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Re: How stable is fedora?

At 11:37 AM 5/10/04 -0700, Sean Kennedy wrote:

>This is exactly the problem with fc1 in a production enviroment.  The
>fact that it becomes unsupported so fast, as far as patches are
>concerned.  Aside from this, it's perfectly stable and secure from
>what I've seen.  Things get a little wonky when you try playing with
>3d cards, ati most notably, but that's not a concern you'd have
>working with a server anyway.

Who says?

This "client" vs "server" mentality is very common among marketing types,
and may even make sense in a large corporate environment, but it's very
artificial and doesn't apply everywhere at all.  My "server" is also a
"workstation".  It uses server software (Sendmail, Named, Apache, etc.),
and it also uses workstation software (XDM, telnet, ping, gcc, jed, etc.).
Trying to classify it as one or the other just to fit into the typical
corporate model is pointless, and will result in error no matter which way
you go.  

"Server" is not synonymous with "rack-mounted system".  Those are a subset
of "servers".  "Server" is a *role*, not a machine type, or OS, or anything
else hardware or software related.  Same with "client".  Most machines are
both at one time or another, and may be both simultaneously (just because
I'm editing a program source file on the system doesn't mean it isn't also
receiving mail for me).  Roles shift all the time on many machines.

My main Linux system here (currently Red Hat 7.2) is *mostly* a server...it
serves lots of things to the other machines here (running several different
OSs).  Time, mail, DNS services, local web pages, etc..  It's also my main
system for learning about LInux...so when I'm doing that, it's a
workstation too.  There's only one user, me, so there's no problem with an
AMD 1900+ handling the load of both server and workstation processing
simultaneously...but both sorts of software need to be loaded and

When I need to try something really new and potentially disruptive (like
experimenting with Fedora Core 1), I use a different machine, borrowed
temporarily from its usual duties with a HD swap (removable trays make this
trivial and quick to do).  The rest of the time my "server" makes a fine

>Right now, I would recommend against fc1 for servers, due simply to
>it's release cycle.  Granted, it may be quite easy to yum upgrade to
>fc2, or there may develop a large enough community to keep updating
>the rpms, but as of now, that all seems vaporous, and definitely not
>something to base a server off of.  The enterprise version of redhat
>is a good idea in this case.

Not unless money is no object for you...and only when your "server" is used
only in that role, and no others.  For those of us with small offices, it's
too expensive, overkill and poorly adapted to the requirements.  Red Hat
doesn't *have* a product for small offices anymore.  Just corporate giants
with specialized machines for each role. 

FC1 has the right software, or so it appears at this point in my
investigations, but if I'll have to upgrade to FC2 to keep getting fixes
for security holes, perhaps it isn't the right way to go either.  I don't
have the spare time to make a career out of upgrading my software (other
than minor fixes for security holes as needed, and the less often that is
needed, the better).  I don't need to be running the "latest and greatest"
for features...what I have already has all the features I need at the moment.

It's looking like Red Hat is interested only in huge corporations, and
Fedora is for those who want to mess with the systems constantly as a
hobby.  I'm looking for something like Red Hat 7.2...but with security
patches available as needed.  Something that I don't have to upgrade
constantly, that works reliably, and that has enough support to keep it
working safely.  It was starting to look like FC1 would fill that bill, so
I've gotten it, installed it, and am looking it over, but if support for
keeping it secure is going to go away, and require an upgrade to a new
version every few months, it's not going to cut it either.

-- Mike Bartman

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