I’m charmed by the latest Debian release because I was looking for a lightweight Linux distro that would install on this old laptop I got from work. I remembered tested Debian a while ago as a virtual machine, and I just liked the feel it gave. It seems to me that it’s a very robust and stable release with a really top-notch updating and installing mechanism built in. Ubuntu is in fact built on top of Debian, so that explains a few things, doesn’t it?
Debian however has a “net install” CD that is only 180 MB large to install the full OS, which is impressive. After that anything you want to install in addition you have to download using the handy update feature, but in a way this could end up saving you more bandwidth as you only spent 180 MB anyway on the installation ISO, and a lighter system since you don’t install all sort of stuff you don’t really need by default.
This baby installed like a charm on the laptop, which wasn’t the case for Ubuntu which I tried first. I’m not sure why, but the installation was extremely slow, which I think is because there is a hardware problem with the laptops CD-ROM drive. Nothing Ubuntu can do about that, so that’s no biggy.
Debian did install properly however, which was also because the installation process is more detailed and controllable for more advanced computer users (read: geeks), which allowed me to continue anyway after it detected a problem with reading the CD, which halted Ubuntu automatically. Apparently Etch did manage to cope with the issues afterwards, so I got it installed anyway. Yay!
Once running, it boots quickly, takes a minimum of system resources and looks sweet! I’m comparing the system resources to what I expect from Windows XP btw, and not other Linux distro’s, and it’s impressive.
So if you’re looking for a lightweight download for a kick ass Linux distro, you might want to consider Etch, the latest of Debian. It rawks!