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Some thoughts on the yum tutorial

I thought the yum tutorial was pretty good -
I'd give it 8/10 .
The following remarks are meant as comments rather than criticism.

0. I found the general approach slightly over-formal
even perhaps a tiny bit unfriendly.
But that is just a personal view.

I would have put the "Revision history" as a link,
perhaps just leaving the date of the latest revision,
and the author or authors.

1. As far as I can see, there are three standard fedora yum repositories:
fedora base (covering the rpms on the distribution CDs),
fedora update and fedora extras.

If that is correct, I suggest it should be said clearly,
as postings suggest some confusion over this.

2. I think a tutorial should concentrate on the ways
in which an application is most often used.
In the case of yum, I imagine 95% of the usage
is covered by "yum update" and "yum install".
I would have put these first - perhaps right at the beginning -
and put other variants in later sections, eg "Package groups".

3. I would have started by discussing the entries in /etc/yum.repos.d/ ,
perhaps with model entries for the 3 standard repositories.
That would enable people to get started as quickly as possible.

4. I definitely would omit the "su -c '...'" in the examples,
and just say you have to run yum as superuser,
perhaps once mentioning sudo and "su -c".

5. In case people are using sudo or su,
perhaps it should be mentioned that eg * should be given as \*
in yum search, etc.

6. When discussing "yum clean" it should be explained
what disadvantages if any this may have.
You say that cached rpms "may be re-used";
what exactly does this mean?

7. I think a brief description of how yum works -
eg what is meant by "metadata" and where it is stored -
would be useful.
I'd add a few words about rmp headers as well.

8. A few words on what to do about yum errors
would be very useful, perhaps as a FAQ.

9. I would have suggested adding non-standard repositories
to /etc/yum.repos.d/ with enabled=0
using yum with enablerepo=... when desired.

10. I think yum GPG keys cause more confusion than you realise.
I would have mentioned the possibility of turning off key-checking
in case one cannot find the key -
of course as a second-best solution.

Timothy Murphy  
e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/ birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

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