[Techtalk] Apt on RedHat

Mary mary-linuxchix at puzzling.org
Tue Sep 20 08:25:52 EST 2005

On Mon, Sep 19, 2005, Dan wrote:
> I haven't used Red Hat for several years, and my question is: is how
> does Apt on Red Hat compare to Apt on Debian? In particular, can you
> download+install packages on Red Hat as easily on Debian? Does either
> system maintain particularly more recent libraries? (Sometimes you have
> to settle for the previous version when you use Apt because the current
> version hasn't been packaged.)

It's very similar in usage and power, although yum is better designed
for RPMs, as Telsa pointed out.

The question of how new the packages are is orthogonal: it depends on
which repositories you use. Essentially you're asking "with or without
apt or yum, which has newer packages, Debian or Red Hat?" You can find
unofficial ones with newer software, but let's assume you're talking
about the official ones.

Let's assume you mean Fedora Linux, the free distribution for desktops
that is associated with Red Hat. There is no longer a free desktop
distribution known as "Red Hat", only enterprise distributions.

Here's the major similarity: both distributions have a public "unstable"
(that's the Debian name, Fedora will have a different one) version of
the next release. This will contain software with release dates probably
between 3 and 6 months old usually.

Here's the major difference: Fedora releases much more often. So the
last *stable* release will, at any time, be likely to have newer software
than the Debian release.

If you want a distribution that has the latest released version of every
library... I think you're out of luck. Distributions are more concerned
with delivered a working version of all supported software than they are
the latest point release of all supported software. It also depends
which libraries. There's probably not a lot of difference between the
unstable branches overall in terms of old software:new software ratios.

The Ubuntu people are planning at some point (it's still vapourware) to
have something they call "Grumpy Groundhog" [1]. This *will* be the
latest builds of upstream software, not just last release but today's
code.  They also fully expect that it will never ever ever work as an
installable distribution. The use case is for people who say "I have a
stable Ubuntu system, but I wish I could install the latest version of
[some packages] direct from the developers so I can test them". So you
pick and choose new packages out of Grumpy while keeping most of your
system stable. But how well this will work in practise I have no idea,
as I said, it's just a plan.


[1] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/GrumpyGroundhog

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