[linux-elitists] [RANT] Debian the Elitist Distribution?

Mike MacCana mikem@cyber.com.au
Sun Feb 15 19:57:44 PST 2004

On Sun, 15 Feb 2004, Jim Richardson wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 16, 2004 at 01:37:44PM +1100, Mike MacCana wrote:
> >On Sun, 15 Feb 2004, Jim Richardson wrote:
> >
> >> While I prefer .deb over .rpm. There are some things that RPM does
> >> better, gpg signing packages for one, and building from srpms is a
> >> easier than building from src .debs in my experience. I also find it
> >> easier to create .rpm rather than .deb packages, but I prefer ti use
> >> .deb because on balance, I far prefer Debian's package managing
> >> system over the rpm based ones.
> >
> >You prefer because you prefer it? More detail please...
> >
> RPM lacks the fine grained tools that dpkg offers. The ability to
> reconfigure a package

That's a design decision - in the RPM world, package installation and
upgrade is seperate from configuration. I've always done the post-install
reconfig on Debian boxes I've used, so I'm not sure if its optional or
mandatory, but the idea behind RPM is that you can install a couple of
hundred updates from cron overnight and wake up to them already being

> query it, get good results from a search

More detail, please. Not really interested in comparisons, just want to
make sure you're aware of RPMs capabilities.

> Apt is great, it's a front end for dpkg, and I use it mostly. I've
> tinkered with apt on rpm distros, It's getting better, but it's not
> quite the same. Probably because there are basic differences in the
> package formats. I suspect that will get ironed out eventually.

I like apt too, particularly its fix option. Yum's nicer in some respects
as it has modular header files, meaning faster refreshing of available

The only major difference I can see is that Debian has a whole lot more
packages in its main repositories than Red Hat, which is damn useful. In
RH there's a bit more repository hunting. OTOH, the ability to mix local
dirs, yum repositories, apt repositores and RHN in one client app
(up2date) is kinda neat.

> I like the stability of Stable (stable in the sense of not changing
> things that don't need changing) for servers. Fedora-legacy is a big
> step forward in that area for me. It's allowed me to continue with some
> existing RH 7.X servers, rather than have to reinstall with something
> supported.

Cool. You might also want to check out whitebox. Its rebuilt RHEL, minus
official support. You can install a whitebox system now and not have to
upgrade it (apart from security updates and bugfixes) till 2008.

> Good enough ?

Indeed. Again, just wanna make sure you're aware of all the options :^)


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