Re: CentOS vs stability: req a Fedora / RHEL perspective

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Tony Nelson wrote:
I'm setting up a server with CentOS (well, a test server (a Qemu VM), a
main server, and a backup server (both Xen slices)), one each with CentOS
4.4, 4.5, and 5.0, and it all works.  It's also one more version of CentOS
than I was expecting, as the test server got suddenly upgraded to CentOS
4.5 during a 200 MB update.  I then found the FAQ that explained that
CentOS does this a few times a year, and that the old point releases are
archives that won't receive any more updates; that is, to get security
updates one has to accept all the updates and version upgrades.  This isn't
quite what I expected for a "stable" OS; rather it's more like Fedora (6),
which also just got a large update.

Fedora gives you all the updates, all the time. RHEL/Centos give you security updates as soon as possible, batching the less critical bugfixes into point releases and rarely including updates that modify intended behavior.

Does RHEL work this way also?  Or does RH provide security updates for,
e.g., RHEL 4.4 now that 4.5 is out?

I think there is some difference in the repository handling but it's basically the same if you want to stay up to date. That is you can't get the security-only parts of 4.5 or beyond without taking the bugfixes, but you do have the choice to update only certain programs.

Am I just missing something?  I'm new to setting up and maintaining servers.

The 4.5 updates were unusual if not shocking in including changes that affect device naming and interface selection order in some machines. Makes me feel better about being too lazy to update a lot of machines still happily runing 3.8 with no problems... When I can figure out how to make Sun java work with tomcat, etc., I'll jump all the up to a 5.x version. My theory has always been that Linux kernels become stable somewhere around the X.X.20 release... (At least when there was an odd-numbered unstable version for development - maybe 2.6 will never stabilize).

  Les Mikesell

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