I’ve got quite a few comments on my post on Debian, which is always nice. But I now feel the need to more or less defend myself. To set some things straight first off, I was using Debian etch x86_64. I did a clean install using as many “default” options as possible. Which is the same route I took with openSUSE and Wolvix as well. So that, along with the reminder my hardware never changed, I made several subjective observations.
The observation that got me the most flack, as one would expect, was that I found Debian bloated and slow. In the end I did not attempt to speed Debian back up. Can Debian be fast? I’m sure with enough tweaking any distribution can be fast. But out of the box Debian doesn’t feel fast to me. Again a subjective claim on my part. Like or not I don’t like Debian. I’m sure the install can be tweaked and the system post-install can be tweaked. Well thats great but that wasn’t what I was looking for.
Finally, my thoughts as to why all of this is. Well, again subjectively speaking here, I believe it a lot of comes down to compile options. Its not secret that distributions that are, within the Linux community, considered “slow” (i.e. Ubuntu) have their packages compiled with as many flags as possible. In the Gentoo community we’ve renamed them USE flags but its the same concept. Other binary distributions that are generally considered “fast” (i.e. Arch, Slackware) tend to take a “Gentoo approach” to compilation choosing to leave out a lot flags that their developers consider unneeded. And if these flags are needed by the end user it is generally left up to the end user to recompile them on their own. Thus you end up with tools like the ABS (Arch Build System). This combined with a “necessity only” attitude toward packages included by “default” your left with a clean, healthy, and generally quick system. Can I prove any of that objectively? No. And I’m not going to try. Its just something I’ve observed during my short stay here within the Linux community and I know a lot of people who would disagree with me.
Either way I really don’t care to be honest. The buck stops here as far as I’m concerned. I’ve said my piece and thats all there really is to it.
Enjoy the Penguins!