Debian 8.1 Jessie (small rant)

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by pandlouk, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Does anyone else here use Debian?

    Yesterday, I had to install it on a system (of a client) and had encountered a nasty bug that stops/stalls the installation before it even begins. No log, no nothing to help in troubleshooting... After spending about 3 hours and a dozen of attempts with various isos (net install, full dvds, etc.) 64 bit and 32 bit I finally managed to install it (after formatting the partitions to fat32 with an ubuntu live distro).

    The bug in question is
    https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=767682
    and it seems that the installer refuses to format an ext4 partition where grub resides.

    What surprised me the most is that the bug is marked as important...o_O not serious, not grave, not critical...
    A bug that will leave experienced debian users scratching their heads (since without a log or an error message one can only guess) and newcomers give up after the first 2-3 attempts. A bug that stops the installation before it even begins.:oops: And it seems that existed in all rcs and stable jessie installers.:blink:

    Bottomline: Once upon a time Debian used to be a great distro known for its stability. The last couple of years it seems to become less and less stable (I've lost count on how many nasty bugs I've encountered in 2014-2015, caused from updates on the stable distribution).:rolleyes:

    ps. how big was the developers, maintainers split last year?

    Panagiotis
     
  2. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

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    I have to agree that Debian seems more buggy now than it used to be.
    I installed it a couple of times in the last months and finally went with something else soon.
    LMDE is a fine Debian derivative.
     
  3. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I am running jessie cinnamon and had no issues with the install. I always end of fighting with it tweaking little things that are virtually automatic with Ubuntu and other flavors. Is your client a linux geek? Just asking because to me Debian is great for someone (like me) that wants to keep getting under the hood and really learn what makes things tick. For someone that just wants to use a system and has no interest in knowing why something works, I don't think Deb is the way to go.

    On the other hand, Debian will be good for your job security. LOL!
     
  4. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    I have not tried the latest Mint Debian derivate (in previous editions I had some weird problems with the localisation). Probably will give it another shot in the near future.

    Panagiotis
     
  5. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    You won't encounter this bug if the grub is installed in the mbr.
    Same here... right after the installation I always spent 5-10 minutes to do some tweaking... but this is the "beauty" of debian.
    No, is not a geek. I installed it on a small office system and is used mainly for work, emails and little internet browsing. I had made for them a database and a calendar to fit their needs with Libreoffice Base and Calc and are more than happy with linux.
    From when xp stopped being supported, and after installing various linux editions for different clients that did not want to buy new systems or to upgrade to 8.x, I found out that most people get used really quick once the OS is installed and configured.

    Panagiotis
     
  6. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    pandlouk,

    We definitely agree on Debian. After only a few weeks of using it I am growing fond of its characteristics. I didn't initially notice the part of your post about ext4 where grub resides. My /boot and loader are on ext2 removable flash media, while the OS is LVM on LUKS. My family uses 10 Pro on one partition and I don't allow M$ any possible access to /boot or the linux loader - EVER. I try to keep 10 Pro locked down with FDE using TrueCrypt, so it "sits there and nothing else" while I use Debian. I even verify the mbr, which is on sda of course, never changes even on byte. Once verified I enter the Debian world and play!!

    I am still playing with DE's for Debian but I have to say that Cinnamon meets my needs quite well. I have a high end processor and lots of RAM so that might account for being so smooth. Don't know but its slick!

    Like you, but on a smaller personal level, I installed Linux for a few friends on older XP machines. They have been amazed how well and fast it works. Its basic internet surfing and nothing for a business like you did!
     
  7. AutoCascade

    AutoCascade Registered Member

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  8. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Now that would be a great outcome. According to the article Debian is about 85% there already. One thing I struggled with when compiling truecrypt over the years is that my outcome was NEVER identical, which made confirmation sketchy! My builds were good but how would a stranger trust them? How can a user trust a public binary when nobody can build an outcome that matches the sha256/512 ---ever!

    Show me a Debian version with a REQUIRED reproducible build for all its components and I'ld say sign me up!! We could parse out the tasks and basically everyone is helping to "have others backs" so to speak. Love the idea.
     
  9. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Interesting but also contradicting.
    Last year Debian switched over to systemd as a default init system, an init system developed from Red Hat that gets a lot of income from CIA and other USA goverment agencies.

    Panagiotis
     
  10. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Interesting conclusion that ignores the fact that Debian isn't the one receiving this income and is free to choose whatever system they want. Somehow you've confused Debian for a Red Hat product which it is not.
     
  11. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    I confused nothing.
    i'm only saying that deciding to go with an init system that is developed with the contribution of CIA and then trying to keep the system free of CIA backdoors is at least hilarious.

    Panagiotis
     
  12. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Apart from that this has been discussed in another thread here at length, the debate about introducing systemd in Debian had been very heated. Don't you think that during that debate the developers meticulously checked its source code?
     
  13. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Don't bring logic to the illogical.
     
  14. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Maybe they did or maybe they didn't. Fact is that the adoption of systemd lead to a split of their developers and to the creation of Devuan as an systemd free alternative.
    People have a wrong impression that a developer/maintainer of a package in an unix distribution goes through the source code everytime it performs an update... most of the time you simply get the source and recompile it for the distribution, only if there is a bug you go hunting to the compiler's settings and if not fixed at the source code.

    e.g. where debian failed to release a security patch of a high severity vulnerability only because it was not clasified as a security advisory
    High severity vulnerability found in Linux GNU C library
    Says someone who earlier commented that I had confused Debian for a Red Hat product.:argh:

    Panagiotis
     
  15. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Yes, but that had nothing to do with systemd being "spyware" - there were other reasons.
    Of course, they don't (that would be simply impossible in the case of large packages) - but they usually go over the diffs. So an experienced maintainer will quickly see what changed in the source code.

    Because the relevance of that bug as a critical vulnerability was not recognized - yes, such things can happen. How is this related to what we were discussing above?
     
  16. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Correct but there were also concerns about NSA influence that were also raised even before the split. https://lwn.net/Articles/578344/
    This is only an assumption or what ideally should be done. Debian developers are people some are great in their work, some are good, and some not so good or even bad in their work (same thing that happens in all fields). Assuming that everyone is doing his work correctly is only positive thinking but not the reallity.
    So according to you, the maintainers do not even bother to read the description of the patches, only their flags, but they go over and read the diffs in the source code? o_O

    Panagiotis
     
  17. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    That has nothing to do with logic, it's a knock on your flawed assumptions. But this is a pointless debate, so nevermind.
     
  18. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    It has to do with your logic and how you elaborated in your mind, what I wrote earlier...

    At least we agree on that, indeed is pointless... your assumed that I wrote that debian is on CIA payroll which I did not.

    And for being clear I'm not saying that debian has or has not backdoors. I'm only saying that using code written from someone influenced from NSA and then trying to keep NSA out of your system is... funny.

    Panagiotis
     
  19. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    There are always conspiracy theories.

    If you don't trust Linux and specifically Debian developers and since you're a Windows user anyhow according to your signature, it's probably best if you stick with it. :mad:

    I'm sure that they read the description but I don't know what the description of that specific patch had said.
     
  20. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    And a lot of them have proven reality in the recent years.
    I trust no-one that I do not personally know.
    I'm a mac, a windows and a linux user. And in difference with most fanboys (mac or windows or linux) I'm a user of all three OSes for more than two decades now. So, take your advice/anger elsewhere....
    As for the signature, I list windows apps because wilderssecurity is a windows security oriented forum.
    This is only your assumption/conviction... it could be true or could be false.

    Panagiotis
     
  21. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Aha! But everything you said about NSA etc. are hard facts ... LOL!
     
  22. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    Debian is known for being stable, but that is more marketing than actual stability.

    They take security pretty damn serious and patch things quicker than any other distro, but they're stability doesn't deserve all the fuss.

    Debian installers are, most of the times, OK. This is if we're considering Stable installers, because the other ones are prone to not work. Not only the Debian team hasn't changed the installer in 50 years, it seems they can't handle them. I have a copy of an older "mini.iso" (found that their ftp server) that works to this date; funny that I downloaded the most recent sid installer and it gave me an error about difference in Kernel versioning from the one at the CD to the one at the server. WHAT? So my old ISO with kernel-3.16 works to install sid, but not the latest iso?

    Then there are issues like ffmpeg, SELinux support, and other things that aparently didn't make it into Jessie. Nice, very nice.

    Then there's the fact that Debian is a very complex distro, and that sid isway buggier than it should be. Sid's software is older than Arch and yet Arch is much more stable. Heck, Ubuntu snapshots are more Stable than Sid sometimes hehehehe.

    So yeah, I too noticed how Debian is becoming more unstable.

    BTW, it's not marked is "important" by the developers. It's the submitting user who marks that. I think.
     
  23. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    True, SELinux policy is missing. However, that's optimized for RHEL and derivatives, and it's not easy to write one that works reliably on another distro. But hey, AppArmor is available on Debian! Now compare that with Arch where support for AppArmor and SELinux and Tomoyo is completely disabled unless you compile your own kernel.
     
  24. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    Just remember that Arch has only 30 developers, while Debian has thousands ;)

    Plus, grsecurity is way better than SELinux or Apparmor.
     
  25. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    Agreed. However, this applies only to SELinux as it is difficult to re-write its policy for Arch. AppArmor (available from the AUR) works very well, though, with a self-compiled kernel, and you can't really compare it with SELinux as it is normal and easy at the same time to modify/adjust existing profiles with aa-logprof. Thus, not much work would have to be done by Arch developers.

    Unfortunately I can't use it as it is incompatible with VirtualBox.
     
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