[lug] Debian is better?
nate at natetech.com
Thu Dec 19 02:02:35 MST 2002
My reasons I run both Debian and RedHat... and have for many years...
ENFORCED Filesystem policy... anything placed where it doesn't meet
filesystem policy is a release-critical BUG.
Over 11,000 pre-packaged programs in "unstable" and many thousands in
Working toward FHS, but so many third-party RPM's are needed that never
go through RedHat's QA process or are not "official" -- what's the
point? One idiot's RPM and now things are all over the place... at
least the package manager can UN-install that mess. :-)
RedHat REALLY falls down in the realm of number of packages... they only
do what I would consider "core" packages and leave the rest to others
with no consistency or quality checking on other's work...
RPM's from anywhere other than RedHat themselves must always be looked
at with suspicion... and there's a LOT of them.
Multiple platforms. AWESOME that I can run the exact same stuff with
the exact same configurations on a PC, my iMac, Sparc, and maybe my iPaq
(arm) (if I get brave... heh...), etc.
Flopped on this one again too... dropping Sparc support REALLY ticked me
off... we were USING that for real business purposes.
(Okay time to pick on them...)
REALLY crappy installer that doesn't detect hardware well at all nor set
up networking or X very well. Generally takes much more time to put on
a laptop, for example... especially a relatively new laptop with little
docs or support for a newer video chipset. Sound setup really really
really really sucks. No automated install support directly in the
Good installer. Kickstart saves my life in the workplace... multiple
box installs quickly are a "no problem" type of thing anymore. X gets
set up right 98% of the time, and sound usually works "out-of-the-box" too.
apt-get's great, the ability to browse through 11,000 packages in
dselect is a great way to find new tools... just reading through the
descriptions... hey wow... I didn't know THAT existed! Found a serial
port to serial port "sniffer" project one day that way...
up2date's great... but... I paid for a subscription. People who DON'T
pay for them can sign up with multiple account logins and passwords and
schedule all their machines to update at the same time. I "played by
the rules" and bought a subscription for one machine... and put all the
others under the same account... I have to go move that entitlement and
the "extra free one" around manually while I know of any number of folks
who cheat the system and update ten machines at midnight. I think it'd
be nice if RedHat would set it up so that there was more benefit to
buying the service -- like without a subscription you can only update
once a week or something similar. Right now I'm considering not
re-upping and just switching to apt-get on RedHat.
BEAUTIFUL pre-install and post-install scripts and default
configurations. apt-get php ... oh, I see you don't have php enabled
in apache, would you like me to do that for you? Wondeful laziness and
a relatively good feeling that "it'll just work" after you install it
AND the default installation will be relatively secure and have sane
default settings... EVEN if the upstream folks give examples with BAD
Plain vanilla config files - maybe by design. Up until RH 8.0 few
packages would "auto-integrate" with each other on install like the
debian.openprojects.net - IRC channel goodness. Officially supported.
EASY to use bug-tracking/reporting system...
Good e-mail lists. Active. But sometimes too active. All the ugly
warts are visible of the organization which is good to see and bad to
have to read... so to speak.
Support costs money or many days waiting. No official IRC channel.
Although I'm sure all the Raleigh geeks hang out somewhere...
Bugzilla's user interface sucks. (personal opinion.)
E-mail lists? I get a lot of junk from them.
No mindshare. No way I'd ever get anyone to use it at the office.
It's "the standard".
And this one will be controversial...
Debian Free-Software Guidelines ENFORCED. If you don't select
"non-free" archives for packages, you are virtually GUARANTEED to have
NO LEGAL PROBLEMS EVER with your Free As-in-Freedom Software.
There have definitely been some controversial packages included with
RedHat over the years. Heck, by the letter of the license from UW, for
example... RedHat shouldn't be redistributing binary copies of Pine, for
example. Just as a simple example.
I use both. I like RedHat to use on desktops, laptops, etc. I like
Debian on my servers. I don't "get" to put Debian on as many servers as
I'd like because RedHat's marketing engine is bigger. (Quite frankly
that's the ONLY reason... people at the office know about RedHat, they
are leery of Debian because they've never "seen" it before. Sounds like
another OS we all know and love, eh?)
There's some more positives for RedHat so I don't sound like I'm bashing
them, but I'm falling asleep on the keys here....
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