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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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More in Tux Machines

Fedora: EPEL, Fedora Program Management, Fedora 30 Plans and Bodhi 3.13.0 Release

  • Proposed Change to EPEL Policies: Minor Release Based Composes
    The change moves EPEL composes to biannual based composes and adds an updates tree for consumers. Package trees will have a naming structure similar to Fedora release names, and will be regularly archived off to /pub/archives after the next minor release. Package lifetimes will be similarly affected with the expected minimum 'support' lifetime of any package to be that of a minor release.
  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-07
    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. I’ve set up weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.
  • Fedora 30 Might Enable DNF's "Best" Mode By Default
    Under a late change proposal for Fedora 30, the DNF package manager's "best" mode might be enabled by default. The --best option for DNF always tries to upgrade to the highest version available even if dependencies cannot be satisfied. While it may make sense for DNF to always try going for the latest and greatest package version which is in line with most other Linux package managers, the current behavior aims for the latest version where all package dependencies can be satisfied. If a newer package version is available but with unmet dependencies, the current default DNF behavior will silently ignore that newer version.
  • Bodhi 3.13.0 released

Events: SFK, OSCAL and FOSDEM

  • SFK, OSCAL and Toastmasters expanding into Kosovo
    Back in August 2017, I had the privilege of being invited to support the hackathon for women in Prizren, Kosovo. One of the things that caught my attention at this event was the enthusiasm with which people from each team demonstrated their projects in five minute presentations at the end of the event. This encouraged me to think about further steps to support them. One idea that came to mind was introducing them to the Toastmasters organization. Toastmasters is not simply about speaking, it is about developing leadership skills that can be useful for anything from promoting free software to building successful organizations.
  • Julian Sparber: An other year, an other FOSDEM
    I have come a long way since my first time at FOSDEM a couple of years ago. The first time it was all new and unknown. I tried to attend as many talks as possible, but could only see half of the talks i wanted to go (amazing how many people there are at FOSDEM). Every year I listened to fewer and fewer talks, because conversations I had outside of talks are so much more fun and appealing. I think the biggest thing which changed is that I’m no longer just a user of free software, but an active contributor. This year, I spent a lot of the time at the GNOME booth, which is always fun. The GNOME beers event is also awesome, though it was really crowded this year (let’s hope we get a bigger space next year). On Friday we also had a great lunch at a Libanese restaurant. Thanks to Adrien for organizing, and thanks to Purism for offering lunch.
  • FOSDEM 2019 - Recorded presentations (videos)
    If you weren't able to attend FOSDEM earlier this month, you're in luck as all presentations were recorded! From the latest on Open Source projects Zink (OpenGL on Vulkan) and VirGL (virtual 3D GPU for QEMU), to a state of the union on GStreamer embedded, and a look at how the KernelCI project is getting a second breath, Collaborans presented in five devrooms at FOSDEM 2019. Below is the full list of talks given at Collaborans during the two-day conference in Brussels, with direct links to each recording.

Programming: Emacs Org, ISO C++, PyCharm and Recursive Programming

  • The world’s most advanced UNICs of Organizers
    I recently began using Emacs Org mode, a tool for keeping notes, maintaining TODO lists, planning projects, and authoring documents with a fast and effective plain-text system. Since I am a cosplayer I was looking for a repacement for Cosplanner, a non-free Android app. When I was still using Android, I once installed Cosplanner and found out that it has many nasty features. So I deleted my copy. Unlike Cosplanner, Orgmode uses a human readable text format that you can read with any text editor. This allows the user to store an Orgmode file in a git repository that can be synced between devices.
  • November 2018 ISO C++ meeting trip report (Core Language)
    The ISO C++ standards meeting in November 2018 was held in San Diego, CA. As usual, Red Hat sent three of us to the meeting: me (for the Core Language Working Group), Jonathan Wakely (for the Library Working Group [LEWG]), and Thomas Rodgers (for the Concurrency and Parallelism Study Group [SG1]). I felt the meeting was productive, though some features that had been expected to make it into C++20 are now in question.
  • PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4
    Our fourth Early Access Program (EAP) version for PyCharm 2019.1 is now available on our website.
  • Recursive Programming
    Despite often being introduced early-on in most ventures into programming, the concept of recursion can seem strange and potentially off-putting upon first encountering it. It seems almost paradoxical: how can we find a solution to a problem using the solution to the same problem?

Graphics: Mesa/Virgl3D, Nouveaum and Gallium3D

  • Virgl Lands A Number Of Performance Optimizations In Mesa 19.1
    For those using the Virgl3D driver stack for having OpenGL acceleration within KVM guest VMs with VirtIO-GPU that is then accelerated by hosts, there are performance optimizations that have just landed in the Mesa 19.1 development code. Virgl has introduced a transfer queue along with being able to de-duplicate intersecting 1D transfers, which results in a texture upload micro-benchmark going from 64.23 mtexel/sec all the way to 367.44 mtexel/sec.
  • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Gets Mali T600/T700 Midgard Update
    The Panfrost Gallium3D driver that was recently merged into Mesa 19.1 will soon have better support for the Mali T600/T700 series graphics. ARM's Mali Midgard T600/T700 generations have always been part of the support target for the Panfrost driver, but the newer T860 is where the developers spend most of their reverse-engineering, open-source driver development resources. With a several hundred line patch, the Panfrost Gallium3D driver is receiving updated support for the older Mali Midgard hardware with tests done on the T760 while not regressing the newer T860 support.
  • Nouveau Driver Picks Up SVM Support Via HMM
    The Nouveau kernel driver has queued patches for introducing Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) support for this open-source NVIDIA driver as a step forward to its OpenCL/compute opportunities. The Nouveau DRM driver has support for SVM via the Heterogeneous Memory Management infrastructure that's been part of the mainline kernel for a while. Nouveau patches have been worked on for a while but finally on trajectory for mainline. The NVIDIA proprietary driver has also been working to make use of HMM.