Eight Distros a Week: Debian 4.0

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Talking about this particular review with a trusted friend who far out-geeks me (but I’m working on it), he made the following comparison. “Isn’t reviewing Debian kind of like reviewing your mother?”

There’s something to be said for that. As one of the three “mothers” of all currently active distros — Slackware and Red Hat being the other two — Debian is the first distro that I encountered after liberating myself from proprietary operating systems. So like thousands, possibly millions, of other GNU/Linux users, Debian and I have “a history.”

The Debian library of software is legendary, so there’s no need to go into that here. The Synaptic Package Manager has always been one of my favorite programs — I know there must be a 12-step program out there to resolve that — but the availablilty of software is one of the more intriguing parts of the Debian experience; a facet it shares with the family of distros related to Debian. The software update feature — blasted by a Wall Street Journal writer recently as his primary reason not to convert to GNU/Linux (good reason, jerk) — is timely to a fault. I have to confess that I don’t always update when I’m told, but I find later that I should probably heed the updating call when requested to do so.

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