Why I have to figure out this whole .deb thingy

In the beginning, there was Slackware. And lo, was it good. The kernels did compile, and there were software packages aplenty. For the rest, there was 'make'.

And then there came RedHat with support contract in hand, promising both stability and accountability. Business distrust of 'free' was assuaged by accountability, and the quiet uptake began. To better manage their profit-generating systems, RedHat begat RPM.

And so did professional geekdom learn to use RPM, for with it came pay-checks. And with the engines of commerce running RedHat, the major software vendors did release their software packaged with RPM. RPM being a robust solution, other Linux projects did adopt RPM as their own package manager.

But quiet as a mouse Canonical did release a distribution that users found easy and simple. It just worked, they cried. Their DEB package manager did match RPM in both flexibility and scalability. Professional geekdom did install it at home, or ignored it to their peril.

Time passed, and more private users were using Ubuntu than any other distribution. Professional geekdom did stop paying RedHat support contracts for large installs, preferring instead to use the free CentOS. 'Patches-only!' being all that professional geekdom deemed needed for most scalable web infrastructures.

Quietly beneath senior professional geekdom a whole generation of new geeks had come of age under Ubuntu and DEB and not Fedora and RPM. Canonical did release a Long Term Support version of their distribution, designed specifically to provide code stability for several years and did also provide the option of a support contract which did supply accountability.

The frothy churn of startups saw Ubuntu, not CentOS in use far more often than even some years before. So much so, that professional geekdom, in their inter-career travels, ran into it more and more. What worked for RPM did not work for DEB, though they did solve the same problem. As with all startup churn, some few did make it big with their Ubuntu infrastructure supporting them.

And so did DEB come of age in the ranks of professional geekdom.


Actually, Ubuntu is based on Debian, which has been around for decades. It's where the name .deb comes from

Please learn your history before giving history lessons.

Man, the internet has become a shit hole.

The author likely knows that Debian gave birth to .deb but when read without being a pedant, it looks as though he's saying that .deb packages became popular because Ubuntu used it and became really popular. I do not see a statement that claims Ubuntu is the first distro to use this type of packaging system.

I do see Ubuntu in production a lot more these days. I don't know it as well as I do RedHat/CentOS so I can understand the desire to start learning how .debs are put together and such.

Ubuntu doesn't look like a fad at this point.

Interestingly RPM and DEB seem to be of roughly the same age. Both package managers (rpm and dpkg) had their first "official" release (ignoring some prototypes and predecessors) in 1995 with Redhat Linux 2.0 and Debian GNU/Linux 0.93 respectively.