[svlug] RH dependencies, not using up2date

Rafael Skodlar,,, raffi at linwin.com
Sun Jul 28 01:06:59 PDT 2002

On Sat, Jul 27, 2002 at 08:37:33PM -0700, Walter Reed wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 27, 2002 at 02:20:50PM -0700, Isaiah Weiner wrote:
> Can you give a list of mirrors to RHN for when this situation arises? Oh. There
> are no mirrors? Hmm. This is a problem.... up2date is the only method that
> handles dependancies automatically and updates the system automatically.
> Debian's package management system handles complete updates and dependency
> issues just fine with a local mirror or ANY mirror out there. No special
> network or proprietary software needed.
> Hey, I can understand RH's desire to make money. That's just fine. RHN is just

The trouble is that RH is NOT making money with that strategy

Symbol   Last Trade  Chg   Jul 26
RHAT      4.71      -0.56

> fine too for the type of customer that can afford it. Since the rpm tool has
> basically taken a back seat to up2date, it pretty much makes up2date and a paid
> subscription to RHN "mandatory". This significantly raises the cost of using RH
> versus Debian or other linux distros.

The high subscription cost to RHN is a turn off for any home user as
well as small companies. This is 2002 and we no longer need to put up
with outdated software packaging and RH should understand that. They had
their time and money to fix this problem when they upgraded RPMs.
Instead they introduced problems with libraries in RH7.0 etc. which
cause huge problems to software developers for nobody's gain. If their
marketing thinks it's a good policy to sell broken distribution in order
to rake in support calls, they are mistaken.

> I have been using RH for about 3 years now (purchased boxed copies), and had
> been a slackware user before that (since around '95.) RH 7.3 is the last
> version of RH that I will use. I have become a debian convert mainly due to the
> depandency hell issues on RH, with deb replacing RH on 7 out of 8 systems so
> far. The reduced bloat is another big reason...

Experience similar to mine. In order to get RH working is either to
install everything or end up with broken system because RPMs do not
provide safe way of installing, much less upgrading many packages
without running into major dependencies issues.

> Hey, I have nothing against RH as a company. I appreciate the many things they
> have done for the community. I do believe that they have lost sight a little
> with what the larger linux community needs and desires on their quest to be
> profitable. That's too bad. I wish RH luck, but meanwhile I've found something
> that just works better.

Same here.

>  - Walt

What I wanted to add in my first reply to Marc was URLs but did not
have it at hand.

I believe that Ladislav Bodnar did an excellent job in his article:

The  summary:

"While the RPM Package manager is not inherently flawed, the way it has
been implemented on various RPM-based Linux distributions have created
major inconveniences for the desktop end user:

1. An RPM-based distribution is risky to upgrade.  [1]
2. A more complex binary RPM package is often hard, if not impossible to install.
3. The incompatibilities between different versions of the RPM Package
Manager added another layer of complexity.
4. The developers are forced to consider differences between 
distributions and create multiple binary packages. [2]

The following solutions have been suggested:

1. Learn to build your own RPMs.
2. Petition the RPM distributions to adhere to common standards.
3. Use more advanced package management tools, such as urpmi or apt-rpm.
4. Switch to Debian or Slackware.
5. Switch to a source-based Linux distributions, such as Gentoo or

[1] It actualy never worked. Remember fiasco with RPM tool not being
ugradable itself.

[2] RPMs from Mandrake don't work with RPMs from RH or vice versa in
most cases.

Simply put: RH is a growing disappointment as technology as well as
investment. Have enough of bad experience in both. The RPM deficiency
problem has been known for years, the alternative solution (APT from
Debian) also, the question is what will RH do about it?

I came to the conclusion that it's better to spend my time on learning
Debian internals (and some of it's sillyness) than waste my time chasing
down unresolvable rpm dependencies. apt-rpm or apt4rpm are not ready for
prime time yet and are not supported widely enough to be usable in
corporate environment.

I hope this does not grow beyond "friendly argument". I'm not married to
any Linux distribution or it's alternatives. OS is only a tool to bring
computers to life and run applications that solve problems or entertain
us. We are fortunate to be able to select the most suitable tools for
our needs. Efficiency and usefulness of tools changes and it's up to us
to compromise and select the best.


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