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Linux Distributions

10 Reasons to Choose Debian Linux

Debian Linux
Written by Martins D. Okoi
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Debian is a free and open-source community-developed Linux operating system based on the Linux kernel and the basic system tools of the GNU project. It belongs to the operating system family of Unixoid systems (i.e. it implements the behavior of Unix) and is mainly supported and sponsored by the Debian project.

Debian is one of the most reliable operating systems you can run on a computer whether for personal computing or server purposes. And did you know that it is the distro upon which the popular Ubuntu operating system is based on?

Well, if you’re thinking about installing Linux on your workstation I’ve got a list of more relevant facts that go into my bag of the top reasons why you should not only try Debian out but make it the go-to distro for your day-to-day tasks.

1. Stability & Security

Debian has a record for providing users with software that has been tried and properly tested for security issues and performance setbacks. When running a Debian installation you can be sure that whatever packages you download from its repo will work as expected without being problematic.

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A supporting point is that you can use whatever edition you install for a long time thanks to its long-term-support model.

2. Available for Servers

Debian is not only excellent for running desktop workstations but also servers. So you do not need to set it up on your PC and look for a separate distro for your home or company server – you can just install the desktop version and install server-relevant packages during setup.

There are several cloud hosting platform options that you can pick from.

3. Optional Release Types

With Debian, you have the option of going for a stable version which is officially supported for at least 3 years without any major updates or changes necessary; an experimental version which contains several upgrades especially experimental features that haven’t been added to the long term stable version yet.

An unstable version which has implemented new updates but is liable to crash for one buggy reason or the other; and a Debian testing version – the one where you can try all the coolest new technologies first hand and early.

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4. Architecture Support

Debian is notable for being able to run not on only modern computer architectures but the older ones as well. In fact, it is one of the most recommended distros for older computers that need a facelift, a less resource-hungry OS, or a more reliable performance.

Debian releases officially support up to 9 hardware architectures ranging from amd64 and arm64 to PowerPC. There are some 5 hardware architectures that aren’t officially supported but are supported by Community editions. Odds are that Debian doesn’t support your specific architecture then no other distro does.

5. Software Support

Debian ships with only the free and open-source software that are required to run the operating system conveniently but that does not mean you aren’t free to install custom software from sources that you deem credible.

Be rest assured that your Debian installation will be compatible with both conventional and unconventional applications e.g. applications built in-house for security companies.

6. Originality

Debian has secured a place for itself in the hall of fame operating systems by not only being a distro 100% true to the open-source philosophy but by establishing a process for building an OS so note-worthy that whole distros have been developed after it and several distros after them. Typical examples of this phenomenon include Ubuntu and all of its official and non-official derivatives, Academix GNU/Linux, etc.

If you’re almost swayed by using any of those distros because of their cool features then I assure you that ‘returning to the source’ will not be a bad decision.

7. Large Community

Debian is mainly supported by a community of open-source enthusiasts and given the fact that the Debian project places emphasis on technological advancement, the contributors are mostly technical oriented as well as ready to support wherever they can using blogs and dedicated forums to welcome new users.

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To put simply, Debian is the largest community-run distribution and it is like a home in the sense that you will always be welcome to join knowing that you wouldn’t hit a brick wall.

8. Desktop Environments

You might already know that most Linux distributions can have their desktop environments switched up in favor of others and Debian is no exception. In the Live CDs, you can run GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Cinnamon, Xfce, and MATE and locally you are free to set up any other compatible environment of your choice. With Debian, freedom is vital.

9. Usability

Ease of use is always an assumed point when talking about Linux distros but some distros are easier to use than others starting from the point of installation, system and software upgrades, to system usage and customization. Debian is easy to install, setup, customize, and use.

10. Flexibility for Cutting Edge technologies

Debian makes it possible for users to enjoy the latest technological improvements without negatively affecting their workflow or data retention scheme. With thanks to its availability in 3 main repositories – stable, testing, and unstable, you can choose your preferred version and the packages that you want running on your machines.

Other reasons you should use Debian include its availability for both desktop and server computers free of charge, driver support, and a large online database of guides, tutorials, and forums to help beginners to the distro along the way.

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There are also other distros you can choose if Debian still doesn’t cut it for you. Arch Linux, Elementary OS, Fedora, and Linux Mint; the list goes on. In the meantime, are there other reasons you will like us to add to the list? Feel free to make your suggestions below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.