[CentOS] A minor beef

Collins Richey crichey at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 20:12:49 UTC 2005

On 11/24/05, Bryan J. Smith <thebs413 at earthlink.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-11-24 at 12:00 -0600, Johnny Hughes wrote:
> > It's called a local mirror
> I have to agree with Johnny.  If you're maintaining any number of
> systems, take it upon yourself to maintain a local mirror and rsync.
> Tag updates in your YUM (or other) repository appropriately until you
> have tested them.  Then retag them appropriately when you have found a
> release with packages that are all inter-working well.

Comments for this and the preceding post:

1. Paying for Red Hat does not resolve the problem as I described it.
The Red Hat service provides for big bucks very slow, low bandwith
access to it's updates. It's like watching paint dry when I have to
download updates at work. I'll stick with free but erratic delivery if
those are the choices. YOU DO NOT GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

2. The local mirror and sync process is certainly an approach if you
have the patience (or the right parameters? I have no experience) to
keep retrying until you eventually get past the stuck point. Also, I
don't have a lot of machines to maintain, and this is only an
occasional pain. It's only a real pain when I let a machine (like my
laptop) get very back level on maintenance.

3. I started my rant with praise, and I continue the praise. CentOS is
one of (if not the) best enterprise Linux offerings. That being said,
the software delivery (including Dag which is not a part of CentOS but
which is relied on by a lot of folks) is not up to the reliability
level that I have experienced elsewhere. For example, I ran Gentoo for
years, and I seldom found this type of problem getting updates even
though the volume of downloads (source) is much higher than for CentOS
and Dag (binary). For example, I've been maintaining a Ubuntu system
for several months alongside of CentOS. I very rarely encounter this
type of problem with Ubuntu updates.

Please don't waste your breath saying I should go elsewhere. I will
continue to use CentOS and to recommend it to my friends. It's a great

IMO, this is purely a mechanical problem. Whatever the methods, other
FOSS providers manage to avoid this type of erratic delivery. I don't
have a clue how. I have no experience setting up or maintaining a
system of mirrors.

I'm on the fifth attempt this morning to get through about 200
packages, and I don't think the results would have been much different
if I were trying to sync a local mirror. This isn't even the
post-new-update-rush, for $DEITY sake.The first 3 attempts hung
totally at retrieving a man update. The next attempt waded through
about 80 more packages and then hung. The final attempt is trying many
mirrors again and not getting there again.

I've changed my mirror settings a few times, but there does not appear
to be an ideal solution. Thus my frustration.

Collins Richey
      Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code ... If you write
      the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not
      smart enough to debug it.
             -Brian Kernighan

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