[Beowulf] A press release

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Tue Jul 1 22:06:43 PDT 2008

>> I was hoping for some discussion of concrete issues.  for instance,
>> I have the impression debian uses something other than sysvinit -
>> does that work out well?
> Debian uses standard sysvinit-style scripts in /etc/init.d, /etc/rc0.d, ...

thanks.  I guess I was assuming that mainstream debian was like ubuntu.

>>   is it a problem getting commercial
>> packages (pathscale/pgi/intel compilers, gaussian, etc) to run?
> I¹ve never had any major problems.  Most linux vendors supply both RPM¹s and
> .tar.gz installers, and I generally have better luck with the latter, even
> on RPM based systems anyway.

interesting - I wonder why.  the main difference would be that the rpm 
format encodes dependencies...

>> the couple debian people I know tend to have more ideological motives
>> (which I do NOT impugn, except that I am personally more swayed by
>> practical, concrete reasons.)
> My Œconversion¹ to use of Debian had little to do with ideological motives,
> and a lot more to do with minimizing the amount of time I had to take away
> from my research to support the Linux clusters I was maintaining at the
> time.

again interesting, thanks.  what sorts of things in rpm-based distros 
consumed your time?

> Side note, one very nice thing about debian is the ability to upgrade a
> system in-place from one O/S  release to another via
>    apt-get dist-upgrade
> Much nicer than reinstalling the O/S as seems to be (used to be?) the norm
> with RPM-based systems

I've done major version upgrades using rpm, admittedly in the pre-fedora
days.  it _is_ a nice capability - I'm a little surprised desktop-oriented
distros don't emphasize it...

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