Monday, April 18, 2011

Switching back to Ubuntu/Debian from Fedora

My initial reason to try Fedora Linux was that a lot of good things (glibc, SELinux, systemtap, gdb) are mostly developed by Red Hat and put into Fedora. So it felt natural to try Fedora Linux to see the state of things. Now after more than a year with Fedora I am back to Ubuntu/Debian. For some simple reasons:

yum is ultra slow. When I try to search a package it decides to update the package database over the network, it is slow to start, it is slow to carry out simple operations. The other is that the various databases on the system are quite big and take a lot of space.

My upgrade to Fedora15 was hosed. Not so much to complain about as the distribution is not meant to be released the next week or such. So I was experiencing integration issues (e.g. setroubleshootd causing SELinux denies which will start the settroubleshootd), systemd not logging to /var/log/messages.

With Fedora15 I also had the opportunity to try GNOME 3.0 and in many ways it is promising, I don't think it is ready for end users yet though.

The biggest issue with Ubuntu right now is to get SELinux up and running, their policy modules are quite outdated.


Rahul said...

yum -C search instead of yum search foo would force yum to rely only on the cache and not update its metadata. Also metadata_expiry in /etc/yum.conf can be fine tuned or even set to 0 if you want. If you set it to 0, yum makecache will make yum update only its metadata.

In addition to that, apt is in the Fedora repo if you prefer that

Also Fedora hasn't released even a beta yet and the general release is still several weeks away

zecke said...

Ah I obviously didn't know these options. Thanks a lot. I had one more issue with yum (most likely due me upgrading via yum and not via preupgrade) since F14 the file search didn't work as the checksum + .sqlite yum wanted to use didn't exist on the servers. Ever heard about that?

Oh you are right. The Fedora15 beta is around today so I was using a pre beta version. In any case complaining about alpha/beta bugs was not fair as this is the whole point.

The main reason to move to Ubuntu/Debuntu is having more software around, the thing I miss the most right now is the SELinux policy, maybe followed by utrace.

squalyl said...

@Rahul: the problem is, this option shall be enabled by default. Fetching metadata for any single operation does not make sense.

apt provides greater control.

is apt-rpm still working in F15? I heard it was not maintained nor available anymore.