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Re: Considering Debian (currently using Red Hat)

A few things that I haven't seen mentioned yet:

If you decide to run stable, but want just some latest and gratest software 
you can normally download the latest Debianized source and compile you own 
pacakges against stable.
There are also plenty of places on the net to get backported packages, but if 
you are security minded I would want to roll them myself, unless you really 
trust the UNOFFICIAL backport maintainer and the mirrors you are downloading 
from (there is another thread about this going on right now IIRC).

So you just install a stable system, keep up with the security updates, build 
your own local repository (plenty of ways to do this) and build the few 
packages that you need newer versions of.
This is what I am doing (just got apt-proxy working and it's great).
This gives you a known secure system, and all you have to keep an eye on is 
security advisories that affect the packages you have built yourself.
I keep my servers on stable, and run my workstations on testing.
Also personally I don't have anything that is automatically updated, I prefer 
to be notified of updates and then apply them myself, just to be safe (who in 
there right mind would have any automatic changes, no matter how trusted the 
source, on a mission critical server?).

If you've built your own integrity checker for RPM's then this should be a 
piece of cake for you.

Personally I think that the biggest problem people have with Debian is just 
naming related.
If it were called 
Painfully Bleeding Edge-Unstable
One of the biggest complaints that I hear about Debian is that stable is too 
Well of course it is, that is what makes so great, everything is extremely 
well tested and works.
This takes time, how else would you get this level of stability.
Our (while not a maintainer I do feel like part of the family) testing 
distrobution is as/more stable than many other distros normal releases.

Please take a look at the debian policy manual for more info on how debian is 
structured, it will answer many questions (I think I need to reread the 
policy manual myself).

Well I actually have a few more opinions on this subject, but I have to run 
for now.
Back in a while.

Matt Wehland 

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