Originally posted by __J
Theres gentoo also but that is a from source distro.
So what's wrong with gentoo being source based?
Yes it can be a bit of a twat to install, but I managed it, and I only really had had experience of using mandrake - which IMO is a "doddle" especially if you put your hand in your pocket and get a "paid for" version (I always used the powerpacks - not the + version though that's what they call the "pro" version now).
Gentoo's portage is probably as good, if not better than apt (yes I have briefly tried debian), there's only one downside, and that's because it compiles for your system specifically, it can take a bloody long time to compile anything big.
The basic way round that is to do a "stage 3 + GRP" install for your chipset i.e. I got the pentium 4 discs, and had things up and running in an hour and a half. The GRP bit (gentoo reference platform) is pre-compiled packages, so there's no initial delay in getting the system up and running (but they're frowned upon by the purists who always seem to do the stage 1.......... and that can take bloody days and days).
As far as I can tell, unless you want to use specific mirror locations, you just tell it
and portage starts trying the various mirrors until it finds one that has the package you want. yes it does do the dependency checks etc etc as well.
Like debian, it has stable and unstable package tree's, you can use whichever you like, but unlike debian the stable package tree is one hell of a lot more up to date e.g. Yesterday, my system emerged the latest kde (version 3.3.2), which took a good few hours to compile but most other distros havent got that far yet, I'd be that if you got the latest stable kde from debian it'd probably be a 2.x version i.e. bloody ancient! That's the downside of debian.
Erm it's my understanding that if bloody_maiden really wants debian, then how about installing Ubuntu - that's debian based, then just change the apt-sources list to debian repositories (sid and sarge anyway - woody's way, way to ancient) and your off!
I've read about a good number of people who have done that or done the same thing with knoppix i.e. installed it to hard drive and then changed the apt-sources list to debian sources. Then as long as the sources are sarge or sid, you've got yourself a pretty up to date system, debian based. The latest is only an "apt-get dist upgrade" away!
Besides, knoppix hardware detection has got to be about one of the best out there!
good luck and happy new year