[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: The Real Problem With Debian

Rick said:

> The Real Problem With Debian is that it is MANUAL.  Everything must be
> done  manually, now although there may be a script or two to ease things
> along,  these often DON'T WORK.

while I am not famillar with your specific circumstances I do consider
this "manual" approach a strength in many respects as well as a weakness.
Keep in mind, that all debian users were at one point new to debian,
myself included. I started using linux in 1996 and can assure you even
back then things were much harder then they are today. Seems many
folk think that people are born linux experts, they are not born in
such a way, they learn like everyone else, It took me honestly probably
3 years running linux till I switched everything 100% to it(early 1999
I think). Just trying to point out that we too went through the same
work(in many cases much harder work) and your not alone in that area.

> I have spent two weeks fighting
> slackware, trying to  get it to work with my printer, and sound card.

don't fight the OS, that causes stress, stress is bad. For me, I rather
research compadible devices before making a purchase(sometimes I make
mistakes in this regaurd though).

> Then I spent two weeks  fighting Debian, trying to get it to work with my
> mouse, printer, network  card, and sound card.  After installing
> Mandrake, everything worked  instantaneously, sound, card, network,
> printer, EVERYTHING.  It ran faster  too, I don't know why, but it did,
> and it had newer programs, like KDE3.xx.   Which distro do you think I
> stuck with?

not sure, last time I tried mandrake(7.x series) it felt half finished,
it had a lot of polish on the surface but under the hood it was very
flakey, things would fail mysteriously(the most vivid example I can
remember is when installing if you were to turn on DHCP, dHCP would work
fine, but if you used a static IP then used drakconf later to change it
to DHCP, DHCP wouldn't work). Perhaps things have changed since though.
I like SuSE because of the polish and it is more-or-less solid
'under-the-hood'. Because of this I have both my sister and mother
using it. I still prefer debian though, it is more flexible. in my apartment
I have SuSE 8, Solaris 9, IRIX 6.5.3, Debian 3.0, Redhat 7.3, FreeBSD
4.6.2 and FreeBSD 4.6.0(Soon adding AIX 4.3 and Solaris 8/sparc), of
all the systems debian I still find eaisest to use for *me*. I
do not reccomend debian to newcommers who aren't interested in getting
deep into linux. At a former job I did a lot of 1:1 trainig to newbies
for linux(these people were REALLY new, some only been working for
computers for not even 1 year). I gave them a wide choice of distributions,
from debian to mandrake to redhat to suse to slackware, I was astonished
how many chose slackware "because it was hard", and they stuck with it.
I was quite proud of them. Some have moved onto debian, others to SuSE
or redhat since, some still use slackware I think.

> This is not an attempt to convert any Debian users on this list, but it
> is a  statement.  I spent a month fighting Slackware and Debian, and 45
> minutes  fighting Mandrake.  Full balls is nice, but how about having a
> system that is  full balls, but ALSO is as easy to configure as mandrake?

as you can probably imagine, having the best of both worlds is difficult
for any vendor, I can't think of any vendor(of any platform) that has
pulled it off to the point I was satisfied, SuSE 7.3/8.0 came close but
they lack a 'menu'(e.g. debian) system, which makes the menus in afterstep
under SuSE nearly useless(extreme example, they still have x11amp listed
in the menu system, not sure how long you've been using Linux but x11amp
was discontinued back in 1998 or 1999).

> People on IRC tell me that my hardware is flaky, yet it works perfectly
> with  Mandrake.  People on IRC were rude, and even elitist, and made fun
> of me more  often then helping me.  A stark contrast to the helpfullness
> of the folks on  the mailing list, odd.

while i do irc everyday I don't hang out on the debian or even linux
channels(or any OS-specific channels), so I can't really comment there.
Some hardware is more flakey then others depending on what drivers
are available. Debian does not include a lot of exotic drivers, nor
do they have a heavily patched(e.g. mandrake/redhat/suse) kernel.

> The ironic thing is that my computer was so stock, it was Lynksis NC100
> card  (tulip module) with a ESS1969 Solo card, a s3ViRGE 4mb video card,
> and a  Logitech USB wheel mouse.  This should not have taken me two weeks
> to  configure on ANY distro.  The point is that Debian is flaky, it is

The linksys card I haven't used, though I have 2 Netgear cards which
use the tulip card(no problems..), S3 Virge I can imagine some problems
there, S3 had many revisions of the Virge chipsets, some of them flat out
don't work in Xfree. I had similar problems when I first started I had
a Number Nine Imagine 128 series 2, which Xfree didn't work well with
back then, after a couple months(yes months) i gave up and bought a copy
of Accelerated X and it worked fine.(this was on slackware). the USB
mouse I can see a bit of trouble, since I compile my own kernels it
wasn't hard for me there was a useful document in the kernel source
that talked about it, and i had my mouse up and goin pretty quick.

> many can claim, I guess I  got EXACTLY what I paid for.  Good luck to all
> of you, and thanks again.

when i think of debian's "crude" configuration all i gotta do is think
about solaris to see some really nasty stuff. to this day I do not
know how to change the configuration of the X server(refresh/resolution/color
depth), nor setup the mouse or even know where the configuration is located
at. IRIX has some halfway decent admin tools, AIX and HPUX are good too,
Tru64 I recall had some ok ones too.

then I look at freebsd, or openbsd(haven't tried netbsd) and the
configuration there is much harder(IMO despite 7-8 years of unix
and linux experience). Though I am getting better at freebsd as
time goes on.

I just wrote this to try to point out that your not alone in having
some troubles here and there, I for one think of it as an opportunity
to learn new stuff, but then I do this for a living so maybe its
just me.


Reply to: