What makes Debian so popular?

Hey all,

Why is Debian so popular? What makes it so popular? The guys at the Linux Action Show run Debian, or Debian based distro’s. The guys over at Hak5 do the same. The Raspberry Pi uses Debian, and other things that I have seen where Debian, or Debian based is the preferred distro. Why?

Ask them, not me. I run openSUSE.

I talk to them on google plus all of the time. Matt Hartley always +1s my posts about openSUSE. Also they have done two shows directly featuring new releases of openSUSE. So I think perhaps they run other distros behind the scenes as well.

This is only my opinion… Though to answer your question about why Debian is so popular is that it used to be influential similar to the way Ubuntu is now. It was easy to make a lot of derivatives of it.

Folk quote the package management system as an advantage. I can say personally after using .deb for five years, that I like rpm better.

It may just be a case of active promotion of the product they like.
I have never seen a openSUSE user boast that he/she is using openSUSE and openSUSE does this and that…

Have you ever run Debian? It is absolutely the most stripped down version of linux there is and because of this it is very fast. It is also the most dependable or stable version of linux It will also install on all my old hardware including a Via EPIA EK1000 and run along happily. I tried this with openSUSE 12.2 and could not even get it installed.

There are a bunch of reasons that make Debian the most popular distro but basically it is stability, longevity, usability, documentation. BTW, this has nothing to do with the desktop or window manager or desktop environment.

On 03/12/2013 05:46 PM, Ham Radio wrote:
>
> Why is Debian so popular?

because it is a fine distro!!

one of the first, in 1993…
then SuSE came in 1994…

Debian is clean, sleek, fast, dependable…basic!

and by ‘basic’ i mean that lots and lots of cool administration stuff
we do easily in YaST is a more ‘manual’ operation in Debian…


dd
openSUSE®, the “German Engineered Automobile” of operating systems!

I used it for about 4 years, and it was my favourite. One already mentioned reason is documentation. I could follow 5+ year old directions and they still worked, command for command. I guess that goes to the stability and reliability aspect as well. It was also supremely easy to customize. I usually built it up from a minimal install (fewer than 200 packages) and only added what I needed. This was made very easy by the apt packaging, which has three levels of dependencies - ‘absolutely required’, ‘most people will want’, and ‘gives you extra features’. They go by other names, but you can see it lets you have a very lean system.

Ultimately what led me away was a desire to use newer software. You’ll notice that their not yet released Squeeze is only on XFCE 4.8, when 4.10 was released almost a year ago (2 weeks shy of a year). Also, their online forum became toxic, with most people adopting a rather juevenline attitude towards other distros (especially Ubuntu). That was about the time I left.

I’ve distro hopped a bit since then, even using Windows for a while, but most time has been spent on Fedora. I grew tired of the breakages with Fedora though, with both the Fedora system itself as well as wtih Gnome 3. When Fedora 18 came out with their bizarre new installer and completely incomprehensible partitioner it seemed to me that they’d swallowed the Gnome kool-aid, which makes sense given the involvement of Red Hat in both.

I then spent a bit of time using Kubuntu, and the return of apt and deb packages was a great relief to me. Again though, breakages and poor documentation forced me to keep looking. Through it all I kept coming back to Suse and trying it out. I was always very impressed with the default install, found it reliable and well documented. Using zypper though sure makes me think back with longing about Debian and its aptitude ncurses interface.

Using zypper though sure makes me think back with longing about Debian and its aptitude ncurses interface.

You could try using the YaST ncurses interface - it might work nicely for you. :slight_smile:

Great idea, I’ll look it up, thanks!


Su -
yast2 --ncurses

and then this.
http://paste.opensuse.org/images/19679196.png

On 3/12/2013 9:06 PM, vazhavandan wrote:
>
> craig_sillva;2534186 Wrote:
>> Great idea, I’ll look it up, thanks!
>
> Code:
> --------------------
>
> Su -
> yast2 --ncurses
> --------------------
>
> and then this.
> [image: http://paste.opensuse.org/images/19679196.png]
>
>
From the command line you only need to enter:


su -
yast
or
YaST

Either spelling works.

P.V.
“We’re all in this together, I’m pulling for you” Red Green

When i did su- followed by yast2 it brought up gtk-yast.Hence i suggested yast2 --ncurses.After reading this i tried simple “yast” and it does pickup ncurses. no additional options required. :slight_smile:

On 3/12/2013 11:56 PM, vazhavandan wrote:
<snip>
>
> When i did su- followed by yast2 it brought up gtk-yast.Hence i
> suggested yast2 --ncurses.After reading this i tried simple “yast” and
> it does pickup ncurses. no additional options required. :slight_smile:
>
>

If you are at run level 3 (no GUI) or you ssh into the machine, then even yast2
goes to ncurses (it has no other choice). If you look in /sbin you will see
that there about eight variations of YaST all linked to yast2.

P.V.
“We’re all in this together, I’m pulling for you” Red Green

According to the manual I saw it should be possible to launch the application manager directly by calling the module after yast, but I can’t seem to find the module names.

(use yast --list to list modules)
source:- opensuse - YaST2: Command-line equivalents to GUI naviagtion - Unix and Linux

4.3. YaST Command Line Options Besides the text mode interface, YaST provides a pure command line interface. To get a list of YaST command line options, enter:

yast -h4.3.1. Starting the Individual Modules

To save time, the individual YaST modules can be started directly. To start a module, enter:

yast <module_name>View a list of all module names available on your system with yast -l or yast --list. Start the network module, for example, with yast lan.

](opensuse - YaST2: Command-line equivalents to GUI naviagtion - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange)

source:- http://www.mpipks-dresden.mpg.de/~mueller/docs/suse10.2/html/opensuse-manual_en/manual/sec.yast.ncurses_commands.html

+1 on the speed aspect of Debian. I used it for awhile and it was second only to Gentoo on the same hardware.

I always thought, though, that the best part of Debian was ‘apt’. IMHO it’s really superior to ‘rpm’ as it keeps track of what is and isn’t used on the system, and kindly asks if you want to purge things that aren’t needed.

For example, if I run a pure GNOME system and install a package that requires a lot of KDE stuff, both RPM and APT will install the package and dependencies perfectly. If I later want to remove the KDE app, RPM will leave all the dependent packages installed on the system (even though the KDE app is gone) … apt will tell you the dependencies are no longer needed and ask if you want to delete them.

I wish RPM had something similar, so far I haven’t been able to find equivalent default functionality in it.

Both zypper and YaST can do it now


zypper rm -u
-u, --clean-deps            Automatically remove unneeded dependencies.

YaST does it automatically unless we have meddled with the settings

On 03/14/2013 06:16 PM, katanacb wrote:
> If I later want to remove the KDE app, RPM
> will leave all the dependent packages installed on the system (even
> though the KDE app is gone) … apt will tell you the dependencies are
> no longer needed and ask if you want to delete them.
>
> I wish RPM had something similar, so far I haven’t been able to find
> equivalent default functionality in it.

it would be nice if it were built into rpm (maybe you could do that?)
but, both YaST Software Management and zypper have options to clean
out the dependencies when deleting the app

in zypper it is a CLI switch either -u or --clean-deps; in YaST
Software Manager it is just click the menu item “Options” and then x
in “Cleanup when deleting packages”…note it will NOT stay x’ed, you
have to select it each time you delete (or maybe just each time you
start Software Manager–i always (try to remember to) check it!

hmmm…there may be a switch that can be set in zypp.conf (or ?), but
i’ve not looked there…


dd
openSUSE®, the “German Engineered Automobile” of operating systems!
http://tinyurl.com/DD-Caveat

hmmm… learn something new every day … sometimes in a public forum :slight_smile: Thanks for the info on zypper and YaST removing the deps … interesting though that it’s apparently still not a part of RPM. I can’t add it though I wish that I could…

On 2013-03-12 18:46, vazhavandan wrote:
>
> It may just be a case of active promotion of the product they like.
> I have never seen a openSUSE user boast that he/she is using openSUSE
> and openSUSE does this and that…

IMHO saying you use debian or red hat sounds professional. Saying you
use openSUSE or Ubuntu does not.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4, with Evergreen, x86_64 “Celadon” (Minas Tirith))