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Old 04-25-2007, 09:53 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2007
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Details about repositories... and not only !

I have a couple of more detailed questions considering the repositories. This means that, in fact, I ask you for a link to a tutorial or explanatory documentation referring to how repositories are working, yum is working and so on. I list here some of my questions – if you can give me a good answer for some of them, then is also good. I try to search to the net, but I was not really satisfied about what I find.
I have a fedora 6 core system
1.What is a primary repo ?
2. How can I validate/invalidate a repo installed ?
3. How can I make this permanent or only temporary ?
4. Each repo has a different way to be installed ?
5. How can I know what is into a repo ?
6. If I want a program and it is not in the repos that I have installed, how can I find a repo with this program ? How can I install it (the repo – indication are given usually only for a couple of repos) ? I put this question because, for example, I need to install evolution exchange but when I try it with yum install evolution-exchange I receive the message “No Match for argument: evolution-exchange”
7. What really means incompatibility between 2 repos ?
8. If I find a rpm somewhere and i need it, can I find a repo which contains this rpm ? How I add the repo (similar to question 6) ?
9.What type of files is yum installing ? When I try to install rpm with localinstall I obtain error and when I try to install things with configure command, I usually receive message “no compatible C compiler found in path”. And if yum doesn't find the needed program in his repo... that is bad.
10. Yum search only in the installed repositories, am I correct ?
Thank you in advance !
Old 04-25-2007, 12:29 PM   #2
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1. a primary repo is one that is managed by the Fedora team, in contrast to a third-party repo, which is managed by volunteers and usually consists largely of software that could not be included in the primary repos because of legal issues (such as copyright).

2. enabling/disabling repos is a simple as setting the bit for "enabled" in the configuration file of each specific repo, which can be found under /etc/yum.repos.d. enabled=1 means on, enabled =0 means off.

3. see 2. You can also temporarily enable repos that are disabled from the command line, in which case they are enabled while downloading / installing from them. After that, they go back to disabled. An example of such a command:

yum --enablerepo livna install (package)

4. No, they are all exactly the same. The primary ones should come pre-configured, however. It may be a good idea, however, to check whether you get better performance by replacing the default baseurl with a mirror closer to you. Third-party repos need to be set by the user (presumably because of the legal issues mentioned above).

5. If you need to know what is in a specific repo, you could always have a look at the packages that are listed on their mirrors. E.g. for livna: After setting a repo, its packages gets merged with those that are available from the main repos so you can simply check Add/Remove software to find new additions.

6. evolution seems a pretty official product; are you sure you get the name right? This could be one reason why a package can't be found. Check Add/Remove software on the menu, that's much clearer than just guessing and then yumming away.

7. Incompatibility is a conflict between the way that items are packaged by different repos. Certain areas overlap - not a bad thing in itself - but when one repo builds its packages in one way and the next one has its own ideas, this may lead to a severely inconsistent, crippled system. One example: you install A and B from repo 1 and then you install C from repo 2; if those repos have different ideas, one or more packages may fail to fit in with the rest. By adding more packages, the inconsistencies may increase to the point where the system becomes totally unmanageable. Hunting down the culprit(s) is extremely complex and you're often better off reinstalling.

8. You should be very careful what you install. The rpm format is used by several distros. If you intall rpms that are not explicitly made for your specific release of Fedora (6), you may install packages that are slightlyl incompatible. Which brings us back to question number 7. My advice: use fedora repos only; if you need anything else, make sure the packages were built for Fedora. Things like realplayer, acrobat, flash distro specific but they are safe to install even so (providing you know how to go about it).

9. yum downloads and installs rpms. Configure is something you would use to build your own packages from source. Rpms are pre-built so there's no need to build anything yourself. Yum not findings thinsg may be because you haven't got enough repos installed. The missing C compiler would appear to indicate that you didn't install gcc. Do:
whereis gcc
If that doesn't return its location on your system, it's not installed.

10. Correct.

More info:

An excellent tutorial to FC5 that is still largely valid:
a few updates to it can be found here:


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