debian vs opensuse

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debian vs opensuse

Postby Haber_Nir » 2007-02-05 18:14

ok i see that debian 4 still not out yet.
debian 3.1 was release in 6/6/2005!!!!!
and from than until now opensuse was going forward.
now i trying to ask myself which things debian will offers me and convince me to move to debian from opensuse 10.2 because to tell the truth i dont see a single reason to move to debian.
and don't forget opensuse 10.3 is on the way
soo please convince me.
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Re: debian vs opensuse

Postby steve1961 » 2007-02-05 18:20

Haber_Nir wrote:ok i see that debian 4 still not out yet.
debian 3.1 was release in 6/6/2005!!!!!
and from than until now opensuse was going forward.
now i trying to ask myself which things debian will offers me and convince me to move to debian from opensuse 10.2 because to tell the truth i dont see a single reason to move to debian.
soo please convince me.


It's all about personal preference. Install Etch (which is very stable even though it hasn't been officially released as stable yet) and make your own mind up. Compared to Suse you'll find it's much faster and package management is second to none. However, you will have to commit a little more time configuring your system than you would possibly need to do with Suse.
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Postby Burnside » 2007-02-05 18:42

Open Suse is a good distro. Debian etch is a good distro. The question isn't what we think (obviously the users here have made their decision) but what do you think?

Debian is known for rock solid stability. Even it's testing version is currently more stable then many Linux distros. That is why I choose Debian. Suse has a tighter release schedule, it's true, but newer does not necessarily mean better. Newer may be better for you, depending on your needs. But only you can make that decision.
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Re: debian vs opensuse

Postby DeanLinkous » 2007-02-05 19:34

debian has numerous flavors to pick from so it isn't just the stable release it is whatever you want to make it....

debian == UNIVERSAL OS
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Postby Harold » 2007-02-05 19:54

HN> truth i dont see a single reason to move to debian.
HN> and don't forget opensuse 10.3 is on the way
HN> soo please convince me.

If you don't see a single reason to move to Debian, then don't do it.
If you decide to learn Debian, then we will help you learn Debian.
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Postby craigevil » 2007-02-05 21:51

The cool thing about Debian is that once you install it you never have to install it again. So when the last release came out really doesn't mean anything.

apt-get dist-upgrade keep your system updated, especially if you run Testing or Sid.

The only thing you would miss running Debian rather than Suse is the Yast control panel, most things in Debian are configured by editing a simple text file. Which once you get the hang of it is actually easier, especially if you ever have problem.
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Debian vs openSUSE

Postby jml » 2007-02-05 22:16

I agree with the other comments here. I have used many versions of SUSE, Fedora Core, Mandriva. All are very good distros. I have also used many Debian based distros, Debian, Ubuntu, Mepis, Knoppix etc. It really is a matter of choice and personal taste. I can't "convince" you to change, but I will give you my perspective on why I use a Debian based distro.

It is rock solid. Once you become familiar with it, you have more control over your system. I find package management much easier than I did with an RPM based system. Downloads were easier, downloading seemed faster. It just seemed to work better for me. It is also much easier to upgrade to new versions when they are available. Its not an exaggeration that many people only have to install Debian once. All other updates are handled through its excellent package management application called "apt" It is also easier to install 3rd party repositories for such things as proprietary codecs, non-free applications like Flash, etc. Also, no other distro has as many packages as Debian. I think the number for Debian Etch (4.0) will be somewhere around 16,000 - 18,000. No other distro comes close.

These is not intended to convince you, but to give you an idea why I like it. If you want a no risk way to get a flavor for Debian, download and burn a copy of one of the many Debian based live CD's. Knoppix, Sidux, Mepis, Ubuntu. They run from the CD and you can get a flavor of the distro. One caution, running from CD is much slower than running from a hard drive, so don't expect a live CD to be a speedy experience. Just my two cents worth.

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Re: debian vs opensuse

Postby nbi » 2007-02-05 23:14

steve1961 wrote:Compared to Suse you'll find it's much faster and package management is second to none. However, you will have to commit a little more time configuring your system than you would possibly need to do with Suse.


As a Fedora and SuSe (other distros too) user who recently took a look at Debian I simply cannot let these statements pass without comment.

1. "much faster" (than SuSe).
A sweeping generalization of which I'm not entirely convinced. I will say this, I am very impressed with Debian's cohesiveness and responsiveness. My "testing" install is very slick. This is mainly based on observation about the desktop and interaction with standard programs running on this platform. But I have yet to do a rigorous analysis. It would be nice if there was a performance benchmark somewhere. distrowatch might have one, but it wasn't there the last time I looked.

2. "package management second to none".
I'm sorry but this is just flat out nonsense. Following is a recent email exchange between one of my local LUG cohorts and myself regarding this subject. If my comments seem harsh it's because I'm a professional software developer who very strongly believes that tools should be enabling, at the very least they shouldn't run interference:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Yast wasn't bad (too bad Novell "screwed the pooch" and got into bed with Billy G), but I would hardly hold up RPM as the "gold standard". It was one of the main reasons I moved away from Red Had.
> How quickly you forget "dependency hell". You couldn't pay me to go back to an RPM-based distro.
> Not without another tool to use.

I just experienced "dependency hell" with Debian trying to build the kernel. I *never* had this problem with any other distro.
Lets quickly recap all the things that should have worked, but didn't:
1. For starters the wrong headers were installed because Debian for some reason does *not* group *all* necessary kernel building files into one operation that installs all the relevant .deb files.
2. Therefore 'make menuconfig' bombs because it can't find a required header. Now I have to find this header manually.
3. Ever try to find a missing file in Debian, i.e. you know the file name but not the package it belongs to? Until someone runs into this problem they could be totally oblivious to what's involved in resolving such a problem. The required piece of the puzzle is 'apt-file search' which isn't prominently mentioned in all the package management docs. Oh, and btw, 'apt-file' is a separate package which is not installed by default when a Debian distro is installed. I go ahead and install the package, but sure enough 'apt-file search' fails to find the file.
4. Apparently the local database/cache of package information was not initialized properly during the distro install. No problem I thought since 'apt-file' has a mode to synchronize package info from the source of the packages. This fails as well because Debian has decided not to put the essential Contents file on the DVDs! So no file<->package mapping is available!
5. Ok, no problem I'll use the Debian servers to synchronize. That doesn't work either because the servers are down.
6. So I try Debian's online search utility. Nope, down also.
7. Finally by googling the Debian site I locate the correct Contents file. Of course trying to use this file directly with the apt tools doesn't work because they're all predicated on retrieving it from a remote source.

So 2 hours after starting this fiasco I finally get the information I need by manually grepping the Contents file. You'll have to excuse me if I don't join the rush to coronate Debian's package management as the undisputed king.

I never implied that RPM is the "gold standard". But despite its warts the philosophy of putting the essential 4 capabilities (install, update, remove, query) in *one* tool is spot on. Debian with its cabal of n different package management tools is just not ready for prime time in this regard. This might be ok for hobbyists, but no serious software developer would categorize Debian's package management as production grade. The pieces may be available to cobble something together, but one should reasonably expect any modern off-the-shelf distro to handle package management fairly seamlessly.
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3. "commit a little more time configuring your system than you would possibly need to do with Suse".
Possibly the understatement of the year. First of all newcomers are forced to do much more reading than should be necessary. That's assuming they can even find all the prerequisite documentation. And as I discovered, having done your homework is no guarantee of success. And I say this as an experienced Linux veteran who has used Linux daily on various distros dating back to the early days of Slackware. Turning a newcomer to Linux lose on Debian is something I don't even wish to contemplate. Debian definitely fits the "roll your own" moniker.

It's not all bad though. I do confess to being very impressed with the "testing" install so far and am quite willing to give it a fair chance.
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Postby nbi » 2007-02-05 23:23

craigevil wrote:The cool thing about Debian is that once you install it you never have to install it again. So when the last release came out really doesn't mean anything.

apt-get dist-upgrade keep your system updated, especially if you run Testing or Sid.

The only thing you would miss running Debian rather than Suse is the Yast control panel, most things in Debian are configured by editing a simple text file. Which once you get the hang of it is actually easier, especially if you ever have problem.


Excellent points. What I don't understand is why there isn't a YAST like equivalent in Debian. In fact someone could have adapted the YAST source to Debian's tools since it's not license restricted. I find tools like "aptitude" to be completely useless.

Through a lot of pain I discovered that the most progress can be made on the Debian package management front when one tries to work at the lowest level possible, i.e. use dpkg whenever possible as opposed to tools operating at a higher level. The benefit of operating at a lower level tool is that one deals with fewer assumptions. dpkg also displays more useful informational messages IMHO.
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Postby frenchninja » 2007-02-05 23:41

What I don't understand is why there isn't a YAST like equivalent in Debian. In fact someone could have adapted the YAST source to Debian's tools since it's not license restricted. I find tools like "aptitude" to be completely useless.


My opinion is the complete opposite. I find YAST to be enough of a reason for anyone to get off the suse bandwagon. Unless, of course, you have 3 hours spare to watch it add one repository to your system. Or, you know, you could just do it in about 3 seconds in Synaptic.. each to their own I suppose.
Or if you don't mind the time waiting for YAST to work, you can devote your time to trying to fix its failure to handle dependencies, as opposed to the way aptitude does..
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Re: debian vs opensuse

Postby DeanLinkous » 2007-02-06 00:45

I personally have never found anything that beats apt especially with dpkg to help clean up any messes you may self-inflict that apt is unwilling to undo for you! :)

nbi - sounds like a bad experience, can you reproduce it or tell us the exact steps to see if it can be reproduced?

I like to take a deb and install it with dpkg then run apt-get -f install and watch it install all the dependencies that the package needed. I know I am weird but it does come in handy. Can rpm do that?
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Re: debian vs opensuse

Postby Grifter » 2007-02-06 08:33

Haber_Nir wrote:ok i see that debian 4 still not out yet.
debian 3.1 was release in 6/6/2005!!!!!
and from than until now opensuse was going forward.
now i trying to ask myself which things debian will offers me and convince me to move to debian from opensuse 10.2 because to tell the truth i dont see a single reason to move to debian.
and don't forget opensuse 10.3 is on the way
soo please convince me.


Oi, what a flamebait

Well first of all, I guess the difference between debian and (many) other distros are version numbers; whenever a new version comes out they reinstall the entire OS, but with debian you don't bloody bother because you just run a command and then you're up to date, infact people who go by version numbers for debian totally miss out

Just stay on testing and update your packages when a new version comes out of a particular software

THAT is the difference, instead of worrying about when debian 2, debian 3, debian 4 comes out, and preparing to back up data to reinstall, debian people just chill - because when we upgrade, or dist-upgrade, we're as current as can be without any hassle
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Postby Lavene » 2007-02-06 09:18

I'm a genius!! I have the perfect solution!!
Code: Select all
# echo "4.0 Stable" > /etc/debian_version


Problem solved!

Tina ;)
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Postby frenchninja » 2007-02-06 09:39

lol!
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Postby craigevil » 2007-02-06 15:18

Lavene wrote:I'm a genius!! I have the perfect solution!!
Code: Select all
# echo "4.0 Stable" > /etc/debian_version


Problem solved!

Tina ;)


craig@craigevil:~$ cat /etc/debian_version
4.0

Mine has said 4.0 for a couple of months now. But then again I run Sid.

Not having GUI tools to configure everything is IMHO actually better. I started off using Debian a little over two years ago knowing absolutely nothing about Linux. Granted I was in way over my head for the first few days, but I READ the Debian docs, and after a couple of weeks I was able to get everything just the way I wanted it.

Installing and getting Etch up and running with all the extra packages like Java, Flash and multimedia only took me 2hrs a couple of weeks ago. If I had to rely on GUI tools I probably wouldn't have been able to manage that. Two years now running the same install kept updated by a simple apt-get dist-upgrade once a week.

SUSE is nice, but as the saying goes when your ready to learn Linux you either run Debian or Slackware. But if all you want is a linux desktop that works SuSE and Ubuntu for that matter are fine. Use what works for you.

Having tried most of the big linux names other than Gentoo and Slackware, including over 20 livecd distros Debian is the one I choose to stick with. It may take a little more work than some of the others but it is well worth it.
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