Saturday, August 2, 2014

Huff! Hello, Debian Wheezy 7.6!

Yesterday I decided to format my computer and install Debian Wheezy. There was no data loss, of course; because any rational person would separate their /home partition. In a future I'm hoping for a more "complex" solution as in extending my /home partition when I install a new hard drive disk.

Why go back to old libraries and applications?

You might be thinking. If you aren't a Linux Developer or a developer of any type, chances are that a rolling-release is an overkill choice, this is my honest take on rolling-release distributions, or even semi-rolling. Yes, there may be libraries, applications that delivers certain bugfixes you need. However I believe that the cost of stability is too high for such pesky problems. Let's say you use Thunderbird from stable (Icedove, I love it so much). There's this bug preventing you to use it.

My initial take is to download the official binaries from Thunderbird site, set up a PATH for it and be done with it. In fact I do have several paths for applications. I also have a local application so I don't override my distributions libraries/applications:

# david at debianbox in ~ [12:24:01]
$ echo $PATH

I live on the (bleeding) edge!

I used to do that too! Personally, like I said I just don't find a purpose of doing so. I learned something from Slackware's way of upgrading. If everything is working perfectly, even modern applications, then why bother upgrading at all? I'll keep using Wheezy until Debian decides to drop support. (My thoughts may change over time, not everything is black and white)

The Exceptions

Normally. There are always exceptions. For example, you take your time testing Debian jessie and spend the time filling bug reports, etc. I find that truly wonderful and I thank you for your time!

You need the latest libraries because you are developing a software that requires it. It could be because the library uses new features, etc. I've always found it a bit distasteful that developers sometimes forgets users that aren't using an "up-to-date" distribution.

Why I say this? Well, yesterday I ran into a problem where Steam launcher was compiled against a newer version of libc6, this was quite worrisome because 1) I had a slightly older version, it wasn't so old 2) I already had an idea on how to fix it, luckily there was this awesome contribution that already provided a debian package.

The hardware you bought is not supported until you use the newest kernel or need the module requires a newer kernel.


The downgrade wasn't bad at all, everything worked. Except Dolphin, for some reason I had to wipe out all the configuration because there was a dbus problem.

Aside from that. I compiled MPD/Cantata. Installed Steam, everything else was straightforward. I installed all the 32bit libraries so WINE could function, in matter of minutes I was already running Guild Wars 2, Torchlight, TripleTown and some other games I have installed.

It sort of bring a peace of mind. I was already getting tired of running apt-get dist-upgrade every 3 days, yea I could automate it--let's be honest that's one of the most horrible ideas ever, you don't do automatic upgrades in an unstable distribution. Only masochists do that!

There was a problem with my Debian sid. I won't lie, there were several problems with it. The main one: Random freezes. I'm not talking about X server freezing on me. I'm talking about a whole computer freeze, and the thing about this freeze is that it never logged anything. I couldn't file a report to the kernel people because I didn't have anything to offer and I couldn't post a thread because I don't know what was triggering it.

Random freezes were my blue screen of death. I couldn't restart X server, I couldn't switch to a different TTY and syslog/dmesg didn't show anything.

I could have installed Debian sid back again. But for what? My mind was set that at this moment I didn't feel like dealing with that stuff.

I hope this doesn't come down as a pretentious post. This is my honest take on stuff. Feel free to comment!

1 comment:

  1. So, can you give me some tips to get Steam and Wine working on Debian 7.6.
    Steam keeps giving me problems when I try to install the pkg. Libc6 has something to with this, certainly... But I don't understand it.
    And Wine... Just doesn't works. Installation never finishes (or some like that) and it doesn't appear anywhere (good reason to think that all the installations are in vain :/)
    I'm new using linux based OSs, but I thought I could handle this. So... Please, help me!