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Re: [rrichards@co.slo.ca.us: Open Letter to Debian Community]

> ----- Forwarded message from rrichards@co.slo.ca.us -----
> I've been reading a lot lately about how Debian Linux is better than the
> Red Hat/Fedora flavor. So I went and tried two Debian based distros, Mepis
> and Ubuntu. Each of them used about 1.5GB of hard drive space. Mepis used
> 150MB RAM, but to be fair, it included lots of extra desktop gizmos.
> Ubuntu used 90MB RAM. I also especially appreciated Ubuntu because it
> comes default with GNOME. I hate KDE. Don't ask me why; I don't know.
> Fedora 3 uses 2.5 GB of hard drive space and 90MB RAM for its home
> computer configuration.

With the original Debian you can choose yourself how much disk and ram
space you want to use.  After the installation use the tasksel utility
for a rough guide.  You may also want to try the new sarge installer
instead of the woody one (however, security support for sarge is not
as timely as it is for woody).

> Debian users will tell you that apt-get is more efficient than RPM because
> RPM's dependencies are other packages, while apt-get's dependencies are
> individual files.

It's vice versa.

>                   They'll also tout that apt-get does a better job of
> taking care of dependencies for you. But guess what? With apt-get, you
> have to know exactly which packages you need to make a software system
> work.

Negative.  apt-cache show and apt-cache search will help you as well
as frontends like aptitude, dselect and the like.

> Let's take MySQL for example. To make it work, you need the mysql-common,
> mysql-server, and mysql-client packages. Technically, mysql-common will
> install without mysql-server and mysql-client. But it doesn't do you much
> good. With apt-get, you have to already know this. You also have to know
> the package name of any addons you might want, like graphical
> administration tools or Apache plugins. And yes, I was using the graphical
> interface to apt-get, not the command line.

apt-cache search mysql

pick up the interesting packages

apt-get install them

Guess what, apt-get lacks a device to your brain.  Pleading guilty.

> The problem isn't so bad with MySQL, but now let's talk about more complex
> package structures, like GNOME (or KDE). There are dozens of GNOME
> packages available via apt-get. Which ones do I need? I don't know. Is

If you don't know, just try it.  If it doesn't work, remove the stuff
again and retry with different packages.  Surprise, removing packages
will actually work.

> there one that will install all of the other necessary ones as
> dependencies? I don't know. Do I want any of the packages that aren't
> explicit dependencies? I don't know. With apt-get, I'd have to spend hours
> reading the descriptions of all the packages. With Fedora, I just click
> "GNOME" and I get the important stuff and I get a list of the optional
> stuff to choose from.

With apt-get you also get the *important* stuff automatically.  Only
the not so important packages aren't installed automatically.  What's
wrong with this?  Do you want to bloat your hard disk like hell?

> Fedora is better than Debian. There, I said it. I'm sure there are Debian

Then use Debian and stop ranting blindly.  Feel lucky that you've
found a free GNU/Linux distribution that you like.

> advocates reading this and thinking about how they are Über Linux Experts
> and I am not because I am too lazy to learn about the packages I need. You
> people are not doing the Linux community any favors. Want to know why the
> rest of the world uses Windows? Because my 90 year old grandma can install
> a program for Windows, that's why. Fedora is close. My grandma could

Looking how non-experienced people manage to install viruses but are
way to shy to install "normal" programs your assertion needs to be

If you say that Fedora is close to Windows, I'm quite happy Debian is
not.  Honestly.

> probably install KDE for Fedora. But Debian needs work. There needs to be
> "master" packages that install all of the required stuff for a given
> complex system and then prompt you to make choices about the addon stuff.

Guess what, that's already the case.



Testing? What's that? If it compiles, it is good, if it boots up, it is perfect.

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