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Re: Switch MDK -> Debian, probably

On Wed, Sep 08, 2004 at 09:19:37PM +0200, Olaf Marzocchi wrote:
> -> with MDK, to update the main packages I have to reinstall the OS
> every 6 or 12 months. I don't use linux as main OS (I use Mac OS X),
> so it's pretty annoying... the time I spend mantaining the OS is too
> much.  What about Debian? Can I update the whole system (without
> adding packages, I mean, only updates) without the need of a complete
> reinstall? (MDK main OS installer is not really good in doing
> upgrades). I don't want to reconfigure everything every 6 months...

   apt-get -u dist-upgrade

> -> In MDK, when I had to upgrade from KDE 3.1.x to KDE 3.2 (I had
> MDK9.2, I tried to update only what I needed), I had to force the
> urpmi system to uninstall all the kde packages (I had to force it
> because urpmi keeps track of every dependency: a wonderful system, it
> always worked beautifully except this time, not like the original
> rpm).  Unfortunately, the process wasn't flawless. When I started kde
> 3.2, I found that kdm (login manager) lost every WM other than kde...
> OO.org never started anymore... and similar things. I heard a friend
> saying in Debian the process would have been as simple as a single
> cmdline. Is it true (I mean, *facts*, not "it should be so",
> please...). Remember that a traditional update would be simple even
> under MDK, I take KDE 3.1.x -> 3.2 as example because the packages
> number/names changed, urpmi couldn't cope with this. What about .deb?
> This point is important.

I don't recall specifically having done this particular upgrade, but
I've had very few problems with application upgrades using apt-get.

> -> what about the kernel? Did the 2.4 -> 2.6 change require a complete
> os install?

No, I've upgraded two systems to the 2.6.x kernels without the need to
reinstall the OS.  In fact, it's very rare that you'll ever need to
reinstall Debian short of either _wanting_ to or hardware failure.

> -> kernels: are they patched? MDK ships a kernel heavily patched as
> standard, in my opinion this is really useful. If debian kernels are
> "clean", can I take a MDK kernel (let's suppose I compile it, but what
> about taking the rpm with the kernel?) and use it in Debian? (I
> suppose yes, but who knows)

Debian kernels are somewhat patched.  I normally compile my own using
the make-kpkg utility from kernel-package since I like to have a few
other things such as ipsec (openswan), mppe, and i2c support.  But
make-kpkg makes this very easy.

> -> rpm packages are everywhere... what about .deb? I'm able to compile
> apps, but, since having a package allow me to uninstall it cleanly and
> simply, I always prefer prepackaged apps. Will I be able to use rpms?

You _could_ continue to use rpm packages via alien, but I wouldn't
suggest it.  In most cases you'll probably be able to find a deb
(official or unofficial) for what you're looking to use.

> -> will I be able to use MDK, SUSE and Fedora (the latter doesn't
> matter that much, I never seen them) configuration tools? AFAIK,
> Debian leave the user alone, there are no "debian" tool to configure
> the OS (I originally chose MDK due to this). Note: this point is a
> must. Without GUI tools to speed up system configuration, I won't
> choose Debian.

In most cases, probably not.  There are a number of GUI configuration
tools available in Debian.  More specific examples would probably be
needed of what you'd like a GUI configuration tool for.

> If you need to know, I'd choose the testing branch, even if don't
> remember the kernel it ships... I hope 2.6. [update: no, it ships
> 2.4.something. What about 2.6? I want it]

Testing currently has kernel packages for 2.6.7 and 2.4.27.

> Last thing: what about reiserfs4? will it be among the FS choices? if
> not I'll choose reiserfs, but is a rfs3.6->rfs4 upgrade possible
> without format?

Not sure on this as there was a rather heated dispute a while back about
the licensing.

Jamin W. Collins

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley,
"Proper Studies", 1927

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