Jaunty was a great experience, until around a month (or perhaps a bit more) ago, when my nice ext4 file systems started to get corrupt on daily basis and I had to reinstall, this time choosing ext3 and telling myself I wouldn’t touch ext4 ever again (or at least not within the next 6 months, I’d be lying to myself if I’d think I’m able to resist from trying it again longer than that). Now, the surprise was that the problems continued as worse as before, and lots of fscks and several reinstalls (when the breakage would corrupt some system file) later I had to accept that either Jaunty (the kernel, or whatever) or my hard disk was badly broken. Not wanting to go back to Intrepid with it’s old packages, I decided that it’s about time that I try out Debian (especially as I intend to start the Debian New Maintainer process as soon a I get my GPG key signed).

So, running Ubuntu from an USB stick (the last file system corruption had taken some files from /sbin with it) I downloaded the first Debian CD and burned it to a CD (actually, first I booted from a Live CD and as I only have one DVD drive put the Debian image on a Pendrive, but it didn’t want to boot from there, so I put Ubuntu on the pendrive instead and burned the Debian CD from there). The installation process is pretty much like that one with Ubuntu’s alternate CD, but curiously in addition to the typical interface it offers a GTK interface of it (which works exactly the same but looks nicer). The only difference I did observe is that Debian doesn’t allow me to choose the Catalan keyboard variant during installation while Ubuntu does, and for some reason Debian took hours to install instead of the half an hour I was expecting (if some debian-installer developer happens to read this, giving some more information during installation on what it’s actually doing would be appreciated).

Once the installation completed Debian Lenny was up and running (with a 2.6.26 kernel), except for the W-LAN. After a few days watching for the file system to break again, I updated to a 2.6.29 kernel (where I could get my Intel PRO/Wireless 5300 AGN card to work) and managed to install the NVIDIA driver for it, and I haven’t had a single problem yet, so the file system corruption seems to be indeed a problem with Jaunty. I’ll try again with Jaunty once it’s out, and if the problem still happens investigate the issue a bit more (this means, try with a different kernel :P).

I’ve been using Debian for a week now and other than the surprisingly slow installation and no nice restricted-manager helping you with driver installation, I’m quite comfortable with it. There’s some stuff from Ubuntu which I miss (like command-not-found), but nothing big, and having testing, unstable and experimental to get newer packages from is cool. I still prefer Ubuntu, but it’s good to know that if something ever happens to it (just purely theoretically) I could live with Debian; and, in any case, I’ll keep this installation around (it only takes up 6GB, so there’s no reason to remove it once I get Ubuntu running fine again).

Anyway, thanks if you’re still reading this, and sorry for this long, boring post! The next ones will be more interesting, I promise! ;).

By the way, I’ve recently started using Identi.ca, so if for some weird reason you want to read more boring stuff from me, see my page there.