Debian vs. other distributions

What is the difference between Debian and other distributions such as SUSE and Fedora?
I want to install it at home on my Pentium III, mostly to do some word processing and
may be some PHP.

I had some problem with SUSE 9.1 when it comes to configuring my ViewSonic flat
screen.

(He’s talking about Linux.)

I had trouble with installing Suse too.

To get the networking aspect of the system working, I had to download a patch, but I couldn’t download if I can’t get the network up and running.

arrrgh.

[quote=“Cobra_Commander”]What is the difference between Debian and other distributions such as SUSE and Fedora?
I want to install it at home on my Pentium III, mostly to do some word processing and
may be some PHP.

I had some problem with SUSE 9.1 when it comes to configuring my ViewSonic flat
screen.[/quote]

Well, Debian is the GNU/Linux distribution, meaning that it is not maintained by a single company, but rather by many people around the globe (in contrast to SUSE, Fedora) and absolutely free software. You can do with it what ever you want, even redistribution after modifications. Debian is considered to be the most stable Linux distribution available, and you can install it on up to 14 different hardware platforms. All this make the stable branch a bit outdated, because it takes time to do all this work.

But, there is an unstable branch, which I use. It is considered to be as stable as many other distributions available and it probably has the highest number of packages available, so you have a lot of software to choose from, which you can install by just a command line. Oh, and did I mention that with Debian you can upgrade your distribution by just typing one command line, even if there is a new version available.It is really convenient.

Then there are a few distributions that are based on Debian, such as Ubuntu, Knoppix etc. They are typically using the unstable branch and do their own modifications, where Debian typically uses the sources as is, so the software is the way it is meant to be by the author. In contrast to that, SUSE or Fedora change the software quiet a bit, to imprint their own philosophy.

If you are new to Linux, I would not suggest to go straight for Debian, but rather take a distribution that is based on Debian. They are more user friendly and typically you can convert them afterwards into a full-sized Debian distribution, if you think the current distribution limits you too much. So I’d go for Knoppix or Ubuntu. I have not tried the latter one, but the first one is rather good.

So I'd go for Knoppix or Ubuntu. I have not tried the latter one, but the first one is rather good.

Second that. Debian is the way to go.
I use Ubuntu and I am very happy with it. I have had better success with it installing all of the right drivers , than even Windows XP.
I used to use Fedora simply because it had a better Chinese interface, but the new version of Ubuntu works well in Chinese too.
The package managment program (Apt-get) in Debian is much better than Fedora (RPM).

[quote=“bobl”]So I'd go for Knoppix or Ubuntu. I have not tried the latter one, but the first one is rather good.

Second that. Debian is the way to go.
I use Ubuntu and I am very happy with it. I have had better success with it installing all of the right drivers , than even Windows XP.
I used to use Fedora simply because it had a better Chinese interface, but the new version of Ubuntu works well in Chinese too.
The package managment program (Apt-get) in Debian is much better than Fedora (RPM).[/quote]

Interesting. I’ve been thinking of swapping from FC to some Debian package recently. I may well do it now…

Good drivers support, lower cost , better package management program are all
the reasons I need to make the switch to Debian.

I no longer have to reinstall XP since I
don’t have the product key any way.

Thanks for the info guys.

Another vote for Ubuntu here. It’s a very polished linux distro - and I was amazed at how much better it was at recognising peripherals: I plugged in an external HD, a DVD burner and a printer and they all just worked (anyone who’s played with Linux knows how this has traditionally been a real problem).

In a very short period it’s become the most popular (at least most talked about) distro:
distrowatch.com/stats.php?section=popularity

Note however, that although it’s based upon Debian (and uses the same package manager) it is a separate project. I wouldn’t recommend Debian itself unless you really know what you’re doing (and want to be able to personalise, tweak and alter your installation).

i’d suggest mandriva (aka mandrake). though some will cry it is for newbies, it is actually a very powerful distro. as a newbie, you will love the control panel and you will very quickly feel at home in your new linux.

these things depend mostly on the kernel, but it is true that some distros are better than others at making certain things easier. i do remember that with mandriva 9.0 i was able to:

  • use a firewire dvd writer/hd on my notebook
  • set up an i.c.s. from a computer to my notebook using firewire.
    at the time, not many distros could have done this…

ubuntu is overrated, must be the digg.com effect… :wink:

Ah, I remember the days 6 or 7 years ago when I started getting into linux/unix. Now, I’ve moved onto simpler forms like a Mac. :slight_smile: It’s great to have fink, a package management system based on Debian’s apt-get. Along with that, I get the ease of use of wholly integrated system (more so with each release) . What other OS integrates mail with your photo collection? Ever see Outlook able to browse and insert photos from Picassa? :slight_smile: Does linux or windows have a system wide address book that’s available to every program? Maybe someday.

the mac troll is back… :loco:

:slight_smile: Ok I’ll stop. Just offering some insight. There probably aren’t too many people here who have used linux or unix for years, for themselves and within a company (maybe as servers). I’ve done that and it’s fun. But now I also care about usability. :slight_smile:

this discussion about linux, not mac :smiley: mac os x isnt free and wont work on O.P. pentium III…

personally i have used linux for 10 years or more and i know what to expect from it and what to advice to others… :unamused:

interesting…

http://techanchor.blogspot.com/2006/08/ubuntu-vs-debian-what-canonical-doesnt.html

So, I'm going to more or less ask the question, is Ubuntu's success really due to the OS itself or the successful marketing of a highly branded version of Debian? And more importantly, with this in mind, is Ubuntu getting far too much press for what it is?

[quote=“5566”]interesting…

http://techanchor.blogspot.com/2006/08/ubuntu-vs-debian-what-canonical-doesnt.html

So, I'm going to more or less ask the question, is Ubuntu's success really due to the OS itself or the successful marketing of a highly branded version of Debian? And more importantly, with this in mind, is Ubuntu getting far too much press for what it is?

Funny. The guy lists the standard reasons why Debian isn’t the major linux distro, points out that Ubuntu does these things really well, and then complains that everyone’s talking about Ubuntu nowadays.

He’s right on his main point: Ubuntu is just Debian with a bit of polish and focus on making it easy for a normal user - but he seems to think that’s unimportant …

I seem to remember that Lunix uses 3 partitions, can I install it on just one ? I have a hard disk with a few spare partitions. One partition has windows on it, would it install sensibly and not break anything ? Or is it stupid like it used to be ? Is there a 64 bit version of Linux ?

You might want to add a swap partition.

I believe the newer versions of grub are able to boot Windows as well. It might be good to have a Windows rescue disk available if you want to install grub.

If you don’t trust grub, you could choose to install it in the boot sector of your Linux partition, and not in the MBR. Then you use the Windows boot manager to start Linux. For this you need to copy the boot sector of your Linux partition over to Windows as a file. There is a tool by debian that does it for you from the Windows side. Let me know how you decide what to do, and I will try to find some more detailed instructions for you.

Linux was one of the first OSses that had a 64 bit version for AMD64 architecture.

EDIT:
Have you ever tried installing XP second? Good luck in trying to keep your Linux partition safe, or at least being able to boot into Linux after XP installation. That’s why we used to call it WinDoof (doof <-> stupid)! :raspberry: :raspberry:

Debian is a great distro, but I use SuSE 10.1 for my main box and laptop. It’s very nice and polished. Easy setup features with YaST. Great graphical install program for newbies as well as experienced users. Getting the right packages for multimedia is a breeze too. On the downside the SuSE firewall is a pain in the ass to set Samba shares up with if you are creating windows shares. You can stop the firewall and access windows shares if needed. Also package management is rather slow compared to Debian based distros if you use YaST and Zen. However, you can install Smart Package Manager instead. It takes out alot of hassels and MAJORLY speeds up your upgrades. Also, installing proprietary drivers for Nvidia and ATI are fairly painless. Suse as an X11 utility that is really easy to use called Sax2.

Ubuntu is also nice for package management. The community support is one of the best. But i found I was editing lots of scripts to get some things working, especially with my amd64 machine. Also I think KDE support is better in SuSE than in Kubuntu. If you like Debian, have a 32bit processor, and like KDE, I would suggest you check into Mepis.

If your trying to revive an old machine I would suggest Zenwalk. I got an old Acer 340T Travelmate up and running quite nicely with it.

Chinese language support works well in all 3 that I have used. I can log into my English SuSE desktop and when I’m finished, my girlfriend can log into her Chinese desktop. Try doing that with windows!

For a fast download server in Taiwan check out ftp.isu.edu.tw. They have most of the major distro .iso’s there.

Macs are great but at at a high cost.

have fun!

linux doesnt necessarly need 3 partitions. it could have just one (like on a mac mini for instance). swap partions arent really necessary nowadays, it’ll depend on your hardware. my advice though, create a /home partition!

grub works fine in the mbr to dual boot xp/linux. i have been using it for a while. i always had problems with lilo getting corrupted but grub is more stable. i don t think you’ll break anything by installing linux on your system. i’d say try grub on the mbr, use fdsik /mbr in dos to restore mbr if you encounter any problem.