Nikolas Britton wrote:
On 5/15/06, vayu <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

On May 15, 2006, at 2:15 AM, Nikolas Britton wrote:

> I have an older 440MX based laptop that I'm fairly sure FreeBSD won't
> like, I don't want to run windows on this box... so I'm looking for a
> Linux distro that has a ports like system.
> I need KDE,, and a 2.6 kernel installed by default... dammit...
> I don't want to #$%! with Linux, maybe I'll give FreeBSD another try
> first, anyways, thanks for the suggestions guys.

I've heard that Gentoo's package management system "Portage" is
inspired by FreeBSDs ports, but I believe it's a bit of work to
install and compile a working system.

I've been using Debian based Kubuntu on my laptop, and find the
package management excellent. The installation and maintenance is
easy.  It's my choice when I want to install and go.

Thanks, I didn't know Kubuntu / Ubuntu was Debian based. I like Debian
but the distribution always seems to be stuck in last year, It's still
using a 2.4 kernel, XFree86, and KDE 3.3!

Anyways, Kubuntu 6.06 Beta2 appears to meet most of my requirements so
I'll give it a whirl.

Debian Sid (unstable) and Debian Etch (testing) are at least as up-to-date as (K)Ubuntu Dapper 6.06 today, and Dapper isn't even released yet. By the time the Dapper release is official (target date is 1st June), Debian Etch will have pulled farther ahead. Debian Sid is already well ahead in terms of the "newness" of its packages.

An Ubuntu release (also, Kubuntu and Xubuntu) more-or-less starts with a snapshot of Debian Sid. The package selection and versions in Dapper are already frozen and have been for a month or more, so you won't be seeing newer versions in Dapper than what you see now, and you won't be seeing new packages introduced. By contrast, Debian Sid is continuously updated, as is Debian Etch (or whatever the current testing distribution happens to be).

What you're looking at (2.4 kernel, XFree86, etc.) is Debian Sarge (stable). The stable Debian release is rock-solid and unchanging, except for security updates. As such, it's great for servers, but I wouldn't use it for as a general purpose desktop/laptop OS. Some people do, and they use backports to augment the package selection. For example, if you were running Sarge, which has Firefox 1.04, you could easily swap that out for a backport of Firefox 1.5.03. There are about 450 or so pre-built backports for Sarge, so many of the most popular and common apps are available. And of course you can always roll your own. But I still find Sarge to be too frustratingly old for a desktop system.

None of this is to suggest that I think you made the wrong choice -- Ubuntu is a fine Linux distro, and really geared to being a reasonably up-to-date solid and stable desktop distro. I have it (Ubuntu Breezy 5.10) installed as my "fallback" in case my Debian Sid installation gets hopelessly broken by some ill-considered update, but that hasn't happened yet. (I fully expected at least X to be broken when Sid underwent the transition from xorg 6.9 to xorg 7.0, which is modular and makes quite a few significant changes to the layout of the server. Much to my amazement, the upgrade proceeded without a hitch.) You have to understand that "unstable" refers to the package selection, not to the state of the OS itself. Debian Sid, honestly, is more solid than some distros' releases, and of all the Linux distros I've tried, it is the one that provides what I find to be the best balance between cutting-edge features and software, and stability and ease-of-administration. Of course, that's completely a judgment call, and others would disagree.

I just wanted to chime in because I get tired of people tarnishing Debian with the old and moldy label. For so long I kept reading that "FreeBSD isn't really appropriate for desktops," "FreeBSD doesn't support as much hardware as Linux," and other received opinions that kept me from trying any BSD for longer than it should have. The notion that "Debian is too outdated" is, in my view, a similar received opinion that keeps some people from looking at it twice, which is a shame.

Michael M. ++ Portland, OR ++ USA
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute 
reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." --S. Jackson

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