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Apt-get on non-debian distros

6 replies [Last post]
libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04

I've been on this topic before, but this time my aim is much more specific. Long ago I have dreamed of a distro (a "Perfect OS") which would combine the ease of use that Ubuntu is aiming for and the simplicity of the system underneat that Arch and Slackware have.

What I apparently wasn't all too willing to sacrifice there, though, is GUI-ness so to speak. This time I really don't care. As much as my current requirements of a desktop distro are to "just work" I believe that text configuration files which are easy to view and edit can play a role in this. Text configuration is bad only when it's actually made complicated, but in distros like Arch they are quite simple.

However, apt-get just rules. If anything then because of the sheer amount of cases it can deal with and the amount of packages it has available for it. Pacman may be a bit faster and slightly simpler (although I'm not sure how anything can be simpler than apt-get install package or dpkg -i package.deb, especially with a gdebi frontend to the latter), but it doesn't have all the features and doesn't scale that well from what I've heard so even speed is impacted.

But all distros with apt-get as package manager seem to be direct Debian derivates (or Ubuntu derivates which is still Debian). This also means that they inherit all the Debian complexity. Does this complexity have to go with apt-get though??

Can there be a distro which has configuration system as simple as in Slackware or Arch and yet use apt-get to install packages?? Is there any? Can it be flexible and allow easy building and installing of latest and greatest?


free-zombie's picture
Joined: 2006-03-08
When Fedora Core was young,

When Fedora Core was young, apt-get was advertised as a feature of the same, and apparently was quite popular. However, more and more users used yum instead and additional repositories have largely dropped apt suppprt. Anyway, RPM distri can be apt-ed with apt-rpm. ...

Otherwise, APT is built for dpkg packages, and as every distro has some package manager which is usually not dpkg, they'll not work too well with apt.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Yeah, I was thinking

Yeah, I was thinking distros not based on Debian, but using not only apt, but dpkg too (and deb packages of course). Looks like of existing distros PCLinuxOS might be the closest to the debian-like experience without Debian. They use apt-get and synaptic natively on modified RPM packages (as one in #pclinuxos on freenode said "RPM on steroids").

AndrewB's picture
Joined: 2005-12-18
Well what is Debian without

Well what is Debian without dpkg and apt get?
You could install a base system yourself with binutils and a few compilers, install apt and then apt get everything.. would that not still be the same as a debian derivative? Everything has now been installed the same as debian so really it could be said to be the same.

Think about what Debain GNU/Linux really is? It is a GNU/Linux distro core [like all distro's] with a package manager on top.

I think I have confused my point here..

tbuitenh's picture
Joined: 2005-12-21
We shouldn't confuse using

We shouldn't confuse using apt/dpkg with using the debian repositories (source or binary) or repositories based on those.

I think you mean you would like a distribution which uses an ABS-like system for building your own packages, and apt/dpkg for installing binary packages from the repositories of that distro. Furthermore, it should use simple text-based configuration like in arch. In other words, arch with apt instead of pacman, right?

I'm not aware of any distribution like that.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Yes, arch with dpkg/apt,

Yes, arch with dpkg/apt, but it doesn't have to have ABS. Checkinstall can build debs more easily.

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Actually I don't think a

Actually I don't think a distro is just a core with distro on top. I mean, it is a core, but there are variations in the way this core is set up. Distros put things in various places and have various kinds of configuration files, or just pre-build configuration files with different settings and comments.

And I think this also makes a difference.

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