The most common flavour of Debian, being the first. Debian is a very large distribution, the current release (named Etch) being more than <!-- Please supply correct number --> 14 CDs on the i386 platform. Only the first couple are really necessary, as packages are ordered according to popularity. Debian is best used on a network with access to a Debian mirror. Practically anything you might want is then only an "apt-get" away.
The current debian stable distibution, Etch was released on the 8th of April 2007. Due to the long time between Debian releases (almost 2 years at last count), Debian Stable typically has older versions of several important components, such as X.
For Linux newbies, Ubuntu is the recommended Debian-based distribution, as it is more frequently updated, and specifically geared towards user-friendliness. Ubuntu has a live-CD available, but ["Distributions/Knoppix"] is another popular, frequently-updated live-CD that is also based on Debian. (Mandrake and Fedora are two other popular distributions for new users, both from the RedHat family).
Debian supports a wide range of cpu-architecures (see [http://www.debian.org/ports]), but archive.sun.ac.za only mirrors i386.
This section needs to be updated to refer to Etch as the stable release.
CD images are available via [http://archive.sun.ac.za/ftp/iso-images/debian/] - 3.1r0a is sarge, the current stable release (the 0a release was to fix a minor error in the r0 CD-builds). The first update to sarge, 3.1r1 was released on 20 Dec 2005, but the CD images are not yet mirrored locally.
Sarge can still be installed from floppies if nessecary, however, the floppy images (as far as I know) do not support the 2.6 kernel due to space constraints. Thus the floppy option is only reasonable for hardware well-supported by the 2.4 kernels. Sarge can also be installed from a USB "flash disk".
The 2.6 kernel used by the installer is 2.6.8, which has some problems with certain SATA controllers. If you have a recent SATA controller, check the installer FAQ [http://wiki.debian.net/index.cgi?DebianInstallerFAQ] carefully. The debian installer wiki [http://wiki.debian.net/index.cgi?DebianInstaller] is also a useful resource
For the main varsity archive:
# The stable (currently Sarge or Debian 3.1) distribution deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian/non-US stable/non-US main contrib non-free deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian stable main contrib non-free #When stable-proposed-updates are available, uncomment the next 2 lines deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian stable-proposed-updates main contrib non-free #deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian/non-US stable-proposed-updates/non-US main contrib non-free deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/mirrorsites/security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib non-free deb-src ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian stable main contrib non-free deb-src ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian/non-US stable/non-US main contrib non-free # testing (currently etch) #deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian testing main contrib non-free #deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian testing-proposed-updates main contrib non-free #deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/mirrorsites/security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free #deb-src ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian testing main contrib non-free # unstable (sid) #deb ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian unstable main contrib non-free #deb-src ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/debian unstable main contrib non-free
A sources.list template can be found at http://archive.sun.ac.za/ftp/linux/docs/debian_sources_list. (On 25 July 2005 this was outdated.)
Newer sources.list http://students.ee.sun.ac.za/~jgb/colinux/sources.list (On 25 July 2005 this was unavailable.)
There currently does not appear to be a local mirror for [http://volatile.debian.net], but backports.org is mirrored at [ftp://archive.sun.ac.za/mirrorsites/www.backports.org].
(Note that non-US does not exists after sarge - etch has no non-US - thanks to US legislation getting a clue.)
The goal of Debian GNU/BSD is to port the Debian system (dpkg,apt,dselect, et al) to a BSD kernel. When the project is finished, users will be able to install GNU/BSD systems The Debian Way(tm).
The [http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/hurd.html GNU Hurd] is the GNU project's replacement for the Unix kernel. The Hurd is a collection of servers that run on the Mach microkernel to implement file systems, network protocols, file access control, and other features that are implemented by the Unix kernel or similar kernels (such as Linux).
Development was started before the GNU project was aware of the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is currently the recommended end-user kernel for a GNU system. GNU/Hurd is only recommended for developers, and the curious.