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Old 06-08-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
rfreiberger
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Newbie: Installing from repository vs compile for the long term support


I'm stuck on a question and wanted to ask the group.

Currently I'm a Windows admin who does part time Linux server installs. Most of the time I'm asked to deploy a generic Windows server, install a few basic applications and if needed some other applications like Nagios or Zabbix.

My question is for long term support, or patching should I be focusing on deploying with repositories to install applications or compile from source? In the Windows world you can patch and update from Windows Update, but is there problems using 3rd party repositories for future updates? Would one of these locations go off line?

Maybe I'm thinking too much into it?
 
Old 06-08-2010, 04:11 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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Well, you didn't say which distribution you are referring too, but if we assume the Ubuntu in your profile, you should be using the repositories exclusively. On a server you should be running the LTS (Long Term Support) releases, which will have upgrades and security patches over the long term, there is no reason at all to build anything from source if it is already included in the repositories (and anymore, it is very rare that something worth running won't already be in the repos).
 
Old 06-08-2010, 04:26 PM   #3
rfreiberger
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Sorry,

I am using mostly Ubuntu and CentOS.

For items that are not included in the default repository, is it safe to add 3rd party sources?
 
Old 06-08-2010, 04:35 PM   #4
snowpine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfreiberger View Post
For items that are not included in the default repository, is it safe to add 3rd party sources?
That would depend entirely on whether or not you trust the maintainer of the repository. Can you give specific examples?

Here's a good list for CentOS, not sure if something similar exists for Ubuntu: http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories
 
Old 06-08-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
rfreiberger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
That would depend entirely on whether or not you trust the maintainer of the repository. Can you give specific examples?

Here's a good list for CentOS, not sure if something similar exists for Ubuntu: http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories
For example, I'm installing Nagios on a CentOS server. From my documentation it shows I should install the rpm from rpmforge. But I'm wondering since this was not included in the default repository, is this a security risk using another place like rpmforge?
 
Old 06-08-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
rkski
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rpmforge can be considered a safe and stable 3rd party repo for CentOS. I have it set at lower priority to protect the base install. Also certain repo's I have disabled and turned on only when necessary.

rpmforge is offering 3.2.1-4.el5.rf nagios while another repo I sometimes use, epel, has only 2.12-6.el5 nagios.
I have not had problems with rpmforge.
 
Old 06-09-2010, 02:39 AM   #7
rfreiberger
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Ahh, thanks!

So the general idea is stick with the distro's repository, but if you need for certain applications (Nagios) 3rd party from a reputable source are ok. Compile from source is highly recommended only for personal use.

Seems so strange, from what I read it was what I understood the standard of building apps from using the source and just reserved using repositories for my own personal use on Linux workstations. Now that I know better, I'll save my self so much more time.

Thanks
 
Old 06-09-2010, 10:41 AM   #8
snowpine
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I agree with the above; rpmforge is very reputable.

CentOS is a little different from other distros (like Ubuntu); they only include apps in the standard repository that are supported by the "upstream vendor." So if an application is not in the CentOS repositories, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a security or stability risk, just that it is not officially supported by Red Hat.
 
Old 06-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
tracertong
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With RPM based systems, especially, it is best to stick to the standard RPMs where possible. RPM is really just a 'great big database' approach to managing a computer, and as such can be prone to some of the pitfalls we know of, so well, from similar approaches, such as the Windows Registry.

Even maybe even roll your own RPMs for stuff you DO have to compile from source, so that the RPM system actually knows that they are there and contains a record for them. If the RPM is good, you could even submit it back to your third party software vendor, as a known example of an RPM that is known to work on an otherwise standard copy of RHEL version x.y, for instance. I add this suggestion, since it can prompt the vendor to take up some of the work of supporting an RPM-based release, themselves, or encourage uptake of the software with other Redhat users. Well-used software, usually has a way of becoming well-supported software, so feeding some support back into the system (work that you were having to do anyway) can occasionally opperate to your own benefit in the long term.
 
Old 06-09-2010, 12:16 PM   #10
DavidMcCann
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The CentOS website does give guidance on using other repositories. Some can be used without hesitation. For some you just need to set a few parameters to prevent the private repository from altering the stuff you've got from the official source.

http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalRes...epositories%29
 
  


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