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Re: Why is Debian lagging so much behind Slackware?



on Tue, Aug 14, 2001 at 09:47:07PM -0400, Gilles Pelletier (gipe@videotron.ca) wrote:
> We're a small group mulling over the respective merits of Debian and
> Slackware for a newbie. Of course, since apt-get takes care of
> installing dependencies and upgrading the whole installed software, we
> were leaning towards Debian. The newbie, even though his concerns for
> security are limited, wouldn't have to care too much about it.
> 
> Only a "tiny" problem remains. Potato is not up to date and it's
> apparently difficult to upgrade software unless you get patches at
> specialised places ( http://kde.tdyc.com for the KDE 2.x serie, for
> instance. ) You then must hope the patch is well done.

A Debian distro, when released, is stable.  Only bugfixes and security
patches are made, no functional changes are made to the system.  Note
that security and bugfix response is *quite* rapid.

Debian/stable is aimed at production systems:  servers, embedded
systems, dedicated-use systems (e.g.:  public kiosk, POS terminal), and
some classes of desktops in which maintenance issues are to be
minimized.

> We though about installing Woody, but, as you people know, the boot
> disquettes don't boot yet.  Potato must first be installed and an
> upgrade made to Woody. Newbies might not appreciate...  

For a network install, this is recommended and relatively painless.  If
you maintain a local archive, the installation will be as fast or faster
as from CD.

  - Install minimal base Potato.
  - Change "stable" to "testing" in /etc/apt/sources.list.
  - "apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade".
  - Continue with package selection.

> As for Woody, once again, it's going to be out... when it's ready,
> which might as well mean in June 2002, one year after Slack was out.

...at which point Woody will be stable.  See my first paragraph.

<troll deleted>

> Is apt-get really worth this huge delay? We do plan to teach the
> newbie some fundamentals.

If you want stable, you get it.  If you want unstable/testing (which
means:  usually works, occasionally tweaks), you get it.  Choice.  All
fully up to date.

Gee...I guess that means Debian's maintaining three tracks rather than
one.

> BTW, in case you wouldn't know, even newbies like to be cutting
> edge...  even more so than oldies I'd say : )

Yes, I've noticed.  Usually from the blood on the floor.

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