DistroWatch: Libranet 2.8 - Debian That Just Works
May 07, 2003, 01:00 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert Storey)
[ Thanks to Ladislav Bodnar for this
"'Dependency hell'--experienced Linux users know all too well
what this means, but to newbies it sounds like an exotic term for
over-reliance on one's parents for spending money. For the benefit
of those who are just finding their way in the Linux world,
depending hell refers to the situation where installing one
software package fails because it depends on another package that
is not yet installed, so you attempt to install the missing package
will also fails because it requires yet another package, which
fails...ad infinitum, ad nauseum, ad oblivia.
"Enter Debian. Long the choice distro of the 'geek elite,'
Debian boasts a number of admirable features, but its trump card
has always been the revered apt-get (Advanced Package Tool) system
of package management which banishes dependency hell (well, most of
the time). It's chief competitor, RPM looks like a throwback to the
Neolithic era of computing by comparison. Red Hat, inventor of RPM,
even seems to be disassociating itself from the system, since they
now insist that the acronym means 'RPM Package Manager' (in the
beginning it was known as the 'Red Hat Package Manager').
"Aside from apt-get, the Debian community is also happy to point
out that their favorite distro supports around 12,000 packages,
making it the largest of all distros in terms of the goodies on
offer. Debian also boasts legendary stability, and has the ability
to run on numerous hardware platforms. As a bonus, Debian is
noncommercial--you are free to keep burning extra copies for your
friends, lover(s), business associates, and Aunt Tilly, until you
run out of blank CD-Rs..."