[svlug] RH dependencies, not using up2date

Walter Reed wreed at hubinternet.com
Mon Jul 29 17:40:13 PDT 2002

On Mon, Jul 29, 2002 at 02:21:02PM -0700, Will Francis wrote:
> > Oh come now. Are you saying that RH doesn't know that rpm's failure to handle
> > dependencies isn't a known issue? It's one of the biggest complaints out
> > there!!  Frankly, it almost seems that RH is holding back on this issue to push
> > RHN (up2date) which DOES handle dependencies. This is fine, I guess, but it
> > makes RH a poor choice for Linux if you don't plan on paying (or are not able
> > to pay) for RHN. 
> Are you trying to suggest that the only place to get the updated RPMs is with
> RHN? They are mirrored nearly every place that carries the distributions
> (and I've seen a few mirrors that carry just the updates). Yes, it might
> take a day or so for the mirrors to catch up, but it's entirely possible to
> get the updates for free in a timely manner. You just have to do a little 
> more work.

How the heck do you read that into my statements? Everyone knows that RPMs are
mirrored everywhere.  It's all about dependency handling, or the lack of it in
the rpm tool. Marc's point stands. If you download foo.rpm, and foo depends on
bar.rpm you can't just say "rpm -ivh foo.rpm" and have it automatically
download and install the dependancy bar.rpm. Even if you DO download bar.rpm
and it lives in the same directory as foo.rpm, it STILL won't get installed for
you. You have to explicitly list all the dependencies on the command line to
rpm. That's manual, archaic, and a known issue for YEARS. 

> > 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.
> As described above, not for RH either with additional simple tools.

Are these tools available on the install media? Are they supported by Red Hat?
> I won't claim that dependency issues aren't ever a problem (though I've seemed
> to have had _nearly_ none compared to what others claim here), but I think that
> it's more of a social problem, rather than a technical one with RPM itself.

The fact that the rpm tool doesn't handle dependencies and RH doesn't supply
any other tool that doesn't go through RHN that DOES handle dependencies IS a
technical issue. It's also an internal political / business / financial
decision that RH has obviously made. WHich was my point.

> Personally (and I _really_ don't mean this as a troll), while I like Debian for
> apt, I find it's release cycle too slow for me. The few problems I've had with
> RPM (admittedly being careful) is worth it to be a bit more up to date for me.
> That's why there is 100 flavors of ice cream...

That's fine. Debian has other flavors of releases too (testing, unstable) that
are more up to date (than "stable") that IMHO are as stable or more stable than
RH final releases.  Historically, RH has been known (and bashed for) releasing 
beta code (the gcc 2.96 debacle comes to mind) that has not been well tested.
Most RH admins I know won't touch a *.0 or even a *.1 RH release due to the
historic instability. 

I'm not saying RH is a bad company or has bad distros, but I am saying that they
have made some business and technical decisions that have made this former RH
user switch to a different distro. I had had enough. If you find RH workable,
good for you, I know you are not alone. Anyone that buys the subscription to
RHN is also probably happy with it as it does provide a service to those users.

My point was (and is) that RH has made the business of automated updates and
dependency handling a paid service (with the exception of a single computer
"free" limited Demo - https://rhn.redhat.com/preview/index.pxt). This doesn't
work for everyone.

More information about the svlug mailing list