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Linuxhelp _ General Discussion _ Why Is Debian The "best" Linux Os ?

Posted by: Robert83 Nov 20 2005, 03:14 PM


I've been into this linux thing for a while now, and learned some stuff. But it always made me wonder, why is Debian the BEST linux distro? Because this is what I get when I start talking with someone who probably haven't used Debian to much or any other distro, but it seems to me that (at least here) somehow Debian got into peoples minds that it's the Best one around, and having Debian installed means ULTIMATE linux skills.

Can anyone tell me what makes Debian stand out so much from other distros (for example like CentOS) ?

I think this probably has to do something with histroy, apt-get for example.

But I would really like to hear the opinions of other people here, cause curiosity is killing me here, why-why-why ?

Robert B

Posted by: Jim Nov 20 2005, 05:58 PM

Obviously "best" is a matter of debate, but I know what you are talking about. Here is my take on the whole situation.

Each linux distro has its target audience, and thus, it is programmed and set up in ways to maximize this. Mandriva and Ubunutu are targeted at day-to-day users, its meant to be easy to use and simple to set up, thus it has a lot of draw backs in configurability and power. SuSE, Slackware, Fedora and that klan are set up to be workstations for development, testing, a lot of those types.

Debian on the other hand, its one of thats remaining power distros. Debian has never really made an effort to be "user friendly" or to take on windows as a workstation the way alot of other distros have. Because of this, debian has never, for example had a GUI install (weather ncurses counts as gui is another story), or many gui config tools either for that matter.

Since a lot people who run linux as a desktop do it out of some twisted elitism complex, having the "most dificult to install" distro is some how a badge to wear. But it goes deeper then that.

The reason why debian doesn't have a gui install and such is because its users don't require or expect it. An average home user expects that, thats why Ubuntu and such have it. But debian caters to the power user. It offers flexibility in builds, in package sets, in all those areas that Fedora or something don't.

Debian is also one of the top academic picks, and you all know how impressionable college kids are. You're professor says on thing and you run with it, got to fight the man right? Its a top academic pick because its very flexible so it fits in many applications. CS department, mathematics department, EE department... what ever, they can mold it to run the tools they need.

I personally don't think debian is the "best" distro, I think its a great distro, better than many others, but not my pick. I run Gentoo on my workstation, stage one install, so I get a pretty serious badge there. For servers, I really like RHEL (CentOS). Why? Because Red Hat was specifically designed for server application, thats what its supposed to do, and it does it well. Gentoo was designed to be totally user controlled, which I like because I run linux so that I can get better at using it for server administration. What ever, that was a long post, but you asked the question so I tried to answer it.

Please, guys, don't turn this thread into a flame war, its a conceptual question, and if you aren't going to address that, then go to a different thread. Like this one

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