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#1 Aghaster

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 08:29 PM

Sidux: Debian Hot & Spicy!

After using debian testing for around 2-3 years, I finally found a satisfying alternative, called Sidux. Sidux is a debian distribution based on debian sid, the debian repository where packages stay for a while before going into "testing". One of the main thing that people complain about with debian is that it's old. Other distributions have a faster development cycle which allows people to get recent software faster than with debian. For a production environment, this makes debian very good, but for a desktop OS, it's not very nice. I'm using Ubuntu on my laptop, and it works very well. I am aware that because of the faster development cycle of ubuntu I am more likely to get unstable crap. So far so good, I can stand the instability. The only release that really was crap IMHO was 9.04. For some reason the stock kernel that came with 9.04 crashed on the first boot for me and all my friends. A couple of the stock kernels in 9.04 were unstable for me, but I managed to find one that worked well. I very rarely had kernel crashes with debian.

Now... ext4. Yeah, it's still a new feature, and some bugs have still recently been found. But, wtf, it's been offered for a long time already by default in ubuntu, and I've been using it without any problems. The debian installer in testing still doesn't fully support ext4 for the root filesystem. Plus, with time, I had a feeling that ubuntu had less glitches overall than debian testing. I used to wait a very long time before making updates, which probably wasn't a good idea, a lot of things eventually didn't upgrade very well and my system was quite slow (boot time sucked compared to ubuntu). The Sidux installer supports ext4 by default, and installation took 15 minutes :)

Now, I just installed Sidux with XFCE. This thing simply rocks. So far it's easier to maintain than debian testing. The manual gives clear instructions on how to properly maintain your system and what to do in case of instability. Before that I had been using gnome, but from what people in #sidux told me, they don't have enough people to maintain gnome which is prone to often break in debian sid. I didn't really mind giving XFCE a try, as there were a couple of things that I would find unsatisfying in gnome, and XFCE is often called a gnome clone that is more lightweight.

The way sidux works is that they maintain repositories of fixed packages that replace broken packages from sid, so that you get a more stable debian sid. The rest is the normal debian sid, so you have access to the huge number of packages available for debian, which is the main reason why I kept debian on my desktop computer. I'm currently running a 2.6.32 kernel, hehe.

Has anybody else tried Sidux? This is a distribution for those ready to spend some time maintaining it if it breaks, so I wouldn't recommend it for linux beginners. However, I really recommend it for more advanced users.

#2 dinscurge

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 09:18 PM

yeah i've been using it for awhile now(couple months) recomended it a couple times. i also have the 2.6.32-2 kernel :p it worked great for my eee. i havent had it break yet just every once in a while get some errors and have to "apt-get upgrade" nothing to serious happened thoe.

hmm now just wondering when they will offer sparc64 :p

Edited by dinscurge, 14 January 2010 - 09:27 PM.


#3 mungewell

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 09:27 PM

I've been using Xubuntu for the past few releases.... time for a change so I might give Sidux a go.

Munge.

#4 Aghaster

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:13 PM

Just wrote an article about sidux on my website:

Sidux: Debian Hot & Spicy

#5 mecca_

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:35 AM

Nice write up. I find your comments regarding stability pretty interesting. Are you calling all system crashes kernel crashes or did you actually get kernel exceptions? The linux kernel is extremely stable and I find it pretty hard to believe that an untainted kernel would just "crash". Usually when one sees a system crash (especially on a laptop) it's due to a bad binary module. In my experience this is most often the WiFi or graphics driver.

I've been running debian for almost 10 years now and I have to say that up until the last year or two debian unstable was actually pretty damn stable. Some of my production servers with 365+ day uptime were running debian unstable without a problem. While I recently had to downgrade to testing, that was because of library version issues on some custom applications rather than a stability problem. That being said I've found it more and more difficult to run debian unstable on my desktop or laptop. I've run into numerous problems with dependency version mismatching and other weirdness; though never any full crashes that weren't a direct result of something stupid that I did.

Thanks for pointing out sidux, I might actually give it a try.

#6 Aghaster

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:10 PM

Nice write up. I find your comments regarding stability pretty interesting. Are you calling all system crashes kernel crashes or did you actually get kernel exceptions? The linux kernel is extremely stable and I find it pretty hard to believe that an untainted kernel would just "crash". Usually when one sees a system crash (especially on a laptop) it's due to a bad binary module. In my experience this is most often the WiFi or graphics driver.

I've been running debian for almost 10 years now and I have to say that up until the last year or two debian unstable was actually pretty damn stable. Some of my production servers with 365+ day uptime were running debian unstable without a problem. While I recently had to downgrade to testing, that was because of library version issues on some custom applications rather than a stability problem. That being said I've found it more and more difficult to run debian unstable on my desktop or laptop. I've run into numerous problems with dependency version mismatching and other weirdness; though never any full crashes that weren't a direct result of something stupid that I did.

Thanks for pointing out sidux, I might actually give it a try.


True, you have a very good point here. While it makes much more sense now, there are still some crashes such as the systematic crash on first boot on 9.04 that happened to me and all my friends that can't be blamed on that (as the kernel wasn't tainted yet, was it?). By crash I mean the entire system froze and you have to press the power button. My previous laptop had an ati graphics card and a broadcom chip, which may explain things regarding bad kernel modules. My new laptop is an HP Probook 4510s, and it crashed once but I think it was related to the iwlagn wifi module, even though it's not a blob. I just don't know how much can be blamed on the tainted kernel versus Ubuntu itself, but my general experience is that it hasn't been very stable for me and my friends.

#7 dinscurge

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 09:58 PM

really? ive had it running fine for like 3-4months now. if im not mistaken with a nuby question, but by being a monolithic design doesnt that mean that linux has the drivers in the kernel, which is why you have to custom compile it if you want wierd drivers or w.e. or have to get a different kernel for desktop/laptop, which would mean that a problem in say a wireless driver would cause a kernel crash as its contained in the kernel space, which would be why the operating system would crash for something simple like unrecognized hardware/wrong driver?




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