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Re: Is Squeeze right for me? [Possible FAQ?]

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 02:11:19AM +0100, Jesús M. Navarro wrote:
> On Saturday 21 November 2009 18:44:47 John Jason Jordan wrote:
> > I have several years of experience with Ubuntu, but I have never looked
> > inside. I'm just a pointy-clicky desktop user.
> By you own accord you are not a suitable user for Testing, therefore you are 
> not a user for Squeeze (not till Squeeze becomes next Stable, but that's 
> still months in the future).

With the best will in the world, this statement doesn't help. 

This question is a Frequently Asked Question [FAQ] - answered elsewhere 
in places like the Debian Wiki - but something which comes up fairly 
regularly on this list. 

Similarly, people coming to Debian are bewildered by the number of CDs/DVDs 
- "Do I really need to download all 21 / 5" or whatever, the sheer 
volume of packages and the confusion of "There are three downloadable 
versions of Debian but they're all one Debian" and the repeated effective 
assertion that "Once you get past the installer, you need only ever install 
Debian once and then apt-get / aptitude update does all the rest"  

That leaves aside the "ia64 doesn't work on my Intel machine", any 
mention of sheet music and duelling banjos or why apt-get has an 
immediately useful moo option and aptitude doesn't :)

Herewith a couple of quick answers: if need be, can we work up an FAQ 
list to be posted here once a month or so in the same way that some very 
long-established Usenet lists post multi-part FAQs?

Which Debian version should I choose?

Debian has various versions. There is always a stable, released version. 
There is a "Testing" version and also an "Unstable" version. The testing 
and unstable versions have more package churn as they settle: packages 
may be uninstallable for varying periods of time if package dependencies 
are unavailable. The normal sequence of events is for a package to start 
in unstable, move to testing after a period and then, on release of the 
next version of stable, be in the stable release.

How long does support for a stable version last?
For one year after the release of the next stable version. The trend at 
the time of writing is one release every 22-24 months, so a version is 
fully supported for approximately three years.

How should I install Debian?
Use a CD/DVD/USB bootable image or possibly from a network server PXE 
boot. As of Debian 5.0.x, floppy installs are no longer practicable 
because of the size of the kernel.

How many CDs / DVDs is it?

One network install disk if you have Internet bandwidth: if you have no 
connectivity or are behind a firewall, 5 DVDs or 22 CDs. It is not 
necessary or desirable to install every Debian package.

etc. etc. :)

All best,


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