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Re: Debian is not a "main distro"?

On Wed, 30 Sep 1998, Joseph Carter wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 30, 1998 at 09:18:39AM +0100, Enrique Zanardi wrote:
> > As a side note, I would like to know what does Slackware offers that
> > Debian doesn't... perhaps we should try to "market" our distribution
> > to those old Slackware die-hards. Hey, I was one of those a long
> > time ago. ;-)
> Um, not likely.
> "Me?  Use a package manager?  When hell freezes!"

i've managed to convince a few of these "die-hards" by emphasising that
dpkg is a system administration tool that makes their job easier.

most of them are labouring under the false impression that using a
package manager takes away their freedom to administer their systems as
they please. we know that isn't true, but they don't.

some points to emphasise:

 1. it's not a strait-jacket, it doesn't limit your freedom to compile and
    install your own stuff. in fact, it greatly enhances your ability to
    do so.

 2. it allows you to maintain consistency across multiple machines.  
    instead of unpacking the source and compiling on every machine, you
    compile any program just ONCE on your fastest machine and then use
    ftp or scp to distribute the compiled package to other machines (or
    set up apt to use your own debian local archive)

 3. One of the benefits of a package management tool like dpkg is that it
    allows version control (analagous to RCS or CVS etc) for complete
    software packages.  The benefits of version control are well
    understood for source code or text config files and are just as
    useful for software packages too.

 4. kernel-package is another very useful tool.  it allows you to automate
    the production of kernels (again, compiling on your fastest machine)
    for distribution to all of your machines. use it to make generic
    kernel packages which work on all/most boxes, or to make custom
    kernels for one specialised machine.

in other words, dpkg is a very useful tool for a sysadmin to automate
repetitive tasks.


craig sanders

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