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Re: Why choose Debian?

[Karsten, if you get fresh reasons, be sure to add them to your lists.
These lists, by the way, should also be on the Debian Web site.
Perhaps you can make this happen. PR is a good thing. See also the
recent thread: Why use Debian?]

  What I tell folks:

  1) The package manager.

  You can tell it to look in several places at once for a package and
  if you ask for a package that depends on others it automatically
  selects those packages. It then downloads the .debs and installs
  them for you. (I don't think Red Hat has this auto-download
  capability--you have to hunt for the .rpms yourself as far as I

  One of the best demos you can do to convince someone is this:

    $ foo
    foo: command not found
    $ dselect     # select and install foo
    $ foo
    This is foo, version 2.1

  The 10 seconds it takes to do this is light-years beyond hunting for
  rpms, or hunting for source, compiling and installing it.

  Next, I tell the future Debian user that if I read about a sendmail
  bug in a CERT announcement, the next day there will be a Debian
  security update, and then:

    $ dselect     # simply update existing software

  So, in a day or two, plus the 10 seconds it takes to update your
  system, my sendmail is up to date. Quick and painless.

  2) The elegant disk layout.

  For example, everything about mail is in /etc/mail. In Red Hat some
  stuff is in /etc/mail, some stuff is in /etc. It's all over the
  place. Ditto for bind stuff.

  3) The elegant boot scripts.

  Red Hat hides init.d in /etc/rc.d. It also doesn't seem to provide a
  full set of scripts in init.d either. There are a few other details
  in this realm, but I'm forgetting them now.

  4) run-parts

  I think Red Hat uses it a little, but it's ubiquitous in Debian.
  init, cron, etc. Makes the addition of new code and packages a

  5) A mission to get all configuration out of programs/scripts and
  into config files in /etc.

  6) Resources.

  The Debian web site, mailing lists, bug manager (and folks who
  actually fix them relatively promptly).

  7) Association with the FSF.

  No, it's not tied to the FSF any more, but if there is a GNU/Linux
  distribution that is GNU, it is Debian.

Bill Wohler <wohler@newt.com>  http://www.newt.com/wohler/
Maintainer of comp.mail.mh FAQ. Vote Libertarian!
If you're passed on the right, you're in the wrong lane.

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