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Re: Why I left Debian

Bruno wrote:
On Sunday 29 October 2006 02:14, Damon L. Chesser wrote:

I 'll say that Debian detect correctly the hardware on my laptob (Dell
Aspire 9100). Except, it seems, video card ATI Radeon x600 for which I
had to install different stuffs fglrx and ati as it was not able to do

But I'm not sure about that because I have the feeling that 3D support is
in fact not included in the standard etch reposititories (but I might be
wrong on this last asumption...)

No, you are right, but as far as I know, it is NOT included by default
in any Linux.  Nos Suse, not FC, not Ubuntu, not Debian, not any I have

Damon L. Chesser

Hummm...I'm not sure about this : in fact I just installed KUbuntu 6.06 on my laptop and found 'DRI enabled' (in Xorg.0.log) which should confirm (correct me if I'm wrong) that 3d is available.


Disclaimer, I missed this from your post

"3D support is in fact not included in the /*standard*/ etch repositories"

You are right. It is not. Nor are the w32codecs you need to watch video. Nor are they included in any distro I know of due to legal reasons, by default. This is not a Debian issue, it is a Linux/DRM/Copy right issue. I went to kubuntu.org and I found on this page instructions on how to set up ATI 3d drivers:



       3D ATI Video Card Driver


     Install the *xorg-driver-fglrx* package from the /Restricted/
     repository (see Chapter 3, /Adding, Removing and Updating


     echo fglrx | sudo tee -a /etc/modules
     sudo depmod -a ; sudo modprobe fglrx
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_backup sudo sed -i -e 's/"ati"/"fglrx"/' /etc/X11/xorg.conf


     If you are using an NForce2-based motherboard you will also need
     to do the following:

     kdesu kate /etc/X11/xorg.conf

     Change “Section "Device"” add the following line:

     Option  "UseInternalAGPGART" "no"


     Restart your machine for changes to take effect.

end quote

That leaves me to believe two things:
1. That it is not installed by default (though ati drivers are, NOT 3d)
2. That the install might be somewhat easier then in Debian, but that is only because they allready installed all the other pieces ATI 3d needs to run. No doubt to make it easier to do other kernel module things with out having to compile your own.

Keep in mind that I am not that familiar ATI as I only have one box with that card. I tend to set it up and forget it.

Also, I am not knocking your choice to use FC or any other distro, I just wanted to point out that I personally do not know of a distro that configures ATI "out of the box". Libranet used to, but Libranet is dead. A better comparison to FC then Sarge would be Sid. I think you would find that Sid is much more stable then FC. But: and this is a big BUT, it does come with a 50/50 warranty: If it breaks you will own both parts. Before you jump onto Sid (if you ever do) you should be able to trouble shoot your way out of a bad upgrade, know when an upgrade might break things, or be able and willing to learn how to do these things.

Debian is first and foremost a distro designed to be run on a server and be rock solid stable. That is why the stable branch has "old" software. New means untested. If you can run it on a desktop/laptop with new hardware that is a bonus! Woot! Any comparison of Debian stable to any other distro out there is not valid unless you take that into account (for example, you can't compare FC5 to stable, but RHEL-4 to stable IS valid)

To make the correct comparison, compare the latest FC release to Sid. You will find that Debian holds up very well indeed and you still get to keep your apt-get. Drawbacks: Since Debian is about installing what you need, YOU need to configure your environment (3d vid, wireless (if you need ndiswrapper, or need to go get firmware, etc). You will need to have someone (like this mailing list or a real live person) you can bounce help question off of. You might well need to be very good at google to find config answers to your questions.

If you think that, after measuring all this against FC5/Mandriva/Suse10.1 it is lacking and to hard then I advise you do this: Search those other distros forums. Look at their mailing lists. Jump on to their IRC channels and hang out and monitor the newbie questions. They are flooded! I can't use this, this config will not work, how do I get XYZ running? I upgraded to the latest point update and now my system will not work! etc, etc, etc.

As for testing (etch) I advise all new guys to stay out! Testing is for testing. If testing breaks, nobody really cares until you get close to a release cycle. Either use stable or Sid. Stable will give you stability, Sid will give you the latest kernel and software and will sacrifice stability. In other words, you will have the latest point release of the other distros, complete with all the headaches and responsibilities of fixing it your self.

In 6 years of running Sid, I have had only one serious breakage and many many "annoying" ones that took up to three weeks to fix (added just to counter all my warnings about using Sid). Again, if you are not willing or able to live with fixing your system when something goes wrong, DO NOT USE Sid.

Any way, linux is linux. Find the distro that fits your "style" and fills your needs, know it will have it's own issues and drawbacks. I choose Debian because nothing comes even close to apt-get front end even after all these years. It is a wonderful thing when you can go from one release to another with nary a hick up. You do run into some problems from time to time, but it is mostly a trivial thing to use the package tools (you do have to know how) to overcome them.

I feel better by sharing, I think this has made us all better people!

I hope this helps.

Damon L. Chesser

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