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Debian GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide



Author: drag
Date: Tue May 17 08:01:37 2005
Subject: Debian GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide

http://linux.togaware.com/survivor/index.shtml Debian GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide

This is something that I found interesting. It's basicly a introductionary guide to using and getting familar with Debian as a desktop OS. It covers a wide range of diverse topics from installing Oracle on Debian to getting familar with Nautilus file mananger to building your own Debian packages.

Looks like a usefull introduction to probably the most popular non-commercial operating system aviable on the internet today. I am a big fan of it.

Also in related news Debian Sarge has undergone a feature freeze. I expect the next Debian Stable OS release to be done in the next couple months. Usefull for people who want a stable and well tested Linux OS that they know they can depend on for the next few years for a veriety of purposes. Debian 'unstable', aka Sid, is about as cutting edge as most other distros.. With some notable exceptions. Doesn't have the latest versions of Gnome and KDE. Ships with 2.6.8 series kernels (fully patched and up to date security-wise) and is the only major distro still using XFree86 (however they do have several X.org developers as official Debian package maintaners)

Other usefull Debian related doo-dads:

Newbie Doc

NewbieDOC: Debian newbie documentation

Debian Sarge Install manual

Debian Installation Guide — Development version

Apt Howto

APT HOWTO (Obsolete Documentation)

Lots of this is aviable to you locally if you have debian running thru apt-get. After install those docs and any doc included with any package are located in /usr/share/doc. Also most Debian documentation is aviable in a veriaty of languages.

If you want something with friendlier default setup then Debian then Ubuntu http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ is probably something you'd want to look at. It's grown very popular in a short amount of time and is still mostly compatable with Debian. Itself is based on a snapshot of Debian 'Sid' and then they update a few packages like Gnome desktop and XFree86 to X.org. They even will mail you as many install CDs as you want at absolutely no cost to you. They even pay for the postage.


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Wed Sep 28 18:33:52 2005: 1128   bruceg2004


This is all great information, since I am in search of my next desktop distro of linux, to upgrade a very aged, albeit patched, RedHat 9 system. I am now testing Ubuntu, and so far, this one has stayed on my partition the longest!

I have tried just about every other distro out there, except any debian based ones, and I must say that I am very impressed at the ease of use of apt-get. For example, Ubuntu does not come with KDE installed, so right now, I did an 'apt-get install kde' and it is busy downloading the packages for KDE! That was easy!

You did say that Ubuntu is mostly compatible with Debian - other than the change from XFree86 to X.org, what else is different, in terms of using apt-get to get software packages, that a specifically built for debian? If a website says they have a debian version, can I pretty much count on apt-get working all the time, without issue?

I think I may have found a winner, after 3 months of testing many distros, from a pile of Linux Format DVD's I have accumulated. I even had Solaris on this test machine for a while :-) Nothing so far has come close to the ease of use of apt-get. Solaris updates were not very fun, and Fedora requires so much additional modification from the base OS, to get the additional software you want, nevermind having to worry if someone has made an RPM for what you are looking for.

I also like the Ubuntu philosophy. Very open, diverse, and welcoming.






Thu Sep 29 02:41:06 2005: 1130   bruceg2004


I am typing this from my freshly Ubuntu installed laptop. Wow. Great distro! This is the first one, that I did not have to mess with any wireless settings. It just worked with my builtin wireless card. No other distro could do that. I was stuck with compiling kernel modules, loading in firmware, and then if a new kernel came out, I would have to repeat the whole mess. Ubuntu just works.

Time to look for some nice themes. I would like to theme this, so it is like my MAC laptop. Any idea on what theme that would be?

- Bruce



Thu Sep 29 02:50:05 2005: 1131   bruceg2004


The other important point I forgot to mention, was the speed of the install. This blew the doors of a Fedora install. I went from partitioning to a fresh desktop, within 45 min, maybe a little less. I think my Fedora-4 on this same laptop, must have been at least 2.5 hours. RPM seems to take a long, long time, compared with dpkg. Since I am so new to Debian, I am not sure the reason behind this.

I am really impressed with this distro. Everything works, without much configuring. So far, even compared with Xandros, Lindows (or what ever the name is now), Ubuntu is simple, fast, and stable. Almost every Linux distro I have installed, always seemed to need a little hand holding, in order for me to feel comfortable, and have everything working.

- Bruce

- Bruce

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