Re: A suggestion
On Thu April 3 2008 9:17:54 am Mike Bird wrote:
> On Thu April 3 2008 03:03:51 Matthew Johnson wrote:
> > On Thu Apr 03 11:54, Andrea Bolognani wrote:
> > > And stable is not fine for a desktop in general, because it has
> > > outdated packages which are not what a desktop user wants.
> > _you_ may want more up to date packages, but a lot of people are
> > entirely happy with etch on their desktop. For example, both me and my
> > mother.
> > I'd also go as far to say that most corporate Linux desktops, to pick
> > another example, would welcome the lack of change for 18 months.
> Stable is a poor solution for desktops because it doesn't support
> recent hardware. For a long time now we've had to run Testing
> mixed with the Unstable versions of xserver-xorg.*, nvidia.*, and
> linux-image.* in order to support recent video and audio chips.
I can speak here as someone that has actually deployed Debian on the desktop
in a corporate setting. We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 office
folks running Debian, which represents the majority of our office users. We
also have virtually 100% of the machines on our manufacturing floor (we're a
manufacturing company that makes lawn mowers) running Debian. We also have
a number of laptop users with Debian.
We had trouble with SATA drivers in the kernel in etch. We are now
installing 2.6.22 on our desktop machines, because it correctly communicates
with the SATA controllers on all our desktops. We also had trouble with the
old versions of OpenOffice in etch, and run the OpenOffice.Org builds of
that instead of Debian builds.
We have not had such trouble with video on the desktops, though I can see
that day on the horizon. We have had trouble with video on the laptops, as
X in etch does not support current Intel chipsets. We had to resort to the
same tactic you did: X from lenny.
We avoid the procurement of video hardware that requires fglrx or nvidia
drivers for our general desktop users.
That said, the overall stability of etch is a Good Thing, and something we
welcome. I have shied away from testing for some time for just the reasons
you enumerate. However, it is getting harder and harder to do so.
Evolution, OpenOffice, and Evince in etch are highly buggy, and we run
non-Debian builds or backports of Evolution and OOo already.
We have not investigated anything other than Debian yet.
I would suggest at least one thing: that the current stable policy makes no
sense when it comes to hardware drivers. We should push new kernels, X, and
associated hardware drivers such as madwifi, foomatic, etc. into stable on a
routine basis. Otherwise, you have a situation where stable simply does not
fully run (or even install) on a wide range of modern hardware.
This wouldn't solve our OpenOffice or Evince problems, but then again solving
those involves a much more invasive update to Gnome. Madwifi, foomatic,
fglrx, Xorg, and the kernel are pretty much standalone pieces that don't
make me all that nervous.