windows migrant: choosing linux distribution

Michael Ekstrand michael at
Wed Nov 2 13:59:09 UTC 2011

On 11/02/2011 08:40 AM, Linux Tyro wrote:
> Well, I am looking for something in long terms, like the one with which
> I start, I should remain there. And it must be highly secured (though I
> know Linux is secured). But in future, I would learn the basics of
> administration too, so please guide me which is a better administration
> - rpm or deb?

That depends entirely on who you ask. Here, you are likely to get 
pro-RPM answers, as Fedora uses RPM and people choose it for a reason. 
Each has features and niceties that the other does not. Both are good 
package formats and systems; they just have different opinions about how 
the world works.

RPM maintains data for verification of installed software. That has 
saved me on at least one occasion.

DEB has the concept of optional dependencies, which can offer you 
greater flexibility in managing what software is installed on your 
system. That is probably the biggest Debian/Ubuntu package management 
feature I miss since switching to Fedora.

If you're going to build packages, they're mostly just different. Both 
are pretty easy to do once you know what's going on; I find RPM slightly 
easier, but Debian provides lots of nice helper scripts for package 
builds (and those are inherited by Ubuntu).

Pick one. You won't really go wrong. In my opinion, software 
availability, quality, and maintenance culture are more important 
factors for picking a Linux distribution than package manager, unless 
you have prior package manager knowledge you're looking to carry with 
you.  From those perspectives, I have selected Fedora (after using 
Debian and Ubuntu for quite some time), but YMMV.

- MIchael

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