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Re: Why Debian?

1. Its free
2. Apt

On Fri, 2002-03-01 at 10:40, Kent West wrote:
> Johan van der Walt wrote:
> <snip>
> > At present I have an older version of RedHat running on my pc.
> <snip>
>  > Basically I feel that I have to pick one from the following
> > four: Debian, SuSe, RedHat and Slackware.
> <snip>
> > My question then is: what makes Debian GNU/Linux different so that I
> > should use it rather than any of the other distributions? Is Linux not
> > just Linux?
> <snip>
> > Someone told me the other day that Debian is the most stable
> > distribution. Is that so and why? 
> I would venture to say that is true. The main reason is that Debian 
> releases are not "Official" until it's ready to be released. This is in 
> contrast with certain other distros that are released because the 
> marketing guys promised it this quarter. Debian is also the easiest to 
> maintain, which in a sense, translates to stability. On a related note, 
> it has been the observation of several posters to this list over the 
> past 4 or so years that Debian's "unstable" branch is just as stable as 
> the "other" distro's full release version.
> The question of "Why Debian" comes up on this list every few months. I 
> would recommend you search the Debian Mailing List archives (see the 
> link on the left-hand side of http://www.debian.org) over the past 
> couple of years and you'll probably get a lot of answers.
> For me, the two biggest answers are:
> 	1) Philisophically pure. Debian has strict standards as to what is and 
> isn't included in its base distribution. For example, for a while it 
> didn't include KDE because KDE was based on a library that had somewhat 
> restrictive licensing. That licensing has since changed, so that KDE is 
> now included. In other words, if it's not truly free software, it 
> doesn't make it in the base distro. This way, you never have to worry if 
> you've installed software that if you run it at home there's no problem, 
> but if you put it in at a business, you have to pay a license fee. This 
> fact alone makes Debian the safest choice. I'm sure your boss would hate 
> to get sued because you installed a distro at work that included trial 
> software that expired a month after you installed it, which you didn't 
> remove after that trial period.
> 	2) apt. Well, really, there are other tools in other distros that 
> approximate apt/dselect/dpkg, but the big difference is that Debian 
> again has strict standards as to what is and isn't included in its 
> distribution. What this translates to is that when you want to install a 
> package on some other distro, you find that that package depends on X, 
> and X depends on Y, and Y depends on Z, and Z conflicts with X so that 
> you can't install Z without removing X which breaks your install. On 
> Debian, the strict packaging policies means that all these dependencies 
> are worked out beforehand by the package maintainers, so that you don't 
> have to. As a result, when you want to install evolution, you just type 
> "apt-get install evolution" and then go to the coke machine to buy a 
> drink, come back, and then start using evolution. Very sweet.
> Hope this helps.
> Kent
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Arthur H. Johnson II
The Linux Box
"Don't try to outweird me, three-eyes.  I get stranger
things than you free with my breakfast cereal."
- Zaphod Beeblebrox in "Hithiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

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