[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian vs... ? (was RE: powerbook and debian)

On Fri, 2004-01-23 at 04:08, Yves Rutschle wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 22, 2004 at 12:25:24PM -0500, James Horton wrote:
> > Debian Testing, can use a 2.6.x kernel, today. I do  not believe,
> > but I'm not certain, that RH does not TODAY have 2.6.x kernels
> > available.


(i.e. Redhat has a 2.6 kernel available, and has had one available for a
good long time)  And, FWIW, the above URL is the "feeling lucky" result
of a google search for "redhat kernel 2.6 rpm".  So it's not like it's
hard to find :)

However, availability of precompiled bleeding edge unstable kernels is
not (IMO) a good reason to prefer one distro over another.  (i.e. if
you're interested in bleeding edge kernels, I'd hope you would be
comfortable compiling your own :o)

> Anyway, now most people here swear by Debian for its ease of
> upgrading and maintaining. Only one guy also uses Gentoo at
> home, for fun more than anything.

FWIW, now that apt4rpm is available (or up2date, if you want to pay for
and drink the Red Hat Kool-Aid), the ease of upgrading & maintaining the
two is roughly equal.

> Debian has easy management, RedHat has good support.

Well, as someone that has had to deal with Red Hat enterprise "support"
occasionally, I'd probably modify that statement to something more like
"Red Hat is very good at collecting money for support".

>  There
> might be firms supporting Debian commercially, too.

http://www.debian.org/consultants/ lists 434 of them all over the
world.  And that doesn't even count companies like linuxcare, progeny,
xandros, etc...  Also see http://www.debian.org/support.html for various
other support avenues (like this mailing list :o)

> > >So could anybody give serious reasons as to why RH is
> > >bad, Debian is better ? I've looked on Google but I
> > >didn't find a real serious report.

Here's what it boils down to for me:

-- Red Hat is a relatively small corporation, and as such, it's main
focus is generating revenue, and making its stockholders happy.
-- Debian is a large community whose main focus is social
responsibility, preserving freedom, and building the best GNU/linux
distribution on the planet.

-- Red Hat has a few hundred paid developers whose job is to make Red
Hat Linux into a product that can make money for the corporation.
-- Debian has thousands of unpaid developers whose interests and
abilities are widely divergent, but who share a passion for free
software (and GNU/Linux in particular).

These value differences are reflected in the resulting distributions:

-- Red Hat has a very pretty and easy to use installer, and very pretty,
easy to use, and consistent management GUI tools.  Red Hat is a
relatively small distribution (the entire distro fits on 3 CDs), with
package and architecture selection based on popularity and wide appeal
(or the amount of money a hardware vendor is willing to pay to have
their hardware supported by RH).  The enterprise Red Hat (the only one
where official Red Hat support is available) is decidedly anti-free, and
requires you to pay a (rather large) yearly subscription fee, even to
get security updates.  Red Hat does not make binary versions of its
enterprise distro available unless you pay the subscription fee.

-- Debian has a reasonably solid (if not terribly good looking :)
installer, and solid management tools (some of which have GUI front-ends
of widely varying quality).  Debian is a huge distribution (sarge takes
up 12 CDs, last I saw), and packages and architectures are selected
based on whether there are debian developers interested in maintaining
them.  The result is that there are a *lot* more widely varying packages
and supported architectures in debian, and since the developer has a
personal interest in the package, it's generally maintained very well. 
Debian is very much a free distribution, and binary packages as well as
security updates are made available in the most convenient forms
possible for users.

Which one is "best"?  That's like asking "which one is better, ice cream
or frozen yogurt?"  It depends on what you value.  I've tried to give
you a feeling for what the two distros value, now you have to decide
which one you like better.

Brett Johnson <brett@hp.com>
   -  i  n  v  e  n  t  -

Reply to: