Debian is composed of free software mostly carrying the GNU General Public License. The operating system is developed by an internet collaboration of volunteers aligned with The Debian Project.
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Pro Extremely easy to find help with any problem
Debian is one of the oldest and most popular distros out there. Debian's popularity means that you will always be able to find a solution for your problem just by searching on Google, or if by chance nobody has had the problem you are having it's very easy to ask the community and quickly get a solution.
Pro Wide choice of hardware platforms
Debian has the widest choice of hardware platforms, including:
amd64, armel, armhf, i386, ia64, kfreebsd-i386, kfreebsd-amd64, mips, mipsel, powerpc, sparc, s390, s390x, source, multi-arch
Pro Comes with over 37500 packages
Because of its popularity, Debian has a lot of applications available which range from productivity programs to business software, games and development tools. It comes with over 37500 packages (software that is precompiled and ready to be installed on a local machine) -- all of them for free.
Pro Wide choice in desktop environments
Debian offers stable and testing CD images specifically built for GNOME (the default), KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce and LXDE. Less common window managers such as Enlightenment, Openbox, Fluxbox, GNUstep, IceWM, Window Maker and others can also be installed.
Pro Standard vanilla Linux desktop
Debian runs standard Gnome, XFCE, KDE - it doesn't use its own special desktop environment, which means that users benefit from the work of the whole Linux community, Debian developers can focus on the distribution itself, and any support for your desktop environment on other distributions should work on Debian as well.
Pro Live install images for CDs, DVDs and USB thumb drives
Debian releases live install images for CDs, DVDs and USB thumb drives, for the i386 and amd64 architectures, and with a choice of desktop environments. These Debian Live images allow the user to boot from a removable media and run Debian without affecting the contents of their computer.
Pro Highly secure system
Known for being consistent in maintaining a highly secure system. Several other popular distros use Debian as a base or core for their own Linux OS, the security being one of the main factors why its so commonly used.
Con No default support for nonfree hardware
Non-free hardware will not work upon install of Debian and the user will need to search out the correct nonfree software to install in order to make them work. This can be difficult if one of the things not working is the wifi connection.
Con Hard to configure
After the initial installation, which is quite simple, it may be hard to configure Debian. Things like printers for example, are notoriously hard to set up on Debian for some computers.