[et-mgmt-tools] What do you want in yum/channel management tools?

Michael DeHaan mdehaan at redhat.com
Thu May 17 15:55:24 UTC 2007

Hello et-mgmt-tools folks,

Several of us have been thinking we need better free tools around 
channel (repo) management.  Many of you have been saying the same 
thing.   We are starting a new project (we're thinking about calling it 
'surfr') to do just that.  

Basically we want to make it easier to create channels, to mirror 
existing channels, to add software to channels, to compose channels, and 
to control access of what computers (or profiles, etc) have access to 
what channels.   These "channels" are basically yum repositories, though 
possibly they may be virtual yum repositories that actually serve up 
content from more than one repository (TBD).    This would basically 
support all Red Hat based distros, Fedora, etc.  

We want to build something that can be easily integrated with cobbler 
and Virt-Factory from an API perspective, but more importantly also 
usable as a stand alone tool for those that just need a solid command 
line app for managing software updates in their datacenters.   There are 
obviously some tools out there that do this now, though we've got some 
plans of our own and would like to get something out from Red Hat that's 
on top of the latest goodness (like possibly the yum errata plugin for 
picking specific updates to apply), and so forth.   The app should glue 
all of this complexity together and make channels very easy to manage 
and control, and to decide which computers get what.

We'd like to hear what you like and don't like about existing tools you 
use, and dream features you'd really love to have and can't get done today.

And, if you'd like to pile on the project, you're absolutely welcome to 
do so.   There's nothing to share yet as this is just lifting off, but 
we really wanted to gather in community opinions, experience, and 
insight.   We should have some Wiki information up soon on et.redhat.com 
(pending comments) about goals and such.   As there's a lot of code out 
there that gets pretty close to some of the basic features, I see this 
taking off fairly quickly.

--Michael DeHaan

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