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dratix 06-15-2005 07:48 PM

differences between debian and debian-based distros
i know there are distros based off of debian, im using ubuntu. There's Mepis and a few others that i dont remember. In the long run, they're just debian, but what makes the distros based off of debian any different or unique? ive considered mepis, thinking it is more advanced than ubuntu, yet more similar to debian itself... i dont know enough about linux to save my life ... so.. help please?

ingvildr 06-15-2005 08:07 PM

you could try readin both the ubunt uand mepis sites for such info.

craigevil 06-15-2005 08:42 PM

The #1 difference is the "Debian Social Contract",
Ubuntu has a similiar Philosophy; other Debian based distros may or may not have a similiar ideal.

Other than that there are the update issues. And the way some distro include non-free software.
Support is another big difference. Debian has great community based support. Other distros may not, although some like Xandros, MEPIS, and Ubuntu have great support.

"Software distributions based on Debian"

Other Debian based distros tend to get ignored, take for example:
"Don't ask questions about other distributions or operating systems (this includes Knoppix and Ubuntu; Knoppix and Ubuntu are not Debian, and we cannot support them."
Taken from :
#debian is an IRC channel kindly hosted by freenode which you can join for realtime discussion with other Debian users.

What it boils down to for me anyway is :if you want a Debian system use Debian and not a distro that may not be around in a couple of years. The Free Software ideal tops it off for me.

``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in ``free beer.''

azbaer 06-15-2005 08:44 PM

One thing Linux is a kernel, the core of an operating system. The different distributions are the linux kernel with added enhancements. Debian is the Linux kernel with Debian "programing" attached to it. Mephis,Ubuntu have the Linux kernel with the Debian programing, so they will act as if they are Debian. Debian has three branches that you can use "Stable" often out dated, but solid, "Testing" just about cutting edge, "SID" which is the bleeding edge of the packages, unstable I believe Ubuntu, Mephis, Knoppix, Linspire and the other 75 or so Debian based (according to use a combination of the testing and the unstable branch.

Dead Parrot 06-16-2005 01:42 AM

Ubuntu vs. Debian differences:
-- Ubuntu is "rebuilt from scratch Debian derivative", Ubuntu takes a snapshot of Debian sid, then updates some core components & libraries in the base system and then builds its own binary packages. This means that Ubuntu binaries have been compiled against the components that happen to be in the Ubuntu base system and there's no guarantee that regular Debian .deb binary packages will work in Ubuntu (and vice versa).
-- Ubuntu has official releases every 6 months plus one development branch. Debian has official releases about every 18 months plus two development branches that are constantly updated.
-- Ubuntu releases are mainly designed for desktop use while Debian releases are designed mainly for server use. Most Debian desktop users track one of the development branches (testing or sid) or mix both.
-- Ubuntu installs by default the Gnome desktop environment, although the installer has also a "server" option that will install only the base system while Debian doesn't have any default desktop. This means that the Debian installer gives the user more choices and asks more questions. Because Ubuntu gives the user no other choices than Gnome, the installer can automate several things that need to be configured in Debian separately (like setting up X Window System). Beginners often like the more automated approach of Ubuntu better but more experienced users tend to prefer the Debian way where the user has more control over what applications will be installed.

SimplyMepis vs. Debian differences:
-- SimplyMepis is a live-CD that autodetects your hardware and loads the Debian system with preconfigured KDE desktop environment from the CD into computer's RAM. SimplyMepis has also an installer that can write this preconfigured system to hard drive. Like I've already said, Debian doesn't have any preconfigured desktop but, instead, users can/must pick any desktop they like and configure it themselves.
-- SimplyMepis is a snapshot of Debian sid. After installing the latest Debian release users can decide if they like to track the stable, the testing, or the unstable branch.

Personally, I find that the main advantage in using Debian proper instead of a derivative distro is Debian's flexibility -- the wealth of choices it can offer. But I can understand that many beginners will prefer some easier but less flexible solution provided by one of the Debian derivative distros. Another big plus for Debian is its commitment to free software because this will ensure that Debian will continue to attract new developers and users. Debian has currently over 1000 developers and it is here to stay, which you cannot always say about commercial distros or distros that depend on one main developer.

rbochan 06-16-2005 05:48 PM


Originally posted by craigevil
The #1 difference is the "Debian Social Contract",
Ubuntu has a similiar Philosophy; other Debian based distros may or may not have a similiar ideal.

I would say the #2 difference is policy.

Along with the vast repository of free software, the derivatives just can't compare, in my opinion.

craigevil 06-16-2005 06:17 PM


Originally posted by rbochan
I would say the #2 difference is policy.

Along with the vast repository of free software, the derivatives just can't compare, in my opinion.

Ok how about
1) It is maintained by its users.
2) "Debian Social Contract"
3) "Debian Policy Manual"
4) The best packaging system in the world. Along with the number of available free software packages, Sarge has over 15000. By adding other repositories and using testing/sid repositories the number is crazy, the last time I ran Synaptic is was showing some where around 23k packages.
5) Unparalleled support, Debian -- Support.

Of course
"Reasons to Choose Debian"
does a pretty good job of summing up the reasons to use Debian. :)

cornelissen1981 05-03-2008 10:30 AM

operating systems
Whats the diffrence between all the os...

Intel x86
Intel IA-64
MIPS (big endian)
MIPS (little endian)
IBM S/390

Im sure this is a stupid question... would like to know which one to down load... i have a laptop 2g processor i would like to start using unix

rickh 05-03-2008 11:05 AM


Im sure this is a stupid question...
The really stupid part is tagging an entirely unrelated question on to a 3 year old thread.

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