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Old 07-11-2007, 12:09 PM   #1
hgoodfel
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yum vs. apt repositories


I support a development team that spends most of its time using Macs, FreeBSD and Ubuntu. The current project we have requires the servers to be delivered on RHEL5. As we work through the development process I am periodically asked to acquire new SW for the various RHEL systems we have. For example we needed the libxml libraries or we wanted to use a particular open source DB connection tool.

Using the apt facilities on Ubuntu I can search for and then acquire new software in the repositories the package tool points at. This is straight forward and always provides me with options to sort through and generally good results. FreeBSD has similar features.

On Red Hat I try to use yum the same way and I have less than stellar results. The repositories are non existent or have minimal content at best. I find myself googling for RPM's or source RPM's to get the software we need to install. This is time consuming and not all that efficient.

My guess is that I am missing something that the FC and RHEL folks do instinctively to make my problem a non issue to them. Where does one get a list of repositories to add? Is there a master repository list that floats around that contains software contributed by the community for FC or RHEL hosts? Do you HAVE to pay for RHN support to have yum function like apt?

Would one of you offer your thought on how RHEL and FC hosts can be made to function similarly? This is as it relates to package acquisition and searching for SW packages. PLEASE don't make this a holy war over the merits of RPM vs other package standards. I am simply looking for the best way to add and update SW on my systems.

Thanks in advance and if this topic has been beaten to death somewhere else on LQ please let me have the link and I will not waste anyone's time. I could not find this information.

Last edited by hgoodfel; 07-11-2007 at 12:12 PM.
 
Old 07-11-2007, 12:37 PM   #2
macemoneta
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Actually, I've found apt and yum repositories to be pretty much the same.

If you look at your apt sources, you probably have a dozen repositories defined. Many/most are distribution specific.

Most rpm based distributions only include their repositories. There are several distribution oriented repositories that are usually available to support added functionality that the distribution doesn't include (usually for licensing reasons).

For example, for Fedora the first place to look for a list of repositories is in the FAQ. Red Hat is enterprise oriented, so those users tend not to be interested in software that is not certified by the vendor. However, since Red Hat and Fedora (and CentOS, and a dozen others) are closely related, they can use the same repositories in most cases.

It takes a little while to get acclimated to each distribution's community, but once you do, as you indicate, those things become obvious.
 
Old 07-11-2007, 12:54 PM   #3
Hern_28
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Agree

I found them about equal although apt executed faster (may just have been suse though). Just had to do a bit of searching and add the repositories that I wanted. Been a while since I used apt or yum now though since I don't have a package manager installed on this system.
 
Old 07-11-2007, 01:03 PM   #4
macemoneta
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Apt certainly used to be faster, but the new yum in Fedora 7 has made them about equal in speed. In Fedora 8, the speed advantage may go to yum, as delta rpms will be enabled by default. This was briefly enabled for Fedora 7 testing and it was impressive.
 
Old 07-11-2007, 01:11 PM   #5
hgoodfel
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THANKS for the quick turn on this topic. You all are GREAT.

So it is a reasonable bet that not using a RHEL specific repository is OK. I realize there is always the "buyer beware" aspect of what one downloads, but how does one take reasonable steps to make sure that the foobar64.rpm one wants is RHEL 64 friendly vs. FC64 specific? Just pull it and hope the readme or install.txt spells it out or is there a better way to sort this out before it is installed?

Last edited by hgoodfel; 07-11-2007 at 01:23 PM.
 
Old 07-11-2007, 01:16 PM   #6
Hern_28
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Ask around.

Usually ask people about it. Sometimes you get lucky and get the heads up, sometimes its time to break out the test platform.
 
Old 07-11-2007, 01:23 PM   #7
macemoneta
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Any package from a third party repository has a potential for problems, as it has not gone through the same QA process. Testing on a virtual system or other test platform before deploying to a production machine is always a good idea.

In reality, most packages have very localized function (e.g., a media player, a word processor, a graphing program, etc.) and are unlikely to cause system wide stability problems.

The bottom line comes down to your judgment. If you are installing calculator program... probably OK. Installing a modified kernel... probably not.
 
  


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