Lilbits (8-16-2013): Debian turns 20

Debian has been around for 20 years, and we’re only on version 7.1 of the open source, community-supported operating system. That’s because the folks behind this operating system like to take their time.

Whereas Ubuntu launches a new version of its Linux-based operating system every six months, rain or shine, Debian releases are ready when they’re ready… and when they are ready, they’re usually pretty dang stable.

Debian also places and emphasis on free software (free as in free for anyone to modify, not as in the apps don’t cost anything — although most don’t), but can also run some non-free software. All told, there are tens of thousands of apps available for Debian, including LibreOffice, Firefox, Chromium, VLC, Flash, and more.

Debian 7 Wheezy

Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.

  • Debian Linux turns 20
    Debian might not get as much attention as its offspring, Ubuntu. But this operating system has built a reputation for rock solid stability. [Debian]
  • Rumor/leak: LG to build Google Nexus 5 on the way
    It’s said to have glass on the back like the Nexus 4, but a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and 5.2 inch display like the LG G2. [Tinhte]
  • Cerberus exploit could let attacker control your Android phone (if you have Cerberus installed)
    Cerberus is a pretty nifty security tool for Android phones that lets you track your phone, remotely wipe your device, snap a photo, or send a message if your phone goes missing (or if you’re bored and want to freak out your spouse while they’re playing Dots). Unfortunately there seems to be a pretty major security vulnerability that could let a hacker take control of your phone — although it would be hard for anyone to target specific individuals. [ifc0nfig] Update: The vulnerability has been fixed in the latest version of Cerberus. 
  • Toshiba Excite Pro reviewed
    Toshiba’s new $500 tablet has a 10 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel display and an NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor. The reviewer was still unimpressed. [Android Central]
  • E Ink reports a loss… may or may not mean anything about popularity of eBook readers
    The company that makes the ePaper displays for most eReaders reported a loss last quarter. Meanwhile smartphone and tablet sales continue to grow. Are people choosing to read on shiny color displays instead of E Ink? It’s a bit early to draw that conclusion… but maybe. [The Digital Reader]
  • Demo video shows NFC working on a Samsung smartphone running Tizen
    Tizen is an open source Linux-based operating system that might launch one of these days. Samsung’s likely to be one of the first device makers to offer Tizen phones, and here’s a video showing a Samsung prototype with working NFC capabilities. [Phone Arena]

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  • digi_owl

    One reason for its reputation is the community’s conservative stance on licensing. They even felt the need to rebrand Firefox…

  • Anon E Mouse

    Your article, by omitting certain key facts, paints a very inaccurate picture for the casual, uninformed, reader with the statement

    “Whereas Ubuntu launches a new version of its Linux-based operating system every six months, rain or shine, Debian releases are ready when they’re ready…”

    This probably gives the impression to most that Ubuntu is working flat out to create most of its packages from the latest source code, whereas Debian has a laid back and slow approach.

    What you have failed to mention is that Debian has three main versions of packages — the “stable” official released version, as described in your article, which is derived from a frozen version of the “testing” version, a rolling version derived in turn from the “unstable”, still in deverlopment viz sid, bleeding edge version.

    Ubuntu long term releases are in fact (apart from Ubuntu only software such as Unity) repackaged versions of Debian testing, and the intermediate versions are repackaged versions of Debian unstable.

    If there was no Debian, there would be no Ubuntu.

    Since the purpose of your articles is to inform those who are not conversant with the details, you should not omit such key facts from your articles.