I have always been a Ubuntu guy. I use Ubuntu or some other derivatives like Mint or elementary but never have I tried Debian. Well not anymore. I tested Debian and I must say I really like it. The thing with Debian is that stability is prioritized over all other factors. So if you are looking for the latest updates to packages, Debian is not the one. Debian is very popular amongst Linux users and rightly so. It enjoys a very superior community support compared to many other distros and most importantly the stability. So my experience? Let's start the distro review of the week, Debian 8.7.
You can download the latest Debian version clicking the download button below. There are a few options you should know before you download. There are some very handy instructions available on the site which you must read so you know the right files to download.
Debian is available in Gnome edition which is the default. There is also KDE, LXDE and XFCE variants. A netinst option is also available to offer “standard” Debian, which includes the installer and a set of some core text-mode programs. With the netinst option, you’ll need an internet connection in order to install a desktop or other software. There is also CD/DVD versions which come with a live version of Debian as well. The website can be a little difficult to navigate but you really need to take your time and read the information provided carefully before you choose to download.
System Requirements For Debian Linux
The minimum system requirements for the installation of Debian is a RAM of 256MB, but 512MB is recommended. You need about 10GB of free disk space and a 1GHz Pentium processor.
Installation instructions, along with downloadable files, are available for each of the supported architectures on the website. You may burn your iso to a CD/DVD or USB. You may use dd to create your bootable USB but I recommend using a tool like Rufus on Windows to simplify making your bootable USB.
Once Rufus finishes, simply reboot, booting from your USB, which should start up your Debian. Installation is pretty straightforward albeit with a ton of options. You initially have the option of either a text or GUI based install and some other advanced options.
You also get to select things such as language, location, keyboard and configuration of network. You also create your user account and choose your password. You go through about 5 screens in setting up your disk, Aha!
You may choose to install other software from other additional discs you may have downloaded from the website or install from a network mirror. The installation will go ahead to complete and then reboot.
I encountered a little problem as my system would not boot into the Gnome desktop. I had to reinstall gdm3 and one package out of a lot was the hold out, but I easily installed from the iso. and voila, the login screen.
Debian default ships with the Gnome 3 desktop and it is so refreshing. The login screen and the desktop of Gnome3 are as simple and pretty as we have come to expect. Everything is kept simple and the same can be expected of the other variants, XFCE, LXDE and KDE. Your internet works out of the box. If you choose the DVD or the additional isos, multimedia packages will be provided.
The version of Debian I downloaded was not the one with the live mode. I also only downloaded the debian-8.7.1-amd64-CD-1 which did not contain any other packages apart from the very barest not even a file manager. The only applications that came with the iso were Contacts, Help, Network, Reportbug, Settings, UXTerm and XTerm. The full DVD or the other discs will include other packages such as LibreOffice, Iceweasel (Firefox), Evolution for email, Rhythmbox, Brasero and Totem Video player. There are quite a few games also available like Tetravex, Tali, Nibbles and Mines. Synaptic is also available for the management and installation of other packages. Choose the DVD or add the additional isos if you need more packages working out of the box.
I have been an ardent user of Ubuntu and this has been my first time with Debian and I must say, I am impressed. Based on a few comments on the internet and the unfriendliness of the website, I did not expect things to be this easy and simple. Not Ubuntu easy but easy nonetheless. Performance is pretty smooth with no hiccups during my usage. One thing I also encountered was that sudo was not available by default. I mentioned earlier I had to install some extra packages to get Gnome3 working but sudo disappointed. All I had to do was log into my root account and install without employing sudo. Other than that everything is pretty much the same and simple as you’d come to expect of most Linux distros. It runs pretty well and I haven’t encountered any issues whatsoever.
The main issue I had with my testing of this distro is the installation. I don’t remember the last time I had this much screens to go through in order to set up a system. Other than that, the experience is flawless. It isn’t described as one of the most reliable Linux distros for no reason, it works so well. For the fans, Debian 8.7.1 continues with its stability and reliability. A lot of fuss has been made about Debian not been for newbies but I tend to disagree. Newbies can definitely try out Debian. I don’t know so much about the past but the latest installation Jessie is definitely worth looking at. The website could do with some refinement and clarity especially with regards to the choices available to download. Do you use Debian or do you have any interesting experiences? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and thanks for reading.