[CentOS-devel] Re: [Centos] Issues/thoughts re CentOS-4 (fwd)

Tue Dec 14 18:31:06 UTC 2004
Lance Davis <lance at uklinux.net>

I had sent my reply to centos-devel, but as there is discussion here - 
here it is ...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:47:18 +0000 (GMT)
From: Lance Davis <lance at uklinux.net>
Reply-To: centos-devel at caosity.org
To: John Newbigin <jn at it.swin.edu.au>
Cc: centos-devel at caosity.org
Subject: [CentOS-devel] Re: [Centos] Issues/thoughts re CentOS-4

(The beta isnt public yet - so I have moved this thread to centos-devel - 
where it should probably be anyway ... )

On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, John Newbigin wrote:

> This is a list of issues for discussion for CentOS-4.  Most of it is 
> based on my experience from building/maintaining CentOS-2 and observing 
> CentOS-3.  I have not seen the CentOS-4 beta yet so I don't know if any 
> of this is already done.  If these have been discussed on IRC then 
> perhaps someone could produce a shot summary of the outcomes....?
> * Just call it CentOS-4 not 4.1 etc.  Too confusing and serves no real 
> purpose

It will be called CentOS-4 but will have 4.0,4.1,4.2 as iso releases. 

It means that the version of centos-release rpm will always be 4 , but the 
contents will probably say 4 (4.0) or somesuch.

This is necessary to know what version people have installed (or at least 
what version they have (attempted to) upgraded to.

> * All modified rpm should use mezzanine or equiv.  This makes it easier 
> to track changes, build updates and generate a report on what has changed.

That needs someone to sort it out ... and all developers to be up to speed 
with the packages ...

> * Modified rpm should have .c4.n added to the release
> - c4 = centos 4.  (works well once the 4.1 is dropped)
> - .n = a number starting at 1.  The spec only 0 does not scale if you 
> need to make another spec only change.  The changelog will tell you what 
> has changed.

yes it does scale - you make it c0.1 ( or c4.0.1 )

I think it is useful to indicate a spec only change, but am happy to go 
with .c4.0 for this purpose if you wish, I still prefer .c0 

Also there is no problem having .c0 rpms in different centos versions 
because they are only non changed redhat rpms with trademark edits in the 
specfile. If the specfile was edited so as to produce different output 
then that would have to be a .1
> * Mission: To stay as close to RedHat as possible
> Issues: some things need to be modified to support this.  For example 
> the cpu/memory restrictions will be removed(like in CentOS-3).  Given 
> that we are doing this, should we also lift other artificial constraints 
> like installing on i386?

The restraint for i586 will be removed, as I am working on doing for U4 , 
however I'm not sure i386 is a good idea ...  It is easy enough - just 
build the kernel and have it in the install tree.

> If we start making changes, where do we draw the line?  In CentOS-2 I 
> have fixed some small 1 line bugs (mostly packaging issues) but this 
> might be a contentious issue.  What about a CentOS+ repo. for enhanced 
> versions?

Bug fixes are not contentious IMHO, but they should be pushed upstream.

a CentOS+ repo sounds like a good idea if someone is prepared to do the 
work. I think it would have to work along the contrib lines and be 
experimental / not supported
> * Issue: should the distro be self hosting?  I think as long as the 
> requirements are available from the addon/extras repos. then I don't 
> think this is needed out of the box.  Obviously the build environment 
> needs to be well documented and reproducible.

indeed - as long as the components to make it self hosting are there then 
they do not need to be installed/installable from anaconda.

> * Mission: Remove RedHat trademarks.
> Issues: should we replace all rh logos/icons or just the ones required 
> by RedHat?  I think if the file/words can be replaced then yes, but 
> package names etc. should be left alone.

all of the rh/logos and icons are removed - to give a 'better user 
experience'. There is no need to change the package names that redhat have 
chosen to give to the linux community. (In rhel4 redhat-config -> 
system-config - and also a lot of work has been done by Fedora removing 
the word redhat where it is uneccesary - this has flowed through into 
Rhel4 - indeed even in U4 for 3.3 there are occasions where I have had to 
remove patches because they had been modified upstream by Fedora project 
and incorporated by Redhat) .

> * Issue: yum > Don't ever auto-modify 
yum.conf.  Too confusing.

It is a shame that yum does not support multiple configuration directories 

> Invent a system for selecting/allocating a mirror.  Users should always 
> use a 3rd party mirror and not the main caosity mirrors.
> Issue: every mirror has different paths.  We need to clean up all the 
> symlinks and multi versions on the mirrors.  (We need someone in change 
> of the mirrors)

There is no issue here - all of the mirrors use the same paths within the 
cAos repo - the mirror is just defined as the url including the path to 
the cAos repo - that does not cause any problems that I can see and can be 
used in automated scripts.

Someone does need to volunteer to write the script to 'auto-modify 
yum.conf' to use a local mirror (ok not 'auto' maybe) - it would be done 
on install and manually thereafter - I am guessing a yum-config-centos rpm 
or some such containing a bash script that actually produces the first 
yum.conf on install (using the geolocate stuff) and thereafter would 
only write a .rpmnew unless run manually. How about the yum.conf in the 
actual yum rpm  ?? what will happen to that ??

It is also a shame that yum cannot use iso image sets - although I wonder 
if with a dvd and all packages on a single disc the [base] repo could be 
local disc - probably not :(

We have Rick Graves managing the mirror database now - I had been doing it 
up until recently.

> * Issue: gpg key.
> This should be installed by default so the user does not have to find & 
> import it.  At a minimum it should be in /usr/share/doc/centos-release 
> and work like a RedHat box.

agreed - I have been discussing this at length with Skvidal and Orc etc, 
the most recent proposal is to auto install the gpg key only if it is the 
same key that the yum rpm has been signed with - by checking fingerprints, 
otherwise to squawk. 

In any event to tell the user that the key has bene installed and how to 
check whether the key has been compromised/is the right key.

(Skvidal - sorry - not had chance to discuss with you since discussiuon 
with Orc)

 > > * Issue: release QA
> Before public release, a QA procedure should make sure that there are no 
> obvious problems (like the comps issue of 3.3).


> * Idea: automatic patch building.
> It should be possible to build most patches without intervention.  I 
> don't know what the current systems in place are but if there were 
> autobuilt unsigned patches available it would allow
> - testing of patches before they are 'officially' released
> - checking the progress if a patch

agreed - there is no automatic system at present.

Thanks for your input - great 

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