Fedora LTS?

Wikipedia migrated from Red Hat Linux 9 (WTF??) and Fedora (certainly not a wise idea for a large deployment that doesn't want lots of moving parts) to Ubuntu.

Some people started raising that inexistence of some sort Fedora LTS is a problem. But, I agree with Mike McGrath post that Fedora serve the niche of a fast paced distro in the Linux ecosystem. Ever since my first day with Fedora , Fedora have been an exciting place to test out new technologies of the FOSS world. Yes it crashes here and there sometimes - eg: AIGLX and compiz during the early days, new Xorg, etc, but thats a common risk when you are choosing to live with this fast paced distro. CentOS filled the gap perfectly for my server needs, combined with Fedora EPEL, CentOS is just right. The only thing missing from CentOS currently is only Livna, (I don't really like RPMForge), once RPMFusion provide packages for CentOS, perhaps it'll be my main distro choice for installing in desktops that i'm lazy to take care of (eg: the family computer back at home).

Fedora LTS ? .. here it is .. or if branding a long term distro with Fedora name is really that important, how about revisor'ing CentOS, add fedora theme packages and name it Fedora-LTS .. or maybe , Rahul, how about a Omega-LTS? :P

P/S: Ain't ability to fork is one of the beauty of FOSS? Don't like how it is currently? Fork it! ^o^


Anonymous said…
Except that Centos isn't Fedora. It doesn't have the ecosystem around it, the number of available packages is considerably lower (hell I have no idea of rpmfusion or livna even supports it). It's not part of Fedora in any logical sense, their buildsystem is completely seperate, e.g.

It's Fedora in the sense that they are our estranged cousins, I rarely see CentOS people trying to affect Fedora in a dircetion they would like e.g..

Thus I believe advocating it as the Fedora LTS is kinda misleading. A true LTS of Fedora would be somewhere in between what CentOS offers and what Fedora does. A longer cycle of support with the same wide range of packages as well as the same interface for reporting bugs. Also method of updating would have to be examined, we might not want to have API/ABI stability promises like RHEL/CentOS - in fact i doubt that is what people really want when they say they want a Fedora LTS. I think it boils down to wanting "better tested updates" and "the occasional longer support cycle". The longer support cycle is mainly for certification of the stack (our stack moves all the time so forget it, use CentOS or RHEL) and to avoid broken distro upgrades. So if we can ensure better updates and keep large parts of the stack the same across the distros (like keeping the same Mono, backporting GNOME after it has proven itself and such) we would have less software to support at the same basic cost and we would make distro upgrades less painful so a longer support cycle would not be as heavily needed.

Better tested updates we should do anyways, we need better tools to handle regressions and we need a better feedback loop to catch problems. All of this should be as automated as possible. Something like Apport and Smolt could help us identify problem areas. Exposing bodhi in the interface as a "recent updates, click here if something stopped working" thing maybe in the packagekit log. All this would help us do a better Fedora. LTS or not we need this, the fact that it would aid the burden in making the occasional cycle longer is pretty much irrelevant but a nice bonus.

I think making Fedora as a whole LTS is the goal we want. Make the stack of software naturally as small as possible, test updates and make the upgrade as smooth as possible. Thus Fedora becomes supported in theory forever.

This naturally ignores ISVs but we can only make promises for Fedora. I don't believe it's in our interest to promise API/ABI stability and I doubt users are really requesting it when they say they want LTS.

Buttomline, before we say we can't do LTS, we should examine what people really want when they say we need one. For some CentOS is what they want and they should not be using Fedora in the first place but for most I would reckon we could accommodate them within Fedora with few and in many cases generally beneficial changes.
Anonymous said…
Go look at what happens on launchpad.net ... Sure, they got long term "supported" version out always. 2/3 of their open bugs are for those LTS versions that are ancient already and no developer really has any interest in poking around with the ancient releases, as the bugs likely are not in the newest releases. In other words, there is no support for the LTS, nearly at all. (Perhaps if you shell out hard cash to Canonical it works though.)

No sane distribution should do the same.

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