Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 22:16:26 -0700
From: Rick Moen
To: LUV Mailing List
Subject: Re: Best desktop distribution
User-Agent: Mutt/1.3.27i

Quoting Jeremy Lunn (

> To add to that list there is another Debian derivative called Xandros
> which is the company that bought out Corel Linux. As a Debian user I
> obviously favour the user friendly Debian derivatives over other user
> friendly distributions (eg Mandrake).

I look forward to seeing it. Unless something is changed while I wasn't looking, Xandros have so far produced only a private beta.

> Of course anyone willing to learn should try out Debian itself.

Just for the benefit of others, I'll mention that Libranet (which I cited earlier) is a desktop-user-friendly variant of Debian 3.0 "woody", the current almost-cutting-edge "testing" development branch. It has some user software of their own devising, and an easy installer. . Version 1.9.1 is available for download; if you want v. 2.0, you have to buy their boxed set.[1]

Further, you can both install Libranet and try out Debian itself, as follows:

Get a copy of Libranet. Run through its easy installer. Enjoy and get to know its Desktop user environment.

At the time of your choosing, as the root user, comment out all existing lines in /etc/apt/sources.list by prefacing them with the "#" character. Add these new lines, to make available packages in Debian's "testing" branch:

deb testing main non-free contrib
deb testing/non-US main contrib non-free

Save. Run the following command to fetch information on available packages:

apt-get update

Run the following command to upgrade several important packages to current Debian-testing versions, first (as a precaution -- not strictly necessary):

apt-get install libc6 dpkg perl apt-utils apt

Last, upgrade all of your other currently installed versions:

apt-get dist-upgrade

At which point, you've painlessly migrated over to Debian-testing, and can re-synchronise your system against current versions by doing "apt-get update ; apt-get dist-upgrade" again whenever you choose.

Cheers,  The difference between common sense and paranoia is that common sense
Rick Moen     is thinking everyone is out to get you. That's normal; they are.      Paranoia is thinking they're conspiring. -- J. Kegler

[1] Version information cited above is now obsolete. Check the site for current versions. I sometimes have gotten hold of a public beta that I can make available in person only to parties willing to make the ISOs available for public http or ftp access, and will gladly let people who visit CABAL meetings ( and bring blank CDRs make copies.