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  • On : Feb 28, 2006

The Debian distro is not only free, but boosts flexibility and transparency.

The Debian project doesn?t only produce a free (as in freedom, not only of charge) distribution, but is itself a strong supporter of free software. While many people spend hours discussing the differences between free software and open source software, Debian explicitely explains its position in two documents: The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG), which defines what constitutes free software according to the Debian project; and the Social Contract with the free software community which positions the project itself.

Advantages and disadvantages on the technical level

Debian?s different approach becomes visible not only formally but also in technical details. It ships with a unique and robust package management system, centering around the APT tools and the ?dpkg? utility, that Debian developers and users are especially proud of. It is the best way to install software quickly and easily on your machine?even as a newbie you?ll appreciate and love it. The package management system uses ?dependencies? between packages to ensure correct software installation. Pre-compiled packages are distributed in a specific archive format with ?.deb? file extension. While utilities like ?dpkg? and ?apt-get? are pure command-line tools, Debian also provides a set of package management front-ends to choose from like ?dselect?, ?aptitude? and ?synaptic?. Most tools access software repositories via FTP or HTTP, provided the user wishes so. You type a single command, and Debian will download, install and configure the software for you. You don?t need to worry about where the software resides?as long as the configuration file /etc/apt/sources.list contains the repository?s proper URL. Each repository entry looks like the following line:

deb http://www.debian.org/debian sarge main contrib non-free

Countries like China, Italy and Brazil have been studying the success of the project.

Due to its robust, flexible and highly configurable nature, some governments have chosen Debian upon which to base the development their own Linux distro and the project has been a success

Via FreeSoftwareMagazine

[tags] why, debian, good, linux, distro [/tags]