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Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, Novell, LFS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora - the list goes on and on...
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These Distros are the Kings of stability and outdated packages. The argument could be made that even their unstable versions (current and sid) are outdated. I think Debian is more stable. As their outdated fork of firefox has to make it more stable.
Slackware isn't really that outdated in most cases. And no one forces you to keep older releases anyway - you're perfectly free to make a package for a newer program and update it whenever you feel like it. I regularly update several apps to the most current version (my Nvidia driver, Wine, my web browser, and a few others). This is a lot harder to do with Debian, if you want to keep a working system.
"Stable" can mean two things:
1: Only security updates. No new versions of software just for the sake of newness.
2: Doesn't fall over, break easily, explode.
One thing Slackware and Debian stable have in common: they are released WHEN THEY'RE READY. Unlike some other distros...
These Distros are the Kings of stability and outdated packages.
I got the latest Firefox, Thunderbird and Seamonkey with the regular updates on Slackware, looks not outdated to me.
Anyways, I run Debian on my fileserver (still to lazy to change it to Slackware) and it runs 24/7 without any problems for months. I think the same will be true if I change it to Slackware. So your poll is missing an option here: Both are equally stable.
My two favorite distros. I use both, and cultist hit the nail on the head. Its a lot harder to upgrade packages in debian without breaking other things. I am torne but am going to have to give a vote to debian but only because of what I said above. By upgrading packages you risk bringing in a broken package, while debian has a repo set up with packages that are supposed to work well together. So while I sometimes I wish slack had dependency checking, if it did, then it would probably suffer the same limitation debian has.
Between the two, I slightly prefer Slackware because I find it simpler and more straightforward as regards the organization of /etc, and I prefer Slackware's boot-to-the-command-line-by-default way of doing things. Indeed, I made my Debian boot to the command line most sweetly.
I may be influenced by having started with and learned on Slack. And those are matters of taste, not of stability.
It is interesting that two such very different distros could end up as our two favorites.