unstable and even experimental. That gives you an unbeatable flexibility.
    And don't forget Debian Backports.
    Ubuntu development is more centralized on look'n'feel and ease of use: Software Center, Unity... – while Debian is all about technology: alternatives, debconf, apt, multi-arch...
    If some friend of mine comes and asks what Linux distribution (s)he should choose to install I'll recommend (K)Ubuntu because Debian is not perfectly suited for not very skilled users (they simply won't be able to benefit from its advantages) and Ubuntu family is far better in that. But if that friend likes to learn something new, isn't afraid of text console and doesn't think that reading docs is boring then Debian will be the ultimate choice.
    I think Debian and Ubuntu relationship is a perfect symbiosis. Debian works on technical base which Ubuntu can make benefit from. And Ubuntu works on ease of use which makes it into Debian afterwards.
    So each of these distributions has its own niche and suits its target users very well.
    Speaking about me I installed Debian using businesscard installation media in expert mode and didn't install anything but base system. Then I booted into it, installed preferred DE (just a core of, not a full one) and thus got a basic environment to start from. From that point till now I keep following the rule: install a program if and only if you need it. Thus my system has no needless applications but the ones I need and is small, fast and reliable. And I'll upgrade it to next release with no pain.
    Speaking about minor problems you had.
    “Debian” menu category can be easily disposed with menu and menu-xdg packages removal.
    There is no KDE package manager frontend because none stable enough existed then. Current unstable has adept and apper (also in testing) and there is an unofficial repository which has muon (for both testing and unstable).
    Nice review by the way :).

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    1. @Anonymous: Thanks for the clarifications!

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  24. I haven't tried Debian yet as it is installing as i post this but I find Ubuntu's User Interface HORRIBLE.

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    1. @Justin: To be fair, Debian 7 "Wheezy", which should be out soon, will feature GNOME 3/Shell, which you may also not like. Thanks for the comment!

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