My GNOME OS is called Debian

Friday, February 11, 2011 16:18 - Debian

Debian Squeeze was released a few days ago, this makes it a good opportunity to post about that distribution. Nowadays, even if I have more duties in GNOME than in Debian, I still believe Debian may be one step closer to me in terms of core values.

Free Software. Debian litterally stands for Free Software, the Debian Free Software Guidelines were the actual basis for the Open Source Definition, years ago. This is still going strong and an enormous effort hasa come to fruition with the release of Squeeze with a kernel clean of closed firmwares.

Or the discussion that gave birth to the Freedom Box project, that happened this year in Debconf10, (Eben Moglen talked about this during the FOSDEM, there is an article on lwn.net: Moglen on Freedom Box and making a free net).

Universality. While it was written that Linux is not about choice Debian still sports the inspiring "Universal Operating System" motto.

And it's true in so many areas, the vast number of supported architectures (and this has practical uses, ARM or MIPS devices are more common these days), or the attention to translations, from the website to the package descriptions (the joy of demonstrating a "babel box", demonstrating how the debian installer supported lots of languages, years ago).

I'd even say that this goes way further, and a projet like Debian Woman came to Debian before GNOME or Mozilla in part because of that "universality" tagline.

Squeeze on laptop

I will be updating various servers and other computers to Squeeze in the coming weeks, I don't worry about those updates, and I know they will keep working without causing me any stress for two more years, at least.

As of my personal computer, it will continue to run the Sid branch, just like it has been doing for more than ten years. And it will run GNOME 3, as Emilio Pozuelo Monfort, and others, are already doing a fantastic job packaging it.

Thank you Debian community.

Last Modification: Friday, February 11, 2011 16:20

That's the way, Frédéric! Debian rocks!

Comment by Bruno Boaventura on February 11, 2011 23:32

I'm sorry, but Debian is not about choice. The Debian installer neither runs under Wayland, nor can I use a KDE version of it. Yes, that was a sarcastic way to say that you should not have taken that very insightful email as an anti-choice example. But Debian will be fun when you start supporting sysvinit, upstart and systemd at once or aren't you going to do that?

Comment by Benjamin Otte on February 12, 2011 2:32

Debian is already fun, don't worry about that :)

To merge my reading of that "linux is not about choice" email and your comment about debian installer, I'd say that perhaps the concern about complexity (legitimate, especially when we talk about "ship time") is less present in Debian.

The architecture of debian installer, complex, does allow to have several frontends, allowed to switch from directfb to X, and doesn't prevent a Wayland or KDE version.

This is contrary to some changes in GNOME where complexity is removed, in favour of a targetted environment (and again, this is legitimate).

Comment by Frédéric Péters on February 12, 2011 9:10

My KDE OS is also called Debian on one computer, and on the other it's Debian-derived. I don't think .deb and .rpm are substantially different as formats, but the tools around .deb are very mature, fully-featured, and the Debian packaging quality is great overall.

Comment by Andreas on February 12, 2011 9:46

My KDE OS is also called Debian on one computer, and on the other it's Debian-derived. I don't think .deb and .rpm are substantially different as formats, but the tools around .deb are very mature, fully-featured, and the Debian packaging quality is great overall. For me Debian is the gold standard of a quality distribution. Debian very rarely contains dumb errors or intractable problems.

Comment by Andreas on February 12, 2011 9:48

Thank you Frédéric, for you kind and summarizing words.

Comment by Holger Levsen on February 12, 2011 19:47

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