[RESPONDED] Thinking about installing Debian on AMD 13, change my mind

I’d go with Fedora. I use Fedora Silverblue on my Framework and Workstation on my PC. That deb packages aren’t available doesn’t really matter as most things are available as Flatpak or AppImage. In Silverblue you aren’t even supposed to install packages at all.

Compared to Ubuntu, Fedora has the more vanilla and more polished Gnome experience. Last time I tried Ubuntu, I constantly had to fight it because of crappy snaps, weird customisations, and at some point they even integrated ads. Fedora is fully open source (as much as you reasonably can without throwing out binary device firmware and so on) and not as “commercial”.


Ok, two different answers, one recommending Ubuntu and one Fedora, that make me reconsider things.

@2disbetter the OEM kernel is the real strong argument in favor of Ubuntu, without that I’d be just considering Debian with no regret.

What I don’t measure exactly is that:

It has an OEM kernel specific for the Framework and this is important for having all the necessary drivers.

What’s exactly the OEM kernel, and how does it differ from the backported kernels in Debian stable? People report here that Debian works perfectly fine in case you install the firmwares, what exactly does the OEM kernel to work “better”? (And does it really work better?).

For the lack of official support, it’s fine, I’ve been on my own for 20 years so kind of used to it.

Else for the snap/flatpack hate, I’m used to discard things coming from the community, but here it’s personal experience not liking it. Plus there are drawbacks, see here for example Firefox - Debian Wiki As a web developer, knowing that my web browser doesn’t work normally is a real fear. So if it’s a real pain “de-snapping” Ubuntu, better use a distro that doesn’t rely on it heavily. That said, I like the concept of both snaps and flatpacks and find it really useful for some side apps.

@Jonathan_Haas Interesting, it’s perhaps just a fear of leaving the deb world after 20 years in it (just a small transition on Arch), but I’ve been seriously considering Fedora for the official support and because it ticks all the boxes. As @2disbetter says, there is one problem for me: the 6 months iteration between versions. The 2 years cycle of Ubuntu and Debian (approximate) fits me well. I don’t know how it goes with Fedora, but my experience with Ubuntu and Debian is that you quickly have deb sources out of official repos pinned to your distro version, a specific PostgreSQL install to fit your production version, the asdf install that may break with an upgrade, etc, and so upgrading needs some planning, work to replace the deb sources with newer ones, and you should be ready that things break. So every two years is more than enough. But perhaps these are Debian only problems and the every-six-months upgrade is a non-event even if you have a custom development environment installed? Anyway, I’ll just try now an install in a virtual environment, try to get a full development environment working, and see how it goes.

Depends. You can use toolbox on Fedora to set up specific development environments, which won’t be affected by system upgrades. I generally would install as few packages as possible on the main system and use flatpaks and other containers for random apps and development stuff.

This is of course a different approach to how other Linux Systems like Debian and Ubuntu have worked historically, where you just installed tons of deb packages.

Yeah, well, to be honest now the “ton of debs packages” is less and less the approach: I mostly use ASDF to deal with tools versions. But it still needs some deb packages to compile each tool if needed, and the database server is native to my system. The containerized way never clicked for me, but I’ll give a try, and I’ll document on differences between toolbox and docker.

The main difference is that toolbox mainly creates a virtual environment for package installation while still giving you full access to your normal home directory and files and stuff, while docker creates its own more isolated operating system that you usually use to only run one specific application or service.

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The Kernel (including the recommended OEM C one) in 22.04 has known bugs with the amd including several bits of non operational things such as the EC and amd-pstate cpu frequency driver which is very much needed on the Zen4 platfrom. ‘Works perfectly’ is very much not what I would call it.

FC39 is your best bet currently. Also Fedora sticks to upstream project bits much more closely than Ubuntu so you don’t end up needing to learn a delta between it and everything else unlike ubuntu.


Good point! I updated my comments on that.

My experience has been that updating is generally what breaks things on Linux. It seems counterintuitive, but I have learned that using flatpak, snap, and appimages is a much more stable way of using the latest software.

However, as you work for Redhat, I take what you are saying with a lot of appreciation. In general, have you found Fedora to be very stable on your Framework, even between releases? It is the little issues that drive me the most wild, and why I have come to appreciate an older slower approach.

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I hear you - I was exactly in the same place. Having used Ubuntu for over a decade now, I was very keen on getting again a deb based system. But similarly to what you describe, the forced Snap installations for more and more of the basic desktop environment apps has really taken its toll with me - they’ve always been super slow to start and hide their data files in some arkane location that makes it hard to backup.

This was also my fear with Fedora - but it turns out to be an absolute non-issue.

So after soem pondering I went for Fedroa Workstation 39 and what can I say - I am very happy with it. I get a clean and vanilla GNOME desktop right from the first boot without the necessity to spend an hour replacing Canonical-specific themes et cetera. The dnf command for rpm package control feels very natural to use and even resolves some issues I always had with apt-get and the likes (dnf searchh anyone?).

Concerning repositories and guidance for 3rd-party apckage installation I found always also a Fedora / RPM solution - very likely due to the prevalence of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.



Getting Fedora WS 39 on mine instead of Ubuntu.
To me, Fedora strikes a balance between Arch and Ubuntu/Debian.
I was originally going Arch.
But it’s going to be my work machine, so…


I’m running Debian unstable. It works fine.

One major issue I have is fractional scaling. I have an 4K monitor attached which I want to run with 175% scaling and the internal display with 150% scaling.
GNOME does not handle this very well unfortunately (for X(Wayland)) applications.
Unfortunately I have a couple of those, like AndroidStudio.
(The problem is, that those XWayland applications become very blurry)
So, I decided to go with KDE/Plasma on Debian unstable and that works rather well.

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A couple more data points: Idle power consumption is about 4 watts (my laptop has 64GB RAM, 2 TB SSD, Ryzen 7, 2 USB-C, 2 USB-A).
External display is attached via USB4.
I had some problems with firmware-amd-graphics acting a bit weird with the external display, so I decided to pull the firmware directly from git.
With that setup, I’m mostly happy with it, i.e. I can recommend running Debian unstable.

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I really like the Framework display, especially the 3/2 display ratio with the higher resolution. But it screams for a fractional scaling like 125% or 150%

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Unstable is excluded for me as well of testing, I don’t want to risk losing a day of work for an apt update that brings changes I wasn’t prepare for. But thanks for the report!

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Thanks all for your answers!

Well, I actually changed my mind, and went for Fedora 39. First try out of the deb world for me. Thanks to @2disbetter to insist on the benefits of an officially supported distro, and @Jonathan_Haas @jwp @herodot and @xaverine to talk me into Fedora.

For now I haven’t installed anything, but the desktop looks gorgeous and fits well with the hardware. It’s just so nice, it’s all polished and smooth and integrated with the hardware as if it was a Mac BUT it is Linux (and for having tried both, Mac desktop never clicked for me while GNOME does). I’m really happy.

I just activated scaling, and I’m under the impression text is slightly blurry in Firefox, I’ll look into that.

Now next step is to figure out how to get my development environment running. I already replaced bash by zsh, now next steps will be ASDF, and running the right versions of Erlang, Elixir, Node, Ruby through ASDF, and a local PostgreSQL database somehow, and VScode. I’m not sure, given ASDF, if I really need Toolbox or not. I find the idea interesting that said. How does it play with the code editor and access servers running on toolbox with browsers? (Perhaps for another thread, but good thing to have pointed me in this direction.)

Thanks everybody!


Do try out toolbox containers. They are really super useful for dev bits without having to dive headfirst into understanding podman desktop et al

Sorry to hijack the thread but wanted to see if you were able to get the sleep piece to work as well. I too am running Sid with the latest firmware and everything works perfectly for me except I can not get the laptop to suspend. It runs cool and low power when idle but cant get suspend to work. Curious the state for you in that regard.

s2idle works for me on Debian sid.
Power consumption is a bit high though (around 1% per hour).

Try running firefox with Wayland enabled:

Do you might sharing which kernel switches you had to enable and which kernel version?
Did you also have to update all the /usr/lib/firmware/ and if so did you use the 20231111 or 20231030 set?
I have tried many variations and mine will not suspend. It suspends but then immediately resumes.
Do you have this masked or disabled?

cat /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/gpe1A

Any changes to the BIOS settings?

Trying to isolate a baseline of what is working.

I can start a new thread too if you dont mind me bothering you. I tried many variations of BIOS settings, kernels, and parameters but I have not had luck with suspend. Everything else seems to work perfectly.

You are welcome and encouraged to install and use the distro that is best for you. And if you run into issues, the forums and this thread are here for you.

If there are problems that escalate into a ticket, we will ask for testing against our tested/officially supported distros as that is where our own testing has been done.

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