RPM vs. Debian. Which is easier, more stable?


There seems to be two most popular Linux bases, 1. RPM and 2. Debian. What is the difference between these two? Is Debian more stable and easier to use because it has many more distros based upon, or is RPM more stable and easier to use because two largest Linux companies like SUSE and Red Hat are based on RPM? Also which of these two bases have more softwares? Please inform.:slight_smile:

Apples and chickens.

RPM is a package format. Debian is a distribution.

You probably meant to say RPM vs DEB, which is a package format.

But then DEB is also used by Ubuntu and various other Debian derivatives.

So in the final analysis it all comes down to which distro suits you best. And that has nothing to do with the package format, which users don’t even notice.

Both rpm and deb files are just wrappers around archive formats. It is entirely possible to build .deb files for Opensuse, or .rpm files for Debian. The only important information is the quality and availability of packages for a particular OS. The availability of various tools gives either format similar abilities.

geee… people is waay too confused… stability of a distribution has absolutely nothing to do with the package format.

Just to clarify, .deb is effectively a “proprietary” format for Debian distributions. It’s value relies on the Debian package naming conventions for dependency resolution. It’s fantastic if you’re using a Debian-derived distro, but pretty useless otherwise.

.rpm is distro-agnostic. It doesn’t rely on package naming conventions for dependency resolution, it’s file based. You can theoretically package a KDE app for Fedora or openSUSE, despite the fact that one uses kde4xxx and the other uses kdexxx4 as nomenclature for their packages. The libraries just need to be where they’re expected. (Of course, theory doesn’t always meet reality… :wink: )

But that’s essentially why rpm was chosen as the LSB standard package format. It’s distro-agnostic.

People still like to hold on to the old “RPM dependency hell” argument, even though that hasn’t been an issue in the many years since rpm-based distros started using package managers. The stability issue is less to do with the format, and more to do with the packaging. You can break a Debian system using Ubuntu .deb packages just as easily as you can break a Fedora system using .rpm packages for openSUSE, because they make assumptions on the installed libraries. LSB was supposed to be a baseline for people to target when creating and packaging applications, but it’s a struggle and we’re still stuck with distro-specific packages in many cases.

The one advantage to .deb based systems is that the package manager (APT) generally does work faster, since .rpm by nature requires far more meta-data to parse through. Even this margin is narrowing, openSUSE has made some wicked strides with the latest version of zypper.

This is my long-winded way of saying I agree with your point, that package formats should not be a consideration in any way as to the stability of a system. But yet the argument will live on… :wink:

Just my 2c…


One of the biggest strides has been LZMA compression used in openSUSE 11.0’s RPM format.

Been a fan of LZMA for a long time


Rpm’s? Deb’s?

Who needs 'em? Just download the source and compile them yourself like a real man. LOL

Seriously, they’re just different ways to package the same thing.

Both rpm and deb perform similar functions. Rpm has better documentation than deb. Both are equally stable, so no difference there. Which is easier? Depends on what you’re used to. Deb is apparently easier to make packages, but harder to maintain.

The problem is that users know neither rpm or deb. In this day and age, it’s all done by either distribution package managers, or third party package managers. To me, this makes no sense. Having a package manager (yum, apt/synaptic, smart, zypper, etc.) to handle the package manager (rpm or deb).

What’s funny is that this is the First link in google and no one ever really answered the question.

So, I’m trying to choose which has the Highest security rating and security packages available to add to it, as well as long term security that is community supported and can prevent anyone’s attempt to change it for their devious purpose, including the government.

It is irrelevant that it may be difficult but easy security would be preferred. It is irrelevant if the prerequisite libraries aren’t installed as they can be obtained with little difficulty. Even the desktop environment is irrelevant as it will almost never be accessed. I will learn and accomplish whatever is necessary to achieve the highest security rating.

I’m now choosing between:

or any of the Debian distros.

It is also irrelevant how old this thread is.

Thank you for any advice, links, info or etc. that you can provide.

There is no answer. They’ve both proven to work. And ‘easy’ is a matter of personal taste.

As I said above, there is little difference between the two. It’s more of philosophies. deb is more of a compressed archive. rpm is not. Both offer security, and it’s usually gpg and md5. Again, rpm and deb are the package managers, but these package managers use software like apt, synaptic, yum, zypper, smart, and so on. It comes down to which one you prefer.

On 2013-12-19 14:16, 80063r wrote:
> What’s funny is that this is the First link in google and no one ever
> really answered the question.
> So, I’m trying to choose which has the Highest security rating and
> security packages available to add to it,

That depends on who creates them, not on the archive format.

Your question is thus absurd. :slight_smile:

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 12.3 x86_64 “Dartmouth” at Telcontar)

In my years I often said apt and .deb was better, I come from a debian/ubuntu background so I am biased.
But I have seen most .rpm based distros step up to the plate, especially openSUSE now it has zypper.
I still prefer apt, but zypper isnt that far behind.
As for the gui front ends though eh I say synaptic is still my favorite, sorry YaST fans

Well, at least you make clear that it’s a matter of personal preference. Which is undebatable. I’ve seen too many pseudo-reli-fanatic discussions on matters like this (rpm vs. deb, KDE vs GNOME), where almost everyone lost sight on this fact.

Well my bias comes from my history with linux starting my first year of using it full time in 2005, before then I duel booted but thats because nothing clicked.
But then I discovered Mepis linux and it was all uphill from there, and Mepis being deiban based I grew a loyalty to its package format and command back/frontends.
Even when I first tried Ubuntu I had to grow to like it, luckily Ubuntu 6.06 was actually a very good release for it.
I just never really got on with openSUSE till recently, only 12.2 started to really get me to like it.
Before then it was a mishmash.
But hey thats the linux world in general, YMMV is a nice motto.