[CentOS] A minor beef

Collins Richey crichey at gmail.com
Fri Nov 25 20:10:42 UTC 2005

On 11/25/05, Bryan J. Smith <thebs413 at earthlink.net> wrote:
> On Fri, 2005-11-25 at 16:31 +0100, Kai Schaetzl wrote:
> > Hm, no problems with updates via normal 4.2 repo config here.
> Which is why I asked what someone has hoped to accomplish.
> There are few specifics that have been listed.
> 1)  Most people, Kai and myself included, have had few issues -- other
> than the earliest 4.2 rebuild (CentOS) that I didn't have with RHEL 4U2.

I'm happy for you.

> 2)  Repository hell affects _most_ other package distros, including
> Debian.  Ubuntu and other Debian-based distros get around them by
> including software that may not be legally redistributed.

I haven't experience repository hell, at least not in the single
instance of retrieval hell I cited for CentOS yesterday, with Ubuntu.
You've lost me when you say that redistribution of illegal software
has anything to do with the situation I described. None of the
software I retrieve with Ubuntu or CentOS is illegal for
redistribution. It's merely the likelihood of occurrence of retrieval
hell that I'm discussing.

> 3)  Gentoo is a ports distro, and sacrifices fixed releases and
> configuration management for source-level compatibility.  Which is
> better, I will not say, but for rolling out many systems, Gentoo adds
> additional configuration management burden for myself.

Must of us understand the differences between a ports based distro and
a binary packages based distro full well, and this has been discussed
ad nauseam on many lists and forums. Which approach s better is not
the issue; that's a matter of personal preference. t's merely the
likelihood of occurrence of retrieval hell that I'm discussing.

> So in the end, you want to reduce many factors into a single
> "frustration" of "just fix it" -- when I've seen little of any
> suggestion.

Reductio ad absurdam. I started the thread by saying that I don't have
a clue how to fix the problem. To restate the obvious. CentOS is a
great distro, but from time to time (more frequently than with other
distros) I encounter situations where several attempts to retrieve
updates are required. I believe that the distro would be even better
if such problems did not occur.

I don't have the data to know whether the nature of the problem is too
few servers and mirrors, network congestion at the servers and
mirrors, software problems of the servers and mirrors, geographic
dispersal of the servers and mirrors, equipment failure, planned
downtime for equipment that is not communicated to the users, or
whatever. Immediately after new releases, I fully expect the CentOS
servers and mirrors to be overloaded, and I wait until the overload
clears before attempting updates, but I'm quite surprised to encounter
this type of delay during supposedly "normal" times.

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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