Debian hits 20 years old!

While we at Neowin are known for our Microsoft news and our ties with the Redmond giant, we aren’t against tipping our hat and raising a glass to the competition, especially when it hits a birthday milestone.

That’s exactly what has happened with Debian, the OS that is maintained by a strong collective of online volunteers. Debian GNU/Linux, is classed as a solid Linux and because of that has been used as the basis for other Linux distributions. Hell, our community’s very own Shift Linux was based on Debian and Ubuntu.

It’s not uncommon for technology to reach 20 years old. Windows and Mac OS (now OS X) have got there without any problems. But the nature of most Linux distros being maintained by fans and internet communities means that most fall by the wayside and are left half-finished or not developed to their potential. Not Debian though. And the fact that other Linux developers utilise Debian as the base for their OS makes it even more impressive.

The Debian community was asked to say what the OS meant to them. Hit the jump to read the selection of responses, but the following quote sums up the one users opinion of the OS beautifully:

When I considered switching to Linux I asked friends which distribution to choose. I was told skip other distributions that were considered more newbie-friendly at the time and go straight to Debian instead. It might be more work initially, they said, but it would save me the hassle of switching to Debian later on, which I would inevitably do. Turns out they were right. I started my Linux experience more than ten years ago with Debian and have yet to see a better Linux distribution.

So, what do you make of Debian hitting 20? Do you use, or have you used it and are/were your experiences good, bad or indifferent? Let us know in the comments section below.

So, many happy returns to you Debian. Here’s hoping you’re still going strong in another 20 years!

Souce: Bits from Debian | Image courtesy of Dedoimedia

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I use it on a Mini-ITX machine running as my router, and on another Mini-ITX as a small web dev server.

Works really well.

If you run Debian as a server, why are you in X?
There's SSH for that. Debian has never focused on giving us a Windows/Ubuntu like desktop. It is all available if you want of course, but Debian as a server has no need for a desktop, just wasting resources.

Not to be a troll here, but Windows has been pretty solid for me. At the end of the day, I think this is part of the problem, we get caught up in the idea of a distro and not the core objective of what an operating system is for: managing the resources of your computer. At the end of the day, Windows does that exceptionally well in addition to being easy to use and offering all of the facilities a power user may need with ability to find any app you want to run (free or commercial) up the wazoo!

Mr. Dee said,
Not to be a troll here, but Windows has been pretty solid for me. At the end of the day, I think this is part of the problem, we get caught up in the idea of a distro and not the core objective of what an operating system is for: managing the resources of your computer. At the end of the day, Windows does that exceptionally well in addition to being easy to use and offering all of the facilities a power user may need with ability to find any app you want to run (free or commercial) up the wazoo!

At the end of the day its about the freedom to choose. Windows may work for you and do everything you want.

A friend of mine has always been a Linux user. He only ever kept an installation of Windows in a dual boot for occasional gaming and has given up on that now so just runs purely Linux. For him it does all he needs:

* All his hardware works properly (and his PC isn't a dinosaur by any stretch)
* The PC flies..
* He's a programmer and all the tools he needs are freely available

Over the years we have given him a lot of hassle about using Linux (jokingly) but I doubt he will ever switch to anything else now! And he doesn't impart his OS beliefs on anyone else.. Just uses what he prefers.

I dont understand the point of your post. This is not news related to the confrontation of Linux vs Windows, nor is asking the users their opinion about it.

I understand you are free to post whatever you want, however I fail to see the merit of such opinion at the moment.

Still not a Linux fanboy and much prefer Windows. But i do use Kali Linux for some security related tasks that Windows simply cannot compete in.

I was using Backtrack (the old name for Kali and was ubuntu based) but yeah Debian pwns all over it. Really enjoying it actually so much more stable and quick i am finding. Not the most easy to use or as friendly as Ubuntu but yeah thats not an issue for what i use it for.

Happy birthday!

Debian rocks and allowed me to get off the commercial software merry-go-round for good.

Debian is a registered trademark of SPI (Software for the Public Interest), a great non-profit.

http://spi-inc.org/

Edited by COKid, Aug 17 2013, 4:03pm :

Enron said,
Nice vintage screenshot. I haven't been following Debian, so I wonder what the UI looks like today.

By default, vanilla Gnome 3 (gak), but you can pick a different one during the installation if I recall (and of course afterwards), pretty sure anyway, I only use Linux in a server capacity so could be mistaken.

Definitely one of the better distros out there, been using it on a few of my servers for years.. not the flashiest but one of the few I feel comfortable with knowing it'll be around for a good period of time and has a stable branch that's well supported, a solid workhorse distro.

I think if Linux world wants to push a Distro out to the public, they should stop pushing Ubuntu (not much more then a customized Debian Sid) and focus on Debian Stable branch.
Their approach is godlike in my view, the process of programs getting to their Stable branch is a long one, but it makes sure the programs do not mess with the OS or other applications/services. And are stable enough to make sure your OS remain stable.
Their Free Software Guidelines are also top notch in my opinion. (like renaming Firefox etc due to copyright on Logo/name). Just to make sure their users have NO issues in the future what so frigging ever with copyright issues.

But nah, Linux world decided to push Ubuntu as their main Distro.... Every time I see Ubuntu server running at companies, it makes me gringe. You wouldn't run Windows BETA releases outside a development environment, why is this suddenly so different when it comes to Linux?
Debian Sid is called Sid for a reason, and Ubuntu is based on this. If people don't know why Debian Unstable branch is called Sid, go watch Toy Story for pete's sake.