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Thread: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

  1. #1
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    Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    I've never really tried pure debian before, and definitely never considered using it as my main desktop operating system, but I recently gave the newly released wheezy a try and am loving it

    It is a little trickier to install and setup than ubuntu (but not really that difficult at all, I found the installer to be straightforward enough and things worked reasonable well out of the box in debian. I did have to make a few tweaks that I don't need to do in ubuntu such as adding my user to the sudo group, adding myself to the lpadmin group, installing system-config-printer, and tweaking font rendering so it doesn't suck).

    The thing that suprised me most was how well wheezy works for multimedia. Out of the box it played mp3, aac, and h.264, this is even better multimedia support than ubuntu has out of the box! I wish more distros would follow suit here.

    The desktop is very stable and quick, it seems lighter than any other full gnome distros that I've used. The version of gnome it comes with is kind of old already, but I've actually come to really appreciate that it comes with gnome-shell 3.4. IMO gnome 3.4 has been the only gnome 3.x release thats been fully usable and doesn't have a bunch of annoying bugs (for example gnome 3.6 has a lot of weird little issues with network shares, like randomly crashing when mounting/unmounting them or sometimes giving pointless gvfs errors when unmounting shares. ubuntu's patched nautilus 3.6 is even worse, its introduced a bug that upstream nautilus doesn't have where it randomly "loses" my bookmarked shares. And nautilus 3.8 has a bug where it randomly crashes gnome-shell and sometimes even totally crashes gnome). Wheezy's gnome 3.4 desktop has been super solid for me, I've noticed no annoying problems with gnome-shell or nautilus. And honestly after using debian's gnome 3.4 for a week I can't think of a single thing I really miss in 3.6 or 3.8 that really compels me to upgrade from gnome 3.4.

    Everything that I use this laptop for is working wonderfully in debian 7, and I've had yet to run into annoying "showtopper" bugs that I've constantly been hitting with all other recent distros. I think I can finally stop distro hopping for now, and I can wait things out in stable debian land until unity-next, gnome-shell, kde etc... become bug free enough for me to use without pulling my hair out

    The only problem I had with wheezy is that it came with a very old kernel that hates my ivybridge graphics, and the system would randomly lock up. luckily compiling kernel 3.8 sorted that out for me, and now all my hardware (brightness keys, card reader, etc..) works just as well in debian as it does in 13.04, and an official kernel 3.8 backport should be available soon.

    I didn't expect debian to be a good "desktop" experience, but was pleasantly surprised. Its been too long since I used a distro where everything actually "works".

    After some tweaking I have a very pleasent looking desktop too:
    Last edited by screaminj3sus; May 20th, 2013 at 07:15 PM.
    Desktop: Windows 8 x64 | Intel Core i5-2500 | 16 GB DDR3 1333 | ATI 6950 2gb | 64gb Vertex 2/320gb/750gb/1tb hdd
    Laptop: System76 Lemur Ultra | Xubuntu 13.04 x64 | 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5-3210m | 8GB DDR31600 | Intel HD4000 | 500GB 7200rpm hybrid hdd

  2. #2
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Debian is great.

  3. #3
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Wheezy looks awesome from install to boot-up... well done to the devs and community!


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  4. #4
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Funny, I installed Wheezy this week too and I am really liking it also. I use the Xfce environment, so I have Xubuntu 12.04 and have made a very easy transition to Wheezy's Xfce.

    A couple of things I found:

    1) I know you said that multimedia worked out of the box for you, but here is a link for deb-multimedia which has all the stuff that medibuntu has; be sure to add the signing key first.

    2) Debian Backports. I have enabled them for Firefox ( Iceweasel ) and Libreoffice so far, to have the newer versions from Debian Testing. Firefox went from version 10 to 21, with the release version. Debian Mozilla Team. Libreoffice, went to the version 4.0.3, the same as I got for Xubuntu 12.04 today when I updated. I think I will see about Thunderbird backports to, surprisingly as it is not being developed by Mozilla anymore, I got large updates for it today in Precise. I know they are continuing to provide security updates, so maybe that is all it was.

    Just some ideas.

    Have fun!
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity:"Knowing what one should do and doing differently"

  5. #5
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Does debian now have out-of-the-box wifi support? Its omission in the previous release was a huge turn-off for me.
    John J. Kim (IRC: kotux)
    High School Senior / Ubuntu User # 35405
    www.launchpad.net/~kotux
    "Let your performance do the thinking." --Charlotte Bronte


  6. #6
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Quote Originally Posted by epikvision View Post
    Does debian now have out-of-the-box wifi support? Its omission in the previous release was a huge turn-off for me.
    Sorry, I don't use it, so I don't know.
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity:"Knowing what one should do and doing differently"

  7. #7
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    ^For me yes, although somewhat bizarrely I had to configure a file to get it to use the ethernet even though it had installed that way. Maybe something to do with the r2561.bin file it asked for during the installation.

    The deb-multimedia drill is:

    1. add repo url to /etc/apt/sources.list
    2. apt-get update [as root]
    3. apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring [as root]
    4. apt-get update [as root]
    5. apt-get upgrade [or dist-upgrade]
    6. apt-get install frogatto [optional]

  8. #8
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Quote Originally Posted by epikvision View Post
    Does debian now have out-of-the-box wifi support? Its omission in the previous release was a huge turn-off for me.
    Kind of finicky. I don't know why Debian's kernel 3.7.* works in some access point but not others. Same kernel version works in Ubuntu everywhere, on same machine.

    Also for one machine with an intel card needed to install iwlwifi whereas Ubuntu and Fedora worked out of the box. That was a problem because I have no wired internet access to install iwlwifi, fortunately there was a cheap usb wifi adapter lying around and it did work (after editing /etc/networks or something) It is hard to believe that wifi is still relatively painful in Debian.Except for the old broadcom cards which need proprietary drivers I would expect Linux to work out of the box by now (and it does in my experience with Ubuntu and Fedora)

    I am by the way using sid, Debian stable and testing are just too stale, I would rather trade off a bit of that much overrated "stability" for something more functional and modern. Sid is more up to date, but I would not call that bleeding edge either (still on kernel 3.2* and updated to 3.7* which killed the wifi at home, Ubuntu 13.04 is on 3.8*, Fedora 18 on 3.9.2, gnome-shell 3.4.*--updated to 3.8 with experimental but some packages are missing).
    Last edited by monkeybrain2012; May 21st, 2013 at 06:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain2012 View Post
    ...Sid is more up to date, but I would not call that bleeding edge either (still on kernel 3.2* and updated to 3.7* which killed the wifi at home, Ubuntu 13.04 is on 3.8*, Fedora 18 on 3.9.2, gnome-shell 3.4.*--updated to 3.8 with experimental but some packages are missing).
    I use the Liquorix Kernel repo which has patches for desktop and gaming performance over the stock kernel. It's also a more recent version. A few performance tests against a stock Ubuntu kernel can be seen at Phoronix.

  10. #10
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    Re: Debian wheezy is awesome :)

    Quote Originally Posted by epikvision View Post
    Does debian now have out-of-the-box wifi support? Its omission in the previous release was a huge turn-off for me.
    Debian 7 non-free firmware

    Check out the message box:

    If any of the hardware in your system requires non-free firmware to be loaded with the device driver...

    I downloaded the tarballs of common firmware packages and unpacked them onto a USB stick. Plug in the USB stick - non free firmware packages, and boot up Debian 7 Net-Install CD. Going through the install process, Debian 7 installer will access the USB stick for the missing non free firmware - needed for your hardware.

    Was able to easily wireless net install Debian 7 on my Toshiba Satellite C655 notebook

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