For my university studies and to keep up to date with what's happening in the Linux world (given I'm a FreeBSD guy mostly) I decided to dual boot my new desktop machine with Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 Etch. In the past I'd always used Slackware to fill this role, but I figured I'd just try something new.

ASIDE: "Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 Etch" just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as "Slackware Linux 12" or "FreeBSD 7.0 Release". A ridiculously pointless observation, but one that I believe deserves recognition. And it would look just fab printed on a shirt.

Within a few minutes of starting the initial install, I got the following error:

Debian Etch failure

No common CD-ROM drive was detected? Are they serious?

Using the exact same optical drive I've been able to install the latest versions of FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and Slackware Linux, not to mention a creaky old version of Windows 2000 and even IBM OS/2 Warp! And yet Debian GNU/Linux cannot even detect the drive after the initial boot phase?

I took it to be a sign to keep using Slackware for my Linux partitions. It's a shame, I was looking forward to seeing why people seem to love apt-get so much; I guess it's back to my FreeBSD desktop with the ports collection, and Slackware Linux with pkgsrc. Not that I'm complaining, it's still my favourite distribution!