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

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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