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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Debian 9

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Reviews
Debian

Over the past few months I have been working my way through the top Linux distributions and writing a review for each one.

Thus far I have covered Manjaro, Linux Mint, Elementary, MX Linux and Ubuntu. These reviews are based on the top 5 distributions as listed at Distrowatch. Number 6 on that list is Debian which is the distribution I am reviewing here.

The list of distributions at Distrowatch include every distribution that you may or may or not have heard of and it is worth pointing out that not every distribution on the list is suitable for everybody’s needs. For example Kali is very popular with penetration testers and security experts because it comes with a whole range of tools for testing networks and for searching for vulnerabilities. Kali however is not suitable for the average Joe who primarily uses their system for web browsing and casual gaming.

The Everyday Linux User blog is about looking at Linux distributions from the point of view of an average computer user. What this means is that it isn’t specifically for developers, for hackers, for artists, musicians or video bloggers. The reviews are aimed at showing off a standard desktop operating system that by and large should be easy to install, easy to use and should either provide a good variety of applications or the ability to easily install those applications.

With this in mind whilst reviewing certain distributions I will state where that distribution is or isn’t necessarily suitable for the Everyday Linux User.

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NomadBSD 1.2 released!

We are pleased to announce the release of NomadBSD 1.2! We would like to thank all the testers who sent us feedback and bug reports. Read more

Review: Alpine Linux 3.9.2

Alpine Linux is different in some important ways compared to most other distributions. It uses different libraries, it uses a different service manager (than most), it has different command line tools and a custom installer. All of this can, at first, make Alpine feel a bit unfamiliar, a bit alien. But what I found was that, after a little work had been done to get the system up and running (and after a few missteps on my part) I began to greatly appreciate the distribution. Alpine is unusually small and requires few resources. Even the larger Extended edition I was running required less than 100MB of RAM and less than a gigabyte of disk space after all my services were enabled. I also appreciated that Alpine ships with some security features, like PIE, and does not enable any services it does not need to run. I believe it is fair to say this distribution requires more work to set up. Installing Alpine is not a point-n-click experience, it's more manual and requires a bit of typing. Not as much as setting up Arch Linux, but still more work than average. Setting up services requires a little more work and, in some cases, reading too since Alpine works a little differently than mainstream Linux projects. I repeatedly found it was a good idea to refer to the project's wiki to learn which steps were different on Alpine. What I came away thinking at the end of my trial, and I probably sound old (or at least old fashioned), is Alpine Linux reminds me of what got me into running Linux in the first place, about 20 years ago. Alpine is fast, light, and transparent. It offered very few surprises and does almost nothing automatically. This results in a little more effort on our parts, but it means that Alpine does not do things unless we ask it to perform an action. It is lean, efficient and does not go around changing things or trying to guess what we want to do. These are characteristics I sometimes miss these days in the Linux ecosystem. Read more

today's howtos

Linux v5.1-rc6

It's Easter Sunday here, but I don't let little things like random major religious holidays interrupt my kernel development workflow. The occasional scuba trip? Sure. But everybody sitting around eating traditional foods? No. You have to have priorities. There's only so much memma you can eat even if your wife had to make it from scratch because nobody eats that stuff in the US. Anyway, rc6 is actually larger than I would have liked, which made me go back and look at history, and for some reason that's not all that unusual. We recently had similar rc6 bumps in both 4.18 and 5.0. So I'm not going to worry about it. I think it's just random timing of pull requests, and almost certainly at least partly due to the networking pull request in here (with just over a third of the changes being networking-related, either in drivers or core networking). Read more Also: Linux 5.1-rc6 Kernel Released In Linus Torvalds' Easter Day Message