[nSLUG] ubuntu 5.1

George N. White III aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Sat Dec 10 15:21:01 AST 2005

On Sat, 10 Dec 2005, matt parker wrote:

> P.S. after a while I may venture into the other distros to learn more. This 
> seems to be a good beginner start. Without the usual distro war, What would 
> be a good stepping stone, maybe debian (which I think ubuntu is based on) 
> slackware, suse?

In general, you learn more by sticking with a distro and sorting out 
problems as they arise.  Too many people go distro shopping when they have 
a problem.  If all the bugs were fixed, 99% of linux apps would run on 
every major distro.  The differences between major versions in a given 
distro are more significant than the differences between 2 distros based 
on the same kernel version.

Areas where distros do differ include:

1. the tools for installation, configuration, and updating 
2. reliability vs features (debian testing vs debian stable, RHEL vs RHFC, 
3. packaging (apt, rpm, etc.)

These differences are mostly different routes to the same destination -- a 
stable linux system.  A user who has taken the time to learn the tools 
will arrive at the destination with relative ease.  Some people have tried
dozens of distros and never achieved stability.

There are other real differences that do matter to some organizations. 
For example, Red Hat's core market is large organizations looking for the 
cheapest way to run big web sites.  This means they are interested in 
thruput on 32-bit machines, so RH has worked hard to ensure that they can 
run with 4K stacks.  If you are into 64-bit processing with large images 
or numerical simulations where SGI's XFS makes sense, SUSE is a better fit
than RH.

George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>


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