Debian / Redhat comparison
On Fri, 1 Dec 2000 00:28:18 -0500 Jinsong Zhao wrote:
:PS. When I get some free time I want to install Debian on my other
:disk and see how I like it. Anybody want to offer a comparison of
:Debian and RedHat with both pros and cons? (on a diff thread of
I use Debian at home, on my laptop and on my workstation, the
GNU/Linux systems I administer are mostly Redhat 6.0 & 6.2, though we
are in the process of "AIifying" Debian to be the new lab standard
rather than RH7.0
That said, the reasoning is:
Debian has a better and more uniform filesystem layout (nothing ever
depends on writing to /usr/local), this means it will actualy upgrade
on our machines where /usr/local is an NFS partition local root cannot
write to and that isn't mounted at install time.
Debian package management is better. While rpmfind supposedly does
similar things to apt-get I've never gotten it to work properly (this
despite the fact that rpmfind.net aka rufus.w3.org is in the same
building). The "apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" ability to check
for new package versions (usually security updates if you're running
stable) is a big plus.
I find it a lot easier to findout what package I need to get to get a
particular application in Debian using 'apt-cache search <regxep>' or
the search feature in gnome-apt than anything I know how to do in
Debian also has the ability to "debianize" rpm's and tarballs using
alien, although using this method doesn't necesserily provide
filesystem compliance, it is a convenient transition mechanism.
Debian provides more documentation with packages, I missed that alot
when I was using RedHat on my workstation so I could get a feel for it.
Then there's RH7's binary incompatibility problem discussed earlier...
The reason this isn't a done deal:
RedHat has kickstart which greatly simplifies the install process.
Currently users here can fill out a webform and get a customized boot
disk that will do the right thing, just boot from it go to lunch and
when you come back the machine is partitioned, installed and
configured, just just type your NIS password and go.
Debian's package configuration is (by default) verbose and
interactive, which is good on my system, but not necesserily on Joe
User's. This is trivial to get agound, but we need to determine a
system by which the user (who has authority, and responsibility to do
local software management) can select interactivity or not.
Debian's install, while improving, is painful. The cost, IMHO, or
removing this complexity, is loss of the fine grained control that one
currently has over the install process. Of course talking about
the installation system is likely to start a holy war around these