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The Problems Debian Is Facing In 2020

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  • #61
    I have been Debian Testing + Pinning toward Sid forever the only point is during the freezing time, by the way Debian can do a lot thing to improve like:
    1. Improving the release cycles like: rolling + snapshots + lts snapshots, just for instance.
    2. Improving the package creation so people would be more involved in working upstream directly on Debian.
    3. Better bug reporting and better attitude toward who report the bug.
    4. Being init agnostic again or working together with other derivatives like Devuan.
    5. Focus on general availability over all the platform, innovation and best practices.
    6. Being again independent.


    • #62
      Originally posted by 9Strike View Post

      It's not too hard, you can pull a newer kernel from backports. It's true, you have to know what you're doing, but nobody claims that Debian is a distro for newcomers. You could say the same for Arch, or Gentoo.

      ​​​​​​The Problem of Debian is well presented in this comment section. People (that don't really use it) blame it for old software (which isn't fair since there is Testing/Sid with fancy new software), and rage about a single BLM point from a 40min presentation. Those people don't get that Debian isn't just a distro build by a couple of people (e. g. Arch) or a company (e. g. Red Hat), but rather by a community with roughly 1000 developers and >2000 additional uploaders (probably more), which are all bound by the same _social_ contract (yes that is a real thing in Debian).
      Mixing packages from testing/unstable and Debian stable? What could go wrong? And how easy can it be achieved? And what about installing Debian on your new shiny laptop/PC when it comes with an ancient kernel out of the box? How would you proceed to boot with a new kernel right away, huh? Maybe people should also learn to rebuild installation media? Yeah, I last used Debian in 2001. I quickly understood back then that it was a distro for servers. Nothing has really changed for the past two decades.


      • #63
        The idea that people are rushing to Debian project to get their take on a issue not related to their software is a little bit odd. I somewhat cringe at the idea that they formulate positions on these things. The world is a lot larger than the US and ignoring any issue would open you to criticism.

        Did they release a statement about wildfires in Australia? What about their position on Uyghurs in China? Women's rights in Saudi? Boko Haram? AfCFTA?


        • #64
          Originally posted by 9Strike View Post
          • Stability for Debian means "there might be bugs, but there won't be _new_ bugs".
          It also means "it might not work at all but at least does that reliably". Especially troublesome if you have a package that depends on an external service that might get updated making the unupdated package unfunctional. Like the dyndns1 protocol deprecation.
          It also means much more work for upstream because they are hit with a ton of support requests for very old software because many users just go directly to upstream to report instead of the horrible Debian issue tracker.

          At some point, I just started switching everything over to Arch Linux, had less issues with that on multiple machines that just having debian on a signle router for 2 years. Arch just worked, the few times I had an issue after an update, I normally just had to wait for a few hours as the bug was always already reported and worked upon and the mirror servers just hadn't picked it up while any issue I had with debian was "Yeah, that was fixed upstream x years ago but we refuse to update, just run unstable!"
          which kind of makes the hole point about Debian being so stable mood.


          • #65
            As so many have pointed out already , stuff like BLM is completely irrelevant for Debian. What matters for Debian is to communicate technical excellence properly. If the distro's desktop and/or website is pretty enough is utterly nonsense and completely the wrong focus. It is compact and functional - no need to change that.

            IMHO Debian would benefit most if the testing repo was either renamed to rolling or if there was a new repo in addition to stable, for example something like "rolling" or "prestable" or "nextstable" where testing packages are migrated just like packages migrate to testing now. If for nothing else, a new name would help people understand that testing is a lot more stable than what "testing" may seem.

            Also a repo where you could pull slightly experimental debian kernels e.g. a mix between testing and latest vanilla kernel would be useful. Documentation would also be more useful if they could group oldstable information somewhere special. The bugreport tool could also be improved it it kept track of what bugs you actually reported so you could revisit them easily.

            Luckily there will be a new project leader in a little while



            • #66
              TBH I don't really feel like Debian needs improving at all. It works and is quite reliable. If anything I just want packages to move through the release pipeline faster. Politics is easy to ignore, it's not like the distro is ramming politics down your throat at install time. Most of the technical
              issues are with upstream not Debian.


              • #67
                Originally posted by SilverFox View Post
                How did it go on the pi4? Thinking of getting one to stick in an old thinkpad shell.
                I tore open one of those to do the same, but my LCD was too old and low res to make it worth while. Plus, there is no easy way to interface the laptop's keyboard to the RPi as far as I know. In the end, I just have a heap of old laptop innards laying around that I probably ought to just throw away...

                What turned out to be better, in my opinion, was getting an old HDMI TV and mounting the RPi4 to the back of that. A TV works better than a computer LCD because the TV will give you a free digital audio output over HDMI, whereas a computer LCD usually lacks audio entirely.

                I screwed two wooden sticks to the back of my TV using the VESA mounting screw holes. Then I screwed down some heavy gauge copper wires bent as hooks to hold my Raspberry Pi 4 very solidly between the two wooden sticks. This gives penty of room for airflow and easy access to the Raspberry Pi's plethora of connectors. I even managed to shape the wood to let me press fit a USB hard drive and an old power supply fan. From the front, you can't even tell anything DIY is going on back there.

                Sure, it's perhaps not as portable and sleek as a laptop. But it is far more accessible for future tinkering with the GPIO pins, etc.
                Last edited by ed31337; 04 September 2020, 11:04 PM.


                • #68
                  Originally posted by creoflux View Post
                  The idea that people are rushing to Debian project to get their take on a issue not related to their software is a little bit odd. I somewhat cringe at the idea that they formulate positions on these things. The world is a lot larger than the US and ignoring any issue would open you to criticism.

                  Did they release a statement about wildfires in Australia? What about their position on Uyghurs in China? Women's rights in Saudi? Boko Haram? AfCFTA?
                  Only a person so disassociated from reality could ask Debian to issue a statement about some factor other than Software..
                  For what it seems this people exists,
                  And when they are Leading a Social Software project, that could indeed explain why that project is not so well after don't need to look further..

                  About the claim of Debian using old kernels.. Debian should use the best option, and frankly speaking, recent kernels are a mess, so I do recognize that Debian think in a more conservative way in that regard, you shouldn't just get newer kernels just because ..they are just newer..

                  On the other side, there are plenty of new features coming in recent kernels, but you have the testing repo for that, of even sid..
                  Last edited by tuxd3v; 04 September 2020, 11:51 PM.


                  • #69
                    I'm not sure it's possible to say that GNU/Linux is completely apolitical--the concept of free/libre/open-source software is inherently political in many countries where copyright legislation comes from the government. Though, yes, focusing on an amero-centric political stance doesn't fit the overall goal of worldwide inclusivity.

                    To the broader point and many of the comments here, it's hard to tell what the focus is. Is the goal to attract new users to Debian or to satisfy their existing base? With the array of distros, and my desire to run new code, my personal machine is Arch. With a distro like Debian, it seems like you'd have to pick one or the other and do it well--their persona is where it was 15-20 years ago when I started tinkering with Linux.

                    At one point before git was ubiquitous and I had dialup, I needed reliable packages on the installation media. Nowadays the upstream/downstream repackaging method just means I'm running old code with minimal recourse outside of backporting (which seems like far more effort and prone to issues)


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by 9Strike View Post
                      ​​I think Debian does an amazing job in delivering a free OS and pushing good programming practices (instead of just blindly taking what's out there).
                      This has massively backfired because in a lot of cases Debian has incorrectly backported patches for programming environments (i.e. VM's) causing bugs specific to their system. i.e. with JVM (java virtual machine) debian created bugs in their LTS release of JVM because they incorrectly applied patches and iirc this was also pushed up to ubuntu since debian uses ubuntu.

                      Its not possible to know the best practices for every programming language/project out there.