So Killer and I have been working on putting together a Fedora Core 8 based upgrade package for our servers. We started out by doing a minimal Fedora Install from the main distro the plan being to cull the package list and create our own kickstart.
If I didn’t like to keep the language here reasonably clean, it would be so much easier to describe just how abysmal I think Fedora Core 8 is. So I’ll have to make do with: Bloat, on a stick made from a 10-foot wide “toothpick” wrapped in 3 tons of cling film, sealed in a fancy new ziploc bag made of 6 foot thick flastic, refrigerated down to “within 500 degrees of absolute zero” for freshness in a room with 17 superheaters running at full blast.
Fedora fans will tell me that I need the right “spin”. Oh yeah? Would I figure out which that was by using the bloody useless “spins” page? Download ’em randomly and try ’em all till I find one I like?
When you start trying to trim the fat on packages, it is incredibly easy to have yum come back and say “okie doke, want me to rip out half the system including nash, passwd, yum, initscripts, etc?”
Why, for instance, does so much depend on festival: I can’t have a gui package manager without text-to-speech?
Or why must firstboot-tui depend on ipv6libraries and clients? Presumably because as well as allowing you to configure your IPv4 interfaces it wants to ask you about IPv6 support. Guess we have to install IPv6 then, so we can say no.
I was tickled that when we uninstalled Gnome, it uninstalls the GConf2 package first leaving it subsequently unable to unregister all of the other gnome packages properly generating warning after warning after warning :)
There are some fairly obvious signs that the Fedora Team has quit bothering to try and track dependencies and seems to have decided that more packages = better.
To be honest, Fedora feels like it is in free-fall.
Of course, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal to change distro, since we really do use a very minimal install. We stripped Fedora 8 down to about 280 packages – we ripped out all the gnome, X-windows and sound libraries, the httpd we had explicitly asked it not to install, the java we had asked it not to install, lots of libraries we couldn’t seem to figure out why there were installed (libmusicbrainz?). In the end we seem to have an awful lot of clutter – particularly python and python related cruft, but the python dependency lists seem to be the worst mess of all and we got tired of trying to pick out what bits we could safely remove.