Debian 11 Bullseye with Cinnamon desktop on my T430s [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

Exploring Linux OS: Debian 11 Bullseye.

  • Hardware: Lenovo ThinkPad T430s; CPU 2.60 GHz Dual core, RAM 8 GB and SSD 250 GB. 14 inch screen with 1366x768 resolution.

Debian to me is like a Volvo car (at least the older models like PV, Amazon, 140s, 240s and more): Robust, reliable and simply works day by day.

Beginning of summer 2020 I installed Debian 10 Buster; Exploring Linux OS: Debian, part #1. I had big troubles to get Debian working. I had installed the official version which meant no proprietary firmware. I solved it, and I explained how I did it in the article.

It is possible to upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11. But by mistake I overwrote the Debian partition when I installed elementary 11 Odin a couple of days ago... therefore no alternative than make a fresh new installation.

This time I instead decided to go for the unofficial version with proprietary firmware included. Debian has so many alternatives, and a big website, so it is easy to get lost what to choose and where to find it. For this installation, I went to this directory: Unofficial non-free images including firmware packages and further to here. In comparison, Elementary that I installed a few days earlier is an easy decision, they simply have one alternative to install.

I downloaded and flashed four desktop variants: KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. I tried all as live-USB and decided then to install the Cinnamon desktop version. Debian 11 is based comes with Cinnamon 4, so not the latest Cinnamon 5. Several more desktop options are available.

Installation of Debian 11 Bullseye went very well and with non-free firmware included I did not get into those troubles I had with Debian 10.

Debian 11 Bullseye comes with a set of software needed for most users as a good start, far more software than in elementary and more similar to Mint. For an overview of news for Bullseye release, see the Debian news article.

Generally I like Debian. Not at least for its robustness and its huge repository of applications. And its availability in so many versions for different needs and tastes. A drawback as I understand is that the "conservative" approach means the latest versions of applications are not available and also based on not the latest Linux kernel. I still consider Mint as my Linux home (I currently most use macOS, with Linux in my roadmap as primary operating system family). Mint is, in my view, an evolution of Debian that is less conservative. Mint, like elementary, are based on Ubuntu, and Ubuntu is based on Debian.

It is a greatness of Linux OS: there are so many to choose from, and the one I prefer is different from many others needs and preferences. And I can also have multiple myself for different needs. As I am relatively new to Linux, and so far not using it as primary OS, I may change my mind regarding Mint. I think I always will like Debian, and as a friend said he always comes back to Debian. I am hesitant if Debian will be my primary choice, but maybe.

In short, Debian 11 Bullseye went well to install and is a good operating system.

Henrik Hemrin

7 September 2021

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