Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General
User Name
Linux - General This Linux forum is for general Linux questions and discussion.
If it is Linux Related and doesn't seem to fit in any other forum then this is the place.


  Search this Thread
Old 06-25-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2010
Distribution: Ubuntu Natty
Posts: 19

Rep: Reputation: 0
Difference between Debian and RHEL derivatives

I have heard that basically two streams of Linux distributions exists - Debian-based(e.g. Ubuntu) and Red Hat-based(e.g. Fedora).
I want to know, firstly, what is the basic difference between them? Secondly, which one is suited for what purpose (e.g. server, desktop, netbook, developer, etc)? Lastly, which one is the most popular and preferred?

Thanks in advance.
Click here to see the post LQ members have rated as the most helpful post in this thread.
Old 06-25-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
LQ Addict
Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
Posts: 5,908

Rep: Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354
I have heard that basically two streams of Linux distributions exists
There are three categories - source code based, .deb based, and .rpm based. The main difference is the packaging method used for applications.
1) source code based - must be compiled in order to install. Dependency resolution is a manual process.
2) .rpm based - use the rpm package management. Dependencies can be satisfied automatically if the dependencies are in the package repository.
3) .deb based - use the Debian package management tools (dpkg, apt, Aptitude, and Synaptic). Dependency resolution is automatic if the dependent packages are in the repository.

For your second and third questions, point your browser at On the right side panel, you will find a listing of the top 100 distros, ranked in order of popularity. There is also a Search (at the top of the page) which you can use to find distros by category (netbook, server, etc).
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-25-2010, 11:12 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Fedora Core 4, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17
Posts: 2,279

Rep: Reputation: 249Reputation: 249Reputation: 249
You might be interested in this article from a few months ago.
I think the timeline graphic is amazing.
Just think, if windows was on there it would almost be one straight line with no parallel development.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-07-2017, 06:57 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2017
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
This doesn't answer your question exactly but shows three basic Linux types Debian, Redhat, and Slackware mapping variants of each. You'll like it

Last edited by Firemouth; 02-07-2017 at 06:58 AM.
Old 02-07-2017, 08:06 AM   #5
LQ Veteran
Registered: Jan 2011
Location: Yawnstown, Ohio
Distribution: Mojave
Posts: 9,374
Blog Entries: 37

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I heard any one can install Linux.
Old 02-07-2017, 10:14 AM   #6
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants Border, UK
Posts: 2,947

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I'm thinking the OP is referring to server systems, as that is where most use Debian or Redhat.
That being the case, Debian is totally free, whilst Redhat charges money.
If you know how to use Linux, either will do, if you don't, & need a lot of help, then you pay Redhat for that info.
If you can wait, you may get the answers you need from forum members.
Old 02-07-2017, 10:53 AM   #7
LQ Veteran
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Xubuntu
Posts: 5,234

Rep: Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786Reputation: 1786
Every year some-one sets a spider to prowl the web and ask servers what their OS is. Every year it turns out to be a roughly even split between Debian Stable and CentOS (Red Hat for free). When it comes to firms that pay, you'd find a split between Red Hat (e.g. New York stock exchange) and SUSE (e.g. London stock exchange).

All of those are fine for anyone who wants absolute stability, and on a server with no GUI there's not going to be a lot of difference any way. Contrary to what some will say, they are equally suitable for servers and personal computers. The most obvious difference is that Red Hat and CentOS have Security Enhanced Linux set up. They also have a longer support period.

Slackware is as good, but rather different in some ways and it doesn't come with an automatic installer, so you'd need to write your own if you had more than a couple of machines to install on.
Old 02-07-2017, 05:45 PM   #8
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: CentOS 6/7
Posts: 1,375

Rep: Reputation: 217Reputation: 217Reputation: 217
As far as command line goes, I primarily use CentOS/RHEL but honestly it isn't that hard to switch to use Debian or Ubuntu LTS. Each generally has the feature the other has it is just knowing what that is on the other. selinux counter-part would likely be apparmor and while selinux has a finer grade of security they both rely on the kernel meaning that you'd still want something like grsecurity if you were really wanting to go to that level of security. For anything not server/enterprise related then you'd probably go ubuntu or fedora depending on preference, I'd say you would probably hit more headaches in the long run with fedora but expect it with both if you go bleeding edge.

Now one thing Red Hat definitely has which I can not think of an alternative for Debian is certification, there is one for Ubuntu but RHCSA and RHCE are the ones recognized in the industry and that is a big bonus for redhat, and having passed RHCSA twice (RHEL6 and RHEL7), I can safely say there is good reason for it. I have also passed the LPIC-1 which I found to be lackluster as an actual test of competency, since that just focuses on Linux in general rather than specific distributions.

As far as it goes, there isn't two streams of Linux, there is far more than that it is just that Redhat and Debian branches are by far the largest and in some respects the easiest.
Old 02-07-2017, 06:12 PM   #9
John VV
LQ Muse
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: A2 area Mi.
Posts: 17,427

Rep: Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590Reputation: 2590
and most of the time a cert is worth just the paper they are printed on

they try to be a basic minimum knowledge but as with ALL certs in all fields there "worth" is ? iffy ?

but this is a SEVEN YEAR OLD ZOMBIE thread so...


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Difference between CENTOS 5.2 and RHEL 5.2 louisb Linux - Enterprise 8 07-26-2010 05:03 AM
Whats the difference between RHEL 5 Server and RHEL 5 Client? kevmcool Linux - Newbie 1 01-21-2010 03:45 PM
Difference between RHEL 4 and RHEL 5? your_shadow03 Linux - Newbie 2 04-08-2009 05:21 AM
Difference Between RHEL and RH AS ? arvulis Red Hat 2 01-04-2008 05:14 AM
difference between RHEL 4 and RHEL 3 linux_guru1 Linux - Enterprise 3 05-30-2007 09:10 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:53 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration