Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Centos

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Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Centos

Postby rtcary » 2019-12-28 19:09

For the last 15 or so years, I have been running Centos on my simple server. I use it mainly to test changes to a couple of websites I maintain (PHP and MySQL). I definitely do not belong to the Linux expert group - instead, once I get it running, I know enough to run updates and make simple changes and then leave it alone. The reason I am considering a change is when I need to make any changes (updating PHP or MySQL), Centos 7 appears to have a lot of dependencies that can make these updates complex.

My hope is that Debian will be a little more user friendly. Could this be true?

\rtc
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Re: Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Cent

Postby arzgi » 2019-12-30 13:05

Well, what is user friendly? I used RedHat a long time ago, when there was no package management system, rpm hell was really frustrating, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_hel

The core idea behind package management system is dependency between software packages. For example, if you install package A, which needs packages B, C and D to work, B, C and D are dependencies for package A. Package management system knows this. If you already had D installed previously, PMS knows this also, and will not download it again.

Debian invented package management (apt in Debian), but excellent ideas spread really fast in the open source movement, and I assume there is no main-stream linux system that has no package management. Don't know, since I only used Debian since I left RedHat behind.

I don't know much about Centos, and this is Debian Users Forum. So if you install stable Debian, currently Buster, and don't break it installing software outside it's own repos https://wiki.debian.org/DontBreakDebian, it works.

I'd suggest trying Debian, it's package manager apt handles dependencies really nicely.
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Re: Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Cent

Postby Mr. Lumbergh » 2019-12-30 21:52

rtcary wrote:For the last 15 or so years, I have been running Centos on my simple server. I use it mainly to test changes to a couple of websites I maintain (PHP and MySQL). I definitely do not belong to the Linux expert group - instead, once I get it running, I know enough to run updates and make simple changes and then leave it alone. The reason I am considering a change is when I need to make any changes (updating PHP or MySQL), Centos 7 appears to have a lot of dependencies that can make these updates complex.

My hope is that Debian will be a little more user friendly. Could this be true?

\rtc

Are you using Yum? This is the native package manager in CentOS; the commands and syntax are a little different than apt but it offers similar functionality such as version and dependency management. That should make updates about as simple since it will handle dependencies for you. CentOS is a "rolling-release" distro which means that updates are added to the repos on a more-or-less continuous basis, so it doesn't surprise me that you're seeing a lot of updates; you're seeing them in the repos pretty shortly after the package is updated with incremental changes by its developers. Debian Stable on the other hand is released as a new version every couple of years or so after being pretty thoroughly tested, so the packages tend to be a little older but are known to work, and you wouldn't see as many updates as the focus is on system stability. That said, if you really want to give apt a try without having to set up a new server it has been ported to work with RPM and Yum: https://www.getpagespeed.com/server-setup/apt-centos. I don't think you'd see fewer updates though as that's the nature of a rolling-release distro. Debian is a good choice of course if you want something rock-solid that you can set up exactly how you need it to be, but it'll be a little more of a time investment since there are fewer packages installed by default and that means more time on the command line fetching what you need.
EDIT: I had CentOS 8 Stream on the brain, not 7. If you upgraded to that, you'd be dealing with a bunch of new updates as well because of the rolling model, but what I mentioned about apt and Yum would still apply to 7 as well.
Last edited by Mr. Lumbergh on 2020-01-06 05:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Cent

Postby pendrachken » 2020-01-01 04:42

Mr. Lumbergh wrote:
rtcary wrote:For the last 15 or so years, I have been running Centos on my simple server. I use it mainly to test changes to a couple of websites I maintain (PHP and MySQL). I definitely do not belong to the Linux expert group - instead, once I get it running, I know enough to run updates and make simple changes and then leave it alone. The reason I am considering a change is when I need to make any changes (updating PHP or MySQL), Centos 7 appears to have a lot of dependencies that can make these updates complex.

My hope is that Debian will be a little more user friendly. Could this be true?

\rtc

Are you using Yum? This is the native package manager in CentOS; the commands and syntax are a little different than apt but it offers similar functionality such as version and dependency management. That should make updates about as simple since it will handle dependencies for you. CentOS is a "rolling-release" distro which means that updates are added to the repos on a more-or-less continuous basis, so it doesn't surprise me that you're seeing a lot of updates; you're seeing them in the repos pretty shortly after the package is updated with incremental changes by its developers. Debian Stable on the other hand is released as a new version every couple of years or so after being pretty thoroughly tested, so the packages tend to be a little older but are known to work, and you wouldn't see as many updates as the focus is on system stability. That said, if you really want to give apt a try without having to set up a new server it has been ported to work with RPM and Yum: https://www.getpagespeed.com/server-setup/apt-centos. I don't think you'd see fewer updates though as that's the nature of a rolling-release distro. Debian is a good choice of course if you want something rock-solid that you can set up exactly how you need it to be, but it'll be a little more of a time investment since there are fewer packages installed by default and that means more time on the command line fetching what you need.



Umm what? Prior to CentOS8 Stream - Cent is definitely NOT a rolling release, unless you enable the EPEL or REMI repo. Even then it is a crapshoot on what will get uploaded to those repos. CentOS is Redhat Enterprise Linux AKA "if it aint broke, leave it 6 versions behind current, and working" The only thing you see is bugfixes and security updates. It's a Debian Stable that is supported for a few more years.

You are thinking of Fedora, the bleeding edge Redhat distro.
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Re: Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Cent

Postby dvk » 2020-01-03 10:29

switch to debian. debian is more stable
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Re: Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Cent

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-01-03 10:36

dvk wrote:debian is more stable

^ This is not true. Debian buster is only covered until 2024 but CentOS 8 is good 'til 2029, which is an extra five years of stability (unchanging package versions).

You probably mean "Debian is more reliable", which may be true.
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Re: Considering a switch to Debian - more friendly than Cent

Postby Mr. Lumbergh » 2020-01-06 05:09

pendrachken wrote:
Mr. Lumbergh wrote:
rtcary wrote:For the last 15 or so years, I have been running Centos on my simple server. I use it mainly to test changes to a couple of websites I maintain (PHP and MySQL). I definitely do not belong to the Linux expert group - instead, once I get it running, I know enough to run updates and make simple changes and then leave it alone. The reason I am considering a change is when I need to make any changes (updating PHP or MySQL), Centos 7 appears to have a lot of dependencies that can make these updates complex.

My hope is that Debian will be a little more user friendly. Could this be true?

\rtc

Are you using Yum? This is the native package manager in CentOS; the commands and syntax are a little different than apt but it offers similar functionality such as version and dependency management. That should make updates about as simple since it will handle dependencies for you. CentOS is a "rolling-release" distro which means that updates are added to the repos on a more-or-less continuous basis, so it doesn't surprise me that you're seeing a lot of updates; you're seeing them in the repos pretty shortly after the package is updated with incremental changes by its developers. Debian Stable on the other hand is released as a new version every couple of years or so after being pretty thoroughly tested, so the packages tend to be a little older but are known to work, and you wouldn't see as many updates as the focus is on system stability. That said, if you really want to give apt a try without having to set up a new server it has been ported to work with RPM and Yum: https://www.getpagespeed.com/server-setup/apt-centos. I don't think you'd see fewer updates though as that's the nature of a rolling-release distro. Debian is a good choice of course if you want something rock-solid that you can set up exactly how you need it to be, but it'll be a little more of a time investment since there are fewer packages installed by default and that means more time on the command line fetching what you need.



Umm what? Prior to CentOS8 Stream - Cent is definitely NOT a rolling release, unless you enable the EPEL or REMI repo. Even then it is a crapshoot on what will get uploaded to those repos. CentOS is Redhat Enterprise Linux AKA "if it aint broke, leave it 6 versions behind current, and working" The only thing you see is bugfixes and security updates. It's a Debian Stable that is supported for a few more years.

You are thinking of Fedora, the bleeding edge Redhat distro.

As you said, the current version is though, and I admit that's what I had on the brain in my post. OP was considering a complete change. If a lot of updates are what's bothering them, the latest CentOS probably isn't the thing to go with. Buster would be less fussy, sure, but if they're worried about having to manually handle dependencies, learning Yum or getting apt installed on the current system should take care of that issue.
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