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Debian vs Linux: What are the differences?


In this article, we will discuss the key differences between Debian and Linux, two popular operating systems in the open-source community.

  1. Filesystem Hierarchy: One of the major differences between Debian and Linux lies in their filesystem hierarchy. Debian follows the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) which defines the directory structure and organization of files on a Unix-like operating system. On the other hand, Linux is just a kernel and does not have a designated filesystem hierarchy. Different Linux distributions may follow their own variations of the hierarchy.

  2. Package Management: Debian and Linux also differ in their package management systems. Debian uses the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) which provides a user-friendly way to install, update, and remove software packages. It includes tools like apt-get, aptitude, and synaptic. Linux, being a kernel, does not have its own package management system. However, many Linux distributions use package managers like yum or dnf (used by CentOS and Fedora) or pacman (used by Arch Linux) to manage software packages.

  3. Release Cycle: Another prominent difference between Debian and Linux is their release cycle. Debian follows a slow and steady release cycle, with major stable releases occurring every two to three years. This ensures a high level of stability and reliability. On the other hand, Linux has a faster release cycle, with kernel updates and new versions being released more frequently. This allows Linux to incorporate new features and improvements at a faster pace.

  4. Community and Support: Debian and Linux differ in terms of community and support. Debian has a large and active community of developers and users who contribute to the development and maintenance of the distribution. It also has an extensive support system, with mailing lists, forums, and documentation available for users to seek help. Linux, being a kernel, also has a large community of developers but the support system varies depending on the specific Linux distribution being used.

  5. Philosophy: Debian and Linux also have different philosophies. Debian is known for its commitment to free and open-source software. It adheres to the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) which define the criteria for what can be included in Debian. Linux, on the other hand, is a kernel that can be used with both free and proprietary software. The Linux philosophy emphasizes choice, flexibility, and modularity, allowing users to customize their system according to their needs.

  6. Derived Distributions: Debian and Linux have also given rise to different derived distributions. Debian is the foundation for many popular Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and elementary OS. These distributions build upon Debian, adding their own features and customizations. Linux, being a kernel, forms the core of various distributions, each with its own set of modifications and additions to create a unique operating system.

In Summary, Debian and Linux differ in terms of filesystem hierarchy, package management, release cycle, community and support, philosophy, and the derived distributions they have given rise to.

Decisions about Debian and Linux
Jennifer Briston

Netdata introduces Linux eBPF (Extended Berkeley Packet Filter) monitoring. With this enabled, monitor real-time metrics of Linux kernel functions and actions from the very same monitoring and troubleshooting dashboard used for watching entire systems, or even entire infrastructures.

This collector uses eBPF to monitor system calls inside your operating system’s kernel. For now, the main goal of this plugin is to monitor IO and process management on the host where it is running.

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Justin Dorfman
Open Source Program Manager at Reblaze · | 1 upvote · 83.1K views

If you have a file (demo.txt) that has 3 columns:

Column-1    Column-2    Column-3
Row-1a      Row-2a      Row-3a         
Row-1b      Row-2b      Row-3b
Row-1c      Row-2c      Row-3c
Row-1d      Row-2d      Row-3d
Row-1e      Row-2e      Row-3e

and you want to only view the first column of the file in your CLI, run the following:

awk {'print $1'} demo.txt


If you want to print the second column of demo.txt, just replace $1 with $2

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Pros of Debian
Pros of Linux
  • 54
    Massively supported
  • 50
  • 21
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
    It is free
  • 8
    Turnkey linux use it
  • 6
    Works on all architectures
  • 17
    Open Source
  • 11
  • 8
  • 5

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Cons of Debian
Cons of Linux
  • 10
    Old versions of software
  • 2
    Can be difficult to set up on vanilla Debian
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is Debian?

    Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.

    What is Linux?

    A clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance.

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    What companies use Debian?
    What companies use Linux?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Debian or Linux.
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    What tools integrate with Linux?

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    Blog Posts

    Dec 8 2020 at 5:50PM


    May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

    Rancher Labs

    KubernetesAmazon EC2Grafana+12
    What are some alternatives to Debian and Linux?
    Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.
    Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that provides users with access to the latest free and open source software, in a stable, secure and easy to manage form. Fedora is the largest of many free software creations of the Fedora Project. Because of its predominance, the word "Fedora" is often used interchangeably to mean both the Fedora Project and the Fedora operating system.
    The CentOS Project is a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. For users, we offer a consistent manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, we offer a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code.
    Linux Mint
    The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.
    Arch Linux
    A lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple.
    See all alternatives