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Re: Looking to switch to debian...



On Sat, Nov 09, 2002 at 07:11:18PM -0600, ZephyrQ wrote:
> 	I'm coming from SuSE 8.0 and have been increasingly frustrated with the
> direction SuSE is going (first installed SuSE 5 years ago) and several
> have suggested that Debian was the way for me to go.  I am looking for
> the following:
> 
> 	--ability to recover when occasional problems happen (without having to
> reinstall to recover my X desktop)

What occasional problems might you be having with SuSE?  With my
experiences with Debian, there usually aren't many problems unless you
are running the unstable distribution, but then, there aren't too many
problems there either.

> 	--gnome friendly (SuSE is increasingly marginalizing gnome in favor of
> KDE)

Debian stable has GNOME 1.4 right now, and it's anybody's guess when
GNOME 2.0 will be avaliable.  (You could compile it from source...)

> 	--decent community to help out with problems (which is why many
> suggested you guys, and why I subscribed to the list...)

Debian has a pretty good community through mailing lists and
debianplanet.org

> 	--ability to install software easily (I don't mind the
> configure/make/make install dance except that SuSE sometimes puts stuff
> in weird places--difficult for me to find)

.deb packages are easy to install, and can be built from source easily.
Also, .deb packages contain all of the dependency information, but
aptitude (just one of the tools for installing packages) can
automatically take care of dependencies for you.

> 	--more control over boot process and graphical logins (I hate it)

Unless you install [x,k,g]dm, the boot process is text mode boot.

> 	--and the ability to *easily* control many of my tweaks.  When SuSE
> went exclusively to yast2, I lost the ability to change many things
> (like the graphical login...) and changes I *did* make get changed back
> after the next re-boot.

Some configuration is done via debconf when installing packages, but
failing that, there are text configuration files for most packages.

> 	--documentation for me to read to help me figure stuff out.

Most packages have their own documentation in the /usr/share/doc
directory allowing you to browse the docs without installing further
packages.

> 	I originally went to linux from OS/2 (after IBM practically killed it)
> and don't mind getting my hands dirty; I actually prefer it to the slick
> installs. I guess there is a slim line I am walking here as I have never
> re-compiled a kernel and I'm not sure I want to (don't have time) but I
> still like to control my system when I need to.

I used to use OS/2, so I know how you feel about IBM killing it off.
Debian is a nice distribution, and many of the tasks that might be
thought to be "too manual" by Red Hat, Mandrake, or SuSE users (such as
recompiling a kernel) can be done with about 3 commands on a Debian
system.  Also, there are many tools to automate configuration.

Just my two cents,

-- 
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Edward Guldemond

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