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Tagged: debian

Giving Debian Stretch a try

Tonight, I have mostly been taking Debian Stretch for a spin. Stretch is currently in full freeze and is due to be the next Debian Stable release, so I was interested to see what it has to offer in terms of providing a LEMP stack.

The biggest change (LEMP related) over previous Debian releases is probably the switch to MariaDB from MySQL. I wasn’t aware this switch had taken place, until I tried to install the ‘mysql-server’ package, which doesn’t exist under Stretch. Doh. So anyway, I did a quick search and discovered details of the change. After that, it only took a few minutes to figure out what I needed to do to get MariaDB installed and set-up. To be honest, with the limited testing that I’ve done, I’ve not noticed any difference, but I guess this is to be expected as MariaDB is described as a drop-in replacement for MySQL.

Other than that, Stretch looks like it’s going to be a solid LEMP platform, providing NGINX 1.10.3 and PHP 7.0. It should make for a good replacement for my current Ubuntu LTS servers, which I’m looking to move away from.

Highlights From the 2016 Annual State Of The Word image/svg+xml

A good break down of Matt Mullenweg’s 10th annual State of the Word address. The most interesting part being:

Mullenweg wrapped up the talk with a discussion of the future. The biggest thing changing will be the release schedule — most notably, there won’t be one. Instead of trying to stay to three releases a year like we have been for the last five years, Mullenweg is going to take the role of production lead and focus on three main areas. Now, instead of pushing a release at a certain time, nothing will be updated until it is the way he wants it.

I like this, it reminds me of Debian’s Release When Ready policy, which always struck me as a logical and sensible approach to releasing stable software. I’m not saying that I have anything against the release early, release often philosophy, but I do think it’s good to mix things up now-and-again.

The post where I admit that I bottled it and moved to Debian, before realising I was being a dumbass and moved back to Ubuntu

For the record, I really like Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, I think it’s a polished environment and a pleasure to use.

I’m glad I wrote the above, because I’m using Ubuntu again. Yes, sometimes I can be a proper plonker, but unlike a lot of UK politicians, I’m not afraid to admit when I get something wrong, or just make a stupid decision.

After just a few short days using GNOME on Debian, I came to realise that actually, I much preferred using Ubuntu and Unity. There, I said it.

As for this stuff, I’ve decided to try and embrace it, much in the same way I embraced proprietary operating systems for over a year. In fact, I’m considering jumping-in head-first by purchasing one of the new Ubuntu phones, just so I can play around with the development kits.

P.S. I hope nobody takes any cues from me, ever.

I’m using Debian, again

About a month ago, I ended my proprietary software experiment and returned my desktops to Linux. At the time, I didn’t give too much thought as to which distribution I would use, I just installed the latest Ubuntu LTS and got on with it.

For the record, I really like Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, I think it’s a polished environment and a pleasure to use. However, stuff like this makes me nervous. Basically, I don’t like investing time in something when I feel there is a large amount of uncertainty around its future. So, a few weeks after installing Ubuntu, I went looking for an alternative.

My first stop was Ubuntu MATE. I knew I wouldn’t end-up using it, but I was intrigued to find out more about it. I only used it briefly, but from what I did experience, the system worked really well. In fact, I was surprised by how much I liked it and if I hadn’t already experienced more modern desktop environments, I might have stuck with it a little longer.

My next stop was Fedora 24 Workstation. I thought I’d give it a try as I’d heard good things about it from my friend Graham, and because I figured it would probably offer a good GNOME experience. It did, GNOME on Fedora is beautifully done. I enjoyed my brief stint on Fedora, but it didn’t last long as I couldn’t help but feel that I’d be wasting 10+ years of experience working with Debian based systems.

So, I replaced Fedora with Debian. I opted for unstable as I knew it would offer the latest GNOME packages and I’m confident that I can resolve any issues one should expect from running a development branch. And that’s where I’m at now. I’m super-happy with my desktop, GNOME is working really well, it looks amazing, it’s fast and it provides me a level of comfortable familiarity. Finally, and possibly most importantly, I don’t feel at all uneasy or uncertain about its future.

GNOME 3.18.2 on Debian Sid, initial impressions

It’s been a few days since I reinstalled Debian on my old ThinkPad x220, so I thought I’d briefly write down some of my initial impressions.

  1. GNOME is looking very good. I guess it’s difficult to judge GNOME’s progression when you’re using it continuously or repeatedly over a long period of time, the incremental improvements are too easy to overlook, but after taking a break from it for a number of months, it’s obvious to see how much it’s improved. It hasn’t quite reached the same levels of polish as OS X, but it’s looking a lot more uniformed and definitely heading in the right direction.
  2. Finder is okay, but Nautilus (aka Files) is better. I’ve really missed being able to mount remote drives over SSH, without having to use an external application. In comparison to Nautilus, Finder just feels a bit fiddly.
  3. GNOME Shell is very snappy and makes a nice change from the UI of OS X. I actually really like how OS X works, but GNOME Shell feels more modern and the Super key overview trigger is simple, fast and effective.
  4. Now, this one is all in my head, but using Debian makes me feel like a proper geek :)

Hello, Debian Sid, again

Last night, at Lincoln LUG, it occurred to me that I was kind of missing my old desktop Linux (I’ve not used desktop Linux for about 6 months or so, using OS X instead.) I felt really quite envious when I was looking at my friend’s systems. So, tonight, I installed Debian Sid on my old Lenovo X220. Now, I’m not sure how often I’m going to use it, but it’s nice to know that it’s installed and available if I need it. If nothing else, I’ll at least have a system that I can take to LUG meetings and not feel awkward about — whilst turning up with a MacBook is not frowned upon, we’re a relaxed and friendly group, it does make me feel like a bit of a pretender, even though I spend all day in a terminal attached to numerous Ubuntu servers.

P.S. I typed this up on my X220, I’d forgotten how nice the keyboard is on this thing.