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I was wrong. I was wrong about Debian. Recently I released a video covering why do people not use Debian? In that video, it talked about a couple different things, primarily, their website is absolutely garbage. Apparently, according to you guys, it's supposed to be some sort of a IQ test, which I mean, okay.
The website is horrible, it's a pain to install, there’s just not an up to date operating system and it doesn't have the kind of love and community support as some of the alternatives. Now that video isn't necessarily wrong, but some things were fixed. What I was wrong about is my overall opinion of the operating system.
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So this right here is Debian and I have well, that kind of looks like Ubuntu I promise you it is not this is Debian. I installed it on this kind of not necessarily crappy, but kind of cheap, little computer. It has a What does it have as an Intel older, like CPU, and so it's like, barely a step above a Celeron.
I installed it on here just to kind of try it out and get a feel for it. I find myself using this cheap $200 computer more than anything else, primarily because of the operating system that I put on it. The problem with Debian initially is it's just genuinely kind of out of date and even many past releases had Debian already out of date before the official release.
For me personally, I really started liking the GNOME desktop environments, once it hit version 40, anything three point whatever, before that I just was not a fan of I used KDE, before they came out with 40. The updates of GNOME 40 and up have been awesome. This version of Debian 12 bookworm has Gnome 43.4, which is new enough that it feels like a fresh gnome install. It's not like you're running back into the past, like you were with previous versions of Debian, for example the last release shipped with version 3.38. They did miss version 44, so really, the key difference that I noticed is it’s missing the cool little Bluetooth drop down and a couple other features here and there.
But honestly, 43 is up to date enough for my personal use case. So that in combination with using things like flatpak and whatnot, the "up to date-ness” of it doesn't really seem to be an issue anymore. As most of the things I will want updated are normal applications, while system components are less of a concern, better yet, adding to the overall stability of the system.
As time goes on and we get closer to the 13th release this system might feel dated, but not as much as previous releases. We can always use testing repos if we really need to. But overall, it's been really good. The system really just feels like Ubuntu without all the Canonical crap added to it. There's absolutely no mention of something like Ubuntu Pro, there are no snap packages installed. It's just a base vanilla install, granted they do install a bunch of random small open source games and tools at least when selected the default options.
Now, I talk a little smack on Ubuntu, and you look at my desktop and it looks almost identical to it. Quite honestly I've been using Ubuntu a little bit on that old ThinkPad I’ve featured in some videos. I kind of got used to the dock thing on the side there. Of course with the gnome extensions, and that extension manager application, it's really easy to customize this and get it looking how you want to.
One kind of good thing about this being a slightly downgraded version on the GNOME Desktop, is you're going to have a lot more stability when it comes to the extensions you pick and even more options as there are many that have not been updated to 44 yet. Plus you wont get a random update to the next version breaking your customized desktop.
Actually using the system this has been probably one of the smoothest, snappiest experiences that I've had on this machine. I just got this machine from AceMagician to check out. I'm gonna make a dedicated video on it or a video featuring it somehow. And I've tried a few distros on it including Fedora and EndeavourOS. They all work good. But this is the first time where I've had no issues where I needed to go and fix something or find some sort of workaround to get something working and everything just seems to be working out of the box.
Another thing that has gotten much better is the installation process using the net installer, which is what I opted for this time, because in previous attempts to install Debian it didn't have the non-free drivers pre-included, which this one did. The devices I tried to install it on in the past didn't have the proper Wi Fi drivers. So I wasn't able to use the net installer causing me to have to dig around though their website to try and find what I needed. In this case with at least this machine the installation process was pretty simple. There were some things that weren't quite like newbie friendly, such as the proxy servers and knowing to skip the root password page. Overall, it was fairly straight forward.
The only negative experience I had was with this GTR 7 here, which has the new 7000 series of Ryzen CPUs, and it's a beast of a machine but it really had a rough time with Debian, the graphics performance was lackluster compared to Fedora which I currently have on it. So if you're running like bleeding edge hardware, Debian still isn't going to be your best bet. But anything more than like a year or two old is going to be fine.
And that is my updated review on Debian. Overall, it's a great system and frankly, it's been running great on this laptop and I'm probably going to change out Ubuntu for Debian on that older ThinkPad.