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Re: Debian vs. other distros


> I have had issues installing Fedora Core 2, (and 1), but no matter what,
> Debian installs like a charm...and quick to. Despite being
> text-based...the installer is one of the best i've seen. Plus, I like the
> fact that you can pretty much "apt-get" anything.

I agreed to the critics untill yesterday. Debian WAS quite hard to install
on NEWER hardware.

On monday I tried to install Gentoo 1.4 on my new HDD, which is a SATA on
a Silicon Image controller. I thought I would have to go with Gentoo since
I thought Debian wouldn't be able to cope with the newest stuff. WRONG.

The whole monday evening I struggeld with Gentoo, although I have used it
before. Somehow my system completely screwed after install. I couldn't get
it to boot properly from /dev/hde. Several issues. Anyway, I got sick of
it and went to bed.

Next day I said to myself: "Hey I support Debian professionally, I
*should* be able to install this without problems on my box! :)". I
Google'd around for SATA issues, and was worried. Didn't look more
promising than the day before.

Downloaded the new Debian Installer, latest version (110 MB CD Image) and
booted it. It went like a CHARM. Only thing I had some difficulties with
was the partitioning of the disk. D-I guys, please have a look at the
dialogues here, because if you already have all space on your drive used
by partitions (like I had, I just want the D-I to re-format the Gentoo
partitions) it gives you NO CLUE at all. It continues to scream that it
wants to whipe your whole drive. NOT NICE. I got around it by firing up
fdisk /dev/hde in a seperate shell, remove the previously initialized
partitions, and then going back to the Installer. Now the installer
mentioned the free space and was very happy to create some Debian
partitions for me, *without* whiping my other partitions!

Everything else was absolutely *flawless*, including GRUB install. Didn't
try LILO yet. Booted without troubles (although the kernel (2.6.6)
intersil driver tries for a long time to find a second SATA drive which I
don't have. Annoying but not a Debian problem.

After this I had the normal stability problems with the NForce2 chipset
(can someone please set some fire on the NVidia premises to make them run
harder to fix this crap?? Asus BIOS 1007 still is not fixing it too)...
got around it by acpi off and ide=poll params for the kernel.

After all, quite an easy install within the hour. One hour later I was
running XFree86 4.3, Gnome 2.6 etc.

Only thing left is some weirdness with icons in Gnome and the
Configuration Deamon (of whatever it is called) of Gnome crashing. Saw
some posts of that on Google but haven't got time to figure this out.
Apparently something with xlibs. Someone any suggestions / tricks / tips /

Conclusion (again!): DEBIAN ROCKS!!!

Keep up the good work!!! Specially the D-I guys, you really did a good
job! (Did I mention you should have a look at the partitioning part? ;))

Best regards,
Pim Bliek

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