It would be nice if… (Fedora package management)

This is a long time (Since Fedora Core 4 if I remember correctly! (When Fedora started using yum)) that Fedora package management have some persistent small problems, that has a HUGE effect on an end users feeling. The simplest case and the most important thing is support for installation media by Fedora package manager.

Fedora uses internet repositories by default. That’s certainly not a problem for users with daily access to broadband internet connection. But what about a user without such an internet connection?! (Lots of users in my country!)

A new Linux user installs Fedora. Then, he decides to see what other packages are available in Fedora DVD (or its CD sets). He finds Add/Remove Software in the menus and runs it… But he finds out that he cannot use it at all to browse available packages and install them. IMHO, that’s too bad for a distribution to not recognize its installation media by default. A user without any network connection should be able to use its distributions installation media out of the box. And also, the package manager should not tell you that you cannot install ANY packages without a network connection! Certainly, installing a package from installation media doesn’t need any network connection!!

Yes, that’s true that you can add your Fedora DVD as a repository to yum (which cannot be done with GUI currently! But even if it was possible, it was still too much if you were required to type the URL yourself), but that’s not desirable at all. It must work by default, or at most by enabling an option in an accessible GUI.

This reason is enough for me to not insist on using Fedora for new users, the above reason is enough for them to have a dark image about Fedora!
While such an important problem exists, I won’t talk about not having any indication of the remaining download size in PackageKit… 😦


8 responses to this post.

  1. i agree….


  2. Hi! you can try the article at for setting your Fedora to use DVD as a repo


    • Hi! Thanks, but I know how to do it! What I’m going to say is that in my opinion, it should work out of the box. That’s a reasonable expectation. You should not expect a new Linux user to follow those manuals. New users don’t like it. I don’t like it too (And this is a good reason for me to suggest new users to use Ubuntu rather than Fedora 😦 ).
      New users prefer Ubuntu, that can do this simple things for them without such extra configurations.


  3. While I somewhat agree, note that the contents of “Everything” (and new updates/packages since the release) are not on the install media, as is the case with 3rd party repos.

    Thus, I am not sure being able to use the DVD is really that great of a feature if you don’t have access to the content /not/ on the DVD.


  4. Sorry, I don’t get it. If you want something not on DVD, you can use online repositories. But consider that you’ve not installed a big package like eclipse when you were installing you Fedora from DVD, and after the installation you decide to install that. And also, consider that you don’t have access to a suitable internet connection. Currently, you cannot install eclipse using Fedora package management tools (out of the box), while it is on DVD! And even if you have internet connection, why you should download eclipse from an online repo while it is on your DVD?
    Believe me, new users don’t like it at all. This small inconvenience is really important.


  5. Posted by amin khalafvand on February 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Hi !

    I agree !

    many my friends in university like Ubuntu ! because Ubuntu is easy !
    I am a new user ! but I like fedora because fedora has a high security rather than Ubuntu ! Selinux not enter properly in Ubuntu and etc .

    but really Ubuntu is easy for learning Linux !


  6. I just tried fedora 2 days ago. I think fedora is more stable than Ubuntu. The packages is more mature. I feel more convenient with it but get starting with it is not easy as in Ubuntu.

    I got stuck with proprietary driver installation, compiz-fusion, virtualization softwares like Vmware or Virtualbox.

    I remember that in Red Hat 9, they got Add Remove tool that can installs softwares from CDs. This ease us a lot as we just want to use the software and not really care about the versions to use.


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