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Author Topic: Difference between major distros and why?  (Read 1366 times)

Offline brittocj

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Difference between major distros and why?
« on: January 05, 2013, 06:04:26 PM »
Hi,

What are difference between major server distros and what is the advantage?

Kernel (2.6) and bash (4.1) are same for Ubuntu and Red Hat only certain commands are different, file system structure is different and package manager ( deb and rpm) so which program makes this difference ? We cannot use yum and apt inter changeably, why?

thanks in advance.

britto

Offline dalek

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Re: Difference between major distros and why?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 02:34:37 AM »
Each distro has some niche that is serves.  Some are bloated and want to be a drop in replacement for people switching from windows.  Some allow you to custom build everything from scratch.  Some are specifically for server or critical uses and others are trying to be bug free but move fairly quick with updates and point toward desktop uses. 

Redhat, mostly for servers but works for desktops too.  It is set up to be stable in a big way.  Less often updates but well tested and stable.  Also offers paid support if needed.

Mandriva, sort of like Redhat but not as stable and while it can be used for servers, it seems to be more desktop driven and the updates are faster. 

*ubuntu, designed for drop in replacement for people switching from windows.  I installed Kubuntu for my brother and he really can't tell much difference, other than no anti-virus. 

Gentoo, can be used for anything where you need serious control of the programs.  It can be used for servers or desktops depending how it is set up. 

The best place to read up on these is here:

http://distrowatch.com/

You can click on hundreds of distros and sort of get a idea what each ones can be used for. 

 :)    :)

Offline brittocj

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Re: Difference between major distros and why?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 07:56:49 AM »
 Generally everyone will say the external appearance user interface differences, but what is the actual technical difference? Their kernel is same running shell interpreter is same but the commands and configuration file locations different for each distro why? and what reallly causes this difference? Is kernel or shell? i want to know the technical differences between distros? Red Hat's network configuration files are in different directory than of Ubuntu, what controls this differences?

tx
britto

Offline dalek

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Re: Difference between major distros and why?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 12:38:30 PM »
The difference depends on the distro.  I use Gentoo and have used it for years and have not messed with other distros to much, other than installing Kubuntu for my brother. 

As for config files, that is usually handled by the package manager.  The package manager is what actually installs files so the package manager does this by where the people developing the distro thinks it should go.  Once installed, there is sometimes a tool to config things or sometimes, it is done by hand. 

With Gentoo, we have a file called a ebuild.  That file tells the package manager what packages it depends on.  It also tells where files go during the install.  It also can set USE flags which changes how a program works or what a program supports.  Gentoo is a source based distro so it depends on the admin to set all this up before hand.  There is another set of files that the user can use to tweak these settings globally or even just for one package. 

A distro like Redhat doesn't give that sort of control.  When you install a package in Redhat, the people at Redhat have done most all that for you.  Basically, they enable most everything whether you need it or not, which is why some people use Gentoo.  At any rate.  Redhat is a binary based system.  Basically, it is faster to install but you have less control of options. 

You are right about the kernel.  Most all distros use the same kernel although some patch kernels in certain ways to either enable things, disable things or just add features that the distro needs. 

I don't generally get into the details of other distros.  I been using Gentoo for a long time but have used Mandrake way back.  I have installed Kubuntu and update it but not expert enough to tell you why they set things up the way they do.  I have found that every distro has something weird about it.  It never fails. 

 :)    :)

Offline brittocj

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Re: Difference between major distros and why?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 01:10:54 PM »
 i want to know the technical differences between distros? Red Hat's network configuration files are in different directory than of Ubuntu, what controls this differences?

When booting any distro what are all files required?

After POST boot loader gets control and passes it to the default or selected kernel and loads kernel image and initrd images and then init process starts loading all services, is this the sequence of booting for all distros? After loading all services a login prompt is provided, when log in to the server the associated shell with the account opens and wait for commands.

So There is KERNEL > INIT > SHELL right then basically what is the difference?

Offline dalek

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Re: Difference between major distros and why?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 02:33:36 PM »
If you want technical info, I would try the Redhat website.  You can most likely just search and find the answer but since I have never used Redhat, I have very little info.  I know what little I have read about it but not much else.  They also have a section for how to set up things and how it works.  At least they did the last time I looked.  For Ubuntu distros, I have found their documentation seriously lacking.  As bad as the docs are, the forums are as bad or worse.  I usually ask Kubuntu questions on the Gentoo mailing list where I am a frequent user/helper. 

When booting, it depends on what the system is set up to do.  If it is a headless server, then it boots and starts its services.  If it is a desktop, then it boots and loads the GUI part.  All this depends on what you have told it to do either during the install or when configuring the system.  With Linux, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Each distro varies a little on boot sequence.  Mine for example doesn't require a initrd image tho you can use one or some setups may require it.  Mine goes like this:  BIOS screen, grub menu, loading kernel, starting init and then services.  As far as differences, basically none.  All Linux installs can be set up to do the same thing.  It's all about how it is configured. 

 :) :)