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December 27, 2006 / Steven Pousty

Project for this week – centOS

I used to use e-apps as my old hosting company and I notice they moved from Fedora to centOS. So I go to the centOS home page and realize that is an open source compilation of the source code for Red Hat Enterpise System (RHES). WHOOAAAA NELLLLY. At first I am a bit skeptical, so I go to the IRC channel (#centos on freenode) and start asking around. Lo and behold this really is RHES just rebranded for centOS. Since I have experience adminning RHES machines this makes me very happy. I was thinking of taking ubuntu for a spin but I was also intrigued by Solaris (two fine open source operating systems). But this let’s me use applications that are certitifed for use on RHES as well as all the other applications that have RPM installs. The reason the certified application should work is that centOS is binary compatible with the latest version of RHEL. One developer told me his company uses centOS internally for development but only certifies on RHEL.

Apparently they use yum for the installer making the patching process better than up2date. So for now I am going to be trying it out and see how well it goes.

Can I also use this opportunity to point out how frickin’ awesome BitTorrent is! I go home last night and start up the swarm from a seed at Stanford, and 2 hours later I have pulled down 2.2 gigs of ISOs. My DSL is 3meg down 500k up. I could not even imagine how long this would have taken over plain old http. All hail the collective!

Update so far today:

The installer was easy cheesy, just like on RHES. The machine is an IBM 6229-22U, which means a 2.2 P4 with a nvidia quadro dual head card, and it has 1 gig of Rambus RAM (page 36 on this document). I chose the kitchen sink install (I think they use a tackle box icon) just so I don’t have to mess with installing other packages later. If I was outside a firewall with multiple users I would be more discriminating in the packages I chose to install. But since it is just my dev box I would rather have the package there and not have to go find it.

After reboot everything came up fine and works great. I do need to look at getting yum to work through the proxy server here at work. I changed the config file to use the proxy server but now it is failing on md5 checksums. Time to dig in…

Yippe for me – I have a unix box under my desk again.


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