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Re: [vox-tech] gentoo's "portage" vs. debian's "apt-get"
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Re: [vox-tech] gentoo's "portage" vs. debian's "apt-get"

On Tue, Nov 04, 2003 at 11:12:08AM -0800, Ken Bloom wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 04, 2003 at 09:06:14AM -0800, Jonathan Stickel wrote:
> > It is time for me to move away from RedHat.  At the moment, I am 
> > considering Gentoo and Debian (with the libranet installer).
> > 
> > A distribution specific feature I consider important is the method for 
> > installing and updating software.  I know that Debian uses "apt-get", 
> > and I have seen a number of posts on this list with apt-get examples. 
> > Gentoo's website advertises "portage" as its method for installing and 
> > updating, using the "emerge" command.
> > 
> > I'd like to hear (concisely) pros/cons of these two methods; whether 
> > they just work, or if they require some tinkering; and the availability 
> > of software through each.
> > 
> > Please avoid "but my distro is best" responses ;-)
> I use Debian, and I find that apt-get does an excellent job of 
> dependancy management, partly because of the ability of apt-get and 
> partly because of Debian's packaging policy. 
> If you are using Debian stable or Debian testing, then you will always 
> be able to install any package in the Debian repository using apt-get.  
> If you are using Debian unstable, this is where developers sort out 
> package dependancies, so it doesn't always work as well as in testing or 
> stable, but I've only had packages wind up on hold (because they don't 
> have the appropriate dependancies) or had packages that apt-get wanted 
> to remove that I wanted to keep about 3 to 5% of the time.
> The disadvantage is that software in stable is frozen as-of the last 
> release 15 months ago. Software form unstable is moved into testing 
> according to rules approximately as follows:
>  * package has been in Testing for 10 days
>  * package has been compiled for all 11 architectures
>  * package has less (or equal) release critical bugs than the one in 
>    testing already
>  * all of the dependancies of this package are in testing, and the 
>    package will not break dependancies of a package already in testing 
>    (unless that package will be upgraded at the same time)
> The net effect of this is that package is about 15 to 20 days old, but 
> some more important packages can hold up a lot of packages from entering 
> testing. (For example, glibc updates in unstable can keep packages from 
> entering testing for a long time until glibc gets upgraded in testing, 
> another example is the Gnome-1 to Gnome-2 upgrade where Gnome-2 had to 
> be pretty much completely working before any of it entered testing - 
> that took months.)
> Debian has a very good bug-tracking system. Just use the reportbug 
> command in the reportbug package, and you can submit a bug and you will 
> be emailed with all of the discussions. You don't need a login like for 
> bugzilla, just submit and get tracking information. Look at 
> bugs.debian.org to see how this works.
> A downside: there's no corporation behind Debian, so some complex things 
> can take a long time to get upgraded. They're still testing out XFree 
> 4.3 for example, not yet ready to upload it into Debian/unstable.

Another plug towards gentoo, the dependency management is fairly good.
I have not had any issues with it, however I for the most part avoid
testing/unstable packages.  Also, you have the ability to compile a
package, insert a stub and have portage know about it.  In other words,
if you're system has an anchient perl5 and you want perl5.8, you can
pull it down, and stub the package and not have it break the whole
apt/dselect system. 

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