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#1 2019-12-06 12:15:20

chrisdb
Member
Registered: 2019-09-12
Posts: 50

[SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

hello,

I would like to ask you guys some advice.
I'm a fan of both distros, but I can't seem to decide which one to use for development.

My requirements:
- stable base that does not require frequent system updates
- a way of installing specific versions of packages, preferably through the distro's package manager

To elaborate on my first point, I would like to do my development work without having to deal with system updates
every week or two weeks which could possible bring my system down and would take my attention away from my dev work.

This statement would let you think I can ignore Arch, but I do like the way Arch works (KISS principle).

Why I would consider Arch:
Pacman is a really fast and is a powerfull package manager and the PKGBUILD scripts are straightforward to use. Besides
that, you can find nearly everything in the WIKI.

Why I would consider Debian:
Stable base, the only updates you'll have to install are mostly security related. All base packages are thoroughly tested.
I also like the apt-get command because of its simplicity and power. There is support for different architectures.

Maybe you guys can give me some hints/suggestions on which one to choose for my requirements...

Thank you

Last edited by chrisdb (2019-12-08 11:34:57)

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#2 2019-12-06 12:32:01

manyroads
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From: around here, somewhere
Registered: 2019-04-16
Posts: 56
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Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

I think you may have placed yourself on the horns of a dilemma.

I agree with the basics of the choice dilemma you expressed.  I personally use an arch based distro  (manjaro) where I need current software (like my bspwm desktop on a core-i5 Gen 10 chip); and, I use Debian where I use a more stable environment... like xfce, openbox (for my wife, dad, sister).  If you need to use Debian with current apps (I think MX is best.)  If you need to arch with a more stable set of apps, I personally prefer manjaro.

And there you have it.... I was no help at all.  Sorry.


Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau (manyroads)
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."    ---H. L. Mencken
Reg. Linux User #449130

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#3 2019-12-06 12:34:50

clusterF
Member
Registered: 2019-05-07
Posts: 539

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

What specific versions of packages would you want installed on a stable base?

Arch is ok and is surprisingly stable for a bleeding edge distro, my advice is to create a solid backup plan if using arch. Backup before any sort of update perhaps. Goes without saying you should have a solid backup plan whether you are using stable or bleeding edge though.

Last edited by clusterF (2019-12-06 12:39:48)

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#4 2019-12-06 12:43:47

chrisdb
Member
Registered: 2019-09-12
Posts: 50

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

manyroads wrote:

If you need to use Debian with current apps (I think MX is best.)

Why would you prefer MX? Isn't MX also based on Debian stable? What would be the difference exactly?

clusterF wrote:

What specific versions of packages would you want installed on a stable base?

These would only be packages for development, like f.e. nodejs latest LTS version, php 7.4, Java 11, ...

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#5 2019-12-06 12:53:57

clusterF
Member
Registered: 2019-05-07
Posts: 539

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

chrisdb wrote:
manyroads wrote:

If you need to use Debian with current apps (I think MX is best.)

Why would you prefer MX? Isn't MX also based on Debian stable? What would be the difference exactly?

clusterF wrote:

What specific versions of packages would you want installed on a stable base?

These would only be packages for development, like f.e. nodejs latest LTS version, php 7.4, Java 11, ...

nodejs = http://npm.github.io/installation-setup … nager.html


php = https://linuxize.com/post/how-to-instal … debian-10/


java = https://www.digitalocean.com/community/ … -debian-10

Last edited by clusterF (2019-12-06 12:54:15)

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#6 2019-12-06 13:28:31

chrisdb
Member
Registered: 2019-09-12
Posts: 50

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

clusterF wrote:
chrisdb wrote:
manyroads wrote:

If you need to use Debian with current apps (I think MX is best.)

Why would you prefer MX? Isn't MX also based on Debian stable? What would be the difference exactly?

clusterF wrote:

What specific versions of packages would you want installed on a stable base?

These would only be packages for development, like f.e. nodejs latest LTS version, php 7.4, Java 11, ...

nodejs = http://npm.github.io/installation-setup … nager.html


php = https://linuxize.com/post/how-to-instal … debian-10/


java = https://www.digitalocean.com/community/ … -debian-10

Thanks for the links, but I'm well aware of the possibilities. The question is, what is the recommended way of installing packages not provided by Debian or Debian backports.

Some options I've found:
- create .deb package from source and install it the regular way
- install from source to /usr/local
- install to '/opt/package_name'
- use some sort of virtualization

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#7 2019-12-06 13:49:04

clusterF
Member
Registered: 2019-05-07
Posts: 539

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

^ you would have to meet the dependency of the system - i.e., debian stable.

Last edited by clusterF (2019-12-06 14:00:30)

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#8 2019-12-06 14:21:52

earlybird
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Registered: 2015-12-16
Posts: 738
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Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

If you're a developer I'd use Arch. Less complicated to get new things running. Latest Fedora tends to be another good choice with major upgrades every 6 months or so.

I've been using Arch since 2014. Way more stable than Debian Unstable, if I may say so!

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#9 2019-12-06 14:37:29

chrisdb
Member
Registered: 2019-09-12
Posts: 50

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

clusterF wrote:

^ you would have to meet the dependency of the system - i.e., debian stable.

What do you mean exactly?

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#10 2019-12-06 14:51:39

clusterF
Member
Registered: 2019-05-07
Posts: 539

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

chrisdb wrote:
clusterF wrote:

^ you would have to meet the dependency of the system - i.e., debian stable.

What do you mean exactly?

My post is self explanatory, if you want to use apt as package manager on a stable base you need to satisfy the dependencies for out of tree installations such as versions of nodejs, php, java. Try debian stables packages for such first and see how far you can go with your development.

Last edited by clusterF (2019-12-06 15:03:55)

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#11 2019-12-06 18:38:21

brontosaurusrex
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Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,022
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Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

I tryed with php 7.4 using this
https://computingforgeeks.com/how-to-in … on-debian/

and got

php --version
PHP 7.4.0 (cli) (built: Nov 28 2019 07:26:14) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.4.0, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

But  that still doesn't answer the original question.

Do you have to install nodejs? Unpacked LTS seems talkable

~/tmp/node-v12.13.1-linux-x64/bin$ ./node --version
v12.13.1

Just experimenting, seems easy even for a not-so-much-a-developer.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2019-12-06 18:45:17)

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#12 2019-12-06 19:44:42

manyroads
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From: around here, somewhere
Registered: 2019-04-16
Posts: 56
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

Here are some of the items in MXrepos that vary from those in the standard Debian repos...
http://mxrepo.com/mx/testrepo/pool/test/

Last edited by manyroads (2019-12-06 21:51:38)


Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau (manyroads)
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."    ---H. L. Mencken
Reg. Linux User #449130

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#13 2019-12-06 19:51:38

chrisdb
Member
Registered: 2019-09-12
Posts: 50

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

brontosaurusrex wrote:

I tryed with php 7.4 using this
https://computingforgeeks.com/how-to-in … on-debian/

and got

php --version
PHP 7.4.0 (cli) (built: Nov 28 2019 07:26:14) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.4.0, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

But  that still doesn't answer the original question.

Do you have to install nodejs? Unpacked LTS seems talkable

~/tmp/node-v12.13.1-linux-x64/bin$ ./node --version
v12.13.1

Just experimenting, seems easy even for a not-so-much-a-developer.

I know, indeed the binary also works standalone. I was just giving some examples smile

Just not sure  how/where  I would install it...
LXC seems a solution, but I do not  have  any experience with  it.

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#14 2019-12-07 01:46:50

cog
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From: New Mexico, USA
Registered: 2015-10-27
Posts: 451
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

I have no experience at all with it but you might wanna try a stable distro with the nix package manager bolted on for various versions of stuff.  They "say" nix does that sort of thing.

https://nixos.org/nix/

Fedora has been working on this kind of setup too with what they call "Modularity".

Like you mentioned about LXC, I'd probably just go with containers these days.  Systemd-nspawn is also really good.  Of course docker is "hip", I've never used it much.

Just to get the latest and greatest Arch is a dead simple tool, if you don't mind updating frequently.

Gentoo/Funtoo do multiple versions of stuff, if you have nothing but time to maintain them.  I think Funtoo now does some stuff to make getting going waaaay faster than Gentoo, like using the debian kernel, and binaries for desktop stuff.  That was just from reading their blog a while back.

Last edited by cog (2019-12-07 02:11:44)


Morning, Bunny.  Well, I can see you're in good health.  -George Washington McLintock! (John Wayne, AKA the Duke)

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#15 2019-12-07 07:51:40

glittersloth
...straight talkin'
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 1,053

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

I've been using Fedora (initially 30, now updated to 31) as my main Linux OS for the past couple of months, and while I'm no developer, it does seem to be one of the more dev-centric distros out there. Aside from Modularity which @cog mentioned above, tools like Fedora Toolbox (and by extension podman and buildah) and Cockpit seem like a good fit for someone who needs to manage multiple versions of software and services with containers or virtualization. You won't get as much hand-holding with regards to online resources like you do with Ubuntu, Debian or Arch's wiki, but their own documentation looks reasonably sound and the Fedora Project youtube channel also has some good introductions to these tools. Whether it'll suit your workflow would depend on you, obviously.

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#16 2019-12-07 16:20:19

clusterF
Member
Registered: 2019-05-07
Posts: 539

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

^ i remember using spherical cow (fedora 18) way back when for awhile. Very buggy back then but it worked. I might have to revisit fedora after your glowing review.

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#17 2019-12-07 16:37:12

glittersloth
...straight talkin'
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 1,053

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

^ wouldn't call it glowing. Fedora 30 was my first re-visit in almost a decade. Like I said, I'm no developer. It just feels like, from what little I've tried, many of the tools I mentioned above are treated like first-class citizens on Fedora (not surprising since most of the devs that work on said tools are on RedHat's payroll). Pretty sure OP could get podman working fine on Debian or Arch as well. As for my non-dev/noob/pleb review as a regular desktop; I'd go so far as saying that if you're not interested in Gnome Shell on Wayland, don't even bother with Fedora. Heck, even on the dev side, I'd say there are better choices for certain workflows (eg: Docker) out there.

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#18 2019-12-08 11:34:37

chrisdb
Member
Registered: 2019-09-12
Posts: 50

Re: [SOLVED] Debian or Arch Linux

Thx for all the answers guys!!

For the moment I'm trying a setup with lxc, but I'll have a look at Fedora too smile

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