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 Post subject: Debian vs RH
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:04 pm
Posts: 1

good to see BLAG going from strength too strength, respect.

I dont use forums much at all, but having seen BLAG around for years I figured it might be worth a quick post to see if I can be pointed at the right place to find out why RH?

I started on RH 5.2 on a disk I got from ASCII. later I was introduced by an academic developing the GRID to Debian and have never looked back.

I have made bringing security and FS to activists/NGO's my work and activism since then.

I was excited when I first came across one of the first BLAG releases, but dropped it immediately I realised it was RH and could not understand why the non-obvious choice.

As far as i can see the main reason to use RH is for employment or if your admin experience is corporate. However even that is changing, I can get plenty of work as a Debian admin these days. Certainly in the earliest days (before Debian) RH was the best distro, but by the time I bought RH 7.0 I found it to be horribly locked down, divergent from standard, not doing what it said on the tin, ie. the 'Windows' of the Linux world.

I have found that the vast majority of activist admins use Debian, and I find that I have many shared values with Debian users.

However it would be nice to have and use a bespoke 'activist' distro. For instance I sometimes use Dyne for youthwork, and really appreciate that they had bothered putting in Firefox bookmarks to groups like Corporate Watch and it has a proud Rasta FS/anti corporate rant on the splash screen.

Whilst I appreciate divergence is necessary, i was wondering if anyone could point me to the Fine Material where that design decision was made, so that I can understand.

To me it just seemed like a shame, a lost opportunity to get new Linux users off to a good start and introduce activists to Debian. I am sure that this has been well discussed over the years and thus my request for pointers to the relevant documentation/threads.

To be honest I thought that BLAG would not last as long as it has. Hats off! Good job, I can no longer ignore it and will try it soon.

You must have 3 posts before you can post URL's/Links. well I guess I shouldnt have bothered putting in the references then. lame. lame. lame.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:45 am
Posts: 553
Location: Guadeloupe (French W. Indies)
There is one important thing you don't talk about: BLAG is 100% free.
I can answer you because I'm Debian user too. My two computers are dual boot BLAG/Debian. My Debian are100% free too because I compiled kernel linux-libre for them (i386 and amd64).
But since I tried BLAG in September last year and talked with BLAG people, BLAG is my first OS. Because I like it and because of its political engagement.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:07 am
Posts: 699
to provide a free version of popular software?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:39 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Cambridge, UK
I've only been involved with BLAG for a very short time, so I can't comment on the design decision to base it on Red Hat rather than Debian. (And I haven't seen anything about this decision on the various fora, wikis, etc. Maybe the reason is known only to jebba?)

Three fundamental features of BLAG: 1) Free, 2) Fedora, and 3) activist-Friendly. Realistically, none of these are negotiable. I am hugely in favour of all three, which is why I'm devoting my energies to BLAG.

You like 1 and 3, but are questioning 2. Maybe you should find or start a project for an activist spin - or whatever the Debian equivalent is - of gNewSense?

I'd have to say that if you haven't had much to do with Red Hat since Red Hat Linux 7.0, you're probably a little out of date! Since the great split, Fedora has been through 10 releases, with more and more community involvement, and less and less corporate oversight at every turn. Are you sure that Fedora is still "horribly locked down, divergent from standard [what standard?], not doing what it said on the tin"?

If so, please let us know! We will consider any such comments as bug reports against BLAG and endeavour to fix them. And pass fixes upstream, where I am sure they would be welcomed.

By the way, I think it's a little unfair to say that people prefer Red Hat whose "admin experience is corporate". My admin experience has largely been in academia and with Cygnus Solutions - about as uncorporate as I could manage consistent with eating!

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