[lug] RFI Debian vs. Slackware

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Fri Oct 6 11:46:43 MDT 2000

And the best use of apt-get...?

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list to point to the new Debian distro (when
you're running the old one...)...


apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade

And you'll be upgraded in a few hours over a slow link, and a few
minutes over a fast one,  with nothing broken at all.

There's no way that I'm aware of to upgrade an in-place RH machine from
an FTP/NFS server like that while still leaving it semi-online in the
maintenance window.  The only thing I think that comes close requires
boot media and takes the machine completely down.


"Michael J. Pedersen" wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 05, 2000 at 05:45:19AM -0600, J. Wayde Allen wrote:
> > OK, I've always used dselect.  Looks like I'll need to fire up apt to see
> > what that looks like.
> Actually, apt doesn't seem to have much of an appearance. It's a collection of
> command line tools. apt-get is one of them (and, admittedly, one of the few
> that I use).
> gnome-apt, however, is a complete tool as well. Try that one out.
> > Oh come now <grin>, it isn't any worse than emacs is it <BIG GRIN>?
> Actually, the fairest comparison for dselect is to vi. Steep learning curve
> cryptic commands, and ungodly powerful once you've gotten good at it.
> > > dselect is a user interface nightmare.
> >
> > I don't think it is that bad.  I don't like the fact that it starts up
> > with a split screen, but that is easily turned off by pressing
> > "shift-I".  You can get more or less info about the highlighted package by
> > hitting the shift-I key combination again and again.  Let's see, to
> > install you use the arrow key to highlight a package and hit + to
> > uninstall you simply hit - .  The underscore _ says to uninstall and
> > expunge the package.  To put a package on hold you press = .  If you want
> > to search for a package hit / and then type in the word to search
> > for.  There is definitely a learning curve, but I wouldn't call it a
> > nightmare.
> Actually, Wayde, I think you've proven my point :)
> > OK this confuses me.  Typing "apt-get install program" looks to me a lot
> > like typing "rpm -i program" which is I believe the rpm way.  I actually
> > setup dselect to use the apt-get method, and kind of like the psuedo
> > graphical interface.
> Actually, it's very different. apt-get does a number of things for you
> automatically. If you attempt to install a package with a number of
> dependencies, apt-get installs them as well (asking first if you really want
> to install all of this new stuff). But, the beauty part comes in on what's
> next. If you've configured apt once (your /etc/apt/sources.list file), then
> apt is ready to work nicely for you. It goes out, downloads the files into a
> temporary directory, and then installs them all in the correct order for you.
> You only need to decide on which one you need to install :)
> Oh, and periodically, run an 'apt-get clean', so your cache will be cleaned
> for you.
> > Huh?  I actually LIKE the Debian install.  It makes more sense to me than
> > many of the newer graphical installations, and my success rate with it on
> > older and oddball hardware seems to be higher.  I think that is because
> > there are many places you can intervene.  The highly scripted graphical
> > interfaces don't seem to be as forgiving.  This is all highly subjective
> > stuff though, and probably depends more on familiarity than anything.
> Agreed, familiarity counts heaily here. The 2.2 installer seems nicer for the
> new folks. The 2.1 installer almost made it an absolute requirement that you
> be a dselect master, which was a bad thing, in my opinion. Especially sinced
> it would force you into dselect. I don't think the 2.2 installer does this,
> though, as I recall (but I could be wrong).
> > I like chocolate ice cream too, perhaps you'd rather have vanilla <grin>?
> Actually, I prefer the neapolitan style, in case I'm in the mood for some
> strawberry flavoring, too :)
> > This is partly due to Debian being slower to adopt changes though.  Debian
> > distros tend to be less aggressively cutting edge than either SuSE or Red
> > Hat.  Slackware is whatever you want it to be.
> Very true, I did neglect to mention that. With Debian, you will not be on the
> cutting edge unless you explicitly choose to be. If you get a CD set, you will
> be stable almost guaranteed right from the get go (unless you have faulty
> hardware, of course :)
> > I kind of like to know a little bit about the more popular distros since I
> > get lots of questions.  Otherwise, Debian is what I use at work.  My home
> > machine runs KRUD (this week anyway).
> Ah, but I get tired of the install/reinstall routine. I've long just wanted a
> distro that I could install, use, and stay productive with (without having to
> wipe out lots of work periodically). Now, when I tinker, I'm at least not
> destroying a whole bunch of work anymore. I even like my home systems to be
> stable and familiar and usable and ... You know :)
> Re-stress: This is only an opinion, please take it as that and nothing more.
> There is no disparagement meant to other distros in any of these statements.
> --
> Michael J. Pedersen
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