ever migrate from Fedora to Scientific Linux or CentOS?

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We have lots of Fedora systems and it is turning out to be too much
work to keep them up to date.  I have to rebuild a lot or RPMs when
the kernel is updates, and that is getting to be a hassle.  If I could
do a major system update every 18 months or 2 years, it would be fine.
 The unexpected bug introduced by frequent updates (much less
re-installs)  have lost some of their charm for us.

So I'm going to spend some vacation time at the end of the month to
see about these longer lived Linuxes.  Got any advice?  I expect some
of you Fedora users have been on the other distributions.

I only want to consider RPM based ones, because I'm very familiar with
RPM and don't like DEB as much (just not as familiar, I guess).  I
don't necessarily want one that is "good for newbies."  I don't want
one that closes off too many options (recently switched from Gnome to
KDE because latest KDE offers much more customizability of window
manager and desktop than Gnome).

Scientific Linux is appealing because it has a cool sounding name (for
academics) and it provides OpenAFS drivers and has a long life.  But I
worry that it will be harder to get RPMS for it to play MP3s or such.
gxine has been pretty good lately for my students who listen to
Brazilian radio stations.  Nothing else can, it appears.    So If I
switch to SL, maybe I just buy one kind of trouble.

I started to wonder if anybody had tried to update a running F6 or F5
system onto one of the other RPM based distros.  It appears to me that
CentOS or SL are RPM based, and I was thinking it might be fun to just
try to run an upgrade by installing their packages.  Maybe remove
fedora-release RPM and see what happens.

In the past I've resisted adopting these longer lived distros because,
well, they get outdated and frustrating because they don't
interoperate with the rapidly changing part of the Linux world.  Last
time we bought RedHat Enterprise 4 I noticed that thunderbird and gcc
were lagging behind the official releases by a long ways.  When we
went to update some research software, we found we had to re-build
newer gcc and update tcl/tk in order to put in the software we wanted.
 One time, the upgrade of gcc required me to rebuild the whole
toolchain starting with glibc, bison and whatever else depended on
them, so having a "long lived" distribution amounted to a lot more

So maybe I don't want Scientific Linux or CentOS.  Wish the
RedHat/Fedora Legacy group had not disbanded. For security updates on
a one year old distro, it was very handy.

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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