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Mandriva, it’s all about packaging

Posted by alecs1 pe 2009-06-30

From time to time distributions such as Mandriva, openSUSE, Gentoo get some attention through some features they introduce, Speedboot, control centers, first to include KMS etc. What I believe these guys miss is that the availability of software is the biggest problem some user might face.
1.Debian/Ubuntu and RedHat (and Fedora more or less) get most of the attention from closed source packagers.
2.Point 1 applies to open source packagers that don’t have resources to produce packages for all the Linux fauna. Not all software is like the kernel or Firefox to be omnipresent.
3.Even if the software is not available for the likes of Debian or Fedora, because of their high penetration, the chances to find an article on how to make things work are high.

Mandriva is not going to cut it unless you are in a well established setting, where you are assured to need nothing more than the available packages. I remember switching from Mandriva and SuSE to Debian and notice how it suddenly becomes possible to run all kind of software. I cannot imagine testing all the things I needed with anything else that a Debian or RedHat system.

I would suggest Mandriva to try to move all its technology to Debian-like packaging and make the system 99.9% percent compatible with Debian.
„Mandriva offers you 5 seconds boot time, super-duper control center, x kernel enhancements and the already proven Mandriva technologies combined with the possibility to install any package available for Debian”.
So this is far-fetched, they have RPM knowledge etc. Replace this with Fedora. I just chose Debian because of the primitive (in my view) packaging system that Fedora offers.

I don’t know the disadvantages, but the advantages are obvious: one less target for independent packagers, access to the whole of Debian software and one more step for compatibility between distributions.

5 Răspunsuri to “Mandriva, it’s all about packaging”

  1. Mandriva’s packaging system is fine and they have plenty of software in their repositories. The lack of compatibility between various distributions is not Mandriva’s problem alone – it is the problem of the Linux community in general. FYI, I have been using Ubuntu for 3+ years now, but I just had to speak up against this ridiculous assertion.

  2. LinuxLover said

    What crack are you smoking? First of all, Mandriva and Suse are RPM based distros, and besides packaging, there are numerous differences compared to a Debian based distro. Just go to a terminal and type „init 3” and see what happens. In RPM based distros, you get dumped to a CLI. In Debian based distros, this doesn’t work the same. It’s not the only difference, either. They are almost 2 different animals in many ways.

    Second, this is something that happens in waves. Just a few years ago, many proprietary software binaries were RPM only. They specifically would build one labeled for Red Hat, but it worked in all RPM based distros.

    Third, if you like Ubuntu, then use it. Don’t bother trying to change an RPM based distro to be more like Debian/Ubuntu. Many of us use RPM based distros because we actually don’t like the Debian model at all and would rather go back to Windows before being force fed Ubuntu. There are literally hundreds of Linux distros out there, if Mandriva doesn’t fit, I’m sure another one will.

  3. Mandriva’s packaging system is fine and they have plenty of software in their repositories. The lack of compatibility between various distributions is not Mandriva’s problem alone – it is the problem of the Linux community in general. FYI, I have been using Ubuntu for 3+ years now, but I just had to speak up against this ridiculous assertion.

  4. Barnabyh said

    What crack are YOU GUYS smoking? The writer never stated he likes Ubuntu, he wrote Debian, which believe it or not is not the same- n00bs.

    I believe the writer has a point, Mandriva is pretty limited due to poor adoption, although they try hard, your best hope is finding an rpm for redhat that works. They should have had the good sense to adopt apt4rpm like PCLOS did instead of developing their own cumbersome system. I love synaptic, it makes the most sense if we’re talking graphical package managers.

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