[nSLUG] Time to upgrade the server OS...

Donald Teed dteed at artistic.ca
Wed Sep 8 16:09:04 ADT 2004

The fedora pages says the new versions appear at 4 to 6
month intervals, and the updates are up to 3 months after
the next release.  6 + 3 = 9 months lifespan (possibly
a few months more if you had installed it when it first
appeared).  I don't know what it is in practice, but the
statement indicates what you could expect to see.
That means that in some years you would be updating
the OS twice in the same calendar year.  But again,
this might be acceptable to the sysadmin and the
business management if it is merely a 5x8 operation.

It is critical that the upgrade is tested on
another box/disk first.  Redhat treats fedora as
beta zone.  There are gotchas awaiting (as I saw
in RH 8 - a modperl 1.99 beta distributed with Apache 2
which could not have even passed the "Hello, World" test -
which was very clearly noted as incompatible with Apache 2
on the website having the source for modperl).

I got off the Redhat (community) bus for a number of reasons,
but one of them was the announcement around RH 8 that
they would support the OS for only one year.  They hoped
to coax people into upgrading to the paid for product and
instead drove many users to other distros.

--Donald Teed

On Wed, 8 Sep 2004, Jeff Warnica wrote:

> On Wed, 2004-08-09 at 10:03 -0300, David Potter wrote:
>> I'm wondering if there are one or two strong reasons to re-aquaint
>> myself with Debian or some other distro rather than migrating to
>> Fedora
>> C2/3... which looks like a pretty easy path ?
> The devil you know...
> On Wed, 2004-08-09 at 11:37 -0300, Donald Teed wrote:
>> I'd say the answer partly depends on the nature of your
>> "business setting".  If the servers can be brought down
>> for OS upgrades and reinstalls every 4 to 6 months
>> ( see http://fedora.redhat.com/about/rhel.html )
>> then you might be happy with Fedora.  Otherwise you
>> might consider the commercial variety from Redhat.
>> Or even Suse
> A new version of Fedora will come out every 4 to 6 months. That is not
> the same thing as saying that support for a particular release will last
> only 4-6 months. Example: FC-1, released 5 November 2003 will be
> supported by the "main" Fedora project until " the point Fedora Core 3
> Test 2 is released. This is currently scheduled for September 13, 2004."
> _But_, there is a related project http://fedoralegacy.org/: they will
> provide (primarily) security and bug fixes for select versions of
> Fedora, up to two release cycles after they have been dropped from
> Fedora Core. So, FC-1 will be supported by Fedora Legacy until Fedora
> Core drops support for FC-3, sometime between 8 and 12 months from late
> October (FC-3s scheduled release date)
> It was Fedora Legacy dropping support for RH 7.2/8.0 that prompted this
> whole discussion, not RedHat (who dropped support a while ago). This was
> unscheduled, I dont know how long they were planning on supporting those
> versions, but due to lack of community involvement, they were dropped
> early. So it is possible they wont live up to their plans, but that is
> true of Debian, too.
> What I would do is wait until FC-3 comes out (again, late October). Keep
> an eye on the RH9, FC-1, FC-2 security updates (being approximately the
> same packages as with older versions). If they apply to your servers,
> see if you can build them by hand, if not upgrade then to FC-2 (and keep
> FC-2 as long as it is supported by someone).
> In any event, I'd skip right over FC-1. Not because its support window
> is closing, but because it uses the 2.4 kernel. FC-2 uses 2.6. Not
> because newer is automatically better, but because 2.4->2.6 is perhaps
> the single largest difference anywhere between 7.x and the most recent
> release.
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