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Recent Posts

Fri, 11 Mar 2011
English Countryside, Rain and Clouds
# 20:39 in ./general

Some absolutely beautiful photographs taken by Kris Dutson of various parts of England. The landscape and the weather have never looked so good.


Why a Switch to Debian from Ubuntu?
# 14:26 in ./tech

I've been a happy user of Ubuntu since Hoary Hedgehog (Ubuntu 5.04). So why am I considering a switch to Debian?

It's a combination of things really :

Ubuntu seems to be going its own way with the desktop - Unity, Ubuntu One (and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud), global menus for applications, window decorations etc. I'm not worried about a lot of this (and all power to Canonical trying to make a business) but it might start to negatively impact my desktop. It's also a bit of a hard sell when I have to ask people to "unlearn" some desktop interaction painfully learned only recently (e.g. my Mum).

In addition, Canonical (the commercial entity behind Ubuntu Linux) seems to be taking a more active role in trying to monetise the distribution. There's nothing wrong with this per se, but they've been a bit cack-handed recently (e.g. Banshee) and this has left a bit of a sour taste in people's mouths, including mine. Ubuntu has gathered a great community around it, with Mark Shuttleworth as the "benign dictator", but it is a lot more of a closed community than Debian. For good or bad, I prefer the Debian way because it gels more with the free software ethos.

Why not Fedora? I used Fedora a long time ago, only stopping when yum became unbearable (slow mainly) and I got tired of breakage on the (constant) updates/upgrades. But it's better now and yum works very well - as well as Debian's apt. We also use Fedora at work as both a preferred desktop for some engineers and a buildbot master/slave system. I'd be perfectly happy using Fedora and it matches Debian's fee software and community ethos.

But I know and understand the Debian way better now. So, let's see how things go. Long live Ubuntu. Long live Debian. Long live Fedora!

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