As Fedora Core 2 (FC2) is transferred to the Fedora Legacy Project, some users may
be surprised to find that the project will be focusing only on the i386
platform, leaving users of FC2 on x86_64 platforms to fend for themselves
when it comes to security updates and bugfixes.
For those not familiar with Fedora Legacy, the project provides support for
Red Hat 7.3, Red Hat 9, and Fedora Core releases past their "end-of-life."
With Fedora Core releases, the project uses a "1-2-3 and out" policy. When
Red Hat's Fedora team stops providing support for an FC release, the Fedora
Legacy project begins maintaining the release, for two additional
releases. Note that the idea behind the Legacy project is not to provide
new packages for retired releases, but only to provide security updates and
necessary fixes. Users who want the newest software need to look to newer
Unlike Fedora Core, the Fedora Legacy project is not directly sponsored by
Red Hat, though the group does receive some assistance from Red Hat. We
talked to Jesse Keating, Fedora Legacy Project Leader, about the lack of
support for FC2 on x86_64, what alternatives users have, and whether the
project will be supporting future x86_64 releases.
Keating said that the project lacks the developers to keep up with x86_64 in
addition to maintaining i386 versions of FC:
Primarily it is lack of developers/testers for package testing and
approval. Starting off with the small set we have, and trying to subset
them into x86_64 users is pretty tough. Further reasons include lack of
physical resources (build hardware, rack space, bandwidth), build software
changes, and publishing changes necessary to handle x86_64.
Indeed, it does seem that the Legacy project is a bit short-staffed. The (volunteer) positions page
lists quite a few vacancies.
We also asked Keating how the project was building packages, whether they
used a system similar to Debian buildd or something else. Keating said
that the project is using a version of mach to
build packages, and that they're looking to have a system that can produce
i386 and x86_64 packages.
This allows us to build in a fresh chroot each time, and do multiple builds
of a package for different RH/FC releases. It works pretty well for what
we need it for. In the near future we will look at moving to the new
Fedora Extras build system that is currently in development. Our goal is
to be able to have one build system we can use to produce both 32bit and
64bit packages. Currently 32bit packages have to be built on a 32bit host
and 64bit packages will have to be built on a 64bit host. The main build
hardware that Pogo Linux donated to the project is x86_64 capable (dual
Opteron) but we're using it in a 32bit mode currently. Given the price of
rack space and bandwidth and all things associated we may not be able to
afford a second 64bit build system. So we'll probably have to wait until
the new build software is complete and re-design/deploy our Legacy build
Users who are in no hurry to upgrade to later FC releases can try building
the source RPMs on x86_64. Keating invited those users to offer feedback on
the packages, and said that users "typically" don't run into
issues when trying to compile i386 packages on x86_64.
Keating did say that it's likely that there would be support for x86_64 in
the future, given that there are more users for x86_64 with each new FC
release. Since the Legacy project is strictly a volunteer operation, the
best way to see to it that there is support for x86_64 is for users to get
involved with the project.
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