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RHEL3 kickstart and Updates



Hello list,

This email is long, and reaches no firm conclusion. Skip it now, if you
like :)

RedHat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 1 (hereafter RHEL3U1) was released on
Tuesday, with the following note:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 1 includes a new subdirectory of the
RedHat directory present on CD-ROM #1. This subdirectory, named Updates,
contains all packages that have been added or updated during a quarterly
update. Anaconda has also been modified to search the Updates
subdirectory during installations and upgrades.

This appears to be structured in such a way that all Update releases to
RHEL3 will modify only the first binary CD image. Disks 2,3,4 remain
unchanged (inferred from MD5 checksums).

RHEL3U1 CD1 looks like this:
530     /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/amanda-server-2.4.4p1-0.3E.i386.rpm
75      /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/anaconda-product-3-1ES.noarch.rpm
83      /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/arptables_jf-0.0.5-0.3E.i386.rpm
888     /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/freeradius-0.9.0-2.i386.rpm
[...etc.]
455     /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/Updates/anaconda-runtime-9.1.1-7.RHEL.i386.rpm
3047    /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/Updates/anaconda-9.1.1-7.RHEL.i386.rpm
3030    /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/Updates/ant-1.5.2-23.i386.rpm
908     /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/Updates/freeradius-0.9.3-1.i386.rpm
[...etc.]

So, RedHat/Updates trumps any existing .rpm files in RedHat. What to do
when one is in the habit of prepatching and running genhdlist at every
opportunity?

I have to conclude that such prepatching will no longer be desirable. If
RedHat bundle their SRPMS releases for RHEL3 into quarterly updates
(which they did), there's not even the opportunity to be ahead of the
curve w.r.t maintenance upgrades. I assume security fixes would not
rely on this update mechanism as their only release channel.

In theory though, if I did have a new binary RPM which I wanted to munge
into the distribution tree, where to put it? If running genhdlist at
all, it's probably neater to fold Updates into RedHat/RPMS. That keeps
the storage requires down on the kickstart server.

If anyone @redhat.com feels the urge to chime in with recommended usage,
please do so.


Cheers,
Phil




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