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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 link. ]

"'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..."

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