GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source

Happy 17th birthday Debian

debian logo

I just wanted to post a few lines about Debian today since its the 17th anniversary of the project.

I haven’t been a long time Debian user. I started using GNU/Linux as an experimental project back when RedHat was on version 5. Then one day, I purchased my first distribution. Yes, I paid for it even though I knew I could get it for free, I decided to support with some money by buying the discs at a store. The distribution was RedHat 7. Then I went on with Fedora …and so on.

The thing is that, I never totally stuck using GNU/Linux up until I tried a Debian based distribution: Ubuntu. I always got burned by the RPM hell, so when I switched to using debs and apt-get, I was in heaven. The system was stable, upgrades were easy and I didn’t have to shake and sweat when I hit the update/upgrade button (or command) like with RPM distros. Other people like Eric S. Raymond has also talked about this subject.

Then, when I finally switched to Debian thanks to several friend’s peer pressure (kidding…or not?), I liked it even more. My computer run faster than with Ubuntu, and I learned new tricks and things that I never noticed on Ubuntu.

Although I still don’t consider Debian to be as newbie-friendly distro as Ubuntu is, I still recommend it for new (and interested) people that switch to a GNU/Linux system. My girlfriend switched and she loves it, and she’s not very techie or geeky. Also, the lack of some “user friendlyness” is actually benefical since that forces the user to learn the system, and not think that computers are “magic”. Yes, lack of “magic” can be confused with “annoyance”, but most things are a few shell or aptitude commands away.

So if you’re not a Debian user, try it out! Leave the tricycle (ubuntu) and try a real bike (debian)! If you’re not a GNU/Linux user, try Debian and check out a real, solid, stable operating system…and learn a few tricks (commands, concepts) on the way.

Not most of the best and popular GNU/Linux distributions base their code on Debian for nothing. Check out why and get involved with the great nice and big Debian community.

By Gabriel Saldaña

Gabriel Saldaña is a web developer, photographer and free software advocate. Connect with him on and Twitter