In praise of Debian 5

That’s right: Debian 5. Not 6, 5. I touched on that point briefly in a post early last week, but didn’t get the chance to expound upon it too much. Real life intruded.

But the overarching idea is the fact that Debian 6 requires slightly more memory as a bare minimum. For old-old-old machines that fall below that 43Mb mark by default, they’re going to require upgrades to stay current (technically speaking, of course).

On the other hand though, 32 megabytes, which was a common watermark among late-generation Pentiums, is still very much accessible to Debian 5.

Very much. That photo frame I mentioned a week or two ago has enough processor, video and memory power to handle

  1. Awesome 2, which is for some people, a preferable version anyway;
  2. ssh and nfs, for transferring files and controlling the system remotely;
  3. feh, a very very light image viewer with some amazing features that you won’t find in your ordinary GTK2-reliant image application;
  4. and cmus, which might hold the top spot — or should I say low spot? — among console music players.

And it can do all those things at the same time, which is mind-boggling in a way. Thirty-two megabytes and 133Mhz on a lowly Trident video card. Barely worth keeping.

But what you can make of it is a remote music player with a slideshow visualizer, and probably for less money than it would cost you to feed your belly.

True, it’s old-stable, which means it’s one step off from Debian’s current rendition, but it’s not unusable, it’s solid as a rock and probably won’t fight you in setting up.

And if it keeps another machine out of the landfill … well, that’s just perfect.

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3 thoughts on “In praise of Debian 5

  1. Pingback: Links 19/3/2011: KiWi PC Bring GNU/Linux to Seniors, ASUS Comes Back to Linux for Sub-notebooks | Techrights

  2. cwsnyder

    The same comment was made when Lenny went stable and Etch became old stable. I still have a Knoppix 5.11 cd which I use as a general purpose trouble-shooting boot cd (based on Debian Etch and Knoppix 3.5) because it will boot and run on most old computers which will boot from CD. For the same reason, if Knoppix 5.11 won’t boot with 16M of RAM, I use Damn Small Linux (2.4.x Linux kernel).

    Reply

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