I really really hate RPM Based systems, I cringe every time I step near one. Granted, no where near as much as I do every time I use a windows system, but it pains me more and more every time. First of all, I feel for anyone coming from windows that thinks they wish to try Linux, and decides “Redhat is the way to go” because that’s what business’s use. it’s wrong, Please don’t do it, pick something like ubuntu, mint, or almost anything based on Debian (even Debian itself is quite friendly in my opinion). Business’s use Redhat because there’s a support contract and they can get bugs fixed fast, that’s the only reason I can see.
So, on to my rant about RPM systems, why do I hate them? Well, I run monitoring software called Nagios, this has a remote package called NRPE, this allows me to run scripts on remote systems for monitoring and works very well. This package is found in the repository called “EPEL” (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) hosted by the folks at Fedora.
I am unable to update my system because RPM system is broken. I commonly have an issue with installing something like webmin on a fresh Debian install, it would be nice if it was a little better, but it’s ok, I do the following:
dpkg -i install webmin*.deb
This results in an error that I do not have packages installed that it requires, no problem, the following command is what I want (and it tells me!)
apt-get install -f
This downloads and installs the packages required, and then installs my webmin package, great.
Now, lets see about RHEL, we have YUM, ok, I want to update my system, so I run “yum update” this chugs away and eventually comes back with:
Error: Missing Dependency: nagios-plugins = 1.4.15-2.el5 is needed by package nagios-plugins-disk
Error: Missing Dependency: nagios-plugins = 1.4.15-2.el5 is needed by package nagios-plugins-load
Error: Missing Dependency: nagios-plugins = 1.4.15-2.el5 is needed by package nagios-plugins-users
Error: Missing Dependency: nagios-plugins = 1.4.15-2.el5 is needed by package nagios-plugins-procs
Here, I grumble. but ok, quick search for nagios-plugins 1.4.15-2.el5 on google and I find the package, but interestingly the package I downloaded was from the EPEL repository, so, it’s there! why did it not find it? Anyway, ignoring that issue, I try installing it, I alerady have an older nagios-plugins installed, so I run the following:
rpm -Uvh nagios-plugins-1.4.15-2.el5.x86_64.rpm
This results in the following:
nagios-common is needed by nagios-plugins-1.4.15-2.el5.x86_64
Was it not by the older package? or does it mean I have an older version? who knows. Anyway, I run “yum install nagios-common” and that’s now installed, from EPEL, great. So we try rpm -Uvh nagios-plugins-1.4.15-2.el5.x86_64.rpm again, and this time I get the follwing:
error: Failed dependencies:
nagios-plugins = 1.4.13-11.el5 is needed by (installed) nagios-plugins-disk-1.4.13-11.el5.x86_64
nagios-plugins = 1.4.13-11.el5 is needed by (installed) nagios-plugins-load-1.4.13-11.el5.x86_64
nagios-plugins = 1.4.13-11.el5 is needed by (installed) nagios-plugins-users-1.4.13-11.el5.x86_64
nagios-plugins = 1.4.13-11.el5 is needed by (installed) nagios-plugins-procs-1.4.13-11.el5.x86_64
But, wait I was trying to update those packages, it just couldn’t find the one I’m trying to install here. Despite it being in the same place in the repositories! By this time I can feel my blood pressure starting to rise, which is never a good thing. I also keep saying to myself “on Debian, I just run apt-get install … and it does it” anyway, I have to run RHEL for work purposes, all my servers at work are actually running Debian, however, for building we run RHEL to be “compatible” with our customers. Except, we can’t be because it won’t update! So now I have to download the other packages manually, and install them, manually, because it can’t find them.
I’m starting to get annoyed with this, and if it was my own system that I did not need for work, it would have been changed to Debian long ago.
All I can say, is that I feel for anyone that “Tries” Linux and goes for an RPM solution. This is not the first time I have had this issue, and I have even had the issue within the main repositories with packages. It’s annoying, It’s frustrating, and I can’t get rid of it. I just HATE it!
Given a choice of package managers, I would opt for Portage followed by Apt, both are incredibly good and I have very few issues with them.