[CentOS] CentOS 6 updating policy

Fri Nov 4 13:48:57 UTC 2011
John Hinton <webmaster at ew3d.com>

On 11/4/2011 9:24 AM, David McGiven wrote:
> I am migrating from debian to RHEL (CentOS) and I am wondering how the
> CentOS 6 updating system works.
> Suppose I install CentOS 6.1 now. Suppose in 8 months CentOS 6.2 is
> released.
yum update will pull in the new version and install it and update your 
release from 6.1 to 6.2. (if there were a 6.1... it might get skipped 
and 6.0 will update to 6.2)
> Now I issue a yum update, so my system will be updated to CentOS 6.2, or I
> will have an updated 6.1 ?
It will be 6.2
> What if I have been issuing yum update very day just to be sure there are
> no packages with urgent security bugs ? I am having a very updated 6.1 or
> an almost 6.2 ? Or are they the same thing ? I think that during this time
> I should be using Continous Release repository, right ?
Yes, CR is optional but to me important.
> Also, which is the policy regarding new versions of software, kernel and
> libs ? The bugfixes will be backported or there will be major differences
> between, let’s say, 6.1 and 6.4 ?
Security issues are almost always backported. Almost always on a CentOS 
major release, anything installed such as website scripts will work 
throughout the entire 7 year cycle of minor releases. This is the main 
beauty of CentOS, and also the main drawback. Sometimes clients want 
something newer... for instance PHP 5.3. It was not available via 
upstream until the release of 6 and the last minor release of 5 
(although that was to me a sad attempt). So, there will be some gripes 
at times, but since you haven't broken their stuff during the major 
release cycle... what is better? And, you can always customize a system, 
but often times reliability will suffer somewhere along the line.
> I couldn’t find all of these question properly answered in the FAQs
Basically it is just really easy and happens during yum update. Minor 
releases are times when the largest changes are made, but again, rarely 
do they actually break anything. I think I still have enough fingers on 
my hands to count the issues over the last 15 or so years when something 
client side broke in a server environment.

Non-upstream repositories... not so much. But in fairness, some of these 
repositories provide packages that make core changes, like an entirely 
new conf file and one must go fix these. Upstream seems to operate under 
never forcing a replacement conf file... In other words, the service 
will generally continue to operate without admin intervention.

John Hinton
> Thanks in advance.
> Regards,
> David
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John Hinton
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