Debian - so predictable and 'boring', that you'll love it! It fits like a well worn glove.
Updated April 08, 2022

Debian - so predictable and 'boring', that you'll love it! It fits like a well worn glove.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Debian OS

We use Debian for nearly all of our servers, along with various Ubuntu flavors (a derivative of Debian) for some additional servers and all of our Linux workstations. Debian is such a robust, general-purpose, and well-thought-out OS, that we use it as the base for our file servers, web application servers, database servers, hypervisors, and a whole heap of other purposes, both small and large. It never lets us down, and it's very predictable life-cycle makes it incredibly easy to manage within our business, with no nasty surprises.
  • The APT package manager is dead simple to use, and the APT repositories contain pretty much every package you can think of. If there's something missing from the standard repositories, there's a good chance a third-party repository can be added to fill the gap.
  • Debian OS releases are often considered, "boring". But that's a good thing! The Debian developers do not make changes for change's sake and this means new releases are very predictable and intended to cause as little drama as possible.
  • Debian is such a widely used and popular Linux distribution, that practically all Linux software vendors officially support it.
  • The Debian community is huge, especially when you consider Ubuntu is derived from it. If you need help with anything, you'll usually find it has been asked before and already has a resolution.
  • Official documentation is lacking in certain areas. Whilst the Debian Administrator's Handbook is actually rather good, the official Debian Wiki is rather old and tired, outdated for many topics, and seemingly difficult to contribute to. In contrast to, say, the Arch Wiki, it's a world apart.
  • Debian's bug and issue tracker is painful to use! It's a very dated system and I'm sure this must discourage a lot of people off from using it properly. I would love to see this moved to something more streamlined, easier to use, and less foreboding.
  • New major releases only come out every two years or so, and each is supported for a number of years with updates. This makes maintenance and patching a breeze!
  • It's rock solid, stable and reliable. It just keeps chugging along, for years on end, no matter what hardware it runs on.
  • It's one of the gold standards of Linux distributions, along with RedHat and its forks. Easy to find knowledgable people to administer and work with it.
  • Debian's absolutely free of charge - giving us an enterprise-grade OS for zero cost and zero licensing headaches.
  • Standardising on a single distribution (Debian) for the majority of our servers, and Debian derivative (Ubuntu) for our workstations, has meant knowledge of our systems can be re-used in many parts of our business.
  • Its ability to run on a large variety of hardware, and do so for free, makes it possible for us to offer bespoke solutions to customers at very attractive pricing.
For our Linux servers, we felt that Debian suited us better than any alternative we've used previously, for a number of reasons.
Although RedHat could be said to have advantages with being backed by a very large company with a bucket full of cash, this does mean it has a more corporate feel to its development and business choices. It also means it can be rather expensive to license, although CentOS does offer a good solution for that.
Other than RedHat, almost all other server distributions suffer from being rather small players, and thus, not having much in the way of a community or vendor support.

Do you think Debian OS delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Debian OS's feature set?


Did Debian OS live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Debian OS go as expected?


Would you buy Debian OS again?


Debian is very well suited for application servers, web servers, file servers, hypervisors (personally, we use Proxmox for some hypervisors and this is based on Debian), and much more. It can run on various CPU architectures and scales well from large to small. We have Debian DNS servers running on Raspberry Pis, and large application and database servers running on powerful Debian installs in our racks.

If you want an OS that is rock solid, easy to manage, and predictable, Debian might be the OS you're looking for. The official packages are generally far from being bleeding edge versions, but this means that you are using packages that are battle tested and will not break compatibility at any point during its life-cycle. This, to me, is one of Debian's core strengths and a good reason for recommending it to others.

On the flip-side, the lack of up-to-date versions of various packages may be an annoyance if you actually do need to be using the latest version of such a package. If you need to be using more modern versions, you will need to remedy that yourself or look at an alternative distribution. Ubuntu may be worth a look, in this case, being that it is basically Debian with newer packages and some minor differences here and there.

Personally, I would not recommend Debian for a graphical desktop OS. You'll nearly always be better off with one of the Ubuntu flavors for a modern desktop with all the bells and whistles you'd expect with a GUI desktop.

Using Debian OS

Debian is one of the most well-thought-out, logical, and intuitive Linux operating systems you can use. Configuration, package management, file system layouts, etc, are all based on many years of usage, and it's very rare to find anything surprising or confusing in everyday usage. Package management and updates are handled by APT in such a way that once configured, you can almost guarantee your system will behave as expected for the lifetime of its service. Top-notch system integration provides all the tools you'd expect from a modern Linux system, with all the stability you demand from a demanding server OS.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • APT package management - it just works.
  • Configuration, whether it be system units or package configuration, is very intuitive and logical in its approach.
  • Installation is very straightforward and supports a large variety of hardware.
  • Official packages may not be as recent as you wish, but this is often a blessing in disguise. Everything is well tested no nasty surprises and no breaking of compatibility.