OT: Linux Distrobutions?

Bob Jones bob.jones at USG.EDU
Mon Nov 3 20:13:08 GMT 2003

Marco Obaid wrote:
> My experience with Debian is as follows:
>  * Very very long installation process
>    (lots of screen to read and decisions to make, some are not obvious)

The install process for Debian can be a bit tricky.  What you need to
realize (and I'm not sure if it's documented) is that you need to skip
all the package selecting at install, especially with the ugly beasts
they give you to do so.  Just say not to using the 2 methods they offer
of selecting packages and you'll end up with a basic install of just
what's needed.

>  * Only ext2 file-system support (no JFS or EXT3 support from what I saw)

If you install the stable distro, and just do the basic install, this is
correct because it installs a 2.2 kernel (once a distro of debian is
locked, they don't change except for security updates which are
back-ported).  There is an install option (I believe bf24 maybe?) that
installs a 2.4 kernel and thus gives you the newer filesystems.

>  * Old versions of packages

And I noted this in my description of stable.  This is why I said stable
was just for servers IMO because you need newer tools for a desktop.
But for a server, you get packages which are well integrated,
applications that don't crash, and the easiest distro to manage on the
planet.  If you need newer packages for a server than is on stable, go
with testing, which is probably just as stable, but hasn't completed the
rigorous testing Debian distros go through.  Unlike a lot of distros,
Debian just doesn't throw it's new stuff out there, it tests them
first... a lot.

> Please note that I am not bashing Debian, I love Linux. I am looking at it
> from management point-of-view. Is it a good replacement to my productions
> servers currently running newer versions of packages than what Debian has to
> offer? ... Probably not !!!

Once again, you're looking at stable.  May I suggest testing, or even
unstable.  Unstable probably has just a good a track-record as most
other distro's stable releases.

> I have been using FreeBSD in parallel to Redhat, and it seems to seems to be
> the best candidate so far.

Though I've never personally used it, I've never heard anything bad
about *BSD.


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