[K12OSN] Heads up: CentOS 5.1 released

"Terrell Prudé Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Wed Dec 5 18:41:25 UTC 2007

Nils Breunese wrote:
> Mel Wade wrote:
>> Just wondering why they don't update to the latest releases of
>> Firefox and OpenOffice when they do these releases?  That would give
>> us more reason to upgrade...
> Distributions - especially the ones labelling themselves 'enterprise'
> - generally don't do major version upgrades because of stability and
> ease of upgrading for users, as there is no need to migrate
> configuration settings etc.
> They usually only backport security fixes from new versions to the
> version they're shipping in the supported distribution releases. If
> they would just package every upstream release, RHEL (and thus CentOS)
> would probably be a whole lot less stable. This Red Hat article
> explains this pretty well:
> http://www.redhat.com/security/updates/backporting/
> Of course you could always go Gentoo or compile everything yourself,
> but I really wouldn't try that in a school or business setting. I set
> up a K12LTSP 5EL server and it is rock solid. It is pretty comforting
> to know that I can theoretically leave this server running the same
> setup for the next 7 years if I wanted too. Yum will keep the current
> versions patched and I'll never have to worry about changing config
> files or other glitches that come from moving to newer versions of
> software.
> Fedora is of course moving a lot faster that RHEL/CentOS, but CentOS
> lets me sleep at night and I value that very much. :o)
> Nils Breunese.

I second that.  And according to this list, the CentOS version of
K12LTSP (the "EL" version) is apparently pretty popular, exactly for
that reason.  I can tell you that it is slick as ice.  My home server
still runs the CentOS 4 version (now 4.5, of course), and it has yet to
fail me.  Fedora's just a little too "bleeding edge" for me, for this task.

For doing demos, I used to use the Fedora version of K12LTSP, due to the
extra eye-candy.  However, even for my demos now, I find myself using
the CentOS 5 version (good eye candy there, too), and it is what I
recommend for people actually doing a production K12LTSP deployment. 
This is true even though the new Fedora 8 is an absolutely gorgeous
GNU/Linux distribution to use.

Now, that said, I'd gladly use Fedora 8 (or Kubuntu Feisty/Gutsy, for
that matter!) in a heartbeat instead of Windows XP/Vista for imaging a
lab of thick-client desktops in the graphic arts lab, *precisely*
because of the eye candy.  This is because thick clients w/ hot video
boards can handle things like Compiz Fusion better, *AND* there are now
3-D accelerated Free Software drivers for the ATI boards (thank you,
AMD, and it's about time!).  Remember the function of a graphic arts
lab; you need lots of CPU, GPU, and DRAM.  Just make "the perfect Fedora
workstation," with GIMP, et. al., and blast that image to your 30 thick


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