Forums » wattOS R8

The great debate #1

    • 563 posts
    December 20, 2013 9:33 AM PST

    So I am back and ready to start tacking R8 development :). The holidays are upon us, and I can spend time with my EggNog and computers at Planetwatt HQ. 


    So like I have done for the last several versions I will open the topic again. 


    Ubuntu base or Debian?


    Go ahead and state your case and we will go from there :). I see pro's and cons for both. I know there has been some technical issues with purse debian in the past, but I think we are beyond that now. (wireless) but lets talk about that. 


    I will also jump on IRC over the next two week regularly to see if anyone wants to chat live :) - Ready...GO

    • 92 posts
    December 21, 2013 4:16 AM PST

    Season's greetings, Biff, and welcome back   :-)


    My views are much the same as in the past.

    1  It's your choice; NO voting.  (Yeah, I know you like to gather all views.)


    2  wattOS is a worthwhile product, and has been built on U, so using U as base can't be seen as hopelessly flawed.   From my observation, U-base 12.10 and 13.04 caused developers incl Biff more grief than enough, and spawned distros based on U LTS (ie 12.04).

    wattOS 7.5 seems to have avoided this mess.   It's a tech judgment outside my competence as to whether U base remains such a risk.   I'd like to think that, to the extent possible, any decision would look at futures in U and Debian as well as current useability.


    3  I would be interested to know whether the movement by LXDE to a Qt base  and merging with Razor favours U, Debian, both or neither ... so far as wattOS is concerned, and not least in dev workload.   wattOS can certainly exist without LXDE, but that would be a major change.


    4  I understand that the test version of wattOS on a Debian base which was part of a recent cycle was pretty good, much better than expected from a first attempt.  (Didn't test that myself.)  I hope feedback from testers of that release will be taken into account here, plus Biff's experience in the difficulty/ease of making that release.


    5  Debate surrounding Debian usually goes more smoothly when there is agreement on whether it's Stable, Testing or Unstable in focus.   Certainly, that shortens debate on currency of the distro and its packages.


    6  I think *nix distros have reached the stage now where users of any distro expect a lucid installer, which works as intended, an installation without important things missing (unless these are readily installed immediately after initial install - codecs, utilities, ...), and an absence of glitches on routine tasks. It's 2013 - only really obscure wifi should risk being inoperable after install, likewise sound volume. 

    Further, if wattOS (or any other distro) is to continue to work on older h/w, and "fiddly" netbooks, then the emphasis needs to be on high quality and broad h/w coverage in initial install, with any large application package seen as a post-facto addition.   This could be an issue if "modern" kernels exclude older h/w. 


    7  Personally, I prefer the ESR versions of Mozilla products. Whether that affects Biff's choice of base, I don't know.


    My ignorant guess is that none of the above rules U or Debian out, and that with careful dev work which is typical of wattOS it doesn't matter much which is chosen. 

    In which case I say : choose what suits you better.

    • 170 posts
    December 22, 2013 8:03 AM PST

    I am leaning towards Debian. The older pcs will still be supported with the older, more stable kernels. (I would love to see microwatt based on Debian as I have a really old pc to try it on. Specs are lowest of low, and 14 yrs old. antiX is on it now). 


    Ubuntu is usually released with bugs that are not considered important enough to solve.


    If LXDE is not going to work, then XFCE is good too. For microwatt there is iceWM, it is not as confusing to configure as pekwm. 


    I am in love with Qupzilla browser. Mozilla is too heavy on really old machines.


    BTW, the Delta Green icons are no longer available at, hope you saved a copy, I think they are really sharp.





    This post was edited by Leenie Gilmore at December 22, 2013 8:05 AM PST
    • 94 posts
    December 25, 2013 10:21 PM PST

    i vote for debian as while debian 7 support older hardware better and it's a solid platform.

    • 1 posts
    December 26, 2013 7:48 AM PST

    I'm using WattOS for my daily operations (and several relatives' and friends' installations) since 5 years for its speed, stability and ability: it runs smoothly even on lean or dated hardware, the better when I can use more recent and powerful hardware.

    I still stick to R6, to be connected to an LTS release: I like to have my system fit and stable for 3 years or more!


    Ubuntu for wider software support in repositories.

    Debian for stability, but I've not had big troubles till now with Ubuntu LTS-based WattOS releases.


    I've not the knowledge to give opinions about kernels and similars, but I can just suggest to keep running for efficiency, stability and compatibility with old hardware all of which have made WattOS briliiantly stand out until now.

    Hence I stand with Teejay: "It's Biff's choice"!


    And if it were Ubuntu, just stick to LTS releases.

    • 105 posts
    December 27, 2013 12:43 AM PST

    I'm happy with either ubuntu or debian here..


    If your going debian , which is perfect for me as i restore the old old pc's with p3's and p4's.. then make sure the live disc has the wireless stuff already built in please and i am happy as debian currently sees fit to not include it and i dont have access to a hard point connection.. only a wireless connection so thats what has put me off deb in the past.


    ubuntu.. yeah. has always worked good with watt.. runs into issues with upgrading, new machines with the uefi secure boot .. and so on.. but it is very simple to work with.


    I'd possibly, if it were me.. develop a multi-flavour wattos 8. ubuntu, powerpc (old macs) and debian based. this will allow you a whole load of options :) so there we go.. thats my thoughts  and an interesting topic/debate so far. good going :)


    (hint hint though ... raspberry pi release arm? ... there is currently raspbian (deb), pidora (fedora), arch linux, riscos, and interestingly bodhi have a pi release also!!)