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Old 08-10-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
SteveThePirate
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Different Distros


I am sure this is probably posted somewhere but I did not find it.

Is there a large difference in the way the different distros work? such as the install, or perhaps in the naming of the different files? How different can the distros get? My first and only is ubuntu. is that truly different from say red hat? or any other distro?
 
Old 08-10-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
repo
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http://www.google.be/search?hl=en&cl...istros&spell=1
 
Old 08-10-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
XavierP
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There are a large number of distros but generally speaking they are usually based on Debian, Slackware, Gentoo or Red Hat (there are some that aren't but the numbers are small).

Debian based distros use .debs as the package extensions, Slackware based use .tgzs and Red Hat based used .rpms. The variations can mean that a package for one system will not work on another. From memory, in my signature is a graphical representation of the families.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #4
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some things are the same and some are different.....

For example, most Linux distros use the BASH shell, so terminal commands will be pretty much the same everywhere.

Also, most distros use one of the 2 top Desktops--KDE and Gnome. Everything using--eg--KDE will have a high degree of commonality.

The best answer is: Try Them...
 
Old 08-10-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveThePirate View Post
I am sure this is probably posted somewhere but I did not find it.
You found what and where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveThePirate View Post
Is there a large difference in the way the different distros work? such as the install, or perhaps in the naming of the different files? How different can the distros get? My first and only is ubuntu. is that truly different from say red hat? or any other distro?
Basically the use of the Linux Kernel is the same but different version are used on each. Some use earlier versions while others use current versions of the kernel. Testing kernels is another animal.

As for the packaging of the distributions you can see for yourself. Test drive some Livecds or learn to dissect to understand.

Distributions are like all things material. Some have substance while other don't. Last time I looked there were over 130 distributions of Linux. The only thing that may be common is the kernel but different versions again.

Your question(s) are not really defined enough to answer.

HTH!
 
Old 08-10-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
joeBuffer
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There can be a pretty decent amount of differences. The installation process will vary quite a bit, the layout of the filesystem will be different in some ways, the files and process of starting up will be different. For example, this is a quote from slackbook.org:
Quote:
Slackware uses the BSD-style layout for its initialization files as opposed to System V init scripts, which tend to make configuration changes much more difficult without using a program specifically designed for that purpose.
The repositories you download from (and what they contain) will be different. The kernels will vary (the most common I've seen in new distributions are the 2.6.27*-2.6.28* range of kernels). The testing Ubuntu (9.10) is 2.6.30* or 2.6.31* (I can't quite remember). Gentoo is using 2.6.29-gentoo-r5.

Last edited by joeBuffer; 08-11-2009 at 01:00 AM.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
lazlow
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I guess I view it the same as I view motor vehicles. A semi truck and race car are both motor vehicles. They both follow the same basic operating principles. That being said, most regular drives cannot safely drive a semi truck or a race car. Linux distros are all the same and at the same time they are all different. For the most part all the distro can do the exact same job. The real difference is how easy it is to get a particular job done on a particular distro.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 07:00 PM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveThePirate View Post
Is there a large difference in the way the different distros work?
There is not generally a big difference in the way that general purpose consumer distros work. There may be differences in how it appears to the user, but not really in the way that they work.

You could argue that the live CDs often work somewhat differently in using, eg, unionfs to create an impression of something that isn't really there, but whether that's what you mean - you may feel that live CDs are a special case and can be ignored.

Equally, you might be thinking of server distros, which don't so much have a different way of working as a different release infrastructure (longer release/maintenance cycles, more conservative policies and usually no gui by default).

And you could also be thinking of something like the use of complex 'under-the-skin' technologies like d-bus, which some of the extremely light distros still feel is a step too far.

The biggest obvious difference is the GUI, of course; they may well cause the distros to look really quite different, but this isn't really a difference between the waya in which distros work. The GUIs themselves work in quite different ways under the skin, but as you can swap the GUI, you can't really count as such a difference.

The difference between .deb and .rpm (and there are some minor players, too) distros is a fairly significant one, but it isn't really a difference in the way that the distros work; the file formats are different, the utilities do more-or-less the same things and by the time that you get to a graphical interface to the utilities that access the files, while there are many differences underneath, you are more-or-less reduced to what colours are used to represent which states.

You could regard there as being a big difference between things like the .rpm and .deb distros and the 'compile everything in place' distros. That does make a difference on day-to-day operations, but the same things are going on, its just a question of where; do the apps get compiled on a remote server or on your own box? Are there formal, 'milestone', releases, or do things just for ever and for always keep getting incrementally getting updated and you just grab the most up to date on the day that you grab it? (And, even this 'rolling release' policy isn't necessarily all that different from a 'release with discrete steps' policy, if you keep updating from that discrete step position.)

Of course, looked at as a user, a distro that is intended as purely a network appliance one is going to look quite different from a desktop one, but I'm not sure the distros (as collections of software) are working in a different way, even though they look radically different. The distros as organisations will be taking quite different views on what is important to them and their customers, of course, and you could argue that with this definition of a distro, the one where a distro is the organisation -a collection of soft machines- that produces and packages a collection of code, they do work in different ways.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 08:08 PM   #9
joeBuffer
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Quote:
There is not generally a big difference in the way that general purpose consumer distros work. There may be differences in how it appears to the user, but not really in the way that they work.
I basically agree, it depends on what you're doing.
If you get into a lot of configuring, and tinkering around with things, there's a decent amount of difference. If you're thinking of the details, there can be big differences.

Last edited by joeBuffer; 08-10-2009 at 11:14 PM.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 08:53 PM   #10
SteveThePirate
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These are all awesome answers, thanks a lot! I enjoy the different ways that your answers are worded and the different aspects that some of you looked at.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:13 PM   #11
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeBuffer View Post
<snip>
You are being cute here I hope? I read the original post and answered to the OP. There is no need to be snide about replying to my post by quoting me then clipping from the OP to answer within your reply. This is taking things out of context by you.

Leave queries or answers from the OP to me too the OP. I can read and I don't agree with the way you are manipulating the quotes.

If the OP needs interpretation of my reply then let him/her request it. You apparently did not understand my definition of the kernel usage. Sure if it's a GNU/Linux distribution then the Linux kernel is there. DUH! If you re-read my reply to quotes of the OP within my reply then you will see there are opens or queries back to the OP not to you.

BTW, the answer to the OP is not that simple. The difference(s) between distributions go way beyond the filesystem types, packaging and even types of initialization along with kernel usage.

So please directly answer and don't manipulate my post within yours to insure or make your post seem complete. If your definitions cannot stand on their own then please don't try to make things to seem so by misuse. Sure if quotes are used as they should be to enforce or expand a definition then by all means use properly.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:22 PM   #12
joeBuffer
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I realize that it isn't as simple as my post may have made it appear ... but compared to saying you can't compare them, it was very complete. I hardly meant it to be snide. Just pointing out that their original post contained all the needed information, and separately that the question of whether or not there are real differences between distributions can be answered.
I'll admit that my list wasn't 100% complete, but it is a list of important differences.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:25 PM   #13
joeBuffer
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I don't feel like arguing.

Last edited by joeBuffer; 08-10-2009 at 11:08 PM.
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:40 PM   #14
SteveThePirate
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Thanks joeBuffer
 
Old 08-10-2009, 10:50 PM   #15
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeBuffer View Post
By the way, are you trying to point out that my post is a personal insult that contains no real information after stating in your own last post that answering a question of whether or not there are any significant differences between distributions can't be answered? You're close to being a Guru, now.
Get off that guru thing since it means nothing to me.

Multiple posts within a thread are not counted towards total posts.

You had better learn to read for understanding. No where did I state you could not compare differences between distributions within this thread.

You had better learn to discern before making statements like;

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeBuffer View Post
that contains no real information after stating in your own last post that answering a question of whether or not there are any significant differences between distributions can't be answered?
I'm through with this issue. Too continue will only cause the thread to become confusing since you don't utilize proper netiquette.
 
  


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