[UFO Chicago] Re: Brian's Conversion from FreeBSD to Debian and Questions on X

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Tue May 9 21:34:18 PDT 2006

On Tuesday 09 May 2006 16:26, Brian Sobolak wrote:

> This is advice I might heed, depending on how things go with Ubuntu.  I
> had tried this as my first distro-of-choice, but after setting it up (I
> used the Minimal install, not the LiveCD), it didn't boot.  I'll give the
> LiveCD a shot before I pick a final final distro.  And it is certainly the
> closest to the BSDs, in how the documentation is laid out, and the absence
> of the word [Ff]ree.
> And I'd prefer to ignore RedHat, because I really don't like RPM.

I'm also rather late to this thread, so I'll address a couple of things at 

1) (K)Ubuntu: Good for "it just works, I don't want t deal with setting the 
damned thing up" users.  That includes an increasing number of power users, 
not just new users. :-)  Especially with the device handling system that 
you're "supposed" to use these days changing every 3 days.  Gah!

2) Gentoo: I believe it was built as "wow, Ports is nice, wish I had that for 
Linux.  Maybe I'll make it."  All the pros and cons there. :-)

3) Free vs. Non-Free.  Uh, how is this a problem in Debian?  Really, I haven't 
run into it as an issue.  It gives you a choice.  Want to limit yourself to 
Free Software?  Only enable the main repository.  Don't care what the license 
is?  Enable main, non-free, and contrib once and never deal with it again, 
but get a ton more software available to you.

4) If you're using Debian and apt-get, you're doing it wrong.  Seriously, get 
with the 21st century.  For console, use aptitude.  For GUI, use either 
synaptic (gtk) or Adept (KDE, mostly used by Kubuntu).  


5) Directory setup.  OK, maybe I'm just getting stodgy, but there is a 
respectable method to the madness on any reasonable distro.  

For example, under Debian:
/bin - system-critical binaries
/usr - non-system-critical "user system resources" that are managed via apt.
/usr/local - non-system-critical stuff managed via not-apt.  That could be a 
proprietary installer, or could be something you installed by hand from 
tarball.  Either way, it's separate from the system's package manager.

If you want to complain about the FHS, why are programs still putting 
everything into ~/.program ?  That makes the home directory nearly useless, 
hidden files or no.  Why aren't we using ~/etc/program yet?  

Larry Garfield			AIM: LOLG42
larry at garfieldtech.com		ICQ: 6817012

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of 
exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, 
which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to 
himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession 
of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."  -- Thomas 

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