Re: ever migrate from Fedora to Scientific Linux or CentOS?

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On Wed, 2007-10-31 at 17:47 -0500, Paul Johnson wrote:
> 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 well, they get outdated and frustrating because they don't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
> work.
> 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.
I haven't migrated from Fedora to RHEL/CentOS and I've never used
Scientific Linux.

I would recommend CentOS over Scientific Linux only because they are so
vigilant about upstream compatibility and releasing updates.

It's conceivable that you could migrate from FC5 or FC6 to CentOS-5 by
as you say, removing redhat-release and redhat-release-notes and
installing the relevant corresponding packages from CentOS or Scientific
Linux - see

Also note my notes about migrating from RHELv5 to CentOS-5 near the

It's conceivable that some rpm's from FC6 are newer/higher numbered than
RHELv5/CentOS-5/SL-5 and that may cause some issues...I simply wouldn't
know what they might be because I haven't done any.

It probably would be safer to boot from CD's/DVD and using

linux upgradeany

at boot but yum can undoubtedly handle the migration and it would appear
that you have the technical savvy to handle any bumps in the migration

I would agree with you that the relatively short cycle of Fedora is an
issue and RHEL / CentOS / Scientific Linux obviously gives you the
longer cycle with the obvious problems that stable per RHEL means you
don't typically get the latest gcc, etc.

In my circumstance, I have thus far been using Fedora on desktops and
have used a fairly elaborate kickstart system to wipe the hard drive and
install / configure Fedora so completely that when completed, the box
can be dropped into the user's office and plugged in. I have thus far
balked on the idea of trying to upgrade in place but I am thinking I am
going to experiment with the migration from Fedora 7 to Fedora 8 via
yum...obviously with the fallback position that I can always grab the
box and run the kickstart install.


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