Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Feb 2006 19:11 UTC
Debian and its clones MEPIS, one of the more popular Debian-derived distributions, may be moving in a new direction soon. MEPIS founder Warren Woodford is considering building future MEPIS releases from Ubuntu sources rather than from Debian. SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3, which is scheduled for release today, has been quite a challenge to build, according to Woodford. "It's taking up all my time, fighting the Etch pool... We've had a lot of trouble, because the Debian community has become so active, it's been difficult to get this out, so I'm looking at alternatives to getting out stable releases."
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About Morgoth. Ubuntu Evil?
by leech on Sat 11th Feb 2006 12:30 UTC
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Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that he wants to have the OSNews staff remove his account? It's as if the fact that he has an account here forces him to read the site and post to it.

I will admit that I use Ubuntu, in fact I'm one of those crazy bleeding edge people that use the development cycle most of the time. I am also an extreme fan of Debian. In many ways I like Debian more. They have far less breakage in Sid than Ubuntu's Dapper has.

Here is a quick run down of the difference between Ubuntu and Dapper;

1) Package priority. Debian tends to have newer packages for the underlying OS faster. Example of this is mysql version 5 (packaged at least a month before Ubuntu), udev (0.84 vs 0.79). Ubuntu usually has newer desktop oriented packages, such as Gnome,, etc.

2) Packaging is much better in Debian. I know that a lot of the package maintainers are the same for Debian/Ubuntu, but the Debian packages break a whole lot less. Especially since Debian is more encompassing for it's library of supported packages, whereas Ubuntu has a limited set (these will generally all work great, but Breezy had quite a mess of broken packages that just won't install from the universe/multiverse repositories)

3) Philosophy. Ubunut is free free free. Debian is more about Stable stable stable.

4) This is the most obvious, Release schedule. Ubuntu is fairly new and started much later than the major DEs, so they could tune their release schedule to Gnome, which is every 6 months. Debian on the other hand was there long before KDE was ever around, let alone Gnome. Debian has always been a fully volunteer project.

Ubuntu does give back some patches to Debian, if it weren't for Debian, Ubuntu (not to mention many other linux Distributions (not to mention Mepis which is the topic) are based on Debian.

My question to this is, HOW THE HELL COULD UBUNTU KILL OFF DEBIAN? It's impossible, because if all the Debian developers stopped producing packages for it, Ubuntu would also die off, since as stated in the Ubuntu release schedule, they take software packages from Debian Sid, stabilize them and then do a feature/version freeze, then release. They do it every 6 months. If Debian disappeared, where would they grab new packages from? So even if Mepis starts using Ubuntu (which just means most of the newer packaging is done for them) then it is still in essence basing their distro off of Debian.

If anyone really thought about it, the only true way to kill off Debian would be to have a conference of all the Debian developers and then have the place nuked. Oops, I shouldn't give MS any plans ;)

How could it be possible that Ubuntu could be a monopoly? I seriously wonder? If they started charging for it (which they could, under the license of GPL, BSD, etc.) then people would either pay, or they wouldn't and go with something that is still free. It is stated in their mission that they will ALWAYS remain free. Of course they could change that, but it'd be like shooting themselves in the foot. Most people would just say screw you (including their developers!) and go to straight Debian, or some other Distro like Mepis, Kanotix, Fedora, etc. It's not like there aren't a 1000+ distributions to choose from.

I'm not sure how Ubuntu is a Fad either. Gentoo wasn't even a fad, it's just what people who want to feel like they're bad ass hackers install. I know a few people that got into Gentoo. All I said to them was "Cool, I have been down that road already back when I first ran linux and had to compile XFree86 by myself and just about every application. Sorry, just don't have the patience to watch GCC outputs anymore." Ubuntu is popular for several reasons. 1) It uses apt/dpkg, 2) Comes on 1 CD (not many Distros do anymore), 3) Easy to install for just about everyone, 4) Free CDs shipped directly to your house (I think this is one of the biggest ones), 5) The newest Desktop software out there.

Really I think the last two are the biggest reasons. It's not a fad, otherwise you could say Debian is a Fad. Look at, out of the top 10 distros on there 5 are Debian based, 3 are rpm/redhat based, and then there is Slackware and Gentoo.

Guess I've ranted enough, some people are just spreading FUD here and have no idea what they're talking about.

For Mepis, I think it could be a good move to move to using Ubuntu as a base. I haven't ever used Mepis myself because I really don't like KDE, but then that's for another discussion.


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