PDA

View Full Version : Fedora or Debian for every day desktop use?


paulsnider
16th October 2011, 01:21 AM
Hi I'm new here, I've tried Fedora once I think when it was Fedora 12 I remember liking it as well.

Right now though since January 2011 I've been running Debian 6 Squeeze on my Desktop machine. Everything is still working great. What I do mainly is web browsing, watching movies, writing fiction stories, and listen to music.

My subconscious is still saying to me even though everything is working that the software on Debian Stable is too old. I'm trying to ignore this thought because everything is working just fine. But I wonder am I missing anything by not using as an example Fedora which has newer software newer technology in other words cutting edge.

I really like the idea of having a stable system which is why I went with Debian 6 Squeeze but on the other hand I like the idea of newer software.

So my question is really this Fedora or Debian for every day desktop use? Also if I should go to Fedora should I use Fedora 15 or wait until 16...

Dan
16th October 2011, 01:48 AM
This is just one man's opinion, but I do not think Fedora is the best choice for a production system. And I certainly would not attempt F16 on a machine I was depending on. My reasons are as follows:

Fedora is, by nature and admission, a cutting edge distro. Cutting edge means it's never quite finished, and there is always a danger of a vunderbork update.

Any Fedrora release will suffer from a very short life cycle. This means that your install will go EOL in 13 months, and due to the rapid release rate, many bugs tend to go unfixed in a release in favor of fixing them in the next one.

All that being said, either dual boot, or fetch another HDD and install fedora on it and then select the system you want after experimenting with both. The "losing" HDD can be re-formatted for data storage.

Or just run the liveCD/DVDs for a while and get a feel for it.

paulsnider
16th October 2011, 01:54 AM
wow that was a fast reply. But I'm still undecided I might just dual boot like you said ...

fedvasu
16th October 2011, 01:56 AM
very interesting first post, i was not going answer this , i found myself in your place in the past , so i'm willing to go a step forward.

Do you like tweaking your system, do you like to controll every(ok not every but most visible ones) aspect of your system? do you like new sofware on *your* system?

Use Fedora

are afraid of asking questions on forums ( i guess you aren't )? and are you put off by frequent changes?

Use Debian,which you have now.

if you just want a no-nonsense system , stick to whatever you have?

It is not to say fedora isn't stable (very stable for a cutting-edge distro), it is to say it changes frequently(every six months lik all *buntus),but after 13 months it becomes old(no update at all !!),but you can still use EOL versions without any problem, many small schools and colleges do it.

interesting to note that ,For Debian just development takes on an average 18-24 months, Fedora life-cycle is just 13 months and if you consider development as well Fedora versions have roughly 18 month cycle.

Debian has this *never-ever crah mandate*. so by the time release comes out the software isn't just "stable" it is "stale" as well(yeah pun intended).

if you want sort of "Debianish Fedora"(more 'stable' software) , try Scientific Linux or Centos.

The real advantage of fedora *latest-greatest* only when you too are upgrading with all stable releases , if you are install once and forget guy , the new software becomes old after year or two.

so after this rather long post, i say stick to Debian and if you really want to install Fedora dual boot your system with Fedora 16, wait till its final release(even Fedora stable isn't for faint-hearted let alone beta)

cheers.

---------- Post added at 06:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:25 AM ----------

Dan, how fast did you reply that, i was typing there were no replies, i think "i think slow and type slower"

Dan
16th October 2011, 02:10 AM
Fewer words, faster posts! <..:D..>

Sounds like a good plan, Paul. Just remember to back up all your data, and mind the details whilst running Anaconda. It's been known to mislead, and disaster soon follows. <..:eek:..>

fedvasu
16th October 2011, 02:13 AM
and mind the details whilst running Anaconda. It's been known to mislead, and disaster soon follows. <..:eek:..>

so true and funny, Dan you made my day :dance:

paulsnider
16th October 2011, 02:38 AM
Fewer words, faster posts! <..:D..>

Sounds like a good plan, Paul. Just remember to back up all your data, and mind the details whilst running Anaconda. It's been known to mislead, and disaster soon follows. <..:eek:..>

Yeah I back up my data all the time. I've used multiple distributions I was a Ubuntu user, but jumped ship after 10.04 came out. Went Debian and still kind of lost on what to use now. I am using KDE instead of Gnome now which I like a lot better.

My wife is also using Debian on her laptop.

But I think I like the idea of newer software I wouldn't mind seeing the new KDE....

smr54
16th October 2011, 02:54 AM
There's also aptosid if you prefer Debian-ish distributions.

http://aptosid.com/

I haven't used it in awhile, but I would guess that it may be similar to Fedora, in that an update may break something.

Just mentioning it as a possible compromise, as I _seem_ to remember it would be a bit less radical than Fedora.

tox
16th October 2011, 03:06 AM
have to agree with Dan in post #2 better options for a production machine would be better off to go to Debian 6 or CentOS6 or SL6 i wouldnt bbother with that Brown/Purple Distro that uses Unity, personally it spooked the living crap outta me when i used the liveCD

steelaworkn
16th October 2011, 05:42 AM
I consider myself an "End-User". I have been using Fedora full-time since F12. Once it is set up, it is really stable. If you are a constant tweaker, then that is where you may run into issues and will pretty much need to be an advanced hacker to get around the issues. But, if you are just like me, set it up the way you like it and then use it.

I run Firefox, KDE (Kontact and other stuff as well as the desktop environment), LibreOffice, Bible Time, and a bunch of other things. I run flash, watch DVD's (getting ready to watch the latest Dr. Who DVD), get RSS feeds and even run spread sheets.

End-Users like me should have zero issues. But maybe my hardware is simply Fedora friendly and I'm just a odd-ball.

RupertPupkin
16th October 2011, 07:22 AM
I'm not sure where this "production machine/system" idea came from; the OP said he's using his machine for watching movies and listening to music. :)

I use Fedora for my main system, and I depend on it for all the work that I do (including writing nonfiction books). I even use it at work, via VirtualBox on a Windows 7 machine. I get all my work done in Fedora, and have no problem. I like having up-to-date versions of software, so Fedora works well for me. Whether it's Fedora, Debian, or some other distro, it's all Linux underneath, so you can make it do whatever you want anyway.

If you were talking about a "mission-critical" server (e.g. web or database) in the workplace, then yeah, something like RHEL or CentOS might be a better idea, to reduce maintenance. But for everyday desktop use on a home machine, Fedora is fine. As to which version to use, Fedora 16 is due to come out on November 8, so you have some time to install F15 to see if you like it, and if so then upgrade to F16. May as well start playing with it now, no need to wait. You could even install the F16 beta (http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-prerelease) right now.

topiwala
16th October 2011, 02:44 PM
fedora 14/15 is a good choice as major updates and bugs are fixed...i run a F14 and use my system mainly to listen music,watch movies,browse web,some times make docs....just choose the app to use wisely.

paulsnider
16th October 2011, 03:26 PM
I've decided to just stay with my Debian system as I am more used to a Debian base due to using Ubuntu so long, but for newer software I will either go to Testing or Sid or Backports. That part is still undecided. I downloaded Fedora 15 last night tried it this morning through Live CD KDE and I don't think I'm honestly missing much.

Anyways thanks for your speedy replies and help making my decision. Who knows I may still switch I may not. But for now I'm sticking to what I'm used to.

I may hang around here I may not if not thanks for the help.

flyingfsck
16th October 2011, 04:13 PM
Well, Fedora or any other Linux distribution is only unstable if you keep doing updates...

Once you have your machine working the way you want, stop doing updates. Your machine will then be stable!

I use Fedora, but I never do updates and rather re-install the whole thing once a year at Christmas. So every Christmas, I give myself a 'new' machine. Works for me!

Dan
16th October 2011, 04:14 PM
You're very welcome to hang around. It's a bit of a strange bunch, but that's what gives it flavor. <..:p..>

billybob linux
16th October 2011, 05:22 PM
Quote paulsnyder

I really like the idea of having a stable system which is why I went with Debian 6 Squeeze but on the other hand I like the idea of newer software.

Stable and cutting edge is quite possibly the holy grail of software developers, and maybe a bit idealistic. In my view that's part of what makes Linux what it is, you can stay within your comfort zone or go out on the edge a bit. I lost count of how many Linux distros i have tried and as they say," each to his own".
You can have a lightweight distro, a stable distro, a cutting-edge distro or distros made for specific applications. Linux does not really get the credit it deserves in the world of personal computing and education. But at least (for the moment) you have a choice.:)

rmferris
18th October 2011, 02:40 AM
I use fedora 15 as my desktop at work. I have had no issues with it. I don't recall the last time it was power cycled. Its got an uptime of a few weeks. I honestly have found Debian stable to be more flaky than fedora releases.

fedvasu
18th October 2011, 04:06 AM
I use fedora 15 as my desktop at work. I have had no issues with it. I don't recall the last time it was power cycled. Its got an uptime of a few weeks. I honestly have found Debian stable to be more flaky than fedora releases.

Debian stable flaky as in breaking or as in "stale" , if the latter i agree, but you got give those guys credit for their "never-ever crash" mandate.

solo2101
18th October 2011, 04:52 AM
VirtualBox

flyingfsck
18th October 2011, 05:34 AM
Hmmm, I dunno, Fedora is stable enough for me:
# uptime
13:55:25 up 721 days, 1:01, 2 users, load average: 0.03, 0.03, 0.00

rmferris
18th October 2011, 05:39 AM
Debian stable flaky as in breaking or as in "stale" , if the latter i agree, but you got give those guys credit for their "never-ever crash" mandate.

Flaky as in, I just didn't find it polished enough. For the length of time spent in testing and ensuring a stable release I really just don't see a great advantage over the software which ships with Fedora, or even Ubuntu.

fedvasu
18th October 2011, 08:16 AM
Flaky as in, I just didn't find it polished enough. For the length of time spent in testing and ensuring a stable release I really just don't see a great advantage over the software which ships with Fedora, or even Ubuntu.

it doesn't have the advantage over Fedora, yeah not-polished here means "old and stale" so i agree,but they have this "it's ready when it's ready" thing and their target audience is someone else, so it is unfair comparing them to fedora, right now Fedora,Debian and to some extent Slackware are the strongest upstreams (with large base of fans,friends and fanatics), these are the place where most packaging, testing happens, well maynot be that much in Slackware.


yeah there is Arch but i don't know how large is their base,they have forked Gnome 2(ok one of the member) so they have something cooking up.

Edit: when i say Fedora and Debian, there work reaches more people than other upstreams. Slackware historically had stronger base,but dwindled considerably. I didn't intend to give distro lesson,but it all came out and if you are interested the bases of distros in graph-form here (http://futurist.se/gldt/wp-content/uploads/11.08/gldt1108.png)

MALsPa
18th October 2011, 11:45 AM
I've been running Debian a lot longer than I've been running Fedora. I have Debian Squeeze, Fedora 14, and Fedora 15 (along with other distros) installed here. Sounds like I don't do much, if anything, that's more complicated than what the OP does on his computer. Maybe I haven't been using Fedora long enough for my comments to carry much weight, but it seems to me that Fedora is just as good as Debian Stable "for every day desktop use." Quality distros, both.

What paulsrider ended up deciding is understandable:

I've decided to just stay with my Debian system as I am more used to a Debian base due to using Ubuntu so long, but for newer software I will either go to Testing or Sid or Backports. That part is still undecided. I downloaded Fedora 15 last night tried it this morning through Live CD KDE and I don't think I'm honestly missing much.

Having both installed is nice, though -- if you feel like it.

dknation
18th October 2011, 12:18 PM
Been a Fedora-user for some years and I wouldn't consider it unstable, even though it is on the edge of development.
Switched to Arch, just for the heck of it and now to Debian squeeze, some months ago for the stability (writing this from my step son's ubuntu laptop though).
At first I really liked Debian, it gave me a feeling of comfort but..

It won't take long until you want to have just one or two programs to be a more fresh version than those in the Debian repos. Those programs have dependencies that need to be take of (you have older versions of libraries, etc), and there you are, adding experimental repos, compiling stuff yourself and so on.

Also, Debian makes me lazy, I tend to forget the most basic commands, since nothing really happens, and when you don't have small buggers to train on, you will get stuck on the bigger ones.

Anyway, I feel I really miss Fedora.
I would say it is perfectly good for every day use, even for production.
To re-install every 6 or 12 months shouldn't be any problem either, since it gives you routines, and after a while you know every step you need to do in order to get Fedora just the way you want. Just make sure to save your files, settings and shell scripts, and everything will be fine.

Fedora's documentation is ok, its forum is great. When I'm stuck in ANY linux distribution, I search the fedora forum and the arch wiki, and (almost) always find the correct answer in those two channels.

I'm in the process of buying a laptop for production and my distro of choice for that one is Fedora.

Fedora is fun! :)

fedvasu
18th October 2011, 04:17 PM
Fedora is fun! :), it's super fun.

jemadux
17th August 2012, 08:54 PM
i prefer debian testing cuz it is rolling release distribution or sometime i prefer debian sid ...
ok both fedora and debian testing are good distros .... with best community

GoinEasy9
17th August 2012, 09:06 PM
I run Fedora with all the updates-testing repos enabled and have never had a borked desktop. Yeah, once in a while I have to use --skip-broken when doing a yum update, but, that's no biggy.
I also use "siduction" based on Debian Sid. It's a rolling release distro that has great community support. While Sid can be a problem, the devs seem to catch the problems before they affect other users, so, like my Fedora installs, I've never had a desktop borked with siduction either.

secipolla
18th August 2012, 07:23 PM
Fedora is better, technically speaking.
But if you're satisfied with Debian, then fine.

rclark
22nd August 2012, 04:19 AM
I look at Fedora as a 'power user' distribution. You have to work at it to get everything you may need. Play mp3? Well gotta go load this... Play a DVD, oh, you have to go load that. Flash? you need this... mp4? Nvidia drivers? There is a process to go through.... and so on... and on. I use it at home because I am a power user and like to dink with latest and greatest. Have it loaded on two machines at home and really like it. Solid and does everything I need it to do... I wouldn't recommend it to my dad or my neigbor though or to my company. I'd recommend say Mint to my Neighbor and CentOS or SL for work (where I currently have an older RHEL server, 3 SL 6 severs, 1 CentOS 5 server, and 1 Fedora 15 server... Also running some embedded linux systems too).

There are other distributions that are focused more on the 'normal user'. Like Mint for one. I've loaded that on a USB drive for my laptop. Just works. Finds the wireless no problem. Plays movies and such... flash works, everything a normal user may needs seems to be 'there'. I am sure there are others too.

Muntilan - Paderno Dugnano - Karasu Photos on Instagram