It took awhile, but Debian Wheezy 7 is finally here and available to download. I have been playing around with Debian Wheezy for the past year, and I have had it installed on my desktop computer since last summer. So my expectation and excitement has been high regarding this release of Debian's new Stable branch.
I have KDE Wheezy on my desktop computer, and even with just a 1.8 ghz processor and 750 mb of ram, by tweaking KDE Wheezy a bit, mostly by turning off effects, Debian 7 KDE runs faster and better than Windows XP ever did on that old computer.
More recently I installed Debian Wheezy Gnome onto one of my netbook computers, and while Gnome Shell is not my favorite Linux desktop, I no longer hate it and find it runs well even on a netbook with a 1.66 ghz Atom processor with 1 gig of ram. You will have a hard time getting anything besides Debian running so light and so fast on low spec hardware with those full KDE and Gnome desktops. Debian shines because it is light, fast, and reliable.
The downside of Debian is that it is not the first Linux distribution that comes to mind when you think of newcomers to Linux. Having done three installs of vanilla Debian it is not quite the chore I found it to be the first time, but even with a slightly improved installer I find I must 'babysit' the installer. Unlike with many Linux installers where you tell the installer what you want then let it do its thing, with Debian's installer it does something, asks you questions, does something for awhile, asks yet more questions, and so it goes for the better part of an hour. I think it is worth it once you have Debian installed, but for newcomers this distribution may not be the best choice.
There are easier Debian versions to install, such as MEPIS, and Mint Debian, but for the bold or experienced, vanilla Debian can be a very satisfying.
I tried three of the Debian Live CDs: KDE, Gnome, and LXDE. All three booted fine and worked fine in live mode. They can be found here: Debian Live CDs.
I installed Gnome Debian 7 using DVD 1 on my netbook using the image found at this link: Debian Installer Images.
For those new to Linux, or simply wanting an easier, quicker installation, Mint Debian, Saline OS, or MEPIS will probably be a better choice to get Debian. But for those willing to put in a little time and effort, those who want pure Debian in its pristine state, it is worthwhile to learn the steps to install vanilla Debian.
I have been using Linux for about two years now. I have used and tested most of the major Linux distributions and many of the smaller ones. I have had the fewest problems and the best service from Debian. I have in mind Debian Stable in particular. It is rock solid, dependable, fast, light, and in my experience less prone to break from updates than other Linux distributions.
Debian 7 Wheezy is Linux at its best. Another great Debian Stable release. Congratulations to all those involved!