It's a very APT day...
I see what you did there.
Debian 7, which glories in the code name “Wheezy”, is officially upon us. The latest iteration of Ian Murdock's brainchild emerged on Saturday, which given it is created by volunteers seems a very apt time at which to appear. Wheezy is the first update to the OS in two years. Debian's developers are talking up two features in …
'Eh, there are only so many characters in Toy Story, don't you know?'
Toy Story? Sorry, never seen it.
'I certainly don't agree with shooting the writers just because you don't like it as an OS release name.'
A figure of speech, nothing more. The choice of name is still tragic though.
To run Steam on Debian, you have to get your hands dirty with Experimental - a branch so volatile (excuse the lame pun) that switching to it will almost certainly break your setup if you don't know what you're doing. Also, you need to somehow get jockey-common installed. Frustrating.
And if you're using experimental software not reporting when it breaks and why to the developers, you're doing everyone a disservice. Stick to mainline releases. You'll have a better experience,
Outside of the world of Windows, I run Steam on Fedora and its constantly breaking things, nothing that can't be fixed but things do get broken. So when the feces makes contact with the impeller after you fix it, you file a bug report on it, help however the developer or QA team member asks you to help, and hopefully it gets sorted out.
"To run Steam on Debian, you have to get your hands dirty with Experimental"
To be perfectly honest, I don't think Debian is targeted for such use.
Debian moves slowly. It is normally behind the curve. You don't get the latest-and-greatest releases.
What you do get is stability. Everything has undergone much more testing than your average "up-to-date" distro. This makes it great for servers or workstations. Not so great for a gaming desktop.
And to echo another poster, if you are complaining that experimental breaks stuff, you shouldn't be using it in the first place!
That is, partition your disk and set up experimental all by its lonesome. I run stable and unstable that way, and I'm about to install wheezy in a third partition.
Of course, this takes a reboot to change. Extra points if you install them on virtual machines. :-)
[For this one, Mr. Holmes is saying ``Elementary, my dear Watson''.]
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I got sucked in years ago by the Ubuntu distro. At the time it was a convenient distro that worked vs ones either less convenient (think Debian for instance) or that did not work (think every second Gnu/Linux distro).
I have installed Debian with each major release but there has always been some issue that left me staying on my now years old Ubuntu or my production CentOS boxen.
Had I known how Ubuntu would turn on me, I would have switched to Debian at version 6. As long as Version 7 does not go backwad from the last version, it looks as though I will be at last switching over to Debian.
Debian has long been the most trustworthy truly open distro, IMO. I truly hope it is possible for people to shift upstream to it from Distros like Ubuntu. Failing that, I hope that someone creates a whisper thin downstream distro that merely corrects for some of Debian's rough edges and perhaps adds proprietary drivers where necessary.
So Ubuntu supporters understand where I am coming from: The company responsible (Canonical) began to make decisions that are at odds with my notion of how a free system should ethically operate. I have no problem at all with a company monetizing what they do. However, I do have problems with them doing a bait and switch, effectively changing the rules midway. The real showstopper for me was the perversion of stuff like searches such that rather than going where *I* wanted to go, they began directing me elsewhere. It is like that DNS hijacking stuff ISPs began doing years ago. It is fundamentally dishonest. It exacts a toll, by stealth, on activities that were always free and which I reasonably expected would not be tampered with. Like others, I found the Unity interface a jarring bit of nastiness similar to Microsoft's perplexing shift to their tablet/phone interface in Windows 8.
The bean counters that mess all this stuff up 'know the price of everything, but the value of nothing'.
Ubuntu has absolutely got where it is today by standing on the shoulders of the giants that have made Debian, but for a desktop, I think a better move is to Linux Mint (possibly their rolling Debian release rather than the Ubuntu-based ones) - if nothing else, it saves having to explain to other family members why Firefox is now called Iceweasel...
But for servers, I've been using Debian for ages. I'm just waiting for others to find out if there are any interesting gotchas for this upgrade. Leaving it a month or two doesn't mean much when you're looking for an uptime of a couple of years before the next one :)
Mint might actually be the something akin to the 'thin' downstream version I mentioned as a wish. However, I have installed several incarnations of Mint and there has always been some issue. I hear good things about Mint, so will continue to try from time to time.
I have different needs for Linux boxes. Some are production net facing servers and the stability and ubiquity of CentOS is suitable for these. I have never had a reason to look elsewhere. Some are internal servers and these have generally run Ubuntu because it was easy to install a working system. I think before Ubuntu I was on something odd like slackware...
I want it all. I would like to fire up an installation disk, have it ask a minimum number of questions and then have it automagically install a working system. Ubuntu was remarkably good at this relative to other distros. In addition to the above, I would like the installation to fine-tune to my needs and only my needs similar to Gentoo. I would also like an option to install an ultra-lite version. I have seen full blown GUI operating systems running in 6MB of RAM or less. Surely a proper functioning modern version of Linux can be built to run properly in less than 30mb or 40MB.
"I have installed Debian with each major release but there has always been some issue that left me staying on my now years old Ubuntu or my production CentOS boxen."
Well the XFCE variant of Wheezy (installed from the Debian Live i386 iso) seems fine to me as a mere desktop end user. No obvious 'gotcha' yet. I'm sure I'll find something. The amount of work that has been done in the last 6 weeks to two months ago when I last tried Wheezy is quite staggering.
Yes, Debian tends to be "a bit slow" on updates, but that is often an advantage. Some time ago I started pulling a handful of packages from Testing (aka Wheezy at the time) when I needed newer versions. As some point I decided to try a full upgrade, and many of my servers have been running Wheezy for a long time - at least a year for some. I've had very few problems.
I did have a look down the list of RC bugs first, but didn't spot any that were relevant, so just went for it.
Since late last year, the only things I've not got on Wheezy are things I don't want to (or can't) upgrade at all (for now).
TIP: When setting up systems, explicitly specify the distro you want (Squeeze, Wheezy, etc). It avoids that WTF! moment if you use "stable" and didn't see the news.