back to article Debian 7 debuts

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 …


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  1. Cirdan

    It's a very APT day...

    I see what you did there.

  2. eulampios

    good news!

    Good job! Let's not forget that El Reg's website runs on Debian, must be Squeeze.

  3. Ketlan

    Oh, dear...

    It could be the best OS ever - but 'Wheezy'? Whoever thought that one up should be shot. Tragic.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: Oh, dear...

      It could be the best OS ever - but 'Wheezy'? Whoever thought that one up should be shot. Tragic.

      Eh, there are only so many characters in Toy Story, don't you know? I certainly don't agree with shooting the writers just because you don't like it as an OS release name.

      1. Ketlan

        Re: Oh, dear...

        '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.

        1. LaeMing

          Re: Oh, dear...

          Well, at least the character Wheezy was a penguin.

          <---Not that one, but related, I'm sure.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, dear...

      >"It could be the best OS ever - but 'Wheezy'? Whoever thought that one up should be shot. Tragic."

      Google searches prior to posting can help keep you from looking supremely stupid. You should try it sometime.

    3. hplasm

      Re: Oh, dear...

      Hah. It's better than '8'...


    Problem is tho

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Problem is tho

      If you're moaning about experimental breaking stuff you shouldn't be touching it.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: Problem is tho

        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.

    2. Grifter

      No Problem

      I did it on testing, all you need to do is download the ubuntu eglibc package, unpack it somewhere (ar x foo.deb), then LD_LIBRARY_PATH its bin dir infront of the steam command.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Problem

        Someone at El Reg should make this a permanent quote on the website. It will forever shut op the whiners who keep complaining Linux is to complicated to go mainstream.

        Well done that man !

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Problem

        On openSuse you can do a one click install to get steam here:

        Have a lot of fun.

    3. Dr. Mouse

      Re: Problem is tho

      "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!

    4. David Hicks

      Re: Problem is tho

      apt-get install wine

      wine steam.exe

      Oh wait, they have steam for linux now? Huh...

    5. Terry Cloth

      Send it to Coventry

      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''.]

      1. Dr. Mouse

        Re: Send it to Coventry

        "Of course, this takes a reboot to change."

        Not necessarily. I managed to get a multi-OS setup working without a true reboot using kexec.

        Unfortunately, if I used that to boot Windows, it did take a full reboot to get rid of it...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done guys/gals

    Lots of good work here and it ain't Ubuntu!

    (From someone firmly in the RH camp)

  6. Paranoid Infosec Guy

    There is an easy way to install Steam here:

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  9. Johnny Canuck

    Downloaded via Bittorrent, but not installed yet - too busy today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bittorrent? Pirate!

      ..... oh, no wait.... it's OK..... sorry must've channelled the RIAA for a moment there.....

  10. btrower

    Should probably ditch Ubuntu.

    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'.

    1. Ian 55

      Re: Should probably ditch Ubuntu.

      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 :)

      1. btrower

        Re: Should probably ditch Ubuntu.

        @ian 55:

        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.

    2. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: Should probably ditch Ubuntu.

      "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.

  11. SImon Hobson Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    As an indication of stability ...

    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.

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