Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

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Libranet 2.8.1 is now available for download or in a 2-CD retail package.

When Libranet ran out of CDs for its 2.8 release, previously reviewed here, the group decided to include some updates in the new batch. Of particular interest to the desktop user, besides the kernel upgrade from 2.4.20 to 2.4.21, are the following updates:

  • KDE 3.1.3 , which replaces 3.1.1 in Libranet 2.8

  • GNOME 2.2.2 (vice 2.2)

  • Mozilla 1.4 (vice 1.3)

While Libranet 2.8.1 may be only a dot release, it is a compelling offering for desktop users looking for an easy to install and maintain Linux distribution. Anyone looking for a distribution that arrives ready and able to do some serious work should give this Debian distribution a try.

From a productivity standpoint, the updates are noteworthy. AbiWord version 1.99.2 now provides full WordPerfect file support. KOffice fans also will appreciate WordPerfect filters. OpenOffice.org 1.0.3 unfortunately, like its previous release and StarOffice cousin, still lacks WP support.

Why do I emphasize WordPerfect? Because it is no longer supported by Corel, except through its peer-support news group. A lot of people, however, depend on WordPerfect for Linux. Libranet provides hospitality to your old copy of WP8/Linux as well as to WordPerfect Office 2000. With two solid word processors (AbiWord, KWord) to open and convert those pesky MS Word documents, Libranet lets you handle almost every document file format out there. Until another word processor matches WP's ease of use and features like shrink-to-fit, reveal codes and macros, it will remain a premier Linux writing tool.

So why buy Libranet 2.8.1? For one thing, buying this release will help keep future releases of Libranet coming. Current Libranet 2.8 owners can update with apt-get. For people who make do with a dial-up connection, however, getting the CDs makes more sense. A script to update 2.8 to 2.8.1 from the installation CDs is available from the Libranet Web site.

Libranet 2.8.1 is a polished release. Once again, the eclectic group of beta testers made sure that you can install Libranet 2.8.1 and go to work without endless tinkering and efforts to patch buggy applications. Additionally, a comprehensive on-line guide takes the Libranet newcomer through the installation procedure.

Libranet is a solid Debian derivative, based on the testing branch, and it can be updated in the usual Debian way. In addition, it also is a complete and serviceable desktop when installed. For people who need to get their work done, Libranet once again provides an advanced Debian solution without requiring that users have advanced Linux skills.

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Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

Well.. I moved away from windows earlier last year, and I doubt it if I would ever go back.

I'm currently reading up on current distros, have been trying them all atleast twice, and I found an interesting fact about Libranet 2.8.1. Almost every reviewer seems to give top score to libranet and so do the users. That makes this distro interesting and a 'must buy' for me.

One concern is the fact that there's no free update to the current version. I read about the guy running 2.8.0 and his oppinion about not getting a free upgrade to 2.8.1. That's not cool, allthough I see the financial disadvantages of providing such upgrades.

Cheers

Also...

People who say they're moving away from windows allways states: "When this is coming, and that's possible and bla bla bla" Usually lacks: "Now phukk it! This sucks and this is no fun". Everything is available (exept a decent WYSIWYG web-editor).

If it weren't for Linux & BSD I would not be in the computer business... Windows was no fun after win3.11 and the alternatives were very limited... I forced myself to use win95/98 mainly because of the games, but when gaming no longer had a bigger part in my life, computing siezed to be fun. Linux & BSD saved the day :)

I'm currently using:
OpenBSD 3.4 (DNS and firewall, pf rules them all)
LTSP (Big, huge, enormous server... did I mention HUGE!)
Debian (www-server)
SuSe Email server III (yep)
Mandrake 9.1 (laptop)
Mandrake 9.1 (desktop)
Windows2k (wifes desktop
WindowsXP (wifes laptop)

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

Here is an interesting paragraph :

People who say they're moving away from windows allways states: "When this is coming, and that's possible and bla bla bla" Usually lacks: "Now phukk it! This sucks and this is no fun". Everything is available (exept a decent WYSIWYG web-editor).

How do you think that windows users who are not experts can manage to configure their linux to use their new USB scanner, new webcam, or on the contrary, their old professional parallel printer, or how they manage to install new drivers for some hardware like the sensors, their USB ADSL modem, ...

Yes, this kind of people DOES exist and as far as I see there is NO linux distribution which is at the same time
- really user friendly
- really powerful
- really secured
all this by default.

And there is the well known problem of the "distribution religion" which implies that when you find support for a RedHat, you aren't sure to have some for Suse or another.

The real problem is that distributions are not built in a responsible way (see Responsible Programming Paradigm by Lionel Thiry at http://users.skynet.be/Shasckaw/en/Documents/index.html) and this is not likely to change as far as the softwares they package aren't too.

The Free Software Community has built its power on a good technology but has forget to improve its mind as time went. Linux distros are still based on middleaged standards like SystemV init, Posix, rpm's ...
This is the time to reveal our real force : the force of a good move !

Chucky / OutMaX!
chucky AD outmax DOT org

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

cp's picture

Knoppix also makes a fine Debian based distribution! If you have been waiting to get your feet wet with Linux, you can't beat the fact that you can run it off the CD, it's free and you don't have to mess with your existing system.

Chuck

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

I am looking to jump from Windows XP to Linux. I have liked the APT concept and I found Libranet to be getting praises left and right.

When it is time...Libranet it is.

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

Why do you want to jumpt from WinXP to Linux ? I do not understand you...

I am not (!) a Microsoft zealot, in fact, I have not used it till the year of 2000 (I used an alternative system, that is close to dead now). However, I use Mandrake Linux 9.1 (using Mandrake since 8.0) and WindowsXP Pro and find the only real disadvantage with XP the lack of privacy (that is the reason no program knows my real-name on Windows, I do e-commerce on Linux and email on my former favourite OS). But for the rest, WinXP is very nice and rock-solid. Oh, and I have one OpenBSD (3.3, soon 3.4) server running, a triple-boot Linux/WinXP/AmigaOS desktop and a pure Linux MultiMedia-server, so I am not narrowminded, that's for sure ;-)

There still is no really professional desktop applications on Linux.

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

Are you kidding ? Whatever you are smoking, give it up NOW !!

Professional applications (note: we're not talking "free as in beer" necessarily)- StarOffice, Maya, QCAD - And that's without thinking...

Run WinBloat apps under CrossoverOffice if you really must use them (yes, I use Access !!)

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

Well.. I moved away from windows earlier last year, and I doubt it if I would ever go back.

I'm currently reading up on current distros, have been trying them all atleast twice, and I found an interesting fact about Libranet 2.8.1. Almost every reviewer seems to give top score to libranet and so do the users. That makes this distro interesting and a 'must buy' for me.

One concern is the fact that there's no free update to the current version. I read about the guy running 2.8.0 and his oppinion about not getting a free upgrade to 2.8.1. That's not cool, allthough I see the financial disadvantages of providing such upgrades.

Cheers

Also...

People who say they're moving away from windows allways states: "When this is coming, and that's possible and bla bla bla" Usually lacks: "Now phukk it! This sucks and this is no fun". Everything is available (exept a decent WYSIWYG web-editor).

If it weren't for Linux & BSD I would not be in the computer business... Windows was no fun after win3.11 and the alternatives were very limited... I forced myself to use win95/98 mainly because of the games, but when gaming no longer had a bigger part in my life, computing siezed to be fun. Linux & BSD saved the day :)

I'm currently using:
OpenBSD 3.4 (DNS and firewall, pf rules them all)
LTSP (Big, huge, enormous server... did I mention HUGE!)
Debian (www-server)
SuSe Email server III (yep)
Mandrake 9.1 (laptop)
Mandrake 9.1 (desktop)
Windows2k (wifes desktop
WindowsXP (wifes laptop)

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

Some advice from the trenches: apt is the best package management tool, bar none.

I personally use RedHat because I like it's great hardware detection and easy set-up, but I install apt-rpm on it so that I would still be able to use my beloved apt :)

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

To be fair, I've not used Libranet. But as someone who has tried serveral different releases of Mandrake and RedHat, and now finally Debian, I would highly recommend Knoppix.
Knoppix is amazing stuff. Their latest version, 3.3, is a Debian Sid distro and I just installed it to my HD after having run it from CD. The install was a breeze and the Debian distro is truly great. 10 of 10 for me!

Re: Debian on Steroids II.1: When a Dot Means a Lot

Anonymous's picture

A free upgrade to this point one release for 2.8 purchasers would have been welcomed. It's all well and good saying that it funds the next release, but we have already chipped in our contribution, after all.

That aside I love Libranet for the fact that it alowed me to access Debian without the pain.

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