Posted by: Administrator
on January 30, 2004 10:09 AM
Joe, I resemble your comments about the more advanced user, I suppose. Debian style distros were among the last for me to conquer as I gained experience, actually starting with Slackware, but using mainly RPM based distros as I started to use systems with broadband access. But it was that broadband access in the first place that make me want to get into Debian.
The first time I tried a Debian system, I had a rather old set of CDs and I had a lot of trouble setting up my X server. I was about to get it right, anyway by noting my settings in another distro and sneaker netting them over, when a friend gave me a copy of Libranet 1.9.1. It installed right off the bat and got me up and on the air.
It took a few miscues with apt-get upgrade to get the hang of things, but once I did, I've been a converted Debian fan ever since.
At this point, any Debian distro, including the raw Debian stuff, can get the job done for me. I do, however, find Libranet to be about the most complete system, out of the box. Since I evaluate a lot of software, Libranet makes an easier starting point for me than anything else. Perhaps the other alternative I'd go with would be Mepis. It has a better hard disk installer than the other Live CD distros. Even so, it has less software than Libranet. Knoppix is great, and even Mepis benefits greatly from Knoppix, but Knoppix itself doesn't have a very good hard disk installation program compared to the well polished Mepis. But these three, Libranet, Mepis, and Knoppix work best for a guy with my interests.
I do, however, also give high marks to Xandros and LindowsOS. Each of them has really matured over the past year and meet their respective target markets well. I'd definitely consider Xandros if I wanted software that interoperates well with Windows yet has the Debian flexibility. You can't go wrong with LindowsOS if you want a really simple, fast, easy to install and use consumer grade Linux OS - one you can even order preinstalled.
So I think there are at least five really good Debian OS commercial choices, and which one to choose really depends on who you are and what you like to do. I still like Libranet best for my personal interests, but I have no hesitation in recommeding any of the five distros I've just mentioned.