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Old 08-29-2019, 04:29 PM   #1
Fierelier
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Question Searching for a distribution to solve dependency hell (Debian user)


Hello!
I've recently adapted Debian and generally like using it over Windows. However, I found it quite tiring to install third party software that is not in Debian's repo.

I thought a lot about possible solutions and I think I'd maybe like a distro that employs a containerized or semi-containerized approach of installing software. Though I also don't want to install lots of prerequisites twice, I do want stuff to be shared where possible.

Looking for something that runs on weak hardware, something simple to use. I've been using Debian for a few months now and I can find my way around, so getting used to something new should not be too big of an issue.

Something I'd also like to do is to be able to put together a standalone version of a package, so it can be used from USB.

Anyways, I'm hooked to try something new. Hit me up!
 
Old 08-29-2019, 05:17 PM   #2
Firerat
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You could live on the edge and try Debian Sid
gets "new packages"/updates sooner than testing ( Bullseye at time of typing )

Sid is the unstable branch, updates are frequent.
I prefer to call it by the sid codename, since I don't find it unstabe.
Infact I find it more stable than 'stable' distros

as for light, I go with the lxqt desktop, no fancy bells, low memory footprint

if you have disk space, why not just try distos in VMs?
virt-manager is in the repo and works well. These days I prefer it over VirtualBox.

for containers you have docker and lxc ( no lxd yet )


what software are you 'missing' in Debian?
Debian may not be the most up-to-date, but that is the price you pay for stability.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 05:44 PM   #3
Fierelier
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Oh I know Debian has somewhat of a solid release, only really getting small updates. I don't dislike that behavior, I already use it with Xfce on my machinery. Not really looking to go with sid, as I prefer to deal with the issues as they are, and I'd rather not have an issue pop up that is still unknown to most.

VMs are unfortunately out of the question as the machine I use is old, and would suffer immensely.

I'm not really missing anything in particular. I just do not want to micro-manage all my prerequisites for when I no longer need them and so on, after all, they won't uninstall as I installed them manually. One of the major issues I have is applications requiring certain versions of packages that are not available.

I could have a look at LXC, but I think a new distro would definitely be worth considering at this point.
 
Old 08-29-2019, 05:53 PM   #4
berndbausch
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Containers can certainly help you deal with conflicting dependencies. I would say that Docker is a better solution for containing applications than LXC/LXD, which is more tailoured to containing entire OSs,

There are several container-based distros, notably the aptly named Container Linux, formerly known as CoreOS before it was acquired by Red Hat. However, I doubt that it is targeted to desktop users. The other one I heard about is RancherOS. Here is a short comparison of these and two or three more: https://blog.codeship.com/container-os-comparison.

I don't think you gain much by looking for a container-based OS. Install Docker (or LXC/LXD if it suits you better), containerize all your difficult software and run the "normal" software outside of containers.

Last edited by berndbausch; 08-29-2019 at 06:01 PM. Reason: added RancherOS
 
Old 08-29-2019, 07:19 PM   #5
Fierelier
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I think I'll just frankenstein it and try hardlinking binaries between LXC systems. I'll get back to you if I get something done!
 
Old 08-29-2019, 08:08 PM   #6
frankbell
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Debian is known for having the most extensive repos in the Linuxverse.

Perhaps the solution is to add some more repos: https://wiki.debian.org/DebianRepository/Unofficial
 
Old 08-30-2019, 05:08 AM   #7
fatmac
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Linux From Scratch(?).
 
Old 08-30-2019, 06:29 AM   #8
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fierelier View Post
I thought a lot about possible solutions and I think I'd maybe like a distro that employs a containerized or semi-containerized approach of installing software. Though I also don't want to install lots of prerequisites twice, I do want stuff to be shared where possible.

Looking for something that runs on weak hardware, something simple to use.
I think containerisation will always require significant additional overhead in all categories (CPU,RAM,storage).
And might appear simple to use, but is even more complex than Debian's APT. That usually becomes apparent when people start having problems with some app.
And I have no idea what "semi-containerized approach" is supposed to mean. I have several ideas what it might mean, though.

Containerisation really is the New Hot Thing in Linuxland, isn't it.

To me it sounds like what you really want is a distro with an easy approach to third-party software.
Ubuntu has ppa:s. ArchLinux has the AUR.
 
Old 08-30-2019, 09:49 AM   #9
berndbausch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
I think containerisation will always require significant additional overhead in all categories (CPU,RAM,storage).
This is not the focus of the question, but in contrast to virtual machines, containers don't use much CPU and RAM. Most containers just run the containerized processes with very little other activity.

Storage overhead, yes to an extent, but thanks to sharing technologies, not too much either.

A container is really just a box around an application, at least a Docker container. The equivalent of chroot plus a few other technologies to separate processes from each other.
 
  


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