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BSD Today: Editor's Note: Debian/BSD

Jan 18, 2002, 23:06 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeremy C. Reed)

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"Basically, the Debian/BSD project is for users already familiar with Debian. So in other words, the Debian/BSD should behave the same as Debian Linux. This means that the filesystem hierarchy should have same layout; new packages should be installed the same way; services started (and maintained and stopped) the same way; and configuration files should be at the same locations and configured the same. (Or as least as close as it can get.)

Probably the most important of these, is the use of dpkg and apt-get. dpkg is a package management tool (similar to rpm and pkg_add/ pkg_delete/pkg_info). apt-get is a tool for installing packages; it can be configured to select the desired package collections (private, http, ftp, etc.). Here are some important and interesting features of apt-get:

  • multiple package collections (for example, stable and security);
  • the list (and other info) of available packages can easily be updated with "apt-get update";
  • "apt-get upgrade" will retrieve and upgrade currently installed packages that have newer versions available.

These package management tools can be very customizable. For example, you can upgrade an older version of Debian to a current development version, by simply making sure you have a recent apt-get installed, update your apt-get sources list to use the newer packages, and then do an "apt-get dist-upgrade" to begin the upgrade. It can be configured to use pre-defined defaults or you can choose for it to prompt you for some configuration steps as it updates the packages. (It also can show you the differences between previous configurations and share suggestions.)"

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