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Re: [ossig] Enterprise Linux: UserLinux, Debian - conclusion



--- Christopher DeMarco <cdemarco@fastmail.fm> wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 05:02:54AM -0700, Mukhsein
> Johari wrote:
> 
> > I didn't mean for this to get into a FC/Debian
> > yum/apt-get religious debate - but of course, I
> > shoulda known, huh? :-P
> 
> Yup.  But then, you're probably  one of those
> brain-damaged vi  users,
> right?
> 

Wow, that's the first time I've been accused of being
a vi user! :-)

<rant>
Actually, I hate vi. With zero apologies to vi-bigots,
I have to say it's quite possibly the most unfriendly
and unintuitive text editor ever made. I actually use
a lot of mc on the command line - so, quite often I'm
using mcedit. Since I got used to mcedit, I find that
I even use it when I'm not in an mc session. The fact
that mcedit also has syntax highlighting makes it even
more of a pleasure to use when quickly editing code.
(python, bash, html)
</rant>

> Slackware - hardcore DIY minimalist old-skool Linux
> Red Hat - for corporate and new users
> SuSE - for corporate and newbie Germans (Roter
> Hut!?)
> Debian - more mainstream than Slackware, less
> mainstream than Red Hat

Funny thing is, I found slackware to be *the* easiest
linux to use/maintain. How screwed up is that? :-)

I think that slackware actually makes it *easy* for
you to DIY. I must investigate Debian some more,
perhaps. I'll wait till sarge is stable and then
re-evaluate Debian.
 
> The Debian userbase is  traditionally scornful of  
> the RH GUI way  of
> doing things but at the same time very supportive of
> the custom Debian
> tools  

Custom debian tools. Hmmm.

>  Slackware,   but
> Slackware  users  by-and-large   tend  to  skip  the
>  Red   Hat  phase
> altogether.  

Are you sure? My first distro was Red Hat, then
Mandrake. My stint in BSD-land opened my eyes to how
nice "keeping it simple and clean" is. So, upon
switching back to Linux, I tried Gentoo. It's a nice
way to learn linux and its ports-like software updates
is cool. However, it's certainly not the distro to use
if you'll be installing linux on many different
machines. Just takes way too much time. So Slackware
was it. Easy to install (easier than FreeBSD!),
configure and use.

> Tom's Boot/Root Disk).  The reason  you see more
> Debian-based projects
> is is  that the group  of hackers who  create  new
> projects  but DON'T
> hand-roll  their   projects will probably  fall into
>   the Debian camp
> rather than the Red Hat.
> 

OK. Conclusion to "why Debian?"!

Debian seems to be the popular distro for customizers
because:

1. Things are well engineered
1a. Stability seems paramount, even at expense of new
features.
1b. You choose how "daring" you want to be wrt
stability when upgrading/installing. (testing and
unstable)
2. Wealth of apt-get-able packages so even if custom
distro, standard debs will generally work OOTB. (cf.
Xandros, Lindows, Skolelinux) Not so with slack for
example.
2a. apt-get handles both src as well as pre-compiled
packages
3. Default/Base install is small and has few
dependencies (very important for customization)
4. "debian way" more DIY-friendly compared to other
base distros
5. Very large but close-knit community


Well, I hope this excursion has also been of interest
to others here. I'm thinking that, if you intend to
roll out a custom distro for specific installation
(eg. a particular college lab, a particular company)
you might want to take a good look at Debian and other
debian-based distros. (Skole-linux and knoppix/gnoppix
come to mind). In fact, I'm feeling the "lets see if
distro X would be a better fit for me" itch now. When
sarge->stable is released, I'll surely read all the
reviews. :-)

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