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Debian 6 Squeeze

February 12, 2011
By

It wasn’t too long ago that I did a very late review of Debian 5. I’m happy to say that it didn’t take me nearly as long to get around to the latest release, Debian 6 Squeeze. If you aren’t familiar with Debian then this release is a great chance to learn about a distro that is the foundation for a lot of other distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint and others.

Debian has three main branches:

Stable
Testing
Unstable

Debian 6 is the latest stable release. For more background on Debian in general, please see the Wikipedia overview article.

The Debian Project is governed by the Debian Constitution and the Social Contract which set out the governance structure of the project as well as explicitly stating that the goal of the project is the development of a free operating system.[8][9] Debian is developed by over three thousand volunteers[10] from around the world and supported by donations through several non-profit organizations around the world. Most important of these is Software in the Public Interest,[11] the owner of the Debian trademark and umbrella organization for various other community free software projects.[12]

Thus, the Debian Project is an independent decentralized organization; it is not backed by a company like some other GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, and Mandriva. The cost of developing all the packages included in Debian 4.0 etch (283 million lines of code), using the COCOMO model, has been estimated to be close to US$13 billion.[13] As of April 2, 2009, Ohloh estimates that the codebase of the Debian GNU/Linux project (45 million lines of code), using the COCOMO model, would cost about US$819 million to develop.[14]

There’s some very informative and interesting background there about the entire Debian project, so be sure to read it after you finish this review of Debian 6.

Install Boot Menu

Install Boot Menu

What’s New In This Release
Here’s a sample of the new stuff in this release:

  • KDE Plasma Workspaces and KDE Applications 4.4.5
  • an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 2.30
  • the Xfce 4.6 desktop environment
  • LXDE 0.5.0
  • X.Org 7.5
  • OpenOffice.org 3.2.1
  • GIMP 2.6.11
  • Iceweasel 3.5.16 (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox)
  • Icedove 3.0.11 (an unbranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird)
  • PostgreSQL 8.4.6
  • MySQL 5.1.49
  • GNU Compiler Collection 4.4.5
  • Linux 2.6.32
  • Apache 2.2.16
  • Samba 3.5.6
  • Python 2.6.6, 2.5.5 and 3.1.3
  • Perl 5.10.1
  • PHP 5.3.3
  • Asterisk 1.6.2.9
  • Nagios 3.2.3
  • Xen Hypervisor 4.0.1 (dom0 as well as domU support)
  • OpenJDK 6b18
  • Tomcat 6.0.18
  • more than 29,000 other ready-to-use software packages, built from nearly 15,000 source packages.

I used the GNOME desktop environment for this review.

One of the neat things about this release is that it contains a truly free kernel. Non-free firmware files have been removed, but are still available to those who wish to use them. This makes Debian 6 perfect for Linux purists who do not want their desktop distros corrupted by non-free files. This release also promises faster start-up times due to changes to the boot scripts and dependency tracking.

Debian 6 also provides 10,000 new packages including Chromium and many other useful applications, and an overall total number of packages of around 29,000. I’ll have more to say about software in that section of the review. Suffice to say though that there are gobs of software available in Debian 6 and you should not lack for anything to run on your Debian-based system.

The Debian 6 installer has been improved with easier choice of language and keyboard settings, as well as better partitioning tools. The installer also supports ext4 and Btrfs file systems, and is available in 70 different languages. I’ll have more to say about the installer in that section of the review and the screenshots on that page will walk you through the entire install, from beginning to end.

Since this is a stable release, the emphasis was clearly on releasing Debian 6 in as rock-solid a form as possible rather than trying to pack it full of bloated features or cutting-edge software that could adversely affect that goal. My experience with Debian 6 indicates that the developers have pretty much accomplished what they set out to do in this release.

Hardware Requirements & Installation

Hardware Requirements
Since Debian 6 is available for so many different architectures, I’m not going to try to list all of the system requirements here. Please see the installation information for your particular architecture. You’ll find a list of supported computer architectures here. You should also look at the release notes for each architecture; they contain upgrade instructions if you are running a previous release of Debian.

Installation
The ISO file I downloaded was the 32-bit PC version and weighed in at about 4.69 GB. There are many other versions available, depending on your system. So check the installer page for download links. You can also buy Debian 6 on disc.

There was no Live DVD/CD available when I downloaded Debian 6. So this review is based on the non-live version, meaning that I couldn’t boot into a live desktop environment to use Debian 6 without installing it first. I didn’t mind that at all though; it saved me the bother of booting into the Live desktop first to start my install.

I decided to use the graphical install listed on the boot menu. The installer is pretty painless and relatively quick. The screenshots below walk you through the install, from beginning to end. The install took about 15 minutes or so. I opted to include a network mirror during the install and I recommend that you do the same.

Don’t let the number of steps throw you; I found that installing Debian 6 is pretty much as painless as installing one of its derivatives such as Ubuntu. The Debian 6 installer is the best version yet and promises to make Debian accessible to those who are new to desktop Linux and who may never have heard of Debian before. That’s a significant accomplishment and the Debian developers deserve a pat on the back for it.

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Booting & Login
Here’s what the boot menu and login screens look like:

Boot Menu

Boot Menu

Login

Login

The Desktop
The Debian 6 Squeeze desktop has the neat Debian wallpaper. It’s quite spacey and gives this distro a little bit more personality. I like the fact that the Debian developers haven’t lost sight with the fact that Linux should be fun as well as useful and the wallpaper reflects that.

The desktop itself is not cluttered up with icons, there are three included:

Computer
Home
Trash

Desktop

Desktop

Navigating the desktop menus and panel is easy and comfortable. It’s GNOME so if you’ve used it before you’ll be right at home in Debian 6 Squeeze. Applications are broken down into the usual categories:

Application Menu

Application Menu

The panel also has a Places & System menu as well as icons for various other things across it including your network, date and open applications & menus.

Panel

Panel

Administration

Administration

Preferences

Preferences

Themes
There are 21 different themes, with the default theme being Clearlooks. More are available online.

Themes

Themes

Wallpaper
There are 20 different wallpapers included, though none of the other ones is quite as fun or spacey as the default Debian wallpaper. You can get more online.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper

Bundled Software

Here’s a sample of the software included in this release.

Games
AisleRiot Solitaire
Chess
Five or More
Four-in-a-Row
FreeCell Solitaire
lagno
Klotski
Mahjongg
Mines
Nibbles
Quadrapassel
Robots
Sudoku
Tali
Tetravex

Graphics
GIMP
Inkscape
OpenOffice.org Draw
Shotwell
Simple Scan
XSane

Internet
Ekiga
Empathy
Epiphany
Evolution Mail
Iceweasel
Liferea Feed Reader
Remmina
Transmission

Multimedia
Audio CD Extractor
Brasero Disc Burner
Cheese Webcam Booth
Movie Player
Rhythmbox Music Player
Sound Recorder

Office
Dictionary
OpenOffice.org

As you can tell from the list, Debian 6 Squeeze comes with a pretty robust default selection of software that should meet the needs of most desktop users.

Software Management
If you find yourself needing more software, just click the System menu on the panel then click Administration to access the Software Center. The Software Center is very easy to use, applications are broken down into categories and you can search as well.

There’s a ton of applications available for you to download, far more than most desktop users will probably ever need. But that’s okay because sometimes it’s just fun to browse the Software Center and poke around to see what’s available.

As I noted earlier, there are about 29,000 applications available. Software junkies should be careful; if they aren’t careful they could go overboard installing software on their systems.

Software Center Menu

Software Center Menu

Featured Applications

Featured Applications

Adding & Removing Software
It’s very easy to install or remove software. Find the application you want to install and click the install button (or the remove button if it’s already installed. The screenshots below walk you through a Chromium download and install.

Please note that when I went to install Chromium, Debian 6 defaulted to the CD rather than downloading it. I had to go into the software sources menu and uncheck the CD box so that Debian 6 would download it from the repository instead. This is a pretty minor thing but might throw people off who install Debian 6 in a virtual machine via an ISO file.

Chromium

Chromium

Chromium Download

Chromium Download

Chromium Install

Chromium Install

Chromium Installed

Chromium Installed

Sound and Multimedia

YouTube & Flash
I had no problem running most YouTube videos in Debian 6. The Gnash SWF Viewer comes installed by default.

GNU Gnash is the GNU Flash movie player — Flash is an animation file format pioneered by Macromedia which continues to be supported by their successor company, Adobe. Flash has been extended to include audio and video content, and programs written in ActionScript, an ECMAScript-compatible language. Gnash is based on GameSWF, and supports most SWF v7 features and some SWF v8 and v9.

SWF v10 is not supported by GNU Gnash.

YouTube

YouTube

Gnash

Gnash

Multimedia Applications
The default selection of multimedia applications includes Audio CD Extractor, Brasero Disc Burner, Cheese Webcam Booth, Movie Player and Rhythymbox. There’s certainly enough to get you started and to perform many of the multimedia functions you might need.

I recommend checking the Software Center for more though. There are about 249 multimedia packages available there that might be useful if the default selection doesn’t cut it for you. VLC should definitely be on your list of installed multimedia applications; it’s incredibly useful to have on your system.

VLC

VLC

Problems & Headaches
One thing I didn’t like about Debian 6 is that it still comes with OpenOffice.org instead of LibreOffice. Given that this is Debian stable, it’s not surprising. However, I would like to see LibreOffice eventually succeed OpenOffice.org as soon as possible.

I noted earlier how Debian 6 defaults to the CD when you try to install a new piece of software. This is a very minor potential problem though and can be easily fixed by accessing the software sources menu and unchecking the cdrom box. You can access the software sources menu by clicking on the Edit menu link in the Software Center.

Beyond that, I don’t have much to note or complain about in Debian 6 Squeeze. My experience with it has been quite good. I did not notice any instability or application crashes while using Debian 6.

Please note that you can find a list of known Debian 6 problems on the Debian site. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot there yet though as I write this review.

Where To Get Help
Please take a moment to register for the DLR forum; everybody is welcome. You are welcome to post a message in the forum and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. The forum contains discussions about Linux, as well as other topics. Please stop by and say hello when you have a chance.

Drop by the forum to get help, talk about Linux or just hang out.

You might also want to check out the Debian support page for links to documentation, known problems, wiki, mailing lists, newsgroups and other resources.

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
I’m very happy to recommend Debian 6 for most desktop users, particularly those who want a truly free distribution. Debian has come a long, long way from its earliest days and this release shines as a desktop option.

Even those totally new to Linux should give it a shot; I think they will be very surprised and pleased by Debian 6. I was very happy while using it and it will remain one of my regular desktop distributions. Give it a download and see what you think of it.

For more information about Debian in general, check out the Debian System, Learning Debian, and the Debian Bible.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments below. Visit Eye On Linux for Linux opinion columns and quick looks, and visit JimLynch.com for other technology coverage.

Summary Table:

Product: Debian 6 Squeeze
Web Site: http://www.debian.org/
Price: Free
Pros: Installer enhancements; updated software packages; non-free firmware files have been removed to a separate archive.
Cons: The installer has a lot of steps; additional software installation defaults to the CD.
Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.
Summary: Debian 6 Squeeze is a great step forward for the Debian project.
Rating: 5/5

 


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25 Responses to Debian 6 Squeeze

  1. Don on March 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I sure am glad I 'found' Debian. I was in the yo-yo of Ubuntu, Unity, Mint, Mate, Cinnamon, KDE, XFCE, and all the other distros and their 'attempts' to make one size fit all. I have a stack of live CD/DVDs all over my desk but nothing seemed to 'fit'. I almost passed up Debian because I read a article that it was hard to install. Please! No harder than any of the others to me. I'm sticking right here with Debian Squeeze. Thanks for the nice review.

    • Brian Masinick (@mas on March 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Debian is DEFINITELY not a difficult system to install. It was TEN years ago that it was difficult to install. Since then, it has gradually improved. The installer is still not "best in class" in terms of simplicity, because Debian serves such a broad and diverse installed base, but it's not particularly difficult, either, and I've been saying this for at least five years, probably longer than that.

      Glad you found Debian and glad you like it. Two very close derivatives of Debian that use at least 98% plain, pure Debian software are SimplyMEPIS and antiX. SimplyMEPIS is a stable Debian implementation that adds a very easy, streamlined installation program that takes anywhere from five to twenty minutes to install (mine usually take between 5-10 minutes). SimplyMEPIS focuses in two areas: simplicity and stability. The antiX system is a derivative of SimplyMEPIS, but actually, as it matures, it is turning more and more to a pure Debian core, with tools and utilities collected from a variety of sources, including MEPIS. The one MEPIS piece it still retains is the MEPIS installation program.

      I highly recommend both SimplyMEPIS and antiX. MEPIS, for its stability, antiX for its configuration – the ease in which you can customize it to suit your specific needs.

      Both of these excellent systems would be nothing at all without their Debian roots. My third favorite is, and has been, for at least a decade, Debian itself. The system I am using right now is, in fact, my own custom implementation from Debian Sid.

  2. manmath sahu on March 4, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Gayan wrote:

    ….I want Gnome desktop installed with the basic apps such as (totem and CD/DVD burner web browser.. think that’s about it :D ). So if I just download the first CD will it be enough to do that?

    Absolutely, First CD or DVD will serve your purpose. Of course, after installation, uncheck cd/dvd from the source.list and configure other repository as per your location and pull in whatever you like.

  3. Dav1d on March 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Great review, i just love Debian, you get a stable system,

    lightweight(i use openbox on it, its amazing how fast my desktop is)

    and they have a ton of softwares on the repositories.

    Squeeze was a very strong release, even for Debian

    that always has pretty good versions.

    They are moving to the righ direction, simplifing what they can(Installation, Software Center) and keeping what i really like, the Stable version is actually stable, my system never crashes and i can just focus on what i'm doing.

    I'll probabilly give it a try on Wheezy, the testing version is the middle ground

    between stable but old(not much) softwares and the bleeding edge that some distros use as Stable.

    PS: Sorry about my english, i'm brazilian, don't pratice enough.

  4. Gayan on February 28, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Hi Jin,

    OK here is my question. I want Gnome desktop installed with the basic apps such as (totem and CD/DVD burner web browser.. think that's about it :D ). So if I just download the first CD will it be enough to do that?.

    Debian is a great distro but they over complicate these cd/s and their included packages and I really can't get my head around it.. really annoying. So could you please help me??.

  5. Brian Masinick on February 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Curt Howland wrote:

    @ Curt Howland:

    In Sid, that is.

    That's right. My comments earlier implied that LibreOffice was in Testing as well as in Sid, but that may not be correct. You can GET LibreOffice and run it in Debian Stable or Testing, but I have not confirmed that the packages are included in either of them. In Stable, we can probably expect NOT to see it any time soon, and in Testing, we MAY see it eventually, but to actually GET it now, either temporarily enable the Sid repo and grab it, then comment out Sid, or grab the packages from the Libre Office site and extract the packages from the archive and install them – so you can GET it, but it's not directly INCLUDED – that was not clear in my previous notes.

  6. Brian Masinick on February 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Andreas wrote:

    Hmmm… I am running Debian Testing (i.e. Wheezy) and do not have libreoffice in my apt-cache? So are you sure Brian?

    I will have to check back. No, I am not 100% positive that LibreOffice is in Wheezy yet. I may have grabbed the .deb packages from the LibreOffice site. I am positive that LibreOffice is in Debian Sid, though, so if you REALLY want it in Wheezy, add the Debian Sid site in your /etc/apt/sources.list file, and from root, run the command apt-get update, then run apt-get install libreoffice and you will get it, then comment out the Sid repo so you don't get other Sid packages the next time you upgrade packages (unless you decide to run Sid instead of Wheezy).

  7. Andreas on February 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Hmmm… I am running debian testin (i.e. wheezy) and do not have libreoffice in my apt-cache? So are you sure Brian?

  8. Curt Howland on February 15, 2011 at 5:24 am

    @ Curt Howland:

    In Sid, that is.

  9. Curt Howland on February 15, 2011 at 5:12 am

    LibreOffice was added over the weekend. :cheerful:

  10. Raphaël Hertzog on February 15, 2011 at 5:10 am

    @ yoda: Yes it's possible. You get to validate the choice of partitions and in that screen you can do almost everything. Including modifying details of what's done with every partition. Select it and press enter, you will have access to a sub-menu.

  11. yoda on February 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

    is there a way to install debian and set installer NOT to format swap partition?

  12. Alexandru on February 14, 2011 at 12:30 am

    BKM wrote:

    Hi Jim,

    about the packages being pulled off the CD instead of the net: as far as I know, APT related tools should download packages from local media (i.e. CDs and DVDs) instead of network repositories when packages available locally have the same version of the remote ones. If you think about avoiding unnecessary network bandwidth use, this makes sense. Newer version will be downloaded from repositories anyway, whether a CD/DVD is available or not.

    Have you checked if the packages you were trying to install were already updated on the repositories? If they were and CD/DVD packages were used instead, then it’s obviously a bug. If they weren’t, its perfectly normal: APT used local packages without having to mess up with the network. Not everyone has a flat rate broadband connection, and a CD/DVD is faster anyway.

    Since Squeeze has just been published, chances are that most packages haven’t been updated on the repositories. You can verify what I’m saying by re-enabling the CD/DVD source, and then installing something you know has a more recent version on the repositories.

    Actually, Debian doesn't have separated "base repository" and "additional repository". DVD installation media are not limited to 1 DVD. There are 8 DVDs. If you install from the first one, the installer will ask to scan all the rest. They will be your default package source along with network repository (primarily, for non-free packages).

  13. darkduck on February 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    How NOT to install Debian 6.0 Squeeze:
    http://linuxblog.darkduck.com/2011/02/how-not-to-

  14. Bill Julian on February 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Like Brian I have been running Squeeze since sometime in August with no problems at all. People who want to run Stable need to understand that it is not developed as a leading edge system. The idea is that this one is going to work each time, every time. In my experience that goal has been met.

    One thing to mention: Debian documentation is voluminous and it rewards study. If a person wants to learn Debian Gnu/Linux time spent with it is a very good investment.

    And if people want to "role their own" gui environment there is a "base system" available with no Xorg and no Gui desktop at all. I have looked at it only briefly but if I were going to set up a server for some specialized purpose this just might be the preferred way to it.

    Yes Sable is boring! Very good. With a boring system as the "go to" set of tools we now can download the interesting stuff! And if it breaks boring will be there.

    Have fun!

  15. BKM on February 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Hi Jim,

    about the packages being pulled off the CD instead of the net: as far as I know, APT related tools should download packages from local media (i.e. CDs and DVDs) instead of network repositories when packages available locally have the same version of the remote ones. If you think about avoiding unnecessary network bandwidth use, this makes sense. Newer version will be downloaded from repositories anyway, whether a CD/DVD is available or not.

    Have you checked if the packages you were trying to install were already updated on the repositories? If they were and CD/DVD packages were used instead, then it's obviously a bug. If they weren't, its perfectly normal: APT used local packages without having to mess up with the network. Not everyone has a flat rate broadband connection, and a CD/DVD is faster anyway.

    Since Squeeze has just been published, chances are that most packages haven't been updated on the repositories. You can verify what I'm saying by re-enabling the CD/DVD source, and then installing something you know has a more recent version on the repositories.

  16. Micah on February 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    And I should add that the installer is excellent. The graphical installer that I ran in the live environment didn't work because the screens were all too big for my netbook, but then I used the simple text installer and found that it was dead-simple. It even set up full disk encryption without the slightest inconvenience to me.

  17. Micah on February 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I'm pleasantly surprised by Debian 6. I threw it on my netbook, figuring that I needed that to run a rock solid OS in case I'm travelling and have nothing else to rely on. I'm glad to say that in the few days I've had Debian 6 on there there hasn't been even the slightest problem. Everything works well and runs fast as heck, even when using GNOME.

    Right now none of the software I've used seems "stale." The kernel's a bit older, but so is my hardware; the applications are a bit newer than the kernel and seem all to be in nice shape, which perhaps the maturation of a lot of projects over the last couple of years. Now, whether I'll be content with these applications a year from now, who knows!

    Switching to testing might alleviate that problem, but as I understand it testing doesn't receive security fixes quite as quickly as stable or unstable. That's a bit of a deterrent to me.

  18. Brian Masinick on February 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Jim Lynch wrote:

    Brian you are like the kid who peeks at his Christmas presents on Christmas eve! You’re supposed to wait to open them.

    Actually Jim, that was my sister Susan, who is a year younger than me. I actually DID get an early Christmas present a week early this year, the very nice Google Cr-48 notebook computer with a 12.1" display, SSD (solid state disk) that enables the beast to boot in only ten seconds, shut down and restore in about one second each, and make up for the pretty slow Atom processor. The only thing that comes up slowly is the network; that's a function of what either the 3G service or the wireless router Wifi access provides. I've gotten it tuned to provide respectable performance.

    As for Debian, I did not do a whole lot with it around Christmas because it was pretty dormant around Christmas, but I sure beat the heck out of it in October and November, and again in January, and it withstood everything and did superbly well, which is why I was chomping for the release; on Intel 686 hardware, it's been ready for a while; it was the kFreeBSD stuff that was holding it up, and they decided to release that part as a "preview release", so this excellent software was released!

  19. Jim Lynch on February 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Brian you are like the kid who peeks at his Christmas presents on Christmas eve! You're supposed to wait to open them.

    :tongue: :cool: :wink:

  20. Brian Masinick on February 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Nice to see your conclusion and that you really like Debian Squeeze. This is definitely their best release, and I just knew it would be because it was ALREADY excellent by August 2009, just six months after the release of Lenny, and it has been solid every since. August 2009 was when I downloaded my first Debian Lenny build; I liked it so much that I kept that early Alpha build installed for about a year, when I became bored with its stability, so I have been tracking the progress since then through antiX and through live builds that I snag once or twice a month. I really started getting excited about it this Fall, and thought they had a chance to finish by Christmas, but I think they took Holiday breaks, and took the extra time to prepare the new Debian Web site, further improve the installation graphics, documentation, and prepare for the final rollout. It has been outstanding.

  21. Jim Lynch on February 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Excellent! I'm glad to hear that LibreOffice is being made available. Woohoo! :smile:

  22. Brian Masinick on February 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Jim, on Page 6, you said: "One thing I didn’t like about Debian 6 is that it still comes with OpenOffice.org instead of LibreOffice. Given that this is Debian stable, it’s not surprising. However, I would like to see LibreOffice eventually succeed OpenOffice.org as soon as possible."

    I have been beating on the three Debian repositories this week, finding what has stayed the same and what has changed. Both Wheezy, (the former Sid unstable stuff that has been promoted to Testing for the next release, Version 7.0), and Sid, updated this week, got LibreOffice. It started to come in around Tuesday, but they screwed it up and it took two or three days to get it right, but now both Testing and Sid have versions of Libre Office, and in fact, today, I have LibreOffice 3.3.1 OOO330m19 (Build:7) tag libreoffice-3.3.1.1, Debian package 1:3.3.1~rc1-1 on my Debian Sid system. I believe Testing got a build one or two revs. older, but that may be getting updated soon. So if you really want LibreOffice, run a test soon of Debian Wheezy, using one of the Live Build links that I shared in my previous note.

    Debian Squeeze is rock solid, Wheezy is probably going to be wheezing a little bit, but not for long. The stuff in Wheezy, at least most of it, has already had a good run in Sid, and it is solid stuff. I find for desktop use that Debian Testing is a good compromise between rock stable software and cutting edge software. The antiX distribution, based on Debian Testing, consistently reflects this.

    As for Debian Squeeze, it is not too old and crusty YET, so it is a very stable, awesome distribution right now, the best thing you can get, in my opinion, as long as you don't gasp for cutting edge software constantly (as I tend to do). As a result, I nearly always have one to three copies EACH of a Debian Stable, Testing, and Unstable distro. They are all good, each for their own reasons. Stable is non volatile and truly meets its name, Stable. Testing has been undergoing testing. It may not be perfect in everything, but it is generally well tested and suitable for desktop, but not always for production use. Sid is mainly for enthusiasts and developers, and often works well, but it can be too volatile for some to deal with, and it takes experience to tame it. I tend to use scripts to assist in that taming, and I signed up to provide "eyes" to the script warning packages in smxi.

  23. Jim Lynch on February 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks, Brian. I wasn't aware you could get a live version for Debian 6. That's great to know though. I didn't mind not having one since I like to jump into the install anyway. But it's handy for the folks that just want to test it without installing it.

  24. Brian Masinick on February 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Jim, on page 2 of your review, you said that: "There was no Live DVD/CD available when I downloaded Debian 6. So this review is based on the non-live version, meaning that I couldn’t boot into a live desktop environment to use Debian 6 without installing it first. I didn’t mind that at all though; it saved me the bother of booting into the Live desktop first to start my install."

    You may not have been able to FIND a Live CD or DVD, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist. I've been writing about them for months in the DLR Forum. You can get them at http://live.debian.net/ and you can also build a custom Live system at http://live-build.debian.net/cgi-bin/live-build. These have been around since about the time that the Squeeze project started, nearly two years.

    I may have more comments later, but I wanted to throw that one in right away for those who want live Debian CDs or DVDs – they are readily obtainable.



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