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Fedora Core and Fedora Extras To Merge 159

Posted by kdawson
from the one-hat-to-bind-them dept.
Kelson writes to tell us about a Fedora Weekly News article reporting that, beginning with Fedora 7, the distinction between Core and Extras will cease to exist. This development comes out of the Fedora summit held in November. From the article: "Starting with Fedora 7, there is no more Core, and no more Extras; there is only Fedora. One single repository, built in the community on open source tools, assembled into whatever spins the Fedora community desires." Kelson adds: "The post goes on to list three 'spins' they plan to introduce at Fedora 7's April release: server, desktop and KDE. Presumably these would be 1-disc installation sets, with further packages downloaded over the network, rather than the 5-CD collection needed to install Fedora 6."
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Fedora Core and Fedora Extras To Merge

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  • by DigitalReverend (901909) on Monday January 08, 2007 @10:43PM (#17518524)
    I won't have a problem with this. In fact, I think it's about time as a lot of things that were called Extras were actually needed items so this will be a good thing. The once CD idea rocks too.
    • by plover (150551) * on Monday January 08, 2007 @11:29PM (#17518836) Homepage Journal
      TFA just said "1 disc" not "1 CD." If FC6 is anything to compare by, it'll need to come on one dual-layer-DVD or perhaps one BluRAY disc.
    • I would prefer... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Monday January 08, 2007 @11:40PM (#17518910) Homepage Journal
      ...something along the lines of SLS or Slackware, where you have logical collections grouped together spread over as many disks as necessary. That way, you wouldn't need three different install spins - you could have just one - and all packages would be extensions. This has many advantages (fewer CDs for special-purpose uses, each collection can be updated independently, you can handle more permutations of install options, and so on) at the not unreasonable cost of having more CDs if you want absolutely everything.

      However, I feel that there are enough packages where the number of permutations of compile-time options is large and where the number of dependencies between package types is unpredictable that the "ideal" would be to have a web interface that let you roll your own set of ISOs online with just the stuff you want with the options that you want. (This is more restrictive than, say, gentoo, but it would be about the same to QA as the current Fedora with less overhead for the admin than Fedora and less install time than gentoo.)

      • by Cylix (55374)
        Ooooh,

        There are a few places out there with scripts that will build a distro from FC.

        The main problem with the last one I used seemed to be proper lack of dependency checking. A secondary problem was not providing any link to what the package provided other then the rpm name itself.

        It was also dreadfully slow!

        All from the comfort of your web browser!

        So at least a bit of this is already started and could very well be improved upon.

        In any event, it's been a while since I've looked at it, but with a bit of rum
        • by jd (1658)
          I've not been impressed with the dependency checking in Rawhide, so maybe that's no big loss. :) Seriously, I'll take a look for some of those scripts, or maybe roll up a few of my own. It shouldn't be hard to do well - either at source level or binary level - and although building an ISO image is nowhere near as fast as it should be, I think it should be easy enough to do better than alright.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by J.Y.Kelly (828209)
          There are a few places out there with scripts that will build a distro from FC.

          I belive that the intention is to use Pungi [fedoraproject.org] to build the isos for the newly merged fedora releases. Since this tool will be public then interested groups will be able to build their own images containing a custom set of packages.

      • While that's a really interesting idea, it's really hard to make that work right with bittorrent. :-(

        • by jd (1658)
          What you'd need is a directory filled with virtual files, where each virtual file's contents is generated by a driver that builds the ISO corresponding to that file and streams the output to the torrent. The length of the ISO would be fixed and padded as necessary, so that the torrent reported and used the correct values. The filename would be an encoding of what set of files you wanted to download and with what sort of options.

          Anyone who downloaded the image could then torrent that image (with that set o

          • Right. The problem is not that it can't be done from a technical perspective. The problem is that torrents rely on bandwidth sharing between everybody who's downloading the identical thing. The amount of bandwidth sharing in a build-your-own-ISO scheme is going to be a LOT smaller.

            IMHO, the ideal solution is something that doesn't exist yet. A way of grabbing some subset of a collection of files in a torrent-like manner. I think this would make it a lot easier to run a mirror too.

    • So, what's the deal with KDE and gnome needing different disks then? It seems bizzare to me that a group of hackers so tightly integrated the desktop into a set of apps that they cannot play nicely with other desktops. If it was M$ integrating a web browser into an OS well, that I get, but Linux is practically splitting into two OS's over the choice of window dressing and themes these days. What the heck is that?!? It's like M$ distributing two versions of XP, one with the classic desktop, and one with
      • by Curien (267780)
        It's not a compatibility thing, it's a look&feel thing. You can use Konqueror with a Gnome desktop or Nautilus with KDE, but why would you want to?
        • by bogado (25959)
          There is the problem with loading two sets of library, a KDE guy will not want to have to load a lot of the gnome dependencies that KDE don't need and vice versa. Much of this is getting better, since both camps are agreeing in use much the same infra-structure in some parts, witch is good, so maybe in the future this will be a lesser problem. :-D
        • by Kelson (129150) *
          There's also applications. I tend to use a Gnome desktop, because I find it easier to work with, but I prefer certain KDE apps like KMail and aKregator.
      • by juhaz (110830)
        Size. They're both pretty hefty, and having both on one CD would pretty much preclude having anything else useful on it.

        Other than that, they'll live on single disk just fine, FC6 DVD does have them both, and no doubt will continue to in the future.
    • by minion (162631)
      I won't have a problem with this. In fact, I think it's about time as a lot of things that were called Extras were actually needed items so this will be a good thing. The once CD idea rocks too.

      Actually, I think this totally sucks. Fedora was the bloated distro, but what was nice about that, is if you were trying to setup a "good for everything" distro, it was the one you reached for, as it was likely to have most everything out of the box that you wanted.

      What I hate is sitting down to do a
      • by timeOday (582209)
        Nah, iso's are inevitably outdated before you even get them. I just did a fresh install of Fedora Core 6 this past weekend. Guess what, the kernel was buggy (cifs filesystem fails on directories with > 100 entries). Better to do a network install so instead of downloading 5 gig DVD, you only download the packages when you need, and get the latest versions. Bandwidth being what it is these days, packages download so fast it's not even worth caching rpm's on your hard drive. At 6Mb/s, firefox downloa
    • by scruffy (29773)
      Doesn't everybody have DVD readers now?

      Anyway, a single CD is cool. Does Redhat survey Fedora users to find out what packages they actually load and use? If I cared enough, I could probably remove 1/3 of the packages that Fedora seems to think I need.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday January 08, 2007 @10:44PM (#17518540) Homepage
    I've been following the development, and while the server install MAY be one cd, I haven't seen anything to suggest that such an artificial restriction would be set. If anything it may be a specific minimal spin.
    • by radarsat1 (786772) on Monday January 08, 2007 @11:04PM (#17518676) Homepage
      I've been following the development, and while the server install MAY be one cd, I haven't seen anything to suggest that such an artificial restriction would be set. If anything it may be a specific minimal spin.


      Why is it that distros are still so predominantly media-based anyways?
      Every single time I've installed Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, or Gentoo in the past.. oh.. 4 years or so, I've done it using a network-based method.
      It seems to me like it's much more efficient to just download the packages you need instead of downloading GB's worth of apps only to actually install and use a portion of them.

      When I _have_ installed from CD, I tend to go and do an update to the latest packages immediately, and end up re-downloading new copies of most of the packages anyways, making it even more of a waste of bandwidth.

      Why do distros still concentrate so much on CD and DVD releases, instead of just promoting the network-based install methods?

      And when will we see a distro that incorporates bittorrent into its packaging download system? ;-)
      (Slightly joking on that last one.. I've no idea if it would be appropriate, not to mention trust-worthy. But it is an interesting idea for distros that can't afford nice servers and don't have tons of mirrors.)
      • by Justin205 (662116)
        Bittorrent would be hard to work with, unless you could find people willing to give up some of their internet connection most of the time to seed packages... Anyway, it's not hard for any open source program to find mirrors in the first place. Many universities provide them, as do places like Sourceforge.
      • by Burdell (228580) on Monday January 08, 2007 @11:13PM (#17518744)
        I recently downloaded a DVD image of SuSE and mailed to a friend stationed in Iraq. Another friend is only able to get dialup at his home (he could probably get satellite, but they have download caps).

        High speed Internet is NOT widespread enough to require everything be done over the network. Even when it is, it is often more convenient to have media in-hand; I have more bandwidth at work (OC3+DS3s) than at home (DSL), so it sometimes still makes sense to burn things at work (or at least download to a notebook) and carry them home.

        Networks are still slow: 3Mbps DSL is about the same speed as a 2x CD-ROM drive.
        • Thanks for reminding me of the reason I chose Fedora in the first place! Back when I first decided to take the plunge into the world of Linux, I asked my friend what distro he recommended. He said he liked debian the best, but since I didn't have broadband, that Fedora would be better since it comes with so many applications right on the discs. He burned some FC2 discs for me and led me through the install and there was little else I had to download. Since it was my first taste, I chose the option of in
      • by pembo13 (770295)
        I normally do a network install from the .iso myself. Apparently there are technical aspects against yum+bittorrent
      • by Rutulian (171771)
        Well, Debian has always had a minimal network-based install. Just checking the Debian page...it appears to be up to 180 MB now. It used to be around 75 MB, but it's growing--mostly because the installer is becoming a lot more sophisticated than it used to be. Gentoo also has a minimal cd coming in at about 120 MB.

        Fedora, when it was Red Hat, used to have an installer you could boot off of a floppy and then do a network install, but I don't think they have that anymore. Ubuntu never really bothered with a mi
        • by rjforster (2130)
          Fedora still has a mini-cd iso you can boot from to do a network install. boot.iso is 7.9MB (in FC6), bigger than a floppy but hardly bloated.
      • by Cylix (55374)
        Indeed, as the network install option is still there and quite easy to find.

        Just last week I burned the boot image (8mb) for FC6 and installed everything else from redhat's servers over the network. It was quite painless from installation to start.

        The only drawbacks were the time involved in nabbing each package and some mirrors were dreadfully broken. (looked like updates were applied to the main tree or a version mismatch)
      • by syousef (465911)
        Hmmm,

        Perhaps CD/DVD distros are most prevalent because not everyone has the same set of circumstances as you.

        1) Some people value (eg. sys admins for large setups) the reliability of getting a repeatable install.

        Imagine reporting bugs in a distro that was continually changing where you couldn't quote a distro number. Yes this could be managed on a network but not so easily as stating a distro CD/DVD version.

        2) Some people will go so far as not installing a patch until it's verified.

        If you're not net connect
        • by jabuzz (182671)
          If you are a sys admin doing large numbers of installs, you at the very least run a local server with a copy of whatever distro you are using and do net installs. In fact if you need *any* media of *any* description then you need to take a long hard look at what you are doing and sort out a pure network install method.

          The only reason to do anything but a net install is if you have very limited bandwidth at the location of the install, but sufficient bandwidth elsewhere to do a download of the CD's/DVD. Unde
          • by syousef (465911)
            There are most certainly other reasons to do a non-network based install. Security and network segregation for one (if you're not physically hauling away and reconfiguring for another network). You clearly have a bias towards installing from the network. That's your perogative, but it doesn't make it the only valid solution to a large scale install.
      • by asuffield (111848)

        And when will we see a distro that incorporates bittorrent into its packaging download system? ;-)
        (Slightly joking on that last one. I've no idea if it would be appropriate

        It wouldn't. A protocol vaguely like bittorrent could work, but bittorrent itself is too focused on smaller, more centralised efforts. You have to realise that any large distribution cannot operate with anything less than several dozen mirrors, and really needs a figure approaching ~100 to maintain good performance, due to the sheer size

      • by mikael (484)
        Why is it that distros are still so predominantly media-based anyways?

        Not everyone has or wants broadband access. While my apartment has combined cable TV/broadband, my parents only have the cheapest AOL monthly subscription available (dialup modem), which is enough for them to book airline flights and read E-mail. Consequently, whenever I go out to visit them, I have to download everything and store it on either on either a USB drive or burn onto read-writable CD's/DVD's just in case of disk failure.
      • by juhaz (110830)
        I don't remember the time when I last had to burn media for OS install, but having image is still very handy. I almost always update FC by pointing anaconda to images on local disk.

        With a fast connection, getting a DVD image from fast mirror or bittorrent is probably faster than downloading thousands of small files (even if the total size of those files is just half of the big one) from servers getting hammered by thousands of ongoing network installs, simply because it spends quite a bit more time actually
    • Ubuntu has become very popular, IMO in large part because of the sheer simplicity of a single CD that now can be used both as 'Live CD' and to install a fully-functioning OS. Once it's installed, you can go back into Synaptic and add more packages if you like, but the point is that you don't have to. This should not have escaped the notice of other distros, who would then be prompted to ask the obvious "Why can't we do that?".

      I haven't seen anything to suggest that such an artificial restriction would be

      • by Bob54321 (911744)

        Ubuntu has become very popular, IMO in large part because of the sheer simplicity of a single CD that now can be used both as 'Live CD' and to install a fully-functioning OS. Once it's installed, you can go back into Synaptic and add more packages if you like, but the point is that you don't have to. This should not have escaped the notice of other distros, who would then be prompted to ask the obvious "Why can't we do that?".

        This is exactly why I installed Ubuntu on my work computer - I only had a couple

      • by pembo13 (770295)
        Well there is the single DVD install, and soon to be an official Live CD.
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      I will admit to the "one CD" limit being wishful thinking on my part, assuming that this would start being feasible now that everything will be "one single repository." Besides, if they're talking about a "desktop spin" and a "KDE spin," that implies leaving KDE off one set of media, which implies paring down the contents of the install media.

      Still, I should have used a phrase like "With any luck..." or "One hopes..." instead of "Presumably..."
  • ...Now if only they could also roll atrpms into Core/Extras.

    </wishful_thinking>

    (Yeah, I know why they can't)
  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday January 08, 2007 @11:04PM (#17518678) Homepage
    I've been a Fedora user from the start and a Redhat user before that. I have resisted everyone's pleadings about Ubuntu and all the rest. But one thing I wish would change (though I know never will) would be having the more fun and useful things included like DVD and other media playback support. Just house that spin in some other country that doesn't care about the patents and stuff...you know?
    • Maybe the Livna [livna.org] people could host Livna Linux, which is just Fedora core with all their evil patent encumbered and/or non-Free packages in place of the fully Free but less capable ones. If they only provided the download via bittorrent it likely wouldn't even cost them a huge amount of bandwidth.

      • by erroneus (253617)
        Now you're talking. That would be the best way. Then the IPW2200 drivers or the ATI stuff would just be in there. Don't get me wrong -- I'm quite used to the notion of having to do those post-install tweaks and all that but new 'end users' won't. But you're right that the Livna people would be the most likely and most appropriate to pull it off. Cause I gotta tell ya, for me at least, Fedora schnidt just works for me and has been like that for me since FC5.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by essdodson (466448)
      There's a difference between what's right and what's easy. People need to be aware of the implications of software patents and this is one way of driving that message home.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Monday January 08, 2007 @11:06PM (#17518692) Homepage
    beginning with Fedora 7, the distinction between Core and Extras will cease to exist.

    I think the DOJ refers to that as "bundling".
  • maybe upgrades will work better...
  • by Samrobb (12731) on Monday January 08, 2007 @11:52PM (#17518968) Homepage Journal

    Seriously.

    I spent the last 5 years working for TimeSys [timesys.com], and we did a lot of work to adapt various Fedora Core packages for embedded systems use.

    One of the tools we developed along the way was something called tsrpm [timesys.com], a set of wrappers for RPM that makes cross-compiling RPMs a relatively painless process. It's open source (GPL), has support for a number of different processor architectures (x86, various flavors of ARM and PPC, etc.), and can be used to compile packages using a glibc or uclibc based tool chains. It's non-intrusive, and uses a hint file (standard bash shell script) to conditionally control various phases of the RPM and source code build process. It's even capable of building a cross-development tool chain from source RPMs, though that process can be a little hairy.

    When I left, IIRC, we had over 300 RPMs, mostly from FC5, that we could build for a good 9-10 distros (variations of architecture/libc combinations). That was the result of myself and the tsrpm author (Chris Faylor) spending about 2-3 months on the whole thing... and that included the time it took for Chris to get new gcc-4.x based tool chains building for most of the architectures.

    If anyone's curious, you can see the free-as-in-[beer,speech] releases of tsrpm and some whet-your-appetite FC5-based distros here [timesys.com].

  • First the Extras, then the Redhat Server distributions. Then CentOs. Then SuSE. Soon Debian, Ubuntu and friends. Then Fedora will consume Mac OS, and last, with a giant belch, Vista. This is all part of their evil plan to take over the universe, and I, for one, welcome our new Fedora overlords!
    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      I'm waiting for Fedora Gentoo. You'll download an RPM (RedHat Portage, Managed) build file that specifies which exact versions of GCC and libraries to use in order to get the exact same version of the program that RedHat has on its servers. In the end your results are hashed and the hash is compared with the corresponding ones on the RedHat servers. That way you get all the advantages of Gentoo (compiling the packages yourself) and RPM (a package is binary-identical on all platforms)!
  • 5-CD collection? (Score:3, Informative)

    by FooAtWFU (699187) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @01:10AM (#17519440) Homepage
    Hey, I just installed Fedora Core 6 last Thursday, and I'm pretty sure there were 6 of those darned CDs I had to mess around with.
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      I'm pretty sure there were 6 of those darned CDs

      Could be. I was going from memory, and I ended up not actually burning any ISOs on any of the machines where I installed FC6. I did a net install on one, and a hard drive based install on the other two. Either way, the exact number didn't leave much of an impression.

  • Role Of Community (Score:4, Interesting)

    by quantaman (517394) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @01:45AM (#17519646)
    This is interesting since Fedora Core packages are maintained only by Red Hat employees whereas extras contains both Red Hat and user maintained packages. I wonder if Red Hat will continue to mark a few important packages in the unified repo as Red Hat only, or if they might have more direct leadership over the unified repo than they currently do over extras.
  • Other Fedora 7 Plans (Score:3, Informative)

    by mandreiana (591979) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @02:22AM (#17519812) Homepage
    • by yog (19073) *
      Thanks for the information. Damn, I'm still on (heavily updated) FC5 and have downloaded the FC6 dvd. I wonder if I should just skip this one and take FC7 when it comes out in April.

      These upgrades are always painful and it takes about 2-3 weeks to shake out the problems and get my system working nicely again. However, it's always cool to see how much they've improved stuff.
  • by vga_init (589198) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @02:32AM (#17519848) Journal
    You mean like Ubuntu? It looks like Fedora is taking some tips from the "other" distro.

    Personally, that was one of the things I liked about Fedora--I could download the incredibly large DVD that contained everything and the kitchen sink. Download packages over the network? Pff... I used to sit there and remove/insert CD after CD of the latest linux systems. I remember I had SuSE professional that came with 7 discs. When I finally got a DVD burner, it turns out I didn't need it anymore... distros magically fit on a single CD all of the sudden. >:o
    • When I finally got a DVD burner, it turns out I didn't need it anymore... distros magically fit on a single CD all of the sudden.
      With a modern Unix/Linux, distros magically fit on a couple of floppy disks, provided you have access to the internet. It's hard to beat that.
    • Comparison:

      The ubuntu 'main' component contains ~1300 packages. These are the only packages available by default (apart from a very select choice of non-GPL software in the 'restricted' component), and the only packages that are officially supported. 1300 packages (one CD) just stretches to linux, gnu, x11, gnome, perl, python (and openoffice) - things you'd expect on every system. If you want anything else (and you certainly will), you can find at least 15000 packages in the 'universe' component, which co
  • If an operating system release is not supported with security patches in the long term, it may not be a good long-term choice for production machines. The folks maintaining http://www.fedoralegacy.org/ [fedoralegacy.org] recently announced that they were punting on maintaining everything before Core 4. Ask yourself: in 1.5 years, do I really want to be forced to install a new OS because I can't get security patches on this one? Compare against Ubuntu LTS, which will be around for at least 3-5 more years.
    • It has been said many times that Fedora has never been intended as a long-term supported product. Rather it's a bleeding edge system where new stuff gets tried out and the wrinkles get ironed out before going into Red Hat Enterprise. If you need a long-term production machine with long term patches, you don't really want Fedora in the first place, but rather Red Hat Enterprise or one of its clones (CentOS, etc).
  • That would be at http://www.fedora.info/ [fedora.info]

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