Fedora, Debian or Gentoo

Steve Withers swithers at mmp.org.nz
Wed Nov 19 02:48:58 UTC 2003

On Wed, 2003-11-19 at 11:21, Francisco Roldan wrote:
> Hi everydoby, 
> I have been Redhat Linux fan since version 6.
> When i read the news about Red Hat is not going
> to release another version (i.e. Red Hat 9.1 or 10),
> I felt dissapointed at first, but then I realize that
> this is the only way of this company to survive. 
> I am evaluating moving from Red Hat 9 to other distributions,
> and almost all my linux-friends advice me to choose 
> Debian or Gentoo (Of course, they have only used these distributions).  

I have used all three. 

Fedora/RedHat - quick install, lots of good default decisions made. Good
device detection and configuration for most things.  Can take some
configuration to get the servers working together......a fair bit of
reading is required to set up t a LAMP server (compared to Debian). 

Debian - "Woody" is most recent 'stable' release. Getting a little long
in the tooth now. I have always had hardware issues with it - no
network, or no video - or both. The Gui is configured after the
install....but once you get everything going, it's pretty good. There
are some issues with source being in the "wrong" place for setup
instructions written for RedHat or RPM-based systems.....and I have had
some trouble compiling things on it for this reason. Fixable....but more
time and more learning if you don't already know. For a newbie, you may
have a LOT to learn to get Debian up and running fully: X/video, nvidia
mobos / video, etc...etc.... 

Gentoo - I have done a Stage 1 install that failed.....and several stage
3 installs that all worked 100%.  An install - including downloading and
compiling xfree, a window manager (I use fluxbox on Gentoo) and a
browser and mail program...can take a day...and would be fairly daunting
for a Linux newbie not able to follow instructions to the letter....or
make minor adaptations to suit their own requirements.  The faster your
machine, the faster all that software will compile. The result is
*awesome*....a real fast system.....but if anything goes wrong and you
don't know Portage (the package managment system) then you have some
reading to do.  My Gentoo installs to a system with a nForce 2 mobo and
nVidia video card went OK....but after the install you need to make sure
the right modules are loaded or you find you have no network....and have
to work out what the name of the modules are. "Insmod" fixes it in
seconds.....but you need to know the name of the module. :-)  

Bottom line.....if you aren't an experienced Linux user, don't
experiment in a WORK environment with Debian or Gentoo. Go home...play
with them....become comfortable with the way they do things and what
they need......THEN use them at work.  

Steve Withers <swithers at mmp.org.nz>

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