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Old 02-16-2007, 08:46 PM   #1
MDesigner
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Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: openSUSE 10.2
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Yet another "which distro to get?" thread..but a little more specific


I'm not a newb by any means, and I used to mess around a bit on old BSD SysV machines, as well as Solaris. I tried Slackware 10.x a couple years ago.. it's nice, though having to config everything through text files is a little annoying at times. Package management could be better. I've also been using openSUSE 10.2 lately. I like it quite a bit, it's a nice desktop experience, though on my current rig (Athlon64 3600+, 512MB RAM, GeForce 6200LE card), it seems a bit sluggish (KDE, Beryl are running, might be why).

I'm not really looking to ditch Windows (yet), so at the moment I'm looking for a good Linux distro that works well equally as a desktop experience and a server (LAMP). It'd be nice to config most things with a GUI, but I'm fine with a bit of text config here and there, editing conf files and such. Package management is a big deal to me. openSUSE's YaST is pretty nice.. not too hot on the fact that the main repo mirror doesn't always work, and people are like "well, use ftp.skynet.be instead".. and even then, there are applications that skynet doesn't have, so you have to add other repo's to YaST (to install Beryl, for example). YaST seems to resolve dependencies pretty well, too.

I'm sure people will recommend Ubuntu. I'll say that I'm not into trying out distros just because they're popular, because popular isn't always good. But I keep hearing that Debian package management is the best.. why is that? What is the advantage of deb management over rpm? I also hear with Ubuntu, if you're on version 7.1x and version 7.3x is out..you can do an in-place upgrade without even rebooting, is that true? What do I do when openSUSE 10.3 comes out? Is there an easy way to do a similar upgrade?

One more thing on package management and I'll cut my rambling. Some stuff in openSUSE's repo is a couple versions old. And in some apps, they update them with security fixes and important changes.. and yet the SUSE repo doesn't list it (because no one has built a package for it yet). It would be nice to at least have the option to grab something that's new. AND it would be killer to be able to roll back to a previous version (say I upgraded and the new version has some bugs). Can openSUSE do that? Can Ubuntu?

Last edited by MDesigner; 02-16-2007 at 08:48 PM.
 
Old 02-17-2007, 04:28 AM   #2
uselpa
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Luxemburg
Distribution: Slackware, OS X
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deb is no better than rpm, but quite often Debian packages are simply better build than rpm packages. That said, it applies to Debian-stable, maybe Debian-testing, but not necessarily to Debian-unstable or Ubuntu or any other .deb-using distro.

Package management, together with the quality of packages and the size of the Debian repos, are simply superb in Debian-stable. But sometimes outdated.

Upgrades of Ubuntu packages probably work if you only use Canonical repos. But nobody does, and when you browse through the official Ubuntu forums, you'll see that there are quite a lot of problems, an Ubuntu upgrade is different from a Kubuntu upgrade, and basically you'd be better off reinstalling from scratch.

The only systems I have seen upgrading correctly from one version to another are Slackware and Debian.

Slackware is a great desktop + server system too. Even third-party Slackware packages are of high quality, with a few exceptions. I have written a package checker and this way I've never had any troubles when installing third-party packages. Some private repos are of superb quality as well, such as Alien Bob's.

About Slack's package management - it's the only one that never gets you into trouble. Honest. And as you are an experienced Unix user, you'll appreciate it.

As for a recommendation - my feeling is that either Debian-stable, Debian-testing or Slackware would suit you. In that order.
 
Old 02-17-2007, 10:53 AM   #3
archtoad6
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Houston, TX (usa)
Distribution: MEPIS, Debian, Knoppix,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uselpa
deb is no better than rpm,
I'm afraid we have Debian developer here at HLUG that would hotly dispute that statement & back his arguments w/ factual examples. About all I can remember is something about the package structure design.

I like all the nice things you say about Debian.

I can't agree about Slack, I tried to try it about 11 years ago & it put me off Linux for about 5 years: I re-read the chapter about picking the root & boot floppies multiple times & still had no idea why it was necessary -- just that it was important.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MDesigner
though having to config everything through text files is a little annoying at times.
Get used to it , it's "the Unix way". Most of us appreciate that no special software is required to examine & modify config files because they ARE text. Consider using Notepad on the Registry ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDesigner
(Athlon64 3600+, 512MB RAM, GeForce 6200LE card)
Nice! Perhaps another 512MiB or 1 GiB of RAM would help.
 
Old 02-17-2007, 11:33 AM   #4
uselpa
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Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Luxemburg
Distribution: Slackware, OS X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archtoad6
I'm afraid we have Debian developer here at HLUG that would hotly dispute that statement & back his arguments w/ factual examples.
Certainly... but that doesn't make it true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by archtoad6
I can't agree about Slack, I tried to try it about 11 years ago & it put me off Linux for about 5 years
For me, it was just the other way around: if I hadn't found Slackware, I would have quit using Linux.
It's a matter of personal preference.
 
  


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