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Debian Plans for Freeze, Potato Release 185

marshall writes "I was reading the Debian Weekly News and was happy to see that Jan 2 will be the no new packages freeze for potato and Jan 15-16 will be the final freeze date with any new packages going into a new dist called woody. Then after some test cycles it looks like they are planning for a release at the end of Feb. The e-mail is here "
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Debian Plans for Freeze, Potato Release

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  • I've used RH since 4.0 came out, and I've been really looking into Debian lately.

    Could anyone who has made that switch throw some info to me? It it worth it? What advantages does Debian have over RH (and any other for that matter)?


  • I also have been using RH since early in their distros.

    I personally would like to find out how easy it would be to switch to debian or another distro without losing everything in the process. I know I'll lose everything that is RPMed but other than that what could happen?

    Does anyone who has done this have any tips tricks on how to do it properly?

    Devil Ducky
  • I was very happy to hear this. I am running Debian potato (unstable) right now, and I am quite happy. It works great and there aren't many bugs.

    There is definitely a big improvement in the Debian distribution. I still consider it to be the best distro.

    I am also a proud owner of one of the first boxed Debian distributions - it includes a CD, a Debian bumper sticker and a book from O'Reilly. It's actually pretty neat.

    I hope that with the help of VA, SGI and O'Reilly (they are the sponsors of the boxed disribution) Debian will finaly become a mainstream Linux distribition, just like RedHat and the rest. It's quality is amazing. The only thing that it lacks is the commercial support, but hopefully somebody will take care of this.

  • Red Hat has the money and marketing clout to continue its progress towards making itself synonymous with Linux. Users of the Debian distro will slowly find themselves being 'disconnected' from the main body of RedHat/Linux users and development.
  • I'm not sure that can be done, I plan on just clearing the disk and starting from scratch.

    Now get back to work and quit posting on /.



  • I've been using Redhat for.. well forever. I tried making a switch to Debian at 2.0 (what was that called?) but never made it past the install. The mind boggling array and internconnectednessness of packages proved to much for me. I guess I didn't have a high enough geek quoient at the time. ;) Now 18 months further down the road Redhat is increasingly frustrating with just a few too many bags on the side for my liking.
    That debian have taken this long to get their next 'blessed' release out bodes well for their quality control. I can't wait to give it another whirl. Aptget sounds like the closest thing the Linux world has to FreeBSD's cvsupdate. Does anyone know how Debian handle things like PAM and sysv vs. bsd style init scripts?
  • Actually this is wrong. Debian probably has the most followers in the open source development community. RedHat is seen by many to be too commercial, while debian is 100% "pure" open source.

    There will always be a market for it (IMHO), perhaps not with PHBs, but within the community.


  • Red Hat is Linux as far as the general public is concerned and they now have the market capitalization to keep it that way. Why would anyone use this distro anyway?

    However the general public has very little bearing on anything that is happening in the linux community. There is a massive user base that can't be called general public.

    And no matter how much money RH has, they cannot own linux, it is open source, as is most (all?) of the software on RH's distro.

    Look if you pick an operating system based on what is popular, go with Windows.


  • Well, this is where you are wrong.

    1. Debian actually has the largest market share now. It just does not have the hype.

    2. Before Debian it used to be slackware. Once again it did not have the rhat hype.

    3. But it was never ever redhat. And considering what you get when you buy redhat (without the additional CD's) and when you buy Debian redhat will never be.

    It is simple - bang for the buck. Redhat does have hype and some support but it has never had Debian's bang for the buck (especially after taking into account security and stability).

  • Having used RedHat since 4.2 all the way up to 6.0 and then switching to Debian I can only say to myself: 'Smart move!'. Debian is so much easier to maintain. The dpkg system (dselect, apt-get) is f**king awesome. Want to install some tool you just heard your friends rave about? Chances are it's already in the Debian distribution, so it's as simple as 'apt-get install package-name'.

    You start with Slackware, move on to RedHat, then graduate to Debian...
  • Users of the Debian distro will slowly find themselves being 'disconnected' from the main body of RedHat/Linux users and development.

    Debian is Linux development. At least as far as developers are concerned.

  • RedHat 4 was my first Linux. Then I switched to Slackware and finally tried Debian. These distributions have a lot of things in common, but there are also some differences. The major difference is the look-and-feel of the distributions. I think that they are appropriate for different kinds of users.

    RedHat is a newbie's Linux - it keeps everything very simple and stupid (compared to the other two distributions). It helps you avoid making mistakes. It's very hard to fuck up the system. Of course hardcore Linux users will not like this, but they can use Slackware or Debian instead. For the majority of the newcommers to Linux RedHat is a very good choice.

    Debian, on the other hand, is the absolute hardcore Linux distribution. The DEB package format is the more advanced and versatile than RPM. It manages the dependacies between the packages better, but still allows you to ignore its suggestions. If you really know what you are doing, Debian will be a good choice. And of course, it is still one of the biggest distributions - 2.1 binaries take 2 CDs. It definitely gives you a lot of options.

    Switching from RedHat to Debian is not _very_ easy. I wouldn't recommend this to anybody without at least one year of Linux expirience. Debian is still an administrator's OS and it's not very well suited for the general public. I think that this is a good thing. We need different distributions for different people. Puting a newbie in front of a Debian box will be as frustrating for him as putting an administrator in front of a RedHat box.

    Watch for Corel Linux: it uses the debian package format but it's oriented towards new Linux users - stressing on the user-friendliness. I have not tried it, but may be it will be better choice than RedHat and Debian for the average Linux user.

  • I tried making a switch to Debian at 2.0(what was that called?)
    Now 18 months further down the road Redhat is
    Actually, we released Debian 2.1, aka slink, in March 1999.
    Debian handle things like PAM and sysv vs. bsd style init scripts?
    We use sysv style init scripts (We use /etc/init.d instead of /etc/rc.d/init.d, though)
    PAM is now in the base system thanks to the hard work of Ben Collins.
  • Like, yeah, man.. Redhat used to be cool..I like their older stuff, but then they sold out & got all popular & stuff. They suck, dude..even my MOM uses Redhat now. It's so uncool.

    When they release a double live album, you know they have sold out.


  • I have the boxed version of Slink (Debian 2.1) and it comes with the 2.2.12 kernel. I was really surprised by this, because the "unofficial" Debian CDs that I had included only 2.0.x and 2.1.x kernels.

    This is strange, because the Debian ftp server includes only the 2.0.28 kernel. Did they produce a special version of Debian for the boxed distribution? Any ideas?

  • It comes as quite a surprise to me that Debian is keen to accept new packages so late in its development cycle. Does anyone know why Debian doesn't freeze out new packages earlier?
  • And I am not sorry about this. Most of the time even Debian *unstable* is rock stable. I can compare my impression about Debian unstable to my impressions about RedHat stable.

    I think Corel linux will be great for Debian because it will give more beginners the option to try Debian and get used to it. Probably later they will select the real Debian, because this is a real thing.

    BTW, Upgrading from Corel linux to Debian should be very painless.

    I am waiting for some real cool things like FreeBSD based Debian and HURD based Debian. And after FreeBSD, I am sure NetBSD and OpenBSD will be given a try in Debian!

    Go Debian!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just kidding... *grin* I don't mind the slow release cycles since the end product is for the better (hey those of you who were saying Debian can't compete with a certain commercial distro... well you're right... it has a lot less bugs!)

    There's only two things I could nitpick on:

    1. You can't 'make world' like in *BSD. I like to squeeze every little bit of performance out of my hardware, and the .deb's are only compiled with the lowest common denominator in mind.

    2. A freshly installed Debian system in not as secure as it could be. Lots of open ports, named running as root and not chroot'ed, no wheel group, etc... This isn't really a problem for me since I know how to fix these problems, but leaves newbies wide open. I think Debian could learn a lot from the OpenBSD project...
  • Ever get the feeling that waiting for a Debian release is like waiting for Rip Van Winkle to wake up? It'll happen - just not on a timescale you are accustomed to.

    The there are two excuses for this delay that are often quoted (1) Debian has a better quality (2) Debian is not behind other distribution in terms of software versions since people can always download from unstable. Make no mistake - these are excuses and not reasons, and let me explain why.

    1. Better quality : Quality is always a tradeoff against time to release. Redhat, IIRC release their first distro with a 2.2 kernel somewhere around June. Sure they had bugs, but assuming that Redhat tripled their QA efforts, in order to improve stability and security, they would still have delayed by possibly another two months. Even Slackware, which has a much better reputation than Redhat, was able to beat Debian handily.

    Lets face the facts folks, the Debian organization is just slower. Some of this slowness may be attributable to quality. Most of it is not.

    A glaring example of this slowness was seen recently : look at when the Y2K compliance release was released.

    2. Latest software from unstable : Hah! Are the Debian people who spout this nonsense contending that a distribution labelled as "unstable" is release quality? If so, then release it.

  • I wasn't aware that there was some sort of zero-sum "competition." Or is this a troll? Not to speak for all Debian users, but as far as I can see they don't particularly care whether or not Debian ever becomes the "dominant" Linux distro or whether the user base grows any more at all. Why should they? There's no market share to worry about.

    Also, Debian users are "disconnected" from Red Hat Linux the moment they finish their install. We seem to do okay despite this.

  • I've heard some stuff this month that it was still too unstable to be released. If this is true, then it is too early for a package freeze.

    I use Debian slink on my IP Masquerating box at home. If potato is really as stable as they say, I'll be glad to try a version that's faster and better.
  • No, they used what is in the archive. Although the 2.0.38 is the "standard" kernel that is installed with the current boot floppies, the Slink archive goes up to kernel version 2.2.1, and Potato goes all the way up to the current version, 2.2.13--not counting any of the unstable kernels, which I'm not an advanced-enough user to pay attention to. :-)
  • I believe that the key to Linux success is to give the user more freedom. Freedom to look at the source, freedom to contribute to the development. Freedom to chose his or her distribution.

    Having many different distributions is very important for the Linux community. We need to have a suitable distribution for everybody - ranging from a Linux newbie to a hacker guru - and there is no way a single distribution can satisfy them.

    It is clear that there are more newbies than gurus, so it is not surprising at all that RedHat is more popular than Debian. Their target user groups are different. RedHat is more mainstream, Debian is the underground distribution. There is nothing wrong with this and we should keep it this way.

    Making Debian user friendly by limiting its features is wrong. It will make Debian users unhappy. Making RedHat more powerful by limiting its userfrienlyness is also wrong.

    What do we need to do? Nothing. Both distributions can happilly coexist together: make love, not war :-)

  • Debian's primary advantage over Red Hat is its package management system- the combination of dpkg and apt-get makes keeping your system up to date and installing new packages ridiculously easy.

    To install a new package, from a remote Debian mirror, for example, just type:

    apt-get install

    To get the latest list of available packages:

    apt-get update

    To update all the packages you have installed for which a new version is available on the mirror:

    apt-get dist-upgrade

    Once you've done you're first "apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade" and watched the system update 40 packages with minimal user interaction, you'll never want to switch back.

    The Debian developers are also somewhat more careful to produce a system that is consistent throughout (you'll never have the backspace/delete key transposition problem again). They aim to produce a distribution that is as technically sound as they can make it, and from my experience, they are certainly closer to achieving this goal than any of the other distro maintainers.

    There are more packages available for Debian than for any other distribution, and if you are concerned about using only Free Software, or work for a business and wish to be certain that you are aware of any non-free software you're using that requires a licence fee to be paid for commercial use, Debian is very careful about separating the non-free packages from the free ones, so you can easily tell whether or not you should bother to read the licence file.

  • Agreed. I've been using Debian ever since I switched to Linux, and I've never once regretted it, and I've never considered switching to another distro. One of the things I like about it is that it represents (for me at least) what a Linux distro should be: run by volunteers, with everything kept as open as possible (online bug DB accessible to anyone and everyone, online developers docs, also accessible to all, not just to "registered developers"). I also like the fact that Debian is dedicated to be 100% free.

    Philosophical issues aside, I love Debian because it is the most configurable -- you can fine-tune packages at a very fine level, and yet you can still go back to the packaging system if you want to: doing a manual config doesn't cause the packaging system to throw up its hands and say "yikes you did something *manually*, I don't know what to do now, packaging system aborted." Some distros have this problem -- eg. Redhat's Network configurator gets scared when it sees settings not done through it.

    Along the same lines, another attractive feature of Debian is that the basic tools are command-line oriented, with *optional* graphical front-ends to them. This is good -- it allows me to choose whether I want a fancy, "easier"-to-use interface, or I want to do some tasks from a shell/Perl script. I don't like it when some config tools in other distros impose a GUI interface on you -- major headache when the X server doesn't configure your card, for example, and it's very difficult to run GUI config tools from a shell/Perl script.

    Anyway, my point is, Debian is very attractive to "hacker types" like me, who want total control over everything, and flexibility in what kind of tools I use. Newbies will probably be better off using RedHat (or derivatives, I heard Mandrake is pretty good), but there will always be the hardcore Linuxers who will stick with Debian.

  • The new Corel linux is Head and Shoulders above Redhat in the newbie-friendly catagory. The greatest thing about it: they not only use dpkg, they also use apt-get format. You can add debians package servers to the sources.list and install packages from debian using corel's "Corel Update." This works great unless you are going to go with a complete upgrade to Potato, Corel does not play well with Potato... Yet.

    Another worth mentioning would be Stormix. They seem to have built a middle-of-the-road distro around Debian. Looks pretty similar to Redhat in philosophy. I need to check it out.
  • I recently upgraded to potato, have been running it for about a month. All I had to do was:

    $ apt-get update
    $ apt-get dist-upgrade

    When I woke up in the morning, I had the latest version out there. I haven't had any problems at far. :)

    Best of all, since moving to Debian from RH, I feel I'm off the "buy more CDs to upgrade" merry-go-round.

  • Well, the kernel on the boot floppies of the boxed distribution was 2.2.12. Actually the kernel included in the base package was 2.2.12 too - it's not in the Slink archive.
  • That's great news--my boxed set is due to arrive today or tomorrow via UPS, and as far as I knew the newest kernel on the CD was 2.2.1. Looking forward to installing it!
  • Oh, yeah, and I had to change my configs in /etc/apt/sources.list from "stable" to "unstable"--thought I should point that out before someone else does. Sorry.
  • I have been running several machines on Potato for the last six months or so. Some of these machines are workstations, and some servers, and apart from a couple of minor problems (caused by a temporarily broken package being uploaded to the mirrors, almost always corrected in 24 hours), they have performed extremely well. My own workstation was up for 40 days until a recent office move, with apt-get updates being performed every 2-3 days or so; during this time I never once suffered any form of bug or error which prevented me carrying on with my work.

    For me at least, Debian's unstable is plenty stable enough.

  • These different flavours of Linux are very hard for the world to get used to. Why isn't there just one O/S?

    Because there will always be some who says "I can make it better than that". The great part is (unlike some other OSes), you can.

    The world will just have to get used to it, this really makes for a better system. You can download the source code to just about any linux program and compile on all of these systems, or you can use packages (rpm, deb), so there is compatibility between them.

  • I personally would like to find out how easy it would be to switch to debian or another distro without losing everything in the process.

    When upgrading my RedHat distribution, I've always kept at least one ext2 partition untouched. That way, you can keep a backup of /home and other important files there, and restore them later. I suppose that would work when switching from RedHat to Debian, too.

  • Packages from unstable are actually very usable, just not well-tested "enough" to be released with confidence. I've been using unstable ever since I got Linux on my box, and it has never failed me. Yes sometimes there was the odd dependency bug or broken install, but when you live on the bleeding edge what can you expect? I guess my point is, "unstable" packages are in fact much more stable than the name implies.

    Actually, recently there was a lot of discussion on the Debian mailing lists to implement something that would allow the normal user to upgrade to what is currently "unstable" without taking the risk of a newly uploaded package which might break things. Once implemented, sysadmins who must be 100% sure of the stability of their system will use the "stable" branch, while regular users will use what is now "unstable", which is more up to date (but may not be 100% bulletproof, but that doesn't matter to the regular user), and new untested packages will go into an experimental(?) branch which only people who want to *test* new packages will use (ie. they are prepared for any breakages). Once a package is "stable enough" it gets moved to the regular user branch. This way people can stay up-to-date without fearing nasty breakages.

    As for releases... remember that Debian's audience is mainly sysadmins. Some of them cannot afford any breakage in their servers -- so to achieve release-quality, Debian must spend more time to ensure everything is 100% (or close enough) bulletproof. "Unstable" is usually stable enough for non-sysadmins.

  • Congratulations on discovering that RH isn't the be-all end-all of Linux distros.

    Debian GNU/Linux is a clean, stable Linux distribution which is developed and enhanced by a large set of package maintainers around the world. Following in the same traditions of peer review and collaborative refinement, Debian GNU/Linux provides cutting edge technology, heightened security, and unparalleled flexibility.

    As far as differences between Debian unstable and RH, you'll find that, while RH provides a larger installed base and thus better recognized support, Debian's support network is much larger in scale, and much more informative. At least that's how I've experienced it. Debian can provide most of the same packages as RH, and many more. Of course, there is no linuxconf in Debian, so you'll need to be familiar with the unified configuration tools vi and emacs. :)

    Assuming you keep your /home as a separate partition, and you don't have anything anywhere else worth saving, I would just make backups of /home (just in case, but we all back up already, right?), mkfs the *other* partitions, and Debian should install just fine after that :)

    Since the stuff that's being discussed here is Debian unstable, you'll need to upgrade to that after installing, as the install media you use will most likely be from the stable tree. You'll want to edit your /etc/apt/sources.list and change the entries over from stable to unstable, then apt-get update, then apt-get dist-upgrade.

    As far as the initial install of Debian goes, if you feel comfortable with apt (read the documentation), I would recommend that you install just the minimal stuff and apt-get what you need. This is what I did, and I now have the same functionality before and after switching to debian, and I'm using a third of the space. The Zen of apt - it's a wonderful thing.

  • It IS one OS.

    The binary and even more important source compatibility must be preserved, but in the future there will be Debian with non-linux kernels.

    And think in this way: Why should there be one OS? Where goes the diversity of ideas?
  • We have Caldera installed on the workstations for our regular workers (We are 100% M$ free at our company)..the install is so simple, it's actually FUN to install Caldera. It even has a game of tetris you can play while installing. Although, it is definitely not an admin's Linux. Network tools are nil. EndUser tools are rampant though. (comes with StarOffice and Wordperfect preinstalled by defaul)
    Caldera is DEFINITELY a distrib to show off to the brass of your company. It booted into a gui WAY before RH..Plus, at the graphical login screen, you can choose KDE, Gnome, IceWM and 4 other WindowMans. I prefer Debian for the servers though :)
  • Now if only Deb would take a page out of Linus' book and start having more frequent final releases. You see outside of the Hacker community ( I.e. Debian developers and the authors of the many packages included with debian ) You don't use something unless it's a final "stable" release or is included with a distribution that is "final and stable".

    So yes, by all means hack the code until it shines. Make sure it works well but pleas do it quickly. As long as all that's out there is a stable release that's many months old and a self professed incomplete "developer release" you are essentially demanding that everyone interested in Linux try out something else.

    Finally there is the question of KDE and Debian. Sure Corel Linux == Debian + KDE + Corel stuff; but dose the real Debian consider KDE 2.0 free enough for distribution ?

    For the uninitiated KDE 1.x is not part of the official Debian because it relies on an unfree QT. QT 2.x ( on which KDE 2.0 depends ) is free so what's the word ? Are you just waiting for technical stability and completeness before this is included ?

    PS : KRASH didn't crash on me so a stable KDE 2.0 isn't such a distant thing.
  • Agreed whole-heartedly!! We *need* different distros. IMHO competition (even non-hostile competition like among the Linux distros) is good. Human beings are lazy, and when there is no motivation to improve something, it just decays. Once the initial itch to hack code wears off, competition is what motivates you to keep going, and what "restores the itch" to hack more and make it better. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. There is only one-size-fits-few (as we can see in M$'s case). So why not have many sizes to fit most?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have installed Debian on a lot of different machines. In all theses cases i have used the "unstable" version. The problems you mention with the "internconnectednessness of packages" i guess comes from the install utility that Debian uses. I too found it irksome and confusing. So i just used the dpkg-command instead. It was more work , but i got by.

    Hower with the arrival of APT. Things got so much better. When i install a new machine now, i get the system up and running. I do not install any packages, but go to the command line and install apt-get( if it is not there already). Then i use apt-get to install whatever i want.

    Apt-get can retrive packages from your harddisk, cdrom or several different sites on the internet.

    Upgrading the whole system is easy( if it is connected to the internet.). You just use two steps.

    1. apt-get update #Locates new or upgraded packages.
    2. apt-get upgrade #Upgrades only those packages that you have installed and which there exits new versions of.

    That's it. You could put these in a cron-job and you would have a constanlty updates system.(depending on how often you run the cron-job). I belive there is a repositoy for security updates to, called where all the latest security pathes are put. If this is so - add this site to your apt-configuration and you could have a very secure system.

    Installing a new package is easy. TO install Windowmaker for example:

    1.apt-get install wmaker

    By the way. I have used the unstable version and i have had no trouble with it. But then i may have been lucky. Thanks to Debian and a happy new year to you all.
  • I'm very interested in the HURD-based Debian. I have yet to try it because I'm still working on piecing (is that spelled right? it looks wrong) together a Linux box capable of installing it.

    Has anyone out there tried Debian/HURD, and what are your impressions?

  • Could anyone who has made that switch throw some info to me? It it worth it? What advantages does Debian have over RH (and any other for that matter)?

    Simply the package management system. I've used Red Hat for a while, but when I learned about "apt-get install package" it was all over. I think when Potato is released all my boxes will be upgraded.

  • Red Hat is Linux as far as the general public is concerned

    No, that's be VA Linux (LNUX) now :)


  • The previous message just was one too many... :-(

    I have got to disagree with RedHat being the newbie's Linux AND Debian being the administrator's Linux. Common, look at what Corel did with Debian: Can you spell "Userfriendly"? They didn't have to re-do all of Debian, mostly just the GUI things.

    RedHat certainly doesn't keep things stupid, that's pure FUD. "Newbie OS?" LOL!

    At RedHat they have reasonable defaults, at most. Yes, the install is a lot friendlier than the strange floppy install I had with my first ever Linux install from Slackware. Later on I tried RH 3.0.3 and it just felt better, it was a complete OS, not a whole lot of packages dumped together on one HD. What's wrong with this?

    Debian being hardcore? Oh please! This just makes me feel sick. Please, give me one good and counting example of why RedHat is less hardcore, more newbie-ish and less an administrators OS than Debian and I will instantly agree. Or is the packaging system the only thing you're talking about here? I'm happy with RPM and if I want to install an tar.gz, who's stopping me?

    Grrr... Stop dissing RedHat! We owe them more than we can imagine.


  • That's because Joey Hess and Sean 'Shaleh' Perry at VA worked on the boxed set, sometimes called 'Slink and a half' by some...basically it's slink with a bunch of (unofficial) updates.
  • Umm, a release named "potato"? Pleeeeease!!!
    History repeats itself. Does no-one remember the potato blight which killed millions in Ireland all those years ago? It was due to the practice of splitting seed potatoes in two to increase crops - once the disease took hold, there was insufficient genetic mutation in the crops to provide resilience against this sort of thing. Still, it did have an upside... A lot of Irish emigrated elsewhere, which is why there's always an Irish pub in most cities (and I challenge /. to provide me with an example to the contrary! :)
    I do find it worrying, though, that all the Irish pubs around here are all advertising "good craic"..... Craic detroys lives, just say no!
    And what the hell is woody all about? I know we're nerds, but I think it a little odd to say "I just gave my computer a woody"...
    Where on earth do they get their release naming conventions, anyway? Is the ghost of Frank Zappa alive and well, and using Linux? Can we look forward to a "Moon Unit 4" Slackware release soon?
  • Actually, you won't lose everything that's RPMd. Debian [] can deal with RPMs just fine-- you can use the traditional "rpm" program (yes, the same one from Red Hat []) or you can convert them to .DEB packages with the "alien" package. :)
  • Debian actually has the largest market share now. It just does not have the hype
    Umm, proof, please? I would be convinced if you'd either post a link, or failing that, a large cheque... Damn, I've been working in the City too long... :(
  • It's the little things that count- things like the fact the Debian developers decided that having your "delete" key alternate between your backspace and actual delete key depending on whether you were in an xterm, using emacs, using vi, typing in a form in netscape, etc, etc, sucked, and deciding to do something about it. Ok, so they had to create a new termtype to solve the problem, but it saves a lot of hassle in the long term.

    More care seems to have been taken with Debian to ensure consistency and quality throughout than with Red Hat- this is part of the reason for the time taken to freeze potato; another one worth noting is that the Debian maintainers are all volunteers; there's no-one being paid a salary to work on the Debian distribution.

    The biggest problem with Red Hat is that whilst their install procedure is smooth, their package management is only average compared to apt; you generally only install once, but manage packages all the time- I know which one is more important to me.


  • Ok, you obviously don't know the origin of the Debian distro names. Each of them has been named for a character from the original Toy Story. This practice began with our own Bruce Perens, who worked for some time on the Debian project, and who previously had worked at Pixar on the production of Toy Story. That's why they have had (and will have) names like:
    • Bo (Bo-Peep)
    • Hamm (the pig bank)
    • Slink (Slinky Dog)
    • Potato (Mr. Potato Head)
    • Woody
    And of course, that's why their development stuff is in a directory named after Sid (the boy next door who tore apart the toys and cruelly jammed them back together into horrendous contraptions)...
  • Who's the Anonymous Coward who hates "distro?" These comments are all over the place! If you're going to be annoying, at least put your name on what you say.
  • Actually, Red Hat is also careful to put the non-free software on a separate CD. I believe that this is all that Debian does. Actually, this is done by every distribution that I have tried (except SuSE, which has their proprietary YAST on the system disk, and perhaps other things).

    This allows copies of the basic system to be distributed freely, but still allows commercial limited versions and demos (and other licenses) to be distributed.
  • How many different little linuxies are there now?

    According to LWN [] 108.

  • 2. A freshly installed Debian system in not as secure as it could be. Lots of open ports, named running as root and not chroot'ed, no wheel group, etc... This isn't really a problem for me since I know how to fix these problems, but leaves newbies wide open. I think Debian could learn a lot from the OpenBSD project...

    This is true, but a fair amount of that can be taken care of pretty quickly - any time I setup Debian on a server, I immediately go through and disable unnecessary services in inetd.conf, and I add rules in hosts.deny/hosts.allow so that outside systems can't hit the RPC portmapper, and a wheel group isn't hard to set up.

    You're quite right in saying that the newbie won't recognize this stuff, and it would certainly be nice to have all this stuff done by default, or have some sort of option during install to lock down stuff like that. Of course, someone could write a Securing a Debian Install walkthrough, too. Anyone up for it?

    (Oh, and chroot'ing named/running it as root? It needs to run as root to bind port 53, and have there been 'sploits on it where chroot'ing it would be useful? I haven't heard of such things, but I'd like to know more...)
  • Hmm, thanks for the info. But what happens when they run out of characters? Move onto "Mars Attacks"?
    I'd rather believe that Zappa was giving a helping hand.... Please name the next Debian release "Muffin" after Zappa's classic "Muffin Man" track... If you've not heard it, do you yourself a favour & go buy it... Perfect after a night on the sesh!!! :)
  • at the graphical login screen, you can choose KDE, Gnome, IceWM and 4 other WindowMans

    Last time I checked, I integrated support for that kind of thing into the Debian wdm package a long time ago. Basically, wdm supports window manager selection at the login screen, I just made sure it supports Debian's window manager setup. It might have broken recently, but I'm sure the current wdm maintainer won't have a problem figuring it out...

  • I am also a proud owner of one of the first boxed Debian distributions

    I want to buy a boxed Debian distro, but I'm holding out for potato to go final before I do. Then, I'll buy one for myself, and I'll recommend to everyone I know who uses Debian that they do the same! (I'll also recommoend that my work buy a copy or 2 - it's for a good cause after all.)
  • Assuming you keep your /home as a separate partition, and you don't have anything anywhere else worth saving, I would just make backups of /home (just in case, but we all back up already, right?), mkfs the *other* partitions, and Debian should install just fine after that :)

    RH's base uid and Debian's base uid for normal users is different (500 vs 1000). You might want to have a copy of /etc arround, to avoid reconfiguring everything. But don't just dump the old /etc directory on top of the new one, it will probably break more than a couple of things!

  • If you want them to maintain quality, don't hope that they will become another mainstream distribution. The two don't go together.

    OTOH, the idea of offering an intermediate "branch" between stable and unstable is probably quite good (mentioned "earlier"). But it would be more work, so more volunteers may be needed to manage it (I don't know.. I don't currently run Debian, so I don't closely follow it).
  • I would not recommend using the rpm program (it may sometimes lead to unpredictable results). If debian's alien cannot handle something it usually has very good reasons for not doing so. In other words if a package cannot be installed by alien have a look for the package source.

  • Distribution my ass. Talk to real people sometime, not fanatics.

    Please explain? I'm both a certified Windows and Unix person and I'm not sure what reasoning you are using.

    Same Kernel, same base utilities, same basic programs, same file structure, etc. The only differences are really in which software they install (most are the same anyway) and the installer program itself.


  • by Mawbid ( 3993 )
    The Chevy Nova sold very well Mexico. See the entry [].

    But that's irrelevant to most of us because most of us don't speak Spanish and didn't know the Spanish meaning of the word. Deborah and Ian, who created Deb-Ian (geddit?) probably didn't know either.

    Personally, I think Debian is a rather cute name. Before I checked out the distros for my second Linux installation (the first was Slackware), I already had a more positive attitude to Debian than Red Hat, simply because I liked the name better.

  • Thank you for that tidbit about an "experimental" distro. I must have missed that on debian-devel...

    However, your defense of Debian is predicated on your opinion that it is targetted towards the Sysadmin. This, I am not so sure about. For example, a while ago, it was touted that Debian provides a complete SGML solution. The wording of the announcement was such that it gave the idea : if you want SGML - use Debian!

    To, my mind, this changes the picture. Debian is no longer targetting sysadmins. It is also targetting ordinary users of systems. Things like GNOME are end-user frills - rarely does a sysadmin need a desktop environment.

    Furthermore, it can be argued that sysadmins who are so stringent about stability should be preferring well established and mature OS's like AIX, or OS/400 or VMS or MVS. Why choose a newbie on the software landscape in the first place if stability is that much of a concern?

  • Just a quick caution:
    sticking apt-update; apt-get upgrade in a cron job is not necessarily a good idea for several reasons:

    1. For some packages, apt-get upgrade will expect some user feedback (whether to overwrite your config files with the package maintainer's versions, for example, or various prompts necessary to configure a new version of a package). Obviously cron-jobs deal poorly with interaction of this sort. You can minimise the amount necessary with a -y switch (which will answer "yes" to all Y/N questions), but if apt-get is then faced with a question which doesn't expect a Y/N answer, (eg, it asks you for the hostname of your ldap server), or if the maintainer has decided that allowing automatic answering of this particular question is too risky, then the update will just abort).

    2. I also like to keep at least a casual eye on what's been updated, just in case (this is also sensible if you are running off the unstable version, since it might give you a clue as to why the system isn't behaving as expected when a buggy package is uploaded (a rare enough event, admittedly, but it always seems to coincide with the moment when you absolutely need that package to work in order to meet some deadline or other).

  • One thing that I have seen everybody neglect to mention about apt-get is the method in which it downloads software.

    One of the most frustrating things with RedHat as I remember was installing complex packages. My worst experience was installing Gnome on Redhat 5.2 Back then Gnome was not a standard part of the distro and it required ---ALOT--- of packages from all over the world to be downloaded and installed in the correct order. I got so frustrated at one point that I removed all of the RPMs and just installed using sources which was documented much better.

    Then I switched to debian one day and got the notion to try out Gnome again, so I typed,with an almost joking manner:

    # apt-get install gnome

    and gawked when I saw that it knew every single package I would need to download(from ONE mirror), listed them for me, and then asked me if I wanted to continue, telling me about how long it would take to get everything.
    A few minutes later with absolutely -no- intervention I had Gnome up and running on my system, complete with full documentation so I could get started and working with it.

    Once you do that, there is no turning back. I still try out other distributions from time to time just to see where the market is, for instance I tried out Corel Linux on my other partition. They are coming along, but nothing beats Debian when it comes to power and stability. With RPM I find myself banging the keyboard in frustration way too often, searching the internet high and low for some hard to find required RPM on somebodies low-bandwith server.

    -Disclaimer, I havn't done anything with Gnome recently, the last time I tried apt-getting it was about a year ago. (I don't care for DEs very much, I just wanted to try it.) Your results may not be as good as mine were.
  • Oh, go bother Microsoft and tell them to rename their operating system every time some random application install program starts replacing system DLL's.
  • First of all, I'd like to mention that potato is a rock stable and incredibly rich distribution. Debian keeps its technical edge as an all-purpose multi-platform OS/software distribution. With about 4400 packages, we will be able to entertain any computing needs. Adding to that the configurability, consistency, reliability and support it offers together with its open software development model, Debian 2.2 may well be the ultimate GNU/Linux distribution. It would seem only a coincidence that Microsoft's competing product will be released around the same date.

    Second, the new distribution is going to get update packages by timely intervals. I suppose that's what the mighty Debian Project Leader had said. The updates from now on are going to be regular, so that the usual antiquity of stable release won't be such a hunchback. Which was to my opinion the only drawback Debian really had...

    I've been personally using potato for more than three months, and no distribution I see stands as a replacement for Debian. It is brilliant as the only distribution for the developer, a fully-armed internet server, a great environment for the scientist, and yet a fulfilling one for any user as a desktop/internet machine. [What's more, I suppose the one /. uses :) ]

    I send greetings and wishes of happiness in the new year to all Debian users and developers.

  • I also have been messing around with RedHat for some time now and am interested in trying Debian. I am more than willing to start from scratch. I wanted to know, though, what advantages Debian has other than the packaging system. I think the advantages of apt etc. over rpm have been more than covered below. Also, I don't want to be informed here why Redhat is bad (I already know that :-) I just want to know why Debian is good, details that you've noticed and appreciated, things like that.
  • by smash ( 1351 ) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @05:52AM (#1436982) Homepage Journal
    I used Redhat from versions 4.1 - 5.2, and had a period of time during which i used both quite a bit (Redhat 4.2 and Debian 1.3 I believe). I have switched to Debian exclusively since Hamm (v2.0).

    For me, the benefits which made me switch were:

    1. The package management system.

    .deb packages are much more versatile than rpms. You don't just have dependancies, you can have packages which "suggest" other packages. This tends to lead to packages which REALLY only depend on what they need for core functionality, as opposed to blah.rpm being compiled with every option enabled and requiring 35 different rpms to go with it.

    Also, the new apt package management tools just rock. You no longer have to search for packages to satisfy dependancies, or even select what to download and install. Simply do:

    apt-get install blah

    and apt will work out what packages are required, give you a list, give you the amount of disk space required, both for downloading and after installation, and then ask for confirmation. Once you hit yes, you can happily leave it to download whatever and then come back when it is finished to configure.

    2. File system structure

    This is hard to put a finger on, and switching from Redhat will take some getting used to, but in my mind, Debian just has a much 'cleaner' file system layout. If you are after docs for package X they will be in /usr/doc/x pretty much without fail. ALL config files are in /etc/blah. The init scripts are easier to understand by your average human.

    3. Central location for pretty much all packages.

    With the exception of KDE, every single package on my system was downloaded from one of 2 sites. Either, or (the aussie mirror ;)

    Also, a point to note is that to upgrade Redhat cleanly, I have had to reinstall for every new release.

    I have installed debian ONCE on my machine in the last 18 months or so, and it is current, as of last night :)

    Also interesting to note that Corel is based on Debian, which should prove interesting in the coming 12 months or so ;)

  • I like the fact that you can get Debian for ix86, Sparc, Ultra Spark, m68k, PowerPC, Alpha, ARM, MIPS.

    I can't think of another distribution which tries this.

    Now, if only there was an M88K port...

  • Your question of KDE and Debian has already been answered by The Debian Project Leader Wichert Akkerman here at Slashdot []. It's almost on the top, 2nd question.
    I hope Wichert's answer satisfies you.
  • I believe the current release manager's preference is to use names of flavors of ice cream for releases after woody (2.3?).
  • See, there are only so many characters in Toy Story, and the Debian maintainers can't just tear through them at the alarming rate you demand. In a few years, there just wouldn't be any names left to use for the Debian releases! :-)

    All kidding aside, KDE2 will, I think, be included. Looking for references to back that up, I found this []. Using the sources.list line given, I'm installing some KDE2 packages right now. Now, this isn't coming from a mirror so this doesn't look official or anything, but I thought there wasn't an easy, clean way of installing anything KDE-ish on a Debian system so I'm quite happy to have stumbled onto it.

  • If anyone in the upper echelons of the Debian team is reading... its getting on near 1 year since slink was released, and the distribution is getting HUGE.

    1 *year* in open source software development terms is an eon.. and I can't see that using the current model, Debian 2.3 (or 3.0, or whatever woody is going to be) will take any less time to stabilize.

    Now for something hopefully constructive ;)

    What I would suggest, is that maybe the *core* distribution be shrunk somewhat, and the gigabytes of other additional software be part of maybe an "applications" distribution, or even broken down further - ala slackware almost ;)

    Example (pretty much in order of importance):

    Core system:
    The kernel, C library, the base networking tools (PPP, telnet, ping, traceroute, etc), vi, pretty much all the stuff which is installed before dselect (or apt in future) is launched

    Network tools:
    Ngrep, netcat, tcpdump, etc etc.

    The various shell only tools... editors like Emacs, joe, pico.. mail readers etc.

    Maybe the base X system, and possibly include the various window managers, and desktop environments (KDE, gnome).

    All the associated X cruft that people seem to love (x toys etc), and applications.

    And maybe, a contrib section, where things can go without going into the main distribution straight away.

    My point is that the main distribution is getting huge, and to get it stable with new things being added all the time is only going to get harder.

    I know there is some sort of package voting system (i dont think i paid much attention to it seeing as i dont have a permanent internet connection), maybe the results from this could establish which parts of contrib go into the NEXT distribution as one of the base sections.

    Thats pretty much it...

    Just as a note, I am one of the people who happily runs unstable, and does not particularly care about the "stable" release. I have had no major problems even running unstable for the last 12 months, and will most likely continue to run "unstable" :)

    However, i can see that the "unstable" name is keeping people away... and that more frequent 'stable' releases would help to promote the distribution better ;)

  • by SEWilco ( 27983 )
    Based on the Potato ads I've been seeing in the theaters lately I was sure the release would happen soon. :-)

    (Spoiler Warning.

    Some movie theaters are running ads for a movie information service which looks like an ad for a film featuring a potato)

  • Didn't know there _was_ a GNU/BSD. As far as I know FreeBSD only runs Linux executibles under emulation. Unlike Linux, BSD is> intended to be Unix. (remember Linux is a complete rewrite and is not intended to be Unix - only unix-like) (BSD-Unix has been Unix before SCO bought 'Unix' from ATT)
    V4.3 was much stronger than SysV
    Just for clarity, FreeBSD can't build executibles that run under Linux. FreeBSD don't use glibc, so it can't link programs with Linux based libraries. (including Database libraries) On the other hand FreeBSD runs most Linux programs faster and with more stability that Linux does. [esp. Database Servers]

    As to the prior writers attempts at FUD, GNU has had much less impact on any of the BSD's than it has had on Linux. In fairness, I think the conversion to using gcc was a major step in making BSD on PC more universally available.

    There had been some discussion on some of the Debian lists, to making a more stable release of debian using the BSD kernal. That was a few months ago, I don't know if anything came of it..
  • Check the same article in debian weekly that has caused this discussion initially. Or check the linux journal when it is out (january issue).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Friends, I wanted to talk with you today a bit about the Debian distribution of the Linux operating system. While it is obvious to the unencumbered observer that the Linux system itself is a morally bankrupt and anti-American endeavor, the Debian distribution is a particularly egregious transgressor against capitalism and the American dream. If Satan is a Linux user (and I am convinced that he is), there is no doubt in my mind that he uses the Debian distribution.

    Debian, with its criminal anti-corporate and anti-capitalist attitudes, is a key contributor to the moral decay found in the world today. Unfortunately, a lot of this moral decay is seeping its way into our once-great United States of America. Friends, we've seen the sad state of affairs in Europe, with socialism running rampant along side of other such undesirable problems (homosexuals, low churchgoing rates, etc.) And we've seen this state of affairs try to establish itself as the status quo here in the God-fearing U.S. of A. There is nothing that embodies this social outrage more than the Linux operating system, the Debian distribution in particular.

    Linus Torvalds, who is bankrolled by the liberal socialists who are hell-bent on destroying American families and corporations, is spearheading the effort to brainwash our children and instill in them a hatred of everything that is wholesome and clean about America. Just look at Microsoft. The criminal actions against this wonderful innovator and bringer of technology are physically sickening.

    But Debian is worse. It takes all of the communist principles of the Linux operating system and takes them a step further. It has at the base of its very principles a hatred of anything commercial. It refuses to touch anything that has been blessed with the breath of capitalism. Friends, this is an outrage. Will we stand for this? Obviously, the answer is a resounding "no!" We will fight for our country, our God, and our way of life. We will not use Linux, but if we are forced into using this substandard communist propaganda vehicle, we will certainly not use the Debian distribution.

    Thank you for your time.
  • New packages usually don't break existing packages. The only real concern is that the new package itself is broken, in which case it can be removed without anybody getting hurt.
  • The package system. :)

    Just kidding. I think my second favorite advantage of Debian over RedHat is the config file structure. Now, I haven't tried RedHat since about 4.2 or so, so take this with a grain of salt.

    With RedHat, I was constantly frustrated by all the auto-generated config files in /etc. I'd edit something and it would get replaced on the next reboot, package upgrade or whatever. The startup scripts were a complete mess. There was such a high degree of coupling between various files that editing one could produce unexpected results.

    In Debian, everything is crystal clear. Even better (ok, I'm going to talk packaging here for a second), apt is smart enough to notice when you've changed a config file in a package. It asks you whether you want to keep your version or install the new one. It even gives you the option of doing a diff on them. Very, very nice.

    After that, I'd have to say that interoperability with other distributions is a plus. Alien is a godsend. No more having to wait for .debs of some obscure package (not that the wait is long, mind you).


  • Most of the time even Debian *unstable* is rock stable. I can compare my impression about Debian unstable to my impressions about RedHat stable.

    Hear, hear! "Unstable" is an unfortunate term. Things in there break very, very rarely. Newbies should view "unstable" as "my package list is constantly changing." That is, apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade will do something five minutes after the previous run. :)


  • I get checksum errors every 3 packages or so... Restarting the apt-get dist-upgrade works but it's annoying to have to do this often...

  • Since all of the base tools, libraries, and APIs are the same, and any tool from any distro can be used on any other distro with minimal fuss, they are different distributions of GNU/Linux OS (distros). With effort, it is even possable to write a script front end to rpm or apt to automate switching from one distro to another, though I don't see that as being worthwhile for the most part.

  • chown -R is your friend :)

    just kidding

    I usually only have a few users anyway, but you are correct. There is a difference between base UID values. The easiest solution is chown, as the files are going to be owned by UID 500+, and you don't want to just dump the old /etc/passwd down either, as this will break stuff as well.

  • Debían is the third person plural form of the verb deber in the imperfect tense.

    The distribution is named Debian, not Debían (note the acute accent on the Spanish verb). By the conventions of Spanish orthography these are different; the distro name is a bisyllable with stress falling on the "e", while the verb is a trisyllable with stress falling on "i". Since stress is distinctive in Spanish, and many words are distinguished by where the stress falls, these could never count as the same word in Spanish.

    Anyway, I'm a native Spanish speaking Debian user and I never ever thought of a possible connection.


  • Debian == DEH-bee-an

    Almost right. But this shows the word as having three syllables, while it has only two.

    I'd say that the pronunciation in Spanish and English is very similar; if you want to say "Debian" in Spanish, say it as in English but with a Spanish accent ;-)


  • Thank you, Mr. Bush, but your time is up. Would any of the other Republican candidates care to add any further comments?
  • I've been using potato on production servers for some time now. A little caution goes a long way for that. Since Potato IS unstable, I do not update and forget until I've tried it on a test box (which is a replica of the production box).

    One of the boxes is a firewall with masq. It has never caused a problem (it's been potato for 5-6 months).

    Unstable is a relative term. I like the fact that Debian goes for that last 5-10% before calling it stable, but since I'm in a position to evaluate for suitability on a limited number of servers, it's not as necesary (which is why Potato is available as an option).

  • There was a growing concensus for THHGTTG names last I checked.
  • 1. back up all your config files, hone dir, etc. unless you want to reconfigure everything.

    2. Install SLINK. Yes. The older then dire 2.1 version. It's stable, and as you will see, updated packages are a moot point during the install.

    3. compile a 2.2.x kernel. Some of the Potato packages you are going to install aren't going to like the 2.0.36 kernel in Slink. Don't worry about changin over, it's going to be ok =)

    3. point your /etc/apt/sources-list file to "potato". Doing this points the "apt-get" program to all teh latest packages for potato. You can also have it changed to "unstable" which will move apt-get to Woody when there is a directory for it.

    4. after you reboot with the 2.2.x kernel. type "apt-get update" this will scan all the packages in potato with the ones you have. and let apt-get know what you need.

    5. type "apt-get dist-upgrade". This will install the latest version of everything on your system. E DR16.3, the latest gnome. All sorts of fun stuff.

    6. That's it, reuse your old config file settings. untar you home direcotry so you don't loose all you personal configs.

    7. Enjoy. You now have a linux distro that is more updated then RedHat 6.1 is. and you will NEVER have to re-install to upgrade. And you'll also see how un-important it is to rush a distro out the door with Debian. All the latest packages are there. Just "apt-get update" and "apt-get dist-upgrade" whenever you feel the need to.

    *note about RPMS. Debian DOES come with RPM. But it's always better to use the command "alien --to-deb filename.rpm" which will change it to a DEB. You install local DEB files with the command "dpkg -i filename.deb"
  • Centris 650's run Debian ok. Top takes around 20% CPU though. :)

    You'll need to create another partition for Debian, and because there's no FIPS-like utility for Macs, you may need to reinstall MacOS to accomodate this.

    I took some drive rails and some creativity and hooked another drive to the metal plate just to the left of the power supply. It works but you can't put any Nubus cards in afterwards.

    You should know that Slink doesn't support the ethernet controller on the Centris 650's out of the box.

    Also keep in mind that you can take 10 years off any mac's apparent age just by painting it glossy black. :)

  • Well hi there, anonymous coward.

    Boasting about not knowing Spanish in the United States is about as ignorant and idiotic as boasting about not knowing French in Canada.

    That's true. However, I'm not boasting about not knowing Spanish in the United States. Would you like to know why? Don't answer, I'll tell you. Two reasons. One: I'm not in the United States. I am not an American, you see. I'm Icelandic. Yes, that's right, a non-American reading Slashdot. Gasp! Who would have thought it? Two: Regardless of my whereabouts or nationality, I wasn't boasting about not knowing Spanish. I was stating a fact: most of us don't know Spanish. This fact supports my point, which is that the Spanish meaning of "Debian" doesn't strongly affect the name's overall suitability for a Linux distribution.

    If you want to display your ignorance of your fellow citizens' cultures, find a less multicultural society.


  • debian has update-rc.d, which makes life SO much better (i think redhat also has an initscript symlink manager, though)

    It does. It's called chkconfig, and it's better than update-rc.d. With update-rc.d you add the priorities for start up and shutdown on the command line. So if you remove a script on day 1 that you want to reinstall on day 2, you have to remember what priority it was. With chkconfig a special comment line is added to the initscript that contains this information.

    This is particularly important if there are certain things you want to run only in certain circumstances. A laptop, for example might not need NFS when it's not docked, so it should be removed. But when it's docked, you need to reinstall the initscript to start it up. With chkconfig, this process is somewhat cleaner IMHO.

    Additionally, sndconfig has no equal in the debian world. I also like Xconfigurator from RedHat. But apt really rocks and far outweighs those few things.

  • apt-get install linuxconf

    *whew, that was hard*
  • There's a Turning-Redhat-Into-Debian HOWTO out there, but it's really a pretty simple process.

    Here's a rough outline:

    1. Back up /etc, and temporarily shut off as many init scripts as you can. The transition will leave some cruft on the system, which is tolerable, but you sure don't need to be reminded of it every time you boot.

    2. Download the Debian package management tools in a tarball, compile them, and install the base Debian packages, and then any other packages you use.

    3. You can download the Cruft package to search your system for files not belonging to any Debian packages, for possible removal.
  • I know potato closes a lot more ports by default... most udp services are disabled by inetd by default, for example. Also, the r* servers are separate packages now, so those ports won't be open unless you install them, and ssh will disable rsh and pals by default.
  • I think you're confusing the definitions of "unstable" here. The unstable distribution is "unstable" because it changes (i.e. is the oppposite of "stable", which is something that doesn't change). That does not mean it is "unstable" as in every program will provide a blue screen of death every third time you try to run it.

    Since no distribution but Debian has a continuously-updated (i.e. unstable) pre-release, you can think of unstable as "all the cool neat new stuff those darned Open Source developers can put together"; stable is "all the cool neat stuff that we were sure would play nicely because people have been trying it for months and it's boffo, dude." Or something like that...
  • by lordsutch ( 14777 ) <> on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @07:34PM (#1437057) Homepage
    May I suggest alien; from the description:

    Alien allows you to convert Red Hat, Stampede and Slackware Packages into Debian packages, which can be installed with dpkg.

    It can also convert into Slackware, Red Hat, and Stampede packages.

    alien will try to include as many of the dependencies it can grok from the RPM, so it will protect you a little better than using "raw" rpm. The maintainer, Joey Hess, did a great job here... it's not often needed, but when it is, it can be a lifesaver.

  • Did anybody notice this in the email: "Quake is indexed in Germany, not banned. This means it's only allowed to sell it to adults and advertising is prohibited." ... So maybe it isn't a problem to have quake in the archive after all...

    #1 Why the heck would quake be banned in Germany?
    Is quake really just mental "fertilizer" for terrorists?
    #2 What does being indexed mean?
    #3 Man, could you imagine the U.S. government trying to get away with this? There would be a public outcry for sure.
    #4 Also, why the hell would that stop them from putting quake in potato anyway? You can't please every country out there, and I'm sure there's no way to comply with the laws of all of them. Is the market for debian really that big in Germany? Don't they have their own distro anyway, that SUSE distro??

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"