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Old 02-01-2005, 07:41 AM   #1
stevecoh1
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Registered: Feb 2002
Posts: 5

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Feeling orphaned at RH9


Lately, I have been feeling orphaned with my RedHat 9.0 installation. It seemed like a good match at the time I installed it (about a year ago), it works pretty well, but I have been playing with some new stuff that was too damned difficult to install, and I only see things getting worse. So let me tell you guys a bit about myself and you guys can give me suggestions.

I use Linux because I like being able to fix things when they break. I am reasonably comfortable at the command line, but if there's a GOOD gui way to do something, I'm no purist about that. That and lingering hostility to the Microsoft regime.

This is a personal PC. I am not running a network or a web site, although I do network my printer around my two-machine home network (other machine, belonging to my son, uses Windows). My wife uses the machine too, primarily to read her email, where she is barely aware she isn't running Windows. Oh, and I sprang for VMWare as well, which I use to bring up Windows when I need to run it. Primarily two functions I still require Windows for: Quicken, and viewing streaming media that people insist on distributing in Windows-only formats but which I want to see. VMWare lets me do this without the pain of a dual boot. Yes, I can start Windows without rebooting from Linux.

I am a java developer, and one of my main uses is just to have a play environment in which I can mess with things that are interesting to me as a developer, in a learning sort of way. I do open-source java development. I've been using Linux since 1998, and while in the old days, I used to rebuild kernels and such, I don't have the patience for that anymore. I want a Linux distribution that is stable, but well-enough supported that I can find packages configured for it. That is what I'm feeling slipping away from me with RedHat 9.0. RedHat was a targeted distribution that many vendors supported, now I fear they have forked themselves. Recenlty, I installed the latest Subversion, the "new improved CVS", again primarily to play with and learn. It took me the better part of a weekend to get out of the RPM hell that that took. The installation instructions for Subversion destroyed Apache, and I had to unininstall-reinstall over and over until I got it right.

I fear that this is the wave of the future. From what I've been able to read, there is no viable upgrade path away from RH9 to something that will be around for awhile. Since I can't upgrade, if I want to move to a better place, it looks like a new install. Maybe I could go dual boot as a temporary measure until I have moved all away from the RH9 partition. But what distribution should that be? That is our question of the day.

From what I read of Fedora, it is not the distribution for me. Fedora seems to be the place for people who love to hack and improve kernels. God bless 'em, we need folks like this to keep the state of the art moving forward, but that's not me, personally. My impression is that it's a little too bleeding edge for my tastes. As for Enterprise solutions, well, it's easy to see I'm not really an enterprise. I could be totally wrong about these preconceived notions. If I am, tell me.

The bifurcation of RedHat into Enterprise and kernel-hacker paths leaves people like me out in the cold. I want the security of knowing there is some kind of enterprise supporting and maintaining my OS, keeping it reasonably current and stable, with a large enough user-base so that outside developers will want to support it. I'm in the middle, between the Enterprisers and the kernel hackers, and it seems that the RedHat model wants to force me to choose one or the other, which is exactly what I DON'T want to do.

There are my requirements. So, people, what is the best way to go, in 2005, for someone like me? I would be willing to move away from RedHat for something that was about as well-supported as the pre-split RedHat distros were.
 
Old 02-01-2005, 07:50 AM   #2
deoren
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 214

Rep: Reputation: 30
If you are used to Red Hat 9, try out Fedora Core 1. Both RH9 and FC1 are being supported by FedoraLegacy.org. While the Fedora Core distrobution is up to FC3 now, that doesn't mean you have to follow just yet.

Install Fedora Core 1, or upgrade to it rather if you're running RH9, and use yum to update to the latest packages.

If you've never used Debian, or a distro that uses yum, you'll be much happier having it find the dependencies for you, so you CAN get out of RPM Hell. Occasionally you'll find a rough spot, but it's much better than wandering the net for rpms.

Here is a copy of my yum.conf (actually, yum.fedoralegacy.conf which I sym link to /etc/yum.conf):

Quote:
###############################
# Fedora Core 1 yum.conf file #
# Version: 1.1.2 #
# Mod Date: 11/25/04 #
###############################


[main]
cachedir=/var/cache/yum
# Where yum stores downloaded packages.

debuglevel=2
# Level of feedback you get while running yum

logfile=/var/log/yum.log
# logfile location, duh.

pkgpolicy=newest
distroverpkg=fedora-release
# not sure. Testing vs. stable?

tolerant=1
# cannot remember

exactarch=1
# I could guess, but I'd rather be right

retries=5
# Retry x # of times to grab a package

######################################################################################
# My notes. I usually forget to do this when setting up a new system. Thankfully
# yum complains until I import a key.
######################################################################################

# Key locations & import command:
# rpm --import /usr/share/rhn/RPM-GPG-KEY
# rpm --import /usr/share/rhn/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora
# rpm --import http://www.fedoralegacy.org/FEDORA-LEGACY-GPG-KEY
# rpm --import http://dag.wieers.com/packages/RPM-GPG-KEY.dag.txt
# rpm --import http://www.xcyb.org/xcyborg.asc
# rpm --import http://freshrpms.net/packages/RPM-GPG-KEY.txt

######################################################################################
# Notes from FedoraLegacy.org
######################################################################################

# If you are already using another repository for official Red Hat Linux or Fedora Core
# packages and updates, please note the following:

# * You only need one repository providing the "base" (aka "os") channel. If you already have a
# repository providing it, you may want to keep only
# one (either one). The contents of this channels will never change.

# * The "updates" channel is the channel used for Fedora Legacy updates. If you already have a
# repository providing a Red Hat or Fedora Core
# "updates" channel, make sure that you keep only the "updates" channel from Fedora Legacy
# and remove that channel from your other repository. Your former "updates" channel will
# only provided Red Hat or Fedora Core official updates. Your system will NOT receive
# Fedora Legacy updates if you're using any other "updates" channels providing only
# official Red Hat or Fedora Core updates!


######################################################################################
# Fedora Legacy settings
######################################################################################

[base]
name=Fedora Core $releasever base
baseurl=http://download.fedoralegacy.org/fedora/$releasever/os/$basearch
gpgcheck=1

[updates]
name=Fedora Core $releasever updates
baseurl=http://download.fedoralegacy.org/fedora/$releasever/updates/$basearch
gpgcheck=1

[legacy-utils]
name=Fedora Legacy utilities for Fedora Core $releasever
baseurl=http://download.fedoralegacy.org/fedora/$releasever/legacy-utils/$basearch
gpgcheck=1


######################################################################################
# Extra repositories.
######################################################################################

# K3b gui cd/dvd mastering suite
#[xcyb-stable]
#name=Fedora Core 1 ( xcyborg / stable )
#baseurl=http://rpms.xcyb.org/fedora/1/stable/
gpgcheck=1

# Lots of great packages for FC1/FC2/RH9/etc.
[dag]
name=Dag RPM Repository for Fedora Core 1
baseurl=http://apt.sw.be/fedora/$releasever/en/$basearch/dag
gpgcheck=1

# Seems to have a lot of the latest audio/video apps and libraries
[freshrpms]
name=Fedora Linux $releasever - $basearch - freshrpms
baseurl=http://ayo.us5.freshrpms.net/fedora/linux/$releasever/$basearch/freshrpms
gpgcheck=1



####################################
# NO LONGER USED #
####################################


#[base]
#name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - Base
#baseurl=http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/$releasever/$basearch/os
#ftp://linux.stanford.edu/pub/mirrors/fedora/linux/core/$releasever/$basearch/os
#http://speakeasy.rpmfind.net/linux/fedora/core/updates/$releasever/$basearch
#http://ftp.dulug.duke.edu/pub/fedora/linux/core/$releasever/$basearch/os
#http://fedora.redhat.com/releases/fedora-core-$releasever
#gpgcheck=1

#[updates-released]
#name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - Released Updates
#baseurl=http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/updates/$releasever/$basearch
#ftp://linux.stanford.edu/pub/mirrors.../core/updates/$releasever/$basearch
#http://speakeasy.rpmfind.net/linux/fedora/core/updates/$releasever/$basearch
#http://ftp.dulug.duke.edu/pub/fedora.../core/updates/$releasever/$basearch
#http://fedora.redhat.com/updates/released/fedora-core-$releasever
#gpgcheck=1

If you have a spare system around, use Symantech's Ghost to do a backup of your system if you don't trust FC1's upgrade support, or use partimage, or use ssh and dd to dump your disk to a remote system.

Have fun.
 
Old 02-01-2005, 09:24 AM   #3
halo14
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Surprise, AZ
Distribution: Debian | CentOS | Arch
Posts: 1,103

Rep: Reputation: 45
I might recommend SuSE 9.2 Professional.. SuSE is an old distro.. one of the most polished.. and well supported.. especially since their acquisition by Novell.. I originally started with Red Hat.. but I soon moved to SuSE.. after getting confortable with linux.. I tried a ton ofdifferent distros... My all-tim favorite is Slackware.. which I assure you.. will be around for a long time to come.. but it's not "enterprise backed", though it is stable as a rock... I've recently moved to FreeBSD.. and an very pleased, to say the least.. Though if you're used to red hat, FreeBSD (and Slackware) might be a litle too difficult for you... SuSE is a very graphical, user friendly distro.. and I think you would be very pleased...It uses YaST for pretty much all systemmanagement tasks...Trying to eliminate command line interaction.. or the need for it anyways...

FreeBSD and Slackware don't have any of these pretty graphical configuration tools.. it's all done by hand, using the text files... I actualy find this much better.. and easier to understand... Whatever you choose.. good luck...
 
Old 02-01-2005, 09:45 AM   #4
reddazz
Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: N. E. England
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, Debian
Posts: 16,298

Rep: Reputation: 73
You could try out CentOS, which is a clone of Redhat Enterprise Linux. Also if you are going to use Fedora, I don't recommend Fedora Core 1 as suggested in one of the posts above. The reason I say this is that in a year or so, you may find yourself with a distro that has vertually no support or updates, because even though Fedora Legacy do a good job of porviding security updates some people have complained that sometimes the updates are slow coming.
 
  


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