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Debian - Stable or Jessie?

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Posted

I am looking into debian to replace the OS on my laptop and server, Which do people use for their day to day systems?

Should I go with Stable 7.2 for server and Jessie for Laptop?

I normally use Gentoo for server so not sure if I should go with that or try Debian

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Posted

I'd suggest Wheezy unless you can deal with potential issues that may arise when running Jessie.

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Posted

I normally use Gentoo for server so not sure if I should go with that or try Debian

Debian's very good for a server.. you'll probably want Wheezy though as for a server you'll typically want stability and security patches above all else. Testing and Unstable are fun for desktop systems if you're comfortable with potential breakages and such, but I wouldn't put it anywhere near a server. For the laptop, I'd personally probably go with Jessie.. much less likely to kersplode than unstable, not bleeding edge but not old either, a nice balance.
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Posted

Wheezy - so stable for server then and jessie for laptop - thanks :)

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Posted

Personally I use Debian Stable on my server and Testing on my laptops. To my knowledge that is a fairly typical setup for most Debian developers, and even many users. It is also the setup publicly recommended by the current Debian Project Leader. The only situation where I would recommend staying with Stable on your laptop or workstation is in a corporate environment (or similar) where you need absolute stability and unbreakable security.

 

Coming from Gentoo, I don't anticipate you having too many problems with Debian Testing (or even Unstable for that matter). Debian Unstable is often more stable than other distribution's "stable" releases, and Debian Testing is buffered from Unstable to further improve its quality. You will most likely run into some bugs (more than with Stable, anyway), but they are unlikely to be show stoppers. The trade off for this slight, occasional inconvenience is that you get a rolling release with much more recent software than Stable.

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Posted

Wheezy - is that the 6.x version ?

 

No. Squeeze, which is the currently OldStable, is 6.x. Wheezy is 7.x. Jessie technically doesn't have a number yet (and won't until it enters release freeze next year), but it will become 8.x.

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Posted

Noticed the numbers after I posted :p

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Posted

I am running Debian Testing on my primary laptop, with some packages pulled from Unstable and Experimental. For example, I always want the latest stable Firefox (branded as Iceweasel in Debian) from Experimental rather than Firefox ESR from Testing or Unstable. Therefore I use a technique known as "APT pinning" to run a system with mostly packages from Testing, but a few, select packages from Unstable and Experimental.

 

This is an advanced technique, and I don't recommend it if you are still getting familiar with package management in Debian. Although APT pinning can allow you to cleanly pick-and-choose packages from different releases, it also has the potential to completely break your system (not beyond repair - APT is not that immature - but just enough that it could be challenging to fix). If you are interested, I recommend that you read roderick's APT pinning tutorial and the apt_preferences man page. My sources.list and apt_preferences are below for reference.

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
## TESTING
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free

## TESTING-SECURITY
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free

## UNSTABLE
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

## EXPERIMENTAL
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ experimental main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ experimental main contrib non-free

$ cat /etc/apt/preferences
Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian,a=testing
Pin-Priority: 800

Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian,a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 400

Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian,a=experimental
Pin-Priority: 200

Package: *
Pin: release o=Killer,a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 800

Package: linux-image-amd64 linux-headers-amd64 firmware*
Pin: release o=Debian,a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 800

Package: iceweasel* icedove* xulrunner*
Pin: release o=Debian,a=experimental
Pin-Priority: 800

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Posted

well i will have to look into learning how to compile programs on debian as I use luxrender for some of the 3D work I do, and I see there isnt a package for debian, so i will have to compile it myself.

So i will need a minimal desktop on the server as some of the programs i use will require wine to run, no point the pc just sitting there, might as get it doing some work as a render node :)

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Posted

I find stable lives up to it's name. I've found that many times people get on the upgrade cycle just because, and they really don't know why they do it other than they want the newest and shiniest. I would stick with stable unless you really needed the fixtures being offered by software in Testing. Just my opinion.

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Posted

well i will have to look into learning how to compile programs on debian as I use luxrender for some of the 3D work I do, and I see there isnt a package for debian, so i will have to compile it myself.

 

If you are interested in packaging software for Debian, I recommend that you read the Debian New Maintainer's Guide. If you want to upload a package to Debian so it can be included in a future release, read the Introduction for Maintainers on Debian Mentors. If you are interested in packaging software but maintaining it in Debian is too much work, you can also create a personal package repository using reprorepro.

 

If you just want to compile your software and install it in /usr/local or /opt rather than packaging it, the procedure is pretty much the same as in any other distribution. You probably want to install the build-essential meta-package first, then run the package's configure script or cmake profile before executing make and sudo make install.

 

Although it is not usually too difficult to figure out which package to install to satisfy a dependency based on autoconf or cmake output, I have a couple of tips for you. First it is important to note that Debian policy dictates that all libraries are packaged as lib<library_name>, and by convention their headers are packaged as lib<library_name>-dev. For example, if you needed to build a package against the PNG library, you would install libpng12-dev. Keeping this convention in mind, you can usually figure out which package contains the development libraries you lack by issuing the command aptitude search <name_of_software_configure_says_is_missing>. Alternatively, if you know the name of a file and need to determine which package contains it, you can use apt-file search <filename>. Take a look at this Linux Journal article for a basic apt-file tutorial.

 

According to the Debian bug tracker, it looks like luxrender was in Debian several years ago, but it was removed when the package maintainer lost interest and the package accumulated too many release-critical bugs. See bug 547514 for more details. Although I do not use LuxRender and have no interest in maintaining it in Debian, I packaged the latest release (LuxRender 1.3.1) just to help you out. If you would like to install the binary packages I built for Debian Jessie AMD64, follow the first set of instructions below. If you would like to build your own binary packages, follow the second set of instructions.

 

1. Install LuxRender binaries on Debian Jessie AMD64:

$ wget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62647756/misc/luxrender/libluxrender_1.3.1-1_amd64.deb
$ wget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62647756/misc/luxrender/luxrender_1.3.1-1_amd64.deb
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo dpkg -i libluxrender*.deb luxrender*.deb
$ sudo apt-get install -f

2. Build the LuxRender package from source:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential devscripts

$ dget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62647756/misc/luxrays/luxrays_1.3.1-1.dsc
$ dpkg-source -x luxrays_1.3.1-1.dsc
$ cd luxrays-1.3.1
$ sudo apt-get install cmake pkg-config libfreeimage-dev libboost-thread1.54-dev libboost-filesystem1.54-dev libboost-system1.54-dev opencl-headers ocl-icd-libopencl1 ocl-icd-opencl-dev freeglut3-dev libglew-dev
$ dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc
$ cd ..
$ sudo dpkg -i libluxrays*.deb

$ dget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62647756/misc/luxrender/luxrender_1.3.1-1.dsc
$ dpkg-source -x luxrender_1.3.1-1.dsc
$ cd luxrender
$ sudo apt-get install cmake pkg-config doxygen bison flex libluxrays-dev libfreeimage-dev libboost-python1.54-dev libboost-thread1.54-dev libboost-program-options1.54-dev libboost-filesystem1.54-dev libboost-serialization1.54-dev libboost-iostreams1.54-dev libboost-regex1.54-dev libboost-system1.54-dev libfftw3-dev libopenexr-dev libpng12-dev libqt4-dev opencl-headers ocl-icd-libopencl1 ocl-icd-opencl-dev zlib1g-dev
$ dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc
$ cd ..
$ sudo dpkg -i libluxrender*.deb luxrender*.deb

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Posted

Thanks will have to test them out :)

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