Originally Posted by wolfeking
With all due respect, the manufacturers drivers should be no issue. No different than going to Nvidia or ATI for drivers over the crap that is in the repos (by crap I mean outdated drivers).
Opinion. There is absolutely no reason not to go to the manufacturer for drivers when they are available. Open source or not. The entire drive (at least for me) with linux is that no matter what the problem is there is always no less than 5 ways to go about it.
The point of letting your package manager deal with packages is so that they stay up to date. When you install from source, your package manager does NOT manage them.
There is also no guarantee they will work 100% as needed with all the different distributions out there. I ran into this when I used to do everything from upstream source. Especially when distributions self patch their own packages for specific support that's needed within their own distributions.
There also comes dependencies at which when you install a package from source, you will have to manage yourself as well.
You want up to date video drivers? USE YOUR PACKAGE MANAGER. They ARE there and can be managed so, you aren't forced to use the "out of date" versions.
This is where hybrid systems come into play on Debian based systems and provide a nice advantage of stable / bleeding edge. You can install specific packages from Sid while using Wheezy.
Overall, installing from the package manager is just EASIER, BETTER, FASTER, and GUARANTEED ( so long as you're installing compatible parts ). All of which play a big role for someone like the OP who doesn't have much experience with Linux and the package system, let alone maintaining and dealing with dependencies.
It's just not the recommended
way of doing things unless you absolutely have to. And unless you're modifying build flags to add or remove features, or hacking your own code together, building from source is more work than is needed. By the time you go to the site, download the file, untar, it make it, install it... you could have typed 3 commands and been done and on your way.
Just because there are 100 different ways to do something, doesn't mean they're all better than the other. We have a standard, and that is package management, and we have that for a reason.Edited by Shrak - 7/17/13 at 2:52pm