[ic] Interchange & linux distro

Jon Jensen jon at endpoint.com
Tue Nov 13 20:46:44 UTC 2012

On Tue, 13 Nov 2012, Lyn St George wrote:

> A linux distro is a bit like religion - we all have our pet preferences 
> and some distros are flexible and accomodating, while others are rigid 
> and dogmatic. My preference is for a source-based distro, Gentoo in 
> particular, as it's built to work as a coherent whole. While I'm sure 
> binary distros like Redhat start life that way, I'm doubtful that they 
> are still coherent when updated between releases - and my experience is 
> that critical security updates are not sufficiently current to be 
> considered truly secure.

Your statements are not correct about the security of distributions that 
use more current software versions vs. those that use a baseline older 

Both of the two most popular families of Linux server distributions, Red 
Hat (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, etc.) and Debian (and spinoffs like 
Ubuntu) backport security patches to their fixed software versions. For 
those not familiar with that concept, you can read Red Hat's explanation 
of it here:


This gives the best of both worlds as far as a server goes: An ongoing 
stable feature set, no broken configuration or data files when an upgrade 
is incompatible, yet security and bugfixes applied from newer versions of 
the software to the older version.

Yes, people's OS distribution preferences do have a strong arbitrary 
aesthetic and experience component, but there *are* real differences 
around stability, long-term support, upgradability, breadth of packages, 

All are welcome to their preferences, but there are good reasons the two 
families of Debian and Red Hat are far and away the most popular. I find 
that trivial personal preferences influence decisions between and within 
those two families, while important demonstrable advantages are what have 
made those two families together dominant for so long.


Jon Jensen
End Point Corporation

More information about the interchange-users mailing list