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2 weeks as a Debian user: a report back

Dear Debian Users

I know that I am preaching to the converted with this e-mail. It is surely but one of many complimentary e-mail raves that Debian users are used to feeling themselves and hearing from other users. Be this as it may, I wanted to share this little rave with you, perhaps to remind you old timers about what you may now take for granted, and to share with you newer users something that probably is still fresh in your experience. Bear with me ...

I have used Slackware since 8.1 and progressively upgraded through to 10.2 with mild flirtations with Mandrake and SuSE, but always returning to Slackware. 14 days ago I booted from a daily snapshot of Etch net install iso and have been using this ever since.

I admit that I am also using a new machine than the one I Ran Slackware on, and I am using a new kernel than that which I used with Slackware. I have always been a little daunted by the prospect of rolling my own and imploding my own system in the process. The Etch install made getting a default 2.6 kernel easy. Somehow (I followed some instructions, and they seemed to have worked) I upgraded my 2.6 kernel and am running a system with a comfortable amount of resources and space to play around a bit. I am using Gnome as my WM having formally been a fan of XFce I am quite enjoying some of the automations that Gnome offers (e.g. daily package updates). As a WM, Gnome doesn't seem to release resources as quickly as XFce did with Slackware. Since I haven't setup XFce to run with Debian, I can't comment on a comparison btw XFce on Slack or Deb, except that, by default, Debian Etch seems to run a later version of XFce.

So what's different, at least from my pov?
1. Software installs right, plays nicely together and I have yet to run into dependency hell (touch wood :) ) 2. The range of software available is quite stunning, and I am impressed by the little tweaks of applications that makes them recognise each other, such as the auto-mount and the intelligent use of hot-plugging, the auto-updating of applications, and the overall stability of the system. 3. I also think that the rendering of the screen and the range of fonts is very impressive. 4. The installation was pretty straightforward, but aside from idiosyncrasies in procedure between Debian and Slackware, the installation process didn't pose any difficulties. Once one does some reading apt-get seems reasonably straightforward, and that Debian has init.d files when Slackware uses rc.d files takes a bit of reminding to get straight, but that's just self-de/re-programming.

Overall, I am really impressed with Debian, and I realise that there is a lot yet to learn about the "Debian way". After 2 weeks however, I must also say that I have found the support and discussion here first-rate, prompt and thoughtful. Nice one ... that certainly boosts a new user's confidence. :)

So, onwards and onwards :D I am beginning to get a sense of GNU/Linux's power through its software and its range of capacity, whereas with Slackware I had a sense of GNU/Linux's reliability and work-horse stability. This is like flying after having learnt (to some degree of functionality) to walk!!

Happy 2007 to y'all


I don't know if any Debian developers read these lists

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