> I haven't worked that much using yum, but I have failed to find the concept of recommended in yum. Does it exist?
> zypper has recommended and apt even has recommended and suggested.
I think rpm5.org's RPM has Recommends/Suggests (which OpenSUSE uses), but Red Hat's RPM (4.x) does not. I don't know the status of it.
> zypper has the concept of vendor change, in yum I have at least never hit it.
"Vendor change"? Which repo provides which package or vendor in .desktop files?
> dpkg distinguishes configuration of the package. In the first installation this is probably similar to rpm %post%. But with dpkg you have to chance to reconfigure later, to my understanding with rpm you don't have that.
What do you mean by "reconfigure"? Reset to RPM-shipped defaults? The UIs that appear when installing server packages on Debian? IME, in RPM-land, other than defaults, it's usually up to $EDITOR.
> Debian supports multi-arch now. Does anything like this exist in rpm?
Fedora does biarch, but I'd fully support Debian-style multi-arch coming to Fedora. It's a much cleaner setup overall.
> Debian seems to have more additional tools than the others. apt-file, debfoster, and debtree come to my mind, I've used all of them occasionally (I'll be glad to hear what are the equivalent tools on the other side of the fence)
There is rpmdevtools which contains things like rpmdev-extract, rpmdev-diff, etc. As for the apt-* commands, I always forget which is used where. Most of those have analogues as subcommands of yum or flags to "rpm -q" (`rpm -qf /path/to/file` gives package(s) which installs the path).
> On the other side the automatic mirror selection in yum and believe also in zypper is superior what I'm used to in Ubuntu. There I end up manually editing the apt source list each time my country mirror suffers from some hickup.
Broken mirrors (404, hash mismatches, etc.) are handled gracefully by yum, but getting yum to stop using a slow mirror isn't the easiest. Ctrl-C is supposed to make yum stop its current download and restart it (preferably with a different mirror), but sometimes it gets all the way through and yum quits instead. Unfortunately, Ctrl-C to cancel things doesn't always work either (this is one of my gripes with Python in general).