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

Thu Dec 10 16:00:48 UTC 2015
Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu>

On 12/10/2015 10:21 AM, James B. Byrne wrote:
> Since the import of what I was trying to convey has been lost,  no
> doubt due to my poor choice of words, I will restate the obvious: If
> the bulk of the developers working on Fedora use laptops as their
> platform then, inevitably, Fedora will become in essence a laptop
> distribution and RHEL will follow.  Talking about the server community
> monitoring the Fedora development channel once every six months, or
> every day for that matter, is simply not going to change this.

As Matthew said, there is a Fedora _server_ community already.  Not all 
Fedora devs are running laptops; but a laptop is one target, just as a 
server is another.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: 
Enterprise != Server.  I need an Enterprise distribution for my 
workstation needs, on a laptop.  Dell has been supporting RHEL on their 
Precision Mobile Workstations (aka 'high end laptops') for years; and 
there is a definite market segment for that use.

> A server based distro to us has certain characteristics that are
> orientated to long running processes and system uptimes measured in
> months if not years.  I have given up counting how many times I have
> to reboot all of our CentOS servers in the past year because of
> updates.

There is no single 'server-oriented' way of doing things; different 
servers have different requirements, and CentOS already gets poked on by 
those who think version number is a good indicator of how up to date a 
piece of software is for security and/or bugfix purposes. Owncloud, for 
instance, is server software, but it needs a far more up-to-date PHP 
than the default in CentOS 6 (Software Collections to the rescue).

> On the other hand I have this task running on a different server with
> a different OS:
>     Priority = DS; Inpri = 8; Time = UNLIMITED seconds.
>     Job number = #j3719.
>     TUE, NOV  4, 2014,  2:04 PM.

And I have a Cisco 7401 running a different OS (IOS, of course) with the 
following uptime (and other details.....):
colo-7400-2 uptime is 6 years, 43 weeks, 3 days, 14 hours, 13 minutes
System returned to ROM by reload at 00:40:17 UTC Tue Feb 10 2009
System restarted at 00:43:11 UTC Tue Feb 10 2009
Cisco 7401ASR (NSE) processor (revision A) with 491520K/32768K bytes of 
Processor board ID 74993065
R7000 CPU at 375MHz, Implementation 39, Rev 3.3, 256KB L2 Cache
1 slot ASR midplane, Version 2.0

Last reset from power-on
PXF processor tmc 'system:pxf/ucode0' is running ( v1.1 ).
2 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
509K bytes of NVRAM.

But uptime isn't everything.  That router would not have been up that 
long if there was a more updated IOS available for it (I am running the 
last security update available from Cisco's TAC for that box, and it is 
way out of support, but it's in a 'sheltered' position and works fine 
for what it is doing).

Certain updates require a reboot; without ksplice or similar technology 
it will always be that way for the kernel.  Certain glibc updates are 

> What we need is simplicity, stability, reliability, and consistency.
> What seems to be happening instead is feature-creep, software-bloat
> and increased coupling.
Many share your needs; at this point in time, CentOS 6 is in that form 
of maintenance mode.  CentOS 7 is still in a 'can get new features' mode 
(this due entirely to upstream's model).  If you need something in a 
stable mode today, use C6.  C7 will get there in a few releases.

The footprint of the needs met by a general-purpose Enterprise Linux 
distribution is getting larger, not smaller, and the software needed to 
meet all of these needs is necessarily not as simple as it once was.  
Now, niche distributions can be a bit more simple, but they will not 
have as broad of a footprint as the general-purpose ones. CentOS, and 
its upstream, is a general-purpose Enterprise (and Enterprise != Server) 
OS where one of the many use cases is as a traditional server.

Other use cases exist, and are targeted by upstream as being valuable 
market segments.  That includes the Dell Precision Mobile Workstation 
line of high-end laptops (like my 2010-vintage M6500), as well as the 
Precision Workstation desktops and the PowerEdge servers, all of which 
can be ordered from Dell with a fully-supported RHEL factory-installed.  
But there is also the virtualization market and the lightweight 
containers ('cloud') market.  And now there is the IoT market, and those 
are almost entirely ARM-based systems.  Perhaps a 'tablet' market for 
Enterprise Linux will come into play; at the moment the Linux 
penetration here is mostly Android, with some niche traditional Linux 
distributions filling certain needs (like Kali Linux for things like the 
Pwnie Express Pwn Pad).