Network install overdue
Posted Mar 16, 2006 21:50 UTC (Thu) by JoeBuck
Parent article: Fedora core 5 will (temporarily) break non-GPL modules
This reminds me of a complaint I've had for some time about the way Fedora does releases. Instead of giving everyone one CD (or a fraction of one CD) that has the base system, installs it, and then uses yum to retreive the latest versions of each package from the net, the Fedora project tells everyone to download four CDs, or a DVD ISO via BitTorrent, 80% of which consists of packages that the user will not install. This is a massive waste of bandwidth, especially when we have packages of signficant size that are already known to be broken before the first ship date. I recently installed Fedora Core 4 on a new machine, and yum needed to download more than a gigabyte of packages to update the system. Almost every large package had been replaced: the kernel, X, almost all of Gnome, OpenOffice, Firefox, and hundreds of other packages. Almost everything I installed from the CD was a waste of time. It also places an unnecessary hurdle in front of people who would like to try out Fedora.
I don't criticize Fedora for updating their packages frequently; this is a good thing. But Fedora could take a lesson from Debian: provide a small install image; install what you need (and only what you need) from the net. And since the consumers of ISOs, under this regime, will be those with limited access, it's not OK if the ISOs get to the point where half the packages need upgrades. It is then time to do a stable point release, as Debian does, and produce new ISOs that have the bug fixes included.
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