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Nine Myths That Shouldn't Stop You From Trying Debian

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These days, Debian seems to be enjoying a modest comeback among experienced users. Hardly a week goes by when I don't hear on social networking sites of two or three people giving Debian another look.

This renewed interest may reflect a growing disillusionment with Ubuntu, the Debian derivative that has partly replaced Debian in popularity among Linux users. Almost certainly, it reflects a growing willingness to experiment with distros after the last two years of user revolts against GNOME 3 and Ubuntu's Unity. As one of the oldest distributions—and one specifically focused on user choice—Debian looks reliable in the middle of such uncertainty.

Still, many users hesitate to switch to Debian. The distribution is surrounded by myths, many of them adding to an impression that it is an expert's choice and almost as difficult to use as Gentoo or Linux from Scratch.

However, most of these myths are either out-dated or half-truths that need to be heavily qualified. As in any distribution, the user experience in Debian comes as much from the applications as the distribution. If you are comfortable with KDE or LXDE in Fedora or Mageia, you should be just as comfortable with them in Debian. To the extent that any of the myths are true, none of the more common ones are any reason for not at least giving Debian a try.

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