[clug-talk] Tar file

s. keeling keeling at spots.ab.ca
Wed Nov 17 11:48:24 PST 2004

Incoming from Kevin Anderson:
> Debian, which I poked fun at already this week, deserves the biggest pat on 
> the back, because apt-get is another example of making things easy.  I've 
> heard horror stories about apt, but personally, I've never experienced them.  
> When I think Debian, I think Awesome distro, but just too slow moving to 
> really be useful to anyone.  Which is really why Gentoo seems to have taken 

That's funny too.  I run Debian stable, and I have no trouble getting
it to do what I want.

> over for it.  If Debian had decent install instructions 5 years ago, or even 
> made a half hearted effort to use current packages, I don't really believe 
> Gentoo would even exist.  The funny part is, Debian seems to be proud of that 
> heritage.  I just don't get it.

The first available Linux distribution was SLS (SoftLanding Systems).
There were so many problems with it, and the problems never seemed to
get fixed from one release to the next, that Patrick Volkerding came
out with Slackware.  Ian Murdock and friends wanted something even
more reliable and dependable than Slackware was; they were running
servers, not desktops, and reliability and security was more important
than features.  So, they produced Debian.  Rock Solid Stability is
what Debian does, and everything Debian does points back to that Rock
Solid Stability.  Yes, you can run Testing or Experimental, but those
are development tracks intended for improving Stable (and not intended
for newbies).

In the Linux community, we've always needed to be careful in our
hardware purchases.  Bleeding Edge hardware has always had to wait for
somebody to create drivers that would handle it.  That's just as true
now as it was then.  If you're buying hardware that the OS doesn't yet
support, you're going to be disappointed.  If you're smart and check
whether the hardware is supported before you buy it, you won't need to
run bleeding edge, not yet completely tested, fresh off the keyboard,

That's why Debian's proud of its heritage.  You're complaining about
something they don't care about.  Debian's job is to produce Stable,
and they do that very well.  Look at all the downstream distributions
that use Debian as their base, and with them around, why would Debian
want to duplicate their efforts?

Debian Testing/Sarge is due to go Stable "Real Soon Now" and the
vastly improved Sarge installer has been available for a while now.
Sarge is also getting security updates now, just like Stable.  Anyone
shopping for a distro now would be well advised to try Sarge.  Once
installed, there's no easier to maintain distribution out there than

   aptitude update
   aptitude install mozilla-firefox

And it just works, even if you have to get it from backports:


Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(*)    http://www.spots.ab.ca/~keeling      Please don't Cc: me.
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