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So, I can't get this: what's the real difference between a Debian based distro and a RPM one?
See, I'm running FC1, and I want to update it. I toyed around with a Ubuntu LiveCD, and liked it a lot. But I'm figuring that what I liked was the GUI, which is Gnome; so if I used Fedora Core 3 with Gnome 2.8, I'd get the same, right? And the software is roughly the same, isn't it? So where's the difference between them?
I've used both, and while they both work just fine, I prefer Ubuntu. It is smaller (just one CD) and tighter - by default it has *no* ports open to the outside, and it seems to start fewer processes than Fedora. Running pstree on Fedora leaves me puzzled about half of the entries there!
While its true there are TONS of applications for Fedora, what isn't usually mentioned is that to take advantage of that you have to use half a dozen of repositories, some of which don't play well with others! When I installed Fedora Core 2, I enabled every repo I could find - sure, in theory it gave me access to every program imaginable, but in practice it didn't take long for some odd issues to appear. When I came back to Fedora Core 3, I was a lot more restrained - I stick to the official updates, and that's that. Fedora Core 3 has been really stable for me, but I no longer can access all the varied software, which was pretty much the main reason I installed Fedora in the first place!
Now, Ubuntu (and Debian) seem to have a lot better quality control on their repos, and this sort of problems rarely occurs. In any case, Ubuntu repositories are almost as big as Debian itself, so there is rarely any need to look outside (with the exception of mplayer, which I compiled from source rather than using Marillat's repo)
Originally posted by colnago On the other hand, there is 10x more software for Fedora, so go for that if you need some special apps and don't want to compile yourself.
If you enable the universe repository (with unsupported packages) you will get 10 000 or so more packages to choose from
As for the original question Fedora and Ubuntu include some different software. Fedora has SELinux which is not in the stock ubuntu-kernels, but in optional test-kernels. For a desktop user the difference is small. It's hard to explain but I like the feel of Ubuntu better.
If you run Fedora Core and use apt/synaptic, basically your package management system mimics that of Debian/Ubuntu, so there really is no reason for you to switch over unless you need something from Ubuntu that Fedora doesn't have or you just prefer Ubuntu.
Also I don't agree that software installation on RPM distros is harder than Debian based distro's, it was a valid arguement years ago when apt/yum/urpmi and other automatic dependency resolution tools were not available for rpm based distros but apt was available only on Debian. I believe these days they are more on a level playing field.
AFAIK apt-get is not supported by Fedora core out of the box, and it's not even an option for FC4.
BTW I've expected to find a Fedora 4 add/remove programs feature that handles dependencies better than RH9 or FC1, like prompting to remove packages that will depend on those i want to remove instead of breaking the uninstalation process, or prompting to indicate a source from wich install new packages instead of asking for the CDs every time(I keep the four ISOs on Hard Disk) or getting them off the web like synaptic these where the features that drove me into using Debian based distros in the first place
PClinuxOS is a great RPM based distro. Synaptic comes installed. Multimedia apps/plugins come installed as well. My main system is Debian and I love apt-get, plus the fact I have access to over 22k packages.
PCLinuxOS is a great newbie distro, the install is very simple. Plus it is bleeding edge. If you want an RPM based distro I suggest giving it a try. I run it on my Dell C600 laptop and it works great.
Not much difference between Synaptic in Debian and PCLinuxOS or any other RPM distro that uses it. Other than maybe the number of apps available and the way dependencies are handled.