Gentoo or Debian??
Here is the situation... I have two HP workstations that are PA-RISC based. The only os' that can run on them are Gentoo, Debian, and HP-UX. HP-UX is out the window since it is not free.I am wondering out of Debian or Gentoo, which one would be more benifical for me to install? Also I was wondering about a VERY lightweight windowmanager to use since the systems have 96 Mb ram and slow processors. (50 Mhz RISC but runs faster then P233MMX.)
I don't know anything about HP workstations but I know a bit about Gentoo and Debian. This is what I think: Gentoo (after installing) might run faster because it would be compiled specifically for each workstation but the compiling during install and getting new packages through portage will take quite a while. Debian will not be built perfectly for your workstations but getting new programs and updates will be quicker because nothing will have to be compiled as packages are pre-compiled.
In the end, it comes down to whether you want speed but long waits for updates and new packages or if you want a generic build but with shorter wait times for packages and updates.
wait times are no problem. Debian is currently on one of the workstations and I have compiled a few programs onit. I went fairly fast. The workstations are mainly used for and designed for CAD/CAM and software development. Like I said, the processor is only 50 Mhz but runs faster then a P233MMX (Compared myself with old sys before mobo crashed.) So speed is my main issue. Which means it looks like I will be switching to Gentoo.
Debian Woody would probably be more stable than gentoo (don't flame me, I am a gentoo-fan!), since the packages get more testet before beeing let out on APT stable.
Like jaboua said, Debian's packages in the stable APT repository will have been tested thorougly and therefore may work better for what you are doing. So, since wait times are not an issue for you, it comes down to tested stability (Debian Stable) or more bleeding edge software (Gentoo). Then again, you can get testing and unstable versions of Debian as well.
I gues I will continue to try out debian on 1 and try gentoo on the other.
From the sounds of things, I may even tryout gentoo on this system as well. (See signature)