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    Promoting Debian to management
    Contributed by cef on Friday, November 23 @ 18:03:00 GMT

    Ask Debianplanet
    All us Debian users KNOW that Debian is better, but when you get asked by management for a document that lists all this (that management can understand), where do you get the information to back up your statements, and what are the reasons you can give? Also it'd be nice to see WHY some readers of Debian Planet think Debian is better than "other distributions".

    DanielS: The main answers from the comments are stability and policy.

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  • "Promoting Debian to management" | Login/Create Account | 46 comments

    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    Re: Debian is better - Why? (Score: 1, Insighful)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 23 @ 18:25:04 GMT

    Why? because, first your management won't understand it!, the phylosophy of the Distro is completely different: today the only thing that rules is the Businness. RH does it! Debian no, because the only support Debian developers can officially give to user is "homely" (it is NOT to be intended in the negative way of the term). The wide support is the one that makes the difference on the market. That's it!

    ...but, even if more can not agree with my statement, I will endure the opinion that Debian is better because its aim is not the businness, but the way and the strenght many volunteers pursuit to reach the "perfection" of their jobs!!! thanks to all the developers, I luv u all, guys!!! I have been a debian user from the depth of my heart, I wil support you all.

    Ste from Italy

    [ Reply ]

    Disciplined package maintainers (Score: 1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 23 @ 18:30:09 GMT

    Because the people maintaining packages generally use them as well, Debian packages tend to be of a very high standard.

    [ Reply ]

    Policy and Maintainability (Score: 4, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 23 @ 18:46:34 GMT

    Debian has a policy and all packages are made to fit that policy. The policy alows for official packages (apt + dpkg) and local packages (/usr/local/ + stow). The system is designed by many people who each have vested interests in their packages working well. This means that debian packages have sane defaults and often let you change the defaults as it is installed and will tend not to ask the same question again.

    Also Debian is a world wide distribution and so is not US-centric which is nice.

    Keeping on top of security updates is very quick easy and simple... This must be the selling point to management.

    You are not tied to one vendor for support. There are many people and companies who will support Debian.

    My humble opinion is that other distribs MAY be easier to set up (they DO have more eye-candy on that we can agree!) but Debian is easier to maintain. Which in the long run is a BIG plus.

    Other distribs make it easy for idiots to config a machine... but then you get an idiotic config.

    Debian makes it easy for someone who can read, understand and think to configure a machine which results in a well configured and easily maintainable machine. This means that when a new version of debian is released that most of the config is maintained in the upgrade. Once a Debian machine is installed you may _never_ need to boot from floppy again, even when upgrading to a new release! Again Debian proves to be more maintainable than other distribs.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Debian is better - Why? (Score: 5, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 23 @ 19:19:19 GMT

    The company I am working for has serious problems keeping track with the Linux distribution race. For release managers Debain has these advantages over other Linux distros:

    - a long release cycle. Debian 2.2 (aka "Potato") is 18 months old. It is still possible to install it on a modern PC (even though your graphics card might not be supported). This is close to the OS release cycle of other Unix vendors (Sun, HP, IBM, etc).

    - the Debian "Testing" and "Unstable" distros provide an up-to-date test arena for your software. You can support the most modern Linux distros at your FCS. Your customers will love this.

    - Debian uses an excelent bug tracking system, which can be accessed by everybody. This is important for documenting the progress in your own development department.

    Surely there are more advantages.

    [ Reply ]

    Debian is better? Not really. (Score: 0, Flamebait)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 23 @ 19:19:31 GMT

    Hrm. The only big reasons I prefer Debian are apt-get and the package policy (high quality packages and consistant naming).

    Otherwise, Debian sucks a lot compared to the commercial distros. It's hard to install, its default configurations (think GNOME setup) are horrid from a user point of view, hardware detection is crap, config/management tools are just a hodge-podge of unintegrated seperate projects, etc.

    At home, where it's just me, I can easily deal with the above problems and enjoy the benefits of Debian. On servers, it's usually me or another experienced admin, where Debian excels compared to other distros. On workstations/laptops at work, or for friends/family, Debian is the last distro I would recommend. It's a nightmare for any Linux user but the experienced.

    I think one problem of Debian's maintainer setup is that there is little coordination and effort between maintainers to come up with a cohesive distro. Debian is, and likely will remain, just a collection of software. If, say, the installer people and the hardware package people and the X people and the kernel people worked together, we could end up with a central, integrated hardware detection/installation/configuration center. If the maintainers of all the GNOME related libraries and software worked together, there would probably be much nicer GNOME configurations and consistant setups. There needs to be "large" Debian projects that encompass more than just a single maintainer.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Debian is better - Why? (Score: 4, Informative)
    by d00d on Friday, November 23 @ 21:41:26 GMT
    (User Info)

    Take a look at:

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Debian is better - Why? (Score: 3, Funny)
    by tarzeau ( on Friday, November 23 @ 23:25:40 GMT
    (User Info)

    because it has super cow powers?

    (apt-get moo, hint hint!)

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Debian is better - Why? (Score: 2, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 23 @ 23:45:12 GMT

    make-kpkg (this absolutely rocks imho, see nvdriver, alsa-modules, etc: veeery slick.)


    alternatives system

    update-(inetd|rc.d|...) (yes I know its for use by packages but that doesnt make it any less handy)



    lack of shovelware

    the fact that none of these need any single front end meaning remote administration feels much more natural


    apt-get upgrade (thanks to lack of afformentioned frontends)

    in short, lots of little things and the ethos of Debian's development.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Debian is better - Why? (Score: 3, Funny)
    by che on Saturday, November 24 @ 00:22:04 GMT
    (User Info)

    Where I work we have some commercial unixes and some linux boxes.

    I installed some servers using Debian (routers, firewall, proxyserver, mailserver) and they were stable like the stable label of Potato says. 0 crashes.

    Although my bosses were impressed by Debian, they asked me to only install RedHat. This because some of our products are only Redhat certified and because my collegues would be able to maintain the machines too (ever heard of apt-get?).

    We made a deal: Debian for external servers (security!) and RedHat for internal ones. I even installed some Redhat boxes. Guess what, next week I'm formating the last RedHat box and putting Debian on it. My bosses? They have learnt when to shut up :c).


    [ Reply ]

    Re: Promoting Debian to management (Score: 5, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, November 24 @ 07:52:39 GMT

    1. Predictability - Debian lives without profit every single day of its existence. How long do you think Red Hat, SuSE and Caldera can exist without a profit? One day, if the money stops rolling in, those companies will fold, while Debian will still keep on chugging.

    2. Stability - The end goal of Debian is great software available freely - and nothing else. No other distribution or OS can say the same thing because there is at least one other goal in mind (profit). Bugs and security breaches will eventually slip into the final product when quality and profitability become intertwined.

    3. Accessibility - No profit motive means no real incentive to limit access to the software in any fashion. Caldera customers had the whole seat licencing thing dropped in their lap without notice. How would you like to have been the head of IT who recently made the switch to OpenDesktop with 'freedom' as at least one aspect of your pitch ... only to find that this freedom was to be taken away at some future date because Caldera wasn't making enough dough. Money, or more properly, the lack thereof, makes people do the strangest things.

    4. Respectability - there is a reason companies choose to use Debian in their own distribution schemes.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Promoting Debian to management (Score: 1, Insighful)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, November 24 @ 08:21:53 GMT

    The comments I read are almost all correct (from my point of view), but I first keep the distance from who is still thinking Debian distro is to be compared as another OS competitor: I mean the Debian market is not exacly the same of the either Unix or Windows or Mac one. You miscredit Debian if you necessary consider it as competor: I think Debian is better because the aims are different (marketplace, businness,...), reaching the perfection is matter only on an elite, Debian got it, because the developers worked hard to make their application work, NOT only APPEAR to!!!

    Thanks DEb!!!

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Promoting Debian to management (Score: 3, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, November 24 @ 16:35:45 GMT

    The reasons to prefer Debian fall under two general catagories:

    1. Political/Policy

    2. Technical merit

    Considering only the second catagory, as some one in management, I appreciate the fact that Debian provides three levels of refinement and stability and undergoes constant development.

    Couple this to apt/dselect and we are able to quickly and easily deploy the right Linux based solution for almost every need as these needs arise.

    The result is, although our company is not associated with the IT industry, we are about 90 percent powered by Linux. Although we also use Slackware extensively, our deployments over the past year have mostly been Debian.

    No other distribution has proven as flexible or as capable of meeting our needs.

    [ Reply ]

    two advantages (Score: 1, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Sunday, November 25 @ 07:10:20 GMT

    Debian has a superior layout. The init scripts in Redhat/Mandrake are far more complicated with little benefit.

    Also, packages get installed in more sensible locations and that makes them easier to manage. Not to mention, the .deb system seems to work more smoothly than rpms.

    Trust me, I've been using Mandrake for a year and a half and Debian had some very welcome differences!

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Promoting Debian to management (Score: 3, Insighful)
    by MacMasta on Sunday, November 25 @ 08:40:50 GMT
    (User Info)

    Where I work, we are in the process of rolling out Microsoft's fancy new whiz-band Active Directory system. The most important part of that is automated software installs: we put each machine in a container, define what software that container gets, and reboot the machine: it uses InstallShield packages, and *poof* all is well.

    Seems to me that Debian already has that...apt, baby!

    Not to mention, because of kpackage and so on, it's quite possible for a well-organized corporate IT department to do complete system upgrades to the most recent packages (including recent kernels and corp-specific packages [both free and non-free]) without any pain at all. -> Just add apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade to the startup scripts, and make sure to set the apt-source as a corporate-defined one that mostly mirrors, say, Woody.

    Cost for this system? Less than Active Directory? Functionality of this system? More than Active Directory.

    There: I've convinced myself that Debian is perfect for the corporate end-user, not just the corporate server. Cool!



    [ Reply ]

    Re: Promoting Debian to management (Score: 1, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Sunday, November 25 @ 22:05:34 GMT

    One really main reason is that nobody owns it and everybody owns it. The next is of coarse stability. Then, great packages and incredible upgrading technique. Last, all the people that develop and maintain the Debian Gnu/Linux distribution, nothing small can be said about them. They are all very valuble to the global computing community. Kudos to the gang that keeps Debian alive and the distro the way it is and still keeps getting better. Kudos to the end users who understand the quality of the Debian distro and all their help in bugtrakking.

    [ Reply ]

    Many thanks (Score: 1)
    by cef on Monday, November 26 @ 05:31:35 GMT
    (User Info)

    Thank you all that replied. Much obligied.

    We've already done the conversion of our in-office systems (well mostly), and I've been a personal convert since about the time RH 6.x botched my Linux experiences. I've been sold on Deb for ages.

    I was simply asked to give a 1-2 page document on why we chose Debian over other distributions (actually to show to other companies - one of our products requires a "server" and while we prefer using Deb, we will support other distros/platforms - one company asked why we chose Deb... hence the document), and while writing it couldn't find too much in the way of resources, which is why I asked here, as I'm sure the readers of Debian Planet would come up with things I may not have thought of, and you did! *grin*

    Well, off to add to the document I've written so far. It's starting to look like 3 pages now.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Promoting Debian to management (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 30 @ 16:19:43 GMT

    I use Debian because it works!!

    Actually I use the Stormix 2000 Distro, but I plan to switch to Debian once the stable version of Potato is released. I use it on my laptop and the system has never crashed, unlike windows. Some programs do crash, but that is actually quite rare, with the exception of some unfinished programs, like my old Abiword 0.7 release. Now I am not a computer programmer or system administrator, but a student of the classics(the study of the ancient Greeks and Romans). I am the type of guy that wants a system that functions and functions well, and if it is free, all the better. Thanks Debian creators for your great distribution and to my brother who helped me set up my system.

    [ Reply ]

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