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Re: Fedora needs more evangelism for repositories

James Wilkinson wrote:
Brad Smith came up with a list of reasons why some users might prefer
not to use repositories.

Another one is that they don't work well with sneakernet, in my

apt-get -d install package-name

That will download the required packages to your current directory.

And a quick look through the yum manual looks like this command will do something similar:

yum --download-only install package-name

I've been spoiled though with dsl, I haven't had to use sneakernet this century for packages.

There are lots of machines out there with no network access, or with
slow network access charged by the minute (think dial-up users with
phone bills charged by the minute).

In debian, if you stick with the stable release, all of your updates are security updates only (with the advantages and disadvantages that comes along with that). So your list of packages to download is usually very small.

In that situation, you really don't want to have to stay online for two
hours at a time because someone's made a minor bugfix in X. It's much
more practical to get yourself a good firewall, and keep an eye on the
security vulnerabilities (so you do install anything that really needs

There are few in this world (think a couple million or less out of billions) who have the skill and time to do this.

Also, it doesn't scale when you have a lot of systems you maintain.

In that situation, you might want to occasionally get a CD mirror of
the appropriate updates site: I know that www.linuxemporium.co.uk sell
such things, and it's not difficult to do that yourself at a site with
good connectivity. Or you might just wait until the next FC release.

Yes, inside those CDs you have mini-repositories. You can use apt or yum for that also.

RPM-based distros tend to make that easy, in my experience. However,
the last time I tried Debian, I was still on dial-up, and I found that
they were so keen on automatic apt-get that I never found any pointers
to a manual download location. "It's great!" they said. "When a new
version is released, all that happens is that apt-get takes a bit
longer, and you're on the new release without really noticing it!"

I don't know about yum, but with apt you have "upgrade" and "dist-upgrade" options. Synaptic explains this very well, but the main difference, is dist-upgrade is meant for when you want to upgrade to any packages that require installation of other packages you don't have installed already.

This allows you to run "apt-get upgrade" and not upgrade your entire distro when a new release comes out.

"'A bit longer'?" I said to myself. "It'll take hours on dial-up! What
if I want to get something done and then go out for the evening?"

I decided that Debian was only for people on academic or corporate
networks (this was a while back, before ADSL became common).

Please don't let that happen to Fedora.

Once you get used to repositories, you won't know what you did without them.


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