No Debian for the Clueless
It crossed my mind I could start a new project. Given Debian was about to release their newest — “Squeeze” 6.0 — and I wanted to install it on my laptop, it seemed I might write a few articles here about it. But it’s crazy.
There are a lot of Debian users in the world, and they all seem to write little HOWTOs and tips. The documentation for Debian-related stuff is massive on the Net. The biggest problem is simply learning enough about Linux in general, because Debian does not offer a single unified tool for system configuration. You really have to know a lot about each individual item in order to even know what you want to configure.
I didn’t have any trouble installing the Squeeze RC-2, just a single hiccup when it couldn’t quite wipe the Win7 NTFS partition cleanly. I’d swear Win7 tries to do something crazy to hard drives so nothing else can use them — ever. But I got it installed without any further drama and everything works fine. Still, I realized how much I took for granted knowing about when I started writing notes. By the time I could simplify it down for the clueless, it would be a book.
Further, the dead-tree books on Linux are always obsolete by the time you see them in the stores. It’s a moving target, and it seems to be getting faster every year.
At any rate, Debian is not for newbies who don’t have someone to hold their hand. I really like it, and it’s support is almost as long as for RHEL and clones. It’s very hackable (hacking in the harmless sense). But I would have to set up a long series of classes to teach Debian to folks who hadn’t experienced Linux before. I’d be teaching a lot of generic Linux first, because Debian is pretty generic.
On top of that, a lot of serious Debian fans already hate my writing, so it’s not as if I could draw a bunch of traffic here from them. I suppose it’s because I’m not a part of the Church of Debian. Still, I can recommend it to those with a thirst for computer knowledge and experience with Linux.
Update: I’m already getting belligerent comments from the Church of Debian devotees. If you are one of those, don’t bother commenting, because I’ll delete it.