Why Debian 8 Jessie and Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid
Debian 8 Jessie currently is RC1, it will be the first release with systemd and Gnome 3.14, which finally works as in a human way.
I could try Ubuntu GNOME but I decided to go back to the origins, so a “pure” Debian GNU/Linux with just the pieces of Ubuntu that I use.
NOTE: this is a frankenstein set up that works for me, do it at your own risk.
Kernel Linux 3.18.5 for btrfs
The kernel provided by Debian Jessie is 3.16, I can understand the conservative policies, but latest stable kernel is 3.18.5 and in the meanwhile many btrfs improvents happened.
Currently I’m using Ubuntu 12.04 + zfs (openZFS) and I’m satisfied with it, but with btrfs the performances and the maintainability of this advanced filesystem should be better.
The fastest way to try the new stable kernel is via the Ubuntu kernel debs http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.18.5-vivid/
linux-headers-3.18.5-031805_3.18.5-031805.201501292218_all.deb linux-headers-3.18.5-031805-generic_3.18.5-031805.201501292218_amd64.deb linux-image-3.18.5-031805-generic_3.18.5-031805.201501292218_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get install module-init-tools sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-3.18.5*.deb linux-image-3.18.5*.deb
In case of mess, I’ve forced the package removal with:
sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq packageName
Snapper for btrfs snapshot managing
It is very useful to do periodic snapshots and diffs. Snapper http://snapper.io/tutorial.html come from OpenSuse, but you can use it also on other distros.
sudo apt-get install snapper
Wireless broadcom & radeon firmware
Ubuntu has it out of the box, with Debian you have to install the proprietary firmware manually. If your wifi works you don’t need to do it.
sudo apt-get install firmware-linux firmware-linux-free firmware-linux-nonfree
I like to have a stable operating system but also some newer softwares, with Ubuntu is easy, with Debian you can do almost the same. It doesn’t alwais work, because a software may depend to different Ubuntu specific packages.
add-apt-repository, you can do it manually but is boring
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
- register a new PPA (example: Firefox)
- replace “jessie” with a correct ubuntu release, you have to do it
- install or update the sw as usual
sudo apt-get update && sudo
apt-get install firefox
GNOME tweaks & dock
The default font is ugly, but you can change it via
Fira, Droid Sans, Roboto, anything but the default
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool gnome-font-viewer
Debian is a known indipendent community distro, it has been chosen also to be the base of the most Docker Images and with a few commands is possible to use many mainstream softwares packaged for Ubuntu PPA.