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Re: Questions about the Debian Project

Hi David,

On 09/03/21 14:35, David wrote:
Hi, my name is David and I'm a 17 years old student from Austria

I'm a normal Debian user.

I have to write a VWA (Vorwissenschaftliche Arbeit)

it's a work you have to write to finish school. I'm
writing about homenetworks with Open Source and freeware

first of all Open Source and freeware are two different concepts and one software cannot be open source and freeware at the same time.

Most Debian software isn't freeware software, there are very few exceptions
If you want to know more read this (you can select German language)

You can have nearly 100% free software (someone call it also open source, but if you have read the link above you know already the difference) using Debian, it is your choice.

I prefer to speak about free software, if you want to know more read that:

I have two questions about  Debian.

you can read the Debian FAQ (also available in German language):

and you can take a look in the Debian reference:

to know more about Debian

    - Do you think Debian is the perfect operating system for a homeserver?

I think that the reply depend on who have to install and do the admin work on that homeserver.

If you don't know one operative system (OS) than that OS is not for you for a server environment.

So if you know Debian and are able to admin a Debian system than you can use it for a homeserver with great success.

    - If you think so, why?

I'm using Debian GNU/Linux basically as a Desktop system on all my PCs.

You must understand, if you have never used a GNU/Linux system, that you must learn a lot of things (you can compare it as you will transfer to a foreign country (or different time) and you don't know the language, the behavior, ... of the other people you must interact with). If you don't know what is a GNU/Linux distro it is very hard to really understand a lot of thing.

I will try to tell you some good points on using Debian GNU/Linux as a homeserver:

* you can install it also on old PC (actually I'm using the Debian GNU/Linux Bullseye or testing on a 12 year old PC, my main PC, using Gnome 3 as desktop environment... OK I make some "special" configurations for have better performance)

* you can install it without a Desktop Environment or any graphics interface (a server, if it is a server, don't need a graphics interface... normally servers don't have also a monitor because they are reached by remote connection using ssh or similar)

* Debian give you a very good security support for all package in the main repository and you can have this for a very long time (upgrading an operative system for a server is normally critical and you want to upgrade it only after years you have installed it)

* very easy to install/upgrade software from the Debian repositories

* a vast software selection in the Debian repositories

* you can have security news on package you have installed from main repository

* Debian can run on very different hardware architecture (amd64 (this is intel/amd processor with 64 bits), arm64, i386, armel, armhf, ia64, mips, powerpc, ppc64el, s390x). I don't know any other Operative System that can give you that versatility

* you can use your system with a lot of language, but it is better to know also English because not all is translated in all language

* you can ask help to other people that use Debian, using the mailing list, forum, irc, ...

* you can contact directly people who manage the packages (called DD: Debian Developer) and also to the upstream that manage the source code (in same case the DD are also the upstream). Naturally you must contact they with "interesting" question and if you have installation/configuration/usage problem it is better to use first other channels: mailing list, forum, irc, ... (DD can also reply in that channels)

* you can report bugs

* you can have the source code of all packages in main repository, so if you are able you can customize, patch, ... the software you use

* you can contribute to the development of Debian and become also a DD

* you can run your server without reboot for a very long time and reboot are required only in very few case

* you can replace hardware without reinstall all the system (for example you can change the motherboard and the processor type from Intel to AMD and you can reboot your system... naturally you need to know that you must have a generic kernel or you must install previously the right kernel for your new CPU. I have done this to the PC of my brother. Naturally that don't work if you change the hardware architecture, in that case you must reinstall the whole system, for example from Intel to Arm)

* you can have support for old hardware without need to buy new one when you use a new operative system version

* you can upgrade your system with a new operative system version very easy, with few simple commands (naturally you need to backup all your data before as precaution) and you can always recover you system and reboot it if there are software problem (naturally if you hard disk broke it isn't a system operative fault)

* you can have a lot of tools that you can need to manage your server, to monitor it, to generate alerts, ...

* as I have said before you can participate on all Debian phases and you can use "your" operative system and you can be part of it with your contributions

* a lot of software that let you make backups

* ... a lot more...

I didn't use Microsoft machines when I was in my operational phase, because I couldn't trust them. Not because I knew that there was a particular back door or anything like that, but because I couldn't be sure.
Edward Snowden

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