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Re: current Redhat user evaluates Debian

On Fri, 28 Jul 2000, John L. Fjellstad wrote:

>  Hi,
> I'm a current RedHat user (started with Linux on RedHat because
> it was available at Fry's), and I'm currently evaluating
> Debian for a possible switch.
> Can anyone come up with a list of advantages of using Debian
> Linux over Redhat Linux?
> I would also love to hear any the weaknesses Debian has compared
> RedHat.
> Thanks,
> -- 
> John______________________________________________________________________

	I've used (and supported) both versions, so here's my take:


1. More up-to-date kernels: 2.2.17 in 2.2, runs 2.4test with no problems
using the potato release (2.2).  Also has precompiled install packages for
ULTRA66 users, which RedHat has yet to acknowledge.

2. Better Peer Support: This list, extensive forums on the debian.org
site, less congested servers (because they don't reserve the good stuff
for the people paying money).

3. Better Package Manager: Dselect more completely uninstalls packages
with more options for the level of purging involved, and also the
installers typically configure the software in a more immediately usable
way.  (For more specifics on the package formats, go to the alien

4. More compatible: Runs alien like a charm for RPMs and Slackware
tarballs.  I've installed plenty of RPMs without difficulty, and then
removed them equally easily.

5. More Standard: Better symlinks and installation paths; closer to
HOWTOs typically.

6. Engineered for Maximum Stability


1. Nifty Graphical Installer

	If this seems a little one-sided, it is.  I personally have
nothing but good experiences with Debian and nothing but frustrating ones
from RedHat.  Debian has so far (knock on wood) been able to do everything
RedHat does, only better.
	When you get down to it, it's not that surprising.  Consider that
the folks at RedHat work there for a living.  They don't get _paid_ unless
you don't know what you're doing and you ask them for help.  They aren't
selling software, they are selling knowledge of that software.  Therefore,
it is directly to their advantage to make everything as buggy,
nonstandard, and difficult as possible, as long as it's a little less so
than Windows.
	Not that I think they're malicious people...I think that
considering the model they've chosen it's surprising how good a product
RedHat is.  It's just that their energy is likely to be expended in any
number of ways except bettering their product, because bettering their
product brings them nothing.  I mean, at least MicroSoft _wants_ you to be
able to use Windows!  :)
	Well, that's my $0.02

--adam b.

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