[ubuntu-uk] IT Idiots cover introducing Linux.

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Tue Feb 6 20:18:47 GMT 2007

On Tue, 2007-02-06 at 17:51 +0000, Robin Menneer wrote:

> This is news indeed.  Having  read  the wranglings  between  the
> protagonists of the various versions of Linux, I had gained the
> impression that software was exclusive to the basis sprecification. 

It's true to say that often a "package" will work on one distribution
and not another, however there are some overlaps. Many .deb packages
will work on many of the debian based distributions with little or no

Indeed the "upstream" source code (which is invariably free) can usually
be compiled manually to run on any distribution at all. For example the
Kernel is a prime example of that. The kernel you use under redhat or
fedora is essentially the same as the kernel compiled under debian or
ubuntu. Ok, each distribution may slighly tweak the vanilla kernel by
adding their own patches or enhancements, but to all intents and
purposes its the same product, just packaged differently.

>  Does it mean that it's all complatible although possibly less
> efficient = slower ?  

Not sure about that. If you took a very low spec machine and ran GNOME
with KDE applications on top you would of course get the memory hit of
having both GNOME and KDE libs in memory at once. How much of a hit I
couldnt say, I am fortunate enough to not be in that situation.

> Presumably the extra libraries load themselves automatically with the
> package being acquirered.  

Yes. I run GNOME here, see what happens when I try to install digikam (a
KDE app):-

alan at wopr:~$ sudo apt-get install digikam
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer
  bochsbios comerr-dev libqt4-qt3support libkrb5-dev libsqlite0-dev
  vgabios libqt4-sql libpq-dev libkadm55
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following extra packages will be installed:
  kdelibs-data kdelibs4c2a libarts1c2a libavahi-qt3-1 libexiv2-0.12
Suggested packages:
  digikam-doc fam
Recommended packages:
  digikamimageplugins kipi-plugins kdeprint konqueror perl-suid
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  digikam kdelibs-data kdelibs4c2a libarts1c2a libavahi-qt3-1
0 upgraded, 7 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
Need to get 23.3MB of archives.
After unpacking 77.5MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? 

Note that digikam requires various extra kde packages "kdelibs-data",
"kdelibs4c2a" and so on. Of course if you did the same - installed
something like gnome-baker on KDE you'd see the same effect in reverse -
it would want the gnome libs.

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