Title: Debian and Debian Based Distros

Published: 2021-05-05 10:16

Author: Rev. Fr. Robert Bower


layout: blog


First, a thanks to HexDSL for the idea for this post.

I have been using Debian and Debian based distros since 2006 full time. On occasion I have tried other distros that are not Debian based but I always find myself going back to the Debian based distros.

The very first Linux based distribution I tried was Knoppix. It was a great way to learn Linux. I never installed it on a hard drive but always used the live version with a persistent file to store my data. I let me use Linux at my leisure but without the commitment.

When I went to Linux based distros, I used two different distros, Debian Stable for servers and Ubuntu LTS for the desktop. Ubuntu was the only OS back in the day the just worked with most hardware. Not everything was perfect but it was the most likely distro to work with your hardware out of the box. Also its forum is one of the largest and most active when you need questions answered.

Now sixteen years later there is a plethora of Debian based distros and much has changed on the landscape. While Ubuntu is still very popular between some of their decisions, including the use of snaps as their default package manager, and the growth of choice they are no longer my favorite for the desktop. You can uninstall the Snap store in Ubuntu and still use apt as your package manager of choice.

The one issue with Debian on the desktop is that often is can seem to be way behind in what is offered in it repos. One way around this is some of the rolling Debian based distros. My favorite three are:

1. Parrot

2. Kali

3. Sparky

Parrot is a security distro just like Kali Linux but it also has a Home Edition. The Home Edition comes it three flavors out of the box: Mate, KDE, or XFCE. If I had to do a new install that I was going to use for a desktop computer I think Parrot Home Edition would be my first choice.

Parrot and Kali both have a security edition and I think either is a great choice.

Sparky is a distro that you may not have heard of. It comes in both a stable and a semi-rolling release. It comes in many flavors including Rescue and Minimal CLI. I use the Minimal CLI for virtual machines. It is nice and lightweight for those time you want a lightweight vm over using Docker.

Debian is also a great choice when you want something just rock solid stable. If you are going to have a mission critical server Debian is the way to go.

My choices would be:

Parrot Home Edition for my desktop.

Kail or Parrot for security work

Sparky for vm work.

Debian stable for mission critical servers, whether VM or bare metal.







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