Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 20th Oct 2002 17:14 UTC
Debian and its clones "This is a critical review of Debian 3.0, but I want to say right from the start that I'm not trying to bait anyone. However I feel that reviewers often root for Debian as the open-source underdog, and give it marks which it doesn't deserve. If RedHat 8.0 came out with installation software like Debian 3.0 it would be savaged. I think it's time for an honest review, to spur the Debian developers into making the best possible distribution. I really want Debian to succeed. I want to use it daily, and recommend it to my friends. But I can't do that right now and I think it's important people understand why." Read the review and its (already long) discussion at DebianPlanet.
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Re: "Innovation"
by Rayiner Hashem on Sun 20th Oct 2002 19:42 UTC

One of the major reasons I don't use RedHat or SuSE is all the "innovations" they have. The non-standard extensions that almost always have standard (abliet harder) alternatives. I don't like using RedHat-patched glibc's (right now, they're using 2.2.99-RH) or something obscene like that. I don't like using RedHat patched kernels. Ever try applying a standard patch (like low-latency or whatnot) to a RedHat kernel? It will almost never apply properly because RedHat kernels are extremely modified. For a lot of people, Debian's "vanilla" nature is a big appeal, not a drawback.

Now, for RedHat and SuSE's "target market" (business users) customization is probably the right track to follow. Deliver an end-to-end integrated solution, even if you have to make your own modifications to do so. Debian on the other hand, doesn't really have a "target market." Their purpose is to package standard Linux software as well as possible, and deliver those packages to as many people (architectures, hardware support) in a free a way as possible. That's it. If others want to take that foundation and build nifty tools for it, wonderful, but that's not what Debian itself is about.

PS> I don't want to sound like I'm criticising RedHat. They do a lot of good things for Linux, contribute a lot of fixes, and in particular help glibc's development quite a bit. But personally, I'll wait for all those RedHat patches to get integrated into the mainline code before I emerge them!