Archive for the ‘Fedora Tips & Tricks’ Category

Another problem with Fedora package management for offline users

Previously, I talked about the problem of Fedora package management (yum in that case) for offline users: lack of out-of-box support for using installation media to install programs. Then, I provided a simple rpm package to make the process of enabling Fedora DVD as a repository for yum a bit easier.
Today, I remembered another so annoying problem with PackageKit (not yum in this case): it does not distinguish between online and offline repositories (with “file://” at the beginning of their baseurl), and so, with default configuration it doesn’t let you install any packages from your offline repositories if you are not connected to any networks. It says: cannot install packages when offline!
This is not acceptable at all. First, I want to install a package in an offline repository (like Fedora DVD) and so I don’t need network connection for it. Second, PackageKit is satisfied when you are connected to ANY networks, like a simple local LAN between 2 computers (one of them could be a virtual one, so you have 1 real computer anyway!).  In such cases, you can’t still access the online repositories.
Therefore, I think the current effort of PackageKit in detecting network availability is not so bright, and also doesn’t provide almost any benefit (it is not useful). On the other hand, it is problematic in the case I mentioned (using offline repositories). I wonder why such a facility, which not only doesn’t provide much goodness but also is problematic, should be turned on be default.
Personally, I think it should be disabled until it is at least not “in the way”.

Anyway, if you face such problem now, you can work around it using the following options in /etc/PackageKit/PackageKit.conf:

UseNetworkManager=false
UseNetworkHeuristic=false

I filled a bug against it long time ago, but if I remember correctly that bug was closed saying that such options are available. But I should probably reopen it, since I still think that it is definitely a bug.

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Using Fedora DVD; not a solution, but a bit better!

As I said before, the current state of Fedora package management in regard to using its installation media is so undesirable. Sooner or later, every new Fedora user will ask you about it except if it doesn’t want to use the media at all!
Interestingly, he can’t find any guides in his DVD about installing software from DVD after Fedora installation. Also, there is nothing in the official Fedora pages (at fedoraproject.org) as far as I know! Certainly, you can find about it in many places, but such basic guide should be in a more accessible place. (?!)
Anyway, just to make it a little easier for new users, I decided to create a small RPM package containing the required yum configuration file. At least I have a better answer for new users on phone! You can find the RPM package here: http://hedayat.fedorapeople.org/dvdrepo/fedora-dvd-repo-0.1-1.fc10.noarch.rpm
This RPM should work on Fedora 9, 10, and later for users which use Fedora DVD. It might work on other versions too!
No configuration should be needed, just install the package and run yum or Add/Remove Software.
Maybe someone liked to use it!

Have fun
🙂
Update: This RPM package works on Fedora 11 and should work on Fedora 12 and later. If it didn’t, please let me know so I’ll provide an updated RPM for that.