Some commercial software only comes as redhat (.rpm) packages.
Example, Legato Networker, so I used alien to convert it to a Debian (.deb)
It worked without a hitch!
From: David Dorgan [mailto:davidd at sponge.xevion.net]
Sent: 16 January 2004 15:35
To: adam beecher
Cc: cork at linux.ie
Subject: Re: [CLUG] Migrating to Debian
Quoting adam beecher (lists at beecher.net):
> Is Debian substantially different to Red Hat? The most important
> applications will be Apache, PHP, MySQL, sendmail and possibly Bind,
> am I going to have any problems with these?
No, you should have no problems. You might want to check
and know what versions you need. On debian desktops I use,
I use unstable, it's slightly misleading, it's just as stable as
redhat/mandrake etc... and has more up to date packages, it is stable
really. There are strict guidelines for maintainers etc...
However on say sponge, I use stable. If you look at the ssh version on
sponge, it's pretty old, but patched. In stable you often see 'older'
packages which have security/serious flaws fixed in them.
> How does Webmin perform on Debian,
> anybody using it? How does Debian operate as an all-in-one solution
> (router, firewall, mail server, proxy, etc)? How does the file system
> and operation compare to Red Hat, i.e. is it substantially different?
Well, packages in general, you never have to worry about in debian, if you
apt-get it, and it exists, then you're done. You install, and it's setup and
done, all working, except in a few cases where you'll get a configuration
> How do updates work on Debian? I don't run up2date automatically on
> Red Hat, but I want it to be as simple as Red Hat to update the
> machines: login, run an up2date-like command to check what's new, and
> run another command to update the box. I don't want to be pissing
> around with manual lilo/grub updates and the like. I want the box to
> come back up after a kernel update with no whines or grumbles every
This is probably about the best feature in Debian.
I put apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade on a nightly cron.
You don't have to do this, run it manually. On stable it's mostly security
fixes. Say for ssh, it's well tested etc... So you run it, it stops and
starts the sshd and you're done.
To see if a package exists, just do apt-cache search package, for example,
davidd at sponge:~$ apt-cache search webmin | wc -l
These are mostly plugins mind you.
Or say I want a newer kernel, on this stable box,
and I want 2.4, apt-cache search kernel-image gives 31 matches. Say I want
an i686, apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.18-1-686 . I've never once had an
issue with a kernel upgrade on debian, in fact I upgraded my work
workstation at 3am last night from home, for ipv6 support, put a script into
startup to assign the ip , tunnels etc... Came in this morning and all was
It's pretty much flawless.
> Any other tips, tricks or suggestions welcome.
Well I mean, apt-get will really really blow your mind if you've never used
it, you'll ask yourself why all distros don't use it.
It's simple, easy to keep secure, update and high quality.
Just remember, stable is very very stable, with older (patched) packages,
unstable has always been rock stable for me and testing is well, testing ;-)
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