[TriLUG] self-support alternatives to Novell/SUSE & RHEL
linux-support at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 4 14:45:52 EST 2003
On Tuesday 04 November 2003 10:49, Magnus wrote:
> On Tuesday, November 4, 2003, at 10:34 AM, Andrew Perrin wrote:
> > Not that I want to start a distro war, but what's wrong with Debian?
> I need to tread carefully here because some people can be very
> sensitive about their favorite distributions.
I've used RH, Mandrake, and ended up on Debian and RH8.
> Debian does not yet have a facility as robust as kickstart for
> deploying large numbers of similarly configured machines.
You might be right. There is FAI (http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/)
for Debian. It's probably the case that kickstart is more well-known than
FAI. Is there data on the comparitive robustness? Links?
> Many people prefer the RPM package management system to Debian's
> system. Some of the tools that are available for RPM (like yum) are
> every bit as good as the much heralded apt-get.
Both are rpm and apt and urpmi are good and work well. I think apt has been
a success because it's not just a upgrade/update tool, but rather because
it's part of a system of mirrors and really good dependency checking. apt is
a system that is tightly woven into the Debian package maintainer's job
description so it makes for a high level of consistency in how packages load
and run in the Debian system. The whole Debian system is friendly to
per-minute dialup users around the world and it works well for the monthly
all-you-can-eat broadband users too. It's been free-as-in-beer for many
around the world and that goes a long way in engendering fierce good will.
Debian also claims a consistent track record of providing security updates
within 48 hours of announcement of compromise.
> Having a distro flavored more like Red Hat will make it easier to get
> proprietary applications (like Oracle) to run. Though of course they
> likely wouldn't be officially supported (at least not until the distro
> built up enough critical mass to leverage their consumer buying power)
My crystal ball predicts Oracle and other commercial app powerhouses will go
with RHEL and maybe two others for the Eurozone and Asia. Anybody that can
afford Oracle can also afford RHEL. Oracle demands enhancements from distros
to enable capacity and performance guarantees. Oracle won't negotiate with a
bunch of volunteer-based distros. The smaller distros will have to
voluntarily port from the RHEL to support Oracle. Businesses want
predictability and will pay for it so they will stick with RHEL. If a
volunteer based distro going to adapt RHEL capabilities then having a RH
based distro might make things easier, but getting a community of developers
and users to do the port could be difficult because the Oracle users will all
be using RHEL.
> Many of us have been using Red Hat Linux or Mandrake and have built a
> set of tools that is geared towards automating the deployment and
> maintenance of large numbers of such systems. Adapting this model to
> work with Debian would require a complete retooling. Forking Red Hat
> and/or Mandrake would make it that much easier to continue to use our
> site-specific tool kits.
And if the forked projects are successful then sticking with RH is a good
choice for these reasons.
> And, finally, Debian is just very rough around the edges. The
> installer is quite difficult and non-linear. Simple command line tools
> to make complex changes to the system don't seem to be there (who wants
> to muck with PAM settings to authenticate against LDAP & Kerberos when
> you can just run authconfig and check off a couple of menu options?).
> Debian is a very important distro but there is a large cross section of
> the Linux community that it does not appeal to for these reasons and
Smoothing edges is fine. Debian is working on a new installer. The Debian
team is fully aware that their installer is not as easy to use as the RH or
Mandrake installers. I actually prefer the rough edges. I can get through a
Debian install faster than a RH install now. I have more control over what's
installed too. YMMV. I've learned so much more about Linux since I began
using Debian. I also prefer the release method of Debian.
Make clockwise circles with your right foot.
Now use your right hand to draw the number "6" in the air.
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