Debian Vs Red Hat

I tried Debian 1.3.1 in the end of 1998, after several years using RedHat, and after many hundreds of hours trying to make RedHat compile packages - rpmized and not rpmized - from their sources.

In the Debian world if a Debianized package doesn't compile cleanly from the sources that's considered a severe bug; but in the RedHat world it seems that no one really cares about that - I chatted with a RH developer once over IRC, and he was quite surprised that I was recompiling lots of things myself, logging the output of the "make"s and adding the "-g" gcc option to the invocations of gcc. I was a user, and only the RH developers themselves were supposed to do that.

In the Debian world there isn't a clear separation between developers and users. You're given all the information and all the tools, and if you end up getting something to contribute your changes are welcome, and you may become a developer if you wish.

After switching to Debian I never looked back. People claim that "everybody uses RedHat" and so more people are going to be able to help you. But they can't help as they don't know enough - because the innards of the system are ugly and don't make sense - and also they're too busy trying to put their own machines to work, and defending themselves against script kiddies who have hacked their systems. So: I'd rather fix a few tiny bugs on Debian myself than to wait for the next broken RH release, thanks.

However, I still use from time to time a Linux box at that runs RH 6.2. More on that later.

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