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 Responses to “In praise of Debian 5”


  1. 1 darkduck 2011/03/16 at 6:12 PM

    The beauty of FOSS is that there is no restrictions on which version you are going to use. Even if it is not officially supported, you can make your own code improvements.
    Something like I wrote in here: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tr-out-loud/why-free-software-really-isnt-and-shouldnt-be-free/3617

  2. 2 cwsnyder 2011/03/20 at 7:45 AM

    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).


  1. 1 Links 19/3/2011: KiWi PC Bring GNU/Linux to Seniors, ASUS Comes Back to Linux for Sub-notebooks | Techrights Trackback on 2011/03/20 at 4:26 AM

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Welcome!



Visit the Wiki!

Some recent desktops


May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF
 


May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games


Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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