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Old 03-11-2007, 09:15 PM   #1
telovoyagarcar
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Differences among distros beside...


Could someone please explain to us noobs how the differences between each other distro work?

I understand some of them, but im confused about the Kernel i think. I know im missing something and don't understand well why Debian, Slackware, Redhat, and others are not the same thing. Correct me if any of these assumptions are wrong:

1. Every distro is different because they come with a different set of packages preinstalled to serve the needs of different individuals / organizations, etc.

2. They are not the same because some (or may be a lot) of configuration files are kept in different locations of the file tree.

3. Each one has a different package management system.

4. Preinstalled drivers might differ between each other?

5. I don't know what else....

I think these differences are kind of secondary ones because a lot of distros are based in Debian, Redhat, Slack, and whatever else exists, so there must be something more important than the points i stated before.

Is it the Kernel what makes the big change between each other?
Lets say that all of them have the same kernel version 2.6.x, then why it is said that each one is compiled with its own kernel version?

What else makes each kind of linux (Deb, slack, red) to be unique?


Thanks a lot!
 
Old 03-11-2007, 09:23 PM   #2
Xian
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There really are only a dozen or so completely unique Linux distributions. Most of the basic differences in those have to do with the packaging tools, system configuration philosophy, and choice of preferred desktop environments.
 
Old 03-12-2007, 03:09 PM   #3
Gzou
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Some distros might also think that one kernel version is stabler or better than the other. For example, DSL (Damn small linux) prefers using a 2.4.x kernel version because they can make it smaller. However, they don't have the use of udev. Gentoo has modified a bit their kernel a bit to make it run a bit faster. One distro might have configured their kernel to support different devices. For example : Distro 1 decided to support more wireless cards than Distro 2. Distro 2 decided to support more usb scanners than Distro 1. etc. But in general these kernel differences are very minimal.

Also, from a beginner's point of view, One Distro might be better than the other because Distro 1 works "Out-of-the-box" without the need to tweak anything where as Distro 2 Also works as fine as Distro 1, but needs to be manually configured a bit, and it can seem a bit frightening to a beginner when he's new to the system. But then again, it provides a learning experience for the guy who wants to find out more on how linux, and his computer in general, works

all in all I think that there are a few differences like the ones that I mentionned, but these differences are very minimal and won't let you point out specific distributions that are greatly better than others. It's a question of personal taste. (That's why Live-CDs exist)
 
Old 03-12-2007, 04:29 PM   #4
2damncommon
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Quote:
What else makes each kind of linux (Deb, slack, red) to be unique?
What is kinda funny is that another frequent post is that Linux distributions are too different and there should be only one.

Take Ubuntu and IPCop for instance. Would they be completely interchangeable for you?
 
Old 03-13-2007, 11:14 AM   #5
telovoyagarcar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon
...Take Ubuntu and IPCop for instance. Would they be completely interchangeable for you?
Thats where im trying to get..

Ubuntu = Debian based
Ipcop = Monowall based (?)

So lets assume Ubuntu is a linux kernel configured with package A, Driver B, and setting C but on the other hand Ipcop is the same Linux kernel but configured with package D, Driver E and setting F.

Suppose that you swap the 3 things so now Ubuntu becomes D,E,F and Ipcop A,B,C. Do you get Ipcop in the machine that once was Ubuntu and vice versa?

Can you do the same between Debian And Slackware and any other "main" distribution? or there is something else that marks a big difference that wouldn't let you do all this?

Last edited by telovoyagarcar; 03-13-2007 at 11:16 AM.
 
Old 03-13-2007, 12:57 PM   #6
craigevil
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A Linux distribution or GNU/Linux distribution (or a distro) is a Unix-like operating system comprising software components such as the Linux kernel, the GNU toolchain, and assorted free and open source software. Some proprietary software is found in certain distributions and is not free software. A Linux Distribution or distro, is created by individuals, groups and organizations from around the world.

Companies such as Red Hat, SUSE and Mandriva, and community projects such as Debian and Gentoo Linux, assemble and test the software before releasing their distribution. There are currently over two hundred Linux distribution projects in active development, revising and improving their respective distributions."


Here are some ways the various distros differ:

1) Whether the distro is free or commercial and uses "Free Software" or contains non-free drivers or proprietary software.
2) Number of packages available without looking for other sources of software. Debian is the biggy here with over 18000 apps.
3) The way updates are handled. Do you have to reinstall when a new release comes out or can you keep the system up-to-date.
4) How security policies are handled.
5) How easy it is to install and use. How are programs installed and updated.
6) Package management systems:
The following are some examples of package management systems implemented by Unix-like operating systems:
* RPM, the RPM Package Manager. Invented by Red Hat, but now used by several other Linux distributions. RPM is the Linux Standard Base packaging format.
There are many higher level tools that use the RPM packaging format, simplifying the process of finding, downloading and installing packages and their dependencies, including
o YUM, used on Fedora Core.
o up2date, used on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Although designed to talk to Red Hat Network, up2date can also source packages from yum and apt for RPM repositories, as well as local and directories.
o YaST , as used on SuSE Linux distributions.
o urpmi as used by Mandrakelinux/Mandriva
o APT for RPM.
* dpkg, used originally by Debian GNU/Linux and now by other systems. The .deb format used by dpkg was the first to have a widely known dependency resolution tool, called APT.
* Portage/emerge, used by Gentoo Linux and inspired by the BSD ports system.
7) Is it going to be around or is it a new distro.
8) For detailed see Comparison of Linux distributions
9) The file system used. "Comparison of file systems"
10) The Window manager used. Window Managers for X
11) Desktop environment used or choices.
12) Does it have the features and hardware support that "you" need.
13) The documentation and support available.

A good place to start looking is "A Beginner's Guide to Choosing a (Linux) Distribution" available at Distrowatch.com


Most of the information provided here comes from the Linux Wikipedia

There are probably other differences, I have never ran anything but a Linux desktop. So servers, firewalls, embedded and other distros may be have more differences that I am not aware of.
 
Old 03-13-2007, 04:18 PM   #7
2damncommon
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Starting point: "What else makes each kind of linux (Deb, slack, red) to be unique?"

Your own answer: "So lets assume Ubuntu is a linux kernel configured with package A, Driver B, and setting C but on the other hand Ipcop is the same Linux kernel but configured with package D, Driver E and setting F."

But then: "Suppose that you swap the 3 things so now Ubuntu becomes D,E,F and Ipcop A,B,C. Do you get Ipcop in the machine that once was Ubuntu and vice versa?"

You already have your answer but then want to leap ahead to something else.
 
  


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