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O'Reilly: It's a Cycle of Life Thing: Managing Linux Releases

Mar 21, 2003, 11:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David HM Spector)

[ Thanks to David Spector for this link. ]

"One of the things I used look forward to about twice a year was a new release of Red Hat (RH) Linux. I'm pretty conservative on my main desktop system, where I write my articles and do my main development, and tend to run a pretty out-of-the-box configuration. I leave my hotrodding for my experimental system, where it doesn't matter if I accidentally trash a disk. Up until recently (say, Red Hat 7.2), upgrading my system wasn't a major hassle, because the overall rate of change of packages was relatively small and the improvements in system performance, as well as the look and feel of the user interface/experience, got to be more fun with each new release.

"The release of the 2.4 series kernel made a lot more functionality available to developers, and the Linux community has taken advantage of it with wild abandon. With the release of Red Hat 7.3 (and SuSE 8.0, and most other Linux distributions from about mid-2001), I noticed a sudden bump in the number of applications available and a radical change in the dependencies in any given distribution, release after release.

"For many users, upgrading a system or two is not a major hassle; they put in the CD-ROMs and go. However, the picture gets a bit more interesting if you're an enterprise using Linux for development or, dare I say it, as the corporate desktop standard for your users..."

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