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Debian based distros with all newest stable software?

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

I sometimes take weekends off for exploring some other things besides what I usually do (these websites etc.), often discovering new interests. It is almost always related in some way to some software. I mean what else? If it's astronomy then it's astronomy software, if it's programming (something I scratch so many times and yet never really deeply penetrate) then it's IDEs and stuff.. Today it's 3D. I'm thinking of getting and playing with Blender.

But I always come down to a question of latest software. I hate it when I find a piece of software on its homepage which says the latest stable version is this and that just to find out that this is not the latest release in my distro (and on Ubuntu, and most other distros it seems it never is). However, using Ubuntu for a while now I'm getting quite used to apt-get and deb packages, simply because there are so many of them and it is easy to install even third party stuff by using dpkg or even just double clicking.

But the core of Ubuntu set of software quickly gets behind and combining newest versions in form of third party packages with the older base is something risky.

So I'm thinking.. there ought to be a good distro that uses debian package management, but ships the latest stable versions of software in their repositories. Besides, if it's "stable" it should be fairly stable anyway. I know all this extra testing within distribution is for some sort of redundancy, but on the desktop.. I think what original devs say it's stable it should be so, if you compile their sources with no additions to them (which is another thing I'd appreciate from a distro, a clean policy regarding packaging).

So, is that Debian "unstable" (sigh) or is there something better?

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Looks like Sidux might be

Looks like Sidux might be what I'm looking for. When I told them in their channel on OFTC that I'm looking for a distro with latest stable releases, but based on debian, they said Sidux is exactly that.

I'll be trying it out this weekend. Sidux is based on Debian unstable but tries to stabilize on it as much as possible while still allowing full compatibility with it. They suggest running dist-upgrade at least weekly to keep it always up to date (actually, it's a requirement), which reminds me a lot of Arch where things were also always moving and I always had to update stuff (which I like actually).

Anyway, I'll let you know how it went here, but if anyone already tried it or heard some things about it, please say. Smiling

Thanks

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
I personally am quite happy

I personally am quite happy with Debian as such, especially as I consider Gnome 2.16 broken, and since I know that not only the latest software can work fine.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
What do you mean? Why do

What do you mean?

Why do you think GNOME 2.16 is broken and that only the latest software can work fine on sid? I bet I can install older versions of some applications from third party packages if I wish and they'd work..

Thanks

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
I consider the Gnome 2.16

I consider the Gnome 2.16 file selector's control-L behaviour worse than pre-2.16 releases. This is better in 2.17 snapshots.
I think you missed the "not" in the second part of the sentence.

I'll rephrase it all a bit:

I think Debian sid (or etch in fact) works perfectly fine without having the latest software (maybe even due to that in a way - major software upgrades spend some time in experimental before not breaking sid too much). In addition to that, in the case of Gnome, I don't even want the latest version at the moment.

libervisco's picture
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Oh I see, thanks for

Oh I see, thanks for clarifying. I misunderstood.

It's just that it's much easier to install from one CD like in Sidux than have to download many CDs like is case with debian, and netinstall wont work with my connection.

And since sidux basically is Debian Sid anyway, it seems like a good candidate.

Cheers

free-zombie's picture
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The first (two) CD(s) or so

The first (two) CD(s) or so should suffice: With the help of PopCon the most-used software is on the first CDs.

libervisco's picture
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free-zombie, I still prefer

free-zombie, I still prefer one livecd and Sidux guys are doing a great job.

So well, this was sure a succesful shot at switching a distro. You can count me as a new Sidux (Debian Sid) user. Compared to Ubuntu it is faster, it is real Debian and it is NOT Ubuntu (yes that's an advantage lately), it is easier to configure the way you like it and it has much newer software than Ubuntu (at after a few months since the last Ubuntu release). It is also easier to know what's free and what is non-free. Generally all in main repositories is Free Software. Debian-Multimedia repositories are contrib (possibly dependent on non-free) and non-free is obvious non-free.

I have only main enabled and so far it has everything I need. Looks like w32codecs isn't at all necessary anymore to play all sorts of video files, and I tested divx avi, mov, flv, wmv, it all works.

The community is also very friendly. It's been barely one weekend and I already feel like I'm part of the community. The #sidux channel on OFTC is always active and always with someone willing to help, almost enthusiastically. So if it ever happens for sid to fall over the bleeding edge, they're there. Smiling

Oh and as for Arch, my darling distro before I got carried away by debianism, what works better for me in debian is the fact that, for example with sid, while still allowing a certain amount of flexibility, it mostly just works and has all the packages I need without compiling. But compiling is possible and with checkinstall it is easy to make new debs. I've also come to not mind the complexity of dpkg and apt-get over something like pacman because I realized that exactly thanks to a bit of this complexity it has a level of sophistication, resolving issues I would have probably have to resolve manually with pacman, while in fact very rarely crashing or having any issues. It's rock solid. I really like dpkg-reconfigure for example. With a few ncurses you can easily configure some of the mundane things.

In other words, yes I am actually falling in love with apt and dpkg. Who would have thought! Laughing out loud

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
yay. nice one. As you say,

yay. nice one.

As you say, the w32codecs problem is finally solved, which finally makes sid brilliant on amd64, where w32codecs are quite a no-go without extensive emulation as gentoo can offer.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
That's great. So you're

That's great. Smiling So you're gonna be trying it too? Or you're using sid already? Smiling

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