[conspire] What's wrong with MEPIS

David Fox dfox94085 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 26 18:28:03 PST 2008

On 2/26/08, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> I believe that Bruce has lately been a fan of MEPIS v. 7.0, an
> installable, KDE-oriented live CD, maintained solely by Warren Woodford

I was a fan of it as well, for a bit in 2005 I believe. It was quite a
decent live CD for its day, and
was a good replacement for the distro I was running up until then (for
several years), Mandrake, which no longer could do what I wanted it

But I (after some months) basically turned it in to a Debian (at that
time, it was more or less a mixture of then-testing and then-unstable,
with a few extra packages thrown in) through a series of upgrades. But
that left me still running a mixed system, which from a Debian
perspective, is really not a good thing to do. So I opted to go with
straight testing (this was testing before Etch went stable) and just
rode that branch, which I still do.

> Here's (anonymous) poster #102 on a recent Distrowatch Weekly
> (http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20080218&mode=62):
> It's just speculation on my part, but from what I have seen recently,
> I'd say Warren is going to give up on Mepis. It might live on if
> someone else picks it up, but given the fact that he has been the

Who knows, but it's quite possible that Warren will be around for a
while - but even if he
is, running a distro that's basically one guy's idea of which packages
should be culled from testing and which from unstable, and how often
to release is going to be problematic. But it's not without precedent.
Along with the two other distros mentioned, I believe PC Linux OS
(also a very popular distro) is mainly maintained by someone called
"TexStar" who, back when I ran Mandrake, and kept up with that
distro's various releases (mostly following Cooker, analogous to Sid),
his rpms were considered by many people to be worth using.

> 2. It's a bad sign when a small distro makes bad choices of what larger
> work to base itself on. During the pre-7.0 beta cycle, Woodford
> suddenly stopped repackaging Ubuntu binaries[1] in favour of a bizarre mix
> of Debian-stable and Ubuntu-release code built from source packages used

True enough, but when I upgraded Bruce's box on a prior CABAL meet, I
noticed that most everything that was being updated was from the
current "testing" repository of Debian, with some from Unstable (Open
Office seems to be one of those). And that seems to indicate that
Warren is going back to the old model of Mepis, which based packages
from Debian testing/unstable rather than Ubuntu - which is a minor
point, and perhaps a moot one, since Ubuntu packages are culled from

> to update a core codebase of Debian-stable packages, plus cherry-picked
> There are small distros that get all of these issues right: Sidux is a
> prime example. There are also distros that consistently get them wrong:
> MEPIS is their standard-bearer.

True enough. One of the reasons that I prefer to stick with Debian is
that there are a lot of developers, one has a choice of three package
sources to choose from (stable, testing, and unstable) and there is an
infrastructure that has been well-thought out and that makes sense,
one that many other distros don't seem to have.

I have sometimes wondered why there are so many different
distributions to choose from. But it seems that eventually, just like
in nature (natural selection) that the innovations that are in some
will filter out, and the ones that aren't up to snuff will not
reproduce (literally, that is) :).

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