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elmegil's Journal: debian can bite me 8

Journal by elmegil
I just wasted hours of time trying to figure out how to install three goddamn upgrades to a debian system that doesn't currently have any network connectivity. I *finally* found a debian document that talks about using dpkg-something and creating a Package file and gives the most brief mention of putting "deb file:/dir debs/" somewhere. Of course they mean in the sources.list file, but they couldn't explicitly say that. And guess what? It didn't work even then, even after an apt-get update (which they conveniently didn't mention either).

I like apt. It's sweetly convenient to do "apt-get upgrade" and not have to think any further. But it is the most useless PoS possible if you have no network.

I need advice for a decent distro that actually works in a normal fasion (i.e. 'hey, install the package in this file' without jumping through a billion hoops, and by the way, we have this nifty automated tool too, oh and we document things in multiple places instead of making you find the needles in the haystack of self-referential "no, see THAT man page" crap), without having to pay Red Hat's exorbitant support fees. I was thinking of checking out Ubuntu until I saw that it's just a Debian variant. Does Fedora fit the bill?

And of course all this stems from yet another round of "Linux can't do wireless". Decided I wanted to make my network more secure with WPA instead of WEP, had an article talking about how easy it was to set up wpa_supplicant to work on Linux, and away I went. My wife's mac changed over easily. My goddamned PRINTER changed over easily. Hours have been wasted in the last three days trying to get either one of my wireless linux boxes to work even halfway. I did get the laptop going, but if I run VPN (seeing as it's primary use is for WORK) it panics. Joy. And that's SuSE, so don't go there either. At least SuSE uses a halfway sensible package manager.

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debian can bite me

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  • Does Fedora fit the bill?

    Maybe. It is very similar to RedHat and after stuff goes into Fedora it migrates into a later version of RH. Mandriva is also RPM based, but I haven't used it since it was Mandrake 6.0, so I don't know what it's like now. Slackware is built around simple .tar files, with some programs to keep track of what is installed.

    I am not completly sure what you were saying in some parts, but it sounded like you where trying to update three individual packages (.debs)? If the .debs are availa
    • Yep,they were debs. I would swear I read the dpkg man page three or four times looking for something like that and it never seeemed to work. Will try again with that particular invocation.
  • Umm, you were just looking for dpkg -i package.deb, apt-get, aptitude, and dselect are just wrappers to good ol' dpkg. Learn to love it if you use debian.

    That said, I know tons of people who have massive problems with Debian, and I do _not_ recommend it for most users.

  • Yeah, it's Debian at the core, but it is muy nice on the upgrade stuff.
    Seriously, you'll like, nay, love it.
    That said, I have one box I can't install on because it gets 'too hot'. No, it doesn't make sense and yes, it's a known issue. I'm going to try to reburn my install media. But outside of that, for easy package maintenance, look at either gentoo (emerge packagename) or Slackware (various slapt-get and other tools, each has their plusses and minuses.)
    If you want a smallish distro VectorLinux is a sla
  • Slackware's packaging system is increadibly simple. You, for the most part, incorporate the dependencies in the package file (which is just a tgz relative to /) rather than distribute them seperately, and the system will make sure that if two packages install the same thing, and one package is removed, the shared file isn't removed until all packages that installed it are removed.

    This isn't that efficient, but in all honesty, it's about six quadrillion times better than the DLL hell other GNU/Linux suffer

  • One of my coworkers is impressed with the wireless support in OpenSUSE, and has grown to like YaST as well. I use OpenSUSE, and like it, but I'm not a power user, so I would not be the best source for complex questions.

    The YaST auto-update is almost as simple as what you describe with apt.

    • My laptop is running Sun's JDS (I am an employee after all), which is based on one of the enterprise versions which is based on SuSE 9.1. Not sure how that compares with OpenSuSE's current version, but I tried uploading the rpms necessary to install the 9.2 wpa_supplicant package from SuSE, got that to work fine (I'm very comfortable with rpms), but their supplicant just don't work at all for me. The one I built from the latest source at least works partially. Do you know if your coworker is using WPA?

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