[nSLUG] Finding linux products and software

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 16:33:49 ADT 2007

On 4/12/07, Jason Kenney <jdkenney at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> On 4/11/07, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > On 4/11/07, Michael Gillie <mikegpc at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > I find that going all hell west and crooked trying to find linux
> products
> > and related software is a real pain in the back side, and I knew that
> there
> > was a multiple flavored linux server out there, by gosh and by golly i'd
> be
> > the first to be johny on the spot.
> >
> > I've been through a number of Linux distros looking for the perfect
> thing.
> > I've noticed that Ubuntu and Gentoo, roughly the same age, have lost
> some
> > users due to the bumps along the way for maintaining the 3 to 5 year old
> > systems
> > against some backwards-compatibility related issues.  It seems to be a
> > pattern: distros cross this medium age and have hard decisions to make
> > as things move forward.
> I have no sympathy for someone who chooses to use Ubuntu or Gentoo and
> gets detered by having "a bump along the way to maintain 3 to 5 year
> old systems".

I'm merely talking about the virtures of working with mature distros,
and I'm not even talking about any recent experience I've had
with Gentoo or Ubuntu.  I've just observed the activity on the user forums.

In the second case, if you are finding that in any way "hard", you
> should not be using a distribution where you compile every program
> with custom flags that you wish to install. I've been told Gentoo has
> some very good packaging utilities, which may make it useful for
> something more than a toy, perhaps as a means to build custom end
> products somehow, but I otherwise find the whole idea ridiculous (of
> course there are many people who disagree with me).

In concept, it is a potentially solid way to get things done.  BSD has
been doing this for years with ports.  The difference is, BSD allows
for more QA and more careful release paths.  There was a time that
Gentoo talked about having a more conservative enterprise repository,
but this has died as their isn't enough people to make it happen.
So Gentoo has remained a ricer/hobby thing.

In the first case, Ubuntu has a VERY clearly described, and adhered to
> release cycle. They are extremely clear about how long they continue
> to support older distributions they have released (hint: not 3 to 5
> years). If you don't like that, and still want to support the same
> system in 3 to 5 years, then well, you can't get any more clear about
> that up front than the Ubuntu people have been.

If you can find information like that on Ubuntu's site, then good.
I know that I've read things on their site and I go back and it is
changed.  The site navigation is the worst I've seen in a long time.
It looks like it is easy to use, but ugh.

There was an update path for 5.10 to 5.5 which required
only repository sources.list change, like the case for Debian.
But this was not the case for upgrading to 6.x.  A CD based
install was the only option.  I didn't touch it myself.  In any case,
I did read that the new server 6.x has a EOL something like 6
years into the future from release date, so they *are* targetting
a commercial user.  Until they can demonstrate an upgrade
from 6.x to 7.x by netinstall, I'm not interested in Ubuntu.

The basic concept I'm trying to impart, is the impatience of a developer
might go into forging a new distro, but I think it is wiser and better
for Linux on the whole if that person were to join a community developed
distro which has matured, and add human resources to the efforts
rather than splinter the efforts into something that will be short lived.


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