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Old 05-22-2012, 04:58 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM, Kaushal Shriyan
<kaushalshriyan@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I am running Cent OS 5.8 in production. Can someone please explain me about
> various repositories available in CentOS 5.8 and which third party repos (
> http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories) i should use it in
> Production environment.
>
> Help me understand the pros and cons.

Usually you decide what packages that aren't included in the base
distribution that you need, and then pick the repository that has them
instead of the other way around. However EPEL is generally the first
place to look and since it has a policy of not overwriting base
packages there is not much risk in using it.

The pros are that you get access to many more applications and
libraries without having to compile and update the software yourself.
The cons are that in certain cases the repositories have modified or
newer versions of the same packages as the base distribution which can
cause conflicts in future updates. There are usually ways to work
around the conflicts, but it is best to avoid them unless you have a
specific need for particular modified packages.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:15 PM
Markus Falb
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On 22.5.2012 18:17, Kaushal Shriyan wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I am running Cent OS 5.8 in production. Can someone please explain me about
> various repositories available in CentOS 5.8 and which third party repos (
> http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories) i should use it in
> Production environment.
>
> Help me understand the pros and cons.

There are a lot of 3rd party repositories around, and my understanding
is that the only sane way is not to trust a whole repository but only
selected and therefore tested packages. Consequently though you will
have to maintain your own repository.
--
Kind Regards, Markus Falb

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:04 PM
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM, Kaushal Shriyan
> <kaushalshriyan@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I am running Cent OS 5.8 in production. Can someone please explain me
>> about various repositories available in CentOS 5.8 and which third
party repos
>> (http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories) i should use it
>> in Production environment.
>>
>> Help me understand the pros and cons.
>
> Usually you decide what packages that aren't included in the base
> distribution that you need, and then pick the repository that has them
> instead of the other way around. However EPEL is generally the first
> place to look and since it has a policy of not overwriting base
> packages there is not much risk in using it.
<snip>
The other one we use is rpmfusion, both free and non-free. They're stable
and compatible with the base CentOS repos.

For workstations with nvidia, who want two monitors, I'm slowly moving
from rebuilding the proprietary library from nvidia to elrepo's
kmod-nvidia, although I believe I heard that it's going to move to the
base library real soon now....

mark

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:08 PM
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

m.roth@5-cent.us wrote:
> Les Mikesell wrote:
>> On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM, Kaushal Shriyan
>> <kaushalshriyan@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> I am running Cent OS 5.8 in production. Can someone please explain me
>>> about various repositories available in CentOS 5.8 and which third
> party repos
>>> (http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories) i should use
>>> it
>>> in Production environment.
>>>
>>> Help me understand the pros and cons.
>>
>> Usually you decide what packages that aren't included in the base
>> distribution that you need, and then pick the repository that has them
>> instead of the other way around. However EPEL is generally the first
>> place to look and since it has a policy of not overwriting base
>> packages there is not much risk in using it.
> <snip>
> The other one we use is rpmfusion, both free and non-free. They're stable
> and compatible with the base CentOS repos.
>
> For workstations with nvidia, who want two monitors, I'm slowly moving
> from rebuilding the proprietary library from nvidia to elrepo's
> kmod-nvidia, although I believe I heard that it's going to move to the
> base library real soon now....

Following myself up, I just wanted to clarify that kmod-nvidia, and it's
required nvidia-x11-drv are the *only* things I pull from elrepo. Pulling
randomly would result in collisions, as one base or other repo package
would conflict on dependencies with an elrepo's dependencies.

mark

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:18 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM, Markus Falb <markus.falb@fasel.at> wrote:
>>
>> I am running Cent OS 5.8 in production. Can someone please explain me about
>> various repositories available in CentOS 5.8 and which third party repos (
>> http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories) i should use it in
>> Production environment.
>>
>> Help me understand the pros and cons.
>
> There are a lot of 3rd party repositories around, and my understanding
> is that the only sane way is not to trust a whole repository but only
> selected and therefore tested packages. Consequently though you will
> have to maintain your own repository.

But with EPEL and others with policies to not overwrite base packages,
you won't get anything that you didn't explicitly install (assuming
you trust them to follow their policy...). A possible exception is
that they consider RHEL as upstream so they might have a rare conflict
with something from centos extras or testing.

Also, you can make things a bit safer by setting 'enabled=0' in the
yum repo config file and then when you want to install or update a
package from there:
yum --enablerepo=repo_name install package_name

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:12 AM
Markus Falb
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On 22.5.2012 20:18, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Tue, May 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM, Markus Falb <markus.falb@fasel.at> wrote:

>> There are a lot of 3rd party repositories around, and my understanding
>> is that the only sane way is not to trust a whole repository but only
>> selected and therefore tested packages. Consequently though you will
>> have to maintain your own repository.
>
> But with EPEL and others with policies to not overwrite base packages,
> you won't get anything that you didn't explicitly install (assuming
> you trust them to follow their policy...).

There are repositories that might not have such policies.
There are rpm downloads that are not yum-ified.
--
Kind Regards, Markus Falb

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Old 05-23-2012, 01:00 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 2:12 AM, Markus Falb <markus.falb@fasel.at> wrote:
>
>>> There are a lot of 3rd party repositories around, and my understanding
>>> is that the only sane way is not to trust a whole repository but only
>>> selected and therefore tested packages. Consequently though you will
>>> have to maintain your own repository.
>>
>> But with EPEL and others with policies to not overwrite base packages,
>> you won't get anything that you didn't explicitly install (assuming
>> you trust them to follow their policy...).
>
> There are repositories that might not have such policies.
> There are rpm downloads that are not yum-ified.

Agreed - and the most likely source of conflicts is when you have
installed packages from 2 different 3rd party repositories or
unrelated sources. Normally any single source will test against a
stock RHEL base, but not other 3rd party packages, and when package
dependencies change in future updates you have the potential for
conflicts. Not even copying packages to your own repository can
ensure that packages from multiple different sources will be able to
track future updates without conflicts.

But, EPEL is fairly safe by itself and has a huge number of packages
that are maintained pretty well.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:26 PM
Lamar Owen
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On Tuesday, May 22, 2012 12:17:07 PM Kaushal Shriyan wrote:
> I am running Cent OS 5.8 in production. Can someone please explain me about
> various repositories available in CentOS 5.8 and which third party repos (
> http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories) i should use it in
> Production environment.

You've already gotten some excellent advice about this, but I'd like to add a few things, starting with a list of just a few factoids I've observed about repos and repo mixing:

1.) EPEL doesn't make it a priority (or even a goal) to work well with any other third-party repository;

2.) The mixability of other repos varies, with both repoforge/RPMforge and ELrepo taking pains to not overwrite base repo packages unless you enable their 'extras' sub-repos (others may as well, I'm speaking from my own experience, and the repos I use the most are EPEL, repoforge, and ELrepo, and so I'm not even going to comment about the mixability of others, like remi, IUS, ATrpms, or others since I have either insufficient or old information about them);

3.) At least one useful repository that I use on certain production machines, the CERT Forensics repo, relies on both EPEL and RPMforge/repoforge, so look carefully at the mixing issues of each of your selected repos' upstream repo dependencies;

4.) Random mixing of packages (like random downloads from pkgs.org) is certain to cause problems;

5.) The fewer the number of repos you use the more stable your package set will be. That is especially true if you mix 'specialty' repos like OpenNMS and PacketFence (or even slightly off the wall ones like LinuxTech (which has a usable handbrake for CentOS 6, for instance)), or upstream repos like the one from the PostgreSQL RPM building project to get the latest PostgreSQL on you system;

6.) There is no such thing in repositories as 'one size fits all.' What will fit your needs depends a great deal on what 'production' is defined to be in your specific instance.

(For a server in 'production' that is serving typical network service loads (file, print, web, e-mail, databases, etc) you're going to need some specific things (where 'things' is defined as the set of packages and interdependencies between packages). A 'production' research/development desktop (we have a few here) will need different things; a 'production' embedded machine controller (we have a couple of those, too) will need yet another different set of things.);

7.) You really need to look at the packages that you need for your application and then individually investigate which repo or repos has the packages that you need, built the way you need them. And look at the longevity of the repo; both RPMforge/repoforge and EPEL, for instance, have been around a while and are pretty well maintained;

8.) The recommendations on the CentOS Wiki repositories page are very good starting points, but what you specifically need in production is something you'll need to determine for yourself after doing some testing with different repos. And I'd keep some testing machines or VM's available to test various repos over time to see how they work or don't work with each other, and you might even want to build your own repository, depending upon your specific critieria;

9.) Don't mix from-source (./configure;make;make install) installed packages and packages from repositories unless:
a.) You know exactly what you're doing;
b.) The from-source package builds all its own dependencies (like Plone does);
c.) The from-source package's author won't support it otherwise.

10.) Learn to use yum and its tools effectively to keep mixing issues at bay (priorities, plugins, and the command line parameters to enable and disable individual repositories as needed are the ones to start with);

Now, a non-factoid observation: if you think about it, it's quite an amazing thing that so many people are so willing to keep repositories of packages up to date at no cost to the end-user, given the very definite benefit and value of those updates (which is why I can't really complain if a repo is a little out of date, or if two repos that aren't costing me any opex won't mix just the way I want them to) and the very real cost to the maintainer, in terms of time, stress, frustration, and money.

Having kept packages up to date for public consumption before, I understand all too well the trials of a packager and the entitlement syndrome some users seem to have.

And thus my last recommendation:

11.) be prepared to do some work on your own to make different repositories work together for you, and be patient with the maintainers of those repositories when they don't work together the way you might like. They don't have to listen to you, but most will listen if you approach them the right way, respectfully acknowledging their valuable contribution to your bottom line.

YMMV, FWIW, IMHO, HTH, etc.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:11 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 10:26 AM, Lamar Owen <lowen@pari.edu> wrote:
>
> 1.) EPEL doesn't make it a priority (or even a goal) to work well with any other third-party repository;

True enough as a fact, but it sort-of sounds like a criticism for
something that's not really practical. Normally packages would be
accepted into EPEL if they meet the guidelines and there is usually
some reason if they are elsewhere.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:22 PM
Lamar Owen
 
Default Repositories in CentOS 5.8

On Wednesday, May 23, 2012 01:11:54 PM Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 10:26 AM, Lamar Owen <lowen@pari.edu> wrote:
> > 1.) EPEL doesn't make it a priority (or even a goal) to work well with any other third-party repository;

> True enough as a fact, but it sort-of sounds like a criticism for
> something that's not really practical.

I'll just point to the EPEL section of the wiki.centos.org Repositories page, and let that say almost all that really needs to be said, other than I will say that I chose my wording for that sentence rather carefully, since I didn't want it to sound like a complaint, and only hit send after making multiple revisions.
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