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what are the good alternatives

ramez.hanna's picture
Pronco's picture

nothing really makes 'it' a s

nothing really makes 'it' a server distro

slackware is a good solid distro otherwise you can do a pretty much anything with all of them

good points: stable, solid design, up to date but not uber-bleeding edge, good simple package management, simple ncurses helper tools, easy system administration, no dependancy checking on package installation, nothing hidden behind a gui tool, good community support, one man decision process

they were all slackware good points and mandrake is a pretty good distro though

I used to be indecisive .. but now I'm not so sure

Alaa's picture


I don't understand your point of view (I'm not arguing against slackware here, just trying to understand).

my questions are.

can you explain how no dependency checking on package installation is a good thing?

and also how is a one man decision process good?

what do you mean nothing hidden behind GUI tools, curses helper tools are UIs aren't they, what is the difference between a curses dialog and a GTK one?


"i`m feeling for the 2nd time like alice in wonderland reading el wafd"

Tw33Ty's picture

why u should not use slack ?

If it's bleeding edge and packaged as RPM or DEB it usually causes major problems when I install the software on Debian or RPM-based distros. It's a pain to bring Debian package management back to a normal state once it's out of sync after a dpkg -i --force-things command. By contrast, there is nothing like Slackware's tgz packaging without dependency checks (except compiling from source). Install the package, run it from a terminal, and see which libraries are not found. Install those too and usually everything is fine. Slackware also takes RPM packages without questions if you supply the --nodeps switch.

why u should not use slack ? slack is not like mdk For ease of use, excellent support, and up-to-date packaging, Mandrake is the best desktop going.

why u should use slackware ? slackware is solid stable distro, it's a good way to get a solid info and practice traning on admining linux

for server using i think u should try debian it's for the hard work, security updates, soild and stable performance and second become slackware at least if u a newbie try mdk or fedora both of them are the best for desktop and up-to-date distro. if u wanna to get a solid info about using linux and u r not looking for easy use u should try Debian or Slackware both of them r kick ass distro.

Alaa's picture

I would not recommend debian anymore

debian used to be the perfect server distro, but its been 3 years since the latest debian release, almost everything is outdated now, you'll find yourself getting packages from any random repository or compiling from source.

if you use debian testing instead of stable you don't get security updates, so debian is no longer stable and secure.

BTW re: packages, forcing RPMs in Mandrake does not cause urpmi to barf like in debian, in fact the rpm tool on its own doesn't differ much from slack, I still find it weird that one would want to resolve dependencies manually.


"i`m feeling for the 2nd time like alice in wonderland reading el wafd"

Pronco's picture

slackware is not a newbie dis

newbie can have a working system very easily otherwise slackware is much easier in installation procedure and much quicker than those of other distros

I used to be indecisive .. but now I'm not so sure

MSameer's picture

You shouldn't use --force-any

You shouldn't use --force-anything with debian, You are breaking your system.

And if you force apt to ignore the dependencies the new installed packaage mught not work correctly or might not work at all.

Please give examples.

If you force anything and apt complains, simply run apt-get -f install

I've been using Debian for years now and I never had to --force except when I was downgrading from testing to woody on my home server and I had something wrong with glibc dependencies and apt decided to be stupid.

Quote "c u next life time then when i come back as a mug of tea :P"

Pronco's picture

how no dependency checking on

packages come with everything they need to run on a slackware system, and pulling deps from the distribution it knows are there

you resolve missing dependencies (if any), so you know what's going on and if you have some good reason why you don't want some dependency in place, then the package management won't bitch about it, it just assumes you know what you are doing

it works .. patrick volkerding is a good man, very intellectual and a lot of people have faith in him. patrick has done a fabulous job these last 11-12 years. I should trust him to make the right decisions.

I used to be indecisive .. but now I'm not so sure

Tw33Ty's picture

Slack and dependency

if u mean by package dependency checking in urpmi this

[email protected] root]#urpmi docbook-dtd41-sgml To satisfy dependencies, the following packages are going to be installed (1 MB): libxml2-utils-2.4.16-2mdk.i586 docbook-dtd41-sgml-1.0-5mdk.noarch sgml-common-0.6.3-4mdk.noarch Is it OK? (Y/n)

so slack can do it too by using slackpkg

ramez.hanna's picture

i wouldn't want to resolve de

the best things in life are free --- so as myself

systems's picture

This is not really an answer

But is this how I think you should think ...

What is an operating system? What is distribution? What is a package tree? What is a dependency tree? What is the difference between all of the above?

What is the problem I am trying to solve? How/Why would this solution solve it? What else should affect my decision? Hint: Principals, believes, biases

Now, I want software, I want to install this software and I want to remove it safely

Software have requirements, ... other software

This is only part of the problem, software when installed create a file on my disk, files have names, two software may want to place their own versions of the same file in the same place

okay, what else?

I don't know, but it seems, software to run on my system have many requirements, some of which might be hidden

So we need to create a software agent, that will check for those problems.

We need a software systems, that will not allow other software to step on each other feets

So how is choosing a distro solves your problems?

I believe part of the problem that eventually because different ppl have different need, no package tree out there will be 100% what you want for example, what if you want to run two different versions of the same software on the same machine what is they both have different dependency trees

You will eventually need to learn how to maintain ur own tree even worst, I think you will need to maintain multiple trees on the same system (I have not heard of any distro that support this)

Try to elaborate on ur problems better

I believe, you should check, how is easy it is to create a package for a particular system not just how could or bad a package tree is

Also check technologies like uml and xen , i heard uml allow you to run multiple trees in the same distro (what is a distro) and xen allow you to run multiple oses on the same machine (what is a machine)

think out side the box? why not run two different machine, networked together? If for example you need postgresql v7.4 an v8.0

I believe choosing a distro, or making a distro that fit all needs will hardly ever be the solution but ppl want to have this one ultimate distro because life would then be so easy, you only learn and use one thing

I believe the real problem is, you will eventually need to run multiple package trees, in isolation to run particular application correctly.

There exist multiple solutions for this

Packaging as the application level, dont use dynamically linked library, a single .exe hold everything -- very simple -- but also very little sharing

Using uml to run multiple trees , more sharing but more work

Using Xen, to run multiple OSes

Using seperate machines

So first learn how to build a tree, then learn how to seperate multiple trees

Alaa's picture


dunno about Suse, I would say Mandrake compares very favorably to redhat .

the Mandrake commercial server product are just normal Mandrake distro, with the desktop packages stripped out and with a longer product lifetime (ya3ni you are not expected to upgrade before 2 years or maybe more).

so if you want to use mandrake, you can use the normal download edition. one probelm though, the download edition lifetime is 1.5 years, so servers get an extra year or so (no public mirrors for server updates as far as I know).

what I'm doing at work (file, print, proxy, firewall, smtp, internal web) is to just use mandrake 10 (current is 10.1 and we are approaching 10.2) and install the minimal stuff needed only, we'll continue using 10 until september, then upgrade to 10.1, continue using it till its end of life then move on etc.


"i`m feeling for the 2nd time like alice in wonderland reading el wafd"

MSameer's picture

Dare to try BSD ? Go for Fre

Dare to try BSD ? Go for FreeBSD, IMHO -as alaa convinced me- it offers the stability of Debian + more updated packages.

But I have no idea about FreeBSD other than giving me the ugly face when I rebooted once after I've got it up and running on my laptop.

Quote "c u next life time then when i come back as a mug of tea :P"

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