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Debian Squeeze Is Out


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Hey, if you haven't yet noticed, Debian just released it's new stable version called Squeeze on the 6th of Feb 2011 (about 3 days ago).

I did an upgrade from Lenny on my server. It went pretty well, some stuff had to be reconfigured because a lot of the packages I had installed were configured by me :P ;

major notes that I noticed so far :

  • they upgraded Grub to a newer one;
  • dash is preferred against bash; that leaves room to make a funny like : "hmm, maybe I'll switch to aash, or maybe cash, bash was cool so let's try it with dash"
  • major update for munin; I use it to keep track of my server

I'm a big fan of Debian because they make sure that when they release they're stable; I also like Ubuntu, but I don't trust the fact that their release cycles are so small.

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well, Debian is the father of Ubuntu;

it's also one of the oldest Linux distros made (93 something);

The guy that initiated Ubuntu (Mark Shuttleworth) worked on Debian for a while, but was unhappy with some stuff. He then got reach and started Ubuntu.

The general philosophy of Debian's release cycle is: if we don't get bug reports for a while and we've fixed all current bugs, it's a release. The drawback of this is that you get outdated packages, but at least their pretty rock solid.

Ubuntu releases every 6 months which makes room for bugs to go into a release, and you have to run aptitude update + upgrade and hope you'll get rid of some.

Ubuntu .deb packages are Debian packages, which means that some Ubuntu packages work on Debian and vice-versa; it's more of a matter of resolving dependencies. In fact Ubuntu pulls all it's packages from the Debian main repository which is just too huge to redo. The developers then work to stabilize everything for a release.

There is some advantage to Ubuntu however, since they resolve a lot of stability work with the OS and packages, they usually are newer, so there is a project for Debian that pulls packages from Ubuntu repositories back into Debian.

Also, Ubuntu did become very popular (because of the marketing involved in it) and that made Debian a bit more popular.

Choosing between the 2 (since they're pretty similar) is a matter of use and ideology; personally I prefer Debian for servers; I still don't think Ubuntu Server quite has done properly it yet. I know that BSD OSes are preferred by some, I try to avoid Unix-Linux debates; they're useless, and somewhat religious; Linux is a descendant of Unix.

The initiator of Debian (Ian Murdock) did do a nice family tree of the major Linux distros (which is a neat).

You can check it on flickr here full-size.

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I do like Ubuntu because of the frequent releases.....but I'm with you on not "trusting" it as much.

For example, 10.04 LTS works great for my netbook, fixed a lot of issues with "clickpads" (touchpads with integrated buttons, a la Mac)...briefly upgraded to 10.10 and my clickpad was broke again, so I promptly switched back. And last I checked, still no true fix for it, so I'll just have to wait and see if 11.04 fixes it.

My biggest lesson I've learned is not to get to upgrade-greedy and play EXTENSIVELY with the liveCD of the newest version before committing to installing it on your hard drive.

I'll be curious to see what new Debian features will find their way into Ubuntu and which will be ignored (like the switch from bash to dash?).

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