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I upgraded my desktop yesterday to Debian 'Jessie' 8.0. Can't say it went smoothly. First of all, lot of packages got deleted; no biggie there, easily reinstalled. However, the kernel didn't got upgraded, which caused quite some problems during first boot. The worst part however, was that I was using an incompatible Gnome theme. This did cause segfaults of many Gnome applications, such as gnome-terminal. Quite strange that Gnome cannot catch those kind of exceptions. I would expect that Gnome would revert to a default theme in those cases.

It took a while to find the cause of that (adding a new user and charging up a desktop succeeded fine, so I knew this was a user config error); in the end, the next couple of lines fixed all of my issues :

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme Ambiance
$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme Radiance

Shame that Gnome 3 is so ugly. Why all that grey-black,and those rounded message boxes ? I really miss the days of Gnome 2's default look and the Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface...

The Lenny problem


It's sad to see how the Debian project come to a complete halt every time a new release is imminent. I won't say much about the problems raging through the project, but I do want to remark this : I can't help to conclude that Debian

- regularly succeeds to drive away brilliant people, such as Manoj
- sometimes exhibits a behavior that mimics the worst bureaucratic institution.

So whether you're working in a community driven project, of in a large hierarchic enterprise, in the end, it all boils down to one point : everyone wants to be a manager.

IceWeasel, IceDove


So, Debian has finally decided to rename Firefox and Thinderbird to IceWeasel and IceDove. Why all the fuss was all about, I still don't know, but I do find the Iceweasel rename job stupid. Why Debian simply didn't shove Firefox and Thunderbird in non-free beats me.

The 'dist-upgrade' dilemma


Is it me or is every 'dist-upgrade' of unstable giving back dreadfull results ? There was a time I upgraded my Debian sid almost every week, while now I tend to wait 6 to 8 weeks to upgrade. Yesterday evening, I dist-upgraded with lots of trouble, and found myself without an X-server suddenly. The 'startx' command didn't reported an error, but didn't started an X session either. When looking at the process list, I found the X server process being replaced with the 'true' command, typical when you don't have an X server installed.

Luckily, there's the Debian Wiki page StatusOfUnstable which told me several people had problems with this. The fact that the amd64 repositories were outdated, and that they were integrated in the default repo was also an interesting read.

In the end, everything was sorted out, but it took me one hour and a half to straighten things up, not counting the dist-upgrade process.
So, it seems I have a dilemma :

* Debian sid has really become unstable, since sarge has been released, up to the fact that dist-upgrading is breaking things every time.
* I have become an other computer user, where I don't have the time and energy to dig into problems. And problems allways arise when you have something urgent to do. I just want a stable desktop, though I really like the quick update cycle of sid.

So, my decision has been made : once Ubuntu Dapper will be released, I will make the switch.

"Unstable is just that"


After Kai Hendry 'nuked' his Debian unstable system by a simple upgrade, he decided to put up a wiki page which lists the status of unstable. An interesting page you might consult before upgrading your system. I have had my share of unstable problems too, but after checking the Bug Tracking System I often quickly found a solution. Of course, you could install 'apt-listbugs' too, which will print a summary of all RC-bugs before each upgrade.
Oh yes, I've encountered 3l33t leenuks idiots on IRC too, on both camps (Fedora and Debian), but luckily there are still lots of people willing to help you out.


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