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Is Debian About Open Source Or Shared Binaries?
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EzInKy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 12:44 am    Post subject: Is Debian About Open Source Or Shared Binaries? Reply with quote

Recently, I replaced Mandrake with Debian because, although I have been using Gnu/Linux for a few years now, I just never got around to trying it out. I found the install not nearly as hard as many people lead me to believe, quite the opposite as a matter of fact. The system is well organized and apt is just as awesome in upgrading software as advertised.

What I was disappointed with is its software. Sure there is plenty of it but the majority of packages, even in "unstable", are two or three versions behind what is available in the "wild". Curious as to why this was and hearing rumors of an "apt-build" program I did some lurking on linux.debian.devel and was immediatly attracted to a thread with the title "Are we losing users to Gentoo?". After reading it, I got the idea that many of the Debian developers felt that compiling code for particular hardware was a waste of time, and something that users should not be routinely doing.

Now that really bothered me. Is Debian, the flagship of the open source movement, really about nothing more than distributing precompiled binaries?
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klieber
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not gentoo-related that I can see. Moving from chat to OTW.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that they are about putting open source software together into an easily usable and complete operating system. for them, that means putting everything into binaries. For gentoo, it means providing a system to easily compile your own software. I don't think the underlying philosophy is really different, they are just going about it in different ways.

But maybe I'm looking at it too simply...

-ewen
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Lovechild
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ever hear of src.deb ? They are just nice enough to package it all up for you also...
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EzInKy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think that they are about putting open source software together into an easily usable and complete operating system. for them, that means putting everything into binaries. For gentoo, it means providing a system to easily compile your own software. I don't think the underlying philosophy is really different, they are just going about it in different ways.


Well you're right about the differences between theiir goals and Gentoo's goals of course. But, the strongest selling point for Open Source software is that the source is open. I guess I just found it ironic that some of the posters there seemed to take offense that users would actually want to use that source to build a system.

Hmmm, I see the topic got moved to "Off The Wall", which it probably is. My reasoning behind posting to Gentoo Chat was because Gentoo was being chatted about B-).
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EzInKy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
ever hear of src.deb ? They are just nice enough to package it all up for you also...


Yes, that's why I was doing the research in the first place. I wanted to find out if apt-build could be used to bootstrap the system so I could do a Gentoo like Debian install.
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jondkent
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me I will now always use Gentoo as my desktop at work and at home, but I tend to try to use Debian (Red Hat at a push) on servers purely because it quicker to install/upgrade things.

They're really just 2 different ways to get Linux, Gentoo is not really for newbies or the impatient and its debatable how much you really gain from compiling yourself. The main gains for me with Gentoo are that I can control what libs get installed much easier than with Debian etc which you have no control over.
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really
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have recently installed OpenBSD on my can, just to try it out, im writing an essay about it. SO i had to remo my Gentoo install sence i have only 10G and like 5 are oggs with some mp3s and a couple of simpson movies. so i didnt have enough "room" for it. Man do i regret i installed openbsd : (
it doenst have framebuffer and my card isnt supported by X (kyro2)
then some build faild, i think it was bash or something similiar.
so i installed Mandrake8.2 on it, becuse i really need to have something to write the essay on, and gentoo would take some 24 hours to install. but when i have time ill install it ofcourse.
i have just relized that Gentoo is the best desktop dist available.
debian just sux! i just cant stand an os telling me its not perfect, wa? like i didnt think it was! :twisted:
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lars_msh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Gentoo a lot, it's been running really nicely on my main machine. :-)

Still, nothing's perfect, and my little 'concern' is that I have a couple of PCs here and the occasional virtual machine, and sometimes I end up reinstalling things for whatever reason. Gentoo for me takes quite a lot of time to install. Maybe it'll get easier, but I might try Debian too just for comparison.

At the end of the day, I think it's great you get the choice between the approaches of Debian and Gentoo. Neither is 'better' or 'right' IMHO.
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KiTaSuMbA
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2002 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had never used Debian up to a few weeks ago. Since it's a major candidate for our new LUG server, I gave it a run on a spare partition... I have to agree that the installer is by no means that monster some people make it out to be. Of course, if you come from a redhatish past it's a rough landing as far as aesthetics are concerned but it's quite flexible and overall fluid (however, I do reckon it's quite slower to go through than another ncurses installer, the slack one). So the basic system is easily set up and running...
Enter apt-get: while it surely beats the crap out of any rpm-based system, it's miles away from portage. Ok, ok, I'm getting spoiled with gentoo's great dep-resolving so I run an apt-get install afterstep (didn't want to use either gnome or kde on that small partition) and expect everything to be built... Have some laughs people! I got afterstep on my box but no X server! Now, xserver for a window manager sounds to me like a damn essential dependancy... bahhh.
Another thing I did not like at all is the split of most (all?) libs in standard and -devel packages (it sure brought back those RH-6.x memories of mine).
Another point is the init.d system: I just can't stand the sysV way...
Last but not least is the format of apt's output: you may think it's not relevant but I got to appreciate really a lot portage's tabbed and colored info after seeing that flow of raw white text on my console... It makes it harder, almost painful, to scroll the apt-cache results for example.
If I had to give an overall judgement I'd say that debian is a great server-OS for the merits of keeping a clean and bare-to-the-bone base system but too cumbersome and lagging behind in updates to be a really enjoyable desktop solution. For what I want to do with my box, gentoo beats her hands down there. Slack beats her, but single handedly - it needs some effort. :P
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jondkent
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2002 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

apt-src is an interesting little command. Not for what it does, but for why it was created. It was created because the Debian developers have started to realise that they are losing a large number of people to Gentoo and so apt-src was created as a means to say "heh, we can do the source thing as well".

Debian are restricted by the rather anal policies that they have in place and the fact that they support 11 architectures and insist on not releasing a package until it works across all of these architectures, which delays things massively, a good example being XFree 4.2, which was delayed because there were problem with the S/390 build!! I hear rumours that they are now looking to do a Vax build as well!!! Pls they can't handle the current archs let alone another one :(. And then there the proposed Debian/BSD which has been the pipeline for awhile and then Debian/HURD which is sorta available to use.

Lastly the developers seem to like to stick they heads in the sand and say "we're the best, the way we do things is the best way" and shout down anyone who suggest a new method of working. You will not see X 4.2 in the stable tree until Sarge comes out, which could be some way off. I think they need to revisit their priorities.

At the end of the day though I will still use Debian on a server, but not on a workstation because it is so out of date, unless you wanna use testing.

Jon
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EzInKy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2002 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...I think their developers deserve alot of respect for trying to cover so many archs. And I've no problems with SysVInit either. I really wasn't trying to start a flame fest against Debian either, and I do plan on keeping it and following it's development for a while. I was just shocked that so many open source people were against people actually using the source instead of binaries.
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jondkent
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2002 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I wasn't trying to flame Debian , sorry if it came across like that but I've been having heated discussion of the debian-devel list recently about various things and a few of the people on that list really pissed me off :(

From the discussion on that list I too was supprised how many people are against compiling from source. The only real advantage to using binaries is speed of installation, but in most cases compiling doesn't take much longer. I think they see people who want to compile from source as system tinkers or something like that, and there may be some truth to that view point.

To be honest I prefer SysV init because it is far simpler to see what is going on and really easy to use. Not that convinced about Gentoo way. Yes its potentially more powerful but IMHO it is too complex for its own good.

Quote:
Is Debian, the flagship of the open source movement, really about nothing more than distributing precompiled binaries?


Not really sure what question you are asking. Debian is a binary Linux distribution and always has been. Should stay that way as well. Sure the option to build from source maybe useful within Debian, but I'm not sure I see the point to be honest. You're better off with Gentoo or LFS for that.

Quote:
"unstable", are two or three versions behind what is available in the "wild".


Debian isn't about having the latest and greatest version of xyz app, rather about providing a rock solid distribution. I get the feeling that most of the developers view Debian as a server OS so you would not want to run the lastest versions of xyz app as you cannot be sure there are no security issues with it. On servers stability is the key here.

Jon
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Rem
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Debian isn't about having the latest and greatest version of xyz app, rather about providing a rock solid distribution. I get the feeling that most of the developers view Debian as a server OS so you would not want to run the lastest versions of xyz app as you cannot be sure there are no security issues with it. On servers stability is the key here.


I would have to agree here. The philosophy of Debian just is different, that doesn't mean they're a 'closed binary' distribution. I too used Debian before (which indeed installs more easy than they want you to believe) and liked it very much, except for the fact that they are rather slow with including new programs. This has it's advantages and it's disadvantages, it just depends on the tpe of user you are to decide what is the most important. I like Debian, just like Gentoo more.

Rem
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riceboy50
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree that Gentoo's init.d system is more complicated than SysV. It took me forever to figure out how the heck it worked while reading a simple how-to on the init.d system was all I needed. I actually prefer to create the sym-links in the runlevel folders myself, it's almost as easy as using rc-update. I'm not trying to say that SysV is bad or anything, just wanted to voice MHO on the subject of setting up init. For those who haven't looked very hard, all you need to know for init.d is:

configs in /etc/conf.d
the actual init scripts: /etc/init.d
and the /etc/runlevels folder where you can create many different runlevels for different situations, it's kinda cool how flexible it is.

Long live free choice!
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