Paul Johnson wrote:
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.
Both SL and Centos will use RPMs built for RHEL for things not included int the distro. I don't know much about SL - but Centos is very timely about making updates available after RH releases them.
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.
That's probably possible, but I would do a clean install so you know exactly what you'll be running for the next several years.
In the past I've resisted adopting these longer lived distros because, well, they get outdated and frustrating because they don't interoperate with the rapidly changing part of the Linux world.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 work.
Centos5 is going to have apps nearly identical to what FC6 had at the time it was released. And they'll stay at that rev with only bugfix and security updates for years.
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.
Centos5 isn't bad today, but the apps will likely seem outdated in another year. But, in the fedora/RH world you have to take wild and crazy changes in the kernel and device drivers if you want a new firefox. What would you like your disk drives named today?
-- Les Mikesell [email protected]