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Re: Questions about Ubuntu



David N. Welton wrote:

Andreas Schuldei wrote:
Debian needs to learn to re-integrate the
improvements from derived distributions and would get a long way just
doing that. On top of that there should not be a problem becoming
more innovative ourselfs - there are enough cool problems to
solve. Listening to our users would tell us which ones we should start
with.

The reason Debian can't compete with Ubuntu for the Desktop/new to Linux
users is that Ubuntu makes choices where Debian won't or can't.  They
give you a default system that works well because they picked certain
things instead of others, instead of giving you the huge amount of
choice Debian gives you right out of the box.  The clever thing is that
that choice is still there if you want it...

[Moved to -project]

I think that you have made an excellent point, and this explains why I still recommend Ubuntu to people new to linux over Debian. As much as I love Debian, Ubuntu is much more of an out-of-the-box solution. If we compare the default installs, Debian leaves us with a blank slate, possible to design anything on (which is good for me, but not $RANDOM_USER), where Ubuntu leaves $RANDOM_USER with a ready-to-go graphical desktop environment with the basic productivity and internet tools (s)he needs to make use of the system. As you said, this is because Ubuntu chose to make certain choices Debian doesn't want to, about what to install. However, there is a large class of users that Debian doesn't appeal to because we don't make these choices.

I think what we need to do is create some kind of meta-package that would pull in a full environment like what is installed by Ubuntu (which I know has been discussed in the past) and then offer an official "Debian Desktop" CD that would have D-I preconfigured to install this, and make an extremely visible option in D-I to install this meta-package on the full CDs. Thus, someone who wants a minimal system can still use the netinst CD or full CD set without the option, but a new user can use the single "Desktop CD" or the full CD set and check the option.

While I agree choice is good, there are a lot of users who aren't able or don't want to make all the choices a lot of us do. While I know that deciding what is in this desktop system, and realize this mail is probably going to set off a KDE-Gnome flame war, I think we are losing a large amount of users because we don't offer as simple to install of a system as Ubuntu.

Benjamin

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