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Re: SimplyMEPIS: The best desktop Linux you haven't tried

Posted by: Zerias on November 22, 2008 12:07 AM
to the person who said I am puzzled as to why some posters here are implying that Ubuntu is not stable.

The fact is, Ubuntu is unstable. However, this is not the same as saying that Ubuntu is crash prone, although it is, or that new releases are put out with large numbers of known bugs and issues, although they are. The usage of stable here is used in the same way that Debian defines it's operating platforms as stable, unstable, and testing. The underlying API and Tool Chain of the Ubuntu distribution changes radically between different releases. As Warren and other Mepis developers found out the hardware after basing Mepis 6.5 on the Dapper Drake Tool Chain. There was no simple way to cross-grade or upgrade to Edgy, Fawn, Gibbon, Heron, or whatever. Ubuntu intentionally breaks the binary compatibility with the Debian base, and the intentional breaks in the Ubuntu tool chain make dist-upgrading or cross-grading unwieldy propositions to the end user.

One of the reasons Mepis moved back to the Debian base is that the Ubuntu Tool Chain and sources just weren't mature, and were rapidly degenerating. There are multiple other sources that comment on the degenerating pattern of Ubuntu releases, such as http://www.dasmirnov.net/blog/2008/04/25/ubuntu-linux-getting-worse : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6087649 : http://www.e-linux.it/news_detail.php?id=6809 : and http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/96509133/m/872004191931

So it's not just a couple of developers working on side projects to Ubuntu that are saying the distro is unstable. There's a range of developers, to community members, to news sites making the same comments.

Note that just because Ubuntu is perfectly stable for you, and what you do, doesn't mean that it's perfectly stable for anybody else. The ReiserFS crowd tried to pull that logic before, and it got shot down so many times by Ingo and Linus it almost became a joke.

This isn't to say that other distributions don't have similar headaches. Right now Mepis is running into similar issues in the upgrades from Mepis 7 to Mepis 8. Yes, the system should work on a pure dist-upgrade... but there are known headaches such as stuttering audio and having to select the kernel manually. Right now, it's likely that the generation leap from Mepis 7 series to Mepis 8 series will likely require a full reinstall, even though the Debian Tool Chain itself has barely changed.

Also, as far as I'm aware, using repositories to upgrade from one version of Fedora to another, or one version of Suse to another... isn't done. So again, it's not like Ubuntu and Mepis are the only ones without a current workable rolling upgrade system.

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