[CentOS-devel] Why are Spacewalk packages removed from CentOS?

Luc de Louw

luc at delouw.ch
Mon May 17 20:53:35 UTC 2010

Dear all,

After filing a bug (http://bugs.centos.org/view.php?id=4315) Karan made 
me aware of a discussion held in January 2010. There was no conclusion, 
no decision.

The origin was from Miroslav he was requesting to include rhnlib and 
friends as I made is on the bug report, and I totally agree with him.

Let me pick up the pros and cons discussed in January:

Quoting Miroslav @ 

Partialy true.
Recent upstream version will not hit accidentaly rhn.redhat.com
That version included in RHEL will do that by default.
But these change:
is only one which are required to prevent from accidental check of

So my recomendation is: take this patch and apply it on current rhel5
package and include all of them in CentOS.

As I stated, I agree with Miroslav, the only thing we need to care is 
not to bother people with "click-trough-installations" with 
"install-numbers" and stuff (This is in anaconda, right?)

Lets have a look at 

Quoting Marcus:
Spacewalk development is much faster which may lead into missing
features as they are not yet implemented in the version that is meant
to be used with rhn.

 From my point of view this does not matter that much.I was able to 
register a RHEL 5.4 to a spacewalk server (0.8? Dont remember, it was 
just for the sake, not for production). Since spacewalk is the upstream 
of the RHN satellite, Red Hat will be careful to break API compatibility 
between rhn-client and RHN Satellite/Spacewalk. Recently I replaced a 
RHN Sat 5.0 with 5.3. (AFAIR the base of 5.3 was spacewalk 0.5). The 
only thing that changed from the client side was the activation key.

There also have been a change for RHEL5.5 and sat 5.3 (too lazy to 
search for the errata). The yum errata was published weeks before 
RHEL5.5 hits the street.

@Miroslav and the other RHN Sat/Spacewalk developers: Can you promise to 
announce incompatible changes early enough? If yes, CentOS can include 
the stuff immediately.

Quoting Karan @ 

A very large number of pople who use centos, do so with little or no
previous understand of linux or even the basics of systems management -
we need to keep those people in mind as well. The problem that we have
had, in the past, is that installing yum-rhn-plugin brought in loads of
rhn\* packages as well, which in turn would cause traffic to rhn.r.c.
Also, given that rhn itself is a rhel connected service, the view we
took was that there is no need for that functionality in the distro at all.

This is partially true. Another fact about CentOS is IMHO, that a lot of 
people and companies are using CentOS as a testbed for RHEL. I guess 
that even more users of spacewalk are using it a a replacement for a RHN 
sat, since RH does only provide 30 days test licences for RHN sat.

Companies have (more or less) large test-environments with CentOS. For 
those companies it would be a great benefit to have those packages in 
stock CentOS.

Benefits for my self: My daily work is with RHEL and RHN Satellite. In 
meanwhile I have quite a good to excellent knowledge of RHN sat and its 
future (I'm a git reader). This is mainly due to the existence of 
spacewalk. At the moment implementing a complete testbed consisting of 
CentOS AND spacewalk means quite a lot of work, due to to missing 
rhnlibs and friends in CentOS.

Conclusion: With a very small patch as Miroslav suggested to avoid 
bothering rhn.redhat.com we can have a OS with is attracting to more people.

If I can help maintaining the stuff, let me know, I'll do my best....



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