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Converted at last

By Roger99a ·
I have finally been converted, thanks to Ubuntu and Debian, to Linux. I've been a Windows guy for 10 years but could never get the hang of Linux. Redhat was useless and confusing to me. Debian rocks! I'm running Ubuntu from home, no big accomplishment, but what I did at work I think brings me into the Linux world. We needed a "nix box for a project I dreamed up. It needed to be secure and familiar to my database guy who works on FreeBSD systems. The FreeBSD guy at work was unavailable for this project so I decided to build a Debian box. With very little assistance (mostly "What program do you use for" questions) I setup the Debian box, Apache-ssl, OpenSSL, FTP, Mail and it all works. WOOHOO! I think I'll start replacing those BSD boxes soon.

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that's why

by Jaqui In reply to Anaconda

I prefer to use lfs.

while graphic installers are great for people new to linux, they do install more than needed.

even with debian, and the bsd installer based distros, you get some dependancies from thier customisations that you may not really need for your use of the machine.

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a bit

by apotheon In reply to that's why

That's true: even with Debian and *BSD you'll get some not strictly necessary stuff installed. It's a negligible amount, though, and with a minimum install to begin with the few extra things are all slim little command-line utilities.

It's a more than equitable trade-off for me, to get the legendary stability of Debian and the awe-inspiring breadth and depth of available software in the apt archives, to say nothing of the extreme ease of software management with native apt support.

So, yeah. You can have a very slim system with LFS, but I get lean and mean enough for my needs with Debian and I get a lot in exchange for the little bit of cruft that lurks within. Of course, Debian doesn't have the GUI installer bloat that distros like Fedora have, and for that I'm grateful.

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by Jaqui In reply to a bit

I use lfs for the vanilla code, and for strict lsb compliance to develop on.

but I generally use a major distro for servers, as the minimal extras when not installing x server aren't worth worrying about. the additional functionality of the code base with modules for apache etc makes updating, increasing capability on the server box simpler.

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LFS again

by apotheon In reply to true

If I ever get into serious, in-depth application development on Linux, I'm sure I'll want to start working with LFS or something equivalently "vanilla" (I don't know what flavors of vanilla will be available by the time I get to that point). What coding I do on Linux tends to be related to command-line scripting and small utility writing, at present, so the plain-vanilla design doesn't really affect me: bash is bash is bash.

Debian is one of the most LSB-compliant distributions out there, and the Debian dev teams have been consciously making it more LSB-compliant. This is definitely a Good Thing. LFS can get you more compliant, but for my needs at present, "more compliant" is irrelevant. Again, if/when I get into serious application development, I'm sure that'll change.

It sounds like you've picked LFS for all the right reasons, functionally speaking. I figure I've done the same with Debian. All that's left is the philosophical reasons, and while I have some minor issues with the GPL, that applies to all Linux distros. Anyway, we could probably argue philosophical issues until we die of asphyxiation, and it wouldn't make a whit of difference in a technical discussion.

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by Jaqui In reply to Converted at last

it is a better os.

now to get you up to speed on it so you can get into a real linux distro.
linux from scratch.

build everything from sources, configuring every little detail.
no automatic anything.

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by Choppit In reply to good

I can appreciate the benefits & personal satisfaction to be gained from building your own, but is it really worth it unless you're planning a large roll out?

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by Jaqui In reply to LFS

on usage.
since most distro's customise the apps to suit thier prefferences, even in a small way like the autmount coding for each distro, it can be better to use an lsf station as a development platform.
you are working with original sources, no customisations, thereby making your apps more likely to be portable across distros without needing more than a configure tweak.
( mandrake's menus in x are stored in a different place in the filesystem, they alter the design of them also )

I build my system lsb compliant, just to reduce an extensive set of requirements that may not be on all distros. if I need a non standard lib, I make sure it is available with the app, so no searching for it.

lfs isn't actually meant to be a new end user distro, it is targeted at experienced users wanting to learn more about the setup of a linux box. what the minimums are for any given functionality requirement. to roll it for use in an enterprise environment is a lot of work, depending on actual requirements for the enterprise, I may say it's better to use a major distro. ( for most cases this is true )
if you only want a webserver, with minimal modules or not, then maybe going lfs is better, as you don't have extras added to suit the distro prefferences.

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large roll-outs

by apotheon In reply to LFS

Actually (as Jaqui hints in his answer to your question), I'd say that large roll-outs are exactly when you should NOT use LFS. For enterprise deployment and other large-volume system installs, my recommendation is definitely Debian, simply because it's about as stable and easily-managed as Linux gets. The combination of native apt support with the exhaustively tested, extremely numerous packages in the Debian apt archives makes Debian pretty much ideal for production use as a server, or even a desktop.

LFS, as Jaqui notes, is best for an instructional tool, software development, and other implementations where a "plain vanilla", highly granular, very involving installation is desirable. Some users find it to be perfect for setting up their personal desktop systems, too, because they get everything set up the way they like.

I'm planning to look into DFS (Debian From Scratch -- like LFS with Debian configurations) at some point, myself. What I don't already know about the Debian distribution, that will certainly teach me.

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by Roger99a In reply to good

I don't want to know that much about anything. I just want it to work, and easy and flexible maximize my time. Besides, I can't write code. I'm just a mechanic.

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easy, flexible, Just Works

by apotheon In reply to Bleah!

You chose well with Debian, then. You might find that you'll develop issues with Ubuntu (I emphasize "might" here), because its configuration is subtly different from vanilla Debian and it runs on its own apt archives. In my experience, any Debian knock-off with its own archives (including MEPIS, Knoppix, and Ubuntu) tends to develop software compatibility issues eventually, if it's installed to the hard drive.

No distribution has the same extensive availability and rock-solid reliability of the Debian apt archives. Debian knock-offs that screw with that do so at their own peril. I'd really like to see something like Ubuntu that just uses the official archives or, possibly, just mirrors them. I might eventually end up having to create such a distro myself.

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