[LON-CAPA-admin] Fedora v. Enterprise Linux
kovac at gwu.edu
Thu Jul 14 17:14:36 EDT 2005
The good news about future Suse packages/installers got me
thinking. As dangerous as that is, I'd also like to make a possibly
inflamatory suggestion: I think LON-CAPA needs to replace Fedora with an
Enterprise Linux distribution as its development base.
I don't want to start a "my distro is better than yours" flamewar.
I do, however, think that for L-C to grow and become more marketable,
L-C *needs* an "Enterprise" base. Consider the following points:
- Fedora has a 6-month release cycle
- L-C has required new versions of the base O/S for Fedora upgrades
at least 3 times since the Fedora project start, including for v.2
- Fedora is a non enterprise-supported, community O/S with no real
- Some versions of Fedora have also been plagued by release bugs.
The kind of people that make large-scale IT decisions don't like to
see that kind of thing. From previous discussions with developers,
providing generic packages for L-C is a fairly difficult and
time-consuming task given the current setup (filesystem structure,
etc). For a stop-gap, I think producing a RHEL-equivalent
package/installer would be a very good step.
RHEL-equivalent O/S's descend from the same source as Fedora,
hopefully making the transition easier. More importantly, RHEL has a
seven-year life cycle, significant market penetration, a good
reputation, and the possibility of purchased, enterprise-grade support.
RHEL has also become a de facto compatability standard.
Those features, of course, cost money. However, RedHat makes SRPM's
(*) freely available out of the kindness of their heart (oh, and the
GPL). This means that there are several excellent free and reliable
projects based on RHEL that would provide a nice base for small users
without the expensive, customized support options. Centos [
http://www.centos.org/ ] (popular community project, base of such things
as the ROCKS cluster distribution - http://rocksclusters.org/ ) and
Scientific Linux [ http://scientificlinux.org ] (produced by Fermilab
and CERN) are both excellent options. Having a RHEL-equivalent
installation package will make L-C much more palatable to MIS types and
people managing large groups of machines.
Just my $.02. And yes, if the summer continues to be slow and
people agree with me, I'm willing to work on the transition. ;-)
"Wait! I'm getting one of those things. You know, a headache with pictures." --Fry
e: kovac at gwu.edu
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Physics Department, GWU
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