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tompickles 04-10-2008 03:20 PM

Red Hat (Fedora) vs Debian (Ubuntu)
Okk, red hat is rpm based package management, and debian uses apt and .deb. Debian and Red Hat are server (mainly) with Ubuntu (yes I know its a totally different project based on debian, but could be considered the user friendly debian) and Fedora the desktop equivilants. So, what is the real differnces, cos im really confused. Had most experiance with Debian based systems through Ubuntu mainly. DOes the IT inductry use red hat/fedora though and how do the usability of both the command line and GUI really differ?

Any thoughts - begin the flame!

pljvaldez 04-10-2008 03:40 PM

Early on, the differences in package management were a big pro for Debian. Now most any distro has sane dependency handling, so it's no big deal.

I think the real difference now between the two is that Red Hat has a commercial entity backing it, which many companies find appealing -- someone to blame if it doesn't work. A few corps preinstall Debian (like IBM), but it's a community driven distro with no corporate owner. Not sure how Ubuntu's corporate business is working, but they're trying to fill the Red Hat role with a Debian derived distro.

As to the command line and gui use, I think the major differences will be that configuration files will be in slightly different locations or named differently, and that each has a different set of core tools for getting system information and configuring the system.

tompickles 04-10-2008 03:45 PM

thanks for the fast reply - as a user of desktops im finding fedora a right pain cos i cant get wireless to work - and ubuntu it just works - mostly. I do have to boot windows, the reboot into ubuntu before the device is actually activated - but thats another story (posted the issue on the ubuntu forums website). I dont think - please prove me wrong someone! - that debian is a desktop system.

pljvaldez 04-10-2008 03:56 PM


Originally Posted by tompickles (Post 3117217)
I dont think - please prove me wrong someone! - that debian is a desktop system.

I use Debian on the desktop everyday at home and work. My wife and kids use it at home. We have a Windows XP box that sits in hibernation most of the time.

People think that Debian isn't a desktop because by default they don't include non-free software. So things like video codecs and proprietary drivers, while available, take a little bit of extra effort to setup. This is due to the Debian community deciding to only include free (as in libre) apps by default.

But Debian is a fabulous desktop. Most people using Debian will use testing (currently Lenny) as the desktop, but I stick with stable (currently 4.0 - Etch) since it generates less problems with the family if I'm not always updating stuff except security updates.

tompickles 04-10-2008 04:09 PM

oh, right, thats great to know. ill have a bit of a read of debain website again. bit off topic, but how unstable is unstable? i know there are three levels, stable, unstable and testing, and testing is really bleeding edge development, so not really for desktop, but what about unstable?

pljvaldez 04-10-2008 04:34 PM

Here's the link describing stable, testing and unstable.

In general, stable is rock solid. Unstable is probably more like a Fedora Core release. Very useable as a desktop, but you'll run into problems here and there. And there will be lots of updates. Sometimes updates will break things. Testing is a middle ground. Packages aren't necessarily the newest version, but they're not yet stale like in stable (which may have been released a couple years earlier).

Having said all that, most people like testing for a desktop because it's mostly up to date programs and not very many things break when you update stuff. Unstable requires a bit more knowledge to keep up and running consistently. A stable update will not break anything, but you're probably going to settle for a bit older programs (like OpenOffice 2.0 instead of 2.3 for example).

Grife 04-11-2008 01:56 PM

I've used RPM-based distros most of my life, but I must vote for Debian since it's the only truly global and communal distro out there. It can't be killed.

tvphil 04-15-2008 12:50 AM

I have used Ubuntu for 2 years now, after having used Suse for 3 years prior to that.Ubuntu is more than just easy, it also works all of the time. Compared to Suse, which would periodically lock up with error messages that required lots of user forum miles to get an answer, it's been rock solid.I do drive it hard on 2 computers, one 32 bit the other 64 bit. I do everything on both, from simple emails to recording and streaming HDTV content through my home's network, it does it all without a hiccup.

billymayday 04-15-2008 01:10 AM

I mainly use CentOS (RH), but started back on Linux on Fedora and I have the others installed as well. Only just starting on Debian. I can't say I really like Ubuntu, and stupid as it may sound, part of the problem is the brown everything.

Fedora is really a testing ground fro RH, so the current release (5) is based on concepts trialled in Fedora Core 6. I still prefer to use CentOS as a desktop, if nothing else because it doesn't have 50 updates a day.

DOSJockey382 04-15-2008 07:37 AM

I find the choice of distros for this question a bit odd. You have two primary distros and then two derivative distros. Fedora would not exist without Redhat nor Ubuntu without Debian. I realize that Fedora and Ubuntu are good distros in their own right, but the choice seems mismatched to pit only parent and child distros against each other. I think the question would have been a little better if the choices were all primary distros (like Debian, Redhat, Susie, and Slackware), or if the question had asked which is the best derivation of certain lineage of linux (like Debian, Ubuntu, Knoppix, Linspire), or even asked us to pick between the (perceived?) most popular derivation of a given linux lineage.

el amigo* 04-15-2008 02:39 PM

I would say Debian all the way (not that I dislike the others...)

But I now enjoy Debian much better than any other distros, and I am learning a lot...

GrapefruiTgirl 04-15-2008 05:06 PM

I haven,t actually voted, but if I did, I would vote for Debian... Why? Here goes:

I have never even tried a Fedora (and likely won't knowingly do so), but during my time on LQ I have seen horror-threads more often than not involving some Fedora or another. You name it, and 'it' hasn't worked at all for someone out there.
RedHat is related to Fedora; and besides that, there's that 'enterprise' aspect which rubs me the wrong way: I associate 'enterprise' with 'corporate', and 'corporate' makes me think of such things as 'Novell' :/
Ubuntu I have here as a LiveCD, and boot it on occasion to use the Gparted tool and/or edit my Slackware's fstab file after having added or changed partition numbers in my main HD. Other than that, I don't like Ubuntu-- too bloaty, slow, and dumbed down, reminds me too much of another successful window-based operating system makers' wares..
That leaves Debian; and as far as I know, the only (other) Debian-based distro I have used, and I know and like, is Knoppix.
I haven't used pure Debian, but would for the heck of it.

So, I figure the above doesn't really allow me to vote fairly.

I choose Slackware.


Bruce Hill 04-15-2008 05:09 PM

If only those four existed, maybe I'd try Debian again.
If it can be run without that convoluted package manager,
just building from source, I'd use it. Otherwise, and most
especially if the only other choices were anything RedHat or
Ubuntu, I'd undoubtedly return to running Windows XP again.

vieraci 04-15-2008 08:12 PM

Debian !
Tried the rest, go with the best !

ppesci 04-15-2008 09:09 PM

Fedora is the best distro for me
I used all main distro on intel and ppc. Fedora is a way more complete than others.

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