[lug] RFI Debian vs. Slackware

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Fri Oct 6 11:41:43 MDT 2000

I know... let's just stop all the distro stuff for good...

http://www.linuxfromscratch.org !!

:) :) :)

"Michael J. Pedersen" wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 05, 2000 at 03:18:17AM -0600, J. Wayde Allen wrote:
> > Hi ... I'm Wayde and I'm a Debian user ...
> Hi, Wayde! (add lots of echoes to that for proper effect)
> > Actually let's see, I've used SLS, Slackware, Debian, KRUD, and
> > SuSE.  Like most distributions each has its good and bad points.
> Oh no! You dared to mention that a distro could have bad points! Let the
> flamings begin! :)
> > Probably the biggest difference between most of these systems is the way
> > that they treat software installation and management (package management).
> Ah, so sadly true. If only they all used the same tools for package
> management, what a good world this would be :)
> > Slackware is based on the traditional gziped and tar'ed approach.  If you
> > want to install a package you find the package.tgz source, uncompress it
> > and install it yourself.  That gives you the ultimate control over the
> > location of each package in your system.  It is also up to you to install
> > any software or libraries that the program you want to use depends on.
> It's worth noting that Slackware DOES have some tools for package management,
> including one named (surprisingly enough) pkgtool. However, unless it has
> changed drastically since I last saw it (four or so years ago, admittedly), it
> is not a very impressive tool, requiring you to manage the packages manually
> almost.
> > Basically, beyond the very base installation, the rest is completely up to
> > you.
> Slackware is, admittedly, one of the best at providing trimmed down systems
> for your use, that much is true.
> >     dpkg/dselect - Debian Package
> Actually, Wayde, you're leaving out 'apt', which is one of the nicest package
> management tools out there (with dselect being the most atrocious thing I have
> ever seen). Ahh, now to engage the rant gun on dselect:
> dselect is an incredibly powerful package management tool. Unfortunately, it
> takes the complexity of any variety of unix, squares it, and then throws in
> the line noise user interface of sendmail. For instance, to mark a package as
> being 'held' (a state where the package will be ignored for upgrade purposes),
> you use the '_' key. dselect is a user interface nightmare.
> However, apt is a user interface thing of beauty. Configure it once (specify
> where you wish to get packages from), and then you can, with almost every
> program out there, issue something like this: 'apt-get install program' and
> actually expect to see the program installed and configured correctly for your
> setup by the time it's done.
> > based systems.  Perhaps simply because I'm more familiar with it.  You do
> > need to keep in mind though, that there are probably more packages that
> > are created in .rpm format than .deb.  Getting a Red Hat CD also seems
> On this point, I think I have to disagree. I have only seen a VERY few
> programs which were not packaged in .deb format in the main Debian
> repositories. And of those, the authors either a) had done so on their site or
> b) not done any packaging at all.
> > easier to me than getting a good Debian CD.  For this reason, I tend to
> Amen to that! Fortunately, I usually keep a local mirror, and install from
> that. I find it much easier than bothering with bad CDs or slow networks.
> Anyway, my two cents on the whole comparison?
> 1) Debian has the WORST installer out of the lot. With 2.2, it's finally where
> Slackware was several years ago.
> 2) Debian has the best package management I've ever seen. I can easily get rid
> of, install, and configure any package in the system. Those that have system
> wide configuration will put their configs in /etc by default, making it very
> easy to find a given config file.
> 3) Debian's stable is just that. My main server has been up and running for 46
> days now. It would be closer to 106 if not for two planned outages (kernel
> upgrades, and hardware upgrades) spaced almost a month apart. System issues, I
> find, are caused by me tinkering with settings more than anything else.
> 4) Comparisons to RedHat? I prefer Debian over RedHat any day of the week for
> technical reasons (see #3 above), and for philosophical reasons. I like their
> desire to make a totally free OS, quite a lot. And I really enjoy using it
> because it is so internally consistent. Redhat's x.0 releases are generally
> regarded as being the way to destroy a system. x.1 is considered good for
> non-production servers, and x.2 is considered the one to work with. Any of
> Debian's stable releases are considered good for production.
> 5) Comparisons to others? I've been on Debian for well over a year now.
> Everything I've got at this point is nothing more than hearsay about the
> others. And I have no intention of correcting that. Considering I used to
> change distros like some people changed underwear, that says a lot for Debian.
> Final note: I'm not flaming any of the current work done by others on their
> distributions. In fact, anybody that can put together a working distro gets my
> respect. I just happen to prefer the Debian distro above all others.
> --
> Michael J. Pedersen
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