Thursday, 14 January 2010

Giving a Squeeze

Guess what? Yup, it's that time again, when I bore you with one of my infrequent and random update posts.
Remember how I said I was using Debian Lenny?

I went off it. Lenny is missing too much, and is too far outdated to be usable - at least, that's my opinion, now I've upgraded to Squeeze.
Debian Squeeze, for those who don't know, is the testing branch - not the unstable one, sid.
Squeeze is happily plugging away perfectly, and curing so many of the problems I had with Debian.
I experimented a bit with KDE again. Now, knowing my ancient laptop, you might think that would be suicide for it, but did you know, you can remove a lot of the heavyness of KDE by using an Openbox/KDE session? At least, it worked for me.
I also take back negative things I've said about it. Once you get the hang of it, it's not actually as bad as I thought.
That was, however, the current KDE backported to Lenny - on Squeeze, it mysteriously slowed down.
So I've gone back to good old GNOME.
My only issue so far, has been with Frostwire. It needed something that wasn't in the repository, but after a helpful chappy on the Debian IRC channel referred me to the Debian Multimedia repository, all was solved.

In short? If you're thinking of using Debian, I'd say go for Squeeze. Lenny is uber-stable, but also full of old material. Squeeze is also stable - at least, I've had no stability issues - if anything, it's fewer.
Also, a useful point for people. If you change your Debian sources.list file (Note: not all 3rd party repositories support doing this, if you get 404 errors, change it back to lenny/squeeze) so that wherever lenny appears, it's replaced with stable, and for Squeeze, testing, then when Squeeze becomes stable, you'll automatically get the updates for it - and the same for when Sid becomes testing, and something else takes the place of Sid as unstable.

Another interest of mine lately is Longene, the Unified Kernel project. While I've not tried it, it's remained something of an intrigue to me.
It aims to be Wine and a bit more. Firstly you add a package that adds a kernel entry. This kernel supports both Windows and Linux calls, as I understand it, which improves handling of Windows programs.
Secondly, you add a second package, which patches Wine, so it understands what to do.
Apparently, this increases compatibility considerably.
Some people may find this useful, but be warned, as the first package is actually a kernel module, you may find that it's incompatible with other kernel modules, such as the proprietary NVIDIA graphics drivers for one.
If you do decide to use it, be aware of that, and of course - BACKUP.
(Which you should do anyway)

That's all from me for now. Keep on enjoying the new year.
Rock on.

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