Subject: Re: Thoughts on NetBSD and Debian Linux
To: Chris Frost <>
From: Jeremy C. Reed <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 05/13/2002 21:26:04
Hello Chris,

On Mon, 13 May 2002, Chris Frost wrote:

> I'm just curious to see why individual people prefer netbsd to debian
> (or the other way around of course) for software devel and general
> usage.

I still use Debian Linux for a few systems, because:

- It is easy to update. apt-get works great to quickly update packages
(including base / core utilites). You can point it to a stable collection
and to a security collection to keep your system up-to-date. Or you can
point it a bleeding edge collection to try out recent software.

- It has a larger packages collection. "apt-get install gcompris" for my
son to play some educational games. (Some code is very Linux specific --
and often hasn't been ported to NetBSD yet.)

Sometimes I think that the Debian's advanced packages system is a little
too featureful. It can be configured for how much feedback it needs; for
example, it can ask many questions during an individual package install
for choosing configurations. And it automatically assumes too much (by
default); for example, you install Apache, then it runs it by default. Or
you install a mailer and it automatically makes it your default. Sometimes
the defaults make it harder.

I enjoy NetBSD because it seems a little simpler. I use NetBSD on new
installs for web (mail, dns, etc) servers, for desktop workstations (for
home use), for presentations, and use it on students' computers.

I like using NetBSD for software development, because generally code I
develop on it can easily be reused (without changes) on other Unix boxes.

   Jeremy C. Reed