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Debian is a linux distribution. Linux itself is just a kernel -- the whole operating system and all the software that comes with it is the distribution. Since Linux usually comes with the GNU utilities as an extremely important part of the OS, Linux distrbutions are sometimes referred to as GNU/Linux?. RedHat and SuSe? are some other distributions, but Debian is the best. Here's why:

Debian has a wonderful package management program called dselect, which is a front-end to apt, which is a front-edn to dpkg. apt or dselect, if you want to install a specific package, will automatically log into a central repository, download any additional packages needed for the one you want to install, and automatically install and configure them. Plus, the sheer number of packages available in the main repository dwarfs all other distributions. This is what makes Debian technically the best distribution. You can easily update your system to all the latest packages with a simple shell command. RedHat can do that last bit, but only if you pay to subscribe to the service, and it isn't as robust.

The big advantage of a package management system is easy uninstalls of software.

Debian is dedicated to the principles of free software, and as such is truly free. Debian is a non-profit organization, unlike RedHat.

See http://www.debian.org for more information and to install.

RichardStallman approved :-)


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Last edited December 8, 2004 0:36 (diff)