Why I am Leaning Toward Debian

I am looking at various options for a Linux distribution these days. Some of them I discussed in my previous post on how to choose a Linux distribution. I also discussed CentOS. Here I would like to point out some factors why I am leaning toward Debian.

Open Source

Debian is a true open source platform. They do not like to provide proprietary stuff, which can cause problems sometimes, but if you can live with it, Debian is for you.

Very Good Server

Debian is generally accepted to be a very good distribution for servers. Packages are well tested and remain stable in production. Since Debian is conservative in updating packages, usually software you are using may be not exactly the latest one. If you like this kind of stability, then Debian is for you.

Lots of Options

Debian has lots of packages available. Anything you need has a very likely chance of being available in here. Debian also supports a wide variety of architectures giving you options to your heart’s content. If you don’t like the Linux kernel, maybe you can use some others that Debian offers. If you prefer one desktop environment over another, go ahead and use it.

I was surprised to learn that RHEL only supports ext2 and ext3 file systems. If you want to use something else, say JFS, it is not supported out of the box. Debian, on the other hand, supports many file systems. Add another category to the options list from Debian.


There are many forms and formulations of apt-get, such as aptitude, dpkg, synaptics, and maybe others. This is a great package manager and it is very easy to install and remove packages. It takes care of all dependencies and you don’t have to worry about them.

If you want to install a third-party rpm package built for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) ecosystem, you can do so in Debian easily. So if there is an application you need which is officially supported on RHEL only, you can still use it, albeit without the ‘official’ support.

Auto Upgrades

You can upgrade your computer at simple package level (as new updates become available, sudo apt-get upgrade) or upgrade your whole OS with a simple apt-get command (sudo apt-get dist-upgrade). Could it be easier?


Ubuntu is a distribution derived from Debian. It aims for user-friendliness and keeping up with changes in technology. It is a perfect compliment for your Debian servers on your desktop. Dell is selling computers with Ubuntu pre-installed. If you know Debian, you know Ubuntu. Combining both gives you best of both worlds.


Debian gives you options with complete freedom to do with them what you want. It is a stable, conservative distribution which is great for servers. If you want to use it on desktops, use their testing and unstable branches, or try out Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or SimplyMEPIS. So sticking with Debian ecosystem gives you everything you need out of an open source OS.

Useful Resources

Debian sid FAQ;


5 Responses to Why I am Leaning Toward Debian

  1. Pingback: Debianizzati.Org » Perchè orientarsi verso Debian.

  2. Pingback: Boycott Novell » Links 10/07/2008: wattOS Introduced; Church Moves to Free Software

  3. hs says:

    Ubuntu has been chosen by Wikimedia as their server OS of choice. Their reasons are mentioned in their FAQ, which should be a part of this post.

  4. hs says:

    A nice list of reasons why Debian/GNU Linux.

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