No more deltarpms by default

Rejy M Cyriac rcyriac at
Wed Oct 22 13:18:29 UTC 2014

On 10/17/2014 05:52 AM, poma wrote:
> On 06.10.2014 16:46, Jaroslav Reznik wrote:
>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> On Mon, 2014-10-06 at 10:54 +0100, Ian Malone wrote:
>>>> On 6 October 2014 09:41, Rahul Sundaram <metherid at> wrote:
>>>>> Hi
>>>>> One of the long standing features that were enabled by default in yum is
>>>>> support for delta rpms.  dnf developers have disabled this and I think
>>>>> this
>>>>> change deserves a broader discussion
>>>> "I have an internet flatrate at 150 mbs, and downloading the full rpms
>>>> is ALOT faster than the the work that the delta rpms requires."
>>>> Wow. Good to see normal users are taken into account. The main
>>>> argument from a distro point of view is reducing load on servers, but
>>>> I don't know many people on 150Mbs either. Heck, I've just tested my
>>>> work janet connection and that's <100Mbs in our office. At home 8Mbps
>>>> is a good day. (I'm assuming mbs is a typo for Mbps and not milli bit
>>>> seconds, where the very slow transfer speed declines exponentially as
>>>> the connection progresses.)
>>> The deltarpms were meant to serve two purposes
>>> 1) (lesser) Address the needs of users in developing countries (where
>>> Fedora is fairly popular) and bandwidth concerns are very considerable.
>>> Many of these users have connections that are either metered or
>>> extremely slow, so deltarpms provides a way to get the data to them more
>>> economically. This of course can be handled with a non-default option,
>>> so we can talk about making that more discoverable if we disable them by
>>> default.
>> This is a good point but even in developing countries internet access is
>> getting better and better. A few years ago installation DVD was the only
>> way how to access Fedora repo. It's not requested anymore. But yeah, I do
>> not live there.

I strongly disagree with this point. The internet access in developing
countries may be getting better, but that is primarily city focused, and
even in cities, the cost of internet access is still high.

In a large developing country like India (where I live), a huge
percentage of the population lives away from the cities. Unlike people
living in the cities, the people in the small towns are more likely to
be open to using Fedora, for reasons of both cost and principles. I work
with the Fedora FreeMedia program, and I send out around 50 Fedora DVDs
a month, out of which a good number is to individuals and organizations
in rural areas.

Regarding the use of deltarpms, if it were not for the availability of
deltarpms, a large number of Fedora systems in developing countries will
remain not updated, or very irregularly updated, which will result in a
large number of Fedora users being exposed to security vulnerabilities.
The users will not be able to help it, because the cost for internet
access here is often tied to bandwidth usage, and even a weekly update
of Fedora using the full rpms will be too expensive. Add to that the
unreliability of the internet access, leading to download errors for
bigger packages, and most users will choose not to update.

So from what I know, based on my personal experience, and my experience
in the Fedora FreeMedia program, the Fedora install and Live DVDs are
still very relevant, and deltarpms are extremely relevant for developing
countries. Please do not sound the death knell for these highly
essential tools, based just on the experience in developed countries.

p.s. Thanks to poma for bringing this mail thread to my attention. I was
not on the Fedora devel list so far. I have now subscribed to the Fedora
devel list, so as not to miss such important discussions. :-)


Rejy M Cyriac (rmc)

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