[SASAG] Linux Server Distro Recommendations

Tres Wong-Godfrey tres at apollonian.net
Thu Aug 6 13:26:24 PDT 2009

Hey Atom,

Install SRPM and update the SPEC file to meet your needs. That  
addresses the need to customize the build & provides you a nice and  
easy RPM that you can run via CFEngine. Most packages that exist  
within the FreeBSD ports tree are available as SRPMs in one place or  
another. If the version doesn't match the one you want, just grab the  
SRPM for a different version, update the SPEC file for the version you  
do want & go.

Package management in Linux vs FreeBSD is a true embodiment of the  
'Cathedral and the Bazaar.' It's all there, it's just not as  
centralized. If you're willing to open up to the bazaar & add a yum  
repository to your /etc/yum.repos.d/  -- even though they may be from  
a third party (like dag) -- you'll probably have a  much easier time  
of getting what you're looking for.


On Aug 5, 2009, at 3:01 PM, Atom Powers wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 2:45 PM, <jeremy at 2monkeys.org> wrote:
>> Just a background question.  What does "too strict with packages"  
>> mean?
> Good question, I didn't want to be too specific at first.
> My experience with RedHat/CentOS is that the packages are maintained
> as binary package + security patch, and very little of the software I
> want is included in the base repositories. This makes it difficult for
> me to locate the software version I wanted, even if I knew the
> software I wanted was in the package repository. I ended up getting
> most of the software from dlutter's repo; but what's the point of a
> stable-target software repo if it doesn't have the software you need?
> I prefer source for packages, because I often have specific build
> options I need that may not have been built in the binary package.
> But, for obvious  reasons, binary packages are often better. (FreeBSD
> has both.)
> I rarely have problems with dependencies anymore, most of the packages
> managers seem to have figured that out. (Although upgrading perl was a
> lesson in pain.)
>> From a software management perspective, I think packaging is  
>> great.  You
>> know at a glance exactly what's on your system, what rev it's at,  
>> and that
>> all the precursors are in place.  While there was a time when I  
>> would build
>> from source and run make install, I'd never do that today.  If you  
>> need to
>> build software which is either not bundled in Your Distro of Choice  
>> or not
>> built the way you want it, or out of date, you can roll your own  
>> RPMs (and
>> .DEB packages) with a little advanced prep.  Unless you're managing  
>> a very
>> small number of servers, there's no way I'd go back to the old world.
> -- 
> Perfection is just a word I use occasionally with mustard.
> --Atom Powers--
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