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Does Debian Deviate From Standards Or Upstream?

Jan 06, 2010, 18:35 (0 Talkback[s])


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"Recently, I got into a discussion with a friend of mine that I have a great deal of respect for. After having our discussion, my respect for him has grown. The discussion was about whether or not Debian and Ubuntu have deviated from standard practice regarding Paul Vixie’s cron implementation.

"The idea is simple. On Fedora and SUSE based operating systems, if /etc/cron.allow AND /etc/cron.deny do not exist on the system, then only the super-user can install cron jobs using the crontab command. However, on Debian and Ubuntu, both files are missing, yet everyone on the system can install a cron job. So, the question was: why does Debian and Ubuntu feel the need to be different from everyone else? Why do they need to deviate from standard practice?

"Now, for the record, I don’t care if Debian deviates... much. Debian is an operating system. Sometimes, I think those in the Free Software and GNU/Linux world forget that. Operating systems are free to make the changes necessary for their platform as they see fit. Those changes will likely either make users happy and make the operating system popular, like Ubuntu, or they won’t be good changes, and likely will lose users, like, well, Gentoo (sorry guys, but you have seen better days). I’m all for changes that are thought out and that bring obvious or non-obvious benefits. For example, Debian Squeeze moving away from System V Init to Upstart."

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