[Beowulf] A press release

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Thu Jul 3 14:06:03 PDT 2008

On Thu, 3 Jul 2008, Greg Lindahl wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 03, 2008 at 09:38:11AM -0400, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
>> Here's another reason to use tarballs: I have /usr/local shared to all
>> my systems with with NFS. If want to install the lastest version of
>> firefox, you can just do this:
> FWIW, the "rpm way" to do this is (ok, there's more than one way):
> * throw the rpm into your local repo, run createrepo
> * pdsh yum -y update
> Given that 99% of your software is RPMs, having 1% different can be a
> pain. As long as you can get rpms, of course. And you can avoid yet
> another NFS filesystem -- I have none at my company, which reduces
> the monitoring and fixing that I need to do.

...and it can break the hell out of the elaborate dependency system if you
go installing random libraries in e.g. /usr/local, or worse, overwrite
an installed rpm in /usr with a different version.  Entropy is a serious
enemy to scalable sysadmin.  The point of package management is to avoid
it, and stay on the thin edge of optimally scalable LAN administration.

> I'll also note that properly-configured local perl packages are not
> installed in a place where RPMs smash them (/usr/lib/perl5/vendor_perl
> vs. /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl). And you can find many perl rpms at
> rpmforge and atrpms, with accurate dependency info.

We TRY to install "everything" in rpm format.  It is pretty easy to wrap
up even scripts and third party stuff as an rpm, and the extra work is
repaid N times over when you drop the rpm into a repo and it is
installed/updated N times automagically.


> -- greg
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Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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