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

Jim Richardson warlock@eskimo.com
Sun Feb 15 21:12:49 PST 2004

On Mon, Feb 16, 2004 at 02:57:44PM +1100, Mike MacCana wrote:
>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

Agreed, a design decision, which I prefer one way over the other. I
don't automatically run upgrades, I scrutinize them, that's part of my
job really. Although if I were so inclined, it's a simple matter to run
the upgrade automagically, taking care of the config part. (absent any
big glitches, like any other system) 

>> 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.

Why? I've stuck with Debian after using RH and SuSE. I prefer Debian.

>> 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.

More packages, and a more consistant (although sometimes annoying)
naming policy. 

>> 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.

Looked at it, skipped it, a little unproven and rough around the edges
right now, but bears looking at for the RH inclined folk. For me, the
only RH servers I have, now run Legacy (or will, when RH9 EOL's) New
installs typically have Debian. 

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

I've used RPM based distro's before. In the absence of Debian and it's
package management system, I'd consider them, or perhaps Gentoo, but I
see no reason to change at the moment. I am sure there are things I
don't know about the rpm system, just as there are things I don't know
about dpkg and friends, or portage. The world is a broad place, and I
don't expect to know everything about everything. On the other hand, I
have yet to come across a limitation with .deb that I haven't been able
to work around in some form.

Jim Richardson     http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
Those who live by the sword are shot by those who don't.
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