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Re: Making Debian available

On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 10:58:33AM +0000, Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
> It already does: the second or third question gives you the option to install
>  non-free firmware, if needed, from a USB stick. That method does work but 
> very few people use it.

>From my own experience I tried to provide those files on an USB stick in
two or three installations (in the past - sorry I do not remember when
but it was more than one year ago).  It never worked as expected and I
always was falling back to the non-free installers.  
> Sound drivers used to be a problem -

For me always network drivers were the problem and after I finished one
or two installations without network and fiddled around with the network
manually afterwards I stopped using the free installers in general.
Since then the machines I installed with non-free firmware right in the
beginning the installation experience was pretty smoothly on different
hardware (even quite fresh one).  IMHO the fact that people claim that
"Ubuntu is easy to use but Debian is not" is to quite some amount based
on this kind of experience of users who do not know that kind of basics
and are not able to fix a rudimentary system afterwards.

> Video drivers: we have some basic video modes that work for text mode on 
> nearly all cards / embedded chipsets. Other than that, almost everything 
> requires a non-free driver. AMD/Intel/Nvidia are all, in their own ways, 
> equally bad. Video chipsets change fairly frequently: invariably, newest 
> laptops are always a pain.  

Also here I was lucky after using the non-free driver installers in
contrast to the free ones.
> Ubuntu *just ship* many of the drivers we consider as non-free : their 
> priorities are different and that's OK - but I still notice people with Ubuntu 
> laptops asking the same questions about how to get wifi working / folks with
> Ubuntu derivatives coming to Debian lists for help.

This might happen yes.  But my personal experience is that random users
do not even try Debian since they know from "competent friends" that
Debian is way harder to install than Ubuntu.  I admit I'm a bit bored by
this discussion and I do not really want to open that can of worms of
the relation between Debian and Ubuntu but I'm pretty sure that
providing an installer to the masses that has a high probability to
create extra work is not the best idea to attract users.
Kind regards



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