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Thread: wattOS R8 Is Now Based On Debian Rather Than Ubuntu

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    Debian don't do hardware enablement for the stable release, so if you want to base off a stable release and have it work on modern hardware you have to do it yourself and ship a different kernel and xorg etc. (like Valve do for Steam OS). Ubuntu based distributions don't have to do that, they can base off an LTS and be confident it will work on new hardware.

    Try installing Ubuntu LTS vs Debian stable on a recent laptop with HiDPI, modern GPU, Broadcom WiFi etc. Neither is a great experience, but Ubuntu is a bit better. And since I know that someone will mention Jessie here - did you know that the installer, right now, does not support touchpads? And that chromium doesn't install? Or that the Gnome display settings does not work (I literally can't configure a monitor without Xrandr). Debian is great but it can be a bit of work sometimes.
    Watt OS R8 (Debian) is running Kernel 3.13.10
    Should be pretty up to date hardware wise.

    Comparing vanila Debian to a Debian based distro is silly. All sorts of things could be different.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    ...Upgrade breakage is usually caused by apt-get and third party repositories being used, causing dependency problems....
    That must be it, I do customize ubuntu a lot while I tend to leave debian much more untouched.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    Debian don't do hardware enablement for the stable release, so if you want to base off a stable release and have it work on modern hardware you have to do it yourself and ship a different kernel and xorg etc. (like Valve do for Steam OS). Ubuntu based distributions don't have to do that, they can base off an LTS and be confident it will work on new hardware.

    Try installing Ubuntu LTS vs Debian stable on a recent laptop with HiDPI, modern GPU, Broadcom WiFi etc. Neither is a great experience, but Ubuntu is a bit better. And since I know that someone will mention Jessie here - did you know that the installer, right now, does not support touchpads? And that chromium doesn't install? Or that the Gnome display settings does not work (I literally can't configure a monitor without Xrandr). Debian is great but it can be a bit of work sometimes.
    You could use the backports repository to get a newer kernel, but what I see here is nothing that would make creating a distro based on Debian harder than on Ubuntu. What you describe is that is seems indeed to be easier to create a respin (read: a different mix of packages with no real additional value) and as it seems wattOS seems to be exactly that, Debian with backports enabled and some packages pulled from Jessie (which IMHO is by the way a bad idea, they should rather backport).

  4. #14
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    Still waiting for the day of a distributed community hosted PPA alternative.

  5. #15
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    If you really wanted to save power, just run one of the Intel Nucs with < 10W TDP, or the new AMD APU's with an SSD, presuming that provides enough power to do the tasks you want. Then get an energy efficient monitor (smaller uses less power as well) and a wired non backlit KB/Mouse.

    There is far more power to be saved by selecting specific hardware rather than specific.

    Any software differences can often be configured manually, and disappear when the system is under load.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    Debian don't do hardware enablement for the stable release, so if you want to base off a stable release and have it work on modern hardware you have to do it yourself and ship a different kernel and xorg etc. (like Valve do for Steam OS). Ubuntu based distributions don't have to do that, they can base off an LTS and be confident it will work on new hardware.

    Try installing Ubuntu LTS vs Debian stable on a recent laptop with HiDPI, modern GPU, Broadcom WiFi etc. Neither is a great experience, but Ubuntu is a bit better. And since I know that someone will mention Jessie here - did you know that the installer, right now, does not support touchpads? And that chromium doesn't install? Or that the Gnome display settings does not work (I literally can't configure a monitor without Xrandr). Debian is great but it can be a bit of work sometimes.
    It absolutely is a piece of work to deal with, especially with the promoted version of Debian using the second oldest software you can find that's years old, can lead to a pretty stable, but outdated system to work with. Then there's the rolling release distros such as Fedora that are notably unstable just doesn't cut it for end users. Ubuntu fixes practically every shortcoming that happens with other distros like it.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeealpal View Post
    If you really wanted to save power, just run one of the Intel Nucs with < 10W TDP, or the new AMD APU's with an SSD, presuming that provides enough power to do the tasks you want. Then get an energy efficient monitor (smaller uses less power as well) and a wired non backlit KB/Mouse.

    There is far more power to be saved by selecting specific hardware rather than specific.

    Any software differences can often be configured manually, and disappear when the system is under load.
    I usually recommended people buy themselves a smaller low end laptop for this very reason. Plus, they get portabilty AND battery-back-up, too boot. It's still fairly relevant now,. considering the options out there (even more so with a business moel that can support the dsktop kits). Support at times can be a bit of a bummer, and a little research goes far.

    But still, nothing like buying a monitor with this micro-gear built in already. Or a NUC-style with a VESA mount to throw on the back of said unit. I wouldn't mind a VESA mount with double-sided options to then mount it on walls as well, but that's something I cna knock up easy enough I suppose with a sheet of aluminium and a drill.

    To many options these days!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiiixy View Post
    I usually recommended people buy themselves a smaller low end laptop for this very reason. Plus, they get portabilty AND battery-back-up, too boot. It's still fairly relevant now,. considering the options out there (even more so with a business moel that can support the dsktop kits). Support at times can be a bit of a bummer, and a little research goes far.

    But still, nothing like buying a monitor with this micro-gear built in already. Or a NUC-style with a VESA mount to throw on the back of said unit. I wouldn't mind a VESA mount with double-sided options to then mount it on walls as well, but that's something I cna knock up easy enough I suppose with a sheet of aluminium and a drill.

    To many options these days!
    I've been forced to test my own advice over the last few days, as my desktop's PSU died.

    Have a Dell Tablet with 8GB RAM, and a 11W TDP i5 Chip (gaming seems to max it at 8W as the cooling isn't good enough). Runs a VM fine if I need it, and surprisingly does all I want except play games (That being a pro in my books).

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by enihcam View Post
    Alpine Linux is the most energy-efficient distribution. You can benchmark it and compare with others.
    http://alpinelinux.org/
    Can you back it with any numbers? Has anyone actually tested this?

  10. #20
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    Feb 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    You could use the backports repository to get a newer kernel, but what I see here is nothing that would make creating a distro based on Debian harder than on Ubuntu. What you describe is that is seems indeed to be easier to create a respin (read: a different mix of packages with no real additional value) and as it seems wattOS seems to be exactly that, Debian with backports enabled and some packages pulled from Jessie (which IMHO is by the way a bad idea, they should rather backport).
    Debian backports is not the same thing as Ubuntu LTS updates. backports has to be manually enabled by users, so the packages there are not as well tested, eg. the packages there are not used for the livecd, are not used for new installs. In particular, there is no backport of Xorg, where hardware enablement is very necessary. The enablement stack in Ubuntu is pushed to -updates, so it gets installed by everyone by default, and is hence much better tested. 2-year-old Ubuntu LTS has better hardware enablement than 1-year-old Debian Stable:

    Debian Stable, originally released May 2013, xserver-xorg-video-intel=2:2.19.0-6

    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, originally released April 2012, xserver-xorg-video-intel =2:2.99.904

    Sure, you could start with Debian Stable, and backport a new kernel, and backport Xorg, and Xorg drivers, and then fix everything that you broke by doing that, and then you could start to backport any other libraries or applications that you need which are not recent enough in Debian Stable... and then after release you need to keep track of important bugfixes and security updates for all of your backports. And after all that, your users will be running a unique combination of packages which will probably have some compatibility problems. Or you could use Ubuntu, and let them worry about doing all of this hardware enablement stuff, and your users will be running exactly the same combination of packages as every other *buntu user.

    As I said, Debian is a great project, but the fact that the stable release won't even boot on a 1.5 year old laptop due to lack of hardware enablement is a huge problem for normal users, which in turn is a problem for respins.

    Btw, someone did file a bug about hardware enablement for Intel Haswell in Wheezy: bug #714203 xserver-xorg-video-intel: No Haswell support in 2.19.0. The reporter mentioned that the package in experimental repository worked and got the response from maintainer - "So if it's already working I'm not sure what the point of this bug is. Closing." Who cares about hardware enablement for stable releases when there's an experimental package that is not used in the stable installer, or stable installs? Every user should just know that they have to roll their own installer and incorporate experimental packages if they want to install Debian stable on a new laptop, right?

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