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Re: Machine available for community use

From: Greg Smith <gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com>
To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Machine available for community use
Date: 2007-07-25 19:57:54
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Wed, 25 Jul 2007, Tom Lane wrote:

> The problem I've got with Gentoo is that it encourages homegrown builds
> with randomly-chosen options and compiler switches.

It encourages it, but it certainly doesn't require it.  Knowing that this 
is a NOC machine, I don't think there's going to be a lot of fiddling with 
custom builds.

> That would tend to make me vote for RHEL/Centos, where long-term 
> stability is an explicit development goal.  Debian stable might do too, 
> though I'm not as clear about their update criteria as I am about Red 
> Hat's.

RHEL is certainly on the stable at the expense of slow to change side of 
things, and Debian stable is even slower.  However, at this very moment, 
there have been very recent refreshes from just about everybody such that 
the options available are very similar.  Here's the current state of 

RHEL 5.0:  March 2007, kernel 2.6.18, glibc 2.5
Debian Stable 4.0:  April 2007, kernel 2.6.18, glibc 2.3.6
Ubuntu 7.0.4:  April 2007, kernel 2.6.20, glibc 2.5
Gentoo 2007.0:  May 2007, kernel 2.6.19, glibc 2.5

( is the best site to drill through details like 
this if anyone else wants to dig further/double-check me here)

I would hate to see this system installed with any kernel <2.6.18 or with 
glibc<2.5 because that's clearly where the line of current generation 
releases starts.  I'd consider Debian Stable a poor choice accordingly. 
I don't think you're going to see a lot of difference right now between 
RHEL 5/Gentoo 2007.0/Ubuntu 7.0.4; all the major packages and kernels are 
really similar.  A year from now, there will be much more divergance were 
a fresh install done with current versions of each at that point, but 
there's nothing that says the system has to be upgraded then.

The think the main argument for either Gentoo or Ubuntu over RHEL/Centos 
comes down to ease of installing additional packages to support building 
the kinds of random software that you end up needing on a development 
system.  Not the core code, but the add-on packages needed to run the 
various benchmark/monitoring packages people may want.  To pick a random 
example, the last time I was using an older SuSE system it was a pain to 
get DBT2 running on it, and I ended up having to build the documentation 
on another system altogether because it was easier than sorting out a 
weird RPM issue I ran into.

Pulling packages from the Ubuntu universe with apt-get is usually trivial 
and the available package base is very broad.  Running emerge to get new 
things into Gentoo is normally straightforward.  RPM-based installs on 
RHEL are still sometimes tricky, and my take on the breadth of the 
official repositories is that they're not as wide.

* Greg Smith gsmith(at)gregsmith(dot)com Baltimore, MD

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