Are you confused about debian/antiX/MX/devuan/Refracta editions?

Debian 10 Buster became stable a few months ago, the rest of the systems had to follow but took their time.  This is done every two years and creates a wave of confusion, especially those on forked versions of Debian, like antiX, MX, devuan, refracta, etc.  Even more dangerous and confusing it is if you are using testing and although testing during debian stretch was buster it now becomes bullseye, while your antiX/MX/Devuan is testing alongside Buster still.

After antiX announced 19 (Marielle Franco) as its current stable branch, MS followed its mothership the week later (a few days ago), while Devuan/Refracta are still chasing Stretch (Debian 9), what they call Devuan 2 or ascii.

So here it is, to take the confusion away from numbers and names:

Debian         *   Debian       *  AntiX/MX   *  Devuan
the last good1 *   7   Wheezy   *    13       *  0  beta-testing
old old stable *   8   Jessie   *    15       *  1 jessie (old-stable)
old stable     *   9   Stretch  *    17       *  2 ascii (stable)
stable         *  10   Buster   *    19       *  3 beowulf(testing)
testing        *  11   Bullseye *    21       *  4 chimaera (next testing)
unstable       *       sid      *    sid      *       ceres

As long as you are pulling packages from the same line you should be OK, if you are mixing and matching levels you are on your own, don’t ask for advise, you know better.

The packages for each level that come from debian and create trouble for the others (due to lack of systemd/systemd-libs/ and/or elogind & libs),  are rebuilt by antiX and devuan and their numbering system supersedes debian’s, so they replace them as upgrades.  In arch where you can have a hierarchy of repositories and a higher repository may have a lower version pkg and not get upgraded, things are much easier, but here we are dealing with the antiquity of apt/apt-get and the huge mess of debian repositories.

This chart is meant to take the confusion away from some, this is a popular source of endless debate on misunderstandings on debian based forums.  We are not going to mention mint or ubuntu here, what they do and what their relationship to debian is, because they are simply irrelevant.  Without Debian they are NOTHING!  At least we give credit to debian and its TWO true forks, antiX and devuan.

**  But you hate Devuan, why bother mention it?  **

I don’t hate Devuan, I distrust Devuan’s repository system, and the explanations their “authorities” give to justify its mysterious ways.  But this is a good opportunity to bring the subject UP again.  Devuan -testing or Beowulf is following buster, right?  For some time now there are NO UPGRADES, while they claim their repository is “merged” with Debian’s.  How can antiX/Debian 19/buster rain updates every day almost, even at a minimal installation (no DM, openbox) but Devuan’s same branch is DRY?  So it is not feeding Debian’s repositories, it is lying about it!  When Devuan stops its upgrading (freezing) they freeze Debian as well.   This is going on for a while now.   If it wasn’t out of respect for Refracta and the man that brought (struggled to) OpenRC to Devuan I wouldn’t even bother knowing this is going on.  But IT IS, and I WAS RIGHT, but they blocked and banned me out of their list and forum instead of giving a straight answer.  Hence the distrust!  The JUSTIFIED distrust in what they are mixing, why and how, and just feed as binaries to their users!

So what’s going to happen when they finally announce Devuan 3 Beowulf as Stable?  You are going to make an installation and it is then going to rain 2-3 months worth of upgrades all at once, so it would be a waste of an installation bandwidth, really!  So go with antiX, it is cleaner and more direct, more open in what it does and has nothing to hide.  It is also free of this stack-up corporate/academic attitude “we don’t have to explain everything” I learned to hate about devuan.

My 2c really, what are they going to do, sue me?



19 thoughts on “Are you confused about debian/antiX/MX/devuan/Refracta editions?

  1. Indeed, Devuan people are a bit…strange! 🙂
    They stable version stuck on Debian oldstable and the constant statement is, Beowulf will become stable, when it is ready!
    Meanwhile…AntiX is already there! 😉

    PS. I understand your frustration about Devuan fora. Seems they have a problem, with the increasing Troll population. 🙂


  2. Γεια χαρά!
    I have various installations of antix and refracta, testing and sid/ceres. Everything works fine, but every few days I have been updating, devuan-beowulf is expected to be about the same with antiX19, but lately I get 20-30 upgrades on antiX, on refracta I get 0! This is what they call a freeze on Debian before it gets stable. But Debian doesn’t depend on anyone, they can do what they want, devuan freezes while debian keeps evolving. So with such long freeze periods what is the point to announce a frozen August Devuan Beowulf and the next day crank the Debian faucet on? What is the point of installing a rolling distro that is a few months old? Might as well do a net-install. What pisses me off is that if someone asks on the issue they will deny it is happening. They will start blaming you for having “wrong repositories” and inquire of the syntax and beat around the bush (which they love to do, while treating you like a complete newby and idiot).
    If you had two very similar installations side by side, and do upgrades on both antiX19 and devuan3 you could tell for a long while they were parallel. A debian package would upgrade on one it would upgrade on the other. All of a sudden antiX keeps rolling and Devuan is on a choke leash.

    It gets deeper than this, but I don’t want to repeat the stress of explaining it, it is all written here. They have tor-repositories, right? Like debian do. Their tor repositories supposedly are a match with their non-tor repositories, right? They are not! Not only are they not, they can tell a tor connection from a non-tor connection and forward the debian branch through a 2nd tor connection which is a no-no by tor. Why are they separating tor connections from non-tor https connections? What business is it of theirs to scrutinize how you connect? And why if you compare the two you get different times/upgrades of packages? Aaaa hhaaaa!!!

    Don’t trust them any more than windows, maybe cracked windows from torrent downloads. Don’t trust them as a “middle man” between you and debian, if you know what I mean.


  3. Robin, I have an article on what it means to “pretend” neutrality on internet forums and even live social situations. There is no such thing as neutrality, it is a ton of hypocrisy, that is what it is.
    To put it in simple math terms you are either for equality or you are against it. You are either for economic equality or you are for the enforcement of economic inequality. The same thing with political equality, it is either you are for equality or against it, which means you believe in hierarchy and authority. That simple.

    This late neo-liberal pro-capitalist hypocritical trend of “leaving politics out”, out of what and where, work? Entertainment, the arts, hobbies? Does this mean that poor and rich we can get along together in a “neutral environment”, workers and employers, subordinate women and dominating men, left wingers and misanthropic fascists, we can pretend we are together peacefully. Why pretend, or why be forced to be together when we are enemies? If a neo-nazi has a problem with his linux am I supposed to help him? I’d rather cut my arm off than ever help those low-lifes.

    When your neutrality allows neo-nazis, rapists, sadists, child-molesters, racists, religious fundamentalists, to be allowed and your neutrality “protects” them, you are encouraging all this and hiding behind some superficial neutrality.

    I didn’t remove the comments from here of those threatening me with serious violence, that threaten to crash me like a cockroach, or that I (we) will drown in our own blood, “when they come for us”, but I neither claim some neutrality or welcome such neo-nazi scum. I believe this is clear.

    I’ve run antiX for nearly 2 years now, I’ve never seen this anti-zionism. Where is it? There is also a huge difference between anti-zionism and anti-antisemitism. Go to artix if you want some neutral administrators that “protect” antisemites but prevent “political talk” against them.

    Anyone who gets offended by this NON-NEUTRALITY should never visit this site again, or antix, or any forum where we can express our political views freely. Because this is this neo-neutrality, a restriction on free political speech. It is fascism covered up with a pretty dress.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. The citizen of a democracy, is a political animal.
    Only juntas wants, a-political citizens!

    I understand a different political view, but no opinion at all???
    This is a no-no for democracies!


  5. There is a growing neo-liberal culture that seems to have started through the internet with a quadrillion boards and forums on specific subjects dictating “no-political discussion” with the excuse “so we can get along”. Hipsters seem to have swallowed the bait and are enforcing the same moderation on their physical social discussions. They seem to treat “politics” as one of the quadrillion hobbies and fetishes capitalism seems to promote as specific markets for ease and inexpensive marketing of specific products and services. This plague begun from the US and is spreading as a value worldwide, to the effect of the submissive passive “citizens” we are surrounded. Zombies to us treat us political animals as zombies as well.

    To be political means that you have opinions and share them about things we have in common in any society/community. You pursue rational debate so better common opinions are formed, especially among people who have mutual material interests. To pass the torch of discussion about what we have in common to the specialists and authorities we are passing the entire authority to them to decide everything for us. No political discourse no freedom. The global neo-liberal financial-industrial dictatorship is here to stay and nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody talks about the development of having to work for 70+ hours a week and be paid less, sometimes infrequently, sometimes not at all. Out public land, water, our resources, our human-right to access to them, was revoked, as it all turned to “government property” and as “property and real-estate” it can be sold to private ownership and/or management, denying this fundamental human right. In effect they cheated their own constitution and are selling human rights to private interests. Even oceans shrunk and now 200mi from shore they are sellable/leasable private zones. You can’t hop on a sailboat and cruise the 5 oceans and the 7 seas. We should would have to pay tolls to cross a large sea or ocean.



  6. I’ve run antiX for nearly 2 years now, I’ve never seen this anti-zionism. Where is it? <<

    In the video the author discusses it and where he found them. The default browser’s bookmarks.

    Please don’t misunderstand, I like antiX because of it’s masterful use of Debian without systemd, because of it’s speed, simplicity, and the old Mepis magic.

    But we disagree about remaining neutral as far as the actual product is concerned.


  7. There is a HUGE difference, Robin, of not having an opinion, or to be “neutral” as you say, which I explained it is never neutral, and to try and prohibit others of expressing their own. This is what you are saying, that opinions shouldn’t be published, each should keep it to themselves. That is what Germans did from 33-45, they didn’t have an opinion, they were neutral. They were neutral during the war and they remained neutral after the war. The vast majority pretended they were not nazi supporters, they were neutral. Up until the 70s people were persecuted in Germany for expressing an opinion, teachers, professors, people in industry, in the arts. If you expressed an opinion you were being persecuted. And the majority remained “neutral”. This is W.Germany I am talking about, the one under US occupation where you were persecuted for having anti-US ideas.

    Neutrality is what dictators and tyrants need so they can rule and exterminate all their enemies.


  8. As Ancient Greeks said: “If the vast majority of good citizens, don’t care about their state affairs, they leave the control of the state to the few bad ones, who want to manipulate things, in order to gain personal profits (in expense of everyone else)”.

    I think they knew what they said. They invented Democracy after all! 🙂


  9. Remember what they called citizens was a small minority of the population while there were many many slaves around doing all the manual work. Not all slaves were captured soldiers of the Persians, many were just people who were dragged to Greek cities to be slaves. I don’t recall any female Greek philosophers and scientists, other than an exiled poet. Those “few bad ones” were gangs such as the one Plato had, conspiring to overthrow democracy and bring aristocracy back. Finally came Alexander the butcher, and ended that little bit of democracy that existed in a few cities, all scientific inquiry was stopped, philosophical schools were shut and destroyed, and more than 1500 years after Eratosthenes measured the circumference of the earth, the christians were burning people alive if they claimed the earth was a sphere. Thanks to all the neutral people who refused to criticize those in authority.

    Changes, David Bowie …. what a man!


  10. Well…yes and no! 🙂

    1) Ancient Athens was indeed flawed and based on slaves, but it was a step forward (comparing with other states, mostly eastern empires).
    That not undervalue the statement, that citizens must be engaged on politics and not apathetic and neutral. No?

    2) there were female figures, philosophers, poets and even generals and political leaders. Nevertheless, ancient society was indeed patriarchic. Not a good thing, but it was >2 millennia ago!

    3) Please don’t confuse Christianity with Papism! I’m not a Christian myself, but easily one can tell the difference. More than that, Greeks never were under Pope authority (-enslavement?).

    Little details. Just for the record! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Like the man said, neutrality is a chimera.

    Long ago, Bill Gates famously “described free culture advocates as ‘modern-day sort of communists’.”

    Maybe ‘modern-day communism’ is really more like socialism. Maybe it’s anarchic. Or maybe, in it’s purer forms (not the debased Linux Foundation version) it’s just best described as … anticapitalista.

    Precise vocabulary aside–Gates might be a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one. In essence he saw his enemy quite clearly.

    The company he founded will never be ‘Linux-friendly’ until ‘Linux’ gets so co-opted, stuffed full of lennart droppings, and more useful to profits than freedom that we all have to abandon the GPL ship with a sad smile for the OpenBSD life raft.


    Liked by 1 person

  12. I suppose one can make the product “political, let’s say pro-abortion, and promote it as such: “Dead Baby Linux” or something, or on the web site one might express their political opinion: “A portion of your donations to Dead Baby Linux help fund Planned Parenthood.” That’s all fine. But hiding it in the actual product (say, by including it in saved bookmarks) without saying so is not very forthcoming, and might be off-putting to a pro-life user. That’s all I’m say’n. Have an opinion, express it, go for it! Screw neutrality! Just don’t bury it in the software to be discovered later on by the user.


  13. I don’t see mr Manjaro, or mr Ubuntu, raising some flag of being pro-capitalist fascist pigs, it is all hidden in neutrality till you express some criticism which they dislike. Then they shut you up so you don’t uncover their true nature. That’s how they make money selling PCs with their systems pre-installed from manufacturers who sell “their free product”.


  14. Where anticapitalista may have placed some political bookmarks, the likes of google, MS, et al implant their spyware and their ideology at the very core of their products…

    You get a home page, you “get” news, you get links, etc when you use those products – this is not so different.e others.


  15. Sometimes I get confused about comments seeing them in the admin-board list of comments and relate them to the wrong article. When reading this “criticism” about anticapitalista the first thing in mind was “wasn’t it exactly what I explained in this article?” … the article being about “apolitical forums being covered up fascism. I guess Robin didn’t read that article, which is more offensive than antiX ever was.

    AntiX does this free work and makes it public, anyone can use it and owe no favors or anything else to anticapitalista. AntiX can place symbols and statements on their work and it may appear undesirable to some users, who are free not to use it. Android is a free system you pay indirectly by buying the gadget, it is in most cases locked so it can’t be replaced, and hands all your data to private and state organization. It even has the audacity to ask for apps to have access to your private data and your hardware (camera, gps, microphone). Microsoft by comparison is nowhere as offensive (at least not publicly and openly). But they are pro-capitalist organizations without any doubt in anyone’s mind about their orientation.

    But antiX is an issue. Wait until I publish my own distribution, it will make antiX look like Hilary Clinton 🙂


  16. So neutrality is bad and politics is good? What a bunch of cr@p.

    “Neutrality is what dictators and tyrants need so they can rule and exterminate all their enemies.” <- The stupidest thing I’ve ever read here. Dictators and tyrants exist because of mindless political support, not because the lack of it, as neutrality means.

    “To put it in simple math terms you are either for equality or you are against it” <- Black or white, the favorite motto of f***ing raving idiots. Disgusting.

    What a f***ing waste of my time reading many (not all) of these comments. Devuan has all the fleas you want, but something great in the fora of theirs is the option to “hide” comments from certain troubled individuals. Great feature indeed. Here it would be quite useful.



  17. Neutrality is a political position like any other. Taking a neutral stance in certain situations is wilfully allowing the status quo to persist. If you chose to do nothing citing “neutrality”, you are leaving it to charlatans to rule. I think fungalnet has a point there – even though we don’t always agree.

    If you look at the last 30 years or so, people have become more apolitical and we read a lot of spin about it all being just about business and the economy – we’re still fed the same repackaged lie which we were fed in the 1980’s re: so called “trickle down economics” – the concept that in order for the person at the bottom to enjoy a marginally better quality of life, those at the top must get exorbitantly rich, to excess. In distracting the general population away from political process, they can be mislead continually by their “betters” who handle all of this on their behalf… Apathy is also the best friend of any political party representing a privileged minority of the population. That is how they can reliably abuse and subvert the “democratic” process, to ensure that a small percentage of population elects a government to serve their interests.

    Dictators and tyrants often exist due to military coups and international interventions by 3rd parties, not always because people “mindlessly” elect them. But a subliminal dictatorship of a ruling class can and does perpetuate due to what I have derailed above.

    There are perhaps cases for neutrality – i.e. these people are in the pockets of all of the various media channels, who ruthlessly attack, undermine, defame and ridicule any credible opposition. No neutrality to be found there. It’s a complex issue and it really boils down to encouraging people to be political, hold (any) political views without fear of stigma and encouraging them to take place in the democratic process, while looking more deeply at the issue with campaigning, with campaign funding and with a better approach to the lies and slander published in then media without resorting to censorship which would be even worth.

    The problem with the current trend of apolitical neutrality, is that is often called up on demand – and when that occurs it becomes tantamount to censorship in itself and the pushing of a particular political position as a result.

    (I’m not entirely sure what you’re referring to with regards to the Devuan forum, as I have little interest in that, so won’t comment further.)


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