Fedora or Debian?

Lorenzo Prince lorenzo at prince.homelinux.org
Tue Mar 23 21:48:09 UTC 2004

Thus spake David Renstr?m:
# I'm thinking of installing Linux on my Dell laptop. Which distribution do 
# you suggest, Fedora or Debian?

Personally, I use Fedora and Debian.  However, due to the wide variety of
packages that are precompiled for Debian and the ease of configuration and
maintenance of those packages, Debian is my personal favourite now.  Also,
packages are easier to keep updated in Debian, although Fedora has now
implemented some of the same features.  Although the package update system, (yum)
in Fedora is nowhere as good as apt, and to get apt you have to go and download
it.  Debian already has apt, and has more tools to go with it, including a bug
tracker that pulls all bugs filed against an upgraded package and asks you if you
still want to install a buggy package.

# As I understand it Debian is nice once you get it to work, but it might be
# complicated to install.

The speakup-modified Sarge CD didn't seem to be hard to install for me.  IMHO,
the Debian installer has com a long way.

# I am also interested to know if Fedora uses some kind of annoying graphics mode
# when booting (like RedHat 9.0).

By default, it does, but in Fedora, this produces the interesting sideaffect that
the system will beep when it is time to login.  You then press alt-f1 and login
as usual.  If you want to change this behaviour, edit /etc/inittab and change the
default runlevel to 3 instead of 5.  This will automatically drop you into a
text-based login prompt.

# I'm going to use BRLTTY on this machine. 

Again I will exercise the right to state my personal opinion.  ;-) I would
definitely go with Debian there, simply becaust the latest version of brltty is
always available from unstable.

apt-get -t unstable install brltty

will always get you the very latest version.  Brltty is, however, included in
Fedora as well.  I just isn't the very latest version.  There seems to be no
stability issues with using the latest brltty, so using a slightly older version
may or may not increase stability of the package.

My best suggestion, (all opinions aside), is to try both and see which works best
for *you*.  I selected Debian as my personal favourite, but Fedora may actually
suit your needs better.

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