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Getting started w/ Debian

Brendan wrote:

> On Tuesday 20 July 2004 10:27, Drew Taylor wrote:
>>So I'm looking more for thoughts that might help a (Debian) newbie. I've
>>been using RedHat for years, so I'm no stranger to Linux. Any gotchas,
>>important hints, etc that might be specific to Debian are appreciated.
> Debian is going to be insanely weird if you have been using Red Hat with no 
> exposure to up2date, yum, apt4rpm, etc.

Honestly, I didn't even use rpm a lot - preferring to compile everything 
from source. Maybe it's because I like more control over the system 
layout, but that is neither here nor there. I'm happy to learn whatever 
I need.

> Keep a good /etc/apt/sources.list, because this is your system's world. It 
> won't look anywhere else for updates/software than here, really.
> Tips (at least from me): for a desktop, stick with unstable, and for a server, 
> I have done well with stable/testing.

I understand there are different sources for updates, and differing 
levels of "stability". This will be a server (although via a surplus 
desktop), so stable/testing sounds good. What is the difference between 
the two? I really want to play with the 2.6 kernel if that makes a 

> A good /etc/apt/sources.list for my unstable system at work:
> deb unstable main contrib non-free
> deb-src unstable main contrib non-free
> # the non-US Debian packages.  Uncomment the deb-src line if you
> # want 'apt-get source' to work with non-US packages.
> deb unstable/non-US main contrib non-free

Thanks for the list of sources. I'll check them out this week.

> I run an apt-get update everyday to keep current, and sometimes, I check out 
> apt-get upgrade to see what's going to upgrade. It's dorky, but it keeps the 
> good times rolling.

Are there many changes on a day-to-day basis? The impression I've gotten 
of Debian is that they are much more conservative about releases, 
preferring to remain behind the curve. Although that's not necessarily a 
bad thing for servers...

BTW, I plan on being at the meeting tomorrow so I hope my questions then 
won't seem to newbie-ish.

Drew Taylor                 *  Web development & consulting
Email: drew at  *  Site implementation & hosting
Web  :   *  perl/mod_perl/DBI/mysql/postgres

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