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Re: [edlug] Debian and Ubuntu



Am Freitag, 10. Februar 2006 12:59 schrieb Sean Hammond:
> I remember when Ubuntu was first gaining popularity, there was a
> debate about whether Ubuntu was helping or harming Debian, whether it
> was a derivative or a fork. I get the impression that derivatives are
> considered beneficial but forks harmful, but what exactly is the
> difference? I seem to remember there was some issue about Ubuntu not
> contributing packages back to Debian, and Debian's Project Leader or
> someone spoke out against Ubuntu. The debate seems to have disappeared
> now so I wonder if it was resolved. Can anyone fill me in on this
> story or point me to some links?
There are a couple of pages in the Ubuntu wiki that deal with this topic. Go 
to http://wiki.ubuntu.com/ and search for "Debian".

> Also in technical terms. Does Ubuntu literally take a snapshot of
> Debian unstable every 6 months, change it a bit for Ubuntu, and
> release? Does that mean that Debian unstable is just as up-to-date as
> Ubuntu? Are the tools that have been developed specifically for Ubuntu
> now available in Debian unstable?
Short answer: yes, but it's not that simple.
Long answer: For many packages, Ubuntu tracks debian unstable. At a certain 
date before a new release, that tracking gets stopped. This is called 
"Upstream Version Freeze". After that, Ubuntu packages only get updated as an 
exception to that rule.
However, Ubuntu does customise a number of packages, it even maintains certain 
packages completely on its own. The latter don't have to be ubuntu-specific, 
though. 
Usually, unstable Ubuntu is about as up-to-date as Debian. Naturally, this is 
not the case when Ubuntu is in an Upstream Version Freeze. Ubuntu and Debian 
have different approaches to release management. Ubuntu delivers a new 
release every six months, whereas Debian releases When It's Ready(tm).
Regarding specific tools, Ubuntu use their own package building server system 
and have a metatool called Launchpad ( http://launchpad.net/ ) that 
integrates project management, bug tracking, configuration/version control 
and many other things. Other projects are invited to use launchpad, as well. 
However, launchpad is a web application and it is NOT free software, its 
source code is not freely available. This is the main reason Debian will not 
migrate to launchpad in the near future. Ubuntu-specific packages, i.e. 
software that gets delivered directly in the distro, are free software and 
are available to everyone. However, I don't know what these would be and if 
Debian has plans to adopt any of them.

> When you install Ubuntu, you can do a minimal 'server' install, or you
> can do the default install and get a GNOME environment and a set of
> apps. How does a Debian install compare?
Afaik, Debian's standard install roughly compares to a "server" install of 
Ubuntu. However, the debian installer let's you select additional packages 
and so-called "tasks" (=sets of packages). Ubuntu's installer does not do 
that, it offers the "server" and "default" options in the CDs boot menu 
instead.
Take this with a grain of salt, though. It's been years since I actually 
"installed" a Debian system and particularly the new debian-installer might 
have changed things a bit.

Cheers,
Dominik
-- 
Der Mensch lernt, solange er lebt,
und stirbt doch unwissend.
		-- Jugoslawisches Sprichwort

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