[CentOS] wifi on servers and fedora [was Re: 7.2 kernel panic on boot]

Tue Dec 8 15:46:58 UTC 2015
James B. Byrne <byrnejb at harte-lyne.ca>

On Mon, December 7, 2015 13:41, Matthew Miller wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 04, 2015 at 09:03:50AM -0500, James B. Byrne wrote:
>> On Thu, Dec 03, 2015 at 02:50:38PM -0500, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
>> > For laptops, great. For anything else, not so much. For example,
>> > it's supposed to be an *ENTERPRISE* o/s... why does it
>> > automatically, without ever asking, install anything wifi? I'm
> [...]
>> The short answer:  Because RHEL is based on Fedora development.
> This is roughly true, although "downstream" RHEL makes its own
> decisions about many things. If you (Mark, or anyone else) would like
> to make this different in the future, getting involved with Fedora
> Server is a good way to do so.

I subscribe to the Fedora Server list digest. Which form also is how I
get this list's messages. Thus the delay in my responses.

However, to describe the Server List as an active forum for discussion
would be somewhat overstating things.  I have not received anything
from it as yet in December and the total volume of traffic on that
list in November was very light.  I am not sure in what way you
envisage additional involvement is to take place.

I have been bitten by things done in Fedora that only have any use on
a laptop and that should never have been allowed into a server
distribution.  But I cannot see how I would have been aware of them
until they manifested themselves on equipment under my care.  By which
time it is rather too late to influence the decision to include them. 
Automatically powering down NICs comes to my mind; due the rather
nasty consequences that resulted.

The difficulty is that with Free and Open Source Software you are only
going to see features that are of some immediate use to the writers;
or whose value has already been entrenched such that it is difficult
if not impossible to dispense with. Clearly, power saving features are
of some interest to people that run their systems on batteries.

However, there are batteries, and then there are batteries.  We
occasionally run run on batteries too. It is just that ours are
measured in kilovolt-amp hours.  Having a server distro configured by
default to turn off a NIC because it has not had traffic for fifteen
minutes is not going to save us enough power from now to the end of
eternity to warrant the disruption that little 'feature' cost us when
it was first encountered.

The move to Systemd, and all the controversy that decision has
generated, also provides 'features' whose benefits appear to me be be
aimed principally at users who shut their systems off every day. These
benefits are of far less value to people who measure uptime in months
or years, while the discomfort, and expense, of this change must be
borne regardless.

Systemd will eventually be accepted or rejected on its own merits.  I
am not interested in debating them here since I have nothing upon
which to base an opinion one way or the other.  But it can hardly be
denied that forcing highly qualified people to expend time, a very
limited resource in my experience, to learn yet another way to start a
computer system, without providing any readily discernible benefit to
them, is not likely to engender much in the way of sympathy.

We went to RedHat and ended up on CentOS because of its server
orientation.  Which to us implied something more than simple
compatibility of the software components.  If RedHats's intent is to
end up as a laptop distro then we will probably part ways at some
point.  We have a laptop distro that works well for us. It is called
OSX.  And the hardware is pretty good too.

***          e-Mail is NOT a SECURE channel          ***
        Do NOT transmit sensitive data via e-Mail
James B. Byrne                mailto:ByrneJB at Harte-Lyne.ca
Harte & Lyne Limited          http://www.harte-lyne.ca
9 Brockley Drive              vox: +1 905 561 1241
Hamilton, Ontario             fax: +1 905 561 0757
Canada  L8E 3C3