Debian is a distro I like very much for Linux VPS Hosting. Its easy to use, feature full, fairly light and generally has all the necessary drivers installed to dramatically reduce post-install configuration. At first glance, this latest release was in the same mould. Using the Live CD, all of the drivers for my hardware were set up correctly, including the wireless. Interestingly, the Debian developers have decided to make the KDE4 release look like the old KDE3.
Note: Now if you are looking for a place to experiment with Debian, then we’d suggest looking into a debian vps from a reputable provider.
The DrakX installer hasn’t changed much for the past few releases, and while I prefer Ubiquity (the Ubuntu one), it does the job excellently. After the install had completed, the installer asks whether you wish to remove the drivers for hardware that isn’t being used. A quick glance over the list told me it was to remove ‘b43-fwcutter’, which provides a driver for my wireless card, but Debian told me it was using the ‘wl’ driver.
On reboot into the proper system, the wireless was not working for some reason. This has happened with Debian before, because the driver removal program removes my wireless drivers for some reason. Debian does have an easy way to fix this, using the control center, something unique to the distro.
In the control center, pretty much everything you would want to do with a distro is available in a friendly interface. To set up my wireless, I went onto the ‘Hardware’ Section and selected ‘Show Hardware’, and immediately, the system suggested I install the required wireless driver.
After a few reboots for some reason the wireless stopped working and the method I used wouldn’t work. I tried to use Ndiswrapper, but Debian didn’t like that either.
With the wireless set up (at that moment), the next goal was music. I’m not a massive fan of Amarok, so I installed Rhythmbox using the package management GUI. However, by default Debian VPS only had the update repositories loaded, so the standard ones had to be added. Once this was done, and the package lists updated, I had a comprehensive software set to choose from.
With Rhythmbox set up, next was to add music to it. Like most distros due to fear of legal issues, Debian doesn’t ship codecs with the distro.
However, it did have a useful tool like Ubuntu to install them when you try to play a restricted format. For AAC files, it did not have a ‘free’ (as in gratis) solution available, however, the people at the Penguin Liberation Front have a repository containing all the necessary files, and so I added that to Debian and continued on.
While doing all of this, I discovered some very useful quirks in Debian. When you move your cursor to the top of the open window, all windows fly onto the desktop and you can choose which one you want. I suspect it is really useful when you are used to it, but I kept setting off without meaning to, and it does get very irritating.
There was a more major bug though. Debian seemed to think that the 2016 Spring release was more up to date than the 2015 one I had. I knew it wasn’t, but a user who didn’t could think that it was and do some damage, as upgrades don’t always go smoothly.
All in all, I liked Debian a lot on Linux VPS Hosting. It has a lot going for it, but sadly the non-functioning wireless makes it a no-go area for me. If this was working, Debian would have been the distro to prise me away from my beloved Ubuntu.