Debian on Steroids II: The Libranet Workout

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After opening beta testing to all levels of users, Libranet 2.8 is easier to install, configure and integrate.

Libranet 2.8 is now available by download or, for the broadband challenged like me, on CDs ordered directly from Libra Computer Systems, Ltd., in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As the Linux Journal site previously posted a detailed review of Libranet 2.7, this article concerns the changes and improvements in Libranet 2.8 that would interest the desktop user and how they got there.

Libranet is a commercial Debian distribution. If you hold the belief that Debian Linux is genuine only if it doesn't cost anything, then read no further. Commercial Debian distributions do, indeed, exist. Some, such as Storm, Progeny and Corel Linux, have come and gone, whether for good reasons or bad, but Libranet and Xandros (as well as the Xandros derivative Lindows) are still around. How long they exist depends, of course, on whether Linux users feel such distributions are worth paying for.

I think Libranet is worth paying for. My first Debian experience was with Corel Linux. My initial exuberance was quickly smothered by the absence of support from Corel, followed by Corel's corporate decision to abandon Linux and its customers who paid for their retail Linux products.

After that, I returned to Caldera Open Linux. After months of struggle and quite a bit of help from Caldera's tech support--yes, Caldera did have tech support and it was good--I managed to extract WordPerfect 8.1. WP 8.1 was the substantially enhanced version of WordPerfect 8 for Linux that came with Corel Linux deluxe, and I installed it on Caldera Open Linux 2.3, an RPM distribution. Caldera followed with eDesk 2.4, a saintly distribution that had it all. In fact, I still run eDesk 2.4 on one of my boxes. However, Caldera followed Corel in abandoning its desktop users. I then tried Storm Linux. I fumbled and stumbled around in the classic Debian environment. By the time I got the hang of it and decided to buy the Storm package, it was too late. Storm was gone too; a lot of people freeloaded Storm, but not enough bought it.

Then I read a post on a mail-list about Libranet and tried it. To me, Libranet 1.9.0 seemed to provide the reliability of Debian with the sensation of refinement and well designed administration tools that I had come to appreciate with Caldera eDesk 2.4.

I've stayed with Libranet ever since. Each successive Libranet release has been an evolutionary step towards ease of installation, system administration and, as the bottom line, functionality for the desktop user.

How Libranet evolves is itself evolutionary. Libranet 2.7, the predecessor, had a small beta group. For Libranet 2.8, about 80 users with skills ranging from beginner to guru were brought in. The beta testers talked to one another and the developers on a special mail-list. Every issue raised was discussed and resolved in an open forum that included all of the beta testers. While some of the beta testers posted problems that experienced Linux users might dismiss as sophomoric, they did identify a number of potential pitfalls a first-time Linux user could encounter. For example, a simple change to a configuration dialog box reduces the likelihood of selecting the wrong CD drive as the Libranet package installer's default. For all of these bugs and issues, beta testers could communicate directly with the programmers and watch the changes and development take place as a team.

Libranet 2.8 is the result. It is built on Linux kernel 2.4.20, XFree86 4.3, KDE 3.1.1 and GNOME 2.2.1, along with IceWM, Fluxbox and Xfce.

The installation utility remains classic Libranet, meaning it's basically interactive text with automatic hardware detection. Libranet veterans will be pleasantly surprised when, after the base system is installed and rebooted, Libranet configures video. Fans of nVIDIA will be pleased to know that Libranet offers to install the accelerated nVIDIA drivers without having to go through the download and compile ritual. Also new is the facility for setting display text DPI proportionate to the selected resolution and the monitor's diagonal dimension.

Figure 1. AdminMenu --> X --> DPI

Users of the popular ATI Radeon cards should be aware that Libranet installs the ATI driver with 3-D acceleration disabled. A bug in XFree86 4.3 makes KDE lock up during log out when direct rendering is enabled. This affects only certain Radeon cards; I enabled it for my Radeon 7000 with no ill effect. A simple edit of /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 takes care of it, or you can reconfigure X with Adminmenu.

With X up and running, Libranet's graphic package installer lets the user custom tailor the installation. Responding to user requests, Libranet now lets you examine the features in each package group and select packages individually if you want. I selected a full system, less inapplicable laptop and networking support. Remember, this is a desktop-oriented discussion.

One complaint about Libranet is the lack of a progress meter to show how much of the installation remains.

While watching the installation log scroll by as the packages were installed, I thought about the Windows vs. Linux argument: "Windows is easy to install while Linux is complicated." After about 45 minutes, I had 2.8GB of Libranet 2.8 installed. Video was auto-detected and configured for color depth and resolution, the wheelmouse scrolled, sound worked and my modem and printer were configured. Furthermore, I could write a letter with a choice of word processors: OpenOffice.org 1.0.2, KOffice 1.2.1 and Abiword 1.1.4, among others. For internet connection, Mozilla 1.3, Opera 6.12 and various other browsers are available.

On the other hand, I recently installed Windows on my computer. After installing Windows and rebooting, I then installed the VIA 4-in-1 chipset driver and rebooted. Next, I installed the sound driver and rebooted, then the video driver and rebooted. Then I installed WordPerfect Office, rebooting several more times. Indeed, Windows is easier to install than is Libranet Linux--about as much as Florida swampland is a great investment. Actually, the only reason Windows is easier to install than Libranet is it comes already installed and set up on many machines. I suspect that is the real reason you cannot by a brand-name desktop or laptop without Windows. If people really knew how "easy" Windows is to install and make usable, they wouldn't use it.

By the time my philosophical analysis of the Windows-Linux debate was over, it was time to finish setting up Libranet. Not much was left to do really.

Libranet's default window manager is IceWM. Other window managers provided, besides KDE and GNOME, include Fluxbox and Xfce. I prefer Xfce for older, slower computers with less than 192MB of RAM. Xfce has an attractive and functional desktop with low system overhead.

I use KDE, so my next step was setting up the desktop. A common complaint from Libranet neophytes is they have to set up device icons on the KDE or GNOME desktop. Hidden in the KDE Control Center (Desktop --> Behavior --> Devices) is a utility for posting drive icons on the desktop.

Figure 2. KDE Control Center --> Desktop --> Behavior

A welcome improvement from the previous version is CUPS now works out of the box and no longer requires tinkering with config files. Because Libranet sets up a CUPS printer during install, if it is IEEE 1284 compliant, you are ready to print. Libranet also sets up the free evaluation version of TurboPrint, which works nicely along with CUPS. Printer preferences and properties can be adjusted with Adminmenu.

Figure 3. Xadminmenu --> Printers

Setting up a USB scanner also is easier in Libranet 2.8. Running USB devices as a user no longer requires elaborate tinkering with permissions. If you dual-boot Windows, Libranet's installer lets you select user access to the Windows partition too.

I prefer WordPerfect 8 for my writing chores, so I installed WP8.1 from my old Corel Linux deluxe CD. Libranet's WP compatibility package makes this uneventful, and wheelmouse scrolling is easy to set up too. I also use Applix 5.0, and thanks to Libranet's included RPM support, installing Applix also is not a crusade. The same goes for Star Office 6.0. Because Libranet is real Debian, I had to add exec to the /etc/fstab CD-ROM lines in order to install applications from a CD. I have been playing with WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux, and it installed without complaint too.

Libranet 2.8 offers the desktop user all of the latest Linux productivity applications over a Debian foundation. But it is not only for work. Use it to play a game or watch a DVD movie while waiting for creative inspiration.

Libranet's proprietary features are ease of installation and administration. While based on the rock-solid Debian Woody, Libranet also includes up-to-date applications from the Debian testing and unstable versions, making sure that everything works smoothly and together. Updates come from Sarge, the testing branch. Is that worth paying for? With a full 30-day refund guarantee, trying it yourself is the best way to answer the question.

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new file engine search

Anonymous's picture

I surfed all the web till found the best searcher. Films, picts, mp3’s, videos and lots more at http://newfileengine.com/

Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Exploring the gnu/linux world is an adventure. One that I probably never would have entered, had I been required to pay a toll. And gnu/linux would not be where it is today, nor would there be a linuxjournal, if there had been tolls at the outset, or even now.

My first foray into gnu/linux was with a cheapbytes version of Mandrake. Yet I wanted to test, and become familiar with, more than one distro. So I also ordered Red Hat. Or Red Tie. Or whatever hoops Red Hat is making cheapbytes jump through for naming there iso versions of the red hat distro.

I tried mandrake, but didn't keep it. I tried red hat/red tie/red whatever, but didn't keep it either. I tried several others, but didn't keep them either. I eventually got to suse, a few releases back, and settled on that distro. I have since paid for two full professional versions of suse. I have been using it for more than a year, and I was happy with it for the most part, until I started running into problems with online update.

Due to the problems with online update, I decided to look into debian. Debian's install is too much of a hassle for me to figure out. So I figured I'd try a different version based on debian. I finally got my cd burner working on suse, even though the sym links are confused, the icons and fstab entries are wrong, and everything is backwards. So I was finally able to burn a knoppix cd. I'm blown away by it. I can't stop using it. The new kde is fantastic! Too bad they didn't include Quanta Plus in the new knoppix cd. I'm replying while using knoppix right now.

Well, it looks like knoppix wasn't even designed to be installed on a hard drive. I'll have to use it some more to figure out if I can install debian on my hard drives from the knoppix cd. If not, I'll have to wait until libranet or something else becomes available at the next installfest I attend.

The bottom line is libranet is out with 2.8 But 2.8 is not available as an iso, or even for ftp install. They have an older release, 2.7, but even that is not available as an iso, or as an ftp install. The 2.0 version is available elsewhere as an iso, but libranet doesn't even include that one on their web site. As the author notes, there are big differences among 2.0, 2.7 and 2.8. Yet we can't even get a version two releases old from their web site.

I don't know anyone using a linux distro that's two years old, unless it's in a server that can't be touched, or just works. Gnu/linux has been evolving by leaps and bounds. So users need to migrate to the newer versions more often that users of other operating systems. Even ms isn't asking users to buy a new release every six months. Yet this is exactly what the gnu/linux industry is expecting.

I have better uses for my $70 than to spend it testing a distro I may never use. And virtually everything I buy comes with a money back guarrantee. I'll keep my money in my pocket and try another distro till I find the one I'll stick with. And as I've done with suse, when I do, I'll support the company that helps me.

The gnu/linux industry has you well trained Mr. Goldstein.

Did you shell out $70 for your first libranet release? Would you recommend to newbies to pay full price for each release they try? Or just try one release and stick with that, not knowing what else is out there? Or to purchase a distro at full price based on screenshots?

Yes, they have you well trained.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Knoppix can be installed to the hard drive. After booting get a root command console and type knx-hdinstall and off you go to the races.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

there's a website with detailed instructions for installing knoppix from the cd:
http://www.phpcad.com/knoppix-install.html

Hope this helps

Knoppix on HDD (Was Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...)

Anonymous's picture

Knoppix was never 'meant' to be installed on HDD, but there are a lot of people like yourself who got so hooked onto knoppix that they want to install it on HDD.
So someone wrote a script to do just this. The installer is simplistic. It copies entire of knoppix CD onto HDD. But hey now you've got your favourite debian based distro on HDD, so it can't be that bad. Once you have it on HDD, you can remove/add the packages. It's like any other debian based distro.

Just search for "install knoppix HDD" on gogle or look for "knx-hdinstall" BTW, Knoppix.net is a great site for knoppix support.

Do you really think Debian is too hard?

Anonymous's picture

I've used Debian for about a year and a half, and I'm a little puzzled by the "Debian is too hard" stuff. I've never used any other Linux distribution. Before I tried Debian, I was a hobbyist BeOS programmer, so maybe I'm not "Joe Average". Anyway, I've installed Debian on two boxes without much difficulty and learned a lot in the process. I would concede that getting everything set up optimally does involve some work, but I wouldn't call it difficult - at most it could be termed tedious. Once you finish, keeping a Debian system up to date or adding new packages is about as simple as I can imagine.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Yep, ya nailed that one, pad're. *nix is WAY too expensive for working gents who BUY distros (that is, don't act like byte-scabs). I pay for software I use. For me, WinME costs including M$ support come to $20/year ... while RedFat cut me off at 6-months after a $40 purchase of r_8.0 --- so like you i ask who's the real world palsy of working gents, and who's the money-sucking, elitist, corpulent corporate porker?

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Sounds like someone who is on the Microsoft payroll. Did it ever occur to you that maybe you actually need a year (or more) of support for the windoze product whereas you can actually learn your way around the linux distro and become productive on same with a bit of effort and the support that you can get not just from the red fedora but also from the many knowledgeable linux users and developers who are more than willing to help out long term. Many of those who download for free eventually give back through just this kind of 'sweat equity' - however, the nature of linux is such that in most cases freely downloadable versions are made readily available whereas Microsoft will put you in the Iron Maiden or the rack if you violate any of their restrictive and unilateral licensing agreements. Lastly, is there a reason why you feel a need to attack the persons who post in such a 'holier than thou' posture? This comment area exists for the purpose of sharing useful comments and information that may assist others in becoming more proficient, better informed or simply to climb on board the bandwagon as a 'newbie' - I fail to see where directing crass comments at individuals or even at corporate entities contributes anything esp. meaningful. Are you entitled and encouraged to share your experience and opinions - absolutely. Using the podium and your anonymity to trash others however, is counter-productive and renders suspect any cogent comments and otherwise potentially useful perspective that you brought to the table. Methinks that you may well be a working gent - whose paycheck is signed, sealed and delivered by Mr. William Gates. Personally speaking, I'd say that windoze is the world's most succesfully deployed viruses. Let's see a virus is:
a. Malignant software that attempts to affect your computer without your permission b. expands unreasonably and exponentially to tie up all of your available resources c. has the ability to destroy programs and data on hard disks etc. d. disrupts your work - often as a result of unexplained lockups and random re-boots e. can necesitate the complete reformat of your hard drive to set things straight again. Hmmm, does that sound like a recurring theme while running windoze? Anyway, lots of luck with yor WinMe - tis a tool and if it allows you to get the job done that you need to get done then more power to you. Have a happy!

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

The comments posted here remind me of the five blind men trying to describe an elephant they have never seen - the respondents keep talking about the experiences they have had with RedHat, SuSE, etc. In what way does their experience with another distribution relate to the subject of Libranet 2.8?

You don't want to buy a Linux distribution? No one is making you buy it. You get to choose where you want to spend your money but EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO CHOOSE HOW THEY SPEND THEIR MONEY! The original article stated how pleased the author was with Libranet 2.8 and the features he found and enjoyed. If he was wrong, that is one thing. But whether he paid for it, was given it, or stole it is not relevant to the article.

So if you don't like the software or don't want to pay for it, post your comments somewhere else and leave this server space for a discussion about the article.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Re: " I don't know anyone using a linux distro that's two years old, unless it's in a server that can't be touched, or just works. Gnu/linux has been evolving by leaps and bounds. So users need to migrate to the newer versions more often that users of other operating systems. Even ms isn't asking users to buy a new release every six months. Yet this is exactly what the gnu/linux industry is expecting."

As I pointed out in my article, I still use Caldera eDesk 2.4.
That workstation is for word processing and documentation via the internet. The old Caldera eDesk runs nicely on an older, slower
system with limited RAM. Similarly, I still use Libranet 1.9.1 on an old system. That version supports USB scanners.

No one needs a new Linux every six months if the old one does whatever the user requires.

Re "The gnu/linux industry has you well trained Mr. Goldstein.

Did you shell out $70 for your first libranet release? Would you recommend to newbies to pay full price for each release they try? Or just try one release and stick with that, not knowing what else is out there? Or to purchase a distro at full price based on screenshots?

Yes, they have you well trained."

1. The first Libranet I tried was 1.9.0 . Subsequent releases are discounted for previous buyers.

2. As with anything else, newbies can get any distribution they want, any way they can, or they can do some research and narrow the field. My article is intended for the later category of user.

My first Linux was Caldera, the decision to try which I made after studying several reviews, such as the one I wrote for Libranet.

I buy a copy of SuSE every second or third release. SuSE is the only major RPM release that still supports WordPerfect 8, an app that is essential to my work. Since SuSE also provides generous paper documentation. it also commends itself to the beginner.

3. I have a box full of CD's - free distributions that came with a now defunct Linux magazine, as well as from a CD burning service.
I do not have broad band (as noted).

Leon A. Goldstein

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

There's a money back guarantee if you're not COMPLETELY happy. Plus, you get a year's worth of support from the actual developers of the distribution.

Did you do any research at all before commenting on Libranet? Or do you just like to complain. Remember, companies need to make money to stay in business. I've been using Libranet for almost three years and have never been disappointed. My first Linux distribution was Libranet and I asked around 20 questions via email before I got it running properly. The two developers were very patient and answered everyone of my questions (usually within 5 or 6 hours after I sent the email). You will NEVER get support like that from Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, etc. NEVER. Downloading a distribution for free is great. But if you like the distro, you support the company by purchasing a copy.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Do/can you update your Libranet system simply by using the Debiolian APT_GET lingo ?

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

collins's picture

Best wishes to Libranet. I certainly have no complaints about linux or even freebsd distributions for hire, and Libranet appears to be the cream of the crop from everything I've heard, but I can get everything I need (which does not include a polished installer) including prompt support for free. All you need to do is register with one of the premier user groups (linux-users, gentoo-user, freebsd-questions, etc.) or even a good local group like Denver CLUE. Granted, you get a lot of traffic besides the answer to your question, but that's a learning opportunity as well.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Well let just say this, I do fell the same way. I did pay for Redat8.0,Mandrake9.0 and SuSE8.1 and 8.2 all out of the box. Now out of them, the one I did like the best is SuSE ...When Libranet2.8 came up I said What the hell I paid another $55.00? to down load it. and then loaded it on my personal computer all I can say now is WOW!!!!! This is a real Operating System !!! and after 3 weeks of using it i'm now loading it on all 12 of my office computers my Dep. Hell is GONE...Yes I do have about $4000.00 to $6000.00 into linux and I would do it again.. Other wise I would Blow about 22000.00 in a new MS system NOT....Yes this was a hard move but I would do it again!!!!

Libranet2.8 GREAT JOB EVERONE!!!!!

P.S Also I do think SuSE is a good Distro but Librenet2.8 is a GREAT OS.....

Jump and Do It You Will Not Look Back

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

Well let just say this, I do fell the same way. I did pay for Redat8.0,Mandrake9.0 and SuSE8.1 and 8.2 all out of the box. Now out of them, the one I did like the best is SuSE ...When Libranet2.8 came up I said What the hell I paid another $55.00? to down load it. and then loaded it on my personal computer all I can say now is WOW!!!!! This is a real Operating Systen!!! and after 3 weeks of using it i'm now loading it on all 12 of my office computers ...Yes I do have about $4000.00 to $6000.00 into linux and I would do it again.. Other wise I would Blow about 22000.00 in a new MS system NOT....Yes this was a hard move but I would do it again!!!!

Libranet2.8 GREAT JOB EVERONE!!!!!

P.S Also I do think SuSE is a good Distro but Librenet2.8 is a GREAT OS.....

Jump and Do It You Will Not Look Back

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

http://www.morphix.org

Knoppix/Debian based run from cd distro, with an option to install to hard disk with the easiest gui install wizard i've seen.

Hardware detection is the best of any distro thanks to being based on Knoppix. Software installation is the best due to being Debian based. Once installed to hard drive, apt-get update, apt-get dist-upgrade to get the latest packages and use synaptic for browsing available packages with a nice gui.

Easy to install, best hardware detection, easy to use, easy to update, bleeding edge, and free.

Wins hands down over Libranet or Xandros.

Get your Morphix 0.36 ISO from here.
http://osdn.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/morphix/

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

knx-hdinstall
Just boot up your knoppix cd to kde or whatever and open a root shell then type the above and the installer runs.

This installs Knoppix to your hard drive. Works well on my computer but you find bugs here and there. It is beta software of course.

Jamin

Knoppix? 2.2GB / !!!

Anonymous's picture

Tell the morons at knoppix to do a man partitions. That fabulous hdx-install that the geniuses at knoppix came up with dumps 2.2 GB into /. Don't have 2.2 GB of space in / ? Then the installer exits.

Try suggesting a 2.2 GB minimum / partition in the debian-user mailing list, or the irc channel.

And contrary to the claims made by knoppix, ReiserFS isn't supported...UNLESS you partion the disk with a different partitioning tool PRIOR to doing a knoppix hard disk install. ReiserFS isn't an option in knoppix's installer, although they do have everything plus the kitchen sink. They just forgot the faucet.

It's real fun installing the distro in /, then having to copy everything into their proper directories, then having a ridiculous 2.2+ GB / partition left over.

It's a great recovery disk. And great when visiting and playing on someone else's computer. But as a hard disk install, it bites big german hot dogs.

Re: Knoppix? 2.2GB / !!!

Anonymous's picture

>It's a great recovery disk. And great when visiting and playing on someone else's computer. But as a hard disk install, it bites big german hot dogs.

Amen,what i hate is people telling newbies to use this.

Re: Knoppix? 2.2GB / !!!

Anonymous's picture

> Tell the morons at knoppix to do a man partitions. That fabulous hdx-install that the geniuses at knoppix came up with dumps 2.2 GB into /. Don't have 2.2 GB of space in / ? Then the installer exits.

it's something of a nuisance, but you can customize the knx_install script so that it won't reformat the chosen harddisk / partition. Then, if you've got the other desired partitions mounted on the harddrive /'s mountpoints, the cp's from the CD will go where you want them.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

I would have to agree with the poster to some extent. Consider Redhat. To play the game, I would buy a subscription for $60 a year. But I hardly use it at home except to "play" with it. All I want is to keep the system up to date. So now I have a "demo" account and have to answer a survey every now and then. They never ask me what problems I have and how I do or don't fix them. I think Redhat has a pretty slick look (my opinion when I wear my non-nerd user cap).

When Redhat can run my kids educational software/games, Quicken, TaxAct, etc., then I'll switch to Linux. So now I have Win2K, Win98, and Redhat 9 on my home PC (triple boot heaven, grub is great). I thought I could get rid of Win98 until the kids got a few "old" software titles that won't run in Win2k. Barf!

But I keep thinking about all those users out there (my wife?) that go to the store and buy software, and try to run it. They all think Windows is the only OS out there and really don't care to have another OS. They just want it to work. Click and it works. Kind of like getting in a car and driving it. You expect it to work. Now, go to the auto parts store and try to figure out what floor mats to buy. Ack! It's hard to figure out. But Windows is perfect, it doesn't have these problems.... er... right?

There's no free lunch, people work hard on this Linux software. I just want a cheaper and more practical solution and more freedom. I don't want Microsoft to know everything about me and to control my life. Maybe $60 a year is cheap compared to the alternative.

Thanks for letting me rant and rave.

Re:

Anonymous's picture

>

No need to run up2date. Freshrpms maintains a server with all the updates on it. Just run an "apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade" every now-and-then to get the latest updates. It's better than up2date... No denials due to high usage.

Re:

Anonymous's picture

Hmmm... It lost my link...

apt.freshrpms.net

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

I'll bet libranet won't configure my dell c800 laptops screen.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

You might be surprised! Libranet 1.9 was the first distro to properly configure on my old Toshiba laptop.

2.0 pulled from all mirrors

Anonymous's picture

It seems that the 2.0 isos have been pulled from mirror sites as well. I downloaded the 2.0 distro about a month ago, but the latest download from a mirror didn't match the md5 sum, and the next day that site, and all the linked mirrors, all showed "not found" errors when I tried to download them.

So apparently the 2.0 distro has been pulled from everywhere, not just the distro site, and the next cheapest option is buying an old release, 2.7, even if you just want to try it out.

Re: Worth paying for? I'll never know...

Anonymous's picture

I never paid a cent, im running libra 2.0, i have all the admin tools i could ever need, i have my system configured perfectly, more media tools, more networking tools and more stability, i recieved libranet 2.0 from a friend from a local users groups but you can download the iso from various sites, once i downloaded that i learned the coolness of apt-get, apt-get can be edited to add many sources, just try typing in unofficial apt-get sources anywhere online and you can find a niche for just about any program you want, with my current /etc/apt/sources.list and some time on my dial up modem i have achieved a level comparable to knoppix in tools and usability... if you wanna use debian, debian i say, not libra, then try the simple iso, its user friendly and will get you started on an easy to use debian distro, once again debian is about stability, so you may find yourself a month or so behind the cutting edge, but to fix that simply add some sources to your sources.list or switch to the testing distro, or unstable distro explained at debian.org, thats my 2 cents (has never payed a cent for linux)

Paying for linux

Anonymous's picture

I am downloading libranet for fun, I like trying distros. But as for paying, I'll point everyone to Mandrake 10.1 official, its free, and very easy to use. Like apt-get, Mandrake's urpmi is just as good (set it up at http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/).

So paying to download an ISO? Cool, its within the GNU docs. But the problem is I've tried SUSE, RH, Debian, and Mandrake. And the only one I would actually pay for out of those was Mandrake (and I didnt need too!). Anyways I still have to see if Libranet is worth it.

By the way about support, I would much rather cut my checks straight to the GNU FSFoundation then paying Mandrake (my current OS), so thats what I (and my work) does.

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Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

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Sponsored by Storix