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[ale] Linux Distributions

> > Ok folks, its time to start the distribution discussions again. :-)
> > Like most of us who have used Linux a long time, I was happy to go to
> > Slackware from SLS. It was heaven sent in comparison. However, times 
> > changed and Slackware had a big lull and I switched to RedHat. I was 
> > fairly happy with it and I continue to use it even today. However, I miss the
> > BSD style init of Slackware but I really like the RPM package manager of
> > RedHat. I like the breadt of packages of Debian. 
> 	Good Heavens!  There is someone who actually LIKED the old BSD
> init!?!?!  That was the numero uno reason for me switching to RedHat.
> Trying to maintain dozens of systems is a royal pain with the old BSD files.
> I kept running into this system or that system which had implimented startup
> features in different ways.  The sysv init system nice and clean and provides
> a coherent framework to bolt more packages in.  And I can add them in just
> by transporting the pieces between systems.  I would estimate that moving
> to the sysv init system as reduced the required maintenance of the init
> scripts by at least a factor of four.  I've got LOTS of reasons to dislike
> RedHat (like why did they move the /usr/lib/uucp config files to /etc/uucp
> and the http files to /etc/httpd?!?!?) but the init package is definitely
> not one of them!

I swapped to RedHat because it's upgradability.  I got tired of trying
to keep the slackwares up to date.  Upgrade this, upgrade that.  If you 
overwrote one package with another, you don't know what got erased.  And
generally I could kiss my custom config's goodbye.

I also do like the sysV inits.  Easier to maintain in a customized

> > I was wondering what the other ALE members think of various distributions.
> > I feel that Slackware has fallen behind the times in my opinion. It takes a
> > long time for updates to the distribution to come out and they still haven't
> > adopted a package management scheme other than the antiquated but effective 
> > tarball method. RedHat is pretty good but for the money, you their much
> > vaunted support isn't as good as the stuff you get from USENET. Debian has
> > lots of packages but the installation still leaves much to be desired for a
> > novice.
> 	With InfoMagic CD's, one price gets you both ($17.50 an issue on the
> subscription) so I don't see the price on RedHat being an issue.  Never
> used their support, so I guess that's not an issue either.  Having a
> RedHat with SPARC Linux was definitely NICE!

The only support you get from buying the RedHat distro from them is 
"Installation" support.  When I bought it the first time I couldn't
get it to run my modem over 9600 baud.  I consider getting a previously
running version running again after an upgrade, part of the installation.
They said that since it booted it was done installing and now up to
configuration.  The best they could do was to offer some news groups
that might be useful.

I do have to admit I like the rpm system.
> > I was wondering what other distributions ALE members use and the advantages
> > and disadvantages of them.
> > V
> > --
> > Vernard Martin (vernard at cc.gatech.edu) http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~vernard/
> > Understanding is a three-edged sword: your side, their side and the truth.
> 	Mike
> --
>  Michael H. Warfield    |  (770) 985-6132   |  mhw at WittsEnd.com
>   (The Mad Wizard)      |  (770) 925-8248   |  http://www.wittsend.com/mhw/
>   NIC whois:  MHW9      |  An optimist believes we live in the best of all
>  PGP Key: 0xDF1DD471    |  possible worlds.  A pessimist is sure of it!

Robert L. Harris          |    If NT is the answer,
System Engineer For Hire. \_     you don't understand the question.
Robert at ast.lmco.com
  These are MY OPINIONS ALONE.  I speak for no-one else.
perl -e 'print $i=pack(c5,(41*2),sqrt(7056),(unpack(c,H)-2),oct(115),10);'