Moving to Debian Stretch (Testing)

Those who have talked to me in the past few months know that I've been a bit discontent with Ubuntu lately. Specifically around the stability of 16.04. A couple years ago, I switched to using Ubuntu Gnome. Originally, I felt that Unity had some very interesting UX ideas to increase productivity (specifically the HUD). However, in recent years I feel that Unity really hasn't been making much progress. Anyhow, over the past year, I've mainly stayed with Ubuntu due to its compatiblity in the workplace; since everyone seems to make packages for "Ubuntu". I tried various other distributions but they were either too unstable, too old, or a pain to manage for a work machine.

I don't know who recommended it to me, but someone mentioned for me to try Debian Testing (Stretch). So I pulled the trigger about two weeks ago and rebuilt my primary work machine with it. I'm still using Gnome 3, as my current workflow has been adapted to that; however, I was pleasently surprised. A lot of the rougher aspects that I remember from strict Debian are gone. Full-disk encryption is available at install time and dealing with propriary Nvidia drivers was simple and straight forward. Using Debian Testing gives me the newer packages I need without dealing with messy backports. There was one oddity around font rendering that I had to fix, but other than that, its been remarkably smooth on my Skylake desktop! Consider me impressed!

I also tried it on my Skylake laptop which wasn't quite as smooth. The touchpad didn't work during the installer, but it came alive after the install was done. Also, I had to enable the non-free repos and install the atheros firmware package for my wifi to start functioning, but that really wasn't a surprise. So it was a little more work to install, but it's running quite smooth now. We'll see if this is a long-term change, but so far, it's looking pretty positive. If you want to step away from Ubuntu and just try something alittle different, give it a shot!

Debian Testing Wiki