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Re: FreeBSD/ Redhat / Debian

On Thu, Jan 22, 2004 at 09:24:15PM -0800, Ward Willats wrote:
> At 2:14 PM +1100 1/23/04, Craig Sanders wrote:
> >e.g. his long-winded page on the "base system", makes it seem as if a base
> >system is something magically distinct that only freebsd has.  Linux
> >distributions have had "base systems" since the early days and, just like
> >*BSD, "base system" means that it is intended to the "base of a system".
> Yeah? Well, two things:
> 1) AFAIK, only Debian has a base system that is truly a minimal install. I
> suppose some other distros do this now too. But a Red Hat install, for
> instance, is like the circus coming to town -- hardly a "base."

debian isn't the only linux distribution to have a base system.  SLS had one.
Slackware had (still has?) one.  MCC (if anyone can remember it) had one.
these are all dating back to 1993 or 1994, so it's not exactly a new concept in
the linux world.

> 2) The larger, more important, point was that the userland components of the
> FreeBSD base are managed under source code control by the FreeBSD developers
> and aren't "assembled" from many places (tho mostly GNU) as Linux distros do.

i think it's a bogus distinction.

the implication he is making is that because there are separate & distinct
upstream developers for MOST packages(*) in Linux, that means that these packages
are not integrated into the system, that the act of packaging is just a
quick-and-dirty compile to make a binary.

this may be true for (some packages in) RH and other distros, but it is
certainly not true for Debian.

BTW, it's not even a true distinction.  as you note yourself, the base packages
ARE mostly from GNU, and they are as consistent with each other as the
equivalents from BSD (but the GNU versions of common tools tend to be vastly

(*) he conveniently ignores packages where the upstream author and, e.g., the
debian maintainer are the same person...ditto for packages authored by RH
and other distro employees.

> That said, both FreeBSD and Debian share much common philosophy. I guess
> that's why I like and use both!


i think it is odd that he claims that gentoo is the closest linux distro to
freebsd, when the only similarity is a superficial resemblance of PORTAGE to
the BSD ports system.  and that's all it is, a superficial resemblance.

debian's policies and attention to detail and focus on making an integrated
system are, IMO, much more similar to freebsd's philosophy.


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