[lug] Debian is better?

Sean Reifschneider jafo at tummy.com
Thu Dec 19 00:22:15 MST 2002

On Wed, Dec 18, 2002 at 04:24:30PM -0700, David Morris wrote:
>problems in 7.something as well.  The problem is not that
>there is no dependancy checking, but rather that there is no
>dependancy *requirement*.  The RPM format itself does not

I don't really follow you here...  If you run "rpm -i somepackage" and
don't have the proper dependencies installed, rpm will fail unless you
install those dependencies, or run it with "--nodeps".  If you install
an RPM with --nodeps, you will cause problems just like if you get a
.deb that requires things you don't have and install it with
"--force-depends" on Debian.

What most people describe as "dependency hell" or dependency problems I
think is just that they're not using a very advanced tool.  "rpm" on Red
Hat is like "dpkg" on Debian...  It's a low-level package manipulation
tool.  Neither one tracks down dependencies on it's own, etc...

There are more advanced tools available for both Red Hat and Debian.  On
Debian, the preferred one seems to be "apt".  With Red Hat you also have
"apt" available, as well as things like "krudfind" and other tools that
will resolve dependencies, etc...  krudfind has the benefit that you
dont' have to know the package name -- you can just ask it to install
"/usr/sbin/smbd", and it will pick that up and any required deps...

The real strength I see in Debian is the large centralized software
repository.  There are a lot of packages out there for Red Hat that are
either not updated or sometimes just plain broken...  Lots of people
seem to run into problems because they are running 8.0, for example and
install packages for 7.0.

My word of advice there is: Don't be afraid of SRPMs (source RPMs).  If
you pick one up and do "rpmbuild --rebuild whatever.src.rpm", it will
build binary RPMs that exactly match the set of packages you have
installed -- wether you're running what Red Hat ships, or have upgraded
this or that...

>cannot install the package improperly even using dpkg,

Not true -- see the dpkg man page under "--force".

 Canadian phone sex: What kind of hockey jersey are you wearing?
Sean Reifschneider, Inimitably Superfluous <jafo at tummy.com>
tummy.com, ltd. - Linux Consulting since 1995.  Qmail, Python, SysAdmin
      Back off man. I'm a scientist.   http://HackingSociety.org/

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