[CentOS] A minor beef

Bryan J. Smith thebs413 at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 25 20:39:21 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-11-25 at 13:10 -0700, Collins Richey wrote:
> I haven't experience repository hell, at least not in the single
> instance of retrieval hell I cited for CentOS yesterday, with Ubuntu.

And what repositories are you using outside of Ubuntu's repositories?
I assume you're just using Ubuntu's official repositories, because they
include all sorts of things that CentOS does not.

You don't get repository hell from just the official project's
repositories.  You start experiencing repository hell when you add

Now I've come close to no repository hell with Fedora Core + Fedora
Extras + Livna.ORG (the last redistributes "legally questionable"
packages).  But that's Fedora, it's really built around 3rd party
repositories, but it still has its repository hell.

Debian users run into the same when they start tapping different
repositories for multimedia, etc...  Hence why most Debian users start
looking at some of the Debian-based distros that just ignore legal

> You've lost me when you say that redistribution of illegal software
> has anything to do with the situation I described.

Exactly.  Most end users don't want to know or care about it.  Yet it's
a primary reason why there is "repository hell."  Because those projects
and their repositories that want to only distribute what they legally
can means you have to go to other repositories to find software.

Hence the resulting problem.

> None of the software I retrieve with Ubuntu or CentOS is illegal for
> redistribution.

CentOS does _not_ redistribute software that cannot be legally
redistributed.  Debian is the same way, from the official repositories.

However, most of the popular, Debian-based distributions do redistribute
software that are "legally questionable."  They win praise for this, but
they are a major liability nightmare.

> It's merely the likelihood of occurrence of retrieval hell that
> I'm discussing.

In what regard?  Other than the recent 4.2 snafus, what retrieve hell
have you experienced with _just_ CentOS (_no_ DAG)?  I haven't
experienced too many performance issues with CentOS either.

> 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.

But it affects many things, such as repository hell, which you run into
when you start tapping things like DAG in addition to CentOS.  Things
you don't have to do with Gentoo or Ubuntu, because of their difference
in approach, design, legal considerations, etc...

Major reasons why I have to be _very_careful_ when I let Gentoo or
Ubuntu in the door of a place of business for indemification reasons,
but not CentOS, Fedora Core+Extras (although I do _not_ tap Livna.ORG in
that case), etc...

> 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.

So why post this if you don't know how to help?

> 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.

I don't know what to tell you, I haven't.

The reality is that CentOS is pretty popular, and may not have the same
support structure of some other projects.  I don't know what to tell you
other than I've had _no_ issues with RHN -- even right after release.

All I know is that my RHEL3U6 and RHEL4U2 downloads virtually the day
after release were coming down at 300KBps (kilo_bytes_ per second) on a
business class DSL, and saturating a full T-1 at another location.

CentOS has been fairly good in speed of updates as well.  I'm sorry you
haven't experienced this -- but you're mixing and matching so many
different things and offering no _solid_ insight that I really don't
know what you hope to accomplish?

Other than dropping another distro's name, which is all you're doing in
the end.

Bryan J. Smith   b.j.smith at ieee.org   http://thebs413.blogspot.com
For everything else *COUGH*commercials*COUGH* there's "ManningCard"

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