bergman on 24 Aug 2012 09:16:45 -0700

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[PLUG] CentOS stability vs newer packages (Was: no longer anything at all to do with Re: Tried of Windows...)

In the message dated: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 10:37:44 EDT,
The pithy ruminations from Sam Gleske on 
<Re: [PLUG] Tried of Windows...> were:
=> On Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 9:27 AM, Rich Freeman <> wrote:
=> > On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:59 PM, JP Vossen <> wrote:
=> >> If you can stay only with stuff in the stock repos you are OK to get it
=> >> installed, but even then a lot of that is just too old.
=> >>

I run CentOS on the machines at $WORK. I'm retiring our CentOS4 boxes as soon
as possible (support ends this year), and beginning to move from CentOS5 to

Some of the developers here would like to see newer versions of a lot of
packages, but when the business and infrastructure depend on the servers, I
will almost always choose stability over the 'newest' version.

Having said that, there are some good ways to deal with the inevitable tension
between a stable "enterprise" distribution and having newer packages:

	The EPEL repository provides newer packages from the Fedora line,
	built and packaged for Centos.

	The CentOSPlus packages are similar updates, less 'bleeding edge'
	than EPEL, but a much smaller range:

	The "alternatives" package can ease the process of seamlessly making
	newer versions of a package available without disrupting PATHs, etc.
		man alternatives

	The "environment-modules" package is a terrific way to allow users
	to select from multiple installed versions of products. This
	doesn't address any issues of building packages or OS-level
	compatibility (ie.,  release 4 of 'foobar' requires a newer
	glibc than CentOS5 provides), but it does make it easy to set up
	a consistent environment using different versions. For example,
	we've got 3 different versions of python installed, and packages
	(local & external) that use python. Users here can select their
	peferred python version, and configuration files using the
	"environment-modules" package ensure that they'll get the right
	version of dependent programs.


		which python
		which foobar

		module load python/2.7
		which foobar

		man module
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