[svlug] Migration to Debian

Scott DuBois rhcom.linux at gmail.com
Sun Jan 4 22:28:06 PST 2015

On Sat, Jan 03, 2015 at 01:38:08AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> Please don't tell me you blew off the URLs and ignored them as 'historical
> Linux stuff'.  I have an irrational hope that I might not be wasting my time
> when I try to inform people.

I didn't blow them off. 99% of the time I read everything you send me, or suggest
I read, as it's usually in my best interest and not fluff. Unfortunately, in
this case, I jumped into making the transition _before_ reading all responses. I
was confident in myself that all would be ok, but, I nonetheless am always open
to help and suggestions from those more knowledgable and experienced in such
matters; particularly when those individuals have not steered me wrong in the

> > My coursework requires me to read books from downloaded PDF that
> > are security protected for copyright protection and thus require Adobe
> > Reader to be able to perform the security log in.
> Install acroread from the deb-multimedia.org repository, as detailed here:
> https://wiki.debian.org/PDF 

As it turns out, I did. I just went about it the long, arduous, frustrating,
stupid, rock-headed way.

> I would personally _avoid_ installing package mozilla-acroread or any other
> plugin code to enable acroread to be used by default (directly) for PDFs 
> retrieved from public networks.  It is far too severe a security risk.
> Instead, right-click download selected PDFs from your Web browser (or
> whatever you use to retrieve them), and open those PDFs only, locally.

All my coursework PDF's are downloaded. I don't use Acroread for anything else
other than dealing with thoise _special_ cases.

> For normal PDF handling, use the likes of Evince, xpdf, okular, etc.
> They're way safer if only because they don't have Javascript interpreters
> built into them.

I always try to use the 'native' PDF readers by default. I try to avoid using
any proprietary software that an open source alternative can provide. I always
get this 'creepy' feeling that the proprietary stuff is trying to collect info
from my usage or install 'weird' background stuff without my knowledge.

> > 1) Is there a way to get around having to install the disk frequently for
> > some packages?
> Um, yes.  Just remove or comment out the lines relating to your Debian
> installer CD or DVD from /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/sources.d/*, as
> the case may be.

Yeah, I 'eventually' figured that out in my mad dash of trying to get things all
configured and correct the way I like it.

> As you will see when/if you consult the three URLs I provided, I concurred
> with Ivan Sergio Borgonovo that Debian newcomers should stick to the Stable
> brnach for a while, while learning how things work.  I pointed out tha
> Stable comprises application versions extremely far from the cutting edge,
> which indeed makes them ultra-stable but also rather old (less so right
> immediately following release of a Stable branch, but true generally).  
> The assumption many people including you make that Testing (a rolling
> release) is crazily close to the cutting edge, is an extremely common error.
> In fact, Testing on a routine basis is more stable than typical non-rolling
> major distributions such as RHEL/CentOS, Open`USE, Mandriva, etc.

Hmmmm? Interesting to note. I will keep that in mind down the road as I become
more acquainted with this new endeavor. Old is based on perspective =). Yes,
some of the software seems to be a version 'prior' to what I was running on
Kubuntu but, if it still performs the necessary functions then I'm happy with
that. My 'needs' or 'requirements' at the moment is fewer security and package
updates necessary to keep the system optimal. If having packages be a 'bit
dated' means fewer dependency issues then it's worth it.

Kubuntu worked really good for me however, it had it's own set of deficiencies
in various departments. I don't know if Debian (proper) 'Stable' will resolve
all those deficiencies however, without trying it, I would never know outside of
statements from others. Thus far, I have been able to get all my 'regularly'
used programs installed, configured, and working. It was _really_ nice to be
able to copy over dotfiles and conf-files from one to the other, that saved a
lot of time. The real 'meat and potatoes' will come from the interaction between the
installation and the maintainers. On the suface, not a lot of difference between
Kubuntu and Debian-KDE (Kebian) <tm> but the interaction between provider and
product should be a world of difference. 

More information about the svlug mailing list