Fedora lifetime and stability

Timothy Payne tim at tmpco.com
Mon Nov 12 04:44:20 UTC 2007

Red Hat lives forever!  I'm setting up a text only V 7.3 for my 2nd graders
class.  I found a site that still has updates with apt.  On Tue. a bunch of
2nd graders will think it must be an old broken Mac.

-----Original Message-----
From: fedora-list-bounces at redhat.com
[mailto:fedora-list-bounces at redhat.com]On Behalf Of Bill Davidsen
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 6:08 PM
To: For users of Fedora
Subject: Re: Fedora lifetime and stability

Serguei Miridonov wrote:
> On Thursday 08 November 2007, John Summerfield wrote:
>> Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
>>> Serguei Miridonov wrote:
>>>> However, before starting a discussion about this I would
>>>> like to ask, if this topic was discussed earlier.
>> To death.
>> I'm sure it was
>>>> but can somebody point me any deep analysis which really
>>>> proves that current one year lifetime and half-year
>>>> release period is the best for Fedora?
>>> Here is a section of a post on Fedora Philosophy:
>>> The Fedora project does not pretend to be *production
>>> server* centric. It does not even pretend to be
>>> *production server* friendly. The personality of the
>>> Fedora project is fast paced, (b)leading edge, leaving the
>>> past behind quickly. It is a great proving ground or test
>>> bed for current technologies. It is fun. It will never
>>> have the stability or extended support that a server class
>>> distribution does.
>> Translated, "rolling beta." In return for your access to the
>> latest technology, you can expect cuts and bruises.
> Then don't name "rolling beta" as stable because it is
> missleading.
>> If you want a longer life, go look at other solutions.
> Look, I'm running Linux since 1994 starting with Slackware then
> switched to Red Hat and Fedora. I have Linux on both home
> computer and in my office. I always liked the fact that with
> every new release the system became more and more stable and
> usefull. That was before F7. Upgrading from FC5 to F7 wasn't
> disaster, of course, but this was just because of my knowledge
> of the system - using Linux more than 12 years makes
> difference. USB drives did not mount, no problem, we'll do it
> manually. Kernel did not park heads before switching power of
> laptop off, well, modern drives use their kinetic energy to
> remove heads. I could imagine the perception of inexperienced
> user who for some reason decides to try Fedora as his first
> (and last?) Linux distribution.
> In July-August most F7 problems were resolved (for my system,
> at least). The normal life has just started, but now F7 has
> only 6-7 months to live? This is what makes me just rise my
> hand and ask.
> My remarks are not to offense developers and maintainers. I
> myself was a maintainer of a kernel driver and I know what it
> cost to keep things alive. I started this thread having just
> one thought in mind - improving Fedora, at least, to return
> the stability that Red Hat and Fedora had in the past. This is
> why I suggest to have one release an year, allow more time for
> testing before the release and extend the lifetime at least
> for two years.
> If someone wants new and cool bleading edge software, there is
> always a testing version of Fedora, so long term lifetime
> isn't a problem. Even some newest packages can be backported
> to current test updates.
> Actually, I'm not going to continue this discussion. I wanted
> just to share my thoughts. I know that I'm not alone. For
> example, here
> http://www.oreillynet.com/linux/blog/2007/03/where_fedora_went_wrong.html
> is also said enough, on both sides. And my opinion is that
> Fedora will only win if testing period and release lifetime
> will be at least twice longer.

Having just seen such a problem in FC8, I have to agree to some extent.
Solving the problems by removing and reinstalling packages is my usual
solution, although I have had to manually run some RPMs, because the rpm
package ignores the force option and insists it knows better than the
user. I do see that as a failing of the package, at some point there
needs to be a way to move forward.

But while I might like to see longer support (as in security fixes, at
least) for each release, I fail to see how Fedora can "win" by doing so.
It's hard to see what having more people not paying for the product does
as a benefit, while the only reason I update most of my systems is
security, and if I could get security releases for two years, I would be
testing less new stuff.

There was some mumbling about value to stockholders in this thread, I'm
a stockholder and I think that FC is a reasonably cost effective testing
program for new stuff. That justifies its existance, and I think we have
to be content with that.

Note: I don't see Fedora and Ubuntu competing for the same users, so
there's not much "win" there, if I didn't run Fedora I'd probably go to
CentOS for most things, certainly for servers.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen at tmr.com>
   "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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