Saturday, July 31, 2010


I may get flamed for this, but...

Once again, I was struck more by the similarities between Ubuntu and Debian than by their differences -- here staying away from any philosophical differences and trying to concentrate on my impressions as a user:

- My installation notes for Lucid and Squeeze had many of the same steps (the installers looked quite similar), except my Squeeze notes ran a lot longer.

- In both cases I had to install from an installation CD that was not a live CD -- in Ubuntu's case, because they won't release a live CD that doesn't overwrite the MBR; in Debian's case, because they apparently don't believe that a live CD is a good idea.

- Both installations took significantly longer than a Mepis or Mint install, even though Lucid's was much easier than Squeeze's. Seems kinda pointless because whatever the distro, I'm still trying to end up at pretty much the same place. Why not strive to make it simpler and quicker?

- Both left me chasing down a few bugs before I got the systems to a point where I was relatively happy with things. In Squeeze's defense, it's not the "stable" release; and Ubuntu's release cycle prohibits a "stable" release.

- Debian edges ahead because of the system's overall quality, but I didn't think that Lucid was lacking in that department. Ubuntu edges ahead because they have more of the packages, and more of the up-to-date packages, that I think should be available from the start. Ubuntu is a bit better for the non-geek user, but still requires some technical know-how.

- The default for each one is GNOME, and both of them use the standard top and bottom panel set-up (unlike Mint, which uses only the bottom panel in its GNOME releases). Both use the same main menu set-up, or very close to the same one.

- Both seem to boot up very quickly.

- For both, there's a large amount of info out there to refer to when problems arise. The info in the documentation and in the forums is tremendous in each case.

- Each one has what I think is a great spin-off (Mepis and Mint) riding its coat-tails -- but Ubuntu is, of course, doing the same thing!

- And both will likely end up being solid systems to boot into here for a few years to come, although each will likely end up getting a bit long-in-the-tooth towards the end of its life as the respective devs focus more and more on future projects.

- And they're both great Linux distro, in my opinion.

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