Tichun
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Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 11:59 am

I'm curious whats the reason behind using Debian and not Fedora for Pi as it makes it harder to e.g. program in web assembly or c++17 and other 'new things'.
I know that up to date neither Fedora nor Debian are suitable for Pi as they are without Foundation's modifications.

mfa298
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 12:24 pm

Tichun wrote:I'm curious whats the reason behind using Debian and not Fedora for Pi
I think the original plan (back in 2011/2012) was to use fedora, however development of the debian based distribution (raspbian) made more progress quickly than the fedora based distribution (pidora). In those days I think the Foundation was doing very little itself in terms of distribution updates.

I did try out pidora in the early days and it really wasn't a fun experience (and in those days I mostly used CentOS/RHEL/Fedora for choice rather than ubuntu/debian).

These days I think there is a reasonable Fedora/ CentOS support as well (At least on the Pi2/Pi3) so that option is now there as well (as well as many other OS options).

plugwash
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 12:31 pm

It basically came down to the people working on a Debian-based system for the Pi doing a better job of delivering something usable than the people working on a Fedora based system for the Pi. I think it porbably helped that Debian had a much longer history of arm support than Fedora did but I don't really know because while I know the history of the Debian side I have no idea what was going on inside the Fedora camp. Once you have a Debian based system that works well and a group of folks (both inside and outside the foundation) who know Debian you are probablly going to stick with it rather than trying to migrate everything to a completely different distro.

Also I'm not convinced that the faster release cycle is a good thing. We already have problems with tutorials going out of date and these would be compounded massively by going to a distro with a faster release schedule.

Yes it is a bit of a pain for those who want the new shiny. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 12:43 pm

Actually the original RPis ran Debian ARMEL ARMv4 soft float because it will run on the ARMv6 architecture.

https://wiki.debian.org/ArmEabiPort

Debian ARMHF Hard Float does not natively support ARMv6.

https://wiki.debian.org/ArmHardFloatPort

Commumity Developers took Debian ARMF and created a respin which supported ARMv6 and the rest is history.

If any other Linux / Unix Distro could of supported ARMHF on ARMv6 then you would 5 years on asked why a differing Distro was recommended.

It is all about Community Support.
Retired disgracefully.....

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solar3000
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 1:14 pm

Actually, you can use many types of operating systems.
Besides the download page in this website, there's other ones.
There's arm versions of many distros anywhere from debian, arch, to slackware, to redhat/fedora. See distrowatch.
Antikythera

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 1:19 pm

Retired disgracefully.....

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 1:26 pm

It is also worth noting that the most recent updates of Raspbian are running a 4.9 kernel. Compare that to the kernels being run on many of the copycat boards. Raspbian (and the Pi generally) are staying much closer to actual Linux releases than the OSes for other boards.

asavah
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 2:14 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:It is also worth noting that the most recent updates of Raspbian are running a 4.9 kernel. Compare that to the kernels being run on many of the copycat boards. Raspbian (and the Pi generally) are staying much closer to actual Linux releases than the OSes for other boards.
Yep, I can second every single word.

I do own a bunch of pi-like smelly boards, and while their hardware is superior (depends on board tho) to pi3, software support usually stays behind by a lot.
Eg I have a board which is very very nice hardware-wise, but their kernel is outdated (3.14) buggy crap...

In terms of skilled engineers supporting the product and community pi's are unbeatable.

Running a 4.9 kernel?
Nah, my pis been running 4.10.x nice and stable, but guess what - on the weekend kernel 4.11 was released and it's already available on https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/tree/rpi-4.11.y with all the pi specific bells and whistles ... I don't know of any other vendor who does that ...

alphanumeric
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 4:29 pm

Ditto to the rapid release cycle potentially being a bad thing. I've run into tutorials that would read, if Wheezy do this, if Jessie do this, if a Pi 3 do this if a Pi 2 do this, etc. And that's the ones that were updated. :?

ghans
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 4:31 pm

I would postulate that because the foundation traditionally releases image files they are not actually bound to Debian release cycles or repository policy at all.

ghans
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CobraX
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 6:01 pm

I'm actually glad they used a Debian based OS. I've used so many linux distributions in the past (Red Hat, SUSE, Mandrake, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware, Ubuntu...) and my favourite one is still Debian. Simply love apt-get.

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CarlRJ
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 9:01 pm

I mostly don't mind the vintage of the software on Raspbian, I mostly just wish, since it has some connection to, and promotes, Python, that it shipped with a version of Python 3 that wasn't 3 years old (that's several decades in Internet Years). Yes, I know I could jump through the hoops to install Python 3.6.1 myself, but then scripts I wrote taking advantage of any new features wouldn't be portable to every other Pi.

I do wish there were some officially supported method of installing newer versions of some key utilities (like... Python3).

Heater
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Re: Why Debian?

Wed May 03, 2017 10:34 pm

Thank God the Raspi settled on Debian.

Debian is quite conservative in it's adoption of new shiny things. With very good reason. They favor stability over shiny. You can be apt-get upgrading for years, even through major version changes, without thing getting hosed all the time.

Debian is the basis of many other distros, like Ubuntu, so it makes sense for Raspi the RAspi to start from that stable base as well.

Yes, it is sometimes annoying that the thing you want is not the latest shiny version. In my case things like node.js and mosquito. Generally though if you are up to following the cutting edge you should also be up to getting such things installed by means other than apt.

Now, I'm curious....what's the fascination with web assembly? Seems like a disaster the web does not need.

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