[conspire] Re: conspire Digest, Vol 16, Issue 18

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Sep 26 12:41:29 PDT 2004

Quoting Ross Bernheim (rossbernheim at speakeasy.net):

> OK, I have no problem with not installing from CD or DVD the
> above listed programs. Acroread I could download from Adobe
> myself, and the same with RealPlayer. I don't need the others
> so far as I know. Howerver, while SuSE is a nice distro, I prefer
> Debian or Debian derived distros for their ease of administration.

I feel pretty much the same, personally -- though SUSE _is_ a really
nice distro with a couple of special advantages:

o  Good, smooth installer
o  Centralised administration using YaST.  (People either love YaST or
   don't like it.  I don't like it much, but recognise that others 

I should stress that the five I mentioned as being ones I thought were
non-redistributable were just the ones I _recognised_ as likely of that 
variety.  (I was wrong about OpenPBS.)  

The point is that I could have missed some.  SUSE Linux AG has always 
tended to just throw together codebases under very diverse licensing
regimes, and just say "Here's a boxed set, some of which is
restrictively licensed, some of which isn't.  You figure it out."

The list is here:

That's at least several hundred distinct packages -- maybe a thousand or
more.  Actually checking everything would be... real work.  Those
five were the ones that stuck out -- but there may be others.

Note:  When you or I say "ease of administration", as above, what we're
really talking about is ease of ongoing maintenance, e.g., the fact that
upgrading Debian boxes incrementally, for indefinite periods into the
future, is pretty much a no-brainer.  You don't have to get and install
new versions; you don't have to run new installers.  You just run a
couple of commands to autoupgrade everything to current release
versions, and it just works.

(I have Adobe Acrobat Reader on a couple of Linux boxen, but find I
never use it:  xpdf is basically as good, when provided with decent
fonts, and is faster.)

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