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Old 03-14-2005, 10:23 PM   #1
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Best Binary-based distro w/ many packages?

I've been a Gentoo user for over a year now, and have loved the versitility and vast number of packages Portage offers. My girlfriend has used Ubuntu and Fedora (It's a 2 year old laptop, so I'd like to stay away from source-only installs), but neither seem to have anywhere near as many packages as Gentoo. Does anyone know of a good distribution that uses binary based package management, but has a large variety of packages?
Old 03-14-2005, 10:27 PM   #2
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:34 AM   #3
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Old 03-15-2005, 04:07 AM   #4
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Mandrake and Suse have a lot. FC as well... I was impressed with a Suse 9.2 install I did recently, tho it was missing a couple of packages I normally use in MDK...
Old 03-15-2005, 08:28 AM   #5
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I think Debian (on in 2nd place Suse) will give you the most packages. But Mandrake has a lot too, and is my best distro.

Old 03-15-2005, 07:34 PM   #6
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Arch is good and has very up-to-date packages. There aren't anywhere near as many as Gentoo but it takes like 2 mins* to create a package so why not give back to the community and create packages for whatever you use but isn't there.

* = plus compile time
Old 03-15-2005, 10:03 PM   #7
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Definitely Mandrake.

But if you use Gentoo you probably know it's source based.

And people don't always take time to make the binaries.
Mandrake might we working on that. Don't get 9.2 though. It was buggy.

Also your thread would probably get more response in the "Distributions" Form. Try asking a moderator to put it in there.
Old 03-15-2005, 10:03 PM   #8
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If it still has Ubuntu on it, it is basically a stripped down version of Debian anyway, so all you should have to do is change some entries in /etc/apt/sources.list to point to a Debian "unstable" repository near you and you should get access to over 16,000 binary packages that will install and configure quickly from the Internet. I think the only thing that can compare to this selection is FreeBSD, but that is mostly a source based repository like Gentoo which was what you were trying to get away from.
Old 03-15-2005, 10:27 PM   #9
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One distro that's certainly worth a try regardless, is, Arch Linux - Similar to what P@ckman's saying - although it doesn't rival Gentoo in this area (packages), it does provide a smooth, lean environment for putting your distro together from "scratch" - go for an FTP installation and only install the base packages - then on reboot etc, you can start adding to with:

# pacman -Sy <package>

and so on, and so on...... to build your system up as you require - a straightforward way to create a lean system without the time-issue ala Gentoo.
Old 03-16-2005, 04:31 AM   #10
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I want to chime in with the Mandrake folks here. I've had very little problem finding obscure library RPMS specially compiled for Mandrake. Usually a search at will return what I'm looking to install on my Mandrake server.



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