[Techtalk] Which Distro? (was Re: "I need to use Windows because ...")

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at katspace.com
Sun Aug 11 15:12:41 EST 2002

On Sat, Aug 10, 2002 at 08:35:06PM -0700, Kai MacTane wrote:
> At 8/10/02 06:48 PM , Scott wrote:
> >Another question......what distro are most of you using?  I have been a
> >Mandrake fan, but 8.2 does not allow you to compile by default and I
> >seem to be having some stability problems.
> I started with Red Hat, installed a Mandrake machine somewhere along the 
> way that is still running, but have now converted my main system to 
> Slackware and am *much* happier. (So that Mandrake box will turn into a 
> Slack box when I feel like dealing with that.)

So why did you change to Slackware?  What features does it have that
make you like it?  How does it rate on
- stability
- ease of installation
- ease of upgrades
- ease of administration
- security
- range of packages

As I mentioned in my intro, I went from Slackware (1995) to RedHat to
Debian.  The reason I went from Slackware to RedHat was that Slackware's
idea of an upgrade (at the time) was wipe-and-install-again, and the
reason I went from RedHat to Debian is that the latest releases of
RedHat have been buggy (not to mention the gcc 2.96 fiasco) and I wanted
something which wouldn't trash my hard disk if I installed an obscure
combination of programs (which happened to a friend of mine).

I use Debian/testing, which gives me something leading-edge without
being bleeding-edge, and things generally just install, like that.
And no more incompatible RPM-hell!  There are *so many* packages for
Debian, in the official distro, mind, that there's hardly anything that
I need that I have to look outside the distro for.  For example, WML
(that I use for my website) and Ogle (for viewing DVDs) are part of the
Debian distro, and just install like that, but for RedHat I had to crawl
all over the universe for them.  (I love the Debian packages).

However, on the downside, I would say that Debian installation is not as
nice as RedHat -- Debian now is where RedHat were a couple of years ago,
I'd say.  Another downside is that all the binary packages are compiled
for 386, there's no 686 stuff, which is fine for most things, but it
would be more fun if my CPU-intensive programs ran faster.  Yes, one can
compile source packages, but the dratted apt-get wants to overwrite them
all the time, so I then had to put them on hold, which meant that it
wouldn't even install them when there was a new version out, so I gave
up.  Anyone solve that problem?

But I must admit, I would like to find out more about Slackware and
GenToo, since Slackware is apparently stable like Debian (but what
about its packages?) and GenToo is very fast, since everything is
installed by compiling it, which means it's optimized for your system.
(Not to mention that since it uses source packages, there's less
dependency hell, because autoconf is much better at finding if things
are there)
Does anyone have more info?  Personal experience?

Kathryn Andersen
"Well, I must remember to say 'Thank you' before I kill him."
			-- Travis, of Roj Blake	(Blake's 7: Trial [B6])
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