[lug] Attempted hack from

Daniel Webb webb at robust.colorado.edu
Wed Apr 24 13:02:59 MDT 2002

> Daniel> Now that I have been using Linux a little longer, I know about
> Daniel> the alternate ways of automating Redhat package updates, but
> Daniel> it still doesn't beat the built-in power of apt-get.
> People tell me that RHN is about the same as apt-get.  Do you know
> different?  I've used Debian but I still haven't tried RHN.  A long
> time ago I switched from Red Hat to Debian just to be able to use
> apt-get -- it is definitely a very cool feature.

  I haven't used it, although I have heard about the same things as you
about it.

> Daniel> The big downside to Debian for some people is that the testing
> Daniel> version basically requires a high-speed internet connection to
> Daniel> keep up to date.  Their stable versions come out about once an
> Daniel> ice-age or so, which means CD updates aren't a good solution.
> Daniel> I have used both Debian and Redhat quite a bit, and I don't
> Daniel> understand why Redhat has so many more people using it.
> Regular releases is one reason.  This is more important than you might
> think.  I switched my main machine away from Debian because of this.
> This was before `testing' was around -- and even so, how much can you
> really trust testing?

  I trust Debian testing over Redhat based on experience:  in six months
using Redhat, I had two kernel crashes and probably half a dozen X
crashes, along with innumerable dependency problems and bugs (like the
fact that
the core of their package system "rpm" could not even update itself to the
newest version in Redhat 6.2!).  In six months using Debian, I have had
zero kernel crashes, one X crash, and 1 dependency problem, which was
resolved very easily.

> This leads to the next reason, QA.  I'm sure I'll get a lot of flames
> about this.  But the reality is that Red Hat releases go through a lot
> of QA.  (Debian releases perhaps go through too much, which is why
> they're infrequent :-)

  I have found the Debian QA to be superior to Redhat, using Redhat
6.1, 6.2, and 7.1 vs. Debian testing during that period.

> Also, I still find the Red Hat install process easier than Debian (I
> installed Debian on my laptop last month).
> I think corporations prefer Red Hat because it is perceived as the
> "leader", and also because there is a company behind it.  These
> reasons aren't as bogus as they sound.

  I think the these two along with the frequent upgrades are the reason
Redhat is so popular.  I also had trouble installing Debian on my laptop.
Their "Woody" installer as of three months ago was unusable (I hope it's
better now, because they're about to release).  I tried the Potato
installer and didn't have any problems.  I would say that on the average I
have had about the same amount of effort getting everything on my systems
working with either Redhat or Debian.  I have heard that Redhat has
improved rapidly in this area in the last release or two, so I can't
comment on the most recent version.  The problem I have with the Redhat
installers is that you don't know what is going on behind the scenes, and
when something goes wrong, it's like being back with Windows: "When it
works right, it's easy as pie.  When it doesn't work right, well now
what?"  So my experience is that if something goes wrong with the Redhat
easy-installer, you still have to know just as much about the internals
as you would with a Debian install.

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