Fedora "backports" repo? (Was Re: PostgreSQL 9 for F14?)

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at redhat.com
Wed Sep 22 14:34:34 UTC 2010

On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 09:22:21AM -0500, Bruno Wolff III wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 10:24:38 +0100,
>   "Richard W.M. Jones" <rjones at redhat.com> wrote:
> > 
> > I use Rawhide on my laptop and one of my servers, so I'll tell you the
> > answer to this: because critical components such as the kernel are
> > often broken.  IME this is because there is no testing of these
> > components before they get pushed out, and also the kernel developers
> > ignore bug reports.
> The kernel isn't that big of a deal unless there is a bug tied to your
> specific hardware. You can make the default the old kernel on updates
> and upgrade the kernel at a convenient time. If one breaks things for
> everyone, that will get fixed pretty quick. If there is a bug tied to specific
> hardware, affecting a small number people, it can take a long time to fixed
> in some cases.
> I find it's more just random stuff breaks and I need to work around something
> at a bad time. This is more likely to happen when some big change first
> lands. Or when the thunderbird guys update thunderbird and sunbird, but don't
> care if sunbird even works.
> If we were better about getting big changes in before the branch, running
> branched versions would probably be reasonable for people that want something
> close to a rolling update.

No, I think you are wrong.

First of all, I can see no benefit in pushing a package that cannot do
its basic function to Rawhide.  Even in Rawhide, no one wants a kernel
that doesn't boot, even if in some circumstances they could go to the
trouble of downgrading their kernel.  If we can test these situations
easily and reject these packages, we should just do it.  (libguestfs
%check is a proof by example that such a thing is possible and easy in

Secondly, it does matter that in Rawhide you can at least get to the
login prompt, log in, and get a shell.  AIUI this was the basic idea
behind the critical path packages.  From the shell you have a hope of
fixing things.  Your browser not working is a problem you might be
able to fix with a shell.  Your kernel hanging under disk load or
hanging in init scripts (both actual problems with the current Rawhide
kernel) is a good deal more complex to fix.


Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat http://people.redhat.com/~rjones
libguestfs lets you edit virtual machines.  Supports shell scripting,
bindings from many languages.  http://et.redhat.com/~rjones/libguestfs/
See what it can do: http://et.redhat.com/~rjones/libguestfs/recipes.html

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