Re: Hesitating to take the plunge in Debian
On 11/1/2000 Renaud Dreyer wrote:
1)How easy is it to install Debian for PowerPC right now, for someone who's
used MkLinux and Linuxppc for the last 2 and a half years? The only
installation instructions I've seen are at:
depends on whether the boot floppies like your box or not.
debian is not as easy to install as redhat (of which all ppc distros
except debian derive) but its far more flexible and powerful, you can
end up with what you WANT and NEED, without all the cruft that seems
mandatory on redhat systems. dselect does take some getting used to,
but you really only need to use it once and then apt is sufficient
for any further package installations/removals. if you have
GNU/Linux experience you will be able to handle debian installer, its
not bad at all, just play with it a bit to get used to it.
I have not yet installed debian on ppc but have several times on an
intel box, the installation procedure should be the same except for
the bootstrap process. most of your questions apply to debian in
general, as Debian is pretty close across architectures.
I have installed linuxppc R5, and tried to fix its out-of-the-box
brokenness, I was quite unimpressed with it, and from what i have
discovered of the debian folks from my intel experience with debian
is that they care very much for doing things correctly, and not
tolerating brokenness in their distribution.
Are these still accurate and is there any other documentation?
not that i have found, it looks like it will be pretty much the same
as i386 except for the bootstrap process (which is an obligatory pain
on powerpc machines it seems :)) once its booted you should get the
same options for base system installation, configuration and such.
after that just follow the dselect tutorial.
2) Is there anything missing from the distribution, compared to Linuxppc?
Debian is probably missing all the rediculous bugs linuxppc has :)
Will I still be able to run windowmaker, TkStep, Nextaw, FSViewer,
postilion, MOL, Netscape, xmms, xemacs, exmh,
yes, i think so. Debian has thousands of packages most of which
should be ported to PPC afaik.
Rage 128 accelerated Xpmac,
dunno about that one there was some recent discussion about Xpmac...
compile my own kernels?
as well as that can be done on ppc...
Are Debian packages also available in source form
(like the source RPM's)
of course, apt-get source packagename
so that I can compile anything not available for
PowerPC in binary form? How well does the RPM to Debian package converter
(alien?) work, for any RPM not available in Debian form (like MOL?)?
I have only used alien a bit, but i prefer to get a real deb or just
compile and install in /usr/local in those cases. I also just
compile and install in /usr/local for development stage stuff like
MOL. but thats just me.
the main problems you come across with alien is when there are files
installed in the redhat centric filesystem locations and such.
How do the administration tools compare with the Red Hat ones?
emacs, joe, vi premium, reliable tools (well except vi maybe) <g>
but seriously there are counterparts to some of redhats utilities and
from what i have seen are superior. and you can get linuxconf if you
want (though i don't know why anyone would WANT to <g>)
I have found debian to be MUCH easier to configure, especially if you
want to do something manually rather then through some frontend.
especially the initscripts, none of that redhat spaghetti here.
3) This mailing list seems to be pretty low volume, is it because very
few people are running Debian PowerPC or is it because it's trouble free?
Are these any good Debian mailing lists I should know about?
I suspect its because debian is not full of dumb problems like linuxppc is.
4) Finally, when the official Debian distribution for PowerPC comes out,
will I be able to upgrade to it trivially, or will I have to do a complete
potato is supposed to freeze this weekend, followed by a week long
evaluation, a two week test period (possibly repeated if serious
issues necessitate a fix and retest) release is aimed for mid to end
as far as installation, debian's upgrade system is amazing, since you
would be installing potato directly you will be able to upgrade any
new packages in two commands when it becomes stable though you should
upgrade every day or so to keep up to date:
edit /etc/apt/sources.list to point to potato, and later stable if
you wish to follow stable rather then potato explicitly.
that is all there is to it. I have NEVER downloaded a .deb file
myself, any time i need a new package i just search for it, and run
apt-get install packagename, and apt checks the depenencies and asks
permission to install the needed packages along with my selection,
then downloads, installs, configures, done. excellent system, RPM
cannot hold a candle to it.
if you don't like dpkg then you must not like package managers in general ;-)
To obtain my PGP key: http://www.alaska.net/~erbenson/pgp/