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Re: Feature request ... or How to.

On 5/3/2010 1:06 PM, Seth Vidal wrote:

On Mon, 3 May 2010, Les Mikesell wrote:

I've always thought this was a serious omission in all of the package
managers and that it would be really useful to be able to take any
arbitrary machine that might have been carefully tuned for a specific
purpose and 'publish' its package list. Then anyone else who wanted a
similar setup could tell his package manager to duplicate it without
having to repeat the work of researching and choosing the package
list. It would be even better if you could 'subscribe' to a published
list and track the exact versions installed on the master copy so you
wouldn't do updates until you knew someone had tested the new version
combinations already.

The problem is not the pkg list - we have that - debug-dump gives you a
good approximation - the problem is you need to couple that with configs.

Configs are sort-of handled by rpm anyway. The missing piece is that there's not a clean separation of hardware/IP related settings from application preferences. The RH-style extrapolation of local settings into stuff under /etc/sysconfig is a fair start but it would be better if it had some sort of inheritance hierarchy so you had another layer or 2 of defaults with overrides. Then if you set something at the most-local level it would stay put even while you track updates from another source that affect values you haven't set locally.

And by the time you've done that you're better off using kickstart +
configmgmt - like puppet or cfengine or bcfg2.

If the goal is to save time by not having to research and avoid a whole bunch of stuff you really don't need to know about to duplicate a known working and recommended setup (and I'd think a lot of people might have that goal), setting up puppet/cfengine, etc. seems like exactly the wrong approach. With them, you not only need to know exactly the configuration you want ahead of time but also yet-another programming language unlike any other to make it happen. What we need instead is a package manager to do it for us, given a working example to pull the setup from.

  Les Mikesell

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