distro shopping

Alex Snow alex_snow at gmx.net
Fri Nov 7 15:09:57 EST 2003

On Fri, Nov 07, 2003 at 01:11:39PM -0500, awesome-dave1 at juno.com wrote:
> Hello,
>     Due to the fact that i'm loosing my distro, rh9, that i've used since
> the 6.1 days, i'm out distro shopping. A user suggested i check out
> Debian, another suggested Slackware.
> Now before i continue let me say that starting a distro flame war is not
> what this posting is about. I am looking for practical and objective user
> experiences and comparisons between the distros so i can make a choice as
> to which one will most effectively fofill the role i'm going to put it
> in, again no flaming please.
> In terms of distributions as i've said i've used redhat since the 6.1
> days, i'm not to impressed with fedora from what i've seen thus far and
> yes i did eval it, i'm also not satisfied with the fact that there will
> be no guarantee of compatibility between fedora versions. Finally, i am
> very angry at comments i read on the net that the rh CEO made in
> referenct to home linux users, so that's my reasons on that.
> 	Suse and Mandrake, i've not been able to get either of them to install,
> i believe they both use rpm so that would make migration easier for me.
> But from what i've read they're both heavily graphical both during
> install and post install configuration, i'm not much in to that, i have
> specific requirements, see below. So, at the moment those distros are not
> on the front burner, I don't rule them out, but unless someone can offer
> some major help in making them work i probably won't go with either.
> 	Slackware i've used previously, but it was more in the 3.4/4.0/7.0 days,
> i haven't messed with it in quite some time and what i did do was more
> fun than actual task oriented stuff, so that one is an option.
Slackware is the most simple and `unix like' distro I've used. It is 
quite powerful, but it doesn't configure everything for you.

> 	Debian i've never used, i've however downloaded all 7 of the 3.0r1
> rom's, in case i am able to get that one going.
My debian experience was not the best...I found out after installing 
that the latest stable release was quite old and contained a lot of 
older software like gcc 2.95. I also wasn't able to successfuly upgrade 
to more recent packages. though It's package management is quite cool. 
just type apt-get <package> and it's downloaded and installed for you. 
it also offers post-install configuration tools for more software then 

> I've got a box to put the distros on, for evaluation purposes, a 400 mhz
> p2 machine with 192 mb of ram. I do
> have some special requirements however, the first is that installation
> over
> a serial port be possible or some form of unattended installation, as
> this
> box does not have a monitor on it and getting one for it is not
> practical. 
to the best of my knoledge slackware can be installed over a serial 
line but I forget how and have never done it.
One thing i like about 
redhat is that i could install via
> network telnet that was quite nice, as was the fact that i could point
> the installer at an nfs server and as long as that server had the isos on
> it, the install was fast and very easy, this would be a great feature if
> another distro had. 
both slackware and debian can do this. slackware can do it over nfs and 
I think there's a package somewhere on sourceforge for doing it over 
ftp. debian supports both nfs and ftp.

> don't need a GUI, I'm going to be using this for local/network
> printserving.
> I'd like to use cups for this, so i'd like a distro that has cups as it's
> default spooler, for i've found that replacing a default spooling system
> leads to weird compatibility issues. My printer is an hp5550, and i'd
> like to use
> samba to share it among the network. 
slackware comes with both samba and cups. as of slackware 9.1 cups is 
the default spooler. Debian comes with samba, but I'm not sure about 
If anyone can help with any of this
> please let me know.
home this helps. I tried to be as un-bias as possible.

> 	The above observations on the various distributions are my opinions
> alone, and i obtained them via research in to the various distros. Again,
> no flames please.
> Thanks.
> Dave.
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Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?

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